sheepish

adjective

sheep·​ish ˈshē-pish How to pronounce sheepish (audio)
1
: resembling a sheep: such as
a
: meek, timid
b
: stupid
2
: affected by or showing embarrassment caused by consciousness of a fault
a sheepish grin
sheepishly adverb
sheepishness noun

Examples of sheepish in a Sentence

He felt a little sheepish. a sheepish scholar who is most comfortable when surrounded by books
Recent Examples on the Web Bragg himself has seemed almost sheepish about the Trump case, preferring to talk about tackling wage theft or creating a jail-diversion program. Michael Rothfeld Emily Woo Zeller Krish Seenivasan David Mason, New York Times, 9 Apr. 2024 Norman Mailer wrote with an unstable mixture of self-indulgence and self-awareness, bravado and diffidence, glibness and bracing honesty, macho posturing and an almost sheepish gentleness. Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, 28 Mar. 2024 But after Moose pressures the more sheepish AJ to empty his bank account for an overpaying bid on the Snack Shack, the only way out of the red is going all-in on the business. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 16 Mar. 2024 She and her family are welcomed by the queen, Isabelle (Robin Wright, gorgeously cloaked in robes, power and snobbery), and her fiancé, Prince Henry (Nick Robinson), who looks oddly sheepish, as if he’d been caught in a lie on his Royal Match profile. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 8 Mar. 2024 The film is set in 1820s Oregon, where the sheepish Cookie (John Magaro) is making his way West with a group of fur trappers. Katie Rife, EW.com, 16 Oct. 2023 Remedy appears to be leaning more fully into survival horror this time around, and there were some genuine spooks during the demo, including one that had the entire room shouting with surprise and following that up with some sheepish giggles. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, 13 June 2023 The latter results in one of the film’s best scenes when Eileen lays down the law to her sheepish husband, which Masterson absolutely nails. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Nov. 2023 On move-in day, parents would introduce themselves to me and summarize their first-year student’s accomplishments while their child wore a look of sheepish embarrassment. Rebekah Peeples, Washington Post, 10 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sheepish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sheepish was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near sheepish

Cite this Entry

“Sheepish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sheepish. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

sheepish

adjective
sheep·​ish ˈshē-pish How to pronounce sheepish (audio)
1
: resembling a sheep (as in being meek or shy)
2
: embarrassed especially over being found out in a fault
a sheepish look
sheepishly adverb
sheepishness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sheepish

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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