1

shy

play
adjective \ˈshī\

Definition of shy

shier

or

shyer

play \ˈshī(-ə)r\

shiest

or

shyest

play \ˈshī-əst\
  1. 1 :  easily frightened :  timid

  2. 2 :  disposed to avoid a person or thing <publicity shy>

  3. 3 :  hesitant in committing oneself :  circumspect

  4. 4 :  sensitively diffident or retiring :  reserved; also :  expressive of such a state or nature <a shy smile>

  5. 5 :  secluded, hidden

  6. 6 :  having less than the full or specified amount or number :  short <just shy of six feet tall>

  7. 7 :  disreputable <gambling hells and shy saloons — Blackwood's>

shyly

adverb

shyness

noun

Examples of shy in a sentence

  1. I was painfully shy as a teenager.

  2. She was too shy to ask for help.

  3. He gave her a shy smile.

  4. Help yourself if you want more. Don't be shy.

Origin and Etymology of shy

Middle English schey, from Old English scēoh; akin to Old High German sciuhen to frighten off


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of shy

shy, bashful, diffident, modest, coy mean not inclined to be forward. shy implies a timid reserve and a shrinking from familiarity or contact with others <shy with strangers>. bashful implies a frightened or hesitant shyness characteristic of childhood and adolescence <a bashful boy out on his first date>. diffident stresses a distrust of one's own ability or opinion that causes hesitation in acting or speaking <felt diffident about raising an objection>. modest suggests absence of undue confidence or conceit <modest about her success>. coy implies a pretended shyness <put off by her coy manner>.

2

shy

intransitive verb

Definition of shy

shied

shying

  1. 1 :  to develop or show a dislike or distaste —usually used with from or away from <an author who shies away from publicity>

  2. 2 :  to start suddenly aside through fright or alarm

1649

First Known Use of shy

1649


3

shy

noun

Definition of shy

plural

shies

  1. :  a sudden start aside (as from fright)

1791

First Known Use of shy

1791


4

shy

verb

Definition of shy

shied

shying

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to make a sudden throw

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to throw (an object) with a jerk :  fling

Origin and Etymology of shy

perhaps from 1shy


First Known Use: 1787


5

shy

noun

Definition of shy

plural

shies

  1. 1 :  the act of shying :  toss, throw

  2. 2 :  a verbal fling or attack

  3. 3 :  cockshy

1791

First Known Use of shy

1791



SHY Defined for English Language Learners

1

shy

play
adjective \ˈshī\

Definition of shy for English Language Learners

  • : feeling nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people

  • : showing that you are nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people

  • : tending to avoid something because of nervousness, fear, dislike, etc.


SHY Defined for Kids

1

shy

play
adjective \ˈshī\

Definition of shy for Students

shier

or

shyer

shiest

or

shyest

  1. 1 :  not feeling comfortable meeting and talking to people <a shy awkward boy>

  2. 2 :  easily frightened :  timid <a shy kitten>

  3. 3 :  showing a dislike of attention <a shy face>

  4. 4 :  tending to avoid something or someone <I'm camera shy. Don't take my picture.>

  5. 5 :  having less than a full or an expected amount or number <We were shy about ten dollars.>

shyly

adverb <She smiled shyly.>

shyness

noun

2

shy

play
verb

Definition of shy for Students

shied

shying

  1. 1 :  to avoid or draw back in dislike or distaste <He shied from publicity.>

  2. 2 :  to move quickly to one side in fright <The horse shied at the thunder.>



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