shrinking violet


: a bashful or retiring person

Example Sentences

He's no shrinking violet when it comes to competition. a reality show that wants shameless exhibitionists, not shrinking violets
Recent Examples on the Web Jonathan Adler is never one to be a shrinking violet—especially when that most wonderful time of year rolls around. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 6 Dec. 2022 As volcanoes go, Yellowstone is no shrinking violet. Robin George Andrews, New York Times, 1 Dec. 2022 Maria stops at a charmless Nevada hamlet built around a Walmart and meets a young shrinking violet of a Walmart employee named James. Stephanie Burt, The New Yorker, 20 June 2022 But in the hands of Maggie Smith, the Dowager Countess was no shrinking violet. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, 29 May 2022 After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not the year to attend the races as a shrinking violet. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 30 Mar. 2022 Step aside, shrinking violet, this is a season of the bold and the brilliant. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 28 Mar. 2022 Gruen, never a shrinking violet, predicted his centers — Eastland opened in 1957 — were important beyond shopping, and would change the thinking of city planners, economists, architects and the American public. Bill Mcgraw, Detroit Free Press, 30 Jan. 2022 Fox, never known as a corporate shrinking violet, intends to promote Fox Weather during football telecasts on its broadcast network and via Fox News. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 21 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shrinking violet.' 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

1915, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shrinking violet was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near shrinking violet

Cite this Entry

“Shrinking violet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

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