shrinking violet


Definition of shrinking violet

: a bashful or retiring person

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Synonyms & Antonyms for shrinking violet


introvert, wallflower


extrovert (also extravert)

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Examples of shrinking violet in a Sentence

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

This was not a group of ladylike shrinking violets. ... Amanda Blanco,, "Annie Lamont joins state officers in celebration for the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage," 12 Sep. 2019 Though the 4449 is a considerable 110 feet long and 16 feet tall, and no shrinking violet at 433 tons, there’s a sleekness to the design that still pleases the eye. Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the SP 4449 Is Such a Badass Train," 15 July 2019 These were clothes for street style snappers—not shrinking violets. Vogue, "Designers Opt for Opulence Over Minimalism on the Second Day of Oslo Runway," 16 Aug. 2018 Most people who wade into politics and public service aren’t shrinking violets. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Who wrote the op-ed? Will the government shut down? Denials pile up in Washington," 10 Sep. 2018 The contradiction between a man anxious to wreck shop in the Western world and the shrinking violet that was about to meet Putin was striking. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump’s huge self-contradiction on Russia at NATO," 12 July 2018 Photo: Legendary Pictures Productions, LLC, and Universal Pictures No paterfamilias has ever done more for his wife and kids, though the wife in this case is not exactly a shrinking violet. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Skyscraper’ Review: Outsize Building, Outlandish Fun," 12 July 2018 No shrinking violet she, her adventurousness is illustrated by her eighth day hot air ballooning journey through the Loire Valley in France with Howard., "Susan Gross," 30 Apr. 2018 These aren't the shrinking violets or breathless ingenues. Dana Oland, idahostatesman, "Pack your picnic basket: Idaho Shakespeare Festival brings Stephen King, ABBA and more | Idaho Statesman," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shrinking violet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shrinking violet

1915, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for shrinking violet

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for shrinking violet

The first known use of shrinking violet was in 1915

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More Definitions for shrinking violet

shrinking violet


English Language Learners Definition of shrinking violet

informal : a person who is very shy

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shrinking violet

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Comments on shrinking violet

What made you want to look up shrinking violet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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