stand·​off·​ish stand-ˈȯ-fish How to pronounce standoffish (audio)
: somewhat cold and reserved
standoffishly adverb
standoffishness noun

Examples of standoffish in a Sentence

She tends to be a bit standoffish with strangers. she proved to be simply shy, not standoffish
Recent Examples on the Web Canan is understandably standoffish when fielding the jibes and unsolicited career advice of the opposing side’s attorney. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Sep. 2023 After several minutes of standoffish conversation, Cummings accused Arriola of trying to scam him. Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 10 Nov. 2022 And Steve says, all of this just goes a long way toward the hospital, redefining its once really standoffish relationship with the surrounding neighborhoods. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 7 Nov. 2022 Harper is initially cold and standoffish, refusing even to pick up a champagne flute to collectively toast to their impending holiday together. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 31 Oct. 2022 That’s because these standoffish compounds don’t react to anything—not biological or other chemical agents. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 22 Aug. 2022 Vets warn, though, that the Chessie personality is much more standoffish and has a stronger temperament than the Lab, and is also extremely hard to train—don’t get this breed as your first dog and be prepared to spend some time training hardcore. Mattie Schuler, Outside Online, 1 May 2013 Many people, particularly those that are strongly rooted in a religion, are very standoffish and resistant to holistic wellness because there are things that could challenge their beliefs like reiki, energy work or yoga. Courtney McCluney, Forbes, 3 June 2022 Those who know Carman have described him as aloof or standoffish. Hartford Courant, 10 May 2022 See More

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

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of standoffish was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near standoffish

Cite this Entry

“Standoffish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


stand·​off·​ish stan-ˈdȯ-fish How to pronounce standoffish (audio)
: not friendly : aloof

More from Merriam-Webster on standoffish

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