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

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Example Sentences

She tends to be a bit standoffish with strangers. she proved to be simply shy, not standoffish
Recent Examples on the Web 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 Atkins, who is extremely reserved by nature, seemed disinterested at first, maybe even a bit standoffish. Dan Wiederer,, 17 Mar. 2022 Current and former neighbors in Wisconsin described him as gruff, standoffish and prone to losing his temper. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 By contrast, critics without sympathy for this sort of performance have accused Glück of a standoffish self-obsession, a lack of interest in making the reader feel at home in her private domain. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 8 Jan. 2022 Kruger has the moxie to play Marie as a standoffish neurotic, Nyong’o creates an unusually emotional hacker, and Cruz, as the one who’s more devoted to her family than to global realpolitik, proves the sweetest of wild cards. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 6 Jan. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1860, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of standoffish was in 1860

Dictionary Entries Near standoffish

Cite this Entry

“Standoffish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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Last Updated: 4 Sep 2022

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