stand·​off·​ish | \ stand-ˈȯ-fish How to pronounce standoffish (audio) \

Definition of standoffish

: somewhat cold and reserved

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Other Words from standoffish

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 But the bustling, metropolitan vibe might not be right for everyone, and the locals can come across as standoffish. Nina B. Lichtenstein, Washington Post, "If you want a more intimate Norwegian experience, head to Trondheim instead of Oslo," 26 Sep. 2019 Cats have a reputation for being disinterested and standoffish little furballs who only show their owners affection when its time to fill their dinner bowls. Melissa Locker, Time, "Here Are Many, Many Cats Reacting Appropriately to Humans Using Cat Filters," 12 Dec. 2019 Viewed from the south, the tower looks to be fittingly monumental but no longer mausoleumlike, dignified yet lively, abstract without being standoffish. Blair Kamin,, "Column: Here’s an exclusive look at the latest design tweaks to the Obama Presidential Center. Is the third time the charm?," 27 Oct. 2019 Anything but standoffish, Gerstein responded in both mood and sound to the sometimes raucous, sometimes tender atmospheres conjured by his orchestral colleagues, especially those on clarinet and percussion. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra paints vibrant self-portrait through Bach, Brahms, and Ades," 14 Oct. 2019 The defensive record of five goals conceded in two games is a worthy one of a sluggish and standoffish side., "3 Problems Nathan Jones Must Solve to Save Stoke City From Championship Obscurity," 27 Aug. 2019 Go ahead and be cool, but don't alienate people by being too standoffish. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for Aug. 16, 2019: Happy birthday Cameron Monaghan; Sagittarius, connect with many new people," 16 Aug. 2019 But on the level of urbanism, the building remains standoffish. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Where’s the urban plan for L.A.’s biggest museum makeover in a decade?," 12 July 2019 The Foreign Service officers and civil servants at Foggy Bottom had long tired of Rex Tillerson, with his standoffish, detached management style. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "Pompeo knows to boost morale; boosting foreign aid also should be on his agenda," 4 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of standoffish

1860, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for standoffish

Time Traveler

The first known use of standoffish was in 1860

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Statistics for standoffish

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Standoffish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce standoffish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of standoffish

: not friendly toward other people

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Nglish: Translation of standoffish for Spanish Speakers

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