tim·​id | \ ˈti-məd How to pronounce timid (audio) \

Definition of timid

1 : lacking in courage or self-confidence a timid person
2 : lacking in boldness or determination a timid policy

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Other Words from timid

timidity \ tə-​ˈmi-​də-​tē How to pronounce timid (audio) \ noun
timidly \ ˈti-​məd-​lē How to pronounce timid (audio) \ adverb
timidness noun

Examples of timid in a Sentence

She's very timid and shy when meeting strangers. He gave her a timid smile.
Recent Examples on the Web Along these lines, pure introverts who are truly timid and shy are likely to breathe a sigh of relief this holiday season, as COVID-19 risks provide a socially acceptable reason to decline invitations to holiday parties and get-togethers. David H. Rosmarin, Scientific American, "Managing Emotional Polarization This Holiday Season," 7 Dec. 2020 As a result, many examples are timid or insipid, betraying their origins as business ventures rather than cultural expressions. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "Wines to Remember in a Year to Forget," 10 Dec. 2020 Her stand in, Paula (Barrymore again), a timid wannabe actress, has witnessed her bad behavior for years but has said nothing for fear of losing her job. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Review: It’s Drew Barrymore vs. Drew Barrymore in ‘The Stand In’," 9 Dec. 2020 Obama was also criticized by some families of imprisoned dissidents as being timid about confronting Middle East allies such as the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Washington Post, "Crackdowns by U.S. allies could test Biden’s pledge to promote human rights," 27 Nov. 2020 But this Bowie is off-puttingly timid and seemingly uninspired. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Review: A young David Bowie tours America in unrevealing biopic ‘Stardust’," 24 Nov. 2020 This being modern America, nothing is final until the courts have spoken (particularly the Supreme Court, which has been too timid to say much). Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "A Successful Presidency, a Maddening President," 7 Nov. 2020 As Millie, Newton is timid and dorky, relying a lot on the support of her fellow outcasts Nyla (Celeste O’Connor) and Josh (Misha Osherovich). Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Vince Vaughn swaps bodies with a teen girl in high-concept slasher comedy ‘Freaky’," 10 Nov. 2020 Like it’s playing with split personalities, timid and discombobulated in the first half before becoming otherworldly stringent and strong-willed in the second. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: What's going with Colts defense's first-half swoons?," 27 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'timid.' 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 timid

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for timid

Latin timidus, from timēre to fear

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Time Traveler for timid

Time Traveler

The first known use of timid was in 1549

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Statistics for timid

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Timid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/timid. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for timid


How to pronounce timid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of timid

: feeling or showing a lack of courage or confidence


tim·​id | \ ˈti-məd How to pronounce timid (audio) \

Kids Definition of timid

: feeling or showing a lack of courage or self-confidence : shy a timid deer a timid smile

Other Words from timid

timidly adverb
timidness noun

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Comments on timid

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