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 timidity (audio) \ noun
timidly \ ˈti-​məd-​lē How to pronounce timidly (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

Religious leaders have been notoriously timid at many historic moments. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Blunt Twitter talk from an archbishop and a congressman," 8 Aug. 2019 With 17 major league teams within at least four games of a playoff spot, and no potential for August waiver-wire maneuvers, this year’s deadline wars will not be won by the timid. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "John Shipley: Fixing bullpen is imperative and Twins must be bold," 26 July 2019 But the universities and football officials know something Alabama politicians are too timid or short-sighted to see. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al.com, "The stinky fish of football season in Alabama," 12 July 2019 Cheetahs are timid in new environments and with unfamiliar people. San Diego Union-Tribune, "For San Diego Zoo visitors, Sundown Summer Safari gives something extra," 22 June 2019 There, she's partnered with Nancy McKenna, Alba's character, who is originally thought to be timid, but ends up surprising everyone. Krystyna Chávez, Marie Claire, "Jessica Alba And Gabrielle Union Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'," 9 July 2019 To pass would be timid; partner could have as many as 18 points. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: June 26, 2019," 26 June 2019 Girls have been raised to be cowed, timid, and self-doubting, never feeling confident enough to raise their hands in school, while the boys have been taught to regard their every opinion, however unfounded, as wise, worthy, and wonderful. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Fifty-Fifty Follies," 10 June 2019 The rest of my time is taken up with growing chives on my patio and putting out cracked corn for the timid quail that like to come by, single-file, right before the sun splits the mountains in half each morning. Bulletin Board, Twin Cities, "Sunday Bulletin Board: Like sands through the hourglass, these are the loads of our lives!," 9 June 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near timid


time zone




timing belt

timing chain

Statistics for timid

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for timid

The first known use of timid was in 1549

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on timid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for timid

Spanish Central: Translation of timid

Nglish: Translation of timid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of timid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on timid

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


recurring in steady succession

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