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

Keep scrolling for more

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 But Elyse is a little too slick (or maybe a little too timid) for that. Jodi Walker, EW.com, "The Real Housewives of New York City," 10 July 2020 Jahlil, Simington’s 10-year-old son, started the morning timid and fearful. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "Celebrations of black family, culture break out across D.C.," 27 June 2020 My concerns were largely met with dismissal by leadership who were too timid to attribute my experience to discrimination and were uninterested in real change that fostered an inclusive environment. Karen Yuan, Fortune, "Black employees say performative allyship is rampant in the office," 19 June 2020 But even if the government is timid, investors can still make a difference. The Economist, "The reinvention of Japan’s power supply is making little headway," 21 June 2020 Not because of timid investor demand, but because of scrutiny by the SEC. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Disease, recession, war games—why none of it seems to count as bad news for today’s investors," 18 June 2020 In the 1980s, any timid notion of a corporation’s social obligations gave way to a narrower view that a company’s only real obligation was to its shareholders. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Corporate America confronts racism. Why this time may be different.," 18 June 2020 In the 1970s, when young Black British players first emerged, they were often dismissed as lazy and timid by coaches and the media. Hasit Shah, Quartz, "Black players lead English soccer on and off the field—but not in the boardroom," 16 June 2020 The blue-eyed children made silly mistakes and became timid and despondent. Karina Bland, azcentral, "Activist Jane Elliott says protests are proof that 'together we are stronger'," 11 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of timid

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for timid

Latin timidus, from timēre to fear

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about timid

Time Traveler for timid

Time Traveler

The first known use of timid was in 1549

See more words from the same year

Statistics for timid

Last Updated

23 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Timid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/timid. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!