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

Critics say the initiatives, while welcome, are too timid to fix fundamental deficiencies in the world’s second-largest economy, which stem from the state’s dominance of resources and capital. Shen Hong, WSJ, "China Counters Selloff by Cutting Markets Some Slack," 24 Jan. 2019 The show is handsome, consistent and more than a little timid. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Giacometti: Beguiled by Thin Men and Women," 6 June 2018 In particular, the formerly timid Eve is now officially a stone-cold killer. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "'Killing Eve' Season Two Finally Has a Release Date. Here's Everything We Know.," 5 Jan. 2019 The real problem is a refined and oh-so-polite Republican establishment too timid and clueless to convey its message effectively or keep its political promises. WSJ, "Trump Gossip Can’t Overshadow His Triumphs," 4 Jan. 2019 Matt is reserved and timid, while the digital version of Joyce is abrasive and continually pushes all of his buttons. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "My Dead Wife, the Robot Car is a Black Mirror-equse podcast about autonomous cars," 21 Oct. 2018 The Weekend Update duo, who will continue their run as co-head writers (along with Kent Sublette) for the show’s upcoming 44th season, aren’t exactly known for being timid. Bethonie Butler, The Seattle Times, "Between hosts and awards, Emmy night could be SNL’s night," 17 Sep. 2018 Parliament’s resistance to Mrs May’s extreme plan has been timid and the Labour opposition feeble. The Economist, "Britain is heading for a soft Brexit," 16 June 2018 And Hanyok masters the role of the slowly blossoming outsider Dory, timid at first but eventually as honest, funny and fearless as the others. Mitchel Benson, sacbee, "‘Ladies Foursome’ maintains remarkable chemistry in return to B Street Theatre," 10 July 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near timid


time zone




timing belt

timing chain

Statistics for timid

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for timid

The first known use of timid was in 1549

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for timid



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).


to boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

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?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!