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

The result has been mostly timid, slow-paced policies that have not kept up with a fast-developing China and an increasingly competitive world. The Economist, "Hong Kongers want and deserve a fair society," 20 Aug. 2019 Despite his lengthy injury history, the tight end refuses to play timid. Tyler Dragon, Cincinnati.com, "Bengals notebook: Left tackle Cordy Glenn in concussion protocol," 19 Aug. 2019 Set in 1959, the story focuses on Max Bialystock (Richardson Jones), a Broadway producer with an anti-Midas touch, and Leo Bloom (Christopher Jewell Valentin), a timid accountant hired to sift through the books. Daryl H. Miller, latimes.com, "Review: Small theaters think big with ‘Ragtime’ at the Chance and ‘The Producers’ at Celebration," 11 July 2019 Without a full-throated defense, this balanced approach to immigration would be dismissed by the left as a timid capitulation to President Trump. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Mirroring Trump Could Doom the Democrats," 9 July 2019 In another life, Emily (Alexis Bledel) of The Handmaid’s Tale was a timid yet brilliant microbiologist with a degree from Harvard. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Why Emily's "Criminal" Track Record Puts Her At Risk Of Heading Back To Gilead In The Handmaid's Tale," 5 July 2019 Your encouragement can bring a timid friend out of his or her shell. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for July 1, 2019: Leo, healthy skepticism could serve you well; Gemini, blend in with people of similar backgrounds," 1 July 2019 Back in mid-90s suburban Westchester, New York, there were not so many ways for an essentially well-behaved, academically minded, socially timid twelve-year-old to be subversive. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Meet the Set Designer Behind For Björk Latest Showstopping Performance," 10 May 2019 Soprano Eleni Calenos was an inspired choice, with her rich tone and exquisite control, shifting easily from timid introvert to passionate (and deeply wronged) lover. cleveland.com, "Cleveland Opera Theater kicks off season with ingenious, talent-rich ‘La Boheme’," 16 Sep. 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

8 Oct 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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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