Synonyms & Antonyms of bashful

not comfortable around people
  • a bashful child who hid in his room whenever there were visitors in the house

Synonyms for bashful

Words Related to bashful

Near Antonyms for bashful

Antonyms for bashful

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Frequently Asked Questions About bashful

How does the adjective bashful contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of bashful are coy, diffident, modest, and shy. While all these words mean "not inclined to be forward," bashful implies a frightened or hesitant shyness characteristic of childhood and adolescence.

a bashful boy out on his first date

In what contexts can coy take the place of bashful?

In some situations, the words coy and bashful are roughly equivalent. However, coy implies a pretended shyness.

put off by her coy manner

When might diffident be a better fit than bashful?

The words diffident and bashful can be used in similar contexts, but diffident stresses a distrust of one's own ability or opinion that causes hesitation in acting or speaking.

felt diffident about raising an objection

When would modest be a good substitute for bashful?

The meanings of modest and bashful largely overlap; however, modest suggests absence of undue confidence or conceit.

modest about her success

When could shy be used to replace bashful?

The words shy and bashful are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, shy implies a timid reserve and a shrinking from familiarity or contact with others.

shy with strangers

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Time Traveler for bashful

Time Traveler

The first known use of bashful was in 1548

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Cite this Entry

“Bashful.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bashful

Nglish: Translation of bashful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bashful for Arabic Speakers


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