Synonyms & Antonyms of coy

1 affecting shyness or modesty in order to attract masculine interest
  • not wanting him to know that she was interested in him, she acted very coy at the dance

Synonyms for coy

Words Related to coy

Antonyms for coy

  • uncoy
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Frequently Asked Questions About coy

How does the adjective coy contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of coy are bashful, diffident, modest, and shy. While all these words mean "not inclined to be forward," coy implies a pretended shyness.

put off by her coy manner

Where would bashful be a reasonable alternative to coy?

While in some cases nearly identical to coy, bashful implies a frightened or hesitant shyness characteristic of childhood and adolescence.

a bashful boy out on his first date

When would diffident be a good substitute for coy?

While the synonyms diffident and coy are close in meaning, 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 is it sensible to use modest instead of coy?

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

modest about her success

When could shy be used to replace coy?

In some situations, the words shy and coy are roughly equivalent. However, shy implies a timid reserve and a shrinking from familiarity or contact with others.

shy with strangers

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Time Traveler for coy

Time Traveler

The first known use of coy was in the 14th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near coy




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Cite this Entry

“Coy.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on coy

Nglish: Translation of coy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coy for Arabic Speakers


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