AskDefine | Define shy

Dictionary Definition

shy adj
1 lacking self-confidence; "stood in the doorway diffident and abashed"; "problems that call for bold not timid responses"; "a very unsure young man" [syn: diffident, timid, unsure]
2 easily startled or frightened
3 short; "eleven is one shy of a dozen" [syn: shy(p)]
4 wary and distrustful; disposed to avoid persons or things; "shy of strangers" n : a quick throw; "he gave the ball a shy to the first baseman"

Verb

1 start suddenly, as from fight
2 throw quickly [also: shied, shyest, shyer, shiest, shier]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

Old English sceoh

Pronunciation

  • /ʃaɪ/
  • Rhymes with: -aɪ

Adjective

  1. Easily frightened; timid; as, a shy bird.
  2. Reserved; coy; disinclined to familiar approach.
  3. Cautious; wary; suspicious.
  4. Short, insufficient or less than.
    It is just shy of a mile from here to their house.

Usage notes

  • Often used in combination with a noun to produce an adjective .
  • Adjectives are usually applicable to animals ("leash-shy") or to children. Usage is comparable in meaning to words formed using -phobic or phrases using anxiety ("leash anxiety").

Translations

Verb

  1. To avoid due to timidness or caution.
    I shy away from investment opportunities I don't understand.
  2. To jump back in fear.
    The horse shied away from the rider, which startled him so much he shied away from the horse.
  3. to throw a ball or other missile at a target

Translations

checktrans-top intransitive
throw a ball

Noun

  1. act of throwing
  2. place for throwing
    coconut shy

Translations

act of throwing
place for throwing

Extensive Definition

Shyness is a feeling of insecurity. Shy may also refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Pyrrhonic, about the bush, afraid, agnostic, apprehensive, around the bush, arrested, averse, avert, avoid, back down, backhanded, backward, balance, balk, bankrupt in, bare of, bashful, be startled, bear off, beat about, beat around, beg the question, bereft of, bicker, bilk, blench, blink, boggle, boggling, bowl, cagey, callow, cast, cast at, catapult, cautious, cavil, chary, choplogic, chuck, chuck at, chunk, circumspect, confused, conscious, cowardly, coy, cringe, dart, dash, debate, defective, deficient, deliberate, demur, demure, demurring, denuded of, deprived of, destitute of, devoid of, diffident, distrustful, dodge, double, doubtful, doubting, draw aside, draw back, draw in, dubious, duck, ease off, edge off, elude, embryonic, empty of, equivocate, eschew, evade, evade the issue, fade, failing, fall back, falter, faltering, fear, fearful, fearing, fearsome, fence, fight shy, fight shy of, fire, fire at, flinch, fling, fling at, flip, fly off, for want of, fork, forlorn of, from Missouri, gag, gee, glance, glance off, go off, goosy, hang back, hang off, have qualms, haw, head off, heave, heave at, hedge, hem and haw, hesitant, hesitate, hesitating, hold off, hover, hum and haw, hurl, hurl against, hurl at, hurtle, hypoplastic, immature, in arrear, in arrears, in default, in default of, in doubt, in fear, in short supply, in want of, inadequate, inarticulate, incomplete, indisposed, infant, insufficient, introversive, introvert, introverted, jerk, jib, jump, jump a mile, jumpy, lacking, lance, launch, leery, let fly, let fly at, loath, lob, make bones about, make way for, missing, mistrustful, mistrusting, modest, mousy, move aside, mystify, needing, nervous, nitpick, obscure, out of, out of pocket, palter, panic, parry, part, partial, pass, patchy, pause, peg, pelt, pick nits, pitch, pitchfork, ponder, pot, prevaricate, pull away, pull back, pull in, pull out, pussyfoot, put, put off, put the shot, quail, qualmish, questioning, quibble, rabbity, recoil, reel back, reluctant, reserved, retiring, retract, retreat, scant, scant of, scanty, scarce, scary, scrappy, scruple, scrupulous, self-conscious, self-distrustful, self-effacing, serve, shaky, shamefaced, shamefast, sheepish, sheer off, shift, shift off, shilly-shally, shivery, short, short of, shove aside, shrink, shrink back, shrinking, shuffle, shun, shunt, shy at, shy away, shy of, shy off, side, sidestep, sideswipe, sidetrack, sidle, skedaddle, skeptical, sketchy, skittery, skittish, sling, sling at, snap, split hairs, squeamish, stammering, stampede, start, start aside, start back, startle, startlish, steer clear of, step aside, stick, stick at, stickle, stickling, stop to consider, straddle the fence, strain, strain at, stumble, suspecting, suspicious, swerve, switch, tergiversate, think twice about, throw, throw at, tilt, timid, timorous, toss, toss at, trembling, tremulous, trepidant, trigger-happy, turn aside, turn away, turn back, unassertive, unassured, unblessed with, uncertain, underdeveloped, undeveloped, uneager, unpossessed of, untrusting, unwilling, veer off, void of, wanting, ward off, wary, waver, weasel, weasel out, wince, withdraw, yield
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