The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Variant of shy
- easily frightened or startled; timid
- not at ease with other people; extremely self-conscious; bashful
- showing distrust or caution; wary
- not bearing or breeding well, as some plants; unproductive
- ☆ Slang
- not having paid money due, as one's poker ante
- lacking; short (on or of)
Origin: Middle English schei, dialect, dialectal development from Old English sceoh, akin to German scheu, shy, probably from Indo-European an unverified form skeuk-, harassed (from source Old Church Slavonic ščuti, to pursue); akin to an unverified form skeub- from source scoff
- to move suddenly as when startled; jump; start; recoil: the horse shied at the gunshot
- to react negatively; be or become cautious or unwilling; draw back: often with at or from
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.