- Shy describes someone who lacks in confidence or who is nervous or quiet in social situations.
An example of shy is a person who stands by herself at the back wall of a party and is too frightened to talk to anyone.
- Shy means something that happens shortly before, or that is just short of.
- An example of shy is when you drop out of school right before you graduate.
- An example of shy is when you have $1 and you need $2.
- Shy is defined as refraining from doing something, often out of fear or nervousness.
An example of shy is when you are scared to talk in public.
adjectiveshyer or shier, shyest or shiest
- 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 of shyMiddle 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
intransitive verbshied, shying
- 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
fight shy of
adjectiveshi·er , shi·est or shy·er or shy·est
- Easily startled; timid: a shy deer.
- a. Tending to avoid contact or familiarity with others; retiring or reserved: a shy student who stayed in the back of the room.b. Characterized by reserve or diffidence: a shy glance.
- Distrustful; wary: shy of strangers.
- Not having a sufficient or specified amount, as of money: was shy $100 on his rent; was two victories shy of the school record.
intransitive verbshied shied , shy·ing, shies shies
- To move suddenly or draw back, as if startled or afraid: The horse shied at the loud sound.
- To avoid engaging in, treating, or discussing something: “a film adaptation that would not shy away from the novel's controversial themes” (Scot French).
nounpl. shies shies
Origin of shyMiddle English schey, from Old English scēoh.
(comparative shier or shyer, superlative shiest or shyest)
- Often used in combination with a noun to produce an adjective or adjectival phrase.
- Adjectives are usually applicable to animals (leash-shy "shy of leashes" or head shy "shy of contact around the head" (of horses)) or to children.
(third-person singular simple present shies, present participle shying, simple past and past participle shied)
- (intransitive) To avoid due to timidness or caution.
- I shy away from investment opportunities I don't understand.
- (intransitive) To jump back in fear.
- The horse shied away from the rider, which startled him so much he shied away from the horse.
- to throw sideways with a jerk; to fling
- to shy a stone; to shy a slipper