Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

shy  - definition and synonyms

 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
adjective shy pronunciation in American English /ʃaɪ/
Word Forms
Close
adjectiveshy
comparativeshier
superlativeshiest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    nervous and embarrassed in the company of other people, especially people who you do not know

    Archie was shy and awkward.

    I’d love to meet her, but I’m too shy to introduce myself.

    1. a.
      shy behavior shows that someone is nervous or not confident

      a shy grin

      He gave Joanna a quick shy glance.

  2. 2
    not willing to do or be involved in something, because it makes you feel nervous or embarrassed
    shy about/of:

    He is very shy about singing in public.

derived words

shyly

adverb

Kevin and Ashley smiled shyly at each other.

shyness

 shy pronunciation in American English noun [uncountable]

rat tail

a type of hairstyle which has a long, thin strip of hair growing down the back of the neck

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

speak human

(of a politician) to be able to communicate and connect with ordinary people

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog