adjective (shyer, shyest)
- 1Being reserved or having or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people: I was pretty shy at school a shy smileMore example sentences
- Jayalalitha, a once shy, timid, tiny introvert, was so outstanding in her studies that her portrait hangs in her school as a star alumnus with academic excellence as her only passion.
- His smile is shy, almost gentle, and his eyes dart nervously around him.
- I've gone from being shy and timid, to being quietly confident and assured.
- 1.1 [predic.] (shy about) Slow or reluctant to do (something): she has never been shy about discussing her efforts to raise aesthetic standardsMore example sentences
- I wanted to take things slow, and was shy about being intimate.
- She has never been shy of expressing her feminist opinions.
- 1.3(Of a wild mammal or bird) reluctant to remain in sight of humans.More example sentences
- The Department of Conservation has been on the hunt for our national icon in the Western Bay since November - but so far the shy birds have remained out of reach.
- The shy birds were reluctant to cache when observed and often made fake deposits.
- Build a brush pile near your feeder to make sparrows, towhees, and other shy birds feel more at home, but be sure it won't harbor roaming cats.
- 2 [predic.] (shy of) • informal Less than; short of: he won the championship with a score three points shy of a world recordMore example sentences
- I had studied and put too much effort into this test to have achieved 150 points shy of a perfect score.
- The company's shares trade just shy of the level that analysts say the printer business is worth all on its own.
- It was he's 24th goal of the season, just one short of his all-time best and two shy of his record achieved many years ago at the other club.
- 2.1Before: he left school just shy of his fourteenth birthdayMore example sentences
- Days shy of the event's 15th anniversary, he was detained by authorities.
- Just shy of its 180th birthday, the oldest political party in the country voted itself out of existence in early December.
- He was just shy of his 60th birthday and certainly had much more to do in his life.
- 3(Of a plant) not bearing flowers or fruit well or prolifically.More example sentences
- A new work by Alan Bennett is like a shy plant that only flowers every now and then, but when it does gives enormous pleasure.
- Cyclamen Cyclamen are subtler and more elegant than poinsettia with delicate, silky, shy flowers and the dappled heart-shaped leaves.
verb (shies, shying, shied)[no object] Back to top
- 1(Especially of a horse) start suddenly aside in fright at an object, noise, or movement.More example sentences
- His horse shied to the right, making room on the path for the newcomer.
- Hoss jumped, and the horse shied, the twin jolts coming together in the agony of his jawbone.
- But the white horse shied away from her, his wild eyes showing their whites, ears laid back in fear.
- 1.1 (shy from) Avoid doing or becoming involved in (something) due to nervousness or a lack of confidence: don’t shy away from saying what you thinkMore example sentences
- They avoided fighting whenever possible, yet did not shy from combat if it closed in.
- We are not shying from the responsibility but to put a three-year-old on the operating table when he's smiley and happy is not an option.
- To its credit, the picture doesn't shy from depicting the horrific reality of execution by electric chair, although it stops short of coming down firmly in an anti-death penalty stance.
nounBack to top
- More example sentences
- She didn't really fit in, she stood out from the rest, far more beautiful and a lot shyer.
- Calvin seemed a bit shyer now and he wasn't smiling quite so much.
- With room-mates, the shyer of the two tended to change more emotionally.
- More example sentences
- She smiled shyly, looking down at her bare feet in the cold mud.
- Pens and paper at the ready the kids shyly approached Micko, cautiously asking for his autograph.
- Standing shyly in worn jeans with a canvas bag, Yang looked like a student.
Old English scēoh '(of a horse) easily frightened', of Germanic origin; related to German scheuen 'shun', scheuchen 'scare'; compare with eschew. The verb dates from the mid 17th century.
verb (shies, shying, shied)[with object]
noun (plural shies)Back to top
- An act of flinging or throwing something at a target.More example sentences
- Non-striker Gordon Webster, running to the danger end, would have been well short of safety had the shy at the stumps been on target.
- First class casters could reach way out to shy fish, and distant mangroves.
have a shy at
- Try to hit something, especially with a ball or stone.More example sentences
- So good was their dominance that they did not allow the Chandigarh team to have a shy at the goal at all.
- Pietersen has a shy at the stumps, but misses with the Australian just about making his ground.
- If they miss, the man backing up collects and has a shy at the next stump along the line.
- • archaic Attempt to do or obtain something.More example sentences
- Though he is well behind the leaders, another Finn who could have a shy at a medal at least will be hammer thrower Olli-Pekka Karjalainen.
- • archaic Jeer at: you are always having a shy at Lady Ann and her relationsMore example sentences
- ‘There you go, Polly; you are always having a shy at Lady Anne and her relations,’ says Mr. Newcome, good-naturedly.
late 18th century: of unknown origin.