Share this entry

squeamish Syllabification: squeam·ish
Pronunciation: /ˈskwēmiSH/

Definition of squeamish in English:


1(Of a person) easily made to feel sick, faint, or disgusted, especially by unpleasant images, such as the sight of blood: he was a bit squeamish at the sight of the giant needles
More example sentences
  • Oddly, eating meat didn't make me feel squeamish or sick.
  • The squeamish and easily offended will find a lot to complain about, but what's new?
  • Most Africans have a very close relationship with the land, even the city people, who are squeamish about bugs and scared to death of gorillas.
easily nauseated, nervous;
(squeamish about)put off by, not able to stand the sight of
1.1(Of a person) having strong moral views; scrupulous: she was not squeamish about using her social influence in support of her son
More example sentences
  • Is it that the United States has grown more moral in the last 50 years - or, depending on your point of view, more squeamish?
  • In their boasts, dissidents are lady-killers; in their writings, they are squeamish, priggish, and prudish.
  • What interrogation tactics would make both the FBI and the CIA squeamish about their field officers' participation?


Late Middle English: alteration of dialect squeamous, from Anglo-Norman French escoymos, of unknown origin.



Example sentences
  • Carl Zimmer describes in his squeamishly gripping book Parasite Rex how, eventually, the barnacle fills the entire carapace of the crab, which becomes, in effect, a zombie.
  • These creatures are not just squeamishly gross, but also a very real health threat.
  • You squeamishly go looking for a quiet spot behind a bush to do your thing.


Pronunciation: /ˈskwēmiSHnəs/
Example sentences
  • By failing to make these distinctions (though you'll perhaps understand our squeamishness when it comes to these sorts of details), we've made the world seem like a much nastier and more dangerous place than it is.
  • But beyond puritanical squeamishness - and the native instinct of all bureaucracies to create policies upon policies - employers have good reason to outlaw porn.
  • Researcher Nathaniel Fried at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Balti said men should overcome their squeamishness and opt for a vasectomy - a far cheaper and safer operation than female sterilization.

Words that rhyme with squeamish

Hamish • dimmish

Definition of squeamish in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful