adjective (coyer, coyest)
- 1(Especially with reference to a woman) making a pretence of shyness or modesty which is intended to be alluring: she treated him to a coy smile of invitationMore example sentences
- True, she's as coy and feminine as she wants to be.
- We've flirted at balls, and she was as coy as a twenty-four year-old!
- She's coy enough to curdle butter, looking up at him from under her lashes.
- 2Reluctant to give details about something regarded as sensitive: he is coy about his ageMore example sentences
- Clifford is coy about this, ‘No, I think I've got my work cut out here quite frankly.’
- Nor was the administration coy about its reasons.
- This was no time to be coy about asking for money.
- More example sentences
- He would smile coyly, his face lit with emotion.
- That is very kind and I'm not being coyly modest when I say that I'm not worthy.
- She coyly said this album was dedicated to her husband, Clemens.
Middle English: from Old French coi, quei, from Latin quietus (see quiet). The original sense was 'quiet, still' (especially in behaviour), later 'modestly retiring', and hence (of a woman) 'affecting to be unresponsive to advances'.