There are 2 main definitions of coy in English:

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Line breaks: coy
Pronunciation: /kɔɪ

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 invitation
More 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.
arch, simpering, coquettish, flirtatious, kittenish, skittish;
2Reluctant to give details about something regarded as sensitive: he is coy about his age
More 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.


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'.



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.

Definition of coy in:

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