shy

shy adj Shy, bashful, diffident, modest, coy can mean showing disinclination to obtrude oneself in the presence or company of others.
Shy implies a shrinking, sometimes constitutional, sometimes the result of inexperience, from familiarity or contact with others; shyness usually manifests itself in a certain reserve of manner or in timidity in approaching others
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the savage ... is a shy person, imbued with the notion that certain things are not to be talked of to strangers— Inge

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shy in the presence of strangers and bold with people she knew well— Anderson

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Bashful implies an instinctive or constitutional shrinking from public notice that usually expresses itself in awkwardness of demeanor and is especially characteristic of childhood and adolescence; as applied to mature persons it connotes abnormal or excessive shyness and lack of savoir faire
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he hesitated, awkward and bashful, shifted his weight from one leg to the other— London

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as he grew up, he became increasingly bashful, and he never had a close friend of either sexDonovan

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Diffident implies a distrust, which may or may not be warranted, of one's own ability, opinions, or powers that gives rise to hesitation in their exercise
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he was conservative and diffident by nature, and even after all these years he felt tongue-tied in the presence of those stricken by grief— Styron

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Modest, without implying self-distrust, may denote an absence of all undue confidence in oneself or one's powers
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the most modest, silent, sheepfaced and meek of little men— Thackeray

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but often it stresses not an inner lack of confidence but a manner free from brashness, boldness, and self-assertiveness
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stood at ease . . . with the modest air of a man who has given his all and is reasonably assured it is enough— Wolfe

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Entirely natural, modest, and unaffected in manner— Eliot Clark

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Coy suggests assumed or affected shyness, often with the further implication of coquetry
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I was vexed, and resolved to be even with her by not visiting the wood for some time. A display of indifference on my part would, I hoped, result in making her less coy in the future— Hudson

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without being in the least coy, Mrs. Gross displayed a certain half smiling modesty—Terry Southern

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Analogous words: *timid, timorous: wary, chary, *cautious, circumspect
Antonyms: obtrusive
shy vb balk, boggle, scruple, *demur, jib, stickle, stick, strain
Analogous words: *recoil, shrink, quail, blench: *hesitate, waver, falter, vacillate

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Shy — (sh[imac]), a. [Compar. {Shier} (sh[imac] [ e]r) or {Shyer}; superl. {Shiest} or {Shyest}.] [OE. schey, skey, sceouh, AS. sce[ o]h; akin to Dan. sky, Sw. skygg, D. schuw, MHG. schiech, G. scheu, OHG. sciuhen to be or make timid. Cf. {Eschew}.] 1 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shy'm — Shy’m (2008) Shy’m [ʃæm] (* 28. November 1985 in Paris als Tamara Marthe) ist eine bekannte französische Sängerin und in Frankreich bereits eine anerkannte Künstlerin. In Deutschland wird sie zurzeit wenig gefördert und nur von wenigen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • shy — Ⅰ. shy [1] ► ADJECTIVE (shyer, shyest) 1) nervous or timid in the company of other people. 2) (shy of/about) slow or reluctant to do. 3) (in combination ) having a specified dislike or aversion: camera shy. 4) …   English terms dictionary

  • Shy’m — (2008) Shy’m [ʃaɪm] (* 28. November 1985 in Paris als Tamara Marthe) ist eine französische Sängerin. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shy — est un groupe de heavy metal britannique, formé en 1980 sous le nom « Trojan » et issu de Birmingham. Sommaire 1 Discographie 2 Membres actuels 3 Anciens membres 4 Références …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Shy — Shy, v. t. To throw sidewise with a jerk; to fling; as, to shy a stone; to shy a slipper. T. Hughes. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shy — Основная информация …   Википедия

  • shy — ‘timid, reserved’ [OE] goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *skeukhwaz ‘afraid’ (source also of English eschew and skew). It is generally assumed that shy ‘throw’ [18] must have come from it, but the exact nature of the relationship between the… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins


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