January 21, 2020
Learner's Word of the Day
shy /ˈʃaɪ/ adjective
shy
/ˈʃaɪ/
adjective

shier or shyer /ˈʃajɚ/ ; shiest or shyest /ˈʃajəst/

Shy child
Shy child
Learner's definition of SHY

1 a : feeling nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people

  • a shy, quiet girl

  • I was painfully shy as a teenager.

  • She was too shy to ask for help.

1 b : showing that you are nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people

  • her shy manner

  • He gave her a shy smile.

2 : tending to avoid something because of nervousness, fear, dislike, etc.

  • publicity shy

  • camera shy

— often + of

  • He was never shy of controversy.

3 : hesitant about taking what you want or need

  • Help yourself if you want more. Don't be shy.

4 of an animal : easily frightened : TIMID

  • animals that are nocturnal and shy

5 chiefly US : having less than a full or expected amount or number : SHORT

  • We were shy about 10 dollars.

— usually + of

  • He was two weeks shy of his 19th birthday when he joined the army.

  • The ball stopped just a few inches shy of the hole.

  • He's three credits shy of his bachelor's degree.

shyly adverb

  • He answered/smiled shyly.

shyness noun [noncount]

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