shy1 [shī]
shyer or shier, shyest or shiest [ME schei, dial. development < OE sceoh, akin to Ger scheu, shy, prob. < IE * skeuk-, harassed (> OSlav ščuti, to pursue); akin to * skeub- > SCOFF1]
1. easily frightened or startled; timid
2. not at ease with other people; extremely self-conscious; bashful
3. showing distrust or caution; wary
4. not bearing or breeding well, as some plants; unproductive
5. Slang
a) not having paid money due, as one's poker ante
b) lacking; short (on or of)
shied, shying
1. to move suddenly as when startled; jump; start; recoil [the horse shied at the gunshot]
2. to react negatively; be or become cautious or unwilling; draw back: often with at or from
pl. shies
an act of shying; start, as of a horse
fight shy of
to keep from; avoid; evade
SYN.- SHY1 implies a shrinking from the notice of others and a reticence in approaching them, either as an inherent trait or as resulting from inexperience; BASHFUL implies such shyness as is displayed in awkward behavior and embarrassed timidity; DIFFIDENT implies a self-distrust and lack of self-confidence that makes one reluctant to assert oneself; MODEST implies an unassuming manner in one who, because of ability, achievements, etc., might be expected to assert himself or herself strongly; DEMURE, in current usage, suggests a decorously modest manner, often one that is affectedly so
shy2 [shī]
vt., vi.
shied, shying [< ?]
to throw or fling, esp. sideways with a jerk [shying stones at a target]
pl. shies
1. the act of shying; fling
2. Informal a try or attempt
3. Informal a gibe

English World dictionary. . 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

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