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90s Slang You Should Know


[bash-fuh l] /ˈbæʃ fəl/
uncomfortably diffident and easily embarrassed; shy; timid.
indicative of, accompanied by, or proceeding from bashfulness.
Origin of bashful
First recorded in 1540-50; (a)bash + -ful
Related forms
bashfully, adverb
bashfulness, noun
overbashful, adjective
overbashfully, adverb
overbashfulness, noun
unbashful, adjective
unbashfully, adverb
unbashfulness, noun
1. abashed, modest. See shy1 .
arrogant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bashful
Historical Examples
  • The bashful girls sat in a little huddle, looking very much as if they were afraid of being laughed at.

    Hope Mills Amanda M. Douglas
  • At which One-Eye colored, blending his bronze with a bashful purple.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • And perhaps,' with a bashful glance, 'you wouldn't mind seeing me up the street a short way, as I'm alone and unprotected.'

    Madame Midas Fergus Hume
  • “If you like,” says the bashful Tony, who had no notion of not being editor.

  • Kenneth brought a bashful blonde youth with him, who instantly claimed the next dance.

    Saturday's Child Kathleen Norris
  • Looking over the boy's head he said to me, 'This one is bashful.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • About the meanest critter thare iz now travelling around loose, on the breast ov the earth, iz a bashful hypokrite.

  • Pete looked at his daughter and at the bashful, smiling boy.

    The Fighting Edge William MacLeod Raine
  • The fire flamed up, and Jimmy, with a bashful and deprecatory "Gosh!"

    Saturday's Child Kathleen Norris
  • It is bashful, for nature is ever so; but it is not prudish, for only corruption is prudish.

British Dictionary definitions for bashful


disposed to attempt to avoid notice through shyness or modesty; diffident; timid
indicating or characterized by shyness or modesty
Derived Forms
bashfully, adverb
bashfulness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from bash, short for abash + -ful
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bashful

1540s, from baishen "to be filled with consternation or dismay" (mid-14c.), from Old French baissier "bring down, humiliate" (see abash). Related: Bashfully; bashfulness (1530s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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