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shrinking violet

a shy, modest, or self-effacing person.
Origin of shrinking violet
First recorded in 1925-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shrinking violet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was certainly nothing of the shrinking violet about this girl!

    The Golden Amazons of Venus John Murray Reynolds
  • Never had he been more eager to play the part of the shrinking violet.

    The Rushton Boys at Rally Hall

    Spencer Davenport
  • It don't seem to fit our shrinking violet, as you can imagine.

    Miss Million's Maid Bertha Ruck
  • But Nelly herself was no shrinking violet, for all her baby face.

    Poor Man's Rock Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • For a summary of his character one would not have used the phrase (as a contemporary of his remarked) of "a shrinking violet."

    Mr. Crewe's Career, Complete Winston Churchill
  • She makes one of those sandwich men with a bell, on Sixth Avenue, look like a shrinking violet!

    Cheerful--By Request Edna Ferber
British Dictionary definitions for shrinking violet

shrinking violet

(informal) a shy person
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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Slang definitions & phrases for shrinking violet

shrinking violet

noun phrase

A self-effacing person: Theodore Roosevelt was no shrinking violet

[1915+; fr the presumed shyness of the violet]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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