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or stand-offish

[stand-aw-fish, -of-ish] /ˈstændˈɔ fɪʃ, -ˈɒf ɪʃ/
somewhat aloof or reserved; cold and unfriendly.
Origin of standoffish
First recorded in 1855-60; standoff + -ish1
Related forms
standoffishly, adverb
standoffishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for standoffish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But even at that I dont see why she should be so standoffish.

  • Not that she was still what he would have called "standoffish" with him.

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • Harvie, who was the only one of us left, said that Sir Arthur was as standoffish and superior as ever.

  • I am sure I don't know what to think of the English students being "standoffish" with Americans.

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • The meal ended, she rose and swept him a curtsey, neither over-friendly nor standoffish.

    Two Sides of the Face Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • It did, but I persisted in my standoffish attitude on that particular point of contention.

    In Jeopardy Van Tassel Sutphen
British Dictionary definitions for standoffish


reserved, haughty, or aloof
Derived Forms
standoffishly, adverb
standoffishness, noun
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 standoffish

1826, from stand off + -ish. Verbal phrase stand off "hold aloof" is from c.1600. Related: Standoffishly; standoffishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for standoffish



Haughty; aloof; reserved and snobbish: He gave us all a standoffish look (1860+)

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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