- artfully or affectedly shy or reserved; slyly hesitant; coquettish.
- shy; modest.
- showing reluctance, especially when insincere or affected, to reveal one's plans or opinions, make a commitment, or take a stand: The mayor was coy about his future political aspirations.
- Archaic. disdainful; aloof.
- Obsolete. quiet; reserved.
- Archaic. to act in a coy manner.
- to quiet; soothe.
- to pat; caress.
Origin of coy
SynonymsSee more synonyms for coy on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for coy
Romney is coy at best about 2016, although his old running mate, Paul Ryan, wants him to run.The Rhinohawks Come Roaring Back
September 7, 2014
At his press conference, Obama was coy about future changes in immigration law through executive order.In Passover Phone Conversation, Eric Cantor Slams Obama
April 17, 2014
Did Mia stop to think how her coy tease might be perceived by the widow Sinatra?The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast
Robert B. Weide
January 27, 2014
At least he isn't pulling a Taylor Swift and trying to be coy about who the song is about.Lady Gaga Goes Naked on ‘ARTPOP’ Album Cover, Miley Cyrus Insults Matt Lauer’s Sex Life
October 7, 2013
Coy readers should heed the lesson learned by the young woman in “The Squirrel.”Read This and Blush: Naughty Medieval French Tales
June 13, 2013
And Mrs. Oldaker, with a coy fillip of her fan, called him a naughty boy.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Imogen was not coy; she would not have treated her admirer with affected disdain.Imogen
Just from that you can realize how he had me guessing, for it takes quite some jolt to make me coy.Once to Every Man
But the spirit of industry, once driven forth, returns with coy steps.Sketches in Lavender, Blue and Green
Jerome K. Jerome
There was coy conversation, while the civilian telephone-service suffered.Morale
- (usually of a woman) affectedly demure, esp in a playful or provocative manner
- shy; modest
- evasive, esp in an annoying way
Word Origin and History for coy
early 14c., "quiet, modest, demure," from Old French coi, earlier quei "quiet, still, placid, gentle," ultimately from Latin quietus "resting, at rest" (see quiet (n.)). Meaning "shy" emerged late 14c. Meaning "unwilling to commit" is 1961. Related: Coyly; coyness.