[ koi ]
See synonyms for: coycoyishnesscoyness on

adjective,coy·er, coy·est.
  1. artfully or affectedly shy or reserved; slyly hesitant; coquettish.

  1. 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.

  2. Archaic. disdainful; aloof.

  3. Obsolete. quiet; reserved.

verb (used without object)
  1. Archaic. to act in a coy manner.

verb (used with object)Obsolete.
  1. to quiet; soothe.

  2. to pat; caress.

Origin of coy

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Anglo-French coi, quoy “calm,” Old French quei, from unattested Vulgar Latin quētus, for Latin quiētus quiet

Other words for coy

Other words from coy

  • coy·ish, adjective
  • coy·ish·ness, noun
  • coy·ly, adverb
  • coy·ness, noun
  • o·ver·coy, adjective
  • o·ver·coy·ness, noun
  • un·coy, adjective
  • un·coy·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for coy (1 of 2)


/ (kɔɪ) /

  1. (usually of a woman) affectedly demure, esp in a playful or provocative manner

  2. shy; modest

  1. evasive, esp in an annoying way

Origin of coy

C14: from Old French coi reserved, from Latin quiētus quiet

Derived forms of coy

  • coyish, adjective
  • coyly, adverb
  • coyness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for Coy. (2 of 2)


/ military /

abbreviation for
  1. company

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