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sheepish

[shee-pish]
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adjective
  1. embarrassed or bashful, as by having done something wrong or foolish.
  2. like sheep, as in meekness, docility, etc.
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Origin of sheepish

First recorded in 1150–1200, sheepish is from the Middle English word shepisshe. See sheep, -ish1
Related formssheep·ish·ly, adverbsheep·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sheepish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I ain't more 'n half a man when she's round, she makes me feel so sheepish.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • And who would have suspected so very fierce a wolf under so sheepish an outside?

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • I ain't more'n half a man when she's round, she makes me feel so sheepish.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • He handed the assortment to Miss Thomas with a sheepish grin.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely

  • He swings me around facin' her, and I expect I must have acted some sheepish.


British Dictionary definitions for sheepish

sheepish

adjective
  1. abashed or embarrassed, esp through looking foolish or being in the wrong
  2. resembling a sheep in timidity or lack of initiative
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Derived Formssheepishly, adverbsheepishness, 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

Word Origin and History for sheepish

adj.

c.1200, "resembling a sheep" in some perceived characteristic, from sheep + -ish. The sense of "bashful, over-modest, awkward among strangers" first is recorded 1690s. Related: Sheepishly; sheepishness. Old English had sceaplic "of a sheep, 'sheep-ly.'"

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper