shrinking violet, a


An extremely shy person, as in She was a shrinking violet until she went away to college. This metaphoric idiom refers to the flower, but the precise allusion is unclear, since violets thrive under a variety of conditions and often are considered a garden weed. [Early 1900s]

QUIZZES

How Hip Is Your Lingo? Take Our Slang Quiz!
If you aren’t already skilled in slang, then this quiz can get you up to speed in no time!
Question 1 of 11
OK Boomer can be perceived as pejorative, but it is mostly considered to be _____

Words nearby shrinking violet, a

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.