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shy1

[shahy]
See more synonyms for shy on Thesaurus.com
adjective, shy·er or shi·er, shy·est or shi·est.
  1. bashful; retiring.
  2. easily frightened away; timid.
  3. suspicious; distrustful: I am a bit shy of that sort of person.
  4. reluctant; wary.
  5. deficient: shy of funds.
  6. scant; short of a full amount or number: still a few dollars shy of our goal; an inch shy of being six feet.
  7. (in poker) indebted to the pot.
  8. not bearing or breeding freely, as plants or animals.
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verb (used without object), shied, shy·ing.
  1. (especially of a horse) to start back or aside, as in fear.
  2. to draw back; recoil.
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noun, plural shies.
  1. a sudden start aside, as in fear.
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Idioms
  1. fight shy of, to keep away from; avoid: She fought shy of making the final decision.
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Origin of shy1

before 1000; late Middle English schey (adj.), early Middle English scheowe, Old English scēoh; cognate with Middle High German schiech; akin to Dutch schuw, German scheu; cf. eschew
Related formsshy·er, nounshy·ly, adverbshy·ness, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms for shy on Thesaurus.com
1. Shy, bashful, diffident imply a manner that shows discomfort or lack of confidence in association with others. Shy implies a constitutional shrinking from contact or close association with others, together with a wish to escape notice: shy and retiring. Bashful suggests timidity about meeting others, and trepidation and awkward behavior when brought into prominence or notice: a bashful child. Diffident emphasizes self-distrust, fear of censure, failure, etc., and a hesitant, tentative manner as a consequence: a diffident approach to a touchy subject. 4. heedful, cautious, chary. 10. shrink.

Antonyms

1. forward. 2. trusting. 4. careless. 10. advance.

shier2

or shy·er

[shahy-er]
noun
  1. a horse having a tendency to shy.
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Origin of shier2

First recorded in 1820–30; shy1 + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shyer

Historical Examples

  • Only now her trouble was different and greater, making her shyer and more reticent.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • He was shyer than ever of addressing the ladies in those parties he was obliged to attend.

    The Rector

    Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

  • I hope not a large assembly: for I get shyer and shyer even of those I knew.

  • She had been shyer in meeting him than in meeting Wilfrid, whom she had once loved.

    Vittoria, Complete

    George Meredith

  • Her grandson is so attentive to it, that Rosa is shyer than ever—and prettier.


British Dictionary definitions for shyer

shier1

adjective
  1. a comparative of shy 1
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shier2

shyer

noun
  1. a horse that shies habitually
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shy1

adjective shyer, shyest, shier or shiest
  1. not at ease in the company of others
  2. easily frightened; timid
  3. (often foll by of) watchful or wary
  4. poker (of a player) without enough money to back his bet
  5. (of plants and animals) not breeding or producing offspring freely
  6. (foll by of) informal, mainly US and Canadian short (of)
  7. (in combination) showing reluctance or disinclinationworkshy
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verb shies, shying or shied (intr)
  1. to move suddenly, as from fearthe horse shied at the snake in the road
  2. (usually foll by off or away) to draw back; recoil
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noun plural shies
  1. a sudden movement, as from fear
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Derived Formsshyly, adverbshyness, noun

Word Origin

Old English sceoh; related to Old High German sciuhen to frighten away, Dutch schuw shy, Swedish skygg

shy2

verb shies, shying or shied
  1. to throw (something) with a sideways motion
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noun plural shies
  1. a quick throw
  2. informal a gibe
  3. informal an attempt; experiment
  4. short for cockshy
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Derived Formsshyer, noun

Word Origin

C18: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German sciuhen to make timid, Middle Dutch schüchteren to chase away
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 shyer

shy

adj.

late Old English sceoh "timid, easily startled," from Proto-Germanic *skeukh(w)az "afraid" (cf. Middle Low German schüwe, Dutch schuw, German scheu "shy;" Old High German sciuhen, German scheuchen "to scare away"). Uncertain cognates outside Germanic, unless in Old Church Slavonic shchuti "to hunt, incite." Italian schivare "to avoid," Old French eschiver "to shun" are Germanic loan-words. Meaning "lacking, short of" is from 1895, American English gambling slang. Related: Shyly; shyness.

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shy

v.1

"to throw (a missile) with a jerk or toss," 1787, colloquial, of unknown origin and uncertain connection to shy (adj.). Related: Shied; shying.

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shy

v.2

"to recoil," 1640s, from shy (adj.). Related: Shied; shying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shyer

shy

In addition to the idiom beginning with shy

  • shy away from

also see:

  • bricks shy of a load
  • fight shy of
  • once bitten, twice shy
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.