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squeamish

[skwee-mish]
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adjective
  1. fastidious or dainty.
  2. easily shocked by anything slightly immodest; prudish.
  3. excessively particular or scrupulous as to the moral aspect of things.
  4. easily nauseated or disgusted: to get squeamish at the sight of blood.
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Origin of squeamish

1400–50; late Middle English squemish, alteration (conformed to -ish1) of squemes, squaymes, alteration of squaymous < Anglo-French escoymous; ulterior origin uncertain
Related formssqueam·ish·ly, adverbsqueam·ish·ness, nouno·ver·squeam·ish, adjectiveo·ver·squeam·ish·ly, adverbo·ver·squeam·ish·ness, nounun·squeam·ish, adjectiveun·squeam·ish·ly, adverbun·squeam·ish·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. modest. 3. finical, finicky, delicate, exacting.

Antonyms

1–3. bold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for squeamish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Damn your squeamish stomach, go directly, or I'll go myself.

  • Since when have you become so squeamish about card-playing, Mr. Linton?

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • The Englishmen of those days were not so squeamish or so indifferent.

    The Reign of Mary Tudor

    W. Llewelyn Williams.

  • Even for the most squeamish the discomforts of the voyage lay behind.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • "It is only a woman, squeamish," Pierre said in a rough voice.


British Dictionary definitions for squeamish

squeamish

adjective
  1. easily sickened or nauseated, as by the sight of blood
  2. easily shocked; fastidious or prudish
  3. easily frightenedsqueamish about spiders
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Derived Formssqueamishly, adverbsqueamishness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Anglo-French escoymous, of unknown origin
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 squeamish

adj.

mid-15c., variant of squoymous "disdainful, fastidious" (c.1300), from Anglo-French *escoymous, which is of unknown origin.

He was somdel squaymous
Of fartyng, and of speche daungerous
[Chaucer, "Miller's Tale," c.1386]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper