standoffish

or stand-off·ish

[ stand-aw-fish, -of-ish ]
See synonyms for: standoffishstandoffishness on Thesaurus.com

adjective
  1. somewhat aloof or reserved; cold and unfriendly.

Origin of standoffish

1
First recorded in 1855–60; standoff + -ish1

Other words from standoffish

  • stand·off·ish·ly, adverb
  • stand·off·ish·ness, noun

Words Nearby standoffish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use standoffish in a sentence

  • His initial impression was he was a shade standoffish or not over effusive but it grew on him someway.

    Ulysses | James Joyce
  • The meal ended, she rose and swept him a curtsey, neither over-friendly nor standoffish.

    Two Sides of the Face | Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • I am sure I don't know what to think of the English students being "standoffish" with Americans.

    Virginia | Ellen Glasgow

British Dictionary definitions for standoffish

standoffish

/ (ˌstændˈɒfɪʃ) /


adjective
  1. reserved, haughty, or aloof

Derived forms of standoffish

  • standoffishly, adverb
  • standoffishness, 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