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standoffish

or stand-off·ish

[stand-aw-fish, -of-ish]
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adjective
  1. somewhat aloof or reserved; cold and unfriendly.
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Origin of standoffish

First recorded in 1855–60; standoff + -ish1
Related formsstand·off·ish·ly, adverbstand·off·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for standoffish

aloof, antisocial, cool, haughty, indifferent, misanthropic, reclusive, remote, reserved, solitary, unapproachable, unsociable, withdrawn, eremitic

Examples from the Web for standoffish

Contemporary Examples of standoffish

Historical Examples of standoffish

  • But even at that I dont see why she should be so standoffish.

  • Not that she was still what he would have called "standoffish" with him.

    Winnie Childs

    C. N. Williamson

  • Harvie, who was the only one of us left, said that Sir Arthur was as standoffish and superior as ever.

  • I am sure I don't know what to think of the English students being "standoffish" with Americans.

    Virginia

    Ellen Glasgow

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

    Two Sides of the Face

    Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch


British Dictionary definitions for standoffish

standoffish

adjective
  1. reserved, haughty, or aloof
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Derived Formsstandoffishly, adverbstandoffishness, 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 standoffish

adj.

1826, from stand off + -ish. Verbal phrase stand off "hold aloof" is from c.1600. Related: Standoffishly; standoffishness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper