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adjective, tim·id·er, tim·id·est.
  1. lacking in self-assurance, courage, or bravery; easily alarmed; timorous; shy.
  2. characterized by or indicating fear: a timid approach to a problem.

Origin of timid

1540–50; < Latin timidus fearful, equivalent to tim(ēre) to fear + -idus -id4
Related formsti·mid·i·ty, tim·id·ness, nountim·id·ly, adverbo·ver·tim·id, adjectiveo·ver·tim·id·ly, adverbo·ver·tim·id·ness, nouno·ver·ti·mid·i·ty, nounun·tim·id, adjectiveun·tim·id·ly, adverbun·tim·id·ness, noun

Synonyms for timid

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Synonym study

1. See cowardly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for timid


  1. easily frightened or upset, esp by human contact; shy
  2. indicating shyness or fear
Derived Formstimidity or timidness, nountimidly, adverb

Word Origin for timid

C16: from Latin timidus, from timēre to fear
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 timid

1540s, from Middle French timide "easily frightened, shy," from Latin timidus "fearful," from timere "to fear." Related: Timidly; timidness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper