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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. 2019

Related Words for timidity

cowardice, reserve, timidness, quiet, cowardliness, fearfulness

Examples from the Web for timidity

Contemporary Examples of timidity

Historical Examples of timidity

  • She divined him, moreover, to be a blend of boldness and timidity.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • After all, Mary was only a woman, despite her cleverness, and with all a woman's timidity.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • But Felicien was, like Angelique, almost stifled with emotion and timidity.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • He forbore touching that mystery out of love, timidity, and indolence.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • I was very inexperienced on the stage, and my timidity made me rather awkward.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

British Dictionary definitions for timidity


  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 timidity



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