Definition for SHY

SHY, a. [G. scheu, shy; scheuchen, to scare, and scheuen, to shun; D. schuw, shy; schuwen, to shun; Sw. skygg, shy, and sky, to shun; Dan. sky, shy, and skyer, to shun, to eschew. In Sp. esquivo is shy, and esquivar, to shun; It. schifo, shy, and schifare, to shun. The two last-mentioned languages have a labial for the last radical, but possibly the words may be of the same family. The G. scheuchen, to scare, is our shoo, a word used for scaring away fowls.]

  1. Fearful of near approach; keeping at a distance through caution or timidity; shunning approach; as, a shy bird. She is represented in a shy retiring posture. – Addison.
  2. Reserved; not familiar; coy; avoiding freedom of intercourse. What makes you so shy, my good friend? – Arbuthnot.
  3. Cautious; wary; careful to avoid committing one's self or adopting measures. I am very shy of using corrosive liquors in the preparation of medicines. – Boyle.
  4. Suspicious; jealous. Princes are by wisdom of state somewhat shy of their successors. – Wotton.

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