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See also: cố ý



Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French coi, earlier quei ‎(quiet, still), from Latin quietus ‎(resting, at rest).


coy ‎(comparative coyer, superlative coyest)

  1. (dated) Bashful, shy, retiring.
  2. (archaic) Quiet, reserved, modest.
  3. Reluctant to give details about something sensitive; notably prudish.
  4. Pretending shyness or modesty, especially in an insincere or flirtatious way.
  5. Soft, gentle, hesitating.
    • Shakespeare
      Enforced hate, / Instead of love's coy touch, shall rudely tear thee.
Derived terms[edit]
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coy ‎(third-person singular simple present coys, present participle coying, simple past and past participle coyed)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To caress, pet; to coax, entice.
    • Shakespeare
      Come sit thee down upon this flowery bed, / While I thy amiable cheeks do coy.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To calm or soothe.
  3. To allure; to decoy.
    • Bishop Rainbow
      A wiser generation, who have the art to coy the fonder sort into their nets.

Etymology 2[edit]

Compare decoy.


coy ‎(plural coys)

  1. A trap from which waterfowl may be hunted.

Etymology 3[edit]

Abbreviation of company.


coy ‎(plural coys)

  1. (military) A company


  • coy” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001). [1]

Middle French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Old French coi < Latin quietus.


coy m (feminine singular coye, masculine plural coys, feminine plural coyes)

  1. (of a person) calm; composed