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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, 2001–2017. [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