shrinking violet

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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Noun[edit]

shrinking violet (plural shrinking violets)

  1. (idiomatic) A very shy person, who avoids contact with others if possible.
    • 2013 Averil Cameron, 'The Cost of Orthodoxy', Church History and Religious Culture 93, p. 353:
      An equally sensational recent Spanish film, Agora (2009), set in Alexandria in the early fifth century, with the Christian storming of the Serapaeum (391), followed nearly a generation later by the murder by Christians of the philosopher and teacher Hypatia (415). In the film Cyril of Alexandria, admittedly no shrinking violet, is shown looking like a Taliban leader. The interpretation in the film is certainly highly exaggerated; yet such things did happen. Late antique cities were volatile places, and religious division provided a spark.

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