Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
From Middle English shy (“shy”), from Old English sċēoh (“shy”), from Proto-Germanic *skeuhaz (“shy, fearful”). Cognate with Saterland Frisian skjou (“shy”), Dutch schuw (“shy”), German scheu (“shy”), Danish sky (“shy”).
- Easily frightened; timid.
- Jonathan Swift
- The horses of the army […] were no longer shy, but would come up to my very feet without starting.
- Jonathan Swift
- Reserved; disinclined to familiar approach.
- He is very shy with strangers.
- What makes you so shy, my good friend? There's nobody loves you better than I.
- Cautious; wary; suspicious.
- I am very shy of using corrosive liquors in the preparation of medicines.
- Sir H. Wotton
- Princes are, by wisdom of state, somewhat shy of their successors.
- (informal) Short, insufficient or less than.
- By our count your shipment came up two shy of the bill of lading amount.
- It is just shy of a mile from here to their house.
- Embarrassed. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- Often used in combination with a noun to produce an adjective or adjectival phrase.
- Adjectives are usually applicable to animals (leash-shy "shy of leashes" or head shy "shy of contact around the head" (of horses)) or to children.
- See also Wikisaurus:shy
terms derived using shy as suffix
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
- (intransitive) To avoid due to timidness or caution.
- I shy away from investment opportunities I don't understand.
- (intransitive) To jump back in fear.
- The horse shied away from the rider, which startled him so much he shied away from the horse.
- (transitive) to throw sideways with a jerk; to fling
- to shy a stone; to shy a slipper
- (Can we find and add a quotation of T. Hughes to this entry?)
to avoid due to timidness or caution — see shy away
to jump back in fear
shy (plural shies)
- An act of throwing.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Thackeray to this entry?)
- If Lord Brougham gets a stone in his hand, he must, it seems, have a shy at somebody.
- 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, p. 55:
- The game had started. A man was chasing the ball, it went out for a shy.
- A place for throwing.
- coconut shy
- A sudden start aside, as by a horse.
- In the Eton College wall game, a point scored by lifting the ball against the wall in the calx.
act of throwing