See also: Shy

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English shy (shy), from Old English sċēoh (shy), from Proto-West Germanic *skeuh (shy, fearful), from Proto-Germanic *skeuhaz (shy, fearful). Cognate with Saterland Frisian skjou (shy), Dutch schuw (shy), German scheu (shy), Danish sky (shy).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

shy (comparative shier or shyer or more shy, superlative shiest or shyest or most shy)

 
shy (2) woman
  1. Easily frightened; timid.
    • 1726, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
      The horses of the army, and those of the royal stables, having been daily led before me, were no longer shy, but would come up to my very feet without starting.
  2. Reserved; disinclined to familiar approach.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:shy
    Antonyms: audacious, bold, brazen, gregarious, extroverted, outgoing
    He is very shy with strangers.
    • 1712, John Arbuthnot, The History of John Bull
      What makes you so shy, my good friend? There's nobody loves you better than I.
  3. Cautious; wary; suspicious.
    • 1641, Henry Wotton, The Characters of Robert Devereux and George Villiers
      Princes are, by wisdom of state, somewhat shy of their successors.
    • 1661, Robert Boyle , Some Considerations Touching Experimental Essays in General
      I am very shy of building any thing of moment upon foundations
  4. (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.
    • 2013, Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street, spoken by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio):
      The year I turned 26, as the head of my own brokerage firm, I made $49 million, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week.
    • 2018 December 1, Tom Rostance, “Southampton 2 - 2 Manchester United”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      United move seventh - still six points off a Champions League place and a massive 16 shy of the lead held by rivals Manchester City.
  5. Embarrassed.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)

Usage notesEdit

  • 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.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit

VerbEdit

shy (third-person singular simple present shies, present participle shying, simple past and past participle shied)

  1. (intransitive) To avoid due to caution or timidness.
    I shy away from investment opportunities I don't understand.
  2. (intransitive) To jump back in fear.
    The horse shied away from the rider, which startled him so much he shied away from the horse.
  3. (transitive) To throw sideways with a jerk; to fling.
    to shy a stone
    shy a slipper

TranslationsEdit

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

NounEdit

shy (plural shies)

  1. An act of throwing.
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, The History of Pendennis. [], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], OCLC 2057953:
      Foker discharged a prodigious bouquet at her, and even Smirke made a feeble shy with a rose, and blushed dreadfully when it fell into the pit
    • 1846, Punch Volume 10
      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.
  2. A place for throwing.
    coconut shy
  3. A sudden start aside, as by a horse.
  4. In the Eton College wall game, a point scored by lifting the ball against the wall in the calx.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

AnagramsEdit