shy Definition

  • 1nervous or timid in the company of other people
  • 2having a disposition to avoid contact or familiarity with others

Using shy: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "shy" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She's too shy to speak up in public.

  • Example

    He's always been shy around girls.

  • Example

    The cat is shy and hides under the bed when guests come over.

shy Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with shy

  • to avoid doing something because of fear or uncertainty


    Don't shy away from asking for help if you need it.

  • slightly less than; not quite reaching


    The company fell shy of its sales target for the year.

  • a condition where a person is unable to urinate in the presence of others


    He suffers from shy bladder syndrome and can't use public restrooms.

Origins of shy

from Old English 'sceoh', meaning 'timid, easily frightened'


Summary: shy in Brief

The adjective 'shy' [ʃaɪ] describes a person who is nervous or timid in social situations, often avoiding contact with others. It can be used to describe a person's disposition, as in 'He's always been shy around girls.' 'Shy' also appears in phrases like 'shy away from,' meaning to avoid doing something due to fear or uncertainty, and 'shy of,' meaning slightly less than. A related condition is 'shy bladder,' where a person is unable to urinate in the presence of others.

How do native speakers use this expression?