Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shy”

shy

adjective [-er/-est only]  /ʃɑɪ/ (comparative shyer, superlative shyest) us  
uncomfortable with other people and unwilling to talk to them: He was too shy to ask her to dance with him.
shyly
adverb  /ˈʃɑɪ·li/ us  
She smiled shyly.
shyness
noun [U]  /ˈʃɑɪ·nəs/ us  
They have no shyness about telling you what they think.

shy

verb [I]  /ʃɑɪ/ us  
(of a horse) to move back suddenly, esp. from fear or surprise.
(Definition of shy from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shy?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“shy” in American English

Definitions of “shy” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

stampede

When animals or people stampede, they all move quickly in the same direction, often because they are frightened.

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More