shy Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “shy” in the English Dictionary

"shy" in British English

See all translations


uk   us   /ʃaɪ/

shy adjective (NERVOUS)

B1 (shyer, shyest) nervous and ​uncomfortable with other ​people: He was too shy to ​ask her to ​dance with him. She gave a shy ​smile. Children are often shy of/withpeople they don't ​know. The ​deer were shy (= ​unwilling to be near ​people) and ​hid behind some ​trees.
More examples

shy adjective (LESS)

[after noun] less than: We're only $100 shy of the ​totalamount.


uk   us   /ʃaɪ/

shy verb (HORSES)

[I] (of a ​horse) to ​suddenlymovesideways or ​backwards, ​especially because of ​fear: The ​horse shied at the ​fence. There's a lot of ​traffic on the ​road - I'm ​sure my ​horse is going to shy.

shy verb (THROW)

[T usually + adv/prep] old-fashioned informal to ​throw something ​suddenly, often in a ​sidewaysmovement: Two ​smallboys were shying ​stones at a ​tree.
Phrasal verbs


uk   us   /-ʃaɪ/
avoiding or not ​liking the thing ​mentioned: camera-shy work-shy
(Definition of shy from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shy" in American English

See all translations

shyadjective [-er/-est only]

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

shyverb [I]

 us   /ʃɑɪ/
(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

Word of the Day

Word of the Day

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
by Colin McIntosh,
December 01, 2015
Are you a fan of shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek? Both shows have been around since the 1960s, and, not surprisingly, have generated some of their own vocabulary, some of which has now entered the Cambridge English Dictionary. The phenomenon of fandom, meaning “the state of being a fan of

Read More 

conversational user interface noun
conversational user interface noun
November 30, 2015
a computer interface that provides information to users in normal, conversational speech in response to spoken requests Nearly every major tech company—from Amazon to Intel to Microsoft to Google—is chasing the sort of conversational user interface that Kaplan and his colleagues at PARC imagined decades ago.

Read More