Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shy”

See all translations

shy

adjective uk   /ʃaɪ/ us  

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/with people 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 total amount.

shy

verb uk   /ʃaɪ/ us  

shy verb (HORSES)

[I] (of a horse) to suddenly move sideways 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 sideways movement: Two small boys were shying stones at a tree.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of shy adjective, verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shy?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “shy” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

luck out

to be very lucky

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More