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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

shy

I.adjective
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
coconut shy
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
just
▪ But he left school just shy of his fourteenth birthday.
▪ Perhaps, I thought, he was just shy about the topic, the same as I had been around my parents.
▪ But some children are just shy by nature and there's not much you can do about it.
▪ Tiffani, born last October, weighed just shy of 6 pounds, but seemed so much bigger.
▪ They say he's too strict; but I think he's just shy.
▪ We follow the railroad tracks a half-mile east of downtown, just shy of the train tunnel.
▪ I bet you're just shy.
▪ He looked not just shy, but resentful.
painfully
▪ I retreated into my shell, being painfully shy in the first place.
▪ Riddlesberger is particularly engaging as a painfully shy techno-nerd.
▪ The result was that I was painfully shy.
▪ I am considered to be fairly outgoing but as a teenager I was painfully shy.
▪ From being a painfully shy, diffident recluse, he suddenly metamorphosed into a garrulous and sometimes painfully overbearing extrovert.
rather
▪ They were feeding young, but were rather shy about having their photograph taken.
▪ He was rather shy, and pulled back.
▪ He looks a bit ill, smiles vaguely, and has a strange rather shy expression.
▪ When we were alone together, we were rather shy with each other, tacitly agreeing to abandon the stand-up routine.
▪ When Minton had first arrived at the College he had seemed to Elinor a rather shy individual.
▪ She was by far the quietest, as well as much the nicest, of my four aunts, and normally a rather shy woman.
▪ As these fish are rather shy, the tank needs to be densely planted to provide them with plenty of cover.
▪ Nevertheless, it would appear that several local gentlemen are rather shy of investing their money in the three percent bonds.
so
▪ She's really quiet, and she's so shy with people.
▪ He was so shy, he hid his smile behind the rug he wore when I asked if he were a mukki.
▪ Her friend Sarah, although the same age, was so shy that she appeared much younger.
▪ For one so shy, he nursed an extraordinary thirst for attention.
▪ He won't be so shy there.
▪ Anyway I must say that Arnold was so shy, it was adorable.
▪ I wished later that I hadn't been so shy.
too
▪ But why are they too shy to look at each other?
▪ I wonder if he feels the same way but I am way too shy to ask.
▪ She wore this lovely flowery dress last week though I felt too shy to ask where she got it.
▪ He was too shy to come sit by me in class.
▪ Emily wanted to join in but with Hudson alongside she was too shy.
▪ As a 5-year-old, I was too shy to stare.
▪ If only some one would explain these things to me, but I was too shy and scared to ask.
▪ With adults, some kids would be too shy to ask questions.
very
▪ I was very shy and never realised it.
▪ Some defiant children are very shy.
▪ They tried to see she didn't feel left out but Jean is very shy and sensitive.
▪ He was a great guy, very shy and not bossy.
▪ A very shy boy has gradually become chatty and lively.
▪ His brother was very shy, and I never knew him as well.
▪ I was very shy but his mischievous grin put me at my ease and we strolled along behind Sally and her beau.
▪ Most are Type A personalities, very outgoing, although a few are very shy and express themselves through their cars.
■ NOUN
creature
▪ These shy creatures may sometimes be seen and have been known to stray on to the road, startling passing motorists.
▪ Would such a shy creature really prey on human offspring?
▪ The panda is a shy creature, not used to being in contact with other animals, particularly humans.
▪ This simple test showed that all mankind was one; but it was difficult to do with exotic or shy creatures.
▪ In the main they are shy creatures, though their speed, strength and agility demand a healthy respect.
smile
▪ He may respond with a shy smile when mom or dad blows bubbles on his stomach.
▪ A shy smile hinted that he did not entirely regret it.
▪ With a shy smile, he greeted my guests, then handed me a gift.
▪ Margaret offered Maura her little finger with a shy smile.
▪ The faces of the twins, softer editions of her own, turned towards her questioningly then broke into shy smiles.
▪ A shy smile, she said later.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
come over (all) shy/nervous etc
fight shy of (doing) sth
▪ After fighting shy of the idea, Mr Mandela, 82, agreed to it during a visit to London last year.
▪ In considering the right to live issue, there is a tendency to fight shy of the emotive word of murder.
▪ Over the years, courts and tribunals have fought shy of laying down detailed procedural guidance.
▪ This, he says, accounts for developers fighting shy of putting money into the city.
▪ Yet the 18 counties fight shy of the risk, but what are they frightened of?
guilty/shy/mad/angry etc as hell
▪ I was as angry as hell.
▪ Lucy was shy as hell, and Jay was sure and easy.
▪ She washed spiders down the plughole, and felt guilty as hell about it.
▪ Strong, dedicated, skilful, passionate, intelligent and as angry as hell.
▪ The Jaguar is reported to have crashed in a distant country, mad as hell.
▪ These people were mad as hell.
▪ Whenever her family had been mentioned she looked as guilty as hell.
once bitten, twice shy
once bitten, twice shy
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ Because little Danny spent all his time with his mother, he was rather shy with men.
▪ Carl is a very quiet, shy boy.
▪ Carrie looked up at him and gave him a shy smile.
▪ David was always rather quiet and shy at school.
▪ He was painfully shy in public, but completely different at home with his family.
▪ I was too shy to ask her out on a date.
▪ Look, she's gone all shy - stop teasing her.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A shy smile hinted that he did not entirely regret it.
▪ He was too shy to come sit by me in class.
▪ I think it will succeed although it will take ages, for he is fearfully shy, and I am likewise affected.
▪ Most are Type A personalities, very outgoing, although a few are very shy and express themselves through their cars.
▪ Perhaps his anxiety leads him to be excessively shy and almost apologise for his existence.
▪ We follow the railroad tracks a half-mile east of downtown, just shy of the train tunnel.
▪ You may be shy, but good oral communications are a key business skill.
II.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
away
▪ But the reason buyers are shying away is fear of the unknown.
▪ Kritzer, however, said most of the mainstream media are shying away from it.
▪ Checks around the state in recent months have confirmed that many prominent Democrats are shying away from a run against Quackenbush.
▪ Florida's lawyers pound on; and democracy shies away because the hard questions can't be put.
▪ Yet science has consistently shied away from the task.
▪ These memories are still quite fresh, and Clevelanders do not shy away from them.
▪ And computer buyers, who have been shying away from Macintosh by the millions, may never return.
■ NOUN
horse
▪ It is interesting to note how a horse will shy more on one rein than another depending on which is his stiff rein.
▪ This is particularly likely in a horse who shies suddenly when he is frightened by something he can not identify.
▪ The horse shied, throwing Darrel from his saddle; he smashed his head on a nearby stone.
▪ The horse could shy and there could be a fatal accident.
▪ The horse shied a little and the butt cleaved into the side of my head, almost taking my ear off.
▪ Soon, the horse will associate shying with a reprimand from his rider.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
guilty/shy/mad/angry etc as hell
▪ I was as angry as hell.
▪ Lucy was shy as hell, and Jay was sure and easy.
▪ She washed spiders down the plughole, and felt guilty as hell about it.
▪ Strong, dedicated, skilful, passionate, intelligent and as angry as hell.
▪ The Jaguar is reported to have crashed in a distant country, mad as hell.
▪ These people were mad as hell.
▪ Whenever her family had been mentioned she looked as guilty as hell.
once bitten, twice shy
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Agencies without a clear-cut wartime role will shy away from conflicts.
▪ Being asked to go on a committee may be something we tend to shy away from at first.
▪ There are some horses who are really just avoiding working by shying at everything.
▪ These memories are still quite fresh, and Clevelanders do not shy away from them.
▪ This does not mean that we shall shy away from tackling difficult subjects that may cause offence.
▪ Yet science has consistently shied away from the task.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Shy

Shy \Shy\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Shied; p. pr. & vb. n. Shying.] [From Shy,

  1. ] To start suddenly aside through fright or suspicion; -- said especially of horses.

Shy

Shy \Shy\, v. t. To throw sidewise with a jerk; to fling; as, to shy a stone; to shy a slipper.
--T. Hughes.

Shy

Shy \Shy\, n.

  1. A sudden start aside, as by a horse.

  2. A side throw; a throw; a fling.
    --Thackeray.

    If Lord Brougham gets a stone in his hand, he must, it seems, have a shy at somebody.
    --Punch.

Shy

Shy \Shy\ (sh[imac]), a. [Compar. Shier (sh[imac]"[~e]r) or Shyer; superl. Shiest or Shyest.] [OE. schey, skey, sceouh, AS. sce['o]h; akin to Dan. sky, Sw. skygg, D. schuw, MHG. schiech, G. scheu, OHG. sciuhen to be or make timid. Cf. Eschew.]

  1. Easily frightened; timid; as, a shy bird.

    The horses of the army . . . were no longer shy, but would come up to my very feet without starting.
    --Swift.

  2. Reserved; coy; disinclined to familiar approach.

    What makes you so shy, my good friend? There's nobody loves you better than I.
    --Arbuthnot.

    The embarrassed look of shy distress And maidenly shamefacedness.
    --Wordsworth.

  3. Cautious; wary; suspicious.

    I am very shy of using corrosive liquors in the preparation of medicines.
    --Boyle.

    Princes are, by wisdom of state, somewhat shy of thier successors.
    --Sir H. Wotton.

  4. Inadequately supplied; short; lacking; as, the team is shy two players.[Slang]

  5. (Poker), owing money to the pot; -- in cases where an opponent's bet has exceeded a player's available stake or chips, but the player chooses to continue playing the hand before adding the required bet to the pot. [Slang]

    To fight shy. See under Fight, v. i.

Wikipedia

Shy (band)

Shy are a British metal band formed in 1980 under the name "Trojan", hailing from Birmingham, England.

Shy (company)

SHY is an Italian owned fashion label specialising in women's shoes and handbags. It was founded in Riviera del Brenta, Venice in 2001. SHY are considered high fashion and have very few stores, all of which are within Europe. SHY gained much attention in the fashion world by being featured in Vogue magazine in March, 2005.

Shy (disambiguation)

Shy is the adjective describing a person who demonstrates shyness.

Shy or SHY may also refer to:

  • IATA airport code for Shinyanga Airport
  • Shy (company), an Italian women's shoe brand
  • Soft hyphen (HTML character entity ­), an indication of an optional hyphenation point in a word
  • iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond, an exchange-traded fund with ticker symbol SHY
  • SHY, an ICAO code for Sky Airlines
  • Christopher Shy, freelance fantasy and science fiction artist
  • Shy, also called a throw-in in association football.
  • Shy Keenan, an author, child sexual abuse survivor, and founder of Phoenix Survivors
Music
  • Shy (band), a British classic rock band
  • SHY, real name Mark Scott, member of the Scottish rapper and songwriter duo SHY & DRS
  • "Shy", a song by Prince from The Gold Experience
  • "Shy", a 2000 song from Sonata Arctica's albums Successor and Takatalvi
  • Shy, a 2015 by Imany
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

shy

late Old English sceoh "timid, easily startled," from Proto-Germanic *skeukh(w)az "afraid" (cognates: Middle Low German schüwe, Dutch schuw, German scheu "shy;" Old High German sciuhen, German scheuchen "to scare away"). Uncertain cognates outside Germanic, unless in Old Church Slavonic shchuti "to hunt, incite." Italian schivare "to avoid," Old French eschiver "to shun" are Germanic loan-words. Meaning "lacking, short of" is from 1895, American English gambling slang. Related: Shyly; shyness.

shy

"to throw (a missile) with a jerk or toss," 1787, colloquial, of unknown origin and uncertain connection to shy (adj.). Related: Shied; shying.

shy

"to recoil," 1640s, from shy (adj.). Related: Shied; shying.

WordNet

shy

  1. v. start suddenly, as from fight

  2. throw quickly

  3. [also: shied, shyest, shyer, shiest, shier]

shy

  1. adj. lacking self-confidence; "stood in the doorway diffident and abashed"; "problems that call for bold not timid responses"; "a very unsure young man" [syn: diffident, timid, unsure]

  2. easily startled or frightened

  3. short; "eleven is one shy of a dozen" [syn: shy(p)]

  4. wary and distrustful; disposed to avoid persons or things; "shy of strangers"

  5. [also: shied, shyest, shyer, shiest, shier]

shy

  1. n. a quick throw; "he gave the ball a shy to the first baseman"

  2. [also: shied, shyest, shyer, shiest, shier]

Wiktionary

shy

  1. 1 Easily frightened; timid. 2 Reserved; disinclined to familiar approach. 3 cautious; wary; suspicious. 4 (cx informal English) short, insufficient or less than. 5 embarrassed. (rfex) n. 1 An act of throwing. 2 A place for throwing. 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. v

  2. 1 (context intransitive English) To avoid due to timidness or caution. 2 (context intransitive English) To jump back in fear. 3 (context transitive English) to throw sideways with a jerk; to fling

Usage examples of "shy".

But Mary was shy of acceding to such invitations and at last frankly told her friend Patience, that she would not again break bread in Greshamsbury in any house in which she was not thought fit to meet the other guests who habitually resorted there.

But if these muons are not sitting at rest in the laboratory and instead are traveling through a piece of equipment known as a particle accelerator that boosts them to just shy of light-speed, their average life expectancy as measured by scientists in the laboratory increases dramatically.

Leiter out by going to the Acme Baths to make the pay-off if Shy Smile failed to win the race.

Azzli shouted, sounding far less a prince two years shy of adulthood, than a boy half that age.

Shy, iridescent, coltish, pelvically anfractuous, amply busted, given to diffident movements of hand brushing flaxen hair from front of dear creamy forehead, movements which drove Bruce Green up a private tree.

Finally, the prince was rewarded as the tent flap was pulled aside and Asteria stepped into the room, looking for all the world like Artemis or golden Aphrodite, her small lyre under one arm, her eyes cast demurely down to her feet, a shy smile on her face.

Well-bred and shy about her body, Aurora stood silently as he dispensed with her gown and corset and stockings.

Jack Bedell wandered about, watching his fellow-passengers with interest, but much too shy to make acquaintances.

All his life Bibbs had kept himself to himself--he was but a shy onlooker in the world.

And Bibbs gave his sister a shy but friendly touch upon the shoulder as a complement to the handshaking, and left her.

There had been men, such as Lord Fawn on one side and Mr Boffin on the other, who had found themselves stranded disagreeably,--with no certain position,--unwilling to sit behind a Treasury bench from which they were excluded, and too shy to place themselves immediately opposite.

The singers alternately leaned toward Brod, then shied off again, to his embarrassment and the amusement of everyone else.

The Indians came up on either side of Cissy, and their mounts shied as well, ter- rified, eyes rolling back in their heads.

He shies in surprise as she jumps to his aid, cooing nurturingly, laying her hands on his shoulders to help him remove his waterlogged ulster.

I imagined that he would be handsome and gallant, but perhaps a little shy, so that I would have to coquette a little to put him at his ease.