Adjective – Shy
1 a : feeling nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people
a shy, quiet girl
I was painfully shy as a teenager.
She was too shy to ask for help.
1 b : showing that you are nervous and uncomfortable about meeting and talking to people
her shy manner
He gave her a shy smile.
2 : tending to avoid something because of nervousness, fear, dislike, etc.
— often + of
He was never shy of controversy.
3 : hesitant about taking what you want or need
Help yourself if you want more. Don’t be shy.
4 of an animal : easily frightened : TIMID
animals that are nocturnal and shy
5 chiefly US : having less than a full or expected amount or number : SHORT
We were shy about 10 dollars.
— usually + of
He was two weeks shy of his 19th birthday when he joined the army.
The ball stopped just a few inches shy of the hole.
He’s three credits shy of his bachelor’s degree.
— shyly adverb
He answered/smiled shyly.
— shyness noun (noncount)