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Adjective, Noun


Adjective coy has 3 senses


coya. [OE. coi quiet, still, OF. coi, coit, fr.L. quietus quiet, p. p. of quiescere to rest, quie rest; prob. akin to E. while. See While, and cf. Quiet, Quit, Quite.].
  •  Quiet; still.  Chaucer.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Shrinking from approach or familiarity; reserved; bashful; shy; modest; -- usually applied to women, sometimes with an implication of coquetry.  [1913 Webster]
    "Coy, and difficult to win."  [1913 Webster]
    "Coy and furtive graces."  [1913 Webster]
    "Nor the coy maid, half willings to be pressed,
    Shall kiss the cup, to pass it to the rest.
    "  [1913 Webster]
  •  Soft; gentle; hesitating.  [1913 Webster]
    "Enforced hate,
    Instead of love's coy touch, shall rudely tear thee.
Syn. -- Shy; shriking; reserved; modest; bashful; backward; distant.
coyv. t. 
  •  To allure; to entice; to decoy.  [1913 Webster]
    "A wiser generation, who have the art to coy the fonder sort into their nets."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To caress with the hand; to stroke.  [1913 Webster]
    "Come sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
    While I thy amiable cheeks do coy.
    "  [1913 Webster]
coyv. i. 
  •  To behave with reserve or coyness; to shrink from approach or familiarity.  [1913 Webster]
    "Thus to coy it,
    With one who knows you too!
    "  [1913 Webster]
  •  To make difficulty; to be unwilling.  [1913 Webster]
    "If he coyed
    To hear Cominius speak, I 'll keep at home.
    "  [1913 Webster]


coy, adj. (coyer, coyest)
1 archly or affectedly shy.
2 irritatingly reticent (always coy about her age).
3 (esp. of a girl) modest or shy.

coyly adv. coyness n.
ME f. OF coi, quei f. L quietus QUIET



amative, amatory, arch, bashful, capricious, caressive, confused, conscious, coquettish, decent, decorous, demure, diffident, flirtatious, flirty, inarticulate, kittenish, lively, mischievous, mousy, nice, playful, proper, rabbity, retiring, roguish, seemly, self-conscious, self-effacing, sexual, shamefaced, shamefast, shy, skittish, stammering, timid, timorous, unassertive, unassured




N fear, timidity, diffidence, want of confidence, apprehensiveness, fearfulness, solicitude, anxiety, care, apprehension, misgiving, feeze, mistrust, suspicion, qualm, hesitation, nervousness, restlessness, inquietude, disquietude, worry, concern, batophobia, heartquake, flutter, trepidation, fear and trembling, perturbation, tremor, quivering, shaking, trembling, throbbing heart, palpitation, ague fit, cold sweat, abject fear, mortal funk, heartsinking, despondency, despair, fright, affright, affrightment, boof alarm, dread, awe, terror, horror, dismay, consternation, panic, scare, stampede (of horses), intimidation, terrorism, reign of terror, bug bear, bugaboo, scarecrow, hobgoblin, nightmare, Gorgon, mormo, ogre, Hurlothrumbo, raw head and bloody bones, fee-faw-fum, bete noire, enfant terrible, alarmist, fearing, frightened, in fear, in a fright, haunted with the fear of, afeard, afraid, fearful, timid, timorous, nervous, diffident, coy, faint- hearted, tremulous, shaky, afraid of one's shadow, apprehensive, restless, fidgety, more frightened than hurt, aghast, awe-stricken, horror-stricken, terror-stricken, panic- stricken, awestruck, awe-stricken, horror-struck, frightened to death, white as a sheet, pale, pale as a ghost, pale as death, pale as ashes, breathless, in hysterics, inspiring fear, alarming, formidable, redoubtable, perilous, portentous, fearful, dread, dreadful, fell, dire, direful, shocking, terrible, terrific, tremendous, horrid, horrible, horrific, ghastly, awful, awe-inspiring, revolting, Gorgonian, in terrorem, Int, angels and ministers of grace defend us!, ante tubam trepidat, horresco referens, one's heart failing one, obstupui steteruntque comae et vox faucibus haesit, a dagger of the mind, expertus metuit, fain would I climb but that I fear to fall, fear is the parent of cruelty, Gorgons and hydras and chimeras dire, omnia tuta timens, our fears do make us traitors.


N modesty, humility, diffidence, timidity, retiring disposition, unobtrusiveness, bashfulness, mauvaise honte, blush, blushing, verecundity, self-knowledge, reserve, constraint, demureness, blushing honors, modest, diffident, humble, timid, timorous, bashful, shy, nervous, skittish, coy, sheepish, shamefaced, blushing, overmodest, unpretending, unpretentious, unobtrusive, unassuming, unostentatious, unboastful, unaspiring, poor in spirit, out of countenance, reserved, constrained, demure, humbly, quietly, privately, without ceremony, without beat of drum, sans fa, not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty, thy modesty's a candle to thy merit.

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