Synonyms for Shy:


all (adjective)
timid, diffident, unsure.
cowardly (adjective)
insufficient (adjective)
insufficient, inadequate.
irresolute (adjective)
irresponsible, infirm, irresolute, changeable, tentative, fly-by-night, unsure, yellow, spineless, Shilly-shally, halfhearted, double-minded, inconsistent, shifty, hesitant, capricious, ambivalent, Flitting, impulsive, erratic, volatile, undependable, indecisive, unwilling, fickle, watery, weak, vacillating, dillydallying, insipid, uncertain, shrinking, unresolved, undecided.
lacking, failing (adjective)
deficient, short, inadequate, insufficient, wanting, scarce.
modest (adjective)
modest, coy, meek, undemonstrative, demure, bashful, selfless, unassertive, timid, reserved, unselfish, self-effacing, humble, diffident, unobtrusive.
quiet and self-conscious (adjective)
modest, reserved, bashful, unwilling, coy, demure, timid, humble, retiring, shrinking, backward, self-effacing, unassertive, wary, hesitant, diffident.
short (adjective)
timorous (adjective)


aquatic, androgynous, asexual, articulate, amphibious, captive, anthropoid, Caged, arboreal, best-of-breed. insecure, inhibited, restraint, retiring, backward, unsure of yourself, lost, ill at ease, self-effacing. flinch, cringe, recoil, shrink, approach, wince, quail, blench, start. retiring (noun)
shy (noun)
timid, deficient, unsure, insufficient, wary, diffident, unconfident.

Other synonyms:

self-effacing, inhibited. insecure, blench, retiring, flinch, scarce, cringe, quail. under, recoil. shrink, lost. wanting, start. cast. short. draw back
Other relevant words:
lost, ill at ease, wanting, inadequate, flinch, quail, timorous, cast, self-effacing, cringe, scarce, wary, recoil, deficient, insufficient, shrink, insecure, under, unconfident, retiring, blench, backward, start, wince, short, inhibited.

Usage examples for shy

  1. He did not know that his father was just as shy of him. – The Ship of Stars by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  2. If their meeting was to be bold and free it might have taken place within doors; if it was to be shy or secret it might have taken place almost anywhere better than under Mrs. Lowder's windows. – The Wings of the Dove, Volume 1 of 2 by Henry James
  3. Shy inhabitants of woods. – Bird-Neighbors by Blanchan, Neltje