shy ( shyer comparative) ( shyest superlative) ( shies 3rd person present) ( shying present participle) ( shied past tense & past participle )
1 adj A shy person is nervous and uncomfortable in the company of other people.
She was a shy and retiring person off-stage..., He is painfully shy of women.
shyly adv usu ADV with v
The children smiled shyly.
Eventually he overcame his shyness.
2 adj If you are shyof doing something, you are unwilling to do it because you are afraid of what might happen.
oft ADJ of -ing
You should not be shy of having your say in the running of the school.
3 verb When a horse shies, it moves away suddenly, because something has frightened it.
Llewelyn's stallion shied as the wind sent sparks flying. V
4 A number or amount that is just shy of another number or amount is just under it.
shy of prep-phrase
(=short of) ...a high-school dropout rate just shy of 53%... shy away from phrasal verb If you shy away from doing something, you avoid doing it, often because you are afraid or not confident enough. We frequently shy away from making decisions... V P P -ing/n
Someone who is camera-shy is nervous and uncomfortable about being filmed or about having their photograph taken. adj
If someone is gun-shy, they are nervous or afraid. adj usu v-link ADJ
The electric-power industry is gun-shy about building more large plants.
-shy is added to nouns to form adjectives which indicate that someone does not like a particular thing, and tries to avoid it. For example, someone who is camera-shy does not like having their photograph taken. comb in adj
...camera-shy red deer...
work-shy , workshy
If you describe someone as work-shy, you disapprove of them because you think they are lazy and do not want to work.
(BRIT) adj usu ADJ n (disapproval)