coyness


Also found in: Thesaurus.

coy

 (koi)
adj. coy·er, coy·est
1.
a. Affectedly and often flirtatiously shy or modest: "I pictured myself as some sylvan deity, and she a coy wood nymph of whom I was in pursuit" (Washington Irving).
b. Characterized by or suggesting such shyness or modesty: "How absurd I must have looked standing there before him ... a coy little simper on my foolish young face" (Jane Avrich).
2. Unwilling to make a commitment or divulge information: "As a child, when I asked my mother her age she was coy and evasive" (Lynne Sharon Schwartz).
3. Tending to avoid people and social situations; reserved: "The children were staring up at him, too coy to question him and too curious not to stare" (Edwidge Danticat).

[Middle English, from Old French quei, coi, quiet, still, from Vulgar Latin *quētus, from Latin quiētus, past participle of quiēscere, to rest; see kweiə- in Indo-European roots.]

coy′ly adv.
coy′ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.coyness - the affectation of being demure in a provocative way
affectedness - the quality of being false or artificial (as to impress others)

coyness

noun shyness, reserve, modesty, timidity, affectation, diffidence, prudery, evasiveness, prudishness, bashfulness, skittishness, primness, archness, prissiness (informal), coquettishness, demureness She discusses sexual matters without a trace of coyness.
Quotations
"Had we but world enough, and time"
"This coyness, lady, were no crime" [Andrew Marvell To his Coy Mistress]

coyness

noun
An awkwardness or lack of self-confidence in the presence of others:
Translations
خَجَل، حَياء
ostýchavost
blyhedkokethed
feimni
hanblivosť
utangaçlık

coyness

[ˈkɔɪnɪs] N
1. (= demureness) → timidez f (pej) (= coquettishness) → coquetería f
2. (= evasiveness) → evasivas fpl, reticencias fpl

coyness

[ˈkɔɪnɪs] n
(= coquettishness) → coquetterie f
(= reticence) → réserve f

coyness

n (= shyness)Verschämtheit f; (= coquettishness)neckisches or kokettes Benehmen; (= evasiveness)ausweichende Haltung

coyness

[ˈkɔɪnɪs] n (affected shyness) → falsa timidezza; (evasiveness) → evasività; (coquetry) → civetteria

coy

(koi) adjective
(pretending to be) shy. She gave her brother's friend a coy smile.
ˈcoyly adverb
ˈcoyness noun
References in classic literature ?
I saw her, a most beautiful little creature, with the cloudless blue eyes, that had looked into my childish heart, turned laughingly upon another child of Minnie's who was playing near her; with enough of wilfulness in her bright face to justify what I had heard; with much of the old capricious coyness lurking in it; but with nothing in her pretty looks, I am sure, but what was meant for goodness and for happiness, and what was on a good and happy course.
Aaron was not indisposed to display his talents, even to an ogre, under protecting circumstances; and after a few more signs of coyness, consisting chiefly in rubbing the backs of his hands over his eyes, and then peeping between them at Master Marner, to see if he looked anxious for the "carril", he at length allowed his head to be duly adjusted, and standing behind the table, which let him appear above it only as far as his broad frill, so that he looked like a cherubic head untroubled with a body, he began with a clear chirp, and in a melody that had the rhythm of an industrious hammer
Yet for all that, in thy coyness, And thy fickle fits between, Hope is there- at least the border Of her garment may be seen.
At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you.
His experience of women was great enough for him to be aware that the negative often meant nothing more than the preface to the affirmative; and it was little enough for him not to know that in the manner of the present negative there lay a great exception to the dallyings of coyness.
By the grace of her movements, by the softness and flexibility of her small limbs, and by a certain coyness and reserve of manner, she reminded one of a pretty, half-grown kitten which promises to become a beautiful little cat.
If he had thought there had been one bit of coyness in her words, one feminine flutter, one womanly attempt at deliberate lure and encouragement, he would have been elated.
On the instant, the she-wolf's coyness and playfulness disappeared.
Cyrus had at last been driven to believe that Cecily's aversion to him was real, and not merely the defence of maiden coyness.
The reflections of Sir Mulberry Hawk--if such a term can be applied to the thoughts of the systematic and calculating man of dissipation, whose joys, regrets, pains, and pleasures, are all of self, and who would seem to retain nothing of the intellectual faculty but the power to debase himself, and to degrade the very nature whose outward semblance he wears--the reflections of Sir Mulberry Hawk turned upon Kate Nickleby, and were, in brief, that she was undoubtedly handsome; that her coyness MUST be easily conquerable by a man of his address and experience, and that the pursuit was one which could not fail to redound to his credit, and greatly to enhance his reputation with the world.
but because of all kinds of caters of fish, or flesh, or fowl, in these latitudes, the swallowers of oysters alone are not gregarious; but subduing themselves, as it were, to the nature of what they work in, and copying the coyness of the thing they eat, do sit apart in curtained boxes, and consort by twos, not by two hundreds.
The birds were all at roost, the daisies on the green had closed their fairy hoods, the honeysuckle twining round the porch exhaled its perfume in a twofold degree, as though it lost its coyness at that silent time and loved to shed its fragrance on the night; the ivy scarcely stirred its deep green leaves.