Adjective "coy" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


(especially with reference to a woman) making a pretence of shyness or modesty which is intended to be alluring.
  1. 'Her smile was coy, and she playfully tilted her head, an inquisitive glimmer in her eyes.'
  2. 'His second memoir can thus be read as a rather coy critique of his first.'
  3. 'For a women who takes her clothes off for a living, Ms Deneuve is a bit coy.'
  4. 'She smiled at Rochelle and nodded with a coy smile playing on her lips.'
  5. 'A coy smile slipped onto his face, and he cocked his head slightly.'
  6. 'He wasn't so coy that he didn't realize he was a star.'
  7. 'She gave him a coy glance and leaned over to whisper into his ear.'
  8. '"He seemed a bit coy and shy about it and he didn't even want any thanks.'
  9. 'You're being much too coy with power - it's like you're playing hard to get or something.'
  10. 'We've flirted at balls, and she was as coy as a twenty-four year-old!'
Reluctant to give details about something regarded as sensitive.
  1. 'They should also know what symptoms to look out for and not be coy about seeking medical attention.'
  2. 'Not surprisingly, the phone network companies are a little coy about admitting they have this ability.'
  3. 'This was no time to be coy about asking for money.'
  4. 'She is coy about how much is in the coffers, but says ACT is aiming to match what it spent in 2002.'
  5. 'Clifford is coy about this, ‘No, I think I've got my work cut out here quite frankly.’'
  6. 'The former Boro player himself remains coy on the subject but, tellingly, does not rule it out.'
  7. 'The JVP leadership has been remarkably coy about providing an answer.'
  8. 'Woods is coy about how he feels about Garcia's progress.'
  9. 'Yet he proves coy about his contract intentions.'
  10. 'Others have been far less coy on the subject of drug use.'



    1. artfully or affectedly shy or reserved; slyly hesitant; coquettish.

    2. shy; modest.

    3. showing reluctance, especially when insincere or affected, to reveal one's plans or opinions, make a commitment, or take a stand: The mayor was coy about his future political aspirations.

    4. Archaic. disdainful; aloof.

    5. Obsolete. quiet; reserved. verb (used without object)

    6. Archaic. to act in a coy manner. verb (used with object), Obsolete.

    7. to quiet; soothe

    More examples(as adjective)

    "people can be coy about things."

    "commissions can be coy about things."

    "commissions can be coy about estimates."

    "walkers can be coy about destinations."

    "traders can be coy as to things."

    More examples++


    Middle English: from Old French coi, quei, from Latin quietus (see quiet). The original sense was ‘quiet, still’ (especially in behaviour), later ‘modestly retiring’, and hence (of a woman) ‘affecting to be unresponsive to advances’.