Definition of coy in English:

coy

adjective

  • 1(especially with reference to a woman) making a pretense of shyness or modesty that is intended to be alluring.

    ‘she treated him to a coy smile of invitation’
    • ‘Gem returned the stare, a coy smile creeping its way onto her countenance.’
    • ‘For a women who takes her clothes off for a living, Ms Deneuve is a bit coy.’
    • ‘You're being much too coy with power - it's like you're playing hard to get or something.’
    • ‘He wasn't so coy that he didn't realize he was a star.’
    • ‘We've flirted at balls, and she was as coy as a twenty-four year-old!’
    • ‘His second memoir can thus be read as a rather coy critique of his first.’
    • ‘She smiled at Rochelle and nodded with a coy smile playing on her lips.’
    • ‘"Don't play coy with me, " she said with a laugh.’
    • ‘Aurora had stated gently, giving him a coy side glance without realizing it.’
    • ‘There are plenty of hoots and whistles, derision for the woman's coy smile and smeared-on lipstick.’
    • ‘"He seemed a bit coy and shy about it and he didn't even want any thanks.’
    • ‘Everyone else acts coy, stupid, and young throughout the rest of episode.’
    • ‘True, she's as coy and feminine as she wants to be.’
    • ‘She's coy enough to curdle butter, looking up at him from under her lashes.’
    • ‘But even those who decide to play coy won't have long to wait.’
    • ‘"Because it's, um, embarrassing, " I said, trying to act so coy.’
    • ‘Her smile was coy, and she playfully tilted her head, an inquisitive glimmer in her eyes.’
    • ‘A coy smile slipped onto his face, and he cocked his head slightly.’
    • ‘I saw the girls giggle as they passed, flicking coy glances at me.’
    • ‘She gave him a coy glance and leaned over to whisper into his ear.’
    arch, simpering, coquettish, flirtatious, kittenish, skittish
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Reluctant to give details, especially about something regarded as sensitive.
      ‘he is coy about his age’
      • ‘The JVP leadership has been remarkably coy about providing an answer.’
      • ‘They should also know what symptoms to look out for and not be coy about seeking medical attention.’
      • ‘Others have been far less coy on the subject of drug use.’
      • ‘In fact, the film is remarkably coy about sex in general.’
      • ‘Woods is coy about how he feels about Garcia's progress.’
      • ‘But she's coy about revealing how many, with what qualifications, or where they are based.’
      • ‘Wilder remained coy about his own political beliefs, at least publicly.’
      • ‘This was no time to be coy about asking for money.’
      • ‘Not surprisingly, the phone network companies are a little coy about admitting they have this ability.’
      • ‘Clifford is coy about this, ‘No, I think I've got my work cut out here quite frankly.’’
      • ‘Yet he proves coy about his contract intentions.’
      • ‘She is coy about how much is in the coffers, but says ACT is aiming to match what it spent in 2002.’
      • ‘In fact, the White House has been coy about the ‘reduction’ of nuclear weapons contemplated under NPR.’
      • ‘Adrian Eastwood is a little coy about the idea that bookies know better than polls or punters.’
      • ‘One reporter decided to be less coy and actually used the word ' groin ' in his copy!’
      • ‘As a writer she is coy about her influences, although she will admit to admiring Jilly Cooper.’
      • ‘Nor was the administration coy about its reasons.’
      • ‘The former Boro player himself remains coy on the subject but, tellingly, does not rule it out.’
      • ‘The company pleads competitive sensitivity for being so coy on this.’
      • ‘She is suddenly coy and protective of her creativity.’
    2. 1.2dated Quiet and reserved; shy.
      • ‘Adrienne was playing coy and quiet, wearing a look of supreme contentment on her face.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

coy

/koi//kɔɪ/