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    shy, modest, bashful, reticent, diffident, retiring, backward, self-effacing, shrinking, withdrawn, timid, demure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