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