Definition of squeamish in US English:



  • 1(of a person) easily made to feel sick, faint, or disgusted, especially by unpleasant images, such as the sight of blood.

    ‘he was a bit squeamish at the sight of the giant needles’
    • ‘Daddy has a Robert De Niro kind of understated menace and when you see him at work with his barber's blade, the effect is to make your internal organs shrink with squeamish empathy.’
    • ‘Oddly, eating meat didn't make me feel squeamish or sick.’
    • ‘State police machinery got a little squeamish.’
    • ‘Now I can tell you right here there was no pain involved, but if you're squeamish about things happening to eyes, then change channels right now…’
    • ‘‘It was very well made, but not for the squeamish,’ he said.’
    • ‘Bear with me while I list them, and apologies to the squeamish.’
    • ‘If you're squeamish about insects, skip this story.’
    • ‘There was also evidence before the jury that Adams was not a violent man and was squeamish at the sight of blood.’
    • ‘‘I'm never squeamish and I don't usually get upset when I see a body,’ she says.’
    • ‘The squeamish will be relieved to know that all surgery and injections are carried out while the aircraft are on the ground because the risk of turbulence is too high to perform operations in flight.’
    • ‘I am actually quite squeamish and don't like the sight of blood.’
    • ‘Now I might just warn you girls, if you are squeamish and don't like the sight of men in the raw, then don't bother to check the link.’
    • ‘The squeamish and easily offended will find a lot to complain about, but what's new?’
    • ‘Most Africans have a very close relationship with the land, even the city people, who are squeamish about bugs and scared to death of gorillas.’
    • ‘For those who are not squeamish, balut is a ripe duck egg containing a one-week-old chick, boiled in water for 10 to 15 minutes and then served as it is.’
    • ‘I can only note that the English-language press is far more squeamish about publishing grisly images than their continental European cousins.’
    • ‘They might get squeamish at the sight of blood or faint when thinking about it or are looking at it.’
    • ‘I'm not squeamish, and it was fascinating to watch the incision and lifting out of the uterus, but when the puppies themselves were brought into the world, it was too much for me.’
    • ‘But at least the liberal men should feel squeamish about it.’
    • ‘I didn't mind eating the meat at all, but at that age I was just a little bit too squeamish to join in enthusiastically gnawing away at the poor little bunny's bones.’
    easily nauseated, nervous
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) having strong moral views; scrupulous.
      ‘she was not squeamish about using her social influence in support of her son’
      • ‘So it's strange, therefore, and not a little paranoid of the family to be squeamish about the book, because the only truly unflattering portrait painted here is that of its author.’
      • ‘While much of the population understandably gets squeamish at the idea of businesses making money out of the elderly and the disadvantaged, there is a market that has to be served.’
      • ‘Is it that the United States has grown more moral in the last 50 years - or, depending on your point of view, more squeamish?’
      • ‘In short, they are not squeamish or unduly troubled by conscience when it comes to hurting us two-legged animals.’
      • ‘It's clear that if the regime thinks it can get away with murdering foreign journalists it won't be squeamish about dealing with its internal opposition.’
      • ‘In their boasts, dissidents are lady-killers; in their writings, they are squeamish, priggish, and prudish.’
      • ‘What interrogation tactics would make both the FBI and the CIA squeamish about their field officers' participation?’
      • ‘I oppose the death penalty, but not for Stephen's squeamish reasons that one innocent person in 100 might get hanged, My opposition is more visceral than that.’
      • ‘The battle we really are engaged in - and we are too squeamish to describe - is against a particular brand of fundamentalism.’
      • ‘‘We'll have to think about transferring some suspects to our less squeamish allies,’ he says.’
      • ‘Thomson accepts, however, that the British are still somewhat squeamish about the sight of the very rich being congratulated about doing good.’
      • ‘In particular, is the U.S. media too squeamish about running photos of dead and wounded soldiers?’
      • ‘Is there anyone else who is squeamish about this sort of public investigation into a nominee's personal religious beliefs?’
      scrupulous, principled, conscientious, fastidious, particular, punctilious, finicky, fussy, prissy, prudish, strait-laced, honourable, upright, upstanding, high-minded, righteous, right-minded, moral, ethical
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Late Middle English: alteration of dialect squeamous, from Anglo-Norman French escoymos, of unknown origin.