Main meanings of coy in English

: coy1Coy2


Pronunciation /kɔɪ/

See synonyms for coy

Translate coy into Spanish

adjectiveadjective coyer, adjective coyest

  • 1Making a pretence of shyness or modesty that is intended to be alluring (typically used of a woman)

    ‘she treated him to a coy smile of invitation’
    • ‘True, she's as coy and feminine as she wants to be.’
    • ‘We've flirted at balls, and she was as coy as a twenty-four year-old!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are plenty of hoots and whistles, derision for the woman's coy smile and smeared-on lipstick.’
    • ‘"Because it's, um, embarrassing, " I said, trying to act so coy.’
    • ‘She smiled at Rochelle and nodded with a coy smile playing on her lips.’
    • ‘A coy smile slipped onto his face, and he cocked his head slightly.’
    • ‘Gem returned the stare, a coy smile creeping its way onto her countenance.’
    • ‘"Don't play coy with me, " she said with a laugh.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He wasn't so coy that he didn't realize he was a star.’
    • ‘You're being much too coy with power - it's like you're playing hard to get or something.’
    • ‘Everyone else acts coy, stupid, and young throughout the rest of episode.’
    • ‘For a women who takes her clothes off for a living, Ms Deneuve is a bit coy.’
    • ‘"He seemed a bit coy and shy about it and he didn't even want any thanks.’
    • ‘Aurora had stated gently, giving him a coy side glance without realizing it.’
    • ‘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
  • 2Reluctant to give details about something regarded as sensitive.

    ‘he is coy about his age’
    • ‘Clifford is coy about this, ‘No, I think I've got my work cut out here quite frankly.’’
    • ‘Nor was the administration coy about its reasons.’
    • ‘This was no time to be coy about asking for money.’
    • ‘Woods is coy about how he feels about Garcia's progress.’
    • ‘They should also know what symptoms to look out for and not be coy about seeking medical attention.’
    • ‘Yet he proves coy about his contract intentions.’
    • ‘In fact, the White House has been coy about the ‘reduction’ of nuclear weapons contemplated under NPR.’
    • ‘The JVP leadership has been remarkably coy about providing an answer.’
    • ‘The company pleads competitive sensitivity for being so coy on this.’
    • ‘The former Boro player himself remains coy on the subject but, tellingly, does not rule it out.’
    • ‘Others have been far less coy on the subject of drug use.’
    • ‘In fact, the film is remarkably coy about sex in general.’
    • ‘Adrian Eastwood is a little coy about the idea that bookies know better than polls or punters.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, the phone network companies are a little coy about admitting they have this ability.’
    • ‘Wilder remained coy about his own political beliefs, at least publicly.’
    • ‘One reporter decided to be less coy and actually used the word ' groin ' in his copy!’
    • ‘She is suddenly coy and protective of her creativity.’
    • ‘But she's coy about revealing how many, with what qualifications, or where they are based.’
    • ‘She is coy about how much is in the coffers, but says ACT is aiming to match what it spent in 2002.’
    • ‘As a writer she is coy about her influences, although she will admit to admiring Jilly Cooper.’


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 ‘affecting to be unresponsive to advances’.

Main meanings of Coy in English

: coy1Coy2


Pronunciation /kɔɪ/

See synonyms for Coy

Translate Coy into Spanish


  • Company.