Coy vs Flirtatious - What's the difference?

coy | flirtatious |

As adjectives the difference between coy and flirtatious

is that coy is (dated) bashful, shy, retiring while flirtatious is of or pertaining to flirtation.

As a verb coy

is (obsolete) to caress, pet; to coax, entice.

As a noun coy

is a trap from which waterfowl may be hunted.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) coi, earlier .


  • (dated) Bashful, shy, retiring.
  • (archaic) Quiet, reserved, modest.
  • Reluctant to give details about something sensitive; notably prudish.
  • Pretending shyness or modesty, especially in an insincere or flirtatious way.
  • Soft, gentle, hesitating.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Enforced hate, / Instead of love's coy touch, shall rudely tear thee.
    Derived terms
    * coyly * coyness


    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To caress, pet; to coax, entice.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Come sit thee down upon this flowery bed, / While I thy amiable cheeks do coy .
  • (obsolete) To calm or soothe.
  • To allure; to decoy.
  • * Bishop Rainbow
  • A wiser generation, who have the art to coy the fonder sort into their nets.

    Etymology 2

    Compare decoy.


    (en noun)
  • A trap from which waterfowl may be hunted.
  • References

    * []




    (en adjective)
  • Of or pertaining to flirtation.
  • (of a person) Having a tendency to flirt often.
  • Synonyms

    * cheeky, coquettish


    * prudish, reserved

    Derived terms

    * flirtatiously * flirtatiousness