Cowardly vs Shy - What's the difference?

cowardly | shy |


As adjectives the difference between cowardly and shy

is that cowardly is showing cowardice; lacking in courage; basely or weakly fearful while shy is easily frightened; timid.

As an adverb cowardly

is in the manner of a coward.

As a verb shy is

to avoid due to timidness or caution.

As a noun shy is

an act of throwing.

cowardly

English

Adverb

(en adverb)
  • In the manner of a coward.
  • * , Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.48:
  • I love to follow them, but not so cowardly , as my life remaine thereby in subjection.

    Adjective

    (en-adj)
  • Showing cowardice; lacking in courage; basely or weakly fearful.
  • * Shakespeare
  • The cowardly rascals that ran from the battle.
  • * Burke
  • The cowardly rashness of those who dare not look danger in the face.

    shy

    English

    Adjective

    (en-adj)
  • Easily frightened; timid.
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • The horses of the army were no longer shy , but would come up to my very feet without starting.
  • Reserved; disinclined to familiar approach.
  • He is very shy with strangers.
  • * Arbuthnot
  • What makes you so shy , my good friend? There's nobody loves you better than I.
  • Cautious; wary; suspicious.
  • * Boyle
  • I am very shy of using corrosive liquors in the preparation of medicines.
  • * Sir H. Wotton
  • Princes are, by wisdom of state, somewhat shy of their successors.
  • Short, insufficient or less than.
  • By our count your shipment came up two shy of the bill of lading amount.
    It is just shy of a mile from here to their house.
  • Embarrassed.
  • See also

    * bashful * reserved * timid * demure * coy

    Usage notes

    * Often used in combination with a noun to produce an adjective or adjectival phrase. * Adjectives are usually applicable to animals (leash-shy'' "shy of leashes" or ''head shy "shy of contact around the head" (of horses)) or to children.

    Synonyms

    * See also

    Antonyms

    * brazen * bold * audacious

    Derived terms

    (terms derived using shy as suffix) * -shy * bird-shy * boy-shy * car-shy * cat-shy * camera-shy * cover-shy * girl-shy * gun-shy * hand-shy * man-shy * mouse-shy * noise-shy * people-shy * water-shy * woman-shy * work-shy

    Verb

  • To avoid due to timidness or caution.
  • I shy away from investment opportunities I don't understand.
  • To jump back in fear.
  • The horse shied''' away from the rider, which startled him so much he '''shied away from the horse.
  • to throw sideways with a jerk; to fling
  • to shy''' a stone; to '''shy a slipper

    Noun

    (shies)
  • An act of throwing.
  • (Thackeray)
  • * Punch
  • If Lord Brougham gets a stone in his hand, he must, it seems, have a shy at somebody.
  • * 2008 , (James Kelman), Kieron Smith, Boy , Penguin 2009, p. 55:
  • The game had started. A man was chasing the ball, it went out for a shy .
  • A place for throwing.
  • coconut shy
  • A sudden start aside, as by a horse.
  • In the Eton College wall game, a point scored by lifting the ball against the wall in the calx.
  • Derived terms

    * coconut shy