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[bash-fuh l] /ˈbæʃ fəl/
uncomfortably diffident and easily embarrassed; shy; timid.
indicative of, accompanied by, or proceeding from bashfulness.
Origin of bashful
1540-50; (a)bash + -ful
Related forms
bashfully, adverb
bashfulness, noun
overbashful, adjective
overbashfully, adverb
overbashfulness, noun
unbashful, adjective
unbashfully, adverb
unbashfulness, noun
1. abashed, modest. See shy1 .
arrogant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bashful
  • Charities are not bashful about looking a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Take this figure into account, and don't be bashful about asking for fair pay.
  • They are not bashful about mentioning their disagreements, to be sure.
  • She was so bashful about her success that she sometimes seemed to be apologizing for it.
  • Though given how often her legs are discreetly arranged to obscure her nether regions she's awfully bashful for a corpse.
  • Congressmen are intensely interested in how the new map will look and are not bashful about making their own suggestions.
British Dictionary definitions for bashful


disposed to attempt to avoid notice through shyness or modesty; diffident; timid
indicating or characterized by shyness or modesty
Derived Forms
bashfully, adverb
bashfulness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from bash, short for abash + -ful
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bashful

1540s, from baishen "to be filled with consternation or dismay" (mid-14c.), from Old French baissier "bring down, humiliate" (see abash). Related: Bashfully; bashfulness (1530s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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