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[shee-pish] /ˈʃi pɪʃ/
embarrassed or bashful, as by having done something wrong or foolish.
like sheep, as in meekness, docility, etc.
Origin of sheepish
1150-1200; Middle English shepisshe. See sheep, -ish1
Related forms
sheepishly, adverb
sheepishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sheepish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Andy, he said in a bold but sheepish way, you know me, dont you?

    Airship Andy Frank V. Webster
  • I ain't more 'n half a man when she's round, she makes me feel so sheepish.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • The look in Trenwith's eyes, and the sheepish, hangdog expression of his whole face made Eleanor gasp.

  • I ain't more'n half a man when she's round, she makes me feel so sheepish.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • Will she marry that good, sheepish country surgeon, who has fallen in love with her?

    The Doctor's Wife M. E. Braddon
  • Then with a sheepish laugh Frederik abruptly changed the subject.

British Dictionary definitions for sheepish


abashed or embarrassed, esp through looking foolish or being in the wrong
resembling a sheep in timidity or lack of initiative
Derived Forms
sheepishly, adverb
sheepishness, noun
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 sheepish

c.1200, "resembling a sheep" in some perceived characteristic, from sheep + -ish. The sense of "bashful, over-modest, awkward among strangers" first is recorded 1690s. Related: Sheepishly; sheepishness. Old English had sceaplic "of a sheep, 'sheep-ly.'"

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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