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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
  • Looking sheepish in the face of such unquestionable dignity, the hooligans skulk away.
  • The cell phone was tucked away with a sheepish grin.
  • He said he'd meet me there, and he was quite sheepish.
  • Investors nursing large losses are certainly feeling rather sheepish now.
  • Don't feel sheepish if you guessed that it would fall.
  • Talking of private wolves at the door or biased opinion on sheepish electors is to entirely miss the point.
  • He told me, in a slightly sheepish but deliberate way, about why the land had been cleared.
  • Look at the sheepish faces on players when they're wrong, and listen to the clucking from announcers.
  • Instead, they are looking sheepish and have alienated the people who will be the party's future.
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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