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standoffish

or stand-offish

[stand-aw-fish, -of-ish] /ˈstændˈɔ fɪʃ, -ˈɒf ɪʃ/
adjective
1.
somewhat aloof or reserved; cold and unfriendly.
Origin of standoffish
1855-1860
1855-60; standoff + -ish1
Related forms
standoffishly, adverb
standoffishness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for standoffish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Harvie, who was the only one of us left, said that Sir Arthur was as standoffish and superior as ever.

  • But even at that I dont see why she should be so standoffish.

  • I am sure I don't know what to think of the English students being "standoffish" with Americans.

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • The meal ended, she rose and swept him a curtsey, neither over-friendly nor standoffish.

    Two Sides of the Face Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Not that she was still what he would have called "standoffish" with him.

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • It did, but I persisted in my standoffish attitude on that particular point of contention.

    In Jeopardy Van Tassel Sutphen
British Dictionary definitions for standoffish

standoffish

/ˌstændˈɒfɪʃ/
adjective
1.
reserved, haughty, or aloof
Derived Forms
standoffishly, adverb
standoffishness, 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 standoffish
adj.

1826, from stand off + -ish. Verbal phrase stand off "hold aloof" is from c.1600. Related: Standoffishly; standoffishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for standoffish

standing up

Related Terms

die standing up

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for standoffish

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for standoffish

0
21
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