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[stand-aw-fish, -of-ish] /ˈstændˈɔ fɪʃ, -ˈɒf ɪʃ/
somewhat aloof or reserved; cold and unfriendly.
Origin of standoffish
1855-60; standoff + -ish1
Related forms
standoffishly, adverb
standoffishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for standoffish
  • At the track, she can be brash and standoffish, focused solely on the task at hand.
  • He treats all the skate kids with open camaraderie, in contrast to his standoffish mien in adult conversation.
  • Please don't take our officer safety skills as being rude or standoffish.
  • Salukis show great affection toward their owners, she said, but can be standoffish with strangers.
  • The kitty could be called adorable, if a little standoffish.
  • It was a genre standoffish to outsiders, affectionately malicious to those within small, happy circles.
  • But if you're a little standoffish or a little reserved, it's a bit harder.
British Dictionary definitions for standoffish


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

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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