Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality or property of being bashful; shyness; reserve; timidity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality of being bashful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being bashful; excessive or extreme modesty; timorous shyness; want of confidence. [Formerly, like bashful, a term of commendation, equivalent to modesty.
  • n. Synonyms Bashfulness, Modesty, Diffidence, Shyness, Coyness, timidity, sheepishness. Bashfulness, literally readiness to be abashed, designates timidity and a disturbed state of feeling at meeting with others, or being brought into any prominence. It is natural and not unbecoming to the young, but with advancing years seems a defect; it is often a transient state of feeling. Modesty goes deeper into the character; it is either a proper and becoming distrust of one's self and one's powers, or a high-minded freedom from assurance and assumption; it is always an excellence, unless explicitly said to be excessive. Diffidence is a defect; it is an undue distrust of self, with fear of being censured for failure, tending to unfit one for duty. Shyness is simply a constitutional shrinking from contact with others; it is the result of sensitiveness. Coyness is shyness where advances are made by others; a shrinking from familiarity, perhaps in a coquettish way.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. feeling embarrassed due to modesty

Etymologies

bashful +‎ -ness (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Nuzhat al-Zaman bowed her head in bashfulness when she heard what he said and communed with herself,

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • "Nay, farther," continued Mr. Silton, "there are two distinct sorts of what we call bashfulness; this, the awkwardness of a booby, which

    The Man of Feeling

  • Then we sat down to converse and I hung my head earthwards in bashfulness, but she delayed not long ere she set before me a tray of the most exquisite viands, marinated meats, fritters soaked in bee’s536 honeys and chickens stuffed with sugar and pistachio nuts, whereof we ate till we were satisfied.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Steele mentions with great tenderness “that remarkable bashfulness, which is a cloak that hides and muffles merit; ” and tells us, that “his abilities were covered only by modesty, which doubles the beauties which are seen, and gives credit and esteem to all that are concealed.

    Life of Addison, 1672-1719

  • It does not seem, indeed, as if men were ever born modest, unless we dub with the name of modesty a sort of purely physical bashfulness, which is nearer to pride than is generally supposed.

    Laughter : an Essay on the Meaning of the Comic

  • He exhibits a reserve, diffidence, and even bashfulness, which is in some degree attractive, and leads the observer to thinly that the ferocious and bloodthirsty character imputed to the race must be grossly exaggerated.

    The Malay Archipelago, the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature — Volume 2

  • Steele mentions, with great tenderness, "that remarkable bashfulness, which is a cloak that hides and muffles merit;" and tells us, "that his abilities were covered only by modesty, which doubles the beauties which are seen, and gives credit and esteem to all that are concealed."

    Lives of the Poets, Volume 1

  • She replied not without timidity, but without that hasty bashfulness which is so often taken for modesty.

    Rudin

  • He had a kind of bashfulness that a married man would have lost.

    Maigret and the Lazy Burglar

  • There may be many difficulties in your way, such as bashfulness, want of fluent speech, awkwardness of manner, and ignorance.

    Trials and Triumphs of Faith

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