Ba'shful. adj. [This word, with all those of the same race, are of uncertain etymology. Skinner imagines them derived from base, or mean; Minshew, from verbaesen, Dut. to strike with astonishment; Junius, from βασις, which he finds in Hesychius to signify shame. The conjecture of Minshew seems most probable.]
- Modest; shamefaced.
I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his sister, shew'd
Bashful sincerity, and comely love. Shakesp. M. ado about N.
- Sheepish; vitiously modest.
He looked with an almost bashful kind of modesty, as if he feared the eyes of man. Sidney.
Hence, bashful cunning!
And prompt me plain and holy innocence. Shakesp. Tempest.
Our authour, anxious for his fame to night,
And bashful in his first attempt to write,
Lies cautiously obscure. Addison's Drummer, Prologue.