Italian Word of the Day: Timido (shy)

A very easy adjective for English speakers to remember in Italian is timido, meaning shy, bashful or timid. Both timido and the English timid derive from the Latin word timidus.

IPA: /tì·mi·do/

As with many adjectives in Italian, the ending tells you whether the subject is masculine or feminine / singular or plural.

  • timido = masculine, singular
  • timida = feminine, singular
  • timidi = masculine, plural
  • timide = feminine, plural

Fin da bambino, sono sempre stato molto timido.

Since I was a child, I’ve always been shy.


Timido can also function as a noun to refer specifically to a person who is shy. An extremely shy person might receive the nickname timidone (masculine) or timidona (feminine), with the suffixes -one and -ona meaning big.

Pietro era il timido del gruppo.

Pietro was the shy one in the group.


Dai, non fare la timidona. Fatti coraggio!

Come on, don’t be so shy. Show some courage!


italian word for shy is timido
Un gatto timido?A shy cat? 🙂

Some close synonyms of timido include:

  • introverso = introverted
  • riservato = reserved
  • chiuso = closed
  • timoroso = fearful

An additional meaning of timido that has nothing to do with shyness is faint, feeble or weak. It is used for actions that lack conviction or enthusiasm (e.g. un timido tentativo = a feeble attempt), or things that exert only a small force (e.g. un timido raggio di sole = a faint ray of light).

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