How do you say SHY in Italian?

How exactly do you say shy in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different words you can use to talk about being shy in Italian. Read on to learn all you need to know!


Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Shy in Italian


Timido is how you translate shy into Italian. Let’s listen to how this adjective is pronounced.

Its pronunciation is similar to tee-me-doh and it comes from the Latin word timēre, “to dread”. Make sure the final -o has a clean sound, because Italian vowel sounds are clean!


boy too shy to talk to peers

Like all other adjectives in Italian, timido needs to match the gender and number of the noun.


If a man is shy, you would say timido because man, uomo, is a masculine noun in Italian.

Likewise, you will say timida, if you’re talking about a woman, donna, which is a feminine noun.

Plural nouns behave the same way: if you want to describe a group of shy children (masculine plural), use timidi. If you’re talking about some shy girls (feminine plural), use timide instead.

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Language: English / Italian
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Pages: 672

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For example, you could say…

Mio figlio è sempre stato molto timido.
My son has always been very shy.

Non siate così timidi, ragazzi. Fatevi avanti!
Don’t be so shy, boys. Step right up!

Una persona timida tende a parlare poco.
A shy person tends to speak little.

Non essere timida!
Don’t be shy!

shy girl hiding behind her hands

Timido is an adjective, and timidezza, shyness, is derived from it. It is a masculine noun and it is not used in the plural.

Mi piace la tua timidezza.
I like your shyness.

Another type of emotion is imbarazzo, embarrassment.

Essere in imbarazzo is a very common idiom that means “to be embarrassed” and literally translates to “to be in embarrassment”. Sentirsi in imbarazzo, on the other hand, means “to feel embarrassment”.

Il bambino si sente in imbarazzo in mezzo agli adulti.
The child feels embarrassed in the presence of adults.

Mattia ha le guance rosse per l’imbarazzo.
Mattia’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment.

embarrassed girl

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to say shy in Italian!

What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to say shy in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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