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Definition of bashfulness:

  • (noun) feeling embarrassed due to modesty | shyness | timidity

Sentence Examples:

He was prevented from doing so by an unconquerable feeling of bashfulness; and he had no example to guide him, inasmuch as she was different from other women.

The space was almost impracticably small; and the Irish wenches combined the extreme of bashfulness about this innocent display with a surprising impudence and roughness of address.

Sudden, grotesque playfulness was succeeded by equally sudden and grotesque bashfulness; now an eager intrepidity of wild enthusiasm, defying all decorum, and then a sour, severe reserve, full of angry and terrified suspicion of imaginary improprieties.

He was a little nervous at first, but had none of the distressing bashfulness which would have overpowered an English lad, a complete bookworm and wholly unused to society; in fact, it is rare to see an Italian thoroughly awkward, or thoroughly timid.

Graceful by nature and by education, his manners were embarrassed by no kind of bashfulness; for although his acquaintance with society was but limited, yet there were two feelings in his bosom which gave him ever perfect self-possession without presumption.

Thus, greediness and suspicion, curiosity and timidity, coyness and desire, bashfulness and vanity, sociability and pugnacity, seem to shoot over into each other as quickly, and to remain in as unstable an equilibrium, in the higher birds and mammals as in man.

At the same time, unlike most great talkers, she possessed to a very eminent degree the gifts of learning from others, of grasping the characteristic features of their teaching, of awakening sympathies, of dispelling bashfulness, and of kindling latent intellect into a flame.

She knew what it must look like to her husband, this weak recourse to the protection of Augustine's presence; it looked like bashfulness, a further feminine wile, made up of self-deception and allurement, a putting off of final surrender for the greater sweetness of delay.

Timid to the verge of bashfulness, utterly unaffected, and yet sincere, tender, and thoughtful in each and every utterance; a beautiful flower grown to perfection among the rocks of this seldom visited island, untrained by conventionality and unsullied by the world.

Cheviot did in fact cut a worse figure than George Rivers of old, having a great fund of natural bashfulness and self-consciousness, which did not much damage his dignity, but made his attempts at gaiety and ease extremely awkward, not to say sheepish.

His conversation and his manners showed that he had received a superior education, and that he was accustomed to good society, while his reserve and bashfulness, which prevented him from allowing his attachment to be seen, made him all the dearer to me.

His stiffness, which was too gentle for hauteur, and too self-possessed for bashfulness, was a constitutional or rather, perhaps, a national reserve; which made some amends for its repulsive effect upon strangers, by gratifying the vanity of those who were able to overcome it.

Miss Patty had great conversational abilities and immense power of small talk, so that Verdant felt quite at ease in her society, and found his natural timidity and quiet bashfulness to be greatly diminished, even if they were not altogether put on one side.

His doubts, if any doubts remained, were soon removed, for the stranger sank on the bank at her side, in an attitude in which female bashfulness was beautifully contrasted with her attire, and gave vent to her mirth in an uncontrollable burst of merriment.

Of the other charms of the ladies I shall be silent, though justice obliges me to mention, that, in the opinion of some amongst us, they shew a degree of timidity and bashfulness, which are, perhaps, inseparable from the female character in its rudest state.

An Attic atmosphere, a dignified sensuousness, a chaste and charming grace, distinguish the whole scene, striking us perhaps most in the little touches which describe the two girls, particularly the younger, aged sixteen, with her mixture of bashfulness and attractive straightforwardness.

Fond of gay clothes, of gaudy furniture, and brilliant decoration, they love nothing so much as display; and though assuming a demure and timid air, cannot be highly praised on this account, for their bashfulness is, in such cases, more apparent than real.

In the expression of her face there was such sudden, bitter suffering; the conflict between bashfulness, sorrow, and confidence in me was so simply, so touchingly apparent in the unconscious movement of her poor little head that it sent a pang to my heart.

Addison when he was free from that remarkable bashfulness which is a cloak that hides and muffles merit; and his abilities were covered only by modesty, which doubles the beauties which are seen, and gives credit and esteem to all that are concealed.'

Few, indeed, among the many penitents I have examined, have escaped the evils of a similar state; for, what a silly bashfulness does in children, is often, in after-life, the immediate effect of that shame by which fallen frailty clings still to wounded virtue.

He was a singular compound, in his nature, of courage and timidity, of weakness and strength; uniting a penchant for mirth with a proneness to melancholy, and blending the lion-like qualities of a leader among men, with the bashfulness and lamb-like simplicity of a child.

His gruffness was in no sense from anger, but merely his mode of speaking emphatically, and a way of hiding that bashfulness so common to mountaineers, who are usually, as here, a shy and kindly people with much more genuine benevolence than grace of manner.

Clear-sighted and prudent, loving and unselfish at the same time, his glance is projected downwards; and all things that are illumined by this double ray of light, nature conjures to discharge their strength, to reveal their most hidden secret, and this through bashfulness.

With the same adorable yet dignified bashfulness that I had already noted in her, the lovely woman looked hesitatingly at her lady-in-waiting, which lively wench, not being troubled with timidity (as she had already sufficiently demonstrated), promptly took upon herself to answer me.

Take the sanctity of marriage, the facility of divorce, the chastity of woman, the shame, modesty, and bashfulness of girlhood, the abhorrence of illegitimacy, and there is no people in this land who, in these regards, have received such deadly thrusts as this race of ours.

There may be a sprightly vacancy, an openness in the face, without the least tincture of any indecent air of levity: as there may be a captivating modesty, without any of that bashfulness which arises either from low breeding, wrong breeding, or no breeding at all.

Schiller's temper was naturally devout; with a delicacy of feeling which tended towards bashfulness and timidity, there was mingled in him a fervid impetuosity, which was ever struggling through its concealment, and indicating that he felt deeply and strongly, as well as delicately.

Natural declaimers and reciters from babyhood, their tongues always eager for utterance, almost devoid of that bashfulness that works the undoing of the less fluent but perhaps deeper thinking races, they seemed seasoned actors in those points which called for strictly histrionic ability.

It was a young man with light yellow hair and a little fair mustache, which made him appear almost boyish; he was light-complexioned and blue-eyed, and had a frank and pleasant look mingled with a curious bashfulness that made him blush when people spoke to him.

A shrill girlish giggle, a playful jerk of the "caution's" arm, a deprecating noise from his manly lips, which may have been caused by bashfulness at the compliment, or more probably by the unconsumed portion of the morning Woodbine, and the couple moved out of hearing.

Whether it were that Tom with his grave satirical manner contrived to render the house disagreeable to both brother and sister, or whether Leonard's boyish bashfulness had taken alarm, and his admiration expended itself in the battle for her charms, there was no knowing.

The girls all laughed merrily at this, but Effie, blushing still deeper, drew her sun-bonnet closely over her face, and tripped lightly on before him, so fleetly, too, whether from bashfulness or mischief, that her gallant could scarcely keep pace with her twinkling feet.

It appears, from the various pictures of the world, that, with all his bashfulness, he had conversed with many distinct classes of men, had surveyed their ways with very diligent observation, and marked with great acuteness the effects of different modes of life.

He had no sense of humor and not a particle of bashfulness, and, if he had reasoned on the subject at all, would have imputed their hilarity to the natural propensity of women to giggle, rather than have entertained any suspicion that he had made himself ridiculous.

It appears, from his various pictures of the world, that, with all his bashfulness, he had conversed with many distinct classes of men, had surveyed their ways with very diligent observation, and marked, with great acuteness, the effects of different modes of life.

He felt very strongly that something more fixed than that first virgin bashfulness, wherewith a maiden will always invent for the dazzling sun of love, besides the dawn, a twilight too, and again another for that, hindered the fiery melting together of their souls.

Every one of them seems to have at least two admirers dangling after her, while she is almost sure to carry herself as if a wedding were the last thing she would ever consent to think of; and that not because of bashfulness, but from downright aversion.

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."

He gave a low sort of chuckle of laughter, most bizarre expression of his feelings, and dropped into the first chair he could find in such agonies of bashfulness and pleasure as would have better beseemed a charity boy than a man trained to encounter with the world.

He knelt penitently before the king, humbly assuring his Majesty that he had been preparing this device, and many others, to please and surprise him; but that, through the bungling of some, and the bashfulness of others, he was obliged to enact the parts himself.

As he probably came, in spite of his disclaimer, from America or the colonies, which are belated places, toiling in vain far in the rear of Bond Street, Philip thought this an exceedingly proper display of bashfulness, especially in a man who had only landed in England yesterday.

This crude joviality and the smell of corn whiskey that was beginning to pervade the atmosphere soon cured the young fellows of their bashfulness, and there was much pulling and pushing of the girls from their seats, which they pretended to wish to retain.

And as if some suspicion, some comprehension of this hostile glance had dawned upon the man's mind he answered with a wrathful flash from his large eyes, and for all at once the humble serf was turned into a raging fiend checked by no sense of bashfulness.

Said Linda, and came to meet him, interweaving the delicate vine-tendrils of soft glances with his, so shyly and so lovingly; and the evening blush of bashfulness, like a spring-redness in the night, mantled her heaven, and the white moon of innocence stood in the midst of it.

At first Emily was shy and silent, which Charley perceiving, he also assumed a look of extreme timidity, not to say distressing bashfulness, which so imposed upon simple little Emily, that, pitying his evident embarrassment, she would timidly try to help him out by opening a conversation.

As for his awkwardness, I can readily imagine that a boy so intensely preoccupied would not appear in so favorable a light to strangers as one who should seek the society of people rather than books, and a superficial observer might have mistaken his air of abstraction for rustic bashfulness.

When she came down again in a shimmer of silver and white, set cunningly with frosted rowan berries showing a glint of scarlet here and there, she knew so well that her dress was perfect, that from a new bashfulness she turned the tables on him swiftly.

These physicians recognize that there are two distinct types of bashfulness, the one chronic, the other occasional, both of which represent an abnormal exaggeration of the shyness which is a normal characteristic of nearly every child, and which manifests itself in blushing, fidgeting, hiding the face, etc.

Wearing a broad grin of mingled pride and bashfulness, and looking very stiff and awkward in one of the brightest tweed suits ever seen off the stage, Spike stood for a moment in the doorway to let his appearance sink into the spectator, then advanced into the room.

Not a shadow of any pretension unbecoming her age, an exquisite care of her person without the faintest trace of coquetry, a complete oblivion of her departed youth, a sort of bashfulness at being old, and a touching desire, not to please, but to be forgiven; such is my adorable marquise.

She thought he looked very handsome like that, with his broad shoulders, big flushed face, and fair curly hair, and she looked at him so complacently, with that air of admiration which women feel they may safely express for quite young lads, that he relapsed into timid bashfulness again.

It would be difficult to specify the meaning of the strange girl's somewhat sunburned face; there was a degree of severity in it, and, in this same severity, somewhat of raillery at the blacksmith's bashfulness, as well as a little vexation, which spread an almost imperceptible blush over her features.

A quantity of fair hair, disposed with great simplicity and neatness, appeared in front of her round and good-humored face, to which the solemnity of her errand, and her sense of the Duke's rank and importance, gave an appearance of deep awe, but not of slavish fear, or fluttered bashfulness.

It must be mentioned to their honor, that they were always properly clothed, and behaved with the utmost decorum; justly deserving all commendation, for a bashfulness and modesty becoming their sex: and this was the more meritorious in them, as the male inhabitants discovered no sense of shame.

With the utmost gravity and stateliness my lady and the general led off the dance, for, according to the good old fashion, the men and maids in their best array joined the gentlefolk and danced with their betters in a high state of pride and bashfulness.

In it, that he might be the better seen, stood a young man, tall, ruddy-faced, and clad in royal attire, who looked downward as though from bashfulness, but all the while scanned the crowd out of the corners of his dim blue eyes shaded by lids devoid of lashes.

The consciousness of being half-caught in the act of peeping, joined to that native air of awkward bashfulness of which I am told the law will soon free me, kept me standing on the floor in some confusion; while the lady, disconcerted on her part, remained on the threshold of the room.

Certainly, if he were a girl, he never should fix upon Julien for a lover; but women often have tastes that men can not comprehend, and Julien's refinement of nature, his bashfulness, and even his reserve, might easily have fascinated a girl of such strong will and somewhat peculiar notions.

Having with all that peculiar bashfulness such occasions are sure to elicit, disclaimed the happiness my friends so clearly ascribed to me, I yet pretty plainly let it be understood that the more brilliant they supposed my present prospects to be, the more near were they to estimate them justly.

Now, had it not been for pure maiden-like bashfulness, they would, doubtless, have added, that when they did see me, they were profuse in expressions of their gratitude to me for having merely named their paper in my Register a thing, which, as I told them, I myself had forgotten.

He held it in his hand without opening it; but the sparkle in his dark eye did not betoken the bashfulness of fondness, and Louis, taking a turn along the deck to watch him unperceived, saw him raise his hand as if to throw the poor letter overboard at once.

A gay robe of scarlet and yellow plaid, carefully made and neatly fitted, set off to advantage the dark and rich style of his beauty; and a certain comic air of assurance, blended with bashfulness, showed that he had been not unused to being petted and noticed by his master.

Time and again, applying some one of the delicate methods by which they tunnel into the most obscure recesses of the mind, medical psychologists have dragged into the full light of conscious recollection forgotten memories which the victims of bashfulness themselves recognize as connected with the onset of their abnormal timidity.

Every one said that she was even cleverer and more learned than her mother, but I was never in a position to judge of that, since, overcome with craven bashfulness at the mere thought of her intellect and accomplishments, I never spoke to her alone but once, and then with unaccountable trepidation.

He pictured to himself her delighted surprise at his unexpected return, and the rich blush which would suffuse her lovely cheeks, as, overcoming the natural bashfulness of love, forgetful of the formal etiquette of society, of everything, in her joy of seeing him, she would throw herself into his arms.

That something the modern medical psychologist is beginning to believe he has discovered through proceeding on the assumption that bashfulness is far more than a mere innate weakness or character defect; that it is, in reality, a functional nervous trouble, differing only in degree, not in kind, from hysteria and other psychoneuroses.

There was a pause, my dingy adherent keeping his vantage ground at the cabin-door, as if unwilling to trust himself within arm's length, until he knew how the land lay, and endeavoring to look very modest and sheepish; but his assumed bashfulness was but a flimsy cloak to his native impudence.

In a private audience then he kissed her hand, and those of the King and his saintly sister, Elizabeth, while the Queen gratefully expressed her thanks, and the King stood by, with tears in his eyes, but withheld by his awkward bashfulness from expressing the feelings that overpowered him.

She was of the middle size, or rather less, but formed with much elegance; piercing dark eyes, and jet-black hair of great length, corresponded with the vivacity and intelligence of features in which were blended a little haughtiness, and a little bashfulness, a great deal of shrewdness, and some power of humorous sarcasm.

Worn out with the anxiety and grief of the last few days, she had sunk on her bed and fallen asleep, and now, standing in the door-way, dazzled by the light and confused by the presence of the noble stranger, she was a pretty picture of maidenly bashfulness and timidity.

In another compartment, crumbling with age, he is seen again in his last mad prank, perched on a stony tree with the milkmaids' stony habiliments under his arm, and an unmistakable grin on his stony, greasy face, while the owners of the dresses are standing below in various attitudes of bashfulness imploring their restoration.

I blushed, half with shame, half with bashfulness, to be thus singled out, but considering it my duty to be as great a blackguard as my companions, I joined in the chorus of ridicule and insult in a manner which effectually disabused the poor lady of her suspicion that I was any better than the others.

Many were the smiles and blessings that followed the dainty little lady as she glided about, and if any sought to detain her she answered their questions with a kind of child-like dignity, mingled with bashfulness enchanting to behold, and then darted back to her mother, whose melancholy eyes were always on the watch.

She listened with modest bashfulness to the words of the great tribunes of the people, and oftentimes with a smile or a soft word she reconciled the royalists, those old friends who sought in this drawing-room for the Viscountess de Beauharnais, and found there only the wife of the president of the National Assembly.

When Perk was once fairly aroused he apparently lost his customary bashfulness, and could tell a story that brought out more than a few laughs because of what queer things he narrated, and his comical way of relating the same, his expressive freckled face all working with imitations of how other men did their talking.

That she should wear such a head-covering in the house was funny enough in itself, but the rest of her dress was also extremely odd, and she kept the front of her dark projecting bonnet turned downward or away, as if she had never served gentlemen before, and was very much overpowered by bashfulness.

The courageous Amazon, who would cudgel the roughest sailor at the slightest flippancy, herself took the initiative, overcoming the bashfulness of that timid overgrown boy; and he, submissive rather than seeking, allowed things to take their course, like a superior being with thoughts absorbed in higher things, and responding to affairs of earth like an automaton.

Ed was always the peace-maker, and now, when he rose with his engaging smile, his voice fell like oil upon the troubled waters, and his bright face was full of the becoming bashfulness which afflicts youths of seventeen when touching upon such subjects of newly acquired interest as girls and their pleasant but perplexing ways.

Though often homesick, heartsick, and worn out, I like it, find real pleasure in comforting, tending, and cheering these poor souls who seem to love me, to feel my sympathy though unspoken, and acknowledge my hearty good-will, in spite of the ignorance, awkwardness, and bashfulness which I cannot help showing in so new and trying a situation.

I dare say the very bashfulness which has been my bane has prevented me; the idea of being cut down from a rafter, with a black-and-blue face, and drawn out of the water with a swollen one, has put me so out of countenance that I had not the courage to brave a coroner's jury under the circumstances.

Dick's natural bashfulness was sorely tested when we got alongside, and found the ship swarming in all directions with busy grinning faces, wherever they could get a squint at us and our little passenger; and when I stepped on deck, I had not the courage to take the child up, but left him in the boat.

She is a blooming young creature of English fairness-as we English choose to say-with a bright native color, and beautiful light hair ; otherwise with but indifferent features, and not handsome : yet her air, though modest even to the extreme that borders upon bashfulness, is distinguished, and speaks her to be both sensible and well brought up.

He was altogether as inflexible with respect to the attitudes of his body; for, either through obstinacy or bashfulness, he sat upright without motion, insomuch that he provoked the mirth of a certain wag, who, addressing himself to the lieutenant, asked whether that was the commodore himself, or the wooden lion that used to stand at his gate?

The princess hearing this, stood for a moment irresolute, with her head bent down, her eyes half closed, her eyebrows quivering, her bosom agitated by hurried breathing and wetted by tears of joy, restlessly moving one foot, as if scratching the ground, and betraying the struggle between bashfulness and love by alternate blushes and paleness.

The latter being totally unencumbered by bashfulness, the presence of strangers acts as no restraint; and a dinner taken in the company of a large family of boys, of stolid parents, and indifferent elder sisters, is for the newly-imported English visitor a novel and rather startling experience, the details of which, however, are best left to oblivion.

The masculine type with which I was acquainted from the soldiers, was undeniably handsomer than our own, in particular, was more intelligent; the young women were modest, reserved in their manner, seldom entered into conversation with the men, and despite the fire in their eyes, manifested a certain peasant bashfulness, which seems to be the same everywhere.

She opened her door at the same moment as Violet advanced into the gallery, her tall taper figure arrayed in bridal lace, not much whiter than her long neck and rounded arms, a wreath of roses around her dark tresses, brilliant flowers in her hand, her soft eyes bright with pleasure, and her beauteous complexion deepened by bashfulness.

Their latter speeches had scarce been understood by Ambrose, even if he heard them, so full was he of conflicting feelings, now ready to cast himself before their feet, and entreat the Dean to help him to guidance, now withheld by bashfulness, unwillingness to interrupt, and ingenuous shame at appearing like an eavesdropper towards such dignified and venerable personages.

He had brought up with him, too, from his subterranean school-room a certain bashfulness which ordinary men and almost his father take for simplicity, but which men in higher life, if it only appears, as with him, in the company not of a staring, but of an overfull, enthusiastic eye, regard as the order-cross of a brother of the order.

From this fable we may observe the two extremes in which we may fail, as to a proper behavior towards our superiors: the one is a bashfulness, proceeding either from a vicious guilty mind, or a timorous rusticity; the other, an over-bearing impudence, which assumes more than becomes it, and so renders the person insufferable to the conversation of well-bred reasonable people.

After the foregoing remarks, it is almost superfluous to add, that I consider all those feminine airs of maturity, which succeed bashfulness, to which truth is sacrificed, to secure the heart of a husband, or rather to force him to be still a lover when nature would, had she not been interrupted in her operations, have made love give place to friendship, as immodest.

Apropos of their "splendid strolling," and the fun incidental thereto, Dickens observed to his wife, in a letter dated from Clifton, November 13, 1851: "I forgot to say that Topham has suddenly come out as a juggler, and swallows candles, and does wonderful things with the poker very well indeed, but with a bashfulness and embarrassment extraordinarily ludicrous."

On the 2nd of January we left the capital, mounting our mules just outside the main streets of the town, as a concession to my feelings of bashfulness; for I had no wish to shock the sensibilities of the fashionable society of the capital by riding through the streets in a short walking-dress, or to expose my bad horsemanship to their criticism.

She had not expected to be much troubled by inopportune bashfulness, and when she found herself again in a studio, beheld the easels and drawing-boards, canvases and palettes, smelt the characteristic odors and heard the familiar artistic jargon of the students, she had felt herself to be an acolyte in a temple wherein was worshiped the perpetuation of the beautiful.

Always, in truth, the story seems to be the same: there has been in the chronically bashful man's early life some specific shock, fright, or anxiety, which, provoking in a supersensitive mind feelings of extreme embarrassment, has established a bashfulness that may not fully yield to any method of treatment until the remote and usually forgotten cause is recalled to remembrance.

In society, particularly in the company of those distinguished for their talents or literary attainments, his reserve and bashfulness were insuperable, and it was not until a degree of intimacy was established by frequent association, that he could be brought to communicate the sentiments of his mind, or to impress a belief upon the company, that he was possessed of any superior qualifications.

His native bashfulness had, in some measure, been overcome by his intercourse with the world, and the humility of his nature, though occasionally assaulted by the accident of a new coat and an extra supply of gold lace, or by the hearty commendations of his superiors, was genuine, and, in the main, saved him from the besetting sin of his years.

It was an act totally unexpected by Blanche, but it was done with such a noble grace by the boy, and with an air of such delicate refinement, while a glow of boyish bashfulness swept over his fine face, that the most fastidious could not have found in it just cause for resentment, much less the guileless and innocent child-woman before him.

That may be taken by the husband with his wife, that may not be quite shocking, which, if the wife bears before her friends, will serve for a lesson to that friend; and if that friend bears to be present at them without check or bashfulness, will show a sagacious fellow that she can bear as much herself, at proper time and place.

He had for some time been pacing the drawing-room with rather impatient steps, when, on facing the door, it opened, and Donna Clara appeared, enveloped in the full and graceful drapery of her travelling dress, a slight pallor on her delicate cheeks, her eyes soft and liquid, and with a slight degree of bashfulness in her manner as she advanced into the room.