If you are a retiring person, you avoid being at the center of attention. You can often be found in the library and other quiet places, and if someone compliments you, you're likely to blush and change the subject.

If you call someone retiring, it isn't necessarily clear whether you mean it as a compliment or something closer to a put-down. Usually, the word is used to describe someone who is shy or modest to a fault. But it can also be used to suggest that someone isn't arrogant, which is usually a good thing. And, of course, retiring can also refer to someone who stepped down from their last job and doesn't intend to work anymore.

Definitions of retiring
  1. adjective
    of a person who has held and relinquished a position or office
    “a retiring member of the board”
    synonyms: past, preceding
    leaving a place or a position
  2. adjective
    not arrogant or presuming
    “a shy retiring girl”
    synonyms: unassuming
    marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself
  3. adjective
    reluctant to draw attention to yourself
    synonyms: reticent, self-effacing
    inclined to timidity or lack of self-confidence
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘retiring'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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