squeamish

If you fainted or threw up at the sight of frog intestines in biology class, you’re squeamish — easily nauseated or shocked by unpleasant, icky things. No horror movies for you!

We get squeamish from the Anglo-French word escoimous, meaning disdainful or shy. It can mean shy of blood or gore, or less often, it is used to describe a prissy kind of fear of confrontation with others. How can you become a heart surgeon if you’re squeamish enough to faint every time you get a paper cut? If you’re squeamish about confronting the noisy neighbors, why not slip a note under their door asking them to pipe down?

Definitions of squeamish
1

adj excessively fastidious and easily disgusted

“so squeamish he would only touch the toilet handle with his elbow”
Synonyms:
dainty, nice, overnice, prissy
fastidious
giving careful attention to detail; hard to please; excessively concerned with cleanliness

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.