Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality or state of being diffident; timidity or shyness.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Distrust; want of confidence in regard to anything; doubt of the ability or disposition of others.
  • noun More especially, distrust of one's self; want of confidence in one's own ability, worth, or fitness; retiring disposition; modest reserve; shyness.
  • noun Synonyms Modesty, Shyness, etc. (see bashfulness), fear, timidity, hesitation, apprehension.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Archaic The state of being diffident; distrust; want of confidence; doubt of the power, ability, or disposition of others.
  • noun Distrust of one's self or one's own powers; lack of self-reliance; modesty; modest reserve; bashfulness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The state of being diffident, timid or shy; reticence or self-effacement.
  • noun obsolete Mistrust, distrust, lack of confidence in someone or something.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun lack of self-confidence

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Some were put off by what they termed his diffidence, his driving ambition and perfectionism.

    The Do-or-Die Men

  • Some were put off by what they termed his diffidence, his driving ambition and perfectionism.

    The Do-or-Die Men

  • Some were put off by what they termed his diffidence, his driving ambition and perfectionism.

    The Do-or-Die Men

  • And since monetary policy in a liquidity trap must work mainly through its effect on expectations, such diffidence is not only an abdication of responsibility; it undermines the effectiveness of whatever monetary expansion actually takes place.

    Matthew Yglesias » Monetary Policy in an Emergency

  • And George W. Bush's blatant diffidence is annoying, too -- not that he has even the tiniest shred of credibility left, but it would be nice if he sort of tried to say or do something comforting in these bleak days.

    For Whom The Bell Dingells - Swampland - TIME.com

  • And George W. Bush's blatant diffidence is annoying, too -- not that he has even the tiniest shred of credibility left, but it would be nice if he sort of tried to say or do something comforting in these bleak days.

    For Whom The Bell Dingells - Swampland - TIME.com

  • I differ with great diffidence from the learned Baron whose Oriental reading was extensive; but the tale does not seem to justify his explanations.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • So often one comes across a passage as perfectly cut and honed as that one, uttered with a certain diffidence and yet — as is frequent with perfectionists — the product of much silent labor, reflection, and, I might add, stoicism.

    The Immortal

  • So often one comes across a passage as perfectly cut and honed as that one, uttered with a certain diffidence and yet — as is frequent with perfectionists — the product of much silent labor, reflection, and, I might add, stoicism.

    The Immortal

  • But there was also a certain diffidence about coming once again to the Empire Club, for I would think the 11th or 12th time.

    Winning Without War

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