from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not drawing attention to oneself; modest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Shy, extremely humble and modest; making oneself seem unnoticeable.

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

  • adj. reluctant to draw attention to yourself


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Weingart stared straight ahead, his expression self-effacing, his hands resting on the spokes of his steering wheel.

    The Glass Rainbow

  • Lily is a rather private person and has been described as self-effacing.


  • This rabbi is too self-effacing and that one— good God!

    The Search

  • Though self-effacing "It isn't my personality to be particularly proud of what I do" the composer seems to recognize his legacy as arguably the only living film composer with both classical credentials and name recognition among everyday moviegoers.

    The Last Movie Maestro

  • "We did not know about that," Kriemler says, in characteristically self-effacing fashion.

    The Discreet Charm of Akris

  • Soft-spoken and self-effacing, Isaak may be an unconventional host, but after three decades as recording artist (Wicked Game, Heart Shaped World) and actor (Silence of the Lambs, That Thing You Do!), the Grammy-nominated native of Stockton, Calif., can relate to the humble beginnings and seesaw careers of fellow artists.

    New talk-show host Chris Isaak won't 'just be asking questions'

  • After all, she's endeared herself to Americans with not just her hard partying ways, but her funny musings on life whale sperm is why the ocean is salty and self-effacing television appearances.

    Snooki In Rolling Stone: 'I Just Look Like S**t'

  • Schlesinger remarked, with a self-effacing chuckle, "I've done that myself", referring to his father and namesake, who had been Chairman of the History Department at Harvard.


  • "They were as different as any two auto executives could be," Mr. Vlasic writes, "the self-effacing, by-the-book chief executive officer and his mercurial, outspoken deputy."

    The Long Road Back to Competition

  • Charlotte Moore, artistic director of New York's Irish Repertory Theatre, staged Brian Friel's two best plays, "Molly Sweeney" and "Dancing at Lughnasa," with the tender, self-effacing delicacy that she brings to all her work.

    Revival of the Fittest: Great Shows Roar Back


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