Definition of diffidence in English:



mass noun
  • Modesty or shyness resulting from a lack of self-confidence.

    ‘I say this with some diffidence’
    • ‘It is with diffidence and humility that I greet the ultimate constitutional power in the Republic, the Presidential electors.’
    • ‘But when they open the back door of each van, and peer into the sardine-packed interior, they are met by decades of accumulated mistrust, suspicion, diffidence and fear.’
    • ‘If there was a little hesitation and diffidence as the games began, it soon vanished without a trace, for even the kids who seemed shy, lost their self-consciousness and joined wholeheartedly in the activities.’
    • ‘So I think with some reluctance, with some diffidence, I come down on the positive side of the question.’
    • ‘After the initial period of diffidence and hesitation, the young ones got along quite well with one another, and became totally absorbed in the proceedings.’
    shyness, bashfulness, unassertiveness, modesty, modestness, self-effacement, humility, humbleness, meekness, timidity, timidness, timorousness, reserve, reticence, introversion
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