Part of speech: noun

  1. modesty or shyness resulting from a lack of self-confidence; reluctance to assert oneself

Examples of


in a sentence

  • Despite her talent, she struggled with diffidence and often downplayed her achievements.
  • His diffidence prevented him from speaking up in social situations.

Did you Know?

The word “diffidence” traces its origins back to Latin, specifically from the term “diffidentia,” which means distrust or lack of confidence. It is formed from the combination of “dis-” meaning “apart” or “away from,” and “fides,” which translates to “trust” or “confidence.” Over time, the word diffidence evolved in English to denote a feeling of timidity, shyness, or lack of self-assurance. It typically describes a state of hesitancy or reluctance in asserting oneself or expressing opinions due to a lack of belief in one’s abilities or worth. Diffidence often manifests as a reluctance to engage in social interactions or take initiative, stemming from an underlying insecurity or self-doubt.

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