diffident


dif·fi·dent

adjective \ˈdi-fə-dənt, -ˌdent\

: lacking confidence : not feeling comfortable around people

: very careful about acting or speaking

Full Definition of DIFFIDENT

1
:  hesitant in acting or speaking through lack of self-confidence
2
archaic :  distrustful
3
dif·fi·dent·ly adverb

Examples of DIFFIDENT

  1. She was diffident about stating her opinion.
  2. <for someone who makes a living performing for other people, the actress is remarkably diffident in real life>
  3. Being suspicious of conventions, demotic equals were often at a loss in their daily encounters: shall one act diffident or clamant of one's rights? —Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, 2000

Origin of DIFFIDENT

Middle English, from Latin diffident-, diffidens, present participle of diffidere to distrust, from dis- + fidere to trust — more at bide
First Known Use: 15th century

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