diffidence

noun
dif·​fi·​dence | \ ˈdi-fə-dən(t)s How to pronounce diffidence (audio) , -fə-ˌden(t)s \

Definition of diffidence

: the quality or state of being unassertive or bashful : the quality or state of being diffident

Examples of diffidence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After some initial diffidence, Biden seems to have helped lead the West into a response to Russia's aggression that neither validates assaults on a weaker neighbor's sovereignty nor unleashes World War III. W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 2 Mar. 2022 By the time the final act rolls around, Lamb approaches the idea that there’s a price that must be paid with a shrugging diffidence rather than impending doom. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 9 Oct. 2021 By the time the final act rolls around, ‘Lamb’ approaches the idea that there’s a price that must be paid with a shrugging diffidence rather than impending doom. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 8 Oct. 2021 The asymmetry between the strategic single focus of the Christian right and the secular majority’s diffidence in confronting claims to religious privilege explains a good deal: political victory goes to those who try harder. Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books, 1 July 2021 And the former President's quasi-endorsement of Abrams reveals the diffidence among party leaders about how to proceed. Michael Warren, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 The asymmetry between the strategic single focus of the Christian right and the secular majority’s diffidence in confronting claims to religious privilege explains a good deal: political victory goes to those who try harder. Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books, 1 July 2021 The asymmetry between the strategic single focus of the Christian right and the secular majority’s diffidence in confronting claims to religious privilege explains a good deal: political victory goes to those who try harder. Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books, 1 July 2021 Rowdy because of the ebullience of the two Black women—Loreen, originally from Jamaica, and Wanda, from Liberia—and fitful because of Artung, who is Chinese, and Lucing and Flavia, both Filipina and with a diffidence that is almost familial. Han Ong, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diffidence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of diffidence

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for diffidence

Middle English dyffidence, borrowed from Latin diffīdentia, from diffīdent-, diffīdens "distrustful, diffident" + -ia -ia entry 1

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The first known use of diffidence was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near diffidence

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diffidence

diffidency

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Cite this Entry

“Diffidence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diffidence. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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