mod·​es·​ty | \ ˈmä-də-stē How to pronounce modesty (audio) \

Definition of modesty

1 : the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities She accepted the award with modesty.
2 : propriety in dress, speech, or conduct The young man was known for his modesty.

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Examples of modesty in a Sentence

She accepted the award with modesty. He is known for his modesty, an uncommon characteristic for a politician. There was no false modesty in her victory speech. the modesty of her clothing
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Recent Examples on the Web

The shayla is a recent addition to her wardrobe, a symbol of modesty reflecting her recent conversion to Islam. Monica Haider, Teen Vogue, "How Young, American Muslims Are Dating and Finding Love in New York City," 30 July 2019 Besides being appealing, Mr Buttigieg’s modesty is tactically useful. Lexington | Washington, The Economist, "Joe Biden struggles in the Democratic primary debate," 28 June 2019 The modesty guideline required students to be covered from their shoulders to their thighs, included a required length for skirts and shorts. Taylor Hartz,, "Ridgewood High School gives students more freedom with ’equitable’ dress code," 25 June 2019 For example, Lee has found that children in cultures that value modesty will tell lies to play down their achievements. National Geographic, "Episode 2: Evolution of a Little Liar," 18 June 2019 McNally respected Hernandez’s modesty, but felt his heroism shouldn’t go unrewarded and thus submitted his name for the distinguished service award, Fitzgerald said. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Corrections officer’s heroism during fire lands surprise award from Orange County Fire Rescue," 8 July 2019 Stevens said with characteristic modesty in a phone call with TIME in May 2019. Tessa Berenson, Time, "Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, a Liberal Voice on the Supreme Court, Dies at 99," 17 July 2019 The Brooklyn-based HaraJuku stood firmly in the less-is-more camp, sporting nothing except a duct tape tuck and a cape for modesty. Vogue, "The Best Street Style at RuPaul’s Los Angeles Dragcon," 28 May 2019 Thus would Donald Trump, in all modesty and likelihood, sum up the tremendous events of the past two days. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump’s Royal Treatment," 4 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of modesty

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Dictionary Entries near modesty

modern school




modesty panel



Statistics for modesty

Last Updated

28 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for modesty

The first known use of modesty was in 1531

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More Definitions for modesty



English Language Learners Definition of modesty

: the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities
: the quality of behaving and especially dressing in ways that do not attract sexual attention


mod·​es·​ty | \ ˈmä-də-stē How to pronounce modesty (audio) \

Kids Definition of modesty

: the quality of being decent or not boastful

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Comments on modesty

What made you want to look up modesty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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