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.

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
Recent Examples on the Web There is an air of modesty here, something that is common within Bukharian communities. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 8 Mar. 2022 British colonizers in India wanted saris to conform to their ideas of modesty. Saratatyana, Longreads, 11 Oct. 2021 Unlike some of Wright’s grander visions, Hanna House stands out for its low-key elegance and middle-class modesty. David Hochman, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 The devastation of Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities suggests that there is little mercy or modesty in Putin’s faith. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2022 The interview with billionaire businesswoman Lubna Olayan, 66, had people praising her modesty and candor on social media. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 8 Apr. 2022 But Will Smith, showing suave modesty that’s gone unmentioned, refused to participate in Hall’s lewdness. Armond White, National Review, 30 Mar. 2022 This breadth of detail is captured in Turner Sonnenberg’s production with an admirable modesty that always puts the play first. Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2022 The common link between Parton in 2022 and Brooks in 1996 is a sense of fairness and modesty. Paul Grein, Billboard, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of modesty

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Learn More About modesty

Time Traveler for modesty

Time Traveler

The first known use of modesty was in 1531

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near modesty



modesty panel

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for modesty

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Modesty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for modesty


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

Kids Definition of modesty

: the quality of being decent or not boastful

More from Merriam-Webster on modesty

Nglish: Translation of modesty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modesty for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about modesty


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!