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 definition of what is neutral may change based on data and events, and that is welcome modesty from the often dogmatic central bank. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Fed’s Welcome Rethink," 28 Nov. 2018 His assessment seemed more like a reflection of reality than a demonstration of false modesty. Alan Blinder, New York Times, "Meet the People Who Can’t Get Enough Hotel Points (You’ll Learn Something)," 15 May 2018 And all appearances to the contrary, there is a kind of modesty to him, a part that is very simple. Kennedy Fraser, Vogue, "From the Archives: Karl Lagerfeld, The Impresario," 19 Feb. 2019 Homer’s work has an inherent modesty and plainspokenness. Mark Feeney,, "A different lens for Winslow Homer," 28 June 2018 The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star was snapped on her way to dinner wearing a completely see-through top with no bra — but managed to maintain some modesty with the two sparkly stars strategically places on the shirt right over her nipples. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Kendall Jenner Forgot to Pack a Bra for Cannes: A Recap of Her Braless Red Carpet Moments," 14 May 2018 Perhaps one of the most important elements transmitted to the museum was a sense of modesty. William Middleton, Town & Country, "How the De Menil Family Raised Good Taste to an Art Form," 7 Mar. 2018 The interior more than makes up for its modesty outside, with a pleasant and unpretentious decoration that relies on lots of light hues, timber, and glass. Maresa Manara, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Spots for Aperitivo in Rome," 1 Mar. 2018 Alexander-Murray would have been, for all its policy modesty, a rather remarkable political achievement after eight years of partisan gridlock over Obamacare that culminated in last year’s dramatic debate. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Lamar Alexander, pillar of Washington’s old guard, is retiring from the Senate," 17 Dec. 2018

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

5 Jun 2019

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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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