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 And the nude man should respond with modesty or shame (aidos). Autumn Wright, Wired, "What Hades Can Teach Us About Ancient Greek Masculinity," 16 Jan. 2021 But the modesty in marketing signals confidence in quality. Washington Post, "This sauvignon blanc tastes like a splurge, but doesn’t cost like one," 2 Jan. 2021 Almost all the memoirs following on his death speak of Oakeshott’s modesty and unpretentiousness. Nate Hochman, National Review, "Michael Oakeshott, 30 Years Later," 18 Dec. 2020 Rather than dropping hints and ignoring her remarks, sit down and explain your current financial situation: times are tight, this year was tough, and your gifts will reflect that in their modesty. Author: Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, "I want to make this Christmas special for my girlfriend, but I’m also flat broke," 6 Dec. 2020 With a mask covering his face these days, fans of fencing have little chance of recognizing the Olympic gold medalist known for his modesty. Star Tribune, "Venezuelan Olympian delivers food to support family," 16 Nov. 2020 Each chamber can also check the other’s partisan excesses, and hopefully add some modesty to grand legislative plans that could further harm the COVID-19 recovery. Ryan Young, National Review, "Free-Market Victories down the Ballot," 5 Nov. 2020 Some might argue that the relative modesty of Hong’s point-and-shoot aesthetic fits more naturally on a smaller screen than some of the festival’s bigger, more elaborate visions. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Even from home, this year’s New York Film Festival was a virtual celebration of cinema’s power," 12 Oct. 2020 Some members always cover their hair with head scarves while exercising — out of modesty or tradition, Ms. Durani said. David Zucchino, New York Times, "In Former Taliban Stronghold, Defiant Women Hit the Gym," 12 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for modesty

Time Traveler

The first known use of modesty was in 1531

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Statistics for modesty

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modesty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for modesty


How to pronounce modesty (audio)

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

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