plural self-doubts
: a lack of faith in oneself : a feeling of doubt or uncertainty about one's abilities, actions, etc.
plagued with/by self-doubt
overcame her self-doubts
The man who comes through the pages of this straightforwardly written autobiography is eminently human, full of self-doubt about his personal life and his career …Walter Goodman

Examples of self-doubt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Focusing on being at peace with having done your best helps to deter self-doubt. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2023 Low self-esteem and self-doubt can hinder trust in others. Mark Travers, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 His bootstraps ascension story has been one of struggles overcome, mistakes owned, self-doubt always lingering. Time, 13 Nov. 2023 Despite her Hollywood success, that feeling of self-doubt has Gerwig not reading any reviews for Barbie, yet. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Nov. 2023 Plagued by self-doubt, the former boybander battled addiction and depression. TIME, 8 Nov. 2023 There were days away from his family, countless hours of training and flickers of self-doubt, especially as his time removed from Los Angeles increased with each passing year. Victor Mather, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2023 Emily Massey, the lead singer, has a gauzy voice that dissolves into quietly lush guitar beds, and Slow Pulp’s clouded sound is mirrored by her lyrics, which navigate self-doubt. The New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2023 Married at First Sight's Clare is finally ready to let go of all of her self-doubts. Jp Mangalindan, Peoplemag, 25 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-doubt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-doubt was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near self-doubt

Cite this Entry

“Self-doubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a lack of faith in oneself

More from Merriam-Webster on self-doubt

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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