Synonyms & Antonyms of diffident

not comfortable around people
  • for someone who makes a living performing for other people, the actress is remarkably diffident in real life

Synonyms for diffident

Words Related to diffident

Near Antonyms for diffident

Antonyms for diffident

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About diffident

How does the adjective diffident contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of diffident are bashful, coy, modest, and shy. While all these words mean "not inclined to be forward," diffident stresses a distrust of one's own ability or opinion that causes hesitation in acting or speaking.

felt diffident about raising an objection

When would bashful be a good substitute for diffident?

Although the words bashful and diffident have much in common, bashful implies a frightened or hesitant shyness characteristic of childhood and adolescence.

a bashful boy out on his first date

Where would coy be a reasonable alternative to diffident?

The meanings of coy and diffident largely overlap; however, coy implies a pretended shyness.

put off by her coy manner

In what contexts can modest take the place of diffident?

The synonyms modest and diffident are sometimes interchangeable, but modest suggests absence of undue confidence or conceit.

modest about her success

When can shy be used instead of diffident?

In some situations, the words shy and diffident are roughly equivalent. However, shy implies a timid reserve and a shrinking from familiarity or contact with others.

shy with strangers

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about diffident

Time Traveler for diffident

Time Traveler

The first known use of diffident was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about diffident

Cite this Entry

“Diffident.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on diffident

Dictionary: Definition of diffident

Nglish: Translation of diffident for Spanish Speakers

Comments on diffident

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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