Thesaurus

modest

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of modest

1 being about midway between extremes of amount or size
  • he was awarded a modest pension when he retired

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2 free from any trace of the coarse or indecent
  • tended to wear more modest swimsuits than the thong-clad guests at the resort

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3 not comfortable around people
  • a modest winner who said a quick thank-you and promptly left the stage

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4 not having or showing any feelings of superiority, self-assertiveness, or showiness
  • appealingly modest about her success in the fashion industry

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Frequently Asked Questions About modest

How is the word modest distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of modest are chaste, decent, and pure. While all these words mean "free from all taint of what is lewd or salacious," modest and decent apply especially to deportment and dress as outward signs of inward chastity or purity.

preferred more modest swimsuits

decent people didn't go to such movies

When is it sensible to use chaste instead of modest?

While the synonyms chaste and modest are close in meaning, chaste primarily implies a refraining from acts or even thoughts or desires that are not virginal or not sanctioned by marriage vows.

they maintained chaste relations

How do pure and chaste relate to one another, in the sense of modest?

Pure differs from chaste in implying innocence and absence of temptation rather than control of one's impulses and actions.

the pure of heart

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Time Traveler for modest

Time Traveler

The first known use of modest was in 1550

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Cite this Entry

“Modest.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/modest. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on modest

Dictionary: Definition of modest

Spanish Central: Translation of modest

Nglish: Translation of modest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modest for Arabic Speakers

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