1 : hesitant in acting or speaking through lack of self-confidence
2 : reserved, unassertive
Did You Know?
"Diffident" and "confident" are antonyms, but both have a lot to do with how much trust you have in yourself. Etymology reveals the role that that underlying trust plays in the two terms. "Confident" and "diffident" both trace back to the Latin verb "fidere," which means "to trust." "Diffident" arose from a combination of "fidere" and the prefix "dis-," meaning "the absence of," and it has been used to refer to individuals lacking in self-trust since the 15th century. "Confident" arose from "confidere," a term created by combining "fidere" with the intensifying prefix "con-." That term has been used for self-trusting folks since at least the late 16th century. By the way, "fidere" puts the trust in several other English words too, including "fidelity" and "fiduciary."
Always diffident and soft-spoken, Tony did not raise any objection when the cashier overcharged him for his purchase.
"You could call Mudhoney the reluctant, begrudging forefathers of grunge, and Nirvana their equally diffident progeny." - Jason Bracelin, Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 10, 2014
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "diffident": rtrn. The answer is …
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