Essential Meaning of modest
1 : not very large in size or amount Despite its modest [=somewhat small] size, the city has many things to offer tourists. They own a modest home near the beach. See More ExamplesShe enjoyed modest success with her singing career. He earns a modest income. We live on a modest budget. New cars are now available at relatively modest prices. He has only a modest amount of knowledge on the subject. It is a book of only modest importance.
2 approving : not too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities : not showing or feeling great or excessive pride She's very modest about her achievements. Don't be so modest. Your performance was wonderful! See More Examples"I'm not a hero. I was just doing my job," he said in his characteristically modest way. He is unusually modest for a man who is so famous and successful.
3 of clothing : not showing too much of a person's body She preferred wearing more modest swimsuits. In some countries, women must wear very modest clothing in public.
Full Definition of modest
1a : placing a moderate estimate on one's abilities or worth
b : neither bold nor self-assertive : tending toward diffidence
2 : arising from or characteristic of a modest nature
4a : limited in size, amount, or scope a family of modest means
b : unpretentious a modest home
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