diffidence
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈdɪfɪdəns/
Noun

diffidence

  1. The state of being diffident, timid or shy; reticence or self-effacement.
    • 1857, Brigham Young, Journal of Discources, Attention and Reflection Necessary to An Increase of Knowledge, etc.
      I have the same diffidence in my feelings that most public speakers have, and am apt to think that others can speak better and more edifying than I can.
    • 1897, José María de Pereda, translated by William Henry Bishop, Cleto's Proposal to Sotileza (an excerpt from Sotileza)
      "I was passing by," he began to stammer, trembling with his diffidence, "I—happened to be passing along this way, and so—er—as I was passing this way, I says to myself, says I, 'I'll just stop into the shop a minute.'
  2. (obsolete) Mistrust, distrust, lack of confidence in someone or something.
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, Henry VI part I, act 3 scene 3
      [Charles, King of France]: We have been guided by thee hitherto,
      And of thy cunning had no diffidence:
      One sudden foil shall never breed distrust.
Translations


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