Someone who is diffident is rather shy and does not enjoy talking about themselves or being noticed by other people.

John was as bouncy and ebullient as Helen was diffident and reserved.

Derived words:
diffidence [[t]dɪ̱fɪdəns[/t]] N-UNCOUNT

He tapped on the door, opened it and entered with a certain diffidence.

diffidently ADV-GRADED ADV with v

`Would you,' he asked diffidently, `like to talk to me about it?'

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Diffident — Dif fi*dent, a. [L. diffidens, entis, p. pr. of diffidere; dif = dis + fidere to trust; akin to fides faith. See {Faith}, and cf. {Defy}.] 1. Wanting confidence in others; distrustful. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] You were always extremely diffident… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • diffident — I adjective abashed, awestricken, awestruck, bashful, blushful, blushing, cautious, demure, deprecating, deprecative, diffidens, embarrassed, fainthearted, faltering, hesitating, humble, humbled, lacking self confidence, modest, overanxious,… …   Law dictionary

  • diffident — mid 15c., from L. diffidentem (nom. diffidens), prp. of diffidere (see DIFFIDENCE (Cf. diffidence)). Related: Diffidently …   Etymology dictionary

  • diffident — modest, bashful, *shy, coy Analogous words: shrinking, flinching, blenching (see RECOIL): hesitant, reluctant (see DISINCLINED): timorous, *timid Antonyms: confident Contrasted words: assured, sure, sanguine, presumptuous (see CONFIDENT): self… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • diffident — [adj] hesitant; unconfident backward, bashful, blenching, chary, constrained, coy, demure, distrustful, doubtful, dubious, flinching, humble, insecure, meek, modest, mousy, rabbity, reluctant, reserved, retiring, self conscious, self effacing,… …   New thesaurus

  • diffident — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ lacking in self confidence. DERIVATIVES diffidence noun diffidently adverb. ORIGIN Latin, from diffidere fail to trust …   English terms dictionary

  • diffident — [dif′ədənt] adj. [L diffidens: see DIFFIDENCE] full of diffidence; lacking self confidence; timid; shy SYN. SHY1 diffidently adv …   English World dictionary

  • diffident — dif|fi|dent [ˈdıfıdənt] adj [Date: 1400 1500; : Latin; Origin: , present participle of diffidere to distrust , from fidere to trust ] shy and not wanting to make people notice you or talk about you diffident manner/smile/voice etc diffident about …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • diffident — adjective shy and unwilling to make people notice you or talk about you: He suddenly felt diffident in the presence of these people (+ about): She was diffident about her prize. diffidently adverb diffidence noun (U) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • diffident — adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Latin diffident , diffidens, present participle of diffidere to distrust, from dis + fidere to trust more at bide Date: 15th century 1. hesitant in acting or speaking through lack of self confidence 2 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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