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[dif-i-duh ns] /ˈdɪf ɪ dəns/
the quality or state of being diffident.
Origin of diffidence
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin diffīdentia mistrust, want of confidence. See diffident, -ence
Related forms
nondiffidence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diffidence
  • Each sentence seems to be sprung from coy diffidence and measured irony.
  • In political life, he kept his ambition well buried under layers of diffidence and urbanity.
  • Building robotic traffic police and guides will make it easier for people to overcome their diffidence.
  • The result is salacious overkill one moment, but unexpected diffidence the next.
  • The book doesn't suffer from vapidity or diffidence or dearth of event.
  • He may grow out of his diffidence, but this race seems to have come too early for him.
  • Yet his diffidence seems to only enhance his cachet among fashion editors and insiders.
  • Hurting what it loves, grasping what it detests, the self learns anxious diffidence.
  • Their decision reflected their sense of complexity, not their diffidence.
Word Origin and History for diffidence

c.1400, from Latin diffidentia "mistrust, distrust, want of confidence," from diffidere "to mistrust, lack confidence," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidere "to trust" (see faith). Modern sense is of "distrusting oneself" (1650s). The original sense was the opposite of confidence.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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