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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook

diffident

IPA

How to pronounce diffident (audio)

Dictionary definition of diffident

Lacking self-confidence, often displaying shyness, hesitancy, and a reluctance to assert oneself or express one's opinions.
"She was diffident about expressing her opinions in a group setting."

Detailed meaning of diffident

It can describe a person who is shy, self-doubting, or hesitant to speak up or assert themselves. Diffident people tend to lack self-confidence and trust in their abilities, they may be afraid of making mistakes, or they may be hesitant to express their opinions or ideas.

In terms of behavior, a diffident person is often reticent, or reserved, they may be slow to speak or act, or they may be hesitant to take on new responsibilities or challenges. They may also be reluctant to draw attention to themselves or to speak up in public.

In summary, Diffident refers to a person who lacks self-confidence or is uncertain and hesitant in their actions or decisions. It can describe a person who is shy, self-doubting, or hesitant to speak up or assert themselves. Diffident people tend to lack self-confidence and trust in their abilities, they may be afraid of making mistakes, or they may be hesitant to express their opinions or ideas. They tend to be reticent, reserved, slow to speak or act, and hesitant to take on new responsibilities or challenges.

Example sentences containing diffident

1. She gave a diffident smile, unsure of how her joke would be received.
2. The new student’s diffident manner made it hard for him to make friends.
3. He raised his hand diffidently, afraid to speak up in class.
4. Her voice was diffident and barely audible when she presented her project.
5. The intern was talented but diffident, often second-guessing her contributions.
6. The cat approached the unfamiliar visitor with a diffident curiosity.

History and etymology of diffident

The adjective 'diffident' has its origins in Latin, stemming from 'diffidens,' which is the present participle of 'diffidere,' meaning 'to mistrust' or 'to lack confidence in.' In Latin, 'diffidens' conveyed the sense of doubting or lacking trust, often in oneself or one's abilities. In English, 'diffident' was adopted in the late 16th century to describe individuals who lack self-confidence, often displaying shyness, hesitancy, and a reluctance to assert themselves or express their opinions. The term emphasizes a sense of insecurity and self-doubt that can hinder one's willingness to engage assertively in social or professional situations. The etymology of 'diffident' underscores its historical connection to the concept of mistrust and self-doubt, highlighting the qualities of shyness and hesitation that characterize diffident individuals.

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Further usage examples of diffident

1. He made a diffident attempt to join the conversation, but was quickly overshadowed by louder voices.
2. Her diffident demeanor often led people to underestimate her skills and intelligence.
3. The young artist, diffident about his work, was hesitant to display it in public.
4. His diffident nature was in stark contrast to his brother’s outgoing personality.
5. She was diffident at first, but grew more confident as she got to know her classmates.
6. He was a diffident leader, often seeking consensus before making decisions.
7. The diffident writer reluctantly shared her poems, not expecting the accolades she received.
8. Though he was a brilliant musician, he remained diffident and avoided the spotlight.
9. She sent a diffident text message, unsure of how her friend would react to the news.
10. She appeared diffident at the party, avoiding eye contact.
11. His diffident demeanor made it hard to gauge his true feelings.
12. The student's diffident response surprised the teacher.
13. Despite her talent, she remained diffident about her abilities.
14. His diffident nature hindered his leadership potential.
15. The new employee felt diffident in the unfamiliar environment.
16. It's essential to help diffident individuals build self-esteem.
17. She overcame her diffident tendencies through public speaking.
18. The team encouraged the diffident member to share ideas.
19. His diffident smile charmed everyone at the gathering.
20. The CEO's diffident approach to decision-making puzzled some.
21. Many great thinkers were initially diffident in their pursuits.
22. The diffident artist's work spoke volumes about her emotions.
23. He fought to overcome his diffident disposition in social settings.
24. Over time, she outgrew her diffident personality and thrived.

constrained,shy,unassertive

eb68db_a744091aa23b4826b9b45389fb38a885.mp3

shy, confident, assertive, bold

meek,reluctant,reserved,timid,unassuming,withdrawn

GRE 5 (Graduate Record Examination), Caution and Prudence, Command and Constraint, Rigor and Rebellion, Confidence and Optimism

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