- lacking confidence in one's own ability, worth, or fitness; timid; shy.
- restrained or reserved in manner, conduct, etc.
- Archaic. distrustful.
Origin of diffident
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for diffident
He was charming, diffident but above all very friendly, with no airs or graces.How John Lennon Rediscovered His Music in Bermuda
November 3, 2013
Every study ever performed has shown that the fit and lean outlive the dumpy and diffident every time.Cool It on the CrossFit: What’s Rhabdomyolysis?
October 11, 2013
The diffident took heart before him, and the presumptuous were checked.Heroes of the Telegraph
She spoke with diffident slowness, her gaze fastened upon her plate.The Market-Place
The tone of his voice, now soft and diffident, startled Hardy out of his dream.Hidden Water
Barrington was the most diffident of men; his bashfulness amounted to actual pain.Barrington
Charles James Lever
Edith, funny and diffident, now rose and addressed the class.Molly Brown's Senior Days
- lacking self-confidence; timid; shy
Word Origin and History for diffident
mid-15c., from Latin diffidentem (nominative diffidens), present participle of diffidere (see diffidence). Related: Diffidently.