- having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.
- free from ostentation or showy extravagance: a modest house.
- having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; decent: a modest neckline on a dress.
- limited or moderate in amount, extent, etc.: a modest increase in salary.
Origin of modest
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for modest
And there are other stories DuVernay could have told and still met her (relatively) modest budget of $20 million.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’
January 2, 2015
How does it happen that citizens of modest means suffer as public sector unions gain?How Public Sector Unions Divide the Democrats
December 29, 2014
A modest crowd moved East on 110th Street in New York City on Sunday evening.Justice League Vigil for Slain NYPD Officers Asks Whose Life Matters
December 22, 2014
Even its benign forms—the resurgence of modest dress norms in Jewish communities, for example—perpetuate this idea.Church Sex Scandals Are Rooted in Theology
December 15, 2014
I knew the Clintons had arrived at the White House with modest means.From Auschwitz to the White House: One Tailor’s American Tale
December 5, 2014
The face, neck, and arms of the modest maiden were flushed with indignant crimson.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Our hero listened with modest pleasure while it was being read.Brave and Bold
Tell you what the trouble is with you, old man: you're too modest.Way of the Lawless
He's as boyishly honest as if he were sixteen; and as modest.The Bacillus of Beauty
Few could imagine from his modest exterior the latent, fire and energy which burn in his bosom.Ridgeway
- having or expressing a humble opinion of oneself or one's accomplishments or abilities
- reserved or shymodest behaviour
- not ostentatious or pretentious
- not extreme or excessive; moderate
- decorous or decent
Word Origin and History for modest
1560s, "having moderate self-regard," from Middle French modeste (14c.), from Latin modestus "keeping due measure" (see modesty). Of women, "not improper or lewd," 1590s; of female attire, 1610s. Of demands, etc., c.1600. Related: Modestly.