Origin of diffidence
Examples from the Web for diffidence
She thought it was diffidence that made Andy Green hesitate perceptibly before he took it.The Flying U's Last Stand|B. M. Bower
His host shook hands with him, and then leaned back in a chair, waiting for him to speak, which he did with a trace of diffidence.The Greater Power|Harold Bindloss
Had he been taken with a fit of diffidence, and been less precipitate than he intended?Hopes and Fears|Charlotte M. Yonge
"I am afraid in a measure it is," she replied, but with some diffidence.The Childerbridge Mystery|Guy Boothby
Poor man, they mistook his reluctance for his diffidence, and forced him to wash it away in another potation.Pelham, Complete|Edward Bulwer-Lytton
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.