lacking confidence in one's own ability, worth, or fitness; timid; shy.
restrained or reserved in manner, conduct, etc.
Archaic. distrustful.

Nearby words

  1. differently,
  2. difficile,
  3. difficult,
  4. difficulty,
  5. diffidence,
  6. diffidently,
  7. diffluence,
  8. diffluent,
  9. difflugia,
  10. diffract

Origin of diffident

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin diffīdent- (stem of diffīdēns mistrusting, despairing, present participle of diffīdere), equivalent to dif- dif- + fīd- trust + -ent- -ent

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diffident

British Dictionary definitions for diffident



lacking self-confidence; timid; shy
Derived Formsdiffidence, noundiffidently, adverb

Word Origin for diffident

C15: from Latin diffīdere to distrust, from dis- not + fīdere to trust

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for diffident



mid-15c., from Latin diffidentem (nominative diffidens), present participle of diffidere (see diffidence). Related: Diffidently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper