View synonyms for diffidently


[ dif-i-duhnt-lee ]


  1. in a way that shows lack of confidence in one’s own ability, worth, or fitness; timidly or shyly:

    He saw her approaching rather diffidently, trying to summon up her courage, smiling an uncertain smile.

  2. in a restrained or reserved way:

    He got them to do the right thing not by scolding or nagging, but by calmly and diffidently laying out the logic of his position.

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Other Words From

  • non·dif·fi·dent·ly adverb
  • un·dif·fi·dent·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

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Example Sentences

It also raises the worry about writerly futility before closing with a diffident call for community, hope and faith in the possible.

Dylan later acknowledged, somewhat diffidently, that Edie was an “exciting girl, very enthusiastic.”

The nation looked diffidently into the vast mirror of the Olympics and—to collective surprise—found it liked what it saw.

He would chuck one under the chin, or feel diffidently the soft little cheek, but a closer familiarity scared him.

When the parson had got to his feet again, Aunt Esther All diffidently touched his elbow.

She told him, told the story graphically and well, but so far as her own part in it was concerned rather diffidently.

Mademoiselle, please do not think that I mean to intrude, I said diffidently, when I had come to her side.

"I've never spoken of that to any man, sir, but I've been thinking about it," announced the sergeant diffidently.


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