modest

[mod-ist]

adjective

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.

Nearby words

  1. modernize,
  2. modernizer,
  3. modernly,
  4. modersohn-becker,
  5. modersohn-becker, paula,
  6. modestly,
  7. modesto,
  8. modesty,
  9. modesty panel,
  10. modfet

Origin of modest

1555–65; < Latin modestus restrained, decorous, equivalent to modes- (stem of *modus, an s-stem akin to modus mode1, perhaps < *medos, with the vowel of modus; compare moderārī to moderate, from the same noun stem) + -tus adj. suffix

SYNONYMS FOR modest
1. retiring, unassuming. 1, 2. unpretentious, unobtrusive. 3. pure, virtuous. Modest, demure, prudish imply conformity to propriety and decorum, and a distaste for anything coarse or loud. Modest implies a becoming shyness, sobriety, and proper behavior: a modest, self-respecting person. Demure implies a bashful, quiet simplicity, staidness, and decorum; but can also indicate an assumed or affected modesty: a demure young chorus girl. Prudish suggests an exaggeratedly self-conscious modesty or propriety in behavior or conversation of one who wishes to be thought of as easily shocked and who often is intolerant: a prudish objection to a harmless remark.

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

Examples from the Web for modest


British Dictionary definitions for modest

modest

adjective

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
Derived Formsmodestly, adverb

Word Origin for modest

C16: via Old French from Latin modestus moderate, from modus mode

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 modest

modest

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper