lack of confidence in the reliability of one's own motives, personality, thought, etc.

Origin of self-doubt

First recorded in 1840–50
Related formsself-doubt·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for self-doubt

uncertainty, doubt, hesitancy, indecision, vacillation

Examples from the Web for self-doubt

Contemporary Examples of self-doubt

Historical Examples of self-doubt

  • How can a man be sufficiently wanting in self-doubt as to believe in himself?

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • The moments of silence were expanded by gathering compunction and self-doubt.


    George Eliot

  • Her self-doubt was grappled by a stronger will and a stronger conviction than her own.


    George Eliot

  • I seem to detect a sort of self-doubt—as though she feared making some error.

    Robert Orange

    John Oliver Hobbes

  • Peter was very tender-hearted, very sympathetic, very prone to self-doubt.

    The Dull Miss Archinard

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

British Dictionary definitions for self-doubt



the act or state of doubting oneself
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