Definition of modesty in English:


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  • 1The quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities.

    ‘with typical modesty he insisted on sharing the credit with others’
    • ‘He had shown no false modesty about his ability to avoid the gardener.’
    • ‘He is intelligent, engaging and nimbly treads the line between humility and false modesty.’
    • ‘It's not false modesty, but the viewing nation has had three solid months of me and now they need a break.’
    • ‘This may be false modesty or perhaps just a simple human failing.’
    • ‘Yet whenever I hear someone stand up in public with a poem or short story in their hand which they then preface with a lengthy disclaimer about its imperfections, I cannot help sniffing false modesty.’
    • ‘I thought that the false modesty would stop at university, especially Oxford; after all, we're all good enough to be here, otherwise we wouldn't have been admitted.’
    • ‘‘You have to forget your humanity, your learned pity and false modesty,’ he's told.’
    • ‘The fact that he was in a national political debate, where it's all about false modesty and self-aggrandizement, made his acknowledgement all the more remarkable.’
    • ‘‘Welcome,’ the empress said to them, her voice holding false modesty.’
    • ‘False modesty is worse - far worse - than false pride.’
    • ‘She had been a rare beauty; there was no point in false modesty.’
    • ‘Is this false modesty, or is there something here worth considering?’
    • ‘I'm just trying to get through the day, and that's not just false modesty.’
    • ‘It is not false modesty; he just does not know how good he is sometimes.’
    • ‘This reaction should not be interpreted as false modesty, however.’
    • ‘He hates to appear big-headed, but he knows that false modesty is equally odious.’
    • ‘He instead uses words that reflect the traits of humility, modesty, and loving kindness that are a manifestation of his soul.’
    • ‘As usual, Mike's genuine modesty understated his ability, but then he sincerely doubted his talents, even though they were there for all to see.’
    • ‘They made a decision to take action but, despite the bravery of their actions, they all had a very quiet, unassuming modesty.’
    • ‘His unassuming modesty would never allow him to think like this, of course, but I think a time and an icon among his peers, is owed a lot by the profession.’
    self-effacement, humility, lack of vanity, lack of pretension, unpretentiousness
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    1. 1.1The quality of being relatively moderate, limited, or small in amount, rate, or level.
      ‘the modesty of his political aspirations’
      • ‘At the cathedral, Paul and his wife Jenny lived in relative modesty in a part of what was originally built as the bishop's palace.’
      • ‘Is the relative modesty of the damages a reflection of the fact that the amount was determined by a judge and not by a jury?’
      • ‘His family was quite wealthy, but modesty was what they possessed in great amounts.’
      limited scope, moderation, fairness, acceptability, smallness
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    2. 1.2Behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.
      ‘modesty forbade her to undress in front of so many people’
      • ‘‘The idea is that your modesty in dress and behavior is a passport to public space,’ he said.’
      • ‘But faith in the classical virtues of decorum and modesty remained with him until his death.’
      • ‘‘Since Father is unavailable that would be acceptable,’ she ducked her head in a gesture the steward took as maidenly modesty, but actually was meant to hide her smile.’
      • ‘Raven felt the heat rise again within her, and the blush that crept to her cheeks this time had nothing to do with maidenly modesty.’
      • ‘I felt it would be a service to those families to provide guidelines regarding modesty and propriety so that such a technique could be done in the most respectful way possible.’
      • ‘Is it some kind of attempt at demureness and modesty?’
      • ‘They were shy and had a sense of modesty and propriety.’
      • ‘One answer, of course, is modesty both in dress and manner, long the approach of Orthodox Jewish women and now enjoying something of a culture vogue in the U.S.’
      • ‘Many Asian cultural traditions place emphasis on propriety and the observance of strict moral and social conduct, thus modesty and restrained sexuality are valued.’
      • ‘To keep them covered was a matter of decency and modesty.’
      • ‘As an athlete, he violated the codes of modesty and propriety.’
      • ‘Why does it seem like modesty applies more to women than to men?’
      • ‘To be clear, I'm not opposed to modesty in film if decorum calls for it.’
      • ‘Her desire is rebellious and demonstrates a strong will hidden beyond a demure and feminine modesty.’
      • ‘I have never seen a woman with more modesty and decency than this person.’
      • ‘They have to leave her shoulders bare but at least her modesty is in tact.’
      • ‘The veil symbolizes the idea of modesty and conveys the lesson that however attractive physical appearances may be, the soul and character are paramount.’
      • ‘In this respect veiling is considered a trait of feminity, of feminine modesty and virtue.’
      unpretentiousness, simplicity, plainness, lack of pretension, inexpensiveness, lack of extravagance
      decorum, decorousness, decency, seemliness, demureness, sobriety, severity
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/ˈmädəstē/ /ˈmɑdəsti/