Definition of diffidence :
1. Distrust of one's self or one's own powers; lack of self- reliance; modesty; modest reserve; bashfulness.
2. The state of being diffident; distrust; want of confidence; doubt of the power, ability, or disposition of others.
- Upon that he said that I would do; for that when a man got over the first blush of diffidence, he soon began to look upon it as a puff of destiny. - "Lorna Doone, A Romance of Exmoor", R. D. Blackmore.
- I will add, that, having often differed in judgment upon particular measures with many of the best and wisest men of this Union of all parties, I have never lost sight either of the candor due to them in the estimate of their motives, or of the diffidence with which it was my duty to maintain the result of my own opinions in opposition to theirs." - "Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams.", Josiah Quincy.
- This however, was done by him whilst he felt great diffidence in touching topics that might become matter of delicate diplomacy. - "History of the War Between Mexico and the United States, with a Preliminary View of its Origin, Volume 1", Brantz Mayer.