Origin of diffidenceMiddle English from Classical Latin diffidentia from diffidens, present participle of diffidere, to distrust from dis-, not + fidere, to trust: see faith
Diffidence is defined as lack of confidence or shyness.
An example of diffidence is the inability or fear of ever asking or answering a question in class.
The quality or state of being diffident; timidity or shyness.
- The sudden fall of Gambetta (26th January 1882) having removed the fear of immediate European complications, the cabinets of Berlin and Vienna again displayed diffidence towards Italy.
- In the opinion of the highest authority, Mark Pattison, "as a refutation of Scioppius it is most complete"; but there are certainly grounds for dissenting, though with diffidence, from this judgment.
- His natural diffidence, and opposition on the part of his relatives, Patrick resolved to return to Gaul in order to prepare himself for his mission.
- Extreme modesty, almost amounting to diffidence, was combined with the utmost kindliness in Lord Kelvin's bearing to the most elementary student, and nothing seemed to give him so much pleasure as an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of the humblest scientific worker.
- Depretis tardily recognized the need for such agreement, if only to remove the coldness and invincible diffidence which, Afflan.