false modesty

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

false modesty (uncountable)

  1. Behavior that is intended to seem humble but comes across as fake and unflattering.
    Although having a large ego is considered undesirable, at times it is proper to take credit where it is due rather than display false modesty.
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter VIII, The Younger Set:
      At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy ; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.