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 William Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      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.