Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- 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.