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From Middle French modestie, from Latin modestia


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modesty (usually uncountable, plural modesties)

  1. The quality of being modest; having a limited and not overly high opinion of oneself and one's abilities.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] 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.
  2. Moderate behaviour; reserve.
  3. (specifically) Pudency, prudish avoidance of sexual explicitness.

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