What does modest mean?

Definitions for modest
ˈmɒd ɪstmod·est

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word modest.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. modestadjective

    marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself

    "a modest apartment"; "too modest to wear his medals"

  2. modest, smalladjective

    not large but sufficient in size or amount

    "a modest salary"; "modest inflation"; "helped in my own small way"

  3. modestadjective

    free from pomp or affectation

    "comfortable but modest cottages"; "a simple rectangular brick building"; "a simple man with simple tastes"

  4. modestadjective

    not offensive to sexual mores in conduct or appearance

  5. humble, low, lowly, modest, smalladjective

    low or inferior in station or quality

    "a humble cottage"; "a lowly parish priest"; "a modest man of the people"; "small beginnings"

  6. meek, mild, modestadjective

    humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness

    "meek and self-effacing"

  7. minor, modest, small, small-scale, pocket-size, pocket-sizedadjective

    limited in size or scope

    "a small business"; "a newspaper with a modest circulation"; "small-scale plans"; "a pocket-size country"


  1. modestadjective

    Not bragging or boasting about oneself or one's achievements, unpretentious, humble.

  2. modestadjective

    Small, moderate in size.

  3. modestadjective

    (especially of behaviour or clothing) Avoiding being sexually suggestive.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. MODESTadjective

    Etymology: modeste, Fr. modestus, Latin.

    Of boasting more than of a tomb afraid;
    A soldier should be modest as a maid. Edward Young.

    Resolve me with all modest haste, which way
    Thou might’st deserve, or they impose this usage. William Shakespeare.

    Her face, as in a nymph, display’d
    A fair fierce boy, or in a boy betray’d
    The blushing beauties of a modest maid. John Dryden, Ovid.

    Mrs. Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    There appears much joy in him, even so much that joy could not shew itself modest enough without a badge of bitterness. William Shakespeare, Much ado about nothing.

    During the last four years, by a modest computation, there have been brought into Brest above six millions sterling in bullion. Joseph Addison, State of the War.


  1. modest

    Modest refers to a person, behavior or appearance that is humble, unassuming or moderate, and does not draw attention to oneself or one's abilities. It can also describe a moderate or low estimation of one's own importance, value, or amount. Additionally, it can pertain to limited or moderate in size or amount.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Modestadjective

    restraining within due limits of propriety; not forward, bold, boastful, or presumptious; rather retiring than pushing one's self forward; not obstructive; as, a modest youth; a modest man

  2. Modestadjective

    observing the proprieties of the sex; not unwomanly in act or bearing; free from undue familiarity, indecency, or lewdness; decent in speech and demeanor; -- said of a woman

  3. Modestadjective

    evincing modestly in the actor, author, or speaker; not showing presumption; not excessive or extreme; moderate; as, a modest request; modest joy


  1. Modest

    Modest is a free, open source, email client developed by Nokia's maemo project. Small and lightweight, it is intended for use on hardware with “modest” resources, in particular Nokia's N800 and N810 Internet Tablets running Internet Tablet OS 2008, as well as the N900 mobile phone running Maemo. Modest is based on the lightweight Tinymail email framework.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Modest

    mod′est, adj. restrained by a sense of propriety: not forward: decent: chaste: pure and delicate, as thoughts or language: not excessive or extreme: moderate.—adv. Mod′estly.—n. Mod′esty, humility: purity of thought and manners: becoming behaviour: chastity, purity: moderation. [Fr.,—L. modestusmodus; a measure.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Modest is ranked #63068 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Modest surname appeared 317 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Modest.

    72.5% or 230 total occurrences were Black.
    17.3% or 55 total occurrences were White.
    5.6% or 18 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    3.7% or 12 total occurrences were of two or more races.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'modest' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4003

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'modest' in Adjectives Frequency: #540

How to pronounce modest?

How to say modest in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of modest in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of modest in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of modest in a Sentence

  1. Mark Twain:

    I was born modest. Not all over, but in spots.

  2. Michael Cronin:

    What we'll continue to see is modest loan growth. I wouldn't expect a big acceleration in the back half of 2018, i'm not sure I see a catalyst out there for it.

  3. Barry Ritholtz:

    We don't know if this correction will be modest or significant, a full-blown bear market or worse, lacking sufficient information to make an informed decision, I only suggest you don't make wild unsubstantiated guesses with your portfolios.

  4. Thomas Harr:

    Over the next one to two months we should see modest pressure on emerging market currencies led by China.

  5. Natural Resources:

    Our expectations around revenue and its relation to pricing have been very modest, so declining oil prices will impact the government's flexibility but we will balance the budget in 2015.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for modest

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"modest." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/modest>.

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    very close or connected in space or time
    A contiguous
    B arbitrary
    C incumbent
    D ectomorphic

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