What does modesty mean?

Definitions for modesty
ˈmɒd ə stimod·esty

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word modesty.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. modesty, modestnessnoun

    freedom from vanity or conceit

  2. modesty, reservenoun

    formality and propriety of manner


  1. modestynoun

    The quality of being modest; having a limited and not overly high opinion of oneself and one's abilities.

  2. modestynoun

    Moderate behaviour; reserve.

  3. modestynoun

    Pudency, prudish avoidance of sexual explicitness.

  4. Etymology: From modest + -y.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Modestynoun

    Etymology: modestie, Fr. modestas, Latin.

    They cannot, with modesty, think to have found out absolutely the best which the wit of men may devise. Richard Hooker.

    A lord will hear you play;
    But I am doubtful of your modesties,
    Lest over eying of his odd behaviour,
    You break into some merry passion. William Shakespeare.

    Would you not swear,
    All you that see her, that she were a maid,
    By these exterior shews? But she is more,
    Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. William Shakespeare.

    Of the general character of women, which is modesty, he has taken a most becoming care; for his amorous expressions go no farther than virtue may allow. Dryden.

    Talk not to a lady in a way that modesty will not permit her to answer. Clarissa.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Modestynoun

    the quality or state of being modest; that lowly temper which accompanies a moderate estimate of one's own worth and importance; absence of self-assertion, arrogance, and presumption; humility respecting one's own merit

  2. Modestynoun

    natural delicacy or shame regarding personal charms and the sexual relation; purity of thought and manners; due regard for propriety in speech or action


  1. Modesty

    Modesty is a mode of dress and deportment intended not to encourage sexual attraction in others; actual standards vary widely. In this use, it can be considered inappropriate or immodest to reveal certain parts of the body. A modest woman would not behave so as to encourage the sexual attention of men. In some societies women must cover their bodies completely and may never talk to men who are not immediate family members; in others a fairly revealing but one-piece bathing costume is considered modest when other women wear bikinis. Modesty in dress and deportment is usually encouraged by peer pressure, although a few countries enforce rigid dress codes. In some countries, exposure of the body in breach of community standards of modesty is also considered to be public indecency, and public nudity is generally illegal in most of the world and regarded as indecent exposure. However, nudity is at times tolerated in some societies; for example, during a world naked bike ride, while a lone man attempting to walk naked from south to north Britain was repeatedly imprisoned. Small children are widely not expected to be fully clothed in public until they are grown up. In semi-public contexts standards of modesty vary. Nudity may be acceptable in public single-sex changing rooms at swimming baths, for example, or for mass medical examination of men for military service. In private, standards again depend upon the circumstances. A person who would never disrobe in the presence of a physician of the opposite sex in a social context might unquestioningly do so for a medical examination; others might allow examination, but only by a person of the same sex.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. modesty

    1. A beau-catcher that young ladies wear and women affect. 2. In a sweetmeat, the souffle through which we dig to reach the plums. 3. The blush on the face of Desire at the consciousness of its own immodesty. 4. Among men modesty is the will-to-wait and seize. 5. Venom, who sidles into corners and shuns the limelight, so that he may the better see. 6. The attitude of mind that precedes the pounce. 7. The subtlest symptom of paranoia. 8. Egotism turned wrong side out.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of modesty in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of modesty in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of modesty in a Sentence

  1. Chinese:

    Modesty is attended with profit, arrogance brings on destruction.

  2. Jonathan Swift:

    As blushing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense.

  3. Marquis de Sade:

    Sex is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other.

  4. Raul Castro:

    I promise that I will go to all of his Masses -- and with satisfaction. I left the meeting this morning impressed, very impressed by his knowledge, his wisdom, modesty, and by all the virtues that we know he has.

  5. Harriet Martineau:

    Fidelity to conscience is inconsistent with retiring modesty. If it be so, let the modesty succumb. It can be only a false modesty which can be thus endangered.

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Translations for modesty

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • skromnostCzech
  • BescheidenheitGerman
  • μετριοπάθεια, σεμνότητα, ταπεινότητα, μετριοφροσύνηGreek
  • seksmodesteco, modestecoEsperanto
  • آزرمPersian
  • häveliäisyys, säädyllisyys, siveys, vaatimattomuus, kainousFinnish
  • modestie, pudeurFrench
  • համեստությունArmenian
  • მოკრძალებაGeorgian
  • 겸손Korean
  • gereserveerdheid, schroom, bescheidenheidDutch
  • skromnośćPolish
  • modéstiaPortuguese
  • modestie, castitate, rezervă, puritateRomanian
  • благопристойность, застенчивость, стыдливость, целомудрие, сдержанность, скромностьRussian
  • скро̏мно̄ст, čȅdnōst, skrȍmnōst, че̏дно̄стSerbo-Croatian
  • skromnostSlovene
  • వినయముTelugu
  • شائستگیUrdu

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    ordinariness as a consequence of being average and not outstanding
    • A. deterioration
    • B. mediocrity
    • C. downsizing
    • D. transition

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