Etymology
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Words related to diffidence

dis- 
Origin and meaning of dis-

word-forming element of Latin origin meaning 1. "lack of, not" (as in dishonest); 2. "opposite of, do the opposite of" (as in disallow); 3. "apart, away" (as in discard), from Old French des- or directly from Latin dis- "apart, asunder, in a different direction, between," figuratively "not, un-," also "exceedingly, utterly." Assimilated as dif- before -f- and to di- before most voiced consonants.

The Latin prefix is from PIE *dis- "apart, asunder" (source also of Old English te-, Old Saxon ti-, Old High German ze-, German zer-). The PIE root is a secondary form of *dwis- and thus is related to Latin bis "twice" (originally *dvis) and to duo, on notion of "two ways, in twain" (hence "apart, asunder").

In classical Latin, dis- paralleled de- and had much the same meaning, but in Late Latin dis- came to be the favored form and this passed into Old French as des-, the form used for compound words formed in Old French, where it increasingly had a privative sense ("not"). In English, many of these words eventually were altered back to dis-, while in French many have been altered back to de-. The usual confusion prevails.

As a living prefix in English, it reverses or negatives what it is affixed to. Sometimes, as in Italian, it is reduced to s- (as in spend, splay, sport, sdain for disdain, and the surnames Spencer and Spence).

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*bheidh- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to trust, confide, persuade."

It forms all or part of: abide; abode; affiance; affidavit; auto-da-fe; bide; bona fide; confederate; confidant; confide; confidence; confident; defiance; defy; diffidence; diffident; faith; fealty; federal; federate; federation; fiancee; fideism; fidelity; fiducial; fiduciary; infidel; infidelity; nullifidian; perfidy; solifidian.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek pistis "faith, confidence, honesty;" Latin fides "trust, faith, confidence, reliance, credence, belief;" Albanian be "oath," bindem "to be convinced, believe;" Old Church Slavonic beda "distress, necessity," bediti "to force, persuade;" Old English biddan "to ask, beg, pray," German bitten "to ask."
confidence (n.)
Origin and meaning of confidence

c. 1400, "assurance or belief in the good will, veracity, etc. of another," from Old French confidence or directly from Latin confidentia, from confidentem (nominative confidens) "firmly trusting, bold," present participle of confidere "to have full trust or reliance," from assimilated form of com, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade").

From mid-15c. as "reliance on one's own powers, resources, or circumstances, self-assurance." Meaning "certainty of a proposition or assertion, sureness with regard to a fact" is from 1550s. Meaning "a secret, a private communication" is from 1590s. The connection with swindling (see con (adj.)) dates to mid-19c. and comes from the notion of the false "trustworthiness" which is the key to the game.

diffident (adj.)
Origin and meaning of diffident

mid-15c., "distrustful, wanting confidence in another's power," from Latin diffidentem (nominative diffidens), present participle of diffidere "to mistrust, lack confidence," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + fidere "to trust" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). Original sense is obsolete; modern sense of "distrustful of oneself, not confident" is by 1713. Compare diffidence. Related: Diffidently.