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diffident (adj.)

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 Original sense is obsolete; modern sense of "distrustful of oneself, not confident" is by 1713.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.

Origin and meaning of diffident

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