October 22, 2016
diffident (adjective)
\DIFF-uh-dunt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : lacking confidence : timid2 : cautious in words and actions, unassertive : modest, shy
How do you use it?
She started off as a diffident transfer student in her new school, but Brenda is now the confident president of the student council.
Are you a word wiz?

What do you think the root word of "diffident" means?

"Diffident" was formed by adding the prefix "dis-," meaning "to do the opposite of," to the Latin verb "fidere," which means "to trust." Originally meaning "distrustful," "diffident" now refers to someone's lack of trust in their own abilities. "Confident," also rooted in "fidere," describes the characteristic of having trust in something. Other members of the "fidere" family also relate to faith and trust. The word "fiancÚ" refers to a man who asks his future spouse to trust in his promise of marriage, while "fidelity" refers to the quality or state of being faithful.
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