1. 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. 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. "Mrs. Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife." (Shak) "The blushing beauties of a modest maid." (Dryden)

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

Synonyms: Reserved, unobtrusive, diffident, bashful, coy, shy, decent, becoming, chaste, virtuous.

Origin: F. Modeste, L. Modestus, fr. Modus measure. See Mode.

(01 Mar 1998)

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