present participle of Latin ("to diffidere mistrust")
diffident ( comparative , more diffident superlative ) most diffident
( archaic ): Lacking confidence in others; distrustful. Lacking confidence in oneself; distrustful of one's own powers; not
self-reliant; timid; modest; bashful; characterized by modest reserve.
1749, Henry Fielding, , Book IV, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling chapter viii
Having therefore—but hold, as we are
diffident of our own abilities, let us here invite a superior power to our assistance.
1960, P. G. Wodehouse, , chapter VIII: Jeeves in the Offing
At an early point in these exchanges I had started to sidle to the door, and I now sidled through it, rather like a diffident crab on some sandy beach trying to avoid the attentions of a child with a spade.
lacking confidence in oneself