He spoke with the diffidence of a man who knew how slight a thing would overset the delicate organisation of the mind, and yet with the confidence of a man who had slowly won his assurance out of personal endurance and distress.
Mr. Cruncher, with some diffidence, explained himself as meaning "Old Nick’s."
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She is diffident around adults, but dominant with her peer group.
At first, he could give no encouragement; with unfeigned diffidence, he expressed his conviction that he was not adequate to the performance of so great a task;
Frederick Douglass -- The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass