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  • He talked quietly and easily, with a diffidence which Leamas had never seen in him before.   (source)
    diffidence = hesitancy and unassertiveness -- apparently due to a lack of self-confidence
  • He looked so stern that I grew alarmed.
    "Do not concern yourself," I said diffidently.   (source)
    diffidently = with hesitancy and unassertiveness
  • He coughs diffidently.   (source)
    diffidently = unassertively (as if wishing not to bother anyone)
  • Blanquet spoke of this afterwards with much diffidence...   (source)
    diffidence = lack of self-confidence
  • My old fears, my diffidence, my shyness, my hopeless sense of inferiority, must be conquered now and thrust aside.   (source)
    diffidence = hesitancy and unassertiveness due to a lack of self-confidence
  • Gitano laid his hat on the floor and diffidently sat down.  He wouldn't reach for food. Carl had to pass it to him.   (source)
    diffidently = with hesitancy and unassertiveness
  • Buddy stood before him, diffident, smiling.   (source)
    diffident = unassertive
  • They had something in common - a kind of diffidence.   (source)
    diffidence = hesitancy and unassertiveness
  • Aziz was full of civilization this evening, complete, dignified, rather hard, and it was with diffidence that the other said: "Yes, certainly you must let off Miss Quested easily."   (source)
  • Here I am, a shy, diffident sort of man.   (source)
    diffident = hesitant and unassertive
  • Gabriel waited again and then, fearing that diffidence was about to conquer him, he said abruptly: "By the way, Gretta!"   (source)
    diffidence = hesitancy and unassertiveness due to a lack of self-confidence
  • After a time he began to sidle near to the youth, and in a diffident way try to make him a friend.   (source)
    diffident = hesitant and unassertive
  • Speak out, my boy—don't be diffident.   (source)
    diffident = hesitant and unassertive due to a lack of self-confidence
  • ...the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced any thing that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or...   (source)
    diffidence = hesitancy and unassertiveness due to a lack of self-confidence
  • Now, as I passed through King's College, in the shadow of the enormous chapel, my old diffidence seemed almost funny.†   (source)
  • All day he had hung back, avoiding my gaze, diffident and nearly invisible.†   (source)
  • On Claremont Avenue, in the Hayeses' big, clean, brightly lit apartment, I bloomed from a diffident alien with forged documents into adventurous lase.†   (source)
  • Whereas Sirius had sought to advertise his diffidence from the rest of the family, Regulus had striven to em-phasize the opposite.†   (source)
  • "Oh, I was in market research, to begin with," he says diffidently.†   (source)
  • When he did not respond, she diffidently left.†   (source)
  • But with her he'd been diffident, moody, unavailable too many times she needed him.†   (source)
  • She acted coy, diffident, but alluring.†   (source)
  • He had a diffident manner and a nervous giggle.†   (source)
  • During the proceedings, the magistrate was diffident and uneasy, and would not look at me directly.†   (source)
  • The strangest part of life in the United States, Shamsoun said, was the diffidence of Americans toward refugees and immigrants.†   (source)
  • "That's a billion-dollar asset, General," Pelt said diffidently.†   (source)
  • She was a practical, worldly, diffident woman, and her modern, pragmatic character was a serious obstacle to telepathy.†   (source)
  • He was a slight man of about thirty-two with tan hair and brown diffident eyes.†   (source)
  • But for the first time in seven years, steel had not slapped into his palm the instant his fingers opened; indeed, the diffident tap told him someone other than Sister Mary Joseph Praise stood across from him.†   (source)
  • But he was apprehensive of too much diffidence.†   (source)
  • His voice was diffident, yet oddly firm.†   (source)
  • Some were so diffident and fearful that in their fragile reticence often lived the truest, most infinitely prized beauty.†   (source)
  • When I tried to examine the abrasion more closely she shook me off, her hands raised diffidently in that long-familiar gesture of hers, as if my closeness were an unbearable weight.†   (source)
  • Feeling suffocatingly weak and ill again, she asked Sholom Weiss in a diffident voice where the catalogue file would be in which she might find listed the works of the nineteenth-century American poet Emil Dickens.†   (source)
  • He knew this hereditary trait in himself and watched with an alert diffidence for symptoms of it in himself.†   (source)
  • Holmes," he said a little diffidently.†   (source)
  • To hide it, he began talking about the house, with diffidence because of his poverty, never taking his eyes off her face.†   (source)
  • Not like a man who had been peacefully ill in bed and had recovered to move with a sort of diffident and tentative amazement in a world which he had believed himself on the point of surrendering,   (source)
    diffident = hesitant and unassertive
  • Milo studied Yossarian diffidently through the corner of his eye, hesitating tactfully.†   (source)
  • When his eyes tired, he went diffidently to the infirmary, hoping no one would throw him out.†   (source)
  • The boy finished sealing a box and, having no others, watched her diffidently.†   (source)
  • She, too, had a giggle but it was not nervous, and a great deal of manner but it was not diffident.†   (source)
  • He walked over to Pig in his graceful, diffident stride and embraced him.†   (source)
  • —that there mingled in her regal beauty something of the too-quick, diffident, plebeian disdain.†   (source)
  • But that diffident, apologetic touch annoyed her, and she jerked her head back.†   (source)
  • The lieutenant said diffidently, "I wouldn't say that I know all of them.†   (source)
  • She felt his hand touch her cheek diffidently.†   (source)
  • When I reflect upon the importance, delicacy, intricacy and danger of the service, I feel a great deal of diffidence in myself.†   (source)
  • "Friends," Mike said diffidently (diffidently first time in weeks; he was now that confident executive "Adam Selene" much more than lonely machine)—"perhaps I should have told you, but I have already granted similar variations.†   (source)
  • As soon as Major Danby began to cry, Colonel Moodus, who had been vacillating wretchedly on the sidelines, could restrain himself no longer and stepped out diffidently toward General Dreedle with a sickly air of self-sacrifice.†   (source)
  • She cups his ear. and his cheek and before leaving gives him a quick, tiny wave of goodbye with her finger, which he tries to dismiss with a diffident shrug.†   (source)
  • The delegate to the first Continental Congress, preparing to depart for Philadelphia, felt "unalterable anxiety"; the envoy sailing for France wrote of "great diffidence in myself."†   (source)
  • The Corps stood on his front lawn, the light of the candles surreal and trembling as we fidgeted diffidently before the shadows on his verandah.†   (source)
  • At her worst, she would sit diffidently on the hood of the policewoman's cruiser as it sat parked on Church Street, smoking a cigarette as though she were idly passing the time on a bench in the park, her favorite mirrored sunglasses perched on her head.†   (source)
  • My answer was a lesson in history and sociology and you could derive some of the major differences between Ireland and Italy by the emotional diffidence of my response.†   (source)
  • There is [a] danger that the [American] people and their representatives [in Congress] may have too much timidity in their conduct towards this power, and that your ministers here may have too much diffidence of themselves and too much complaisance for the Court.†   (source)
  • He put the lemons into a bag and, with a curious diffidence, she came closer to the counter to give him the money.†   (source)
  • "It would be simplest," she said diffidently, "to answer your question by saying 'magic' just as you answered mine with 'quantum mechanics.'†   (source)
  • The same milk-and-white smile, the same elaborate diffidence, the same apologetic adherence to a code of behavior which he pretended to find ridicuions.†   (source)
  • I expected some difficulty conversing with Leslie's parents—the mother pathetically overweight in the manner of Jewish mothers, bashful, diffident, mostly silent; the father more outgoing and pleasant enough but able to chat only of his trade—molded plastics—in a voice heavily inflected with the palatal gulps of his mother tongue.†   (source)
  • Its evening light was diffident, a little timid, like a cow from a near-by herd come to take a look at the crowd.†   (source)
  • On that warm gray morning in the mountains, Zhivago felt sorry for the Tsar, was disturbed at the thought that such diffident reserve and shyness could be the essential characteristics of an oppressor, that a man so weak could imprison, hang, or pardon.†   (source)
  • Peter said diffidently, "In a way.†   (source)
  • At first they were diffident, though proud and withdrawn; cautiously learning the new ways, with a fine sensitiveness, an alert self-consciousness.†   (source)
  • "Buy yourself some material and make a dress or two," said Dick diffidently, for he had realized, handling her things, that she had, almost literally, "nothing to wear."†   (source)
  • G. T. approached him, scowling, diffidently.†   (source)
  • The sketch lay on the Chinese artist's table, and the artist stepped aside diffidently, in silence.†   (source)
  • Agravaine entered the conversation with his imitation of diffidence.†   (source)
  • The next day he received two more complaints, one from a man who came in diffident deprecation.†   (source)
  • 'You don't think it's just possible that the marriage may be a success?' he asked diffidently.†   (source)
  • I don't know," he laughed diffidently, "I must be good at it.†   (source)
  • Their diffident presence completed the picture of a feudal mansion.†   (source)
  • His voice was diffident, careless, but his face was still grey.†   (source)
  • Mr. Sternowitz was looking from one to the other with diffident, half-frightened eyes.†   (source)
  • "You the fellow who built the Booby Hatch?" he asked, quite diffidently.†   (source)
  • Beatrice, and her rather diffident negative attitude.†   (source)
  • At any rate I have lost my diffidence, my timidity, my shyness with strangers.†   (source)
  • "Yea," diffidently.†   (source)
  • She met that criticism as her temperament dictated, with docility and diffidence, or with anger and emphasis.†   (source)
  • I'm a little diffident about revealing the tricks of my dishonorable calling, but the truth is, Conway's story, as I pondered over it afterwards, appealed to me enormously.†   (source)
  • Even with Honey, with whom he had an unspoken understanding of marriage when he came into his property next fall, he was diffident and silent.†   (source)
  • Her father, before he went bust, had owned a drygoods store--overalls, laborers' canvas gloves and longjohns, galoshes, things like that; and he was a fleshy, diffident, pale, inside sort of man, back in his boxes.†   (source)
  • It is not diffidence, shyness.†   (source)
  • But she was silent beyond the spare questions and answers she asked and gave, and so Wang Lung stood diffidently on the edge of the circle and listened to the talk.†   (source)
  • Now, Hugh Elsing, Rene, the Simmons boys, Andy Bonnell and the others found him pleasant, diffident about putting himself forward and embarrassed when they spoke of the obligation they owed him.†   (source)
  • He could hear her panting now, her voice almost a wail of diffident yet iron determination: "I don't know what to do.†   (source)
  • She knew that just as she knew that he was now standing with a kind of clumsy and diffident awe above her and the sleeping child.†   (source)
  • The old man asked with tragic diffidence: "You don't think you could bring yourself to forgive him, Gawaine, however it happened?†   (source)
  • They enter not with diffidence, but with something puppetlike about them, as if they were operated by clumsy springwork.†   (source)
  • He smiled diffidently and went to her.†   (source)
  • "I am writing a treatise just now," said the badger, coughing diffidently to show that he was absolutely set on explaining it, "which is to point out why Man has become the master of the animals.†   (source)
  • This was the note upon which Byron's calls usually opened: this faintly overbearing note of levity and warmth to put the other at his ease, and on the part of the caller that slow and countrybred diffidence which is courtesy.†   (source)
  • Heyer could not understand it; he always remembered Keating as the diffident boy who had talked to him so nicely about old porcelain.†   (source)
  • Gleaming in neat braid, broad ribbon, washed face, pressed Sabbath suits, they gathered in little groups apart from their ungroomed fellows-or approached with the new diffidence of cleanliness.†   (source)
  • But he spoke, his head high, as an equal among equals, just subtly diffident, so that no great name present could take offense.†   (source)
  • I could see she despised me, marking with all the snobbery of her class that I was no great lady, that I was humble, shy, and diffident.†   (source)
  • "It's not just a house, Mr. Roark," he said with timid diffidence, as if he were speaking to a man older and more prominent than himself, "it's like…like a symbol to me.†   (source)
  • "Yes," said Keating, a faint coating of diffidence over the tone he had used in discussions with his classmates, "but windows are less important than the dignity of a building's facade."†   (source)
  • Diffidently, Martin crossed the hall to Gottlieb's immaculate laboratory at midnight.†   (source)
  • She felt his kiss, diffident and reverent, on her eyelid.†   (source)
  • The oppressive fear of criticism was gone, but a diffident loneliness remained.†   (source)
  • In the diffident manner was nothing of the art of the courtesan.†   (source)
  • "Ma, I've enlisted," he had said to her diffidently.†   (source)
  • Now that she had fallen to him so easily, he wondered why he had been so diffident.†   (source)
  • She came diffidently to the second meeting of the board.†   (source)
  • He felt a little diffident about asking concerning her success.†   (source)
  • They tried to be lively and willing, but there was an air of hang-dog diffidence about the place.†   (source)
  • She met girls of her own age, who looked at her as if with contempt for her diffidence.†   (source)
  • "Heh-heh! well, I wish to noise nothing abroad—nothing at all," murmured Poorgrass, diffidently.†   (source)
  • PRAED [diffidently] I'm afraid theres nothing else in the world that I can talk about.†   (source)
  • Kolya was particularly struck by Alyosha's apparent diffidence about his opinion of Voltaire.†   (source)
  • "Yes, miss, the Turkish Knight," he replied diffidently.†   (source)
  • Princess Mary seemed even quieter and more diffident than usual.†   (source)
  • I presently asked, with increasing diffidence.†   (source)
  • She was always quick and assured: Isabella slow and diffident.†   (source)
  • Mr. Cruncher, with some diffidence, explained himself as meaning "Old Nick's."†   (source)
  • 'I have been thinking, Trotwood,' said Agnes, diffidently, 'that if you had time —'†   (source)
  • Being the sons of mothers whose husbands had blundered rather brutally through their feminine sanctities, they were themselves too diffident and shy.†   (source)
  • The outer crust of her life, all of her natural diffidence and reserve, was torn away and she gave herself over to the emotions of love.†   (source)
  • In the midst of these more diffident invitations, the golden doors of the ballroom opened with a blatting of trumpets, and a circus parade rolled in.†   (source)
  • She followed him diffidently through the clattering automatons, keeping her eyes straight before her, and flushing slightly.†   (source)
  • Tom stood silent a moment, embarrassed by having so many eyes centred upon him, then said diffidently— "I have no knowledge of this tongue, so please your majesty."†   (source)
  • Rather diffident, he obeyed her.†   (source)
  • At the same time he could not help feeling slightly more at ease with this girl than with some others, for although cynical and not so attractive, her manner was genial and she now spelled escape from isolation and hence diffidence.†   (source)
  • Dr. Blumenkohl, by the way, returned after a few minutes, carrying himself in the same diffident fashion as when he left, took his seat again, and went on eating.†   (source)
  • They jocosely saluted the outgoing couple, and went forward in front of Jude and Sue, whose diffidence was increasing.†   (source)
  • He presented his idols diffidently, but he expanded in Carol's bookishness, in Miss Sherwin's voluminous praise, in Kennicott's tolerance of any one who amused his wife.†   (source)
  • Their presence had made him diffident of himself when he was a muff in Clongowes and it had made him diffident of himself also while he had held his equivocal position in Belvedere.†   (source)
  • Then Ross McGurk, over a comfortable steak, hinted, not too diffidently, that this was the opportunity for the Institute to acquire world-fame.†   (source)
  • But now Sondra, seeing at once that Clyde was if anything much more attractive than his cousin and far more diffident, and obviously greatly impressed by her charms as well as her social state, unbent sufficiently to say with a charming smile: "But that's all right.†   (source)
  • Then his mood turned intransigent, sternly diffident, even boorish; he would not listen to any more fibs or pretty stories, refused to answer pastor—whom Luise Ziemssen had summoned and who, to Hans Castorp's regret, had not worn a starched ruff but only Geneva bands— arrived to pray with him, his attitude grew more officially military and his wishes were only blunt commands.†   (source)
  • At the class-dinner he had seen poor Overbrook, in a shiny blue serge business-suit, being diffident in a corner with three other failures.†   (source)
  • Dr. Krokowski greeted the new resident with a kind of jovial, rugged, and reassuring heartiness, as if to imply that in his presence any diffidence was quite superfluous and cheerful mutual trust the only appropriate response.†   (source)
  • Like two little old people, absorbed in each other and diffidently exploring new, unwelcoming streets of the city where their alienated children live, Martin and Leora edged into the garnished magnificence of Benson, Hanley and Koch's, the loftiest department store in Zenith.†   (source)
  • She watched him marching from the train, solid, assured, carrying his heavy suit-case, and she was diffident—he was such a bulky person to handle.†   (source)
  • Diffidently Babbitt outlined his own suggestions: "I think if you analyze the needs of the school, in fact, going right at it as if it was a merchandizing problem, of course the one basic and fundamental need is growth.†   (source)
  • If she had let him diffidently make love to her, it was not because she cared, but because she did not care, because it did not matter.†   (source)
  • There was something shamefaced or diffident about the movement, as if the intention were to conceal any idea of stopping until the very last moment.†   (source)
  • "I've had experience enough," said Hurstwood blandly, but he felt a little diffident about referring to Fitzgerald and Moy.†   (source)
  • "When will we be married?" she asked, diffidently, forgetting in her difficult situation that she had hoped he took her to be Drouet's wife.†   (source)
  • There was an old subject they had once discussed, but it had lost its recognised place in their attention, and even after their arrival in Rome, where many things led back to it, they had kept the same half-diffident, half-confident silence.†   (source)
  • I throw out these queries for intelligent readers to answer, who know, at once, how credulous we are, and how sceptical, how soft and how obstinate, how firm for others and how diffident about ourselves: meanwhile, it is certain that our friend William Dobbin, who was personally of so complying a disposition that if his parents had pressed him much, it is probable he would have stepped down into the kitchen and married the cook, and who, to further his own interests, would have found…†   (source)
  • I diffidently asked.†   (source)
  • As he had shown no diffidence on the subject, I ventured on the liberty of asking him the question, when he stood before me, dusting his hands.†   (source)
  • Had Avdotya Romanovna been dressed like a queen, he felt that he would not be afraid of her, but perhaps just because she was poorly dressed and that he noticed all the misery of her surroundings, his heart was filled with dread and he began to be afraid of every word he uttered, every gesture he made, which was very trying for a man who already felt diffident.†   (source)
  • I asked, with awkward diffidence.†   (source)
  • Without any display of doing more than the rest, or any fear of doing too much, he was always true to her interests, and considerate of her feelings, trying to make her good qualities understood, and to conquer the diffidence which prevented their being more apparent; giving her advice, consolation, and encouragement.†   (source)
  • Opportunities of getting to Hetty's side would be sure to turn up in the course of the day, and Adam contented himself with that for he disliked any risk of being "joked" about Hetty—the big, outspoken, fearless man was very shy and diffident as to his love-making.†   (source)
  • And then the red faces made their way through the black biting frost to their own homes, feeling themselves free for the rest of the day to eat, drink, and be merry, and using that Christian freedom without diffidence.†   (source)
  • But Jasper's diffidence, no less than admiration for another, would have prevented him from aspiring to the honor of complimenting any whom he thought so much his superiors.†   (source)
  • Now, Mr. Bhaer was a diffident man and slow to offer his own opinions, not because they were unsettled, but too sincere and earnest to be lightly spoken.†   (source)
  • Young men should be diffident of themselves, you know, M. Clerval: I was myself when young; but that wears out in a very short time.†   (source)
  • At Palazzo Crescentini Mr. Osmond's manner remained the same; diffident at first—oh self-conscious beyond doubt! and full of the effort (visible only to a sympathetic eye) to overcome this disadvantage; an effort which usually resulted in a great deal of easy, lively, very positive, rather aggressive, always suggestive talk.†   (source)
  • A second and third response was made by this juvenile assistant, when the manly sounds of a male voice proceeded from the opposite part of the room, Miss Temple knew the tones of the young hunter instantly, and struggling to overcome her own diffidence she added her low voice to the number.†   (source)
  • The subject appeared to interest the gentleman deeply; for while Mr. Shelby was thoughtfully peeling an orange, Haley broke out afresh, with becoming diffidence, but as if actually driven by the force of truth to say a few words more.†   (source)
  • "You are very good," said Ladislaw, beginning to lose his diffidence in the interest with which he was observing the signs of weeping which had altered her face.†   (source)
  • Provincial diffidence, that slight varnish, the ephemeral flower, that down of the peach, had evaporated to the winds through the little orthodox counsels which the three Musketeers gave their friend.†   (source)
  • Of course, when the miller talked of "mapping" and "summing" in a vague and diffident manner, Mr Stelling had set his mind at rest by an assurance that he understood what was wanted; for how was it possible the good man could form any reasonable judgment about the matter?†   (source)
  • Now, she was both diffident and importunate; extremely reserved sometimes with her friends, and strangely expansive with strangers.†   (source)
  • Jane's temper was not desponding, and she was gradually led to hope, though the diffidence of affection sometimes overcame the hope, that Bingley would return to Netherfield and answer every wish of her heart.†   (source)
  • Her great indulgence of it was really the desire of a rather inarticulate nature to manifest itself; she sought to be eloquent in her garments, and to make up for her diffidence of speech by a fine frankness of costume.†   (source)
  • "I once met a man that had boated on the river he names," observed the eldest son, speaking in a low tone of voice, like one who distrusted his knowledge, and deemed it prudent to assume a becoming diffidence in the presence of a man who had seen so much: "from his tell, it must be a considerable stream, and deep enough for a keel-boat, from top to bottom."†   (source)
  • This was, in fact, addressed to Wah-ta-Wah, though she who spoke uttered her words with an assumed diffidence and humility that prevented her looking at the other.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • Without scruple—without apology—without much apparent diffidence, Mr. Elton, the lover of Harriet, was professing himself her lover.†   (source)
  • 'I suppose no one ever had occasion to think you too diffident, or too delicate,' Louisa answered him composedly: 'I have never made that objection to you, either as a child or as a woman.†   (source)
  • In my youth the monarchs of England had ceased to touch for the evil, but there was no occasion for this diffidence: they could have cured it forty-nine times in fifty.†   (source)
  • 'Do you think, Papa,' inquired Little Dorrit, with diffidence and hesitation, 'there is any objection to my making this visit?'†   (source)
  • "I beg your pardon, sir," he said to my guardian with a manly kind of diffidence, "but you did me the honour to mention the young lady's name—"†   (source)
  • A hundred youths, who had hitherto been restrained by the diffidence of their years, rushed in a frantic body on the fancied emblem of their enemy, and severed it asunder, splinter by splinter, until nothing remained of the trunk but its roots in the earth.†   (source)
  • And he began, at first rather diffidently, but more and more carried away by the subject as he went on, to draw her attention to the various details of the decoration of his house and garden.†   (source)
  • She was not exactly shy, but diffident, and rather overawed by her sister, who had educated her, and who had no suspicion of the fact.†   (source)
  • Elizabeth and Louisa pursued their walk as far as the bridge in profound silence; but when they reached that place the latter stopped, and appeared anxious to utter something that her diffidence suppressed.†   (source)
  • This life had, however, a secret history as well as a public one—if I may talk of the public history of a mature and diffident spinster for whom publicity had always a combination of terrors.†   (source)
  • He was anxious to avoid the notice of his cousins, from a conviction that if they saw him depart, they could not fail to conjecture his design, and he was not willing to have the attempt known till its success might be known likewise; for though feeling almost secure, and with reason, for Charlotte had been tolerably encouraging, he was comparatively diffident since the adventure of Wednesday.†   (source)
  • "Well, I ought to be," said he diffidently, taking great trouble not to rest his eyes upon her, though this was their only natural position, Eustacia being immediately before him.†   (source)
  • This lingering diffidence seemed to give a peculiar value to what was definite and assured in her manner; it made it seem like an accomplishment, a beautiful talent, something that one might compare to an exquisite touch in a pianist.†   (source)
  • "Here it is," said Aramis, with a little look of diffidence, which, however, was not exempt from a shade of hypocrisy: "Vous qui pleurez un passe plein de charmes, Et qui trainez des jours infortunes, Tous vos malheurs se verront termines, Quand a Dieu seul vous offrirez vos larmes, Vous qui pleurez!"†   (source)
  • Young Jasper was on the quarter-deck, near enough to hear occasionally the conversation which passed; but too diffident of his own claim, and too intent on his duties, to attempt to mingle in it.†   (source)
  • Still, Deerslayer, it is not easy for one of my sex and years to forget all her lessons of infancy, all her habits, and her natural diffidence, and say openly what her heart feels!†   (source)
  • Your garb and manner were restricted by rule; your air was often diffident, and altogether that of one refined by nature, but absolutely unused to society, and a good deal afraid of making herself disadvantageously conspicuous by some solecism or blunder; yet when addressed, you lifted a keen, a daring, and a glowing eye to your interlocutor's face: there was penetration and power in each glance you gave; when plied by close questions, you found ready and round answers.†   (source)
  • He was very anxious to testify his appreciation in some way, but he is so diffident he couldn't venture it himself, and so he begged me to buy some little things and give them to you and Dame Phyllis and let him pay for them without your ever knowing they came from him—you know how a delicate person feels about that sort of thing —and so I said I would, and we would keep mum.†   (source)
  • So when Bob called the next day at the wharf to know the decision, Tom proposed that they should go together to his uncle Glegg's to open the business; for his diffident pride clung to him, and made him feel that Bobs' tongue would relieve him from some embarrassment.†   (source)
  • 'Suppose that a man,' so his thoughts ran, 'who had been of age some twenty years or so; who was a diffident man, from the circumstances of his youth; who was rather a grave man, from the tenor of his life; who knew himself to be deficient in many little engaging qualities which he admired in others, from having been long in a distant region, with nothing softening near him; who had no kind sisters to present to her; who had no congenial home to make her known in; who was a stranger in…†   (source)
  • Her diffidence, gratitude, and softness made every expression of indifference seem almost an effort of self-denial; seem, at least, to be giving nearly as much pain to herself as to him.†   (source)
  • He was a diffident though distinguished nurseryman, and feared that the audience might regard his bid as a foolish one.†   (source)
  • The ordinary warriors of the band were still less diffident, not hesitating to mingle among the chiefs of lesser note, though far from assuming the right to dispute the sentiments of any established brave, or to call in question the prudence of measures, that were recommended by the more gifted counsellors of the nation.†   (source)
  • My father was in the meantime overjoyed and in the bustle of preparation only recognized in the melancholy of his niece the diffidence of a bride.†   (source)
  • These men, though enchanted with the sovereign for refusing the command of the army, yet blamed him for such excessive modesty, and only desired and insisted that their adored sovereign should abandon his diffidence and openly announce that he would place himself at the head of the army, gather round him a commander in chief's staff, and, consulting experienced theoreticians and practical men where necessary, would himself lead the troops, whose spirits would thereby be raised to the…†   (source)
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