Definition of modest adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈmɒdɪst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɑːdɪst//
    Describing clothes, Proud
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  1. 1not very large, expensive, important, etc. modest improvements/reforms He charged a relatively modest fee. a modest little house The research was carried out on a modest scale.
  2. 2(approving) not talking much about your own abilities or possessions She's very modest about her success. You're too modest! opposite immodest See related entries: Proud
  3. 3(of people, especially women, or their clothes) shy about showing much of the body; not intended to attract attention, especially in a sexual way synonym demure a modest dress opposite immodest See related entries: Describing clothes
  4. Word Originmid 16th cent.: from French modeste, from Latin modestus ‘keeping due measure’, related to modus ‘measure’.Extra examples He is looking to improve on his relatively modest achievements so far. He is modest about his achievements. Our requirements seem fairly modest. She would be falsely modest not to acknowledge that she had come a very long way since those early days. The new homes are modest in scale, but very comfortable. Don’t be so modest! You’re a very talented player. He was a quiet, modest man. She grew up in a modest little house in the suburbs. She’s very modest about her success. The FTSE staged a modest recovery to be 6.5 points down. There has been a modest improvement in the situation. They live in modest comfort. a modest aim/​achievement/​ambition/​goal/​success a modest contribution/​expenditure/​fee/​gain/​investment/​outlay/​profit/​sum a modest house/​flat/​villa a modest size/​amount/​quantity/​scale/​share/​proportion modest premises
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: modest