Definition of modest in English:


Syllabification: mod·est
Pronunciation: /ˈmädəst


  • 2(Of an amount, rate, or level of something) relatively moderate, limited, or small: drink modest amounts of alcohol employment growth was relatively modest
    More example sentences
    • Let's find the relatively modest amounts needed to fund things people want, and let's do it without chopping away at other programs with an axe.
    • Australia has long had a remarkably good university system, and used relatively modest levels of public investment in higher education very effectively.
    • A relatively modest amount of money could fund programs that would have a significant impact on smoking in Canada and allow those looking to quit to find help.
    moderate, fair, limited, tolerable, passable, adequate, satisfactory, acceptable, unexceptional
  • 2.1(Of a place in which one lives, eats, or stays) not excessively large, elaborate, or expensive: we had bought a modest house
    More example sentences
    • They take great pride in showing their houses, modest flats on the outside, but inside renovated kitchens and bathrooms and all the mod cons amongst the religious icons.
    • Our venue became too expensive for our modest means.
    • Through the darkness I could make out a modest, tan coloured house with an overgrown garden and grubby looking shudders drooping from the windows.
    small, ordinary, simple, plain, humble, inexpensive, unostentatious, unpretentious
  • 3(Of a woman) dressing or behaving so as to avoid impropriety or indecency, especially to avoid attracting sexual attention.
    More example sentences
    • We see that one should look for a proper, modest woman to be his wife, in order to have an eternal loving relationship.
    • She tells him to find a pretty and modest girl whom he respects and to wait until he's through with college, because he's not half good enough for whoever the girl is.
    • In other words, nice girls are modest and demure.
  • 3.1(Of clothing) not revealing or emphasizing the figure: modest dress means that hemlines must be below the knee
    More example sentences
    • My mother showed up dressed in a modest skirt and jacket along with my little brothers, Robert and Connor.
    • Some were dressed in very modest gowns, while others were practically falling out of their bodices.
    • Finally, I was standing in my under garments and fumbled around in the twilight for some modest clothing.
    decorous, decent, seemly, demure, proper



More example sentences
  • He speaks so quietly and so modestly that it is hard to envisage him as the authoritative playmaker that he is.
  • The second set of tablets was given quietly and modestly, and they lasted eternally.
  • While the majority modestly said two, others laughed and admitted to drinking at least five cups of coffee.


mid 16th century: from French modeste, from Latin modestus 'keeping due measure', related to modus 'measure'.

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