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diffidence (noun) lack of confidence; shyness.
When a person lacks confidence, they have diffidence. Diffidence makes people shy and unwilling to talk about themselves in others' presence. A person's diffidence about accomplishing something is their doubt about their achieving it.
- Diffidence about her ability to make the grade in the exam prevents Ann from even attempting it, though she has in it to score a high grade.
- Confidence is all, though, overconfidence and diffidence are both to be avoided. When you are diffident, you doubt your ability even to take the first step and that makes your task a nonstarter.