modest Definition

  • 1not excessively large, elaborate, or expensive
  • 2unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities or achievements

Using modest: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "modest" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She wore a modest dress to the party.

  • Example

    He has a modest income but lives comfortably.

  • Example

    She is very modest about her accomplishments.

  • Example

    The company made a modest profit this year.

modest Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using modest

  • a moderate amount of wealth


    Although he inherited a modest fortune from his parents, he worked hard to increase his wealth.

  • a plan or suggestion that is so outrageous or impractical that it is not seriously considered


    His proposal to build a bridge to the moon was a modest proposal that no one took seriously.

  • a person who is shy or unassuming


    He was a modest mouse who rarely spoke up in meetings.

Phrases with modest

  • a satirical essay by Jonathan Swift suggesting that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies


    His essay was a modest proposal that shocked readers with its dark humor.

  • limited financial resources


    Despite his modest means, he managed to save enough money to buy a small house.

  • clothing that covers the body in a way that is considered appropriate or conservative


    The school requires students to wear modest dress that does not reveal too much skin.

Origins of modest

from Latin 'modestus', meaning 'keeping due measure'


Summary: modest in Brief

The term 'modest' [ˈmɑːdɪst] refers to something that is not excessive or elaborate, such as a 'modest dress' or a 'modest profit.' It can also describe a person who is unassuming or humble, as in 'She is very modest about her accomplishments.' 'Modest' extends into phrases like 'modest proposal,' which suggests an outrageous idea, and idioms like 'modest mouse,' denoting a shy or unassuming person.

How do native speakers use this expression?