Having or showing a moderate estimation of one's own talents, abilities, and value. Having or proceeding from a disinclination to call attention to oneself; retiring or diffident. See Synonyms at shy1. Observing conventional proprieties in speech, behavior, or dress. Free from showiness or ostentation; unpretentious. See Synonyms at plain. Moderate or limited in size, quantity, or range; not extreme: a modest price; a newspaper with a modest circulation.