Meaning of “modest” in the English Dictionary

"modest" in British English

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modestadjective

uk /ˈmɒd.ɪst/ us /ˈmɑː.dɪst/

modest adjective (NOT LARGE)

B2 not large in size or amount, or not expensive:

There has been a modest improvement/recovery in housing conditions for the poor.
The party made modest gains in the elections, but nothing like the huge gains that were predicted.
Just a modest portion for me, please.

More examples

  • The average cost of a full three-course meal - appetizer, main course and dessert - including tip and a modest wine is about $25.
  • There was a modest rise in high-street spending last month.
  • The car has enjoyed modest success since its launch, but the Mark 2 version is expected to be far more popular.
  • We consumed a modest amount of food.
  • His earnings were fairly modest.
modestly
adverb uk /ˈmɒd.ɪst.li/ us /ˈmɑː.dɪst.li/

C1

At just $9, the DVD is very modestly priced.
She was dressed modestly.

(Definition of “modest” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"modest" in American English

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modestadjective

us /ˈmɑd·ɪst/

modest adjective (NOT LARGE)

not large in size or amount, or not great in value:

a modest increase in salary
a modest house

modest adjective (QUIETLY SUCCESSFUL)

tending not to talk about or make obvious your own abilities and achievements:

Although an outstanding scientist, he’s a modest man.

modest adjective (CORRECT)

(Definition of “modest” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"modest" in Business English

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modestadjective

uk /ˈmɒdɪst/ us

not large in size or amount, or not expensive:

modest amount/budget/profit We have a fairly modest budget, considering our oil wealth.
modest rise/increase/improvement There has been a modest improvement in housing conditions.
The company made modest gains in the marketplace.
modestly
adverb

Modestly priced electronics attract consumers year-round.

(Definition of “modest” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)