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I have been digging for a word that English seems to have a hard time representing. If I were to describe the spirit of what I'm trying to convey, it would be one who does not look inward for fault or error. It's a confidence, a self-belief, perhaps even a self confidence.

The issue I have when trying to isolate a word like this is that often the suggestion is far harsher than what I visualize. The suggestions I get seem to be rooted in arrogance, without blame, or words that suggest a supreme confidence. Instead I'm trying to convey a sort of organic confidence in oneself. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • There is a big difference between confidence and overconfidence. When you describe somebody who never looks inward, that's negative trait. The lack of self-awareness or self-reflection is rarely seen as something positive. Which is why you would have found words such as arrogance. Or overconfidence. It sounds like you're looking for someone who is self-aware and inward looking but who doesn't doubt themselves when they act. (Because they know who they are.) So, I'm not sure why you rejected the words at the end of your first paragraph . . . – Jason Bassford Aug 31 '18 at 15:31
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The word you are undoubtedly seeking is aplomb. I refer to senses 2 and 3 of the OED entry below.

Etymology: French aplomb perpendicular position, steadfastness, assurance, < the phrase à plomb ‘according to the plummet.’

  1. ‘The perpendicular’; perpendicularity. 1872 C. King Mountaineering in Sierra Nevada iii. 69 We sprang on, never resting long enough to lose the aplomb.

1880 A. D. Whitney Odd or Even? iii. 23 The girl jumped, with clean aplomb, from the wagon-wheel to the broad door-stone. (Hide quotations)

  1. Assurance, confidence, self-possession, coolness. 1828 T. P. Thompson Exercises (1842) IV. 548 They never present themselves with any aplomb; but always with some lurking recognition of the power of their adversaries.

1849 C. Brontë Shirley I. xi. 291 Impatience of her chilly ceremony, and annoyance at her want of aplomb.

  1. attrib. quasi-adj. Self-possessed, confident. 1865 A. D. Whitney Gayworthys 220 Her ordinary, aplomb fashion of speech.
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The word conceited could be used.

con·ceit·ed

kənˈsēdəd

adjective

excessively proud of oneself; vain. synonyms: vain, narcissistic, self-centered, egotistic, egotistical, egocentric

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    You seem to be quoting a dictionary definition.  If so, please identify it by name and link to it.   Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. – Scott Sep 2 '18 at 6:12

protected by tchrist Sep 1 '18 at 20:35

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