What do you call a person who doesn't want to advertise himself? He may be somebody special but doesn't like to talk about his achievement or advertise himself. What is the Adjective that describes such a trait?


Unpretentious: Not attempting to impress others with an appearance of greater importance, talent, or culture than is actually possessed. (Lexico)

Example: ‘in spite of his fame he was thoroughly unpretentious’ More example sentences

Self-effacing: Not claiming attention for oneself; retiring and modest. (Lexico)

Example: his demeanour was self-effacing, gracious, and polite.

You could also say reticent, unostentatious or unassuming.

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    'Unpretentious' or 'self-effacing' are very suitable words, thank you very much. – Tanvir Apr 23 at 5:52

I would say that the person was modest:

1 a : placing a moderate estimate on one's abilities or worth
1 b : neither bold nor self-assertive : tending toward diffidence

Alternatively, depending on the specific interpretation, they could also be humble:

1 : not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive
2 : reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission
// a humble apology

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  • I remember a word having the word 'advertise' in that, e.g. non-advertising or something. I want to emphasize on 'Advertising'. What is the opposite of this- A man who always advertises about himself? – Tanvir Apr 23 at 5:37
  • @Tanvir Hidden or secretive might work if you're looking for something qualitatively different. But my own words do mean the opposite of advertising. In fact, the answer you accepted simply provides synonyms of the words I gave (modest even appears in the definition of self-effacing). None of them (in that answer or this) correspond to the different meaning you now say you are looking for. – Jason Bassford Apr 23 at 6:40
  • 'Unpretentious' or 'self-effacing' are very suitable words for my case, as mentioned above by another guy – Tanvir Apr 24 at 3:44

I'd use one of 'humble' or 'modest'

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  • actually I knew this word but forgotten, but it was not humble or modest. – Tanvir Apr 23 at 5:28

How about understated?

From TFD:

understated: not obvious; subtle // restrained; de-emphasized; low-key

From Cambridge:

understated: not trying to attract attention or impress people, e.g., He's very elegant, in an understated way.


Jane was always understated when it came to the value of her contributions.

It's implicit in saying that Jane is understated that she has an understated personality, manner, approach.

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    I've never seen this used for individuals. Their drums, arguments, charm, pitches, black dresses, even organisations ... but not individuals. Will return to check whether you supply a valid example from a reasonable source.. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 23 at 16:41
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    @EdwinAshworth It's common in the U.S. to characterize people as understated. Look forward to the results of your research. – Richard Kayser Apr 23 at 16:55
  • Will return to check whether you supply a valid example from a reasonable source.... It's your answer. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 23 at 18:26
  • @EdwinAshworth Thanks for the comment. It helped me strengthen the answer. – Richard Kayser Apr 23 at 19:08
  • The reasonable source being? I've found 3 relevant hits for "John was understated". But 'Everything about John was understated yet glaringly obvious at the same time.' seems fine, and relevant here. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 24 at 13:43

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