- not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
- having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
- low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.
- courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.
- low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.
- to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
- to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
- to make meek: to humble one's heart.
Origin of humble
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for humble
What matters is being honest, humble, and a faithful and loyal friend, father and member of your community.
They are to face oppression with humble persistence and absolute conviction.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
Abramoff said that the governor needed to remember to “be humble.”
His goal of coming across as humble subtracts from his ability to share just exactly how he became so great at such a young age.The Story of the World’s Greatest Cricket Player
December 24, 2014
They'll take your jobs (never mind that you don't want to do the burdensome and humble jobs they are willing to do)!Ebola, ISIS, the Border: So Much to Fear, So Little Time!
November 2, 2014
The haughtiness of others can never make us angry, if we ourselves are humble.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Will you go down, and humble that stubborn spirit of yours to your mamma?
He was no longer the fairy godmother's devoted and humble factotum.Viviette
William J. Locke
But do you think I will rob my sister of her humble servant?
This says nothing of the quality of my work, which, humble as it may be, is simply the best I know how to do.The Conquest of Fear
- conscious of one's failings
- unpretentious; lowlya humble cottage; my humble opinion
- deferential or servile
- to cause to become humble; humiliate
- to lower in status
Word Origin and History for humble
mid-13c., from Old French humble, earlier humele, from Latin humilis "lowly, humble," literally "on the ground," from humus "earth." Senses of "not self-asserting" and "of low birth or rank" were both in Middle English Related: Humbly; humbleness.
Don't be so humble; you're not that great. [Golda Meir]
To eat humble pie (1830) is from umble pie (1640s), pie made from umbles "edible inner parts of an animal" (especially deer), considered a low-class food. The similar sense of similar-sounding words (the "h" of humble was not pronounced then) converged in the pun. Umbles, meanwhile, is Middle English numbles "offal" (with loss of n- through assimilation into preceding article).
late 14c. in the intransitive sense of "to render oneself humble;" late 15c. in the transitive sense of "to lower (someone) in dignity;" see humble (adj.). Related: Humbled; humbling.