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humble pie

humility forced upon someone, often under embarrassing conditions; humiliation.
Obsolete. a pie made of the viscera and other inferior parts of deer or the like.
eat humble pie, to be forced to apologize humbly; suffer humiliation:
He had to eat humble pie and publicly admit his error.
Origin of humble pie
1640-50; earlier phrase an umble pie, erroneous for a numble pie; see numbles Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for humble pie
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Don't think that I'll have any humble pie eaten to that fellow Bellew!

    The Country House John Galsworthy
  • I knew it was humbug; but I had to eat no end of humble pie, all the same.

    A Pessimist Robert Timsol
  • Not that I am one to refuse the humble pie his jeweled fingers offer me.

    The March Family Trilogy, Complete William Dean Howells
  • "The Scornful Dog" had to eat wormwood pudding and humble pie.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • I shall enjoy seeing them eat of the humble pie I can put before them.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • Yes, auntie, and ready to eat all the humble pie you have prepared for me.

    Miss Dexie Stanford Eveleth
  • But it must not go too far; there were limits to the morsel of humble pie that he was disposed to swallow.

    Confidence Henry James
  • In my opinion his speech was a great imprudence, and will probably involve the necessity of our eating a great deal of humble pie.

    The Greville Memoirs (Third Part) Volume II (of II) Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville
  • You talk about humble pie, but I think that, upon my word—with all I've said to you—it's I who have had to eat it.

    The Sacred Fount Henry James
British Dictionary definitions for humble pie

humble pie

(formerly) a pie made from the heart, entrails, etc, of a deer
eat humble pie, to behave or be forced to behave humbly; be humiliated
Word Origin
C17: earlier an umble pie, by mistaken word division from a numble pie, from numbles offal of a deer, from Old French nombles, ultimately from Latin lumbulus a little loin, from lumbus loin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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