- 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 humblest
She was born into the humblest of Birmingham neighborhoods, to a mother who had been a butcher and a TV-salesman dad.Gillian Wearing: One of Today's 10 Most Important Artists
June 5, 2011
A man likes to have the approval of even the humblest of his fellow-creatures.In the Midst of Alarms
They would take off their hats, and make the humblest bows you ever saw.The Miraculous Pitcher
The humblest may see a way of improvement in their betters, and obey the command, "Follow me."Albert Durer
T. Sturge Moore
Occasionally, the brave and gentle character may be found under the humblest garb.Self-Help
Only he had set her on high, where even the humblest woman longs to be set by some one.A Spirit in Prison
- 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 humblest
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.