- 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 humbly
And much of it, unlike Pappy, is right there on the shelf, humbly, quietly waiting to be tried.The Cult of Pappy van Winkle
December 3, 2014
In his Twitter handle Spencer now humbly refers to himself as an “international thought criminal.”A Racist’s Crazy Ski Resort Smackdown
October 18, 2014
To any other journalists interested in following up on our mission, I humbly offer one piece of advice.My Search for the Taliban Five
June 15, 2014
He has insisted on living as simply and humbly as a pope can.Pope Francis Has Done Penance for His Lapse of Courage in Argentina
March 19, 2013
But I humbly suggest that there are some matters on which there should not a statute of limitations.Michael Tomasky: Time for Ron Paul to Fully Answer Racism Charges
December 23, 2011
He must go and humbly he must ask for the loan of a small sum of money.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
I humbly apprehend, that Mr. Solmes has the spirit of a man, and a gentleman.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God.
"Ach, no," said he humbly; for he could not look upon my face and hold his anger.The Bacillus of Beauty
But, Sir, from your pen let me have an answer; I humbly implore it of you.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
- 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 humbly
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.