- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (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
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
eat humble pie
To be forced to acknowledge one's deficiencies or errors: “Professor Norris had to eat humble pie when the reviewers pointed out numerous factual errors in his book.” Humble pie refers to a dish originally made from the innards of a deer.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.