• WordNet 3.6
    • adj humble of low birth or station (`base' is archaic in this sense) "baseborn wretches with dirty faces","of humble (or lowly) birth"
    • adj humble marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful "a humble apology","essentially humble...and self-effacing, he achieved the highest formal honors and distinctions"- B.K.Malinowski"
    • adj humble used of unskilled work (especially domestic work)
    • adj humble low or inferior in station or quality "a humble cottage","a lowly parish priest","a modest man of the people","small beginnings"
    • v humble cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of "He humiliated his colleague by criticising him in front of the boss"
    • v humble cause to be unpretentious "This experience will humble him"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Humbly Beseech Your Lanternship--5-35-618 Humbly Beseech Your Lanternship--5-35-618
7. Mouth parts of a Humble Bee 7. Mouth parts of a Humble Bee
212. Head of Humble bee 212. Head of Humble bee

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Humble Hornless. See Hummel.
    • Humble Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming; as, a humble cottage. "THy humble nest built on the ground."
    • Humble Thinking lowly of one's self; claiming little for one's self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; thinking one's self ill-deserving or unworthy, when judged by the demands of God; lowly; waek; modest. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble .""She should be humble who would please.""Without a humble imitation of the divine Author of our . . . religion we can never hope to be a happy nation."
    • Humble To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humilate. "Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's plagues
      Have humbled to all strokes."
      "The genius which humbled six marshals of France."
    • Humble To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiently of; to make meek and submissive; -- often used rexlexively. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • humble To hum.
    • humble To break; make sore.
    • humble To break off the ears of (barley) with a flail; separate from the awns.
    • humble To break off the horns of.
    • humble Broken; bruised; sore.
    • humble Having no horns, as a cow.
    • humble Pertaining to a humble cow.
    • humble Lowly in kind, state, condition, amount, etc.; of little worth or moment; unimportant; low; common: as, a humble cottage; a man of humble origin; a humble follower; my humble means.
    • humble Lowly in manner or guise; modest; unpretending; submissive: as, a humble apology.
    • humble Lowly in feeling; lacking self-esteem; having a sense of insignificance, unworthiness, dependence, or sinfulness; meek; penitent.
    • humble To make lower; bring down; bow down.
    • humble To make lower in state or condition; reduce in power, possessions, esteem, etc.; abase: as, to humble one's foes; to humble the pride of a rival.
    • humble To make humble or lowly in feeling; bring down the pride or vanity of; make meek and submissive; humiliate: often used reflexively.
    • humble Synonyms Debase, Degrade, etc. See abase.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Humble hum′bl or or um′bl low: meek: modest
    • v.t Humble to bring down to the ground: to lower: to abase: to mortify: to degrade
    • n Humble a humiliation
    • adj Humble hum′bl having no horns.
    • ***


  • Joe Davis
    Joe Davis
    “Study the best and highest things that are; but of yourself humble thoughts retain.”
  • Golda Meir
    “Don't be humble, you're not that great.”
  • Joe Orton
    Joe Orton
    “The humble and meek are thirsting for blood.”
  • William Cowper
    “Knowledge is proud that it knows so much; Wisdom is humble that it knows no more.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Act as though you cannot fail but keep a humble spirit.”
  • C. S. Lewis
    “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.”


Eat humble pie - If someone apologises and shows a lot of contrition for something they have done, they eat humble pie.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. L. humilis, on the ground, low, fr. humus, the earth, ground. See Homage, and cf. Chameleon Humiliate


In literature:

Then answer this my humble prayer, And oh, a husband give to me!
"The Book of Humorous Verse" by Various
So, while I am away, you must pray Christ to humble the whites.
"The Hour and the Man" by Harriet Martineau
Your spirit is too noble, too ingenuous, too humble for concealment.
"Deerbrook" by Harriet Martineau
Sir, your humble servant.
"The Comedies of William Congreve Volume 1 [of 2]" by William Congreve
Oh, my son, let me beseech you to humble yourself before His throne, and ask His grace and assistance.
"The Young Lord and Other Tales to which is added Victorine Durocher" by Camilla Toulmin
"Our Common Insects" by Alpheus Spring Packard
The Jesuit, especially when obscure and humble, was a tool, rather than an intriguer.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
Madeleine is not my aunt's humble companion, nor mine.
"Fairy Fingers" by Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
Open your hearts for Him to come in, by humble faith in His great sacrifice for you.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
Humbly contented, I remain in my own prescribed circle.
"Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810" by Edward Ziegler Davis
Now I give it back to thee, for thou art once again humble, and the humble only are fit to rule.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
Your most humble servant, JAS.
"Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumarez, Vol. I" by Sir John Ross
But Martin was very humble, and he refused the honour.
"Stories of the Saints by Candle-Light" by Vera C. Barclay
The friend was an Indian, but Ernest was wise enough to consider that no friend, however humble, is to be despised.
"A Cousin's Conspiracy" by Horatio Alger
You could surely rely on my humble aid toward making their sojourn in the wilderness endurable.
"A Pessimist" by Robert Timsol
The Holy One seeks the humble; the humble find the Holy One: such are the two lessons we have to learn to-day.
"Holy in Christ" by Andrew Murray
He could observe no dejection, and at that he humbled himself a little more.
"The Fifth Queen Crowned" by Ford Madox Ford
She meekly accepted his suggestion, and humbly attended him to the door.
"The Art of Disappearing" by John Talbot Smith
Humble as she is, and ugly as she thinks herself, she has given all her beauty, all her grace to the surrounding universe.
"La Sorcière: The Witch of the Middle Ages" by Jules Michelet
He was as humble as a lackey.
"Eyes Like the Sea" by Mór Jókai

In poetry:

Yea, the slidings back of sin
Were but wounds whereby to win
Humbling victories within,—
Lord! Thou knowest;
"Thou Knowest" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
But, bowed in lowliness of mind,
I make my humble wishes known;
I only ask a will resigned,
O Father, to Thine own!
"The Wish Of To-Day" by John Greenleaf Whittier
By his bed a monk was seated,
Who in humble voice repeated
Many a prayer and pater-noster,
From the missal on his knee;
"The Norman Baron" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
'Tis not the word which sounds the sweetest
That's soonest heard:
A sigh, when humbled thou retreatest,
May be preferred.
"Outward and Inward Virtue" by John Bowring
I took them to my humble home,
Where now they may be seen,
The lad,--a noble-minded youth,--
His "sissy,"--beauty's queen.
"The Old Bachelor's Story" by John Hartley
Lord, Your humble servants hear,
Suppliant now before You;
Our Father, from Your children's plea
Turn not, we implore You!
"Hymn for Atonement Day" by Yehudah ha-Levi

In news:

So, whether as a celebrant or an observer of Christmas, the stories point us to something worth celebrating, but in humble celebration.
NDP win in Kitchener-Waterloo byelection leaves McGuinty humbled, Hudak humiliated .
Dion Waiters still humble and hungry in Las Vegas.
Recently, we stumbled across Greg Schmigel's beautiful collection of NYC-based black-and-white photos taken with his humble iPhone.
The Garden Store and Hip & Humble in SLC: Bring on the blooms.
Buffeted by the recession and humbled somewhat by the mixed results of its ambitious innovations of the last decade, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is pulling back.
Since its humble beginnings, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival has grown into one of the most important events in modern music.
Or to be humble, and put yourself in the service of others.
Humbled but resolute, Matt Hagan has one shot at a chance to defend his Funny Car title.
Humbling hairy slugs still leave masculine trails.
Photograph by Kennan Ward A humble home: When the couple wasn't shooting their film or doing research, they spent time at their cozy Santa Cruz County cabin.
I am a former Chicago expat, who went somewhere over the rainbow to the never-never land of Los Angeles, but who's now returned, and I have a humble request.
Hurricane Ike's wrath in the Kingwood and Humble area.
Steve and Sheila Watruba announce the engagement of their daughter, Melissa Dawn Watruba of Humble, Texas to Jason Eric Kirchner of Humble, son of Mr and Mrs Clarence C Kirchner of Missouri City, Texas.
NDP win in Kitchener -Waterloo byelection leaves McGuinty humbled, Hudak humiliated.

In science:

In addition, we are humbly indebted to the expert staff of W. M.
A Luminosity Function of Lyman Alpha Emitting Galaxies at Redshift 4.5
Hence low temperature statistical physics can be seen as the search for minimizing a cost function whose expression reflects the laws of Nature or, more humbly, the degree of accuracy retained in its description.
A review of the Statistical Mechanics approach to Random Optimization Problems
We are based on the following humble observation: Let {v , u} be an edge of Gn,d/n . A random colouring of Gn,d/n can be seen as a random colouring of Gn,d/n\{v , u} with the additional property that v and u are assigned different colours.
A simple algorithm for random colouring G(n, d/n) using (2+\epsilon)d colours
If you are receptive and humble, mathematics will lead you by the hand.
Definability in the Real Universe
This was a fascinating and humbling experience for a theorist. I have seen how much the naive first estimates of what such a facility can achieve are transformed as the reality of building an actual experiment and analyzing real data take over from the back-of-the-envelope guesses with which we begin the process.
Summary and Outlook for 9th International Symposium on Heavy Flavor Physics
Even more humbling we should be with respect to Λ, the essence of the corresponding vacuum energy density even being further beyond our grasp (see discussion above, and Weinberg, S., 1989, Revs.
Report to Anaximander: A Dialogue on the Origin of the Cosmos in the Cradle of Western Civilization
In fact, the story of the efforts of astrophysicists to understand grain alignment is humbling.
Astrophysics of Dust in Cold Clouds
It is not just because it has taken us so long to solve the problem – the humbling lesson is that several very important and relatively simple physical effects were overlooked for decades.
Astrophysics of Dust in Cold Clouds
His brief but enthusiastic life had been devoted to, in my humble opinion, pursuing quantum world besides from his late family and friends.
Flat family of QFTs and quantization of d-algebras
From its humble beginning in February 2005, Slacker Astronomy has quickly grown to over 9,000 listeners in August 2005, and that number will undoubtedly continue to rise.
The Road Less Traveled: Non-traditional Ways of Communicating Astronomy with the Public
Observations with the MOST “humble space telescope” [Moffat] may tell us more about the role of WR pulsations.
Mass loss summary - a personal perspective
The fact that a particle is ubiquitous does not make it less interesting than those that are rarer; quite on the contrary, the humble photon provides a key to the deeper understanding of many things.
Photon 2009 - Experimental Summary
This humble beginning needs to be refined so that it fits better with real applications.
Hypothesis Testing for Validation and Certification
I would like hereby express my humble gratitude toward Prof. D.
Gravitational Lensing In Case of Massive Particles
The idea is a rather humble bottom-up approach then; but experimental hints at the existence of such a little hierarchy has been discussed.
Fermion Sector of Little Higgs