- The definition of humble is someone who knows they are not perfect.
An example of humble is a general contractor being honest about not being great at plumbing.
- Humble is defined as to lower the condition or position of someone or something.
An example of humble is telling someone they aren't as good at something as they think they are.
- having or showing a consciousness of one's defects or shortcomings; not overly proud; not self-assertive; modest
- low in condition, rank, or position; lowly; unpretentious: a humble home
Origin of humbleMiddle English from Old French from Classical Latin humilis, low, small, slight, akin to humus, soil, earth: see humus
transitive verb-·bled, -·bling
- to lower in condition, rank, or position; abase
- to lower in pride; make modest or humble in mind
- Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
- Showing deferential or submissive respect: a humble apology.
- Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly: a humble cottage.
transitive verbhum·bled, hum·bling, hum·bles
- To cause to feel humble: “He was humbled by the lack of consolation in Kornblum's expression” ( Michael Chabon )
- To cause to have a lower condition or status; abase.
Origin of humbleMiddle English from Old French from Latin humilis low, lowly from humus ground ; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative humbler, superlative humblest)
- Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming; as, a humble cottage.
- Thy humble nest built on the ground. -Cowley.
- Thinking lowly of one's self; claiming little for one's self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; lowly; weak; modest.
- God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Jas. iv. 6.
- She should be humble who would please. -Prior.
- Without a humble imitation of the divine Author of our . . . religion we can never hope to be a happy nation. -Washington.
(third-person singular simple present humbles, present participle humbling, simple past and past participle humbled)
- To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humiliate.
- Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's plagues have humbled to all strokes. -Shak.
- The genius which humbled six marshals of France. -Macaulay.
- To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiency of; to make meek and submissive; -- often used reflexively.
- Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you. 1 Pet. Ch 5: v. 6.
From Old French (h)umble, from Latin humilis (“low, slight, hence mean, humble”) (compare Greek χαμαλός (khamalos, “on the ground, low, trifling”)), from humus (“the earth, ground”), humi (“on the ground”). See homage, and compare chameleon, humiliate.
- humble cattle