- To be forced to apologize abjectly or admit one's faults in humiliating circumstances.
- To undergo humiliation, esp. that of admitting one's error and apologizing.
Origin of humble-pie
- Alteration (influenced by humble) of obsolete umble pie Middle English umbles edible animal organs (variant of numbles) (from Norman French nombles) (from Old French loin of veal) (probably from alteration of Latin lumbulus) (diminutive of lumbus loin) pie
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- The expression derives from umble pie, the original name of the offal meat pie, considered inferior food. In medieval times the pie was often served to lower-class people. Although "umbles" and the modern word "humble" are etymologically unrelated, each word has appeared both with and without the initial "h" after the Middle Ages until the 19th century.