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humble pie

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for eat humble pie
Historical Examples
  • Of course she would have to eat humble pie about the war, but he was the last man to say “I told you so!”

    Good Old Anna Marie Belloc Lowndes
  • I shrewdly suspect that that estimable gentleman is going to eat humble pie, of my baking, from his wife's recipe.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • If I'm wrong I'll eat humble pie, but I'm not eatin' any now, thank you.

  • He'll hate to have to eat humble pie to Bruce after all his din against Bruce's way of thinking.

    Miss Pat at School Pemberton Ginther
  • No girl in our school would come and eat humble pie like this.

    Hunter's Marjory Margaret Bruce Clarke
  • She had expected him to eat humble pie, to throw himself at her feet and implore forgiveness; but, no!

    When Dreams Come True Ritter Brown
  • I'll eat humble pie and call myself hard names, if you insist; only—gracious goodness!

  • If this was an impracticable course to pursue, it was evident that he must abandon it and eat humble pie.

    Brooke's Daughter Adeline Sergeant
  • Here's where I bring home the bacon and make my friend, the major, eat humble pie.

    The Golf Course Mystery Chester K. Steele
  • I do really assure you she won't; it's only wasting your time, and making you eat humble pie.

British Dictionary definitions for eat humble pie

humble pie

(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
Word Origin
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
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eat humble pie in Culture

eat humble pie definition

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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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