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humble

[huhm-buh l, uhm-] /ˈhʌm bəl, ˈʌm-/
adjective, humbler, humblest.
1.
not proud or arrogant; modest:
to be humble although successful.
2.
having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.:
In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
3.
low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly:
of humble origin; a humble home.
4.
courteously respectful:
In my humble opinion you are wrong.
5.
low in height, level, etc.; small in size:
a humble member of the galaxy.
verb (used with object), humbled, humbling.
6.
to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
7.
to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
8.
to make meek:
to humble one's heart.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English (h)umble < Old French < Latin humilis lowly, insignificant, on the ground. See humus, -ile
Related forms
humbleness, noun
humbler, noun
humblingly, adverb
humbly, adverb
overhumble, adjective
overhumbleness, noun
overhumbly, adverb
quasi-humble, adjective
quasi-humbly, adverb
self-humbling, adjective
unhumble, adjective
unhumbleness, noun
unhumbly, adverb
unhumbled, adjective
Synonyms
1. unpretending, unpretentious. 2. submissive, meek. 3. unassuming, plain, common, poor. 4. polite. 6. mortify, shame, abash. 7. subdue, crush, break. Humble, degrade, humiliate suggest lowering or causing to seem lower. To humble is to bring down the pride of another or to reduce him or her to a state of abasement: to humble an arrogant enemy. To degrade is to demote in rank or standing, or to reduce to a low level in dignity: to degrade an officer; to degrade oneself by lying. To humiliate is to make others feel or appear inadequate or unworthy, especially in some public setting: to humiliate a sensitive person.
Antonyms
1, 2. proud. 3. noble, exalted. 4. rude, insolent. 6. elevate. 8. exalt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for humbly
  • He humbly figured it out for himself and now for me and dozens of my family.
  • May you walk humbly, yet full of pride in support of recovery.
  • He humbly points to the wall of the hospital's surgical library where photos of past chief residents line the walls.
  • May they walk humbly with each other, acknowledging their mutual duty of loving forbearance.
British Dictionary definitions for humbly

humble

/ˈhʌmbəl/
adjective
1.
conscious of one's failings
2.
unpretentious; lowly a humble cottage, my humble opinion
3.
deferential or servile
verb (transitive)
4.
to cause to become humble; humiliate
5.
to lower in status
Derived Forms
humbled, adjective
humbleness, noun
humbler, noun
humbling, adjective
humblingly, adverb
humbly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin humilis low, from humus the ground
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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Word Origin and History for humbly

humble

adj.

mid-13c., from Old French humble, earlier humele, from Latin humilis "lowly, humble," literally "on the ground," from humus "earth." Senses of "not self-asserting" and "of low birth or rank" were both in Middle English Related: Humbly; humbleness.

Don't be so humble; you're not that great. [Golda Meir]
To eat humble pie (1830) is from umble pie (1640s), pie made from umbles "edible inner parts of an animal" (especially deer), considered a low-class food. The similar sense of similar-sounding words (the "h" of humble was not pronounced then) converged in the pun. Umbles, meanwhile, is Middle English numbles "offal" (with loss of n- through assimilation into preceding article).

v.

late 14c. in the intransitive sense of "to render oneself humble;" late 15c. in the transitive sense of "to lower (someone) in dignity;" see humble (adj.). Related: Humbled; humbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with humbly
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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