humble


humble
humble adj Humble, meek, modest, lowly are comparable when they mean lacking all signs of pride, aggressiveness, or self-assertiveness either in spirit or in outward show. All are applicable to persons and their attitudes and manners, and all but meek may also be applied to homes, occupations, interests, and ways of life.
Humble may suggest a virtue that consists in the absence of pride in oneself or in one's achievements and, in religious use, a consciousness of one's weakness and a disposition to ascribe to the Supreme Being all credit for whatever one is or does that is meritorious
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God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humbleJas 4:6

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Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; Wisdom is humble that he knows no more— Cowper

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Often humble connotes undue self- depreciation or humiliation sometimes verging on abjectness
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she is humble to abjectness— De Quincey

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As applied to a person's circumstances, humble suggests low social rank, poverty, or insignificance
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a man of humble extraction

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a humble Mexican family— Cather

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he regarded no task as too humble for him to undertake— Huxley

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Meek also, especially in Christian use, may imply a virtue evident not only in the absence of passion or wrath but in a consistent mildness or gentleness of temper
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a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price—/ Pet 3:4

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In more general use, however, the term so often additionally suggests spiritlessness or undue submissiveness that even when it is employed without derogation these ideas are often connoted
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Stephen's face grew serious .... "I'm sorry I upset you." Oh, so he was going to be meek and Christian! Tony wasn't going to stand that eitherArchibald Marshall

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meek, humble, timid persons, who accept things as they are— Bensony

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Modest is often preferred to humble in describing a person who takes no credit to himself for what he is or for what he does; the term usually connotes a lack of boastfulness or show of conceit, but it does not necessarily imply, as humble often does imply, a deep conviction of one's unworthiness or inferiority
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the model of an eighteenth- century parish priest . . . just, modest . . . loved and esteemed by all— Ellis

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Taft was so certain he was right he could be rather charmingly simple and modestNew Republic

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As applied to such things as a home, a position, or a price, modest suggests neither extreme lowness nor the opposite, but a reasonable and often unobtrusive medium between extremes
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live in modest circumstances

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my own hotel was modest enough, but it was magnificent in comparison with this— Maugham

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Lowly is often indistinguishable from humble except in its lack of derogatory connotations such as abjectness or sense of inferiority
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surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowlyProv 3:34

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thy heart the lowliest duties on herself did lay— Wordsworth

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men ... of lowly station—hatters, curriers, tanners, dyers, and the like— Motley

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Analogous words: submissive, subdued (see TAME): resigned, acquiescent, *compliant
Contrasted words: *proud, arrogant, insolent, haughty, lordly, overbearing, disdainful: vain, vainglorious, proud (see under PRIDE n): ostentatious, pretentious, *showy
humble vb humiliate, *abase, demean, debase, degrade
Analogous words: abash, discomfit, *embarrass: chagrin, mortify (see corresponding adjectives at ASHAMED)
Contrasted words: *exalt, magnify, aggrandize

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • humble — [ œ̃bl ] adj. • déb. XVIe; huemble v. 1170; humele 1080; lat. humilis « bas, près de la terre »; cf. humus I ♦ (Personnes) 1 ♦ Qui s abaisse volontairement, par humilité. ⇒ effacé, modeste. « N est pas humble celui qui se hait » (Cioran). Qui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • humble — HUMBLE. adj. de tout genre. Soumis, respectueux. Il se dit par opposition à superbe, orgueilleux. Cette homme est humble. personne humble. humble priere. humble requeste. humble reverence. humble supplication. On dit en termes de civilité, Rendre …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Humble — may refer to: *Humility (being humble) * Humble Howard Glassman one half of the Toronto morning show duo, Humble and Fred *Humble, Texas, USA *Humble Oil, a petroleum company which became part of Exxon *Humble Pie, an English rock band *Humblus / …   Wikipedia

  • Humble — Hum ble, a. [Compar. {Humbler}; superl. {Humblest}.] [F., fr. L. humilis on the ground, low, fr. humus the earth, ground. See {Homage}, and cf. {Chameleon}, {Humiliate}.] 1. Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Humble — puede referirse: Humble (Texas) Humble (Dinamarca) Humble Oil Company Esta página de desambiguación cataloga artículos relacionados con el mismo título. Si llegaste aquí a través de …   Wikipedia Español

  • humble — ► ADJECTIVE (humbler, humblest) 1) having or showing a modest or low estimate of one s own importance. 2) of low rank. 3) of modest pretensions or dimensions: humble beginnings. ► VERB ▪ lower in dignity or importance. ● …   English terms dictionary

  • Humble — Hum ble, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Humbled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Humbling}.] 1. To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humilate. [1913 Webster] Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven s plagues Have… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Humble — Humble, TX U.S. city in Texas Population (2000): 14579 Housing Units (2000): 5908 Land area (2000): 9.867487 sq. miles (25.556674 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.013151 sq. miles (0.034062 sq. km) Total area (2000): 9.880638 sq. miles (25.590736 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Humble, TX — U.S. city in Texas Population (2000): 14579 Housing Units (2000): 5908 Land area (2000): 9.867487 sq. miles (25.556674 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.013151 sq. miles (0.034062 sq. km) Total area (2000): 9.880638 sq. miles (25.590736 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • humble — [adj1] meek, unassuming apprehensive, backward, bashful, biddable, blushing, content, courteous, deferential, demure, diffident, docile, fearful, gentle, hesitant, lowly, manageable, mild, modest, obliging, obsequious, ordinary, polite, quiet,… …   New thesaurus


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