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From humus +‎ -ilis. The resemblance to Ancient Greek χθαμαλός (khthamalós) is probably accidental, and not sufficient to assume a direct inheritance from Proto-Indo-European *dʰǵʰemelo- (a derivative from *dʰéǵʰōm (earth)).



humilis (neuter humile); third declension

  1. low, lowly, small, slight; shallow
  2. (in respect to birth, fortune or worth) base, mean, humble, obscure, poor, needy, insignificant, low
  3. (of mind or character) submissive, abject


Third declension.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
nominative humilis humile humilēs humilia
genitive humilis humilium
dative humilī humilibus
accusative humilem humile humilēs, humilīs humilia
ablative humilī humilibus
vocative humilis humile humilēs humilia

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  • humilis in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • humilis in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • humilis in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • humilis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to study the commonplace: cogitationes in res humiles abicere (De Amic. 9. 32) (Opp. alte spectare, ad altiora tendere, altum, magnificum, divinum suspicere)
    • to be cast down, discouraged, in despair: animo esse humili, demisso (more strongly animo esse fracto, perculso et abiecto) (Att. 3. 2)
    • of humble, obscure origin: humili, obscuro loco natus
    • of humble, obscure origin: humilibus (obscuris) parentibus natus
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “humus”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, page 292