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



humilis (neuter humile, comparative humilior, superlative humillimus, adverb humiliter); third-declension two-termination adjective

  1. low, lowly, small, slight; shallow
  2. (in respect to birth, fortune or worth) base, mean, humble, obscure, poor, needy, insignificant, low
  3. (of physical stature) short, not tall
  4. (of mind or character) submissive, abject
  5. (of language) mean, without elevation


Third-declension two-termination adjective.

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
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, →ISBN, page 292