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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
    Synonyms: ignōbilis, modicus, dēmissus
  3. short, not tall (of physical stature)
  4. submissive, abject; (post-Classical) humble (of mind or character)
  5. mean, without elevation (of language)


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 with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • 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
  • humilis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Souter, Alexander (1949), “humilis”, in A Glossary of Later Latin to 600 A.D., 1st edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, published 1957, page 177
  • 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