Ask Difference

Humble vs. Humility — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 19, 2024
Humble describes a modest or low view of one's importance, often as an attribute of one's character, while humility is the quality or state of being humble, representing a broader concept of modesty and lack of ego.
Humble vs. Humility — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Humble and Humility


Key Differences

Humble is an adjective that characterizes individuals who do not seek to place themselves above others, showing a respectful and modest view of their own significance. It often manifests in behaviors and attitudes that prioritize others' needs and recognize their own limitations or faults without undue pride. In contrast, humility is a noun that refers to the quality or condition of being humble. It encapsulates a range of behaviors and attitudes that stem from a realistic and modest perspective of oneself in relation to the world.
While a humble person might act with consideration and modesty in specific situations or interactions, humility as a concept goes deeper, reflecting a foundational aspect of one's character that influences overall behavior and worldview. Humility is often seen as a virtue in many cultural, philosophical, and religious traditions, where it is associated with wisdom, growth, and ethical living. It encourages individuals to remain open to new ideas, to respect others, and to engage with the world in a thoughtful and considerate manner.
Humble actions or demeanor can be seen as expressions of the underlying trait of humility. For instance, declining to take sole credit for a group achievement can be a humble act, demonstrating the broader quality of humility by recognizing the contributions of others. In this way, being humble in various situations contributes to the development and reinforcement of humility as a personal quality.
Understanding the difference between humble and humility is essential for appreciating their respective roles in personal development and social interactions. While 'humble' describes specific actions or attitudes, 'humility' encompasses an overarching approach to life characterized by modesty, respect for others, and self-awareness.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech



Having or showing a modest or low view of one's own importance.
The quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people; the quality of being humble.


Through specific actions, behaviors, or attitudes in certain situations.
As an overarching character trait influencing one's behavior and interactions broadly.


On how individuals perceive and present themselves in specific instances.
On the general disposition or quality that characterizes a person's approach to life.


A humble person might defer praise or share credit for achievements.
Humility involves recognizing one's limitations and valuing others' contributions and worth.

Compare with Definitions


Showing a modest view of one's importance.
She gave a humble acceptance speech, acknowledging her team's support.


The quality of having a modest view of one's importance.
Her humility was evident in how she always credited her team for successes.


Reflecting a low social, administrative, or political rank.
He came from a humble background but achieved great things.


A state of being humble and free from arrogance.
His humility allowed him to learn from his mistakes and grow.


Marked by simplicity or meekness.
They lived in a humble abode, focusing on what truly mattered.


The virtue of recognizing and respecting others' value and contributions.
Her humility made her a compassionate and effective leader.


Demonstrating a lack of vanity or self-importance.
His humble demeanor made him well-liked by his peers.


A characteristic that fosters learning and openness.
With humility, he embraced new ideas and perspectives.


Not arrogant or presumptuous.
Despite his success, he remained humble and approachable.


The condition of being grounded and self-aware.
Through humility, she maintained balance and grace in the face of fame.


Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.


Humility is the quality of being humble. Dictionary definitions accentuate humility as a low self-regard and sense of unworthiness.


Showing deferential or submissive respect
A humble apology.


The quality or condition of being humble.


Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly
A humble cottage.


The characteristic of being humble; humbleness in character and behavior.


To cause to feel humble
"He was humbled by the lack of consolation in Kornblum's expression" (Michael Chabon).


The state or quality of being humble; freedom from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one's own worth; a sense of one's own unworthiness through imperfection and sinfulness; self-abasement; humbleness.
Serving the Lord with all humility of mind.


To cause to have a lower condition or status; abase.


An act of submission or courtesy.
With these humilities they satisfied the young king.


Not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming.
He lives in a humble one-bedroom cottage.


A disposition to be humble; a lack of false pride;
Not everyone regards humility as a virtue


Having a low opinion of oneself; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; modest.


A humble feeling;
He was filled with humility at the sight of the Pope


(ambitransitive) To defeat or reduce the power, independence, or pride of


To make humble or lowly; to make less proud or arrogant; to make meek and submissive.


To hum.
Humbling and bumbling


(transitive) hummel.


An arrest based on weak evidence intended to demean or punish the subject.


Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming; as, a humble cottage.
THy humble nest built on the ground.


Thinking lowly of one's self; claiming little for one's self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; thinking one's self ill-deserving or unworthy, when judged by the demands of God; lowly; waek; modest.
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
She should be humble who would please.
Without a humble imitation of the divine Author of our . . . religion we can never hope to be a happy nation.


Hornless. See Hummel.


To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humilate.
Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's plaguesHave humbled to all strokes.
The genius which humbled six marshals of France.


To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiently of; to make meek and submissive; - often used rexlexively.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you.


Cause to be unpretentious;
This experience will humble him


Cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of;
He humiliated his colleague by criticising him in front of the boss


Low or inferior in station or quality;
A humble cottage
A lowly parish priest
A modest man of the people
Small beginnings


Marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful;
A humble apology
Essentially humble...and self-effacing, he achieved the highest formal honors and distinctions


Used of unskilled work (especially domestic work)


Of low birth or station (`base' is archaic in this sense);
Baseborn wretches with dirty faces
Of humble (or lowly) birth

Common Curiosities

Can humility be developed?

Yes, humility can be cultivated through self-reflection, openness to learning, and recognizing the value and contributions of others.

How do cultural perceptions of humility and being humble vary?

Cultural perceptions can vary widely, with some cultures highly valuing humility as a virtue, while others may place greater emphasis on assertiveness and confidence.

Can humility impact personal relationships?

Yes, humility can positively impact relationships by fostering mutual respect, understanding, and genuine connections.

Is being humble a sign of weakness?

No, being humble is often a sign of strength, as it demonstrates self-awareness and the confidence to recognize one's limitations and the value of others.

Does humility play a role in personal success?

Humility can contribute to personal success by enabling continuous learning, adaptability, and healthy collaboration with others.

Is humility always a positive trait?

Generally, yes, humility is considered a virtue that fosters respect, learning, and growth, though excessive self-deprecation can be unhelpful.

How do humility and confidence coexist?

Humility and confidence can coexist when one has a clear understanding of their strengths and limitations, approaching situations with open-mindedness and assurance.

How does humility affect leadership?

Humility in leadership can lead to more inclusive, collaborative, and effective leadership styles, enhancing team dynamics and innovation.

How does one show humility in daily life?

By listening more than speaking, acknowledging others' contributions, being open to learning, and refraining from boasting or belittling others.

Is humility the same as low self-esteem?

No, humility involves a realistic self-view and respect for others, not a devaluation of oneself, which is more characteristic of low self-esteem.

Can humility influence decision-making?

Humility can lead to more thoughtful and inclusive decision-making, considering diverse perspectives and potential impacts on others.

Can someone be humble without having humility?

It's possible to act humbly in certain situations without possessing humility as a deep-seated quality, perhaps for strategic or superficial reasons.

How can organizations promote humility?

Organizations can promote humility by valuing collaborative achievements, encouraging open dialogue, and recognizing the contributions of all members.

How is humility viewed in different religious or spiritual contexts?

Many religions and spiritual traditions highly value humility, associating it with wisdom, moral integrity, and a closer connection to the divine or spiritual truth.

Can humble actions inspire others?

Humble actions can inspire others by setting an example of modesty, respect, and prioritizing collective success over individual ego.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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