Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
To admit that one is wrong, usually when doing so triggers great embarrassment or shame. Ugh, now that my idea has failed, I'll have to eat crow in the board meeting tomorrow. I think Ellen is a perfectionist because the thought of having to eat crow terrifies her.
eat humble pie
To admit that one is wrong, usually when doing so triggers great embarrassment or shame. Ugh, now that my idea has failed, I'll have to eat humble pie in the board meeting tomorrow. I think Ellen is a perfectionist because the thought of having to eat humble pie terrifies her.
1. . Fig. to display total humility, especially when shown to be wrong. Well, it looks like I was wrong, and I'm going to have to eat crow. I'll be eating crow if I'm not shown to be right.
2. Fig. to be shamed; to admit that one was wrong. When it became clear that they had arrested the wrong person, the police had to eat crow. Mary talked to Joe as if he was an uneducated idiot, till she found out he was a college professor. That made her eat crow.
eat humble pie
to act very humble when one is shown to be wrong. I think I'm right, but if I'm wrong, I'll eat humble pie. You think you're so smart. I hope you have to eat humble pie.
in my humble opinion
Cliché a phrase introducing the speaker's opinion. "In my humble opinion," began Fred, arrogantly, "I have achieved what no one else ever could." Bob: What are we going to do about the poor condition of the house next door? Bill: In my humble opinion, we will mind our own business.
Also, eat dirt or humble pie . Be forced to admit a humiliating mistake, as in When the reporter got the facts all wrong, his editor made him eat crow. The first term's origin has been lost, although a story relates that it involved a War of 1812 encounter in which a British officer made an American soldier eat part of a crow he had shot in British territory. Whether or not it is true, the fact remains that crow meat tastes terrible. The two variants originated in Britain. Dirt obviously tastes bad. And humble pie alludes to a pie made from umbles, a deer's undesirable innards (heart, liver, entrails). [Early 1800s] Also see eat one's words.
If someone eats crow, they admit that they have been wrong and apologize. He wanted to make his critics eat crow. I didn't want to eat crow the rest of my life if my theories were wrong. Note: The usual British expression is eat humble pie.
eat humble pie
If someone eats humble pie, they admit that they have been wrong and apologize. The Queen's Press secretary was forced to eat humble pie yesterday and publicly apologize to the duchess. The critics were too quick to give their verdict on us. We hope they'll be eating humble pie before the end of the season. Note: Humble pie is sometimes used in other structures with a similar meaning. After their victory, he took delight in handing out large helpings of humble pie to just about everyone. Note: `Umbles' is an old word for the guts and offal (= organs such as the liver) of deer. When rich people had the good parts of the meat to eat, the `umbles' were made into a pie for their servants. As `umbles' pie was eaten by `humble' people, the two words gradually became confused. `Humble pie' came to be used to refer to something humiliating or unpleasant.
eat crowbe humiliated by your defeats or mistakes. North American informal
In the USA ‘boiled crow’ has been a metaphor for something extremely disagreeable since the late 19th century.
eat humble piemake a humble apology and accept humiliation.
Humble pie is from a mid 19th-century pun based on umbles , meaning ‘offal’, which was considered to be an inferior food.
1998 Spectator A white youth behind us did shout racial abuse. But…after the game was over his companions forced him to come up to Darcus to eat humble pie.
ˌeat humble ˈpie(British English) (American English eat ˈcrow) say and show that you are sorry for a mistake that you made: I had to eat humble pie when Harry, who I said would never have any success, won first prize.This comes from a pun on the old word umbles, meaning ‘offal’ (= the inside parts of an animal), which was considered inferior food.
tv. to display total humility, especially when shown to be wrong. Well, it looks like I was wrong, and I’m going to have to eat crow.
To be forced to accept a humiliating defeat.
eat humble pie
To be forced to apologize abjectly or admit one's faults in humiliating circumstances.
A self-deprecating way to refer to one's home. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is the source: the insufferable Mr. Collins refers to his patroness Lady Catherine de Burgh with “The garden in which stands my humble abode is separated only by a lane from Rosings Park, her ladyship's residence'' and “But she is perfectly amiable, and often condescends to drive by my humble abode in her little phaeton and ponies.''
A meek admission of a mistake. The “humble pie” that we eat when we make a misjudgment or outright error was originally “umble” pie made from the intestines of other less appetizing animal parts. Servants and other lower-class people ate them, as opposed to better cuts. “Umble” became “humble” over the years until eating that pie came to mean expressing a very meek mea culpa. A similar phrase is “eat crow,” the bird being as unpalatable a dish as one's own words.