So I've got this sentence while watching a video:

"Astronomy is a humbling enterprise to pursue."

I couldn't understand what he wanted to mean by "humbling enterprise".

I want an explanation and usage of this phrase.


  • I would understand the sentence you provided as "Astronomy involves stuff that would humiliate you in the process"
    – Cardinal
    May 21, 2020 at 18:30
  • 2
    Have you looked the words up in a dictionary? What did you find? Are you still puzzled?
    – Colin Fine
    May 21, 2020 at 18:30
  • Yes I have used Lexico Oxford.No clue.
    – Ghost
    May 21, 2020 at 18:37
  • [correction: What does "humbling enterprise" mean? What does x mean?] Please correct your questions and I will remove this comment. You need to look up the transitive verb: to humble and the word enterprise.
    – Lambie
    May 21, 2020 at 18:38
  • 1
    @Ghost No, it mean that astronomy provides a perspective that makes an individual feel less self-important. See my answer. May 21, 2020 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


The answer is right there in the video: "Astronomy is a humbling enterprise. After all, every time we make a new discovery, we find ourselves further removed from importance."

American Heritage Dictionary "humble" 1
"1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful."

That is an antonym of "self-important".

The meaning is simply that astronomy discloses to the student the true immensity of the universe, allowing them to see that they are less important in comparison to it.

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