dehumanizing

adjective

de·​hu·​man·​iz·​ing (ˌ)dē-ˈ(h)yü-mə-ˌnī-ziŋ How to pronounce dehumanizing (audio)
: depriving someone of human qualities, personality, or dignity : demeaning or damaging to a person's humanity or individuality
a dehumanizing caricature/slur
dehumanizing statistics
Before even being allowed to call a lawyer, the arrestee is faced with the dehumanizing treatment of a strip search …John W. Whitehead
This kind of language is deliberately dehumanizing: the athlete is referred to not as a person but as a "brand", throughout.Felix Salmon
Inmates at the South Carolina prison cited dehumanizing conditions such as a lack of sunlight, poor and insufficient food, and few rehabilitative programs as reasons they lost hope.Aaron Cantú
Not only are writers selling their products, they essentially become their products: author as commodity. It's a weirdly dehumanizing experience.Rachel Donadio
… the dehumanizing nastiness of having your intimate personal photos hacked …Joe Fay

Examples of dehumanizing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In February, about 140,000 did so, according to officials, and Trump has been all too happy to cite those newcomers, often in dehumanizing terms, as an explanation for all that ails America. Philip Elliott, TIME, 5 Apr. 2024 In 2021, Twitter’s then-safety team published an essay in defense of anonymity, although Twitter at that time was different in other ways, including its enforcement of a policy against hateful or dehumanizing imagery. David Ingram, NBC News, 21 Mar. 2024 There is a belief that the modern justice system, which essentially requires a suspect to deny their guilt, doesn’t help a survivor heal, and the dehumanizing conditions of prison certainly aren’t a rehabilitative environment for violators. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 27 Feb. 2024 Advocates argue the demeaning and dehumanizing view of Native Americans contributes the ongoing generational trauma leading to issues, such as high suicide rates and drug addiction among Native Americans. Frank Vaisvilas, Journal Sentinel, 9 Feb. 2024 The book shared her remarkable story of self-possession under the most dehumanizing circumstances. Cynthia Greenlee, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Feb. 2024 Since Bukele introduced the state of emergency, allegations of human rights violations including abuses by law enforcement, detentions of innocent people and dehumanizing conditions behind bars have been widespread. Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, 3 Feb. 2024 The court's ruling on Friday cited a series of statements made by Israeli leaders as evidence of incitement and dehumanizing language against Palestinians. Najib Jobain, arkansasonline.com, 29 Jan. 2024 The ruling offers the Biden administration an opportunity to emphasize its strong displeasure, backed by international law, with the dehumanizing rhetoric that has come from members of Israel’s right-wing cabinet. David Kaye, Foreign Affairs, 26 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dehumanizing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1817, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dehumanizing was in 1817

Dictionary Entries Near dehumanizing

Cite this Entry

“Dehumanizing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dehumanizing. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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