hu·​man·​ize | \ ˈhyü-mə-ˌnīz How to pronounce humanize (audio) , ˈyü-\
humanized; humanizing

Definition of humanize

transitive verb

1a : to represent as human : attribute human qualities to
b : to adapt to human nature or use
2 : to make humane

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Other Words from humanize

humanization \ ˌhyü-​mə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce humanization (audio) , ˌyü-​ \ noun
humanizer noun

Examples of humanize in a Sentence

The new publicity has helped to humanize the corporation's image. They promised to humanize conditions at the company.

Recent Examples on the Web

Rosenwald said talk radio lets politicians humanize themselves. Edward Fitzpatrick,, "In Rhode Island, talk (and talk and talk) radio is long tradition in state politics," 24 June 2019 Davis, who in 1971 turned down an invitation to join the Grateful Dead, is now striving to humanize the Central Park Five in words and music. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Donald Trump, opera star? Maybe so, in Anthony Davis’ ‘Central Park Five’," 9 June 2019 Rounds humanizes those who have been put on pedestals, and those whose experiences have been overlooked or ignored. Corinne Purtill, Quartz at Work, "A simple strategy helps doctors fight burnout. Could it work for the rest of us?," 5 June 2019 On social media, many have voiced outrage over the Alabama ban, including actress Busy Philipps, who is seeking to humanize what's become a political debate with #YouKnowMe. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Alabama Bill Could Almost Completely Ban Abortion," 15 May 2019 As with The Big Short and Vice, McKay humanizes these systems, attempting to show the scope for agency or complicity within them, all with his uncommon eye toward absurdity. WSJ, "Adam McKay Wants to Start a World-Improvement Conference," 21 Feb. 2019 After 9/11, lot of Muslim activists, me included, failed in trying to humanize Muslims, but Serial was able to do that. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "How HBO's The Case Against Adnan Syed Picks Up Where Serial Left Off," 12 Feb. 2019 All of these things are meant to change the narrative, humanize folks who are involved in the criminal justice system, help people see that these folks are not dramatically different from those who don’t get caught up in the system. Cory Booker, Town & Country, "John Legend's Fight for Criminal Justice Reform," 9 May 2017 The scene somehow humanizes Joel, while still making your heart break for Midge. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 6 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'humanize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of humanize

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for humanize

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for humanize

The first known use of humanize was in 1603

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More Definitions for humanize



English Language Learners Definition of humanize

: to make (someone or something) seem gentler, kinder, or more appealing to people


transitive verb
variants: also British humanise \ ˈhyü-​mə-​ˌnīz How to pronounce humanise (audio) , ˈyü-​ How to pronounce humanise (audio) \
humanized also British humanised; humanizing also British humanising

Medical Definition of humanize

: to render (cow's milk) suitable for consumption by human babies

Other Words from humanize

humanization also British humanisation \ ˌhyü-​mə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce humanisation (audio) , ˌyü-​ How to pronounce humanisation (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on humanize

Nglish: Translation of humanize for Spanish Speakers

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