hu·​man·​ize | \ˈhyü-mə-ˌnīz, 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, 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

In many cases, this year's winners have also humanized things by placing the night sky in context, framed by other figures admiring it or nestled among familiar-looking landscapes. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Some good came out of 2018: Astronomy photos," 11 Nov. 2018 The story charts an evolving saga that begins in Northern California in the ’90s, humanizing the effects of an American pandemic while also dramatizing the sometimes painful boundaries of a father’s love for his son. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: Selfie Reinvention," 11 Oct. 2018 And some of them are wholly unparalleled in humanizing the challenges America faces in 2018 — with regard to education, race, domestic violence, policing, young people, the free press, the machinations of political elites, and more. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "5 great social issues documentaries that help explain America in 2018," 24 Aug. 2018 For many in the South, seeing Kim interact with the South Korean president and publicly call for the country's unification seemed to have a humanizing effect. Thomas Maresca, USA TODAY, "South Koreans re-create famous handshake between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un," 15 May 2018 The calls, which were recorded with peoples' consent, are meant to humanize homelessness and tell peoples' stories. Anne Nickoloff,, "Hear For The Homeless benefit concert connects MOCA art with local music," 18 Jan. 2018 Chelsea and Ivanka have had a particularly challenging task because both campaigns rely on them to humanize and soften their parents. Patti Davis, Town & Country, "Ronald Reagan's Daughter Patti Davis On the High Cost of Being a Political Daughter," 31 Oct. 2016 Iñárritu has considered all the elements that surround his virtual reality video to humanize the story of immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 Its story about a nightclub singer in the aftermath of her older boyfriend’s death is a vibrant, humanizing portrait whose victory would be a satisfying conclusion to a close race. Eliza Berman, Time, "Here's Who Will Win at the 2018 Oscars," 2 Mar. 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

20 Nov 2018

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, ˈyü-​ \
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, ˌyü-​ \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on humanize

Nglish: Translation of humanize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on humanize

What made you want to look up humanize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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