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

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 Using a series of personal profiles woven throughout the book, Farrow humanizes those caught in the maelstrom. Barbara K. Bodine, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘War on Peace,’ by Ronan Farrow," 17 May 2018 These stories humanize the person in the hospital bed and may protect against physician burnout. Washington Post, "Doctors are taught early about patient histories. Is it time for different questions?," 28 Apr. 2018 Within this prison, Ms. Nwandu has been careful to particularize and humanize her main characters so that the tragedy is not just theoretical or surreal. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Waiting for Po-Po in a Searing ‘Pass Over’," 18 June 2018 This captivating celebration of peasant legends and customs, which was honored at the 1948 Venice film festival, shows how effectively Trnka humanized the most rudimentary characters, with their bulbous wooden heads, button noses, and painted eyes. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Animator Jiří Trnka created magical worlds amid stifling communist censorship," 31 May 2018 And his love-hate rapport with the hero of the show, Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan, is the heart and soul of the show, humanizing both of them. Matthew Gilbert,, "The best villains on TV," 6 July 2018 As Plummer humanizes his character, moving him from towering narcissist to irascible charmer, the story shoves Farmiga in the other direction. Gary Thompson,, "'Boundaries' reduces Farmiga to Plummer's helper.," 4 July 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

25 Sep 2018

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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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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