hu·​mil·​i·​ate | \ hyü-ˈmi-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce humiliate (audio) , yü- \
humiliated; humiliating

Definition of humiliate

transitive verb

: to reduce (someone) to a lower position in one's own eyes or others' eyes : to make (someone) ashamed or embarrassed : mortify hoped they wouldn't humiliate themselves in their next game accused her of humiliating him in public feel so humiliated

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Other Words from humiliate

humiliation \ hyü-​ˌmi-​lē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce humiliate (audio) , yü-​ \ noun

Examples of humiliate in a Sentence

I hope I don't humiliate myself during the presentation. He accused her of trying to humiliate him in public. She was hurt and deeply humiliated by the lies he told about her.
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Recent Examples on the Web Lee, played by Mike Moh, is depicted as extremely cocky and aggressive - Cliff manages to humiliate the martial arts legend by throwing him against a car, but the fight is broken up before a true winner can be declared. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 5 July 2021 During the episode’s rose ceremony, Thurston brought Thomas up to the podium under the guise of giving him the final rose, only to humiliate him as millions of viewers did a wine spit-take at what happened next. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 28 June 2021 Some critics also assail critical race theory as a form of Marxism and an attempt to humiliate white students. Leslie Postal,, 10 June 2021 The Congresswoman has mastered the technique using props and witty lines of questioning to make her points, and humiliate hapless members of the Trump Administration, getting her lots of You Tube attention. Roger Valdez, Forbes, 3 June 2021 What made a lot of the Chicago players mad, surely, is that La Russa didn’t keep his old-school rage in-house, choosing instead to humiliate Mercedes in public. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 May 2021 And the growing ability of the Chinese Communist Party to exercise political power through the free-trading system that the center still defends presents massive opportunities for Left and Right to humiliate the center once again. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 17 May 2021 Posing as a victim is easy, as is claiming that one’s efforts to humiliate others are serving the greater good. Charlie Tyson, The Atlantic, 13 May 2021 Spurrier had no intention to cause a stir or to humiliate his French judges. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, 10 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'humiliate.' 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 humiliate

circa 1534, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for humiliate

Late Latin humiliatus, past participle of humiliare, from Latin humilis low — more at humble

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Learn More About humiliate

Time Traveler for humiliate

Time Traveler

The first known use of humiliate was circa 1534

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Statistics for humiliate

Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Humiliate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for humiliate



English Language Learners Definition of humiliate

: to make (someone) feel very ashamed or foolish


hu·​mil·​i·​ate | \ hyü-ˈmi-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce humiliate (audio) , yü- \
humiliated; humiliating

Kids Definition of humiliate

: to cause (someone) to feel very ashamed or foolish My brother humiliates me with my nickname, Stinky.

More from Merriam-Webster on humiliate

Nglish: Translation of humiliate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of humiliate for Arabic Speakers


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