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 Some of the show’s more inspired comic moments find her taking advantage of the situation to humiliate her disgusting spouse. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘Made for Love’: Another Bad Romance — and Perfect Role — for Cristin Milioti," 30 Mar. 2021 The competent pursuit of this debased vision is indistinguishable from malicious attempts to humiliate normal people. James Mcelroy, Washington Examiner, "The best analysis of 2021 is a book from 2014," 4 Mar. 2021 That was telling and Psaki made the point without bombast, without a tirade, and without trying to humiliate the reporter, in this case from Fox News, because someone dared to ask the question. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "Jen Psaki Is Living Her Best Life," 25 Jan. 2021 The whole mess also contextualizes a flashpoint the following month — when White House staffers attempted to humiliate Collins by having her switch spots with a reporter in the back of the briefing room. Washington Post, "Opinion: Report: Trump tried to get his press secretary to boot Kaitlan Collins from briefing room," 17 Mar. 2021 Addressing erring government workers, Duterte threatened to slap and humiliate them. Jim Gomez, Star Tribune, "Philippine president fires ambassador seen assaulting staff," 1 Mar. 2021 While the Mandarin-speaking teachers’ edicts are unquestioned by the adults, the teachers mercilessly humiliate a child before a classroom packed with kids and parents because of low scores in Mandarin studies. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Chinese Uyghur drama ‘A First Farewell’ is gorgeous — and murky," 25 Feb. 2021 It’s this darker side of sports that turns it into a breeding ground for hazing, initiation rituals that older players use to belittle and humiliate junior teammates. Emma Brown, Washington Post, "We can’t solve the problem of violence against girls and women without also addressing violence against men and boys.," 22 Feb. 2021 But any normal board would have at least tabled the appointment, quietly, rather than publicly humiliate him for two hours, said PAC chair Naomi Laguana. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco's school board is wasting time on ridiculous debates as students remain home," 13 Feb. 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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Time Traveler for humiliate

Time Traveler

The first known use of humiliate was circa 1534

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Statistics for humiliate

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Humiliate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 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.

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Comments on humiliate

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