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 humiliation (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

Tanya Jones, the target of the clown’s insults, told a local television station at the time that she was humiliated. Jason Nark, New York Times, "The Last of the Dunk Tank Clowns," 7 Sep. 2019 Officer Ivelisse Severance filed a hostile work environment complaint with the city, saying she was humiliated in front of people attending the event, the investigation found. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Veteran Mount Dora lawman Robert Bell promoted to police chief," 28 Aug. 2019 So, the neighbors are just looking through the windows and I’m just humiliated. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "North Carolina Black Man Cuffed In His Own Home After False Burglar Alarm," 26 Aug. 2019 HuffPost interviewed 30 Muslim women for this story and found that while not everyone had a bad experience, most reported being confronted, abused, humiliated, and judged. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Business Needs a New Perspective: raceAhead," 26 Aug. 2019 The Chancellor and his staff insulted, berated, humiliated, and isolated my clients, among other things. San Diego Union-Tribune, "UCSD chancellor sued for allegedly discriminating against female executive," 7 June 2019 Positioning the United States behind the rest, Trump portrayed America as a humiliated, subjugated dupe—and gave a new, more dynamic rationale to a stale neocon agenda. The New York Review of Books, "Stephen Wertheim," 2 Jan. 2019 Cagnina and Peterson claimed they were repeatedly humiliated and belittled in front of their colleagues at several Hooters locations in California, including Costa Mesa, downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. Daily Pilot, "Biz News: Man who sued Hooters alleging sexual harassment reaches settlement," 13 Aug. 2019 Khamenei had already slammed that door in the face of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who made a good-faith effort to mediate talks between the U.S. and Iran, only to be humiliated by the Supreme Leader. Bobby Ghosh, The Denver Post, "Commentary: Trump’s Iran sanctions are the sane alternative to military action," 28 June 2019

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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Statistics for humiliate

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for humiliate

The first known use of humiliate was circa 1534

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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

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


concealment of treason or felony

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