in·​hu·​man | \(ˌ)in-ˈhyü-mən, -ˈyü-\

Definition of inhuman 

1a : lacking pity, kindness, or mercy : savage an inhuman tyrant

b : cold, impersonal his usual quiet, almost inhuman courtesy— F. Tennyson Jesse

c : not worthy of or conforming to the needs of human beings inhuman living conditions

2 : of or suggesting a nonhuman class of beings

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Other Words from inhuman

inhumanly adverb
inhumanness \(ˌ)in-​ˈhyü-​mən-​nəs, -​ˈyü-​ \ noun

Examples of inhuman in a Sentence

He let out an inhuman moan. She had an almost inhuman desire to succeed.

Recent Examples on the Web

Some indicate that the company's practices are too strict and somewhat inhuman. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "China Eastern Airlines flight attendant reportedly fired after accepting mid-flight marriage proposal," 15 Sep. 2018 Fascinated by his seemingly inhuman abilities, two neurosurgeons began to investigate just how the pop legend was able to accomplish his feats. CNN, "Settle in with these weekend reads," 26 May 2018 And referring to them as less than that should not justify inhuman treatment. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Melania Trump's jacket: Does she really think we don't see the symbolism?," 21 June 2018 Separating parents from their children is inhuman and in Germany, the long-term repercussions are only emerging now. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Families used to be split up in East Germany, too. It caused lifelong trauma.," 30 May 2018 What’s happening in the United States of America at this moment is pure terrorism, cruel, inhuman treatment of children. Catalina Cruz, Marie Claire, "I'm a DREAMer Who Grew Up Undocumented, Poor, and Terrified. That's Why I'm Running for Office.," 22 June 2018 Araya loosed an inhuman scream that sounded like he’d been shocked by 10,000 volts, cast in shadow by the flames licking the sky on either side of him. Bryan Rolli, Billboard, "Slayer Close Out First Leg of Farewell Tour with Blistering, Career-Spanning Austin Performance," 21 June 2018 As his arch-nemesis, Harold, a heavily made-up Mr. Quinto, registers as an inhuman visitor from another planet, an effect that sometimes happens when handsome actors play ugly. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto Enter Sniping in ‘The Boys in the Band’," 31 May 2018 Dark, explosive, pitiless, destructive, tornadoes are nature at its inhuman extreme, arousing awe and terror, the ultimate in the untamable and unknowable. John Timpane,, "'Man Who Caught the Storm': A tempestuous, true tale of a legendary storm-chaser," 18 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for inhuman

Middle English inhumayne, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French inhumain, from Latin inhumanus, from in- + humanus human

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Statistics for inhuman

Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inhuman

The first known use of inhuman was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of inhuman

: very fierce or cruel

: having or showing no interest in individual people or their feelings : lacking emotional warmth

: not good enough for people to use or live in : extremely poor, dirty, or unhealthy


in·​hu·​man | \in-ˈhyü-mən, -ˈyü-\

Kids Definition of inhuman

1 : lacking pity or kindness an inhuman tyrant

2 : unlike what might be expected by a human an inhuman scream

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More from Merriam-Webster on inhuman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inhuman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inhuman

Spanish Central: Translation of inhuman

Nglish: Translation of inhuman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhuman for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inhuman

What made you want to look up inhuman? 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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