in·​hu·​man·​i·​ty | \ ˌin-(ˌ)hyü-ˈma-nə-tē How to pronounce inhumanity (audio) , -(ˌ)yü- \
plural inhumanities

Definition of inhumanity

1a : the quality or state of being cruel or barbarous
b : a cruel or barbarous act
2 : absence of warmth or geniality : impersonality

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Examples of inhumanity in a Sentence

man's inhumanity to man has been a recurring theme in human history
Recent Examples on the Web In the weeks following, the true scale of the Trump administration’s inhumanity would become even clearer. Glamour, "Mazie K. Hirono’s Memoir Is an Epic, Heart-Tugging Journey," 19 Apr. 2021 Among the many areas of our political life that have been left infected by the predations of the prior administration is what is perhaps Donald Trump’s original sin: His inhumanity toward immigrants. Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, "The Infernal Challenge of Ending “Kids In Cages”," 15 Mar. 2021 The administration can blame the messy transition, the dysfunction or even the inhumanity of Trump-era policies. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, "Caveats keep Biden border policies muddled: The Note," 22 Mar. 2021 Biden’s five deferments from service during Vietnam insulated him from directly experiencing the inhumanity of war. Erik Edstrom, The New Republic, "How Biden Can Transform America’s Foreign Policy," 16 Mar. 2021 Tubman spent nearly three decades in bondage before escaping the inhumanity of slavery. Donna M. Owens, Essence, "ESSENCE Exclusive: Meet One of Harriet Tubman’s Relatives," 12 Mar. 2021 But also by bonds of inhumanity, as two recent plays from London demonstrate. New York Times, "Making Black Lives, Not Just Black Deaths, Matter Onstage," 28 Feb. 2021 Almost from the moment that Wallen’s TMZ video was posted, fans—and some fellow artists—have been talking about the need for forgiveness and the inhumanity of condemning someone for a mistake. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Why a Disgraced Musician Is Dominating the Charts," 25 Feb. 2021 Over the last year, the inhumanity Bruder described has been made plain. Wilfred Chan, Vulture, "What Nomadland Gets Wrong About Gig Labor," 22 Feb. 2021

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

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

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Time Traveler for inhumanity

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

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Statistics for inhumanity

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inhumanity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for inhumanity



English Language Learners Definition of inhumanity

: the quality or state of being cruel to other people or to animals


in·​hu·​man·​i·​ty | \ ˌin-hyü-ˈma-nə-tē How to pronounce inhumanity (audio) \
plural inhumanities

Kids Definition of inhumanity

: a cruel act or attitude He cannot understand man's inhumanity to man.

More from Merriam-Webster on inhumanity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inhumanity

Nglish: Translation of inhumanity for Spanish Speakers

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