in·​hu·​man | \ (ˌ)in-ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce inhuman (audio) , -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 How to pronounce inhumanness (audio) , -​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 That’s an inhuman moral dilemma and a completely capitalist fabrication. Soleil Ho,, "The restaurant industry’s moral dilemma amidst pandemic: Stay open or close down," 9 Apr. 2020 This is, however, a fundamentally inhuman philosophy. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "How Panic-Buying Revealed the Problem With the Modern World," 26 Mar. 2020 Falling ill is human, killing one another is inhuman. Sylvia Poggioli, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 23–29," 29 Mar. 2020 There, thousands of migrant workers are toiling in inhuman conditions to build designs such as Zaha Hadid’s; according to The Guardian, hundreds have died. Kate Wagner, The New Republic, "The Ethical Failures of Modern Architecture," 26 Mar. 2020 What is a few days without food in comparison to the daily pain of our brothers and sisters who do backbreaking work in the fields under inhuman conditions and without hope of ever breaking their cycle of poverty and misery? Kim Kelly, The New Republic, "The Airport Workers Who Starved Themselves in the Super Bowl’s Shadow," 6 Feb. 2020 The piece was meant to occupy metaphorical space — an emblem for an inhuman practice widespread throughout New England, and a public gesture aimed at one of Boston’s most public figures, at the location that honors him. Murray Whyte,, "Boston lost a powerful, poetic work when artist pulled his ‘Auction Block’ slave memorial," 17 Aug. 2019 In these photographs, people are able to recognize their subjects as real human beings subjected to inhuman suffering. Paul Morrow, The Conversation, "Is it ethical to show Holocaust images?," 21 Jan. 2020 The letter cites multiple reports on Assange’s health over the years, including assessments by Nils Melzer, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Kayla Epstein, Washington Post, "Reports of Julian Assange’s health suggest he ‘could die in prison,’ dozens of doctors claim," 25 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for inhuman

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for inhuman

Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inhuman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce inhuman (audio)

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 How to pronounce inhuman (audio) , -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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inhuman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inhuman

Spanish Central: Translation of inhuman

Nglish: Translation of inhuman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhuman for Arabic Speakers

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