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 inhuman (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 To be gracious and accepting of these changes feels inhuman, impossible. James Parker, The Atlantic, 3 May 2021 America's outlook on justice remains broken, barbaric and inhuman. Tori B. Powell, CBS News, 20 May 2021 There are the portrayals of collaborators with the Japanese as inhuman scum and glorification of the Communist Party (both Russian and Chinese versions). Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2021 These Covid rules are a mess, inhuman and contain no fairness. Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2021 FC Kaiserslautern's name, history, values and the Fritz-Walter-Stadion in the defense of inhuman slogans and ideologies. Aleks Klosok, CNN, 1 Apr. 2021 Journalists couldn’t call criminal defendants animals or inhuman monsters, but Walsh could. Rachel Monroe, Vulture, 15 Mar. 2021 One of the most visibly racist, sexist, and inhuman tropes to emerge out of Western imperial history, this woman nonetheless hardly registers in the public consciousness as someone who has suffered discrimination. Anne Anlin Cheng, The Atlantic, 23 Mar. 2021 The simple answers of martyrdom and atonement are here eschewed for more complex questions of when might the human become inhuman? Sarah-tai Black, Los Angeles Times, 18 Mar. 2021

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

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inhuman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for inhuman



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

More from Merriam-Webster on inhuman

Nglish: Translation of inhuman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhuman for Arabic Speakers


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