noun mis·an·thrope \ ˈmi-sᵊn-ˌthrōp \

Definition of misanthrope

:a person who hates or distrusts humankind

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Examples of misanthrope in a Sentence

  1. Many members of the contemporary movie audience, only marginally socialized, would have made a misanthrope of Gandhi; they undermine every argument for intelligent design in the universe. —James MorrisWilson QuarterlyAutumn 2005
  2. It is perhaps not the healthiest tendency for a man who is already if not a hermit at least a part-time misanthrope. —Edmund WhiteVanity FairSeptember 1996
  3. Rather she is the genuine article, a misanthrope so pure she can't understand "why solitary confinement is considered punishment." —Lewis Burke FrumkesNew York Times Book Review10 May 1992
  4. The young people thought him a gloomy misanthrope, because he never joined in their sports—the old men thought still more hardly of him, because he followed no trade,  … —Washington IrvingSalmagundiNovember 24, 1807, in History, Tales, and Sketches1977
  5. a former misanthrope who now professes a newly discovered love of mankind

Recent Examples of misanthrope from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misanthrope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The word misanthrope is human to the core—literally. One of its parents is the Greek noun anthrōpos, meaning "human being." Its other parent is the Greek verb misein, meaning "to hate." Misein also gave English misogamy ("a hatred of marriage"), misogyny ("hatred of women"), misology ("a hatred of argument, reasoning, or enlightenment"), and misoneism ("a hatred, fear, or intolerance of innovation or change"). Anthrōpos also joined forces with phil- (a combining form meaning "loving") to form the Greek ancestor of philanthropy ("active effort to help other people"). We also find anthrōpos when we delve into the foundations of the word anthropology.

misanthropes and Other Haters

Misanthrope comes from the Greek misanthrōpos “hating humankind” and was very likely popularized by the French playwright Moliere's Le Misanthrope, which depicts a bitter critic of society who chooses exile over contact with other people. In English, misanthrope (or its anglicized equivalent, misanthropist) has been applied to many a perceived antisocial crank, from satirist Jonathan Swift to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to Charles Dicken’s character Ebenezer Scrooge. It is one of several English words beginning with mis- (from Greek misein "to hate") naming persons who despise something or someone. The most familiar example nowadays is misogynist, used of a person who hates women. Two lesser-known variations on the theme are misandrist “one who hates men” and misopedist “a person who hates children.”

Origin and Etymology of misanthrope

Greek misanthrōpos hating humankind, from misein to hate + anthrōpos human being

MISANTHROPE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of misanthrope for English Language Learners

  • : a person who does not like other people

Medical Dictionary


noun mis·an·thrope \ ˈmis-ᵊn-ˌthrōp \

medical Definition of misanthrope

:a person who hates or distrusts humankind

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