dehumanize Definition

  • 1to deprive of human qualities or attributes; divest of individuality
  • 2to make someone feel less than human, often by treating them cruelly or denying their basic rights and needs

Using dehumanize: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "dehumanize" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The prisoners were dehumanized and treated like animals.

  • Example

    The use of derogatory language can dehumanize people and perpetuate harmful stereotypes.

  • Example

    Slavery is a system that dehumanizes both the enslaved and the slave owners.

  • Example

    The media's portrayal of refugees often dehumanizes them and reduces them to statistics.

dehumanize Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for dehumanize

Phrases with dehumanize

  • work that is monotonous, repetitive, and lacking in creativity, making workers feel like machines rather than humans


    Many factory jobs are considered dehumanizing work.

  • treatment that strips people of their dignity and humanity, often through physical or emotional abuse


    The refugees were subjected to dehumanizing treatment at the border.

  • language that reduces people to objects or stereotypes, denying their individuality and humanity


    The use of racial slurs is a form of dehumanizing language.

Origins of dehumanize

from de- 'opposite of' + humanize 'to make human'


Summary: dehumanize in Brief

The verb 'dehumanize' [dee-hyoo-muh-nahyz] means to deprive someone of their human qualities or attributes, often by treating them cruelly or denying their basic rights and needs. It can also refer to work that is monotonous and repetitive, making workers feel like machines rather than humans. Examples of dehumanizing treatment include the use of derogatory language and physical or emotional abuse.