To dehumanize someone is to make them either feel or appear somehow less than human. Laboring under terrible conditions can dehumanize workers, making them feel more like robots than people.

War can dehumanize people in a few different ways. Violent or seemingly endless fighting might dehumanize soldiers, causing them to stop feeling normal human emotions. War propaganda might dehumanize the enemy, making people more willing to fight against and kill them. At the heart of dehumanize is human, and its Latin root humanus, which means both "human" and "humane, kind, or civilized."

Definitions of dehumanize
  1. verb
    deprive of human qualities
    “Life in poverty has dehumanized them”
    synonyms: dehumanise
    see moresee less
    humanise, humanize
    make more humane
    type of:
    degrade, demean, disgrace, put down, take down
    reduce in worth or character, usually verbally
  2. verb
    make mechanical or routine
    synonyms: dehumanise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    mechanise, mechanize
    make mechanical
Word Family