Definition of inhuman in US English:



  • 1Lacking human qualities of compassion and mercy; cruel and barbaric.

    • ‘Officers at the prison murdered him because he dared to complain about the inhuman conditions and the poor quality of food.’
    • ‘The new law explicitly states that people should not be subject to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.’
    • ‘He is despised in the West because of the inhuman brutality of his dictatorship.’
    • ‘Violence meted out to women in the country is widespread and inhuman; worse, is sanctioned by society.’
    • ‘It is not only unorthodox but also inhuman and borders on the violation of human rights.’
    • ‘And what does it mean when people take offense and respond in evil and inhuman ways?’
    • ‘I'm also assuming that they don't support the view of the men as evil and inhuman.’
    • ‘The brutal and inhuman methods of these organizations bespeak not liberation, but provocation.’
    • ‘He and his political cronies are guilty of cruel and inhuman treatment of a helpless human.’
    • ‘They probably thought we were so inhuman and so evil so as to be totally devoid of feelings.’
    • ‘Some professors, lawyers, judges and doctors are making barbaric and inhuman decisions.’
    • ‘Anyways, lets not dwell on the inhuman ways in which some humans treat their brothers.’
    • ‘The shock of inhuman brutality was sufficient to traumatize the Albanians into submission.’
    • ‘We diminish ourselves if we allow the atrocities committed by others to turn us into inhuman people capable of similar evil.’
    • ‘Torture is, of course, a more severe type of inhuman treatment.’
    • ‘They violate the convention against torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.’
    • ‘How come we are subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment?’
    • ‘It appears that we are the brutal, inhuman people that our history book have tried to conceal.’
    • ‘Their admiration was even greater since the French had been represented to them as the most inhuman and savage people.’
    • ‘Around 68 years ago a man rose to power in Germany, a man who would unleash the most inhuman reign of any human being in history.’
    cruel, harsh, inhumane, brutal, callous, sadistic, severe, savage, vicious, barbaric, barbarous
    View synonyms
  • 2Not human in nature or character.

    ‘the inhuman scale of the dinosaurs’
    • ‘Only a drama producer with inhuman restraint could have resisted such characters.’
    • ‘The vicious inhuman growling made her shake and soon she could feel it's hot breath against her cheeks.’
    • ‘Over the ruins of the castle rose an unearthly wind, carrying with it an inhuman wail.’
    • ‘To the very recesses of his mind he tracked down the reason for this strange and utterly inhuman sense of being.’
    • ‘Robin slowly opened his eyes and saw a strange, inhuman figure in front of him.’
    • ‘He cried out and tried to get away, but the stranger pinioned him down with inhuman strength.’
    non-human, non-mortal, monstrous, devilish, demonic, demoniac, ghostly
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (originally as inhumane): from Latin inhumanus, from in- ‘not’ + humanus (see human).