Alternative formsEdit


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈhjuː.mə.naɪz/
  • Hyphenation: hu‧man‧ize

Etymology 1Edit

human +‎ -ize


humanize (third-person singular simple present humanizes, present participle humanizing, simple past and past participle humanized)

  1. (transitive) To make human; to give or cause to have the fundamental properties of a human.
    • 1730, Joseph Addison, The Evidences Of The Christian Religion
      Was it the business of magic to humanize our natures with compassion?
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 5, in The China Governess[1]:
      A waiter brought his aperitif, which was a small scotch and soda, and as he sipped it gratefully he sighed.
         ‘Civilized,’ he said to Mr. Campion. ‘Humanizing.’ […] ‘Cigars and summer days and women in big hats with swansdown face-powder, that's what it reminds me of.’
  2. (transitive) To make sympathetic or relatable.
    • 2000, Robert J. Emery, The directors: in their own words, volume 2, page 267:
      I think they would try to humanize the worst villains in history out of their fear that the audience might not like the central character.
    • 2012 September 1, “Margaret Thatcher: Let's hear it for the Iron Lady, comedy's greatest straight man”, in The Independent[2]:
      The Oscar-winning film The Iron Lady humanised Thatcher.
    • 2012, CQ Press, The Powers of the Presidency, page 40-41:
      Like the three ceremonial functions based on the Constitutions, these informal chief of state activities emphasize the president's role as the leader of the nation, but many of them also serve to humanize the president and symbolically bridge the gap between the president and the people.
    • 2017 October 30, Bernard Marr, “The Amazing Ways Spotify Uses Big Data, AI And Machine Learning To Drive Business Success”, in Forbes[3]:
      We can also expect the company to continue to humanize data in creative ways like it did when it used its vast amounts of data to launch a global ad campaign that highlighted some of the more bizarre user habits of 2016.
  3. (intransitive) To become humane or civilized.
  4. (transitive, medicine) To convert into something human or belonging to humans.
    to humanize vaccine lymph
    humanized monoclonal antibodies
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

humane +‎ -ize


humanize (third-person singular simple present humanizes, present participle humanizing, simple past and past participle humanized)

  1. To make humane.
    • 1932, Mariadas Ruthnaswamy, The making of the state, page 102:
      In China, as in India, Buddhism humanized the government and the people. It was a Chinese Emperor, Ming-Ti (a.d. 58-76), converted to Buddhism that abolished the penalty of death.
    • 1974, Al Parsons, Lightning in the Sun: A History of Florida Power Corporation, 1899-1974, page 154:
      And consequently he humanized the company. He instituted excellent employee benefits.
    • 1995, John A. Britton, Revolution and Ideology: Images of the Mexican Revolution in the United States, page 145:
      Some leftists believed that Cardenas humanized the government and harmonized its workings with the needs of the common people at the same time that peasant and worker activists placed demands on the political system.