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subhuman

[suhb-hyoo-muh n or, often, -yoo-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. less than or not quite human.
  2. almost human: In some respects, the porpoise is subhuman.

Origin of subhuman

First recorded in 1785–95; sub- + human
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subhuman

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Only some subhuman could bring himself to study such things.

    The Weakling

    Everett B. Cole

  • In their fleeting and impersonal character, however, they are subhuman.

  • They were things of beauty, but it was a beauty strange, menacing, subhuman.

    The Nest Builder

    Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale

  • Man was superhuman in power and glory, subhuman in morality.

    By Earthlight

    Bryce Walton

  • It seems a strange ending for an angel-song, a far drop from the superhuman to the subhuman.


British Dictionary definitions for subhuman

subhuman

adjective
  1. of, relating to, or designating animals that are below man (Homo sapiens) in evolutionary development
  2. less than human
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for subhuman

adj.

1793, from sub- + human. The noun is first recorded 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper