What's the difference in meaning between the adjectives: "inhuman" and "inhumane"?

Thefreedictionary defines both as: "lacking pity or compassion" but there has to be a slight difference in meaning between them since they are two separate words.

closed as off-topic by Janus Bahs Jacquet, choster, Drew, Chenmunka, ermanen Oct 14 '14 at 18:24

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  • The downvotes are not inhuman!! Inhuman: Also: inhumane lacking humane feelings, such as sympathy, understanding, etc; cruel; brutal 2. not human. thefreedictionary.com/inhuman – user66974 Oct 14 '14 at 14:35
  • Have you looked the words up in a good dictionary? What did that tell you? And what are you still unsure about? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 14 '14 at 14:35
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    @JanusBahsJacquet Yes, I have looked it up. The answer was the same in both cases: "lacking pity or compassion". And yet there are two different words although similar. I always check everything carefully before referring to this site. – Peter Oct 14 '14 at 16:12
  • As this site indicates, 'inhuman' has several meanings other than the one you mention. – DJClayworth Oct 14 '14 at 17:26
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    @JanusBahsJacquet Is the question all right now? – Peter Oct 16 '14 at 12:49

'Inhuman' and 'Inhumane', as per dictionary has the same meaning. But inspite of this fact, they are used in different contexts. Both the words mean cruel and insensitive; but, 'inhumane' stresses on the subject and 'inhuman' stresses on the insensitive behaviour. For illustration, 1) He acts inhumane. 2) He is inhuman towards the boys. In the above statements, the first one has an intention of pointing towards the subject 'He' and gives him the quality of 'insensitive'. While on the other hand, the second statement will be used to emphasise on the quality of insensitiveness and not the subject.

Conclusion: 'inhuman' is used for a harsh degree of speech and 'inhumane' is at a lower step. Hope it helps.

  • Your example suggests "inhumane" is an adverb ar an adjective that acts as an adverb. However, this seems no to be the case. I mean Google gives lots of examples for "inhuman conditions" and "inhumane conditions". Besides, what about the adverb "inhumanely"? – Peter Oct 15 '14 at 6:37
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    The question has been viewed over 1000 times since it was closed. It seems that some admins are trying to stifle an interesting discussion, – Peter Jul 10 '15 at 5:29
  • Now the questions has over 4k views. Still administrators think commonly-available references will solve the problem. – Peter Nov 29 '15 at 9:12
  • @Peter Don't blame the admins, your question shows poor effort on your behalf to answer it. Reformulate your question, research the topic on your own, and explain why that additional information is insufficient to answer the question – Pertinax Jun 4 '16 at 21:52

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