AskDefine | Define humiliation

Dictionary Definition



1 state of disgrace or loss of self-respect
2 strong feelings of embarrassment [syn: chagrin, mortification]
3 an instance in which you are caused to lose your prestige or self-respect; "he had to undergo one humiliation after another" [syn: mortification]
4 depriving one of self-esteem [syn: abasement]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The act of humiliating or humbling someone; abasement of pride; mortification.
  2. The state of being humiliated, humbled or reduced to lowliness or submission.





From humilier 'to humiliate', itself from humiliare, from humilis 'humble'


fr-noun f
  1. humiliation, active or passive
    ''Alors que lhumiliation d'une fessée cul-nu en présence du petit frère qu'il avait abusé blessait l'orgueil de Pascal pire que sa peau, assister à son humiliation réparait la fierté du petit


Extensive Definition

Humiliation is the abasement of pride; mortification. The state of being humbled or reduced to lowliness or submission. It is thus the process of being made humble. It can be brought about through bullying, intimidation, physical or mental mistreatment or trickery and embarrassment.

Humiliation of the self

Whereas humility can be sought alone as a means to de-emphasise the ego, humiliation must involve other person(s), though not necessarily directly or willingly. Acting to humiliate yourself may be linked to a personal belief (as with mortification of the flesh), or it can be part of erotic humiliation where the belittling activity provides emotional and/or sexual arousal.

Humiliation of others

Humiliation by one person by another (the humiliator) is often used as a way of asserting power over them, and is a common form of oppression, bullying or abuse. However, it can also be consensual, as part of an agreement with a sex partner over erotic humiliation. Whilst in either case, it may posssibly be motivated by sadism, most often it is not. In a non sexual context humiliation may be used as a form of torture or may even, as with bullying, not be a wholly conscious aim and may be seen(erroneously) by the humiliator as justifiable behaviour under the circumstances. Many punishments are deliberately designed to be humiliating, e.g. tarring and feathering, pillory, mark of infamy (stigma) as a means of "making an example" of a persona and presenting a deterrent to others.

Humiliation in sport

Humiliation in sport can be regarded as defeat by a large margin - unless the opposing team has so much better circumstances that such a defeat is seen as unavoidable, such as a national team of a very small country losing against a much larger country. In particular a defeat suffered without some believable effort to prevent it, a defeat suffered by simply refusing to fight back, can cause complete loss of face or dignity by a person or team.

External links


humiliation in German: Demütigung
humiliation in French: Humiliation
humiliation in Hebrew: השפלה נפשית
humiliation in Lithuanian: Pažeminimas
humiliation in Malay (macrolanguage): Penghinaan
humiliation in Norwegian: Fornedrelse
humiliation in Portuguese: Humilhação
humiliation in Finnish: Nöyryyttäminen
humiliation in Turkish: Küçük düşürme

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1