inhuman n.

a nonhuman being; cf. alien n.

Now chiefly as the name of a race of superhumans in the Marvel universe (see quot. 1965), and esp. to the Inhuman Royal Family, a particular team of such superhumans.


  • 1940 I. Asimov Homo Sol in Astounding Science-Fiction Sept. 122/2 page image Isaac Asimov bibliography

    I’ve brought home copies of their newspapers of the time in which they objected to joining with ‘alien monstrosities’ and refused to be ‘ruled by inhumans of worlds parsecs away.’ I ask you, does that make sense?

  • 1947 A. V. Harding House Beyond Midnight in Weird Tales Jan. 55/1 page image Allison V. Harding bibliography

    We were no longer free to leave the house but were guarded by an odd assortment of inhumans.

  • 1965 S. Lee in Fantastic Four (#45) Dec. (title) page image Stan Lee

    Among Us Hide... The Inhumans.

  • 1973 I. Watson The Embedding (1977) 196 page image Ian Watson bibliography

    ‘Surely the Sp’thra can’t still be in Nevada!’ ‘Oh but they can…. The inhumans can!’

  • 1974 J. Thomas Horror of Party Beach in Monster Times (#30) Feb. 4/3 page image

    After they are turned into beasties, they go around killing other people and bringing some of them to be transformed into dumb-looking sea creatures…. Thus, the ranks of the inhumans are always on the increase.

  • 1976 D. Smith End of Days in Chacal Winter 45/2 page image David C. Smith bibliography

    ‘Are you a—sorcerer, Serenthal?’…‘You might refer to me in that fashion,’ he allowed, ‘though sorcerers are mortal and human. I am simply an inhuman.’

  • 1992 D. Eddings Sapphire Rose 13 page image David Eddings bibliography

    The gross cruelties of the inhumans who accompanied the invading army are too hideous to be mentioned.

  • 2007 S. Westerfeld Extras ii. 226 page image Scott Westerfeld bibliography

    Her eyes were drawn to the inhuman’s strange face. His skin was pale, his arms thin and weak-looking, but the needles on his fingertips were unambiguous—they were designed to do some damage. But the strangest thing was the inhuman’s feet. Bare and misshapen, they looked almost like hands, their long toes curled up like a dead spider’s legs.

Research requirements

antedating 1940

Earliest cite

Isaac Asimov, 'Homo Sol'

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1974 reprint of Isaac Asimov's "Homo Sol"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1940 first appearance.

Last modified 2022-09-12 15:11:23
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.