Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A nonperson.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A human who has been stripped of rights, identity or humanity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person regarded as nonexistent and having no rights; a person whose existence is systematically ignored (especially for ideological or political reasons)

Etymologies

un- +‎ person. From the synthetic language "newspeak" in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), where it refers to a person who has not only been executed but whose entire history has been erased. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In Orwell's term, Cortés has become an "unperson" -- not "nonperson," as the word is so frequently misquoted.

    Cuauhtemoc: winner in defeat (1495–1525)

  • Also her videotape on being an "unperson" ought to be required viewing, even for staff who don't work specifically with autistic people.

    Assault

  • After all, he is immediately demoted from his prestigious status level six to being an "unperson", the automatic status of someone who has no identity cards, no birth certificate and, in fact, no recorded history.

    REVIEW: Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick

  • Thanks for the update, I was directed to read her after I did a post on care workers treating me without dignity and saw her video on being an "unperson" and have gone back several times to learn different ways in which to explain a point of contact.

    Amanda Baggs on CNN again tonight

  • Newspeak - including such lasting terms as "unperson,"

    Orwell centenary passes without fanfare

  • And how often do you get a chance to hear a journalist who is fired from the newspaper he helped start and who became an instant "unperson" at that paper?

    Looking for Trouble

  • There, a one-time colleague, Trotsky, could virtually disappear from the story of the Revolution and become an 'unperson' for an entire generation of young Russians.

    The South After Slavery

  • I imagine that St. Andrew has become a liability to the "vaccines-cause-autism" crowd and will soon find himself an "unperson".

    ScienceBlogs Channel : Life Science

  • October 17, 2008 - Joe the Plumber declared "unperson" by the media.

    Hot Air » Top Picks

  • Last time I checked, George Bush (through the power of the Executive to wage war) had taken an American citizen into custody on American soil, declared him an "enemy combatant" (or more properly, an "unperson") who did not have any rights under the law, and argued that the President had the ability to do so, because the United States itself was a front in the Struggle Against Violent Extremism (formerly known as the War on Terror*).

    Balkinization

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