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See also: Unperson



From un- +‎ person. Coined by George Orwell in 1949 as part of the Newspeak in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where it refers to a person who has been executed or has fallen out of favor; whose entire history has been erased.


unperson (plural unpersons or unpeople)

  1. A person who has been stripped of rights, identity, or humanity.
    With his identity stolen, he became an unperson, unable to prove his existence to the government.
    • 1965 February 25, Harrison E. Salisbury, “Kremlin Chimes' Banished Stalin”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      In accordance with the change in the party line, Stalin vanished from the play, disappearing even before Mr. Krushchev's denunciation at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party. Stalin became an “unperson,” in the terminology of George Orwell's “1984”.
    • 2000 October 13, John Ezard, Danny Gittings, “Nobel award amazes Chinese writer and literary world”, in The Guardian:
      Though Gao is classed as an unperson in China, which did not react officially yesterday, the award was forecast to cause widespread private joy there as the literary equivalent of the country winning the World Cup.



unperson (third-person singular simple present unpersons, present participle unpersoning, simple past and past participle unpersoned)

  1. (transitive) To strip (a person) of rights, identity, or humanity.

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