human

adjective
hu·​man | \ˈhyü-mən, ˈyü-\

Definition of human 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of humans (see human entry 2) the human brain human voices problems that have occurred throughout human history

2 : consisting of humans everyone held hands and made a human chain

3a : having human form or attributes the statue is more human than the beings at his feet— Clifton Fadiman

b : representative of or susceptible to the sympathies and frailties of human nature human kindness a human weakness such an inconsistency is very human— P. E. More

human

noun

Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

: a bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens) : a person : man sense 1c usually plural a disease that affects both humans and animalsincomprehensible to us humans— William James broadly : hominid the least developed of all ancestral humans — A. L. Kroeber

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Other Words from human

Adjective

humanness \ ˈhyü-​mən-​nəs , ˈyü-​ \ noun

Noun

humanlike \ ˈhyü-​mən-​ˌlīk , ˈyü-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for human

Synonyms: Adjective

earthborn, mortal, natural

Synonyms: Noun

baby, being, bird, bod [British], body, character, cookie (or cooky), creature, customer, devil, duck, egg, face, fish, guy, head, human being, individual, life, man, mortal, party, person, personage, scout, slob, sort, soul, specimen, stiff, thing, wight

Antonyms: Adjective

nonhuman

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Examples of human in a Sentence

Adjective

problems that have occurred throughout human history She is a very kind and human person. The dog's expression was almost human. The assembly line was a human machine. Everyone held hands and formed a human chain.

Noun

humans are the only mammals not endowed with a natural defense against the elements, such as fur or a thick hide
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Why this fantasy persists in the face of daily experience and human history is a mystery for another time. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "We Are a Homicidal Species," 2 Nov. 2018 This could have ended badly, given other outcomes in human history. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Indeed, while the 21st-century image of a genius may wear a white lab coat (or, perhaps, a black turtleneck and wire-rim glasses), for most of human history, the word’s meaning defied such distinctions. Vogue, "Isn’t It Genius? Moncler Will Smarten Up Your Fall Wardrobe," 4 Oct. 2018 But to have so many of them essentially, now, in charge of what have become, basically, the locomotives of human history now, these various platforms, is really, really problematic. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Elites like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos think they’re being philanthropic. But they could do so much more.," 3 Oct. 2018 For most of human history, the moon was largely a mystery. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Japanese Startup ispace to Launch Moon Lander Missions on SpaceX Rockets," 26 Sep. 2018 With the 360c, Volvo introduced a new way for autonomous cars to communicate with human drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Volvo Thinks Autonomous Cars Could Replace Short-Haul Flights," 6 Sep. 2018 America’s President, Donald Trump, has just met in Brussels with the leaders of the countries of NATO, arguably the most successful military alliance in human history, and Washington’s prized partner in democracy’s 20th century victory. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 Einride isn't the only outfit trying to ditch the human driver along with the diesel. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Sweden's Electric Robo-Truck Is Made for Life in the Forest," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Homes are, after all, a reflection of their dwellers, and, to some degree, their margins of human error. Noor Brara, Vogue, "Celebrating Diwali, in Light of the Midterms," 10 Nov. 2018 Later, the first human to fly into space, Yuri Gagarin, also launched from Kazakhstan. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Kazakhstan chooses SpaceX over a Russian rocket for satellite launch," 6 Nov. 2018 The gist: After their lame attempts fail to drive out the humans now living in their home, two mild-mannered ghosts enlist an annoying demon named Beetlejuice to finish the job. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best Horror Movies That Aren't Too Scary," 29 Oct. 2018 In conclusion, Carrie Underwood is as human as the rest of us. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood Is Getting Trolled for Wearing Makeup to Her Son's Soccer Game," 23 Oct. 2018 Then, an algorithm—designed by human programmers and data scientists—processes those images and uses machine learning to analyze them by cross referencing the image to other data sources. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Facial recognition is becoming one of the 21st century’s biggest public space issues," 19 Oct. 2018 On the other hand, the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, bans federal funding for research involving human embryos. Elissa Strauss, Glamour, "The Great Frozen Embryo Debate," 11 Oct. 2018 But because celebrities are humans too, not everything ran smoothly last night. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "7 Super Awkward Moments From the 2018 Emmys You Definitely Missed," 18 Sep. 2018 People had to fight for their right to be treated as humans. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Papa John said Colonel Sanders used the N-word. Was KFC's icon racist?," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'human.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of human

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1509, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for human

Adjective

Middle English humain, from Anglo-French, from Latin humanus; akin to Latin homo human being — more at homage

Noun

see human entry 1

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Statistics for human

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for human

The first known use of human was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for human

human

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of human

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or affecting people

: typical of people

: having good or bad qualities that people usually have

human

noun

English Language Learners Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person

human

adjective
hu·​man | \ˈhyü-mən, ˈyü-\

Kids Definition of human

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, being, or characteristic of people as distinct from animals the human body

2 : having the form or characteristics of people The expression on the dog's face was almost human.

human

noun

Kids Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from human

humanlike \ ˈhyü-​mən-​ˌlīk, ˈyü-​ \ adjective

human

adjective
hu·​man | \ˈhyü-mən, ˈyü- \

Medical Definition of human 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of humans the human body human biochemistry

b : primarily or usually harbored by, affecting, or attacking humans human diseases human parasites

2 : being or consisting of humans the human race

3 : consisting of members of the family Hominidae : hominid

Other Words from human

humanness \ -​mən-​nəs \ noun

human

noun

Medical Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

: a bipedal primate mammal of the genus Homo (H. sapiens) : man broadly : hominid

Other Words from human

humanlike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective

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Comments on human

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