hu·​man | \ ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio) , 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 or involving humans everyone held hands and made a human chain human interactions human spaceflight
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



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

Other Words from human


humanness \ ˈhyü-​mən-​nəs How to pronounce human (audio) , ˈyü-​ \ noun


humanlike \ ˈhyü-​mən-​ˌlīk How to pronounce human (audio) , ˈyü-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for human

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As played by Froseth, Sarah Jo is as bright and affable and (accordingly) seemingly out of place as her name suggests, like a creature from another planet or another time, too unblemished to be human, too flower-power to be 21st-century. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 6 Aug. 2022 Hamilton reminded them that, in the new republic, their federal agency was limited in the execution of its difficult duties by the bounds of law — a largely new concept in human history at the time. Kerry J. Byrne, Fox News, 4 Aug. 2022 Leisure, for him, was different still: an end in itself, the pinnacle of human life—almost divine. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 4 Aug. 2022 America was the confluence of Athens and Jerusalem, the first time in human history that reason and revelation together formed the foundations of a political community. New York Times, 3 Aug. 2022 Still, there’s something callous about how casually Leitch takes human life. Peter Debruge, Variety, 2 Aug. 2022 Everyone in the workplace is human and has fears and insecurities. Miranda Collard, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 Smallpox ranks as one of the deadliest diseases in human history, but it was eradicated four decades ago after a long-running vaccination campaign. Denise Roland, WSJ, 30 July 2022 The human stories that have been shared since this happened have been horrifying. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 29 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Although his work celebrated life in all its color and intricacy, death was always a subject of fascination for Mr. Castro; skulls, both animal and human, were a common motif. New York Times, 4 Aug. 2022 Olivarez said the purpose of Operation Lone Star is to target the influx of human and drug smuggling and provide additional resources and manpower to Border Patrol. Fox News, 3 Aug. 2022 Not incidentally, the nonadjacent-octave-band rule precludes using a musical phrase as an alert—the pitch-shifting would sound awful—as well as any vocal alerts, human or animal. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 Luckily, more tools are becoming available to more seamlessly manage the privileges of all organizations’ human and machine users. Art Gilliland, Forbes, 15 July 2022 Meet Mark and Peanut, the human-and-squirrel duo who do everything together. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 14 July 2022 Despite the damage to the vehicle, YCSO officials said no one, human or animal, was hurt during the incident. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2022 Among them: Saul the border collie saved his human. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2022 But fish don’t necessarily drink it as a human drinks a glass of water. Evan Hecht, USA TODAY, 26 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of human


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1509, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for human

Adjective and Noun

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

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Time Traveler for human

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near human

Humala (Tasso)


human being

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Statistics for human

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Human.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for human


hu·​man | \ ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio) , 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.



Kids Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from human

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


hu·​man | \ ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio) , ˈyü- How to pronounce human (audio) \

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 How to pronounce human (audio) \ 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 How to pronounce human (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on human

Nglish: Translation of human for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of human for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about human


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