human

1 of 2

adjective

hu·​man ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio)
ˈyü-
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
3
a
: having human form or attributes
the statue is more human than the beings at his feetClifton Fadiman
b
: representative of or susceptible to the sympathies and frailties of human nature
human kindness
a human weakness
such an inconsistency is very humanP. E. More
humanness noun

human

2 of 2

noun

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

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
By operating remotely, drones can eliminate the risk of human pilots being shot down or injured during transportation. Amir Emadi, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Automation tends to raises fears that machines will replace human workers and thereby kill jobs. Paul Wiseman, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2024 Every design choice seems handed down through millennia of alternative human history, from arcane hieroglyphics to a slew of creative masks and veils meant to conceal the faces of those manipulating the levers of power, nearly all of them women. Peter Debruge, Variety, 21 Feb. 2024 The oil and gas sector is the second-largest source of human methane emissions, behind agriculture. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Feb. 2024 Buzan explores the ways in which economics, technology, and politics shape and transform basic human institutions such as war, sovereignty, state formation, religion, diplomacy, nationalism, development, and environmental stewardship. Barry Buzan, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The boys almost immediately encounter heartless human smugglers, who don’t even hit the brakes to slow down when a migrant is accidentally thrown from the back of a speeding, overloaded pickup truck. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2024 The company implanted a chip in its first human patient in January, Musk wrote in a social media post last month. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 20 Feb. 2024 There’s now a mountain of research showing that the community of microorganisms that live in the human gut—often referred to as the gut microbiome—is critical to the health and functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Markham Heid, TIME, 9 Feb. 2024
Noun
This provides some evidence that these sucky-mouthed sea monsters and humans are much more closely related than the team anticipated. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 22 Feb. 2024 Gareth Edwards shot his futuristic sci-fi film about a war between humans and artificial intelligence on an $80 million budget. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 22 Feb. 2024 Courtesy of Colossal The idea that humans caused this extinction, but human ingenuity can put things right again? Matt Reynolds, WIRED, 21 Feb. 2024 By Kristen Radtke The very first stories humans ever recorded were built not of words, but of images: drawn in caves, mapped out in constellations, rendered through sculpture. Kristen Radtke, The Atlantic, 21 Feb. 2024 And even humans in mission control rooms back on Earth can’t help the spacecraft in those final, critical seconds before touchdown. Kristin Fisher, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 Research indicates that many humans do: A 2011 study from Michigan State University on the benefits of dog-walking found only two-thirds of its subjects routinely walked their dogs. Kelly Conaboy, Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2024 Turkeys have a field of vision of almost 360 degrees, and their eyes can pick up movement about eight times faster than humans. Steve Waters, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 Whether or not elephants are more empathetic than humans comes down to opinion. Hazra Khatoon, Discover Magazine, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'human.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

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

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1509, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near human

Cite this Entry

“Human.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/human. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

human

1 of 2 adjective
hu·​man ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio)
ˈyü-
1
: relating to or characteristic of human beings
especially : showing qualities typical of human beings
a human failing
2
: consisting of human beings
the human race
3
: having human form or characteristics
the dog's expression was almost human
humanness noun

human

2 of 2 noun
: a human being
humanlike adjective

Medical Definition

human

1 of 2 adjective
hu·​man ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio) ˈyü- How to pronounce human (audio)
1
a
: 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 genus Homo
humanness noun

human

2 of 2 noun
: a bipedal primate mammal of the genus Homo (H. sapiens)
broadly : any living or extinct member of the genus Homo
humanlike adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on human

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