human rights

plural noun

Definition of human rights 

: rights (such as freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons

Examples of human rights in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

With her husband George at her side, the human rights attorney radiated classic Hollywood glamour in a neo-Grecian look from J. Mendel. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Amal Clooney Has a Major Fashion Moment at the UN Correspondents Association Awards in New York," 6 Dec. 2018 This has important implications for privacy and human rights and may ultimately undermine conservation goals. Rogelio Luque-lora, Bill Adams, Ars Technica, "Camera traps designed for animals are now invading human privacy," 24 Nov. 2018 And there’s a common refrain echoing around the world: housing is a human right. Diana Budds, Curbed, "3 ways architects can improve social equity," 8 Nov. 2018 Ellery Biddle is advocacy director for Global Voices, which focuses on technology and human rights. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, "The Web, Worldwide," 19 Oct. 2018 Historian Dana Frank, an expert on human rights and U.S. policy in Honduras, said the caravan could have political implications in the United States less than a month before the midterm elections. Fox News, "Honduran migrant caravan crosses Guatemala border, US-bound," 15 Oct. 2018 The basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Explains What Feminism Means to Her During an Empowering Speech," 29 Oct. 2018 Not only because access to affordable, quality health care should be a human right, but also because LGBTQ+ people are at greater risk for a variety of health threats. Sophie Saint Thomas, SELF, "Your Guide to Finding a Doctor Who Is an LGBTQ+ Ally," 14 Sep. 2018 For hours, police did not permit ambulances or human rights workers to get to the church. Washington Post,, "Two killed as pro-government militia traps protesters in Nicaraguan church," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'human rights.' 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 rights

1629, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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The first known use of human rights was in 1629

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More Definitions for human rights

human rights

noun plural

Legal Definition of human rights 

: rights (as freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all people

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