hu·​mane | \hyü-ˈmān, yü-\

Definition of humane 

1 : marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals humane prison guards a more humane way of treating farm animals

2 : characterized by or tending to broad humanistic culture : humanistic humane studies

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Other Words from humane

humanely adverb
humaneness \ hyü-​ˈmān-​nəs , yü-​ \ noun

Examples of humane in a Sentence

It's not humane to treat animals that way. Conditions in the prison are more humane now.

Recent Examples on the Web

Casias said the Honduran government is hopeful that Trump's executive order will result in more humane treatment of migrants. Diane Smith And Hanaa’ Tameez, star-telegram, "Father who fled gangs and escaped kidnappers: If they send us back we could be killed," 22 June 2018 Watch the head of ICE pause when asked by @wolfblitzer if the policy of separating children from their parents is humane. Rob Tornoe,, "'Toddlers detained': Rachel Maddow ends her show in tears, Corey Lewandowski mocks disabled migrant girl," 20 June 2018 We are told that lobsters die at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and so a warm-water bath in the sink is more humane than a splash into boiling water. Christopher Kimball, WSJ, "‘The Graham Kerr Cookbook’ Review: Treating Life as a Feast," 4 May 2018 These standards are set by animal science experts, providing the third-party validation of humane treatment and positive welfare that an increasingly discerning public is demanding. Robin Ganzert, Fortune, "Commentary: Want to Save the Earth? Start With Your Local Zoo.," 22 Apr. 2018 In November 2016, Emmanuel Macron built his presidential campaign around open borders and a humane approach to asylum-seeking. Annie Hylton, The New Republic, "Macron Turns His Back on Refugee Women," 24 Apr. 2018 But managing time spent in apps is smallest part of the humane technology movement. NBC News, "Instagram's 'caught up' joins movement to set limit on screentime," 12 July 2018 Residents may think relocation is a more humane solution, but ultimately this doesn’t solve the problem. Aditi Shrikant,, "When wild animals urbanize," 13 July 2018 But unlike other conservative politicians in Europe, Merkel has attempted to bridge the divide between a humane response to immigration and the skepticism of such a response among her right-wing base. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "A tale of two photos: Trump and Merkel’s very different stances on immigration," 25 June 2018

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

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for humane

Middle English humain

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Statistics for humane

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for humane

The first known use of humane was in 1552

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More Definitions for humane



English Language Learners Definition of humane

: kind or gentle to people or animals


hu·​mane | \hyü-ˈmān, yü-\

Kids Definition of humane

: having sympathy and consideration for people or animals

Other Words from humane

humanely adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on humane

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for humane

Spanish Central: Translation of humane

Nglish: Translation of humane for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of humane for Arabic Speakers

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