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

As Timmer wrote in September: Science Fair makes clear that its subjects are humane, working on things like simple testing for arsenic in water, a defense against Zika virus, or a better understanding of at-risk teens. Sam Machkovech And Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Films for the discerning nerd: Ars picks the best of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 The sweeping new bill offers better access to period products and more humane treatment of pregnant women in incarceration. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This New Criminal Justice Bill Could Finally Give Incarcerated Women the Period Products They Need," 19 Dec. 2018 University of Florida researches say bashing in an iguana’s head and destroying its brain quickly is the most humane way to kill one. Ellie Rushing,, "Out of control iguanas infesting South Florida," 22 June 2018 Most importantly, though, Science Fair makes clear that its subjects are humane, working on things like simple testing for arsenic in water, a defense against Zika virus, or a better understanding of at-risk teens. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "See Science Fair even if you’ve never entered one in your life," 16 Sep. 2018 The other bill Republicans had been planning a vote on would have terminated ICE within a year of Congress enacting ‘a humane immigration enforcement system’ to be designed by a commission the legislation would establish. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Is 2018 really all about Russia?," 18 July 2018 The Women’s Refugee Commission, which has long observed the practice of family detentions, has released multiple reports over the last decade on family detentions which argued that there is no humane way of detaining families. Maya Rhodan, Time, "There Are Effective Alternatives to Family Detention. The Trump Administration Already Ended One," 22 June 2018 Advocates such as Sara Ramey, an attorney and executive director for the Migrant Center for Human Rights, insist there are better, more humane ways to deal with undocumented families like the Villatoros. Rosa Flores, CNN, "Mom and 4 children forced to separate after seeking asylum in US," 5 June 2018 Chalk was cheaper than bullets, and forcing Indians to assimilate was considered more humane than killing them. Jeff Gammage,, "A search for native children who died on 'Outings' in Pa.," 2 May 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

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for humane

The first known use of humane was in 1552

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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

Comments on humane

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esteemed in general opinion

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