hu·​mane | \ hyü-ˈmān How to pronounce humane (audio) , 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 How to pronounce humaneness (audio) , 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 Klapow wants to work not only to make prisons more humane, but to better prepare inmates for a return to the world. John Archibald |, al, "Roommates win big, and that ain’t the half of it," 22 Apr. 2020 Those programs are considered more humane and more affordable, keeping older residents in their homes and out of expensive nursing homes. Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "The Governor and the $6 Billion Budget Gap," 10 Mar. 2020 It will be replaced by four smaller jails, which officials pledge will be far safer and more humane, at a cost of $8 billion to the taxpayers. Fox News, "Inside Harvey Weinstein’s temporary home - the notorious Rikers Island jail," 9 Mar. 2020 The film manages to be humane and non-judgmental to all its subjects, from Fuyao chairman Cao Dewang to the struggling workers. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "This Oscar nominee might be the best movie ever on globalization and the future of work," 8 Feb. 2020 Although definitely more humane, the Goliath was not considered a success due to its slow speed. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Iran Unveils New Tank-Killing Ground Drones," 9 Oct. 2019 This is considered somewhat more humane, but catheters may be left in indefinitely, causing irritation and infection. National Geographic, "Bear bile, explained," 12 June 2019 Duggal and other advocates have criticized India’s large-scale closure, saying area-specific lockdowns are more humane and practical in India. Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, Science | AAAS, "1.3 billion people. A 21-day lockdown. Can India curb the coronavirus?," 31 Mar. 2020 The Bernie Sanders of 2020 was much more humane and correct on immigration than any of his earlier iterations, where his rhetoric on immigration was far more shaped by concern over the wages of Americans than for the plight of immigrants themselves. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Left Is Bigger Than Bernie Sanders," 20 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for humane

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The first known use of humane was in 1552

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Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Humane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for humane


How to pronounce humane (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of humane

: kind or gentle to people or animals


hu·​mane | \ hyü-ˈmān How to pronounce humane (audio) , 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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