humanism

noun
hu·​man·​ism | \ˈhyü-mə-ˌni-zəm, ˈyü-\

Definition of humanism 

1a : devotion to the humanities : literary culture

b : the revival of classical letters, individualistic and critical spirit, and emphasis on secular concerns characteristic of the Renaissance

2 : devotion to human welfare : humanitarianism renowned for his humanism

3 : a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values especially : a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason

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Other Words from humanism

humanist \ˈhyü-​mə-​nist, ˈyü-​ \ noun or adjective
humanistic \ˌhyü-​mə-​ˈni-​stik, ˌyü-​ \ adjective
humanistically \ˌhyü-​mə-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē, ˌyü-​ \ adverb

Examples of humanism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Their humanism and activism became part of Martha’s DNA, knit through her work from the beginning, or nearly so. Paula Mclain, Town & Country, "The Extraordinary Life of Martha Gellhorn, the Woman Ernest Hemingway Tried to Erase," 12 July 2018 What was likely a fairly modest budget means Au sticks to basics technically, though anything flashy would detract from the pic’s essential humanism. Elizabeth Kerr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Distinction' ('Fei tung faan heung'): Film Review," 27 June 2018 Stevie Wonder makes an appearance to preach universal love, but unlike a certain other pop idol’s espousing of such notions recently, this is humanism with a progressive edge. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Cheerful Radicalism of Janelle Monáe," 28 Apr. 2018 The enlightened humanism of the director of Melvin and Howard is evident in every frame. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Music / Old Movies to Watch Now / On Video / Small Screen Urgh! A Music War and other punk and postpunk new wave cinema," 10 July 2018 Chay Yew directs this world premiere with a warmth and generosity that matches the humanism and balance of the script. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "'Lettie' at Victory Gardens: A mother's years lost to prison are years she can't get back," 17 Apr. 2018 Vikander, who can balance flinty charm with sympathetic humanism, helped keep me invested, but Tomb Raider could best be described as a solid step forward, away from past wrongs. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Tomb Raider Is a Gritty Reboot of a Video-Game Classic," 15 Mar. 2018 Here now to make his case, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, the author of Enlightenment Now, the case for reason, science, humanism, and progress. Fox News, "Graham hails Trump's stance on North Korea, trade and Russia," 28 Mar. 2018 To him, the Enlightenment’s championing of reason, science, humanism, and moral progress is a model for our own times. David Lay Williams, Washington Post, "What Steven Pinker gets wrong about economic inequality — and the Enlightenment," 11 Mar. 2018

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

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for humanism

see human entry 1

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Statistics for humanism

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for humanism

The first known use of humanism was in 1836

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More Definitions for humanism

humanism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of humanism

: a system of values and beliefs that is based on the idea that people are basically good and that problems can be solved using reason instead of religion

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More from Merriam-Webster on humanism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with humanism

Spanish Central: Translation of humanism

Nglish: Translation of humanism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of humanism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about humanism

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