humanism

noun
hu·​man·​ism | \ ˈhyü-mə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce humanism (audio) , 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 How to pronounce humanist (audio) , ˈyü-​ \ noun or adjective
humanistic \ ˌhyü-​mə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce humanistic (audio) , ˌyü-​ \ adjective
humanistically \ ˌhyü-​mə-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce humanistically (audio) , ˌyü-​ \ adverb

Examples of humanism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Now those who believe in humanism and those who defend liberal democracy have to come forward with a true global vision. Elif Shafak, Quartz, "Nationalism is thriving using the very mechanism it denounces," 6 Aug. 2019 With typical humanism, Goldberg set their bedrooms close to nursing stations and their babies. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Is Northwestern’s new medical research building a world-class structure? The building, and the answer, are incomplete.," 13 June 2019 The humanism of Beecher and George used the language of religion to invest the individual with great dignity and potential, with actual splendor. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 Movie-actor sympathy is QT’s obtuse version of humanism; his hipster notion of relationships rarely goes beyond clichéd cleverness. Armond White, National Review, "Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood Is His Best Film," 26 July 2019 Ethical humanism is solely based on what human beings consider to be proper conduct. Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, "The limitations of the human mind," 8 July 2019 Their answers contrasted in ways large and small, but each reached for some form of what used to be called Christian humanism. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "Books on Politics: Best of 2018," 7 Dec. 2018 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

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

25 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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