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 : secular humanism

Other Words from humanism

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

Examples of humanism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With themes of feminism, maternity, humanism and religion, both artists dabble in a spiritual surrealism that is difficult to quantify or estimate. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2022 Life in Germany under the Weimar Republic, and then his years of uncertainty and exile after 1933, had been his schooling in bourgeois humanism and liberal democracy. Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2022 The post-war West quickly cut ties with Christian humanism and accepted much of the Marxist critique of bourgeois society regarding education, religion, and the family. Richard M. Reinsch Ii, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 Over the past 30 years, Darnielle has used the Mountain Goats to expound a sort of small-scale, lo-fi humanism. Robert Rubsam, The New Republic, 24 Feb. 2022 The demonstrations, during which some protesters have desecrated national memorials and threatened residents, have shaken a country known globally as a model for humanism, peace and serenity. The New York Times, Arkansas Online, 8 Feb. 2022 In that book, Dewey regarded humanism as the culmination of humankind’s religious quest. D.g. Hart, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 Watching Moratto’s student short films, Bahrani encountered impressive humanism and poetry. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2021 In these examples of stories of unwelcomed white settlers in remote South American pastures, the creators lace their inquisitive studies with humanism or humor. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 10 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of humanism was in 1836

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Last Updated

22 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Humanism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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