hu·​man·​i·​tar·​i·​an | \hyü-ˌma-nə-ˈter-ē-ən, yü-\

Definition of humanitarian 

: a person promoting human welfare and social reform : philanthropist recognized as a great humanitarian for her work to end world hunger

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Other Words from humanitarian

humanitarian adjective
humanitarianism \ hyü-​ˌma-​nə-​ˈter-​ē-​ə-​ˌni-​zəm , yü-​ \ noun

Examples of humanitarian in a Sentence

She has been recognized as a great humanitarian for her efforts to end world hunger.

Recent Examples on the Web

The document urges the Venezuelan government to hold free and fair elections and allow humanitarian. Washington Post, "US renews call for OAS to suspend Venezuela," 4 June 2018 And José Andrés, who has multiple restaurants at the SLS hotel in Beverly Hills, was named humanitarian of the year for his efforts in Puerto Rico, California and beyond. Jenn Harris,, "Los Angeles chefs once again snubbed at the James Beard Awards," 8 May 2018 McConnell, who is the longest-serving Senate Republican leader in history, knows this brewing humanitarian, media and political crisis is Trump's doing. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Senate Republicans just rebuked Trump on family separations," 19 June 2018 The issue again raises the question of whether Trump's determination to stiffen immigration laws conflicts with the nation's fundamental values -- and a wider humanitarian duty to protect children. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump whips up immigration storm over children," 29 May 2018 Aquarians, the water-bearers, are often humanitarians and genuinely interested in saving the world. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Online Dating Style," 6 July 2018 Diana, a tireless humanitarian during her 17 years as the Princess of Wales, was patron of Britain’s National AIDS Trust until her death in a car accident in Paris in 1997. Jane Onyanga-omara, USA TODAY, "Elton John tells tech giants to do more to fight HIV at lecture in memory of Princess Diana," 8 June 2018 Heck, Wentz probably did vote for Trump, since nearly everybody did in his home state of North Dakota, but there’s nothing stereotypical about a young man who’s fast becoming an MVP-caliber humanitarian. Will Bunch,, "I wanted Carson Wentz to go to the White House to teach Trump about leadership | Will Bunch," 5 June 2018 The activist and humanitarian made her return to acting earlier this month when production began on Maleficent 2 with her kids joining her on the London set. Ale Russian,, "Angelina Jolie Turns 43! Why She 'Loves' Aging as She Heads Back to Work with All Six Kids," 4 June 2018

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

1843, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for humanitarian

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for humanitarian

The first known use of humanitarian was in 1843

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More Definitions for humanitarian



English Language Learners Definition of humanitarian

: a person who works to make other people's lives better


hu·​man·​i·​tar·​i·​an | \hyü-ˌma-nə-ˈter-ē-ən, yü-\

Kids Definition of humanitarian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who works to improve the lives and living conditions of other people



Kids Definition of humanitarian (Entry 2 of 2)

: relating to or characteristic of people who work to improve the lives and living conditions of other people humanitarian efforts

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Comments on humanitarian

What made you want to look up humanitarian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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