hu·​man·​i·​tar·​i·​an | \ hyü-ˌma-nə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce humanitarian (audio) , 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 How to pronounce humanitarianism (audio) , 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

In his opinion, Ross Cellino is a great guy and a humanitarian who gives away a ton of money. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The story behind the best-known local jingle in America," 8 Aug. 2019 Ten years ago today, the world lost a gifted artist and extraordinary humanitarian. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Michael Jackson Estate Releases Statement on 10th Anniversary of Singer's Death," 25 June 2019 He has been lauded for his efforts as a humanitarian, stepping in to provide meals to those affected by disasters, such as Hurricane Maria that ripped through Puerto Rico in 2017. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Exclusive Detroit 'foodie experience' big win for local charity," 20 June 2019 The service is often compared to Alphabet's Project Shield, first announced in October 2013, which also provides free DDoS protection and other defenses to vulnerable humanitarian and free speech groups. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Cloudflare’s Five-Year Project to Protect Nonprofits Online," 12 June 2019 Ankara fears a humanitarian and security crisis on its borders. Fox News, "Syria rebels destroy bridges in anticipation of offensive," 31 Aug. 2018 But humanitarians say the war is far from over, particularly its scars on children. Albert Aji And Alice Su, Fox News, "Back to school, but not for all of Syria's children," 7 Sep. 2018 Some humanitarians fear that cutting food aid to South Sudan would only result in an even more serious hunger crisis and will punish civilians instead of the government. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "Trump is reassessing aid to South Sudan. Its government says cuts would be a disaster.," 11 May 2018 NBA Hall of Famer and one-time Sixers center Dikembe Mutombo, who has been among the most active humanitarians in the sporting world during and after his 18-year career, will received this year’s Sager Strong Award, the league announced Tuesday. Rob Tornoe,, "Former Sixers center Dikembe Mutombo to receive Sager Strong Award," 22 May 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

26 Aug 2019

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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 How to pronounce humanitarian (audio) , 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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