hu·​man·​i·​ty hyü-ˈma-nə-tē How to pronounce humanity (audio)
plural humanities
: compassionate, sympathetic, or generous behavior or disposition : the quality or state of being humane
bespeaking humanity for the enemy in the midst of a bloody struggleC. G. Bowers
: the quality or state of being human
joined together by their common humanity
humanities plural : human attributes or qualities
his work has the ripeness of the 18th century, and its rough humanitiesPamela H. Johnson
humanities plural : the branches of learning (such as philosophy, arts, or languages) that investigate human constructs (see construct entry 2 sense 1a) and concerns as opposed to natural processes (as in physics or chemistry) and social relations (as in anthropology or economics)
: the totality of human beings : the human race : humankind
a fierce compassion for the woes of humanityMaurice Bowra

Example Sentences

We appealed to his sense of humanity. These discoveries will be of benefit to all humanity. She was cut off from the rest of humanity. the college of arts and humanities He's taking courses in both the sciences and the humanities.
Recent Examples on the Web Many scientists have pointed out that surpassing the 1.5-degree threshold will not mean humanity is doomed. Brad Plumer,, 21 Mar. 2023 Scientists emphasize that the world or humanity won’t end suddenly if Earth passes the 1.5 degree mark. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Mar. 2023 In an interview over dinner last month, Vogt shared a personal farewell to arms: a behind-the-mask tour of the habits, humor and humanity of some of his era’s most captivating characters. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2023 Scientists emphasize that the world, civilization, or humanity won’t end if and when Earth hits and passes the 1.5 degree mark. Seth Borenstein And Frank Jordans, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Mar. 2023 Clarke has also created a chilling horror film environment as Pup battles his inner demons to reclaim his humanity. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Mar. 2023 Gen-Z wants the freedom to be loud, be proud and have an impact, especially around causes that impact humanity. Gianna Driver, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2023 On the yard, there are rules, restrictions and racial lines, but Actors’ Gang Prison Project classes allowed a glimpse into humanity that was stripped from them, Loya said. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2023 One-quarter of all ice-free land is used for grazing and one-third of our cropland is used to produce feed for livestock, which have sixteen times the combined body mass of all humanity. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'humanity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see human entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of humanity was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near humanity

Cite this Entry

“Humanity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition


hu·​man·​i·​ty hyü-ˈman-ət-ē How to pronounce humanity (audio)
plural humanities
: the quality or state of being human or of being humane
plural : studies (as literature, history, and art) concerned primarily with human culture
: the whole collection of human beings both past and present

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