hu·​man·​i·​ty | \hyü-ˈma-nə-tē, yü-\
plural humanities

Definition of humanity 

1 : 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 struggle— C. G. Bowers

2a : the quality or state of being human joined together by their common humanity

b humanities plural : human attributes or qualities his work has the ripeness of the 18th century, and its rough humanities— Pamela H. Johnson

3 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)

4 : the totality of human beings : the human race : humankind a fierce compassion for the woes of humanity— Maurice Bowra

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Examples of humanity in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

If that treaty dies, and the way is open for an uncontrolled race to build weapons of every description, the budgetary consequences would be terrifying, though not quite as terrifying as the consequences for humanity. The Economist, "What Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin ought to talk about in Helsinki," 12 July 2018 No matter who is inside the Hale shell, one thing's clear: Dolores having her very own personal version of the top Delos board member is a very bad thing for humanity at large. 4. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Westworld': 9 Burning Questions for Season 3," 26 June 2018 Beating an innocent citizen and running away shows a total disregard for humanity. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "Dad was waiting for his son to finish at soccer. Teens beat him up and took the car, video shows," 22 June 2018 Residente, who prefers to talk about moments rather than social media numbers, will bring his deep raps about life, love and his passion for humanity to the stage with a tour that begins in Madrid on June 28 before heading to Miami on Aug. 25. Justino Aguila, Billboard, "Residente's Global Tour Announcement Includes U.S. & European Dates: Exclusive," 3 June 2018 But the more uses scientists can find for carbon, the better chances are for humanity. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover How to Make Carbon Nanotubes Out of Carbon Dioxide," 31 May 2018 Carnegie Mellon is the alma mater of some of the top minds in artificial intelligence, which big thinkers including Elon Musk have warned could have major negative consequences for humanity. Dana Hull, Houston Chronicle, "Coming this fall to Carnegie Mellon: America's first AI degree," 10 May 2018 For a Cabinet official to intentionally mislead the public on a scientific issue with life-and-death consequences for humanity is a far more serious matter than first-class flights or a $43,000 phone booth. Basav Sen, Fortune, "Commentary: Scott Pruitt Should Be Impeached for Gutting the EPA, Not His First-Class Flights," 3 May 2018 Was there room for any humanity amid all this spectacle? Dan Deluca,, "Pink flies high at 'Beautiful Trauma' hometown show at the Wells Fargo Center," 14 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for humanity

see human entry 1

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Learn More about humanity

Statistics for humanity

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for humanity

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

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More Definitions for humanity



English Language Learners Definition of humanity

: the quality or state of being human

: the quality or state of being kind to other people or to animals

: all people


hu·​man·​i·​ty | \hyü-ˈma-nə-tē, yü-\
plural humanities

Kids Definition of humanity

1 : the quality or state of being human Old enemies were joined by their common humanity in combating the disease.

2 : the human race These discoveries will benefit humanity.

3 humanities plural : studies (as literature, history, and art) concerned primarily with human culture

4 : kindness sense 1, sympathy … she … sent the Portugal captain a very handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.— Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

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Comments on humanity

What made you want to look up humanity? 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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