humanity

play
noun hu·man·i·ty \ hyü-ˈma-nə-tē , yü- \

Definition of humanity

plural humanities
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
2 a :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 2construct 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

Examples of humanity in a Sentence

  1. We appealed to his sense of humanity.

  2. These discoveries will be of benefit to all humanity.

  3. She was cut off from the rest of humanity.

  4. the college of arts and humanities

  5. He's taking courses in both the sciences and the humanities.

Recent Examples of humanity from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of humanity

see 1human


HUMANITY Defined for English Language Learners

humanity

play
noun

Definition of humanity for English Language Learners

  • : the quality or state of being human

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

  • : all people


HUMANITY Defined for Kids

humanity

play
noun hu·man·i·ty \ hyü-ˈma-nə-tē , yü- \

Definition of humanity for Students

plural humanities
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 1, sympathy
  • … she … sent the Portugal captain a very handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.
  • —Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!