hu·​man·​i·​ty | \ hyü-ˈma-nə-tē How to pronounce humanity (audio) , 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web In 2015, the enigmatic Army of the 12 Monkeys released a deadly virus that would wipe out seven billion humans over the following two years, with its subsequent mutations threatening the end of humanity. Sophie Hanson, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 June 2022 The prize is given for achievement in the study of humanity. Fox News, 22 June 2022 And all praise to Morton for bringing shocking depths of humanity to a role that's half-Vulcan and half-primal. Leah Greenblatt,, 21 June 2022 Debuting on May 17, 2020, Snowpiercer follows the passengers of the Snowpiercer, a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe carrying the remnants of humanity seven years after the world becomes a frozen wasteland. Marc Berman, Forbes, 21 June 2022 As of today, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee their homes — more than 1% of humanity. Jennifer Hassan And Sammy Westfall, Anchorage Daily News, 17 June 2022 India and other nations in the region, home to hundreds of millions of humanity’s most vulnerable, are on the front lines of climate change. New York Times, 17 June 2022 Such is the world Newman constructs in the gap where half of humanity once dwelled. Hillary Kelly, The Atlantic, 16 June 2022 His results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1979, transformed scientists’ view of lead as one of humanity’s most potent neurotoxins and helped win him a nomination for a Nobel prize. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, 16 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for humanity

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

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Statistics for humanity

Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Humanity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for humanity


hu·​man·​i·​ty | \ hyü-ˈma-nə-tē How to pronounce humanity (audio) , 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

More from Merriam-Webster on humanity

Nglish: Translation of humanity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of humanity for Arabic Speakers


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