noun, singular or plural in construction
hu·​man·​kind | \ ˈhyü-mən-ˌkīnd How to pronounce humankind (audio) , ˈyü- \

Definition of humankind

: the human race : humanity

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of humankind in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What if the defining attribute of humankind isn’t goodness or evil but incompetence? Judy Berman, Time, "HBO's Avenue 5 Transports Veep Creator Armando Iannucci's Dark, Profane Humor to Outer Space," 16 Jan. 2020 Meat consumption is a big contributor to global warming -- according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), agriculture is responsible for around a quarter of humankind's direct, global greenhouse gas emissions -- with livestock contributing about 14.5%. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "As we mark World Vegan Day, here are four great reasons to give animal products a miss," 1 Nov. 2019 But leaving aside that fireworks themselves can malfunction and that many of the wounded are just kids, consider the collateral damage of humankind's fascination with these over-the-counter explosives. Caitlin Gibson,, "Fireworks are America’s favorite face exploding, dog torturing, bird murdering way to celebrate its birthday," 25 Oct. 2019 After a team of astronauts are sent to revive the sun and fail, a new team is sent seven years later as humankind's last hope. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "The 15 Most Underrated Films of All Time, According to Science*," 18 Sep. 2019 Rather than encroach on the primacy of the living, as dystopian fables like Terminator and The Matrix fret that sentient computers might someday do, Star Wars’s super-smart robots are extensions of humankind. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Mandalorian Knows Why Heroes Wear Masks," 30 Dec. 2019 That would be a step towards reducing humankind’s carbon footprint to zero Read more about about green technology and other technological advances on Scientific American, "Windows: No Longer Just for Letting In the Light," 9 Dec. 2019 In order to save humankind from hell, the protagonists must coax their new charges into becoming better people. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Good Place Wonders How to Reform #MeToo’s Disgraced Men," 3 Oct. 2019 They are imagined not as an underclass to be exploited and despised but as a preternaturally powerful elite that enslaves and destroys humankind. John-paul Pagano, National Review, "Blood Libel: The Conspiracy Theory That Jews Are ‘Anti-Human’," 23 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'humankind.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of humankind

1560, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about humankind

Time Traveler for humankind

Time Traveler

The first known use of humankind was in 1560

See more words from the same year

Statistics for humankind

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Humankind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for humankind


How to pronounce humankind (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of humankind

: all people as a group


hu·​man·​kind | \ ˈhyü-mən-ˌkīnd How to pronounce humankind (audio) , ˈyü How to pronounce humankind (audio) \

Medical Definition of humankind

: the human race

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on humankind

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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