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

Definition of human

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of humans (see human entry 2) the human brain human voices problems that have occurred throughout human history
2 : consisting of or involving humans everyone held hands and made a human chain human interactions human spaceflight
3a : having human form or attributes the statue is more human than the beings at his feet— Clifton Fadiman
b : representative of or susceptible to the sympathies and frailties of human nature human kindness a human weakness such an inconsistency is very human— P. E. More



Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

: a bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens) : a person : man sense 1c usually plural a disease that affects both humans and animalsincomprehensible to us humans— William James broadly : hominid the least developed of all ancestral humans — A. L. Kroeber

Other Words from human


humanness \ ˈhyü-​mən-​nəs How to pronounce human (audio) , ˈyü-​ \ noun


humanlike \ ˈhyü-​mən-​ˌlīk How to pronounce human (audio) , ˈyü-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for human

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of human in a Sentence

Adjective problems that have occurred throughout human history She is a very kind and human person. The dog's expression was almost human. The assembly line was a human machine. Everyone held hands and formed a human chain. Noun humans are the only mammals not endowed with a natural defense against the elements, such as fur or a thick hide See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The human body itself is about 60% water, says the USGS. Evan Hecht, USA TODAY, 26 July 2022 The cooling blanket uses a cool-sensing fabric and cotton combination that can quickly absorb human body heat, keeping you cool and sweat-free in the process. Rachel Dube, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 July 2022 The human body is an exquisitely effective temperature-regulation machine. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Galen’s most fervent supporters suggested that the human body had changed since ancient times. John J. Ross, WSJ, 24 July 2022 Scientists have long been stumped by how oocytes — the largest cell in the human body and the richest in mitochondria — persist in maintaining pristine cellular conditions for up to 50 years. Megan Molteni, STAT, 23 July 2022 Scientific research tells us that nearly all of the cells in the human body are renewed every seven years. Peter Debruge, Variety, 22 July 2022 The chemicals enter the human body largely through drinking water. Laura Schulte, Journal Sentinel, 22 July 2022 The goal in brushing focuses on removing the biofilm of plaque from both teeth and gums, not allowing bacteria, fungi and viruses to grow in what is the second-greatest biodiverse home in the human body after the gut. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 21 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Among them: Saul the border collie saved his human. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2022 But fish don’t necessarily drink it as a human drinks a glass of water. Evan Hecht, USA TODAY, 26 July 2022 Thank you for the greatest gift any human can give to another. Angela Andaloro,, 26 July 2022 It’s at least the third time human remains have been recovered from Lake Mead in recent months, following two discoveries less than a week apart in May. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 26 July 2022 For decades, students at the prestigious University of Strasbourg swapped rumors that human remains from Nazi victims, preserved as anatomical or pathological specimens, were still somewhere on campus. New York Times, 24 July 2022 The gang must figure out how to change Shaggy back into a human after CountDracula turns him into a werewolf. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 19 July 2022 The idea that a fetus is not just a full human but a superior and kinglike one—a being whose survival is so paramount that another person can be legally compelled to accept harm, ruin, or death to insure it—is a recent invention. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, 16 July 2022 Powered by a kind of software called a transformer neural network, these language systems are getting capable of creating more realistic text, akin to something an actual human might write. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of human


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1509, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for human

Adjective and Noun

Middle English humain, from Anglo-French, from Latin humanus; akin to Latin homo human being — more at homage

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Time Traveler for human

Time Traveler

The first known use of human was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near human

Humala (Tasso)


human being

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Statistics for human

Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Human.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for human


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

Kids Definition of human

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, being, or characteristic of people as distinct from animals the human body
2 : having the form or characteristics of people The expression on the dog's face was almost human.



Kids Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from human

humanlike \ ˈhyü-​mən-​ˌlīk , ˈyü-​ \ adjective


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

Medical Definition of human

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of humans the human body human biochemistry
b : primarily or usually harbored by, affecting, or attacking humans human diseases human parasites
2 : being or consisting of humans the human race
3 : consisting of members of the family Hominidae : hominid

Other Words from human

humanness \ -​mən-​nəs How to pronounce human (audio) \ noun



Medical Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

: a bipedal primate mammal of the genus Homo (H. sapiens) : man broadly : hominid

Other Words from human

humanlike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce human (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on human

Nglish: Translation of human for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of human for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about human


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