human

adjective
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 humans everyone held hands and made a human chain
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

human

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from human

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for human

Synonyms: Adjective

earthborn, mortal, natural

Synonyms: Noun

baby, being, bird, bod [British], body, character, cookie (or cooky), creature, customer, devil, duck, egg, face, fish, guy, head, human being, individual, life, man, mortal, party, person, personage, scout, slob, sort, soul, specimen, stiff, thing, wight

Antonyms: Adjective

nonhuman

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

To put it in perspective, a single sugar cube on J0740+6620, which is 2.17 times the mass of the Sun, would weigh approximately 100 million tons, or roughly that of the world's entire human population, according to the statement. Fox News, "'Biggest' star in the universe discovered, 700K times heavier than Earth," 17 Sep. 2019 But computer vision is superior to human vision at some tasks. Quanta Magazine, "Computers and Humans ‘See’ Differently. Does It Matter?," 17 Sep. 2019 Attendees will have the opportunity to solder circuits, construct robotic models of human hands, and get free 3-D model scans of themselves. BostonGlobe.com, "Celebrate tech," 17 Sep. 2019 The trail has closed each fall since 1997 to reduce bear and human conflicts in the area. Anchorage Daily News, "Albert Loop Trail in Eagle River closed due to bears feeding on spawning salmon," 17 Sep. 2019 But the evidence is all too crushingly plain that the violent, convulsive new world order taking shape in this moment of climate reckoning is entirely the handiwork of a fatal set of preventable human system failures. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "The Blood-Dimmed Tide," 16 Sep. 2019 Are the questioners live human beings (which NBC News prefers)? NBC News, "Here are five questions to ask when analyzing political polls," 16 Sep. 2019 Overall, therefore, more than 35% of Californians, perhaps 15 million human beings, are living in severe economic distress — a number nearly identical to enrollment in Medi-Cal, the state’s health care program for the poor. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: California is still No. 1 in poverty," 15 Sep. 2019 Its stems will twine around whatever is available, even a human leg. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "The Blundering Gardener: Clematis, wisteria — and hops, oh my!," 15 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The four of us — a scientist, a logistics coordinator, a mountaineering guide and me, an NBC News reporter — were well out of cellphone range, likely the only humans for dozens of miles. Denise Chow, NBC News, "My night stranded on the edge of Greenland's fast-melting Helheim Glacier," 17 Sep. 2019 Sloppy around the edges Even a few hours in, Borderlands 3 has shown enough enemy variety to keep the shooting from getting stale, and beasts and humans alike show a great deal of personality in their animation and sound design. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Borderlands 3 is a lot more Borderlands, in ways both good and bad," 17 Sep. 2019 Blue said prosecutors’ failure to disclose the calls showed no wrongdoing but was the result of human error. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "Supreme Court sets October date for Cheshire murderer’s request for new trial in Petit case," 17 Sep. 2019 This is surprising as he was born into a feral cat colony, a group of cats who live outside and avoid humans. BostonGlobe.com, "A stray kitten with a serious heart condition is going under the knife this week, and the MSPCA is raising money to help with the costs of the lifesaving operation, officials said.," 17 Sep. 2019 Fazili, Hussaini, and their children join a damnable human flow, crossing from Tajikistan back through Afghanistan, then on to Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, and, finally, Hungary. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“Midnight Traveler” Expands the Narrative of the Refugee Documentary," 17 Sep. 2019 And my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Alex Trebek is Restarting Chemotherapy After Pancreatic Cancer Setback," 17 Sep. 2019 Typically, only 5 to 10 human EEE cases are reported every year, but about 30% of all cases result in death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN, "Two more Eastern equine encephalitis deaths reported in Michigan," 17 Sep. 2019 Animals deserve ethical treatment, but so do humans. Faran Krentcil, Harper's BAZAAR, "Should Fur Be Illegal?," 13 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of human

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about human

Statistics for human

Last Updated

3 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for human

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for human

human

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of human

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or affecting people
: typical of people
: having good or bad qualities that people usually have

human

noun

English Language Learners Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person

human

adjective
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.

human

noun

Kids Definition of human (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from human

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

human

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 humanness (audio) \ noun

human

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 humanlike (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on human

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with human

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for human

Spanish Central: Translation of human

Nglish: Translation of human for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of human for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about human

Comments on human

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!