human

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

Essential Meaning of human

1 : of, relating to, or affecting people the human body the human brain See More Exampleshuman suffering problems that have occurred throughout human history The accident was blamed on human error. [=the accident was blamed on a person's mistake rather than on the failure of a machine] a story that has human interest = a human-interest story [=a story that is appealing because it involves the experiences of real people] The need to be loved is simply part of the human condition. [=part of being a person] an area where ancient human remains [=parts of the bodies of dead people] have been foundHide
2 : typical of people a human failing/weakness human kindness See More Exampleshuman emotions His desire for revenge was very human. [=was very typical of the way people are]Hide
3 : having good or bad qualities that people usually have She is a very kind and human person. I once thought that he was perfect, but now I know that he's all too human. [=that he has the same problems, weaknesses, etc., that other people have]

Full 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

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

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Other Words from human

Adjective

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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective From the consumer perspective, the obstacles are mainly on the human side. Per Ottosson, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Each of these technologies — the human brain and AI — has its strengths and its weaknesses, which is the topic of my next book Thinking Better: The Art of a Shortcut. Vulture, 6 Oct. 2021 Paral has assisted more than 100 different human service, advocacy and philanthropic organizations by crunching comparative numbers. Steve Lord, chicagotribune.com, 6 Oct. 2021 Doing some crude math on his smartphone calculator, Soni estimates that Peanut’s human equivalent might work 5 hours a day, and the restaurant will be open 365 days a year. Seamus Mcavoy, courant.com, 6 Oct. 2021 The series shows how the company’s moderation rules favor elites, how its algorithms foster discord and how drug cartels and human traffickers use its services openly. Emily Glazer, WSJ, 6 Oct. 2021 This form of particulate matter is a mix of microscopic solids and liquid droplets known as PM2.5, named for its size of 2.5 micrometers in diameter, or roughly one-thirtieth the width of human hair. NBC News, 6 Oct. 2021 President Joe Biden declared Oregon’s 2020 fire season a federal emergency, giving the state support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and prompting the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to better document the season’s human toll. oregonlive, 6 Oct. 2021 How is it done with no human network whatsoever, assuming there's none? CBS News, 6 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The technology has enabled cameras to do things like object identification and tracking, adding the ability to differentiate between a human, or a car or a truck quite accurately. Fredrik Nilsson, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 The tech, coupled with a human or AI, could act as a sort of silent guardian, watching out for entire units in the field. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 4 Oct. 2021 The best daughter anyone could ask for, the kindest human, and the best big sister. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 21 Sep. 2021 But there might just be another fluffy animal near your home that acts more like a human — a squirrel! Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 13 Sep. 2021 Ellie crossed the rainbow bridge a few months ago & is now reunited with her human. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, 6 Sep. 2021 In this story, Frog Thor meets another worthy frog, revealed to be a former human, who eventually becomes a character known as Throg. Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2021 My wife is the sweetest, kindest human on Earth, nice to everyone. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 According to an unclassified summary, four members of the U.S. intelligence community say with low confidence that the virus was initially transmitted from an animal to a human. Arkansas Online, 28 Aug. 2021

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.

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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

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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

human being

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Statistics for human

Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Human.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/human. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for human

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 human (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 human (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on human

Nglish: Translation of human for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of human for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about human

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