human

1 of 2

adjective

hu·​man ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio)
ˈyü-
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
3
a
: 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
humanness noun

human

2 of 2

noun

: 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
humanlike adjective

Example Sentences

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 Republic's Top 10 HS boys basketball players of week: Nov. 15-19 To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert atrichard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 23 Nov. 2022 What is the appendix attached to in the human body? Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Nov. 2022 Stephen Lang returns as Col. Quaritch, now in an Avatar form after his human body died in the first film. Nick Romano And Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 22 Nov. 2022 The human body reacts to such temperatures by sweating and directing more blood toward the skin. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 Mistakes are part and parcel of the human condition. Meredith Goldstein, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Nov. 2022 Medical wearables open a window into the human body and are revolutionizing personal health. James S. Hirsch, WSJ, 19 Nov. 2022 Maybe that s—’s just the human condition or whatever. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 18 Nov. 2022 The show was a mix of current affairs, pop culture and human-interest stories. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2022
Noun
At this point, in the year 2022, no fewer than three major entities—NASA, the Chinese National Space Administration, and SpaceX—are vying to put the first human on Mars by 2040 or so. Brendan I. Koerner, WIRED, 24 Nov. 2022 To think like a computer programmer is to step outside of how a human might approach a task and imagine what sort of prompting a machine would need to get the same thing done. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Nov. 2022 To insert a human into the decision chain would defeat the purpose. Mark Bowden, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2022 If the politicians win the game, the prime minister will live, but every time the terrorist takes a piece, a human must pay with their life. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 22 Nov. 2022 Artemis will go farther beyond the moon than previous trips by human-capable America spacecraft. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, 21 Nov. 2022 About half of the citations for violating the hotel human-trafficking law were issued in the first four months of 2021, when the state began to enforce the law. David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel, 20 Nov. 2022 The awards show has had some iconic moments throughout the years—remember when Lady Gaga arrived on a human-powered horse? Glamour, 20 Nov. 2022 Will new viewers be won over by the unusual premise, in which Sully, a human, trades in his disabled body for a blue-skinned Na’vi avatar, thanks in no small part to falling in love? Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

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

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1509, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near human

Cite this Entry

“Human.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/human. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

human 1 of 2

adjective

hu·​man ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio)
ˈyü-
1
: relating to or characteristic of human beings
especially : showing qualities typical of human beings
a human failing
2
: consisting of human beings
the human race
3
: having human form or characteristics
the dog's expression was almost human
humanness noun

human

2 of 2

noun

: a human being
humanlike adjective

Medical Definition

human 1 of 2

adjective

hu·​man ˈhyü-mən How to pronounce human (audio) ˈyü- How to pronounce human (audio)
1
a
: 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
humanness noun

human

2 of 2

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on human

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