Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[hyoo-muh-niz-uh m or, often, yoo-] /ˈhyu məˌnɪz əm or, often, ˈyu-/
any system or mode of thought or action in which human interests, values, and dignity predominate.
devotion to or study of the humanities.
(sometimes initial capital letter) the studies, principles, or culture of the humanists.
Philosophy. a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.
Origin of humanism
First recorded in 1805-15; human + -ism
Related forms
antihumanism, noun
semihumanism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for humanism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is one complete system of philosophy,—materialism in natural science, humanism in ethics.

    Three Philosophical Poets George Santayana
  • Karl Schmidt says, "humanism, but not morality, ruled in the Vatican."

    History of Education Levi Seeley
  • That "I am" seems a sort of epitome of the humanism, not to say of the pathos of the humanism of the time.

    The Will to Doubt Alfred H. Lloyd
  • Professor Manby speaks for humanism, another point of view in the church.

    Herein is Love Reuel L. Howe
  • As Windelband has said, the new science of nature was the daughter of humanism.

  • But it is now time to speak of humanism at the Italian courts.

  • The twelfth century was an age of humanism as well as feudalism.

    Of Six Medival Women Alice Kemp-Welch
British Dictionary definitions for humanism


the denial of any power or moral value superior to that of humanity; the rejection of religion in favour of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts
a philosophical position that stresses the autonomy of human reason in contradistinction to the authority of the Church
(often capital) a cultural movement of the Renaissance, based on classical studies
interest in the welfare of people
Derived Forms
humanist, noun
humanistic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for humanism

along with humanist used in a variety of philosophical and theological senses 16c.-18c., especially ones imitating Latin humanitas "education befitting a cultivated man." See human + -ism. Main modern sense in reference to revival of interest in the Classics traces to c.1860; as a pragmatic system of thought, defined 1907 by co-founder F.C.S. Schiller as: "The perception that the philosophical problem concerns human beings striving to comprehend a world of human experience by the resources of human minds."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for humanism

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for humanism

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for humanism