Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

humanitarian

[hyoo-man-i-tair-ee-uh n or, often, yoo-] /hyuˌmæn ɪˈtɛər i ən or, often, yu-/
adjective
1.
having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.
2.
of or relating to ethical or theological humanitarianism.
3.
pertaining to the saving of human lives or to the alleviation of suffering:
a humanitarian crisis.
noun
4.
a person actively engaged in promoting human welfare and social reforms, as a philanthropist.
5.
a person who professes ethical or theological humanitarianism.
Origin of humanitarian
1810-1820
First recorded in 1810-20; humanit(y) + -arian
Related forms
antihumanitarian, adjective, noun
semihumanitarian, adjective, noun
unhumanitarian, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for humanitarian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His life has been that of his century—progressive, liberal, humanitarian in its trend.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • It explodes our humanitarian theories by a series of well-directed mines.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • Nor was it a progressive step only on the humanitarian side.

    Socialism John Spargo
  • But though it tended to be egalitarian it did not, of itself, tend to be humanitarian.

    A Short History of England

    G. K. Chesterton
  • This ambiguity enters into all the phrases which are humanitarian.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner
British Dictionary definitions for humanitarian

humanitarian

/hjuːˌmænɪˈtɛərɪən/
adjective
1.
having the interests of mankind at heart
2.
of or relating to ethical or theological humanitarianism
noun
3.
a philanthropist
4.
an adherent of humanitarianism
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 humanitarian
n.

1794 (n.) in the theological sense "one who affirms the humanity of Christ but denies his pre-existence and divinity," from humanity + suffix from unitarian, etc.; see humanism. Meaning "philanthropist, one who advocates or practices human action to solve social problems" is from 1842, originally disparaging, with a suggestion of excess. As an adjective, by 1834.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for humanitarian

Word Value for humanitarian

17
20
Scrabble Words With Friends