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human

[hyoo-muh n or, often, yoo‐]
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adjective
  1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people: human frailty.
  2. consisting of people: the human race.
  3. of or relating to the social aspect of people: human affairs.
  4. sympathetic; humane: a warmly human understanding.
noun
  1. a human being.

Origin of human

1350–1400; earlier humain(e), humayn(e), Middle English < Middle French humain < Latin hūmānus, akin to homō human being (cf. Homo); spelling human predominant from early 18th cent.
Related formshu·man·like, adjectivehu·man·ness, nounhalf-hu·man, adjectivein·ter·hu·man, adjectiveo·ver·hu·man, adjectivepseu·do·hu·man, adjectivequa·si-hu·man, adjectivequa·si-hu·man·ly, adverbtrans·hu·man, adjectiveul·tra·hu·man, adjectiveun·hu·man, adjectiveun·hu·man·ly, adverbun·hu·man·ness, noun
Can be confusedhuman humane (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonym study

1. Human, humane may refer to that which is, or should be, characteristic of human beings. In thus describing characteristics, human may refer to good and bad traits of a person alike ( human kindness; human weakness ). When emphasis is placed upon the latter, human is thought of as contrasted to divine: To err is human, to forgive divine. He was only human. Humane (the original spelling of human, and since 1700 restricted in meaning) takes into account only the nobler or gentler aspects of people and is often contrasted to their more ignoble or brutish aspect. A humane person is benevolent in treating fellow humans or helpless animals; the word once had also connotations of courtesy and refinement (hence, the application of humane to those branches of learning intended to refine the mind).

Pronunciation note

Pronunciations of words like human, huge, etc., with the initial [h] /h/ deleted: [yoo-muh n] /ˈyu mən/, [yooj] /yudʒ/, while sometimes criticized, are heard from speakers at all social and educational levels, including professors, lawyers, and other public speakers.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for humanness

Historical Examples

  • It is the scene that brings the humanness of the great tragedy most closely home to us.

    Diary of a Pilgrimage

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • He was too wildly incomprehensible with his changes from humanness to folly.

    T. Tembarom

    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • Time must be devoted to knowing and experiencing our humanness.

  • There is certainly depth and mystery; but there is humanness and tenderness as well.

    Faces in the Fire

    Frank W. Boreham

  • The rarest thing in the world, I find, is the quality of humanness.


British Dictionary definitions for humanness

human

adjective
  1. of, characterizing, or relating to man and mankindhuman nature
  2. consisting of peoplethe human race; a human chain
  3. having the attributes of man as opposed to animals, divine beings, or machineshuman failings
    1. kind or considerate
    2. natural
noun
  1. a human being; person
Related formsRelated prefix: anthropo-
Derived Formshuman-like, adjectivehumanness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin hūmānus; related to Latin homō man
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

Word Origin and History for humanness

human

adj.

mid-15c., humain, humaigne, from Old French humain, umain (adj.) "of or belonging to man" (12c.), from Latin humanus "of man, human," also "humane, philanthropic, kind, gentle, polite; learned, refined, civilized," probably related to homo (genitive hominis) "man" (see homunculus) and to humus "earth," on notion of "earthly beings," as opposed to the gods (cf. Hebrew adam "man," from adamah "ground"). Cognate with Old Lithuanian zmuo (accusative zmuni) "man, male person."

As a noun, from 1530s. Its Old English cognate guma (from Proto-Germanic *guman-) survives only in disguise in bridegroom. Related: Humanness. Human rights attested by 1680s; human being by 1690s. Human relations is from 1916; human resources attested by 1907, American English, apparently originally among social Christians and drawn from natural resources.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

humanness in Science

human

[hyōōmən]
  1. A member of the species Homo sapiens; a human being.
  2. A member of any of the extinct species of the genus Homo, such as Homo erectus or Homo habilis, that are considered ancestral or closely related to modern humans.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with humanness

human

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.