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90s Slang You Should Know


[hyoo-muh n or, often, yoo‐] /ˈhyu mən or, often, ˈyu‐/
of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people:
human frailty.
consisting of people:
the human race.
of or relating to the social aspect of people:
human affairs.
sympathetic; humane:
a warmly human understanding.
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 forms
humanlike, adjective
humanness, noun
half-human, adjective
interhuman, adjective
overhuman, adjective
pseudohuman, adjective
quasi-human, adjective
quasi-humanly, adverb
transhuman, adjective
ultrahuman, adjective
unhuman, adjective
unhumanly, adverb
unhumanness, noun
Can be confused
human, 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/ (Show IPA) 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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for humanness
Historical Examples
  • He was inclined to like her better for what he would have called her humanness.

    The "Genius" Theodore Dreiser
  • Their artistry was high, but he denied the worthwhileness of artistry when divorced from humanness.

    Martin Eden Jack London
  • But humanness cannot exist apart from human beings, any more than heaviness apart from the heavy object.

  • They could see nothing but the humanness of a situation, the need existing.

    Suzanna Stirs the Fire Emily Calvin Blake
  • He looked apprehensively around him; he felt overjoyed at the sight of the humanness of Delly.

    Pierre; or The Ambiguities Herman Melville
  • Being a partner touches the imagination and wakes the man's humanness up.

    Crowds Gerald Stanley Lee
  • Evidently his tersely told story of brotherly sacrifice has touched the "humanness" of that strangely-mixed audience.

    The Diamond Coterie Lawrence L. Lynch
  • So Bella was fain to turn outward in search of nurturing matter whereon to feed her humanness.

    I, Mary MacLane Mary MacLane
  • Here was a human soul that, save for the most glimmering of contacts, was beyond the humanness of me.

  • But even Angelico had his passionately human side, though it was only the humanness of a nice child.

    Renaissance Fancies and Studies Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)
British Dictionary definitions for humanness


of, characterizing, or relating to man and mankind: human nature
consisting of people: the human race, a human chain
having the attributes of man as opposed to animals, divine beings, or machines: human failings
  1. kind or considerate
  2. natural
a human being; person
prefix anthropo-
Derived Forms
human-like, adjective
humanness, 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
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Word Origin and History for humanness



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
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humanness in Science
  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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with humanness
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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