- 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
- 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
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."