[ hyoo-meyn or, often, yoo- ]
See synonyms for: humanehumanelyhumaneness on

  1. characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, especially for the suffering or distressed: humane treatment of prisoners.

  2. acting in a manner that causes the least harm to people or animals: humane trapping of stray pets.

  1. of or relating to humanistic studies.

Origin of humane

First recorded in 1425–75; originally a variant of human, restricted to above senses from the 18th century; cf. germane, german

synonym study For humane

1. See human.

Other words for humane

Opposites for humane

Other words from humane

  • hu·mane·ly, adverb
  • hu·mane·ness, noun
  • un·hu·mane, adjective
  • un·hu·mane·ly, adverb
  • un·hu·mane·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with humane Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use humane in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for humane


/ (hjuːˈmeɪn) /

  1. characterized by kindness, mercy, sympathy, etc

  2. inflicting as little pain as possible: a humane killing

  1. civilizing or liberal (esp in the phrases humane studies, humane education)

Origin of humane

C16: variant of human

Derived forms of humane

  • humanely, adverb
  • humaneness, noun

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