- characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, especially for the suffering or distressed: humane treatment of prisoners.
- acting in a manner that causes the least harm to people or animals: humane trapping of stray pets.
- of or relating to humanistic studies.
Origin of humane
SynonymsSee more synonyms for humane on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for humanely
Fish in the Hudson, then humanely release the fish back into the wild.Michael Cera’s ‘true that’ Review: So Melancholy, So Cool, So Damn Long
August 13, 2014
We buy meat for ourselves that is humanely raised and butchered (when we can).Why I Choose to Be Child-Free: Readers Share Their Stories
February 27, 2013
He did not think of him humanely, as of a fellow-creature just escaped from the jaws of death.Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard
I've languished in this asylum atmosphere as long as humanely possible.
The doctor talked to him, oh, so sensibly and kindly and humanely!
"Certainly not, sir; by no means," cried the barber, humanely resentful.The Confidence-Man
Academically, he intended to be wise in Egyptology; humanely, simply one of the guards.My Life
- characterized by kindness, mercy, sympathy, etc
- inflicting as little pain as possiblea humane killing
- civilizing or liberal (esp in the phrases humane studies, humane education)
Word Origin and History for humanely
mid-15c., variant of human (cf. german/germane, urban/urbane), used interchangeably with it until early 18c., by which time it had become a distinct word with sense of "having qualities befitting human beings." But inhuman still can be the opposite of humane. The Royal Humane Society (founded 1774) was originally to rescue drowning persons. Such societies had turned to animal care by late 19c.