[ hyoo-meyn or, often, yoo- ]
/ hyuˈmeɪn or, often, yu- /


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

orig. stress variant of human, restricted to above senses from 18th century; cf. germane, german

Related forms

Can be confused

human humane (see synonym study at human) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for humaneness

British Dictionary definitions for humaneness


/ (hjuːˈmeɪn) /


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)

Derived Forms

humanely, adverbhumaneness, noun

Word Origin for humane

C16: variant of human
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