[ hyoo-man-i-tair-ee-uh n or, often, yoo- ]
/ hyuˌmæn ɪˈtɛər i ən or, often, yu- /


having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.
of or relating to ethical or theological humanitarianism.
pertaining to the saving of human lives or to the alleviation of suffering: a humanitarian crisis.


a person actively engaged in promoting human welfare and social reforms, as a philanthropist.
a person who professes ethical or theological humanitarianism.

Origin of humanitarian

First recorded in 1810–20; humanit(y) + -arian

OTHER WORDS FROM humanitarian

an·ti·hu·man·i·tar·i·an, adjective, nounsem·i·hu·man·i·tar·i·an, adjective, nounun·hu·man·i·tar·i·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for humanitarian

British Dictionary definitions for humanitarian

/ (hjuːˌmænɪˈtɛərɪən) /


having the interests of mankind at heart
of or relating to ethical or theological humanitarianism


a philanthropist
an adherent of humanitarianism
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