[hyoo-man-i-tair-ee-uh-niz-uh m or, often, yoo-]
  1. humanitarian principles or practices.
  2. Ethics.
    1. the doctrine that humanity's obligations are concerned wholly with the welfare of the human race.
    2. the doctrine that humankind may become perfect without divine aid.
  3. Theology. the doctrine that Jesus Christ possessed a human nature only.

Origin of humanitarianism

First recorded in 1825–35; humanitarian + -ism
Related formshu·man·i·tar·i·an·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for humanitarianist


  1. humanitarian principles
  2. ethics
    1. the doctrine that man's duty is to strive to promote the welfare of mankind
    2. the doctrine that man can achieve perfection through his own resources
  3. theol the belief that Jesus Christ was only a mortal man
Derived Formshumanitarianist, 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

Word Origin and History for humanitarianist



by 1794 as a Christian theological position, from humanitarian + -ism. Sense related to ethical benevolence attested by 1838.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper