any system or mode of thought or action in which interests, values, and dignity predominate.
devotion to or study of the .
(sometimes initial capital letter) the studies, principles, or culture of the .
Philosophy. a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.
Contemporary Examples

It was the ultimate guarantor of the humanism he advanced against Nazism.
The Catholic Philosopher Who Took on Hitler John Henry Crosby December 25, 2014

Gloria Steinem famously said that feminism is, at its core, humanism.
Ten Reasons Women Are Losing While Gays Keep Winning Jay Michaelson July 5, 2014

For all its supposed warmth and humanism, Midnight is completely inhuman to half the population.
‘Midnight in Paris:’ I Loathe It Richard Rushfield February 8, 2012

Historical Examples

This is one complete system of philosophy,—materialism in natural science, humanism in ethics.
Three Philosophical Poets George Santayana

Professor Manby speaks for humanism, another point of view in the church.
Herein is Love Reuel L. Howe

That “I am” seems a sort of epitome of the humanism, not to say of the pathos of the humanism of the time.
The Will to Doubt Alfred H. Lloyd

But it is now time to speak of humanism at the Italian courts.
The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy Jacob Burckhardt

As Windelband has said, the new science of nature was the daughter of humanism.
Democracy and Education John Dewey

This spirit of humanism, however, is no single motive or feeling.
The Psychology of Nations G.E. Partridge

The twelfth century was an age of humanism as well as feudalism.
Of Six Medival Women Alice Kemp-Welch

the denial of any power or moral value superior to that of humanity; the rejection of religion in favour of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts
a philosophical position that stresses the autonomy of human reason in contradistinction to the authority of the Church
(often capital) a cultural movement of the Renaissance, based on classical studies
interest in the welfare of people

along with humanist used in a variety of philosophical and theological senses 16c.-18c., especially ones imitating Latin humanitas “education befitting a cultivated man.” See human + -ism. Main modern sense in reference to revival of interest in the Classics traces to c.1860; as a pragmatic system of thought, defined 1907 by co-founder F.C.S. Schiller as: “The perception that the philosophical problem concerns human beings striving to comprehend a world of human experience by the resources of human minds.”


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  • Humanist

    a person having a strong interest in or concern for welfare, values, and dignity. a person devoted to or versed in the . a student of or affairs. a classical scholar. (sometimes initial capital letter) any one of the scholars of the Renaissance who pursued and disseminated the study and understanding of the cultures of […]

  • Humanitarian

    having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people. of or relating to ethical or theological . pertaining to the saving of lives or to the alleviation of suffering: a humanitarian crisis. a person actively engaged in promoting welfare and social reforms, as a philanthropist. a person who professes ethical or […]

  • Humanity

    all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind. the quality or condition of being human; human nature. the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence. the humanities. the study of classical languages and classical literature. the Latin and Greek classics as a field of study. literature, philosophy, art, etc., as distinguished from the natural sciences. the […]

  • Hunting

    the act of a person, animal, or thing that hunts. Electricity. the periodic oscillating of a rotating electromechanical system about a mean space position, as in a synchronous motor. of, for, engaged in, or used while hunting: a hunting cap. to chase or search for (game or other wild animals) for the purpose of catching […]

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