from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A system of thought that focuses on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.
  • noun A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance that emphasized human potential to attain excellence and promoted direct study of the literature, art, and civilization of classical Greece and Rome.
  • noun The study of the humanities; learning in the liberal arts.
  • noun Secular humanism.
  • noun Concern with the interests, needs, and welfare of humans.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The body of opinions which characterized those scholars who, in the early sixteenth century, decried the medieval theology and logic and sought inspiration from ancient Greek and Roman sources, and in particular objected to the use in Latin, which was then the common language of philosophy and science, of any words not found in the writings of the early Latin writer Cicero.
  • noun Since 1903, the doctrine that there is no absolute being or absolute truth not relative to human faculties and needs.
  • noun Human nature or character; humanity.
  • noun A system or mode of thought in which human interests predominate, or any purely human element is made prominent.
  • noun The subjects of study called the humanities; hence, polite learning in general; literary culture; especially, in the revival of learning in the middle ages, the intelligent and appreciative study of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew letters, which was introduced by Petrarch in Italy, and spread thence throughout Europe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Human nature or disposition; humanity.
  • noun The study of the humanities; polite learning.
  • noun A doctrine or ethical point of view that emphasizes the dignity and worth of individual people, rejects claims of supernatural influences on humans, and stresses the need for people to achieve improvement of society and self-fulfillment through reason and to develop human-oriented ethical values without theism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Humanitarianism, philanthropy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the doctrine emphasizing a person's capacity for self-realization through reason; rejects religion and the supernatural
  • noun the doctrine that people's duty is to promote human welfare
  • noun the cultural movement of the Renaissance; based on classical studies


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From human +‎ -ism.


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  • The Current Definition: Humanism is an inclusive sensibility for our species, planet and destiny.

    June 15, 2009