From Middle English humanitye, from Old French humanité, from Latin humanitas (“human nature, humanity, also humane conduct”), from humanus (“human, humane”); see human, humane. The interjection was first used ("Oh, the humanity!") by Herbert Morrison reporting on the Hindenburg disaster.
- (US) IPA(key): /hjuˈmænɪti/, [hjuˈmænɪɾi]
humanity (countable and uncountable, plural humanities)
- Mankind; human beings as a group.
1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- Then he commenced to talk, really talk. and inside of two flaps of a herring's fin he had me mesmerized, like Eben Holt's boy at the town hall show. He talked about the ills of humanity, and the glories of health and Nature and service and land knows what all.
2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
- It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: […]; perhaps to moralise on the oneness or fragility of the planet, or to see humanity for the small and circumscribed thing that it is; […].
- The human condition or nature.
- The quality of being benevolent; humane traits of character; humane qualities or aspects.
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 16
- Think of that; by that sweet girl that old man had a child: hold ye then there can be any utter, hopeless harm in Ahab? No, no, my lad; stricken, blasted, if he be, Ahab has his humanities!”
quality of being benevolent
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