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Inherited from Middle English humanyte, humanite, humanitye. By surface analysis, human +‎ -ity. Partly displaced mankind, from Old English mancynn (literally human race).


  • (US) IPA(key): /hjuˈmænɪti/, [hjuˈmænɪɾi]
  • (file)


humanity (countable and uncountable, plural humanities)

  1. Humankind; 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.
    • 1962 April, J. N. Faulkner, “Summer Saturday at Waterloo”, in Modern Railways, page 265:
      At last the concourse is relatively clear of humanity and the task of clearing up can begin.
    • 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; […].
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:humankind
  2. The human condition or nature.
  3. The quality of being benevolent; humane traits of character; humane qualities or aspects.
    Synonym: humaneness
  4. Any academic subject belonging to the humanities.
    Philosophy is a humanity while psychology is a science.

Usage notesEdit

  • Being gender-neutral, this term is preferred over the term “mankind”.[1]

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ Annalee Newitz (20 November 2012), “Think twice before using "mankind" to mean "all humanity," say scholars”, in Gizmodo[1]

Further readingEdit

  • humanity at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • humanity in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
  • "humanity" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 148.
  • humanity in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
  • humanity in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913