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

  • noun A member of the primate genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other apes by a large brain and the capacity for speech.
  • noun A person.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or characteristic of humans.
  • adjective Having or showing those positive aspects of nature and character regarded as distinguishing humans from other animals.
  • adjective Subject to or indicative of the weaknesses, imperfections, and fragility associated with humans.
  • adjective Having the form of a human.
  • adjective Made up of humans.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In geology, noting the period of the later beds of the Post-tertiary or Quaternary series (the recent, alluvial, and post-glacial periods).
  • Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of man or of mankind; having the qualities or attributes of man: as, human life or nature; a human being; human shape.
  • Pertaining to the sphere, nature, or faculties of man; relative or proper to mankind; mundane; secular; not divine: as, human knowledge, wisdom, or science; human affairs.
  • In astrology, a sign of the zodiac corresponding to a constellation having for its figure a human being. The human signs are Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius, and the first half of Sagittarius. Synonyms Human, etc. See humane.
  • noun A human being; a member of the family of mankind.
  • noun Mars, Mars (said he), thou plague of men, smear'd with the dust and bloud

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

  • noun colloq. A human being.
  • adjective Belonging to man or mankind; having the qualities or attributes of a man; of or pertaining to man or to the race of man

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

  • adjective Of or belonging to the species Homo sapiens or its closest relatives.
  • adjective comparable Having the nature or attributes of a human being.
  • noun A human being, whether man, woman or child.

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

  • adjective having human form or attributes as opposed to those of animals or divine beings
  • adjective relating to a person
  • adjective characteristic of humanity
  • noun any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae characterized by superior intelligence, articulate speech, and erect carriage


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English humain, from Old French, from Latin hūmānus; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French humain, from Latin hūmānus ("of or belonging to a man, human, humane"), from homo ("man, human"). Spelling human has been predominant since the early 18th century.


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  • Labeld them as “human weeds” “reckless breeders” “spawning..human beings who never should have been born”.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Whitewashing Progressivism 2010

  • Labeld them as “human weeds” “reckless breeders” “spawning..human beings who never should have beenborn”.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Whitewashing Progressivism 2010

  • (The passage from Diogenes quoted in the previous section, according to which Pyrrho held “that human beings do everything by convention and habit” is not necessarily in conflict with this; by ˜human beings™ Pyrrho might have meant ordinary human beings, among whom he would not have included himself.)

    Picnic 2009

  • Oh wait, he didn't mean that the broad sweeping claims are that human CO2 causes global warming and or that the ulterior motives are political power, prestige and funding, which can only be attached to *human* caused warming.

    "I’m a religious fanatic just like you." Ann Althouse 2007

  • Once again see my much earlier comments re: Bicentennial man, if memory serves about why human and human+ AIs are less useful than they might seem.

    The Speculist: Will "The Three Laws" Be Useful? 2005

  • "How human, how lusciously _human_!" he exclaimed.

    The Bent Twig Dorothy Canfield Fisher 1918

  • It is from this point of observation that our humour is suddenly made aware of the startling absurdity of human institution; and not only of _human_ institution; for it is made aware also of the absurdity of the whole fantastic scheme of this portentous universe.

    Suspended Judgments Essays on Books and Sensations John Cowper Powys 1917

  • If people do anything that is generally called "immoral," they will excuse themselves on the grounds of human nature; they will say: "After all, _human nature being what it is_, you must expect this, that and the other kind of licence and immorality"; and to say that morality, real morality, can only be based on the realities of human nature will therefore sound to many of you the wildest kind of paradox.

    Sex and Common-Sense 1916

  • Women, difficult as some people find it to believe, are human beings; and because women are so, they want work, and interest, and love -- both given and received -- and children, and, in short, the satisfaction of every _human_ need.

    Sex and Common-Sense 1916

  • NATURAL phenomenon of human life brings us to the scientifical source of ethics and I prove that the so-called “highest ideals of humanity” have nothing of “sentimentalism” or of the “_super_natural” in them, but are exclusively the _fulfilment_ of the _natural laws_ for the _human class of life_.

    Manhood of Humanity. Alfred Korzybski 1914


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  • If you're a human you only have two things: your life, and your attention. --Jan Cox

    April 20, 2007

  • For some reason, I associate the "yuman" pronunciation with Californians -- but this map does not support me in this.

    April 11, 2008