Definitions

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

  • n. A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.
  • n. Concern with the interests, needs, and welfare of humans: "the newest flower on the vine of corporate humanism” ( Savvy).
  • n. Medicine The concept that concern for human interests, values, and dignity is of the utmost importance to the care of the sick.
  • n. The study of the humanities; learning in the liberal arts.
  • n. A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance that emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Humanitarianism, philanthropy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Human nature or disposition; humanity.
  • n. The study of the humanities; polite learning.
  • n. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Human nature or character; humanity.
  • n. A system or mode of thought in which human interests predominate, or any purely human element is made prominent.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Since 1903, the doctrine that there is no absolute being or absolute truth not relative to human faculties and needs.

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

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

Etymologies

From human +‎ -ism. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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

    June 15, 2009