late 14c., from O.Fr. humanité
, from L. humanitatem
) "human nature, humanity," from humanus
). Originally in English "kindness, graciousness;" sense of "human race" first recorded mid-15c. Humanities
(L. literæ humaniores
) were those branches of literature (ancient classics, rhetoric, poetry) which tended to humanize or refine. Humanitarian
(1819) originally was "one who affirms the humanity of Christ (but denies His divinity);" first used 1844 in modern sense of "one who advocates or practices human action;" usually disparaging at first, with a suggestion of excess.