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[hyoo-muh-nist or, often, yoo-] /ˈhyu mə nɪst or, often, ˈyu-/
a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity.
a person devoted to or versed in the humanities.
a student of human nature or affairs.
a classical scholar.
(sometimes initial capital letter) any one of the scholars of the Renaissance who pursued and disseminated the study and understanding of the cultures of ancient Rome and Greece, and emphasized secular, individualistic, and critical thought.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a person who follows a form of scientific or philosophical humanism.
of or relating to human affairs, nature, welfare, or values.
(sometimes initial capital letter) of or relating to the humanities or classical scholarship, especially that of the Renaissance humanists.
of or relating to philosophical or scientific humanism.
Origin of humanist
1580-90; < Italian umanista. See human, -ist
Related forms
humanistic, adjective
humanistically, adverb
antihumanist, noun, adjective
antihumanistic, adjective
nonhumanist, noun
nonhumanistic, adjective
pseudohumanistic, adjective
quasi-humanistic, adjective
semihumanistic, adjective
unhumanistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for humanist
  • Apple, on the other hand, comes across as profoundly humanist.
  • Our consumption without thought to consequence is objectification of nature, a symptom of our humanist superiority complex.
  • But the film's careful injection of a warm, humanist spirit into an elaborate magical realist vision sets it apart.
  • It's as if he couldn't decide whether to be a humanist or a nihilist, so he opportunistically becomes both.
  • The head of the laboratory is a secular humanist, and the two become entangled.
  • Erikson was a humanist before he became a scientist, and has remained one, in a society that is not notably humane.
  • The new scientists of that time were deeply influenced by humanist concepts, and this influence has notoriously been neglected.
  • The last essentially offered ready-made reading notes of the kind humanist pedagogues recommended taking oneself.
  • And for current work in philosophy as a discipline- one can use digital humanist techniques to map trends in the discipline.
  • As a humanist, the article clutter in my offices was out of control.
Word Origin and History for humanist

1580s, "student of the classical humanities," from Middle French humaniste (16c.), formed on model of Italian umanista "student of human affairs or human nature," coined by Italian poet Lodovicio Ariosto (1474-1533), from Latin humanus "human" (see human; also cf. humanism). Philosophical sense is from 1903.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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humanist in Culture

humanist definition

In the Renaissance, a scholar who studied the languages and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome; today, a scholar of the humanities. The term secular humanist is applied to someone who concentrates on human activities and possibilities, usually downplaying or denying the importance of God and a life after death.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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