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humanitarian

[hyoo-man-i-tair-ee-uh n or, often, yoo-] /hyuˌmæn ɪˈtɛər i ən or, often, yu-/
adjective
1.
having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.
2.
of or relating to ethical or theological humanitarianism.
3.
pertaining to the saving of human lives or to the alleviation of suffering:
a humanitarian crisis.
noun
4.
a person actively engaged in promoting human welfare and social reforms, as a philanthropist.
5.
a person who professes ethical or theological humanitarianism.
Origin of humanitarian
1810-1820
1810-20; humanit(y) + -arian
Related forms
antihumanitarian, adjective, noun
semihumanitarian, adjective, noun
unhumanitarian, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for humanitarian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The only brief I hold is for the democratic and humanitarian ideals of America.

  • This ambiguity enters into all the phrases which are humanitarian.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Louis, as I was saying, regards the man in the romantic light of a humanitarian monomaniac or a demented food reformer.

    Max Carrados Ernest Bramah
  • She may, if she is a humanitarian, love all mankind; but she does not respect it.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • It allows for humanitarian movements as easily as for political corruption.

British Dictionary definitions for humanitarian

humanitarian

/hjuːˌmænɪˈtɛərɪən/
adjective
1.
having the interests of mankind at heart
2.
of or relating to ethical or theological humanitarianism
noun
3.
a philanthropist
4.
an adherent of humanitarianism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for humanitarian
n.

1794 (n.) in the theological sense "one who affirms the humanity of Christ but denies his pre-existence and divinity," from humanity + suffix from unitarian, etc.; see humanism. Meaning "philanthropist, one who advocates or practices human action to solve social problems" is from 1842, originally disparaging, with a suggestion of excess. As an adjective, by 1834.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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