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human

[hyoo-muh n or, often, yoo‐] /ˈhyu mən or, often, ˈyu‐/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people:
human frailty.
2.
consisting of people:
the human race.
3.
of or pertaining to the social aspect of people:
human affairs.
4.
sympathetic; humane:
a warmly human understanding.
noun
5.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; earlier humain(e), humayn(e), Middle English < Middle French humain < Latin hūmānus, akin to homō human being (cf. Homo); spelling human predominant from early 18th cent.
Related forms
humanlike, adjective
humanness, noun
half-human, adjective
interhuman, adjective
overhuman, adjective
pseudohuman, adjective
quasi-human, adjective
quasi-humanly, adverb
transhuman, adjective
ultrahuman, adjective
unhuman, adjective
unhumanly, adverb
unhumanness, noun
Can be confused
human, humane (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonym Study
1. Human, humane may refer to that which is, or should be, characteristic of human beings. In thus describing characteristics, human may refer to good and bad traits of a person alike (human kindness; human weakness). When emphasis is placed upon the latter, human is thought of as contrasted to divine: To err is human, to forgive divine. He was only human. Humane (the original spelling of human, and since 1700 restricted in meaning) takes into account only the nobler or gentler aspects of people and is often contrasted to their more ignoble or brutish aspect. A humane person is benevolent in treating fellow humans or helpless animals; the word once had also connotations of courtesy and refinement (hence, the application of humane to those branches of learning intended to refine the mind).
Pronunciation note
Pronunciations of words like human, huge, etc., with the initial [h] /h/ (Show IPA) deleted:
[yoo-muh n] /ˈyu mən/
[yooj] /yudʒ/
while sometimes criticized, are heard from speakers at all social and educational levels, including professors, lawyers, and other public speakers.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for humans
  • Modern humans have a cranial capacity of about thirteen hundred cubic centimetres.
  • It inhabits both humans and animals and can survive in water and on inanimate objects.
  • But despite this distant past they are related to humans in unusual ways.
  • Later research found that there was little evidence that these substances caused cancer in humans.
  • But the sweetest moments feature horses, not humans.
  • If humans are involved in the decisions, there is always the possibility of favoritism and retaliation in the awards.
  • Thirty years ago, when drug companies needed to test new drugs in humans, they usually went to university medical centers.
  • We humans are looking into the mirror, and some of us are worshipping ourselves.
  • Attaching names to people and using those names correctly is the usual behavior for humans.
  • humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years.
British Dictionary definitions for humans

human

/ˈhjuːmən/
adjective
1.
of, characterizing, or relating to man and mankind: human nature
2.
consisting of people: the human race, a human chain
3.
having the attributes of man as opposed to animals, divine beings, or machines: human failings
4.
  1. kind or considerate
  2. natural
noun
5.
a human being; person
related
prefix anthropo-
Derived Forms
human-like, adjective
humanness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin hūmānus; related to Latin homō man
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 humans

human

adj.

mid-15c., humain, humaigne, from Old French humain, umain (adj.) "of or belonging to man" (12c.), from Latin humanus "of man, human," also "humane, philanthropic, kind, gentle, polite; learned, refined, civilized," probably related to homo (genitive hominis) "man" (see homunculus) and to humus "earth," on notion of "earthly beings," as opposed to the gods (cf. Hebrew adam "man," from adamah "ground"). Cognate with Old Lithuanian zmuo (accusative zmuni) "man, male person."

As a noun, from 1530s. Its Old English cognate guma (from Proto-Germanic *guman-) survives only in disguise in bridegroom. Related: Humanness. Human rights attested by 1680s; human being by 1690s. Human relations is from 1916; human resources attested by 1907, American English, apparently originally among social Christians and drawn from natural resources.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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humans in Science
human
  (hy'mən)   
  1. A member of the species Homo sapiens; a human being.

  2. A member of any of the extinct species of the genus Homo, such as Homo erectus or Homo habilis, that are considered ancestral or closely related to modern humans.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with humans
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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11
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