AskDefine | Define humanity

Dictionary Definition



1 all of the inhabitants of the earth; "all the world loves a lover"; "she always used `humankind' because `mankind' seemed to slight the women" [syn: world, human race, humankind, human beings, humans, mankind, man]
2 the quality of being humane
3 the quality of being human; "he feared the speedy decline of all manhood" [syn: humanness, manhood]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. mankind, human beings as a group
  2. the human condition
  3. the quality of being benevolent

Related terms


Human beings as a group
  • Czech: lidstvo
  • Dutch: mensheid , mensdom , mensengeslacht
  • French: humanité
  • German: Menschheit
  • Greek: ανθρωπότητα
  • Italian: umanità
  • Kurdish:
  • Romanian: umanitate
  • Spanish: humanidad
The human condition
The quality of being benevolent
Translations to be checked

Extensive Definition

Humanity is the human species, human nature (e.g.compassion, altruism) and the human condition (the totality of experience of existing as a human). It is also the study of one branch of the humanities, academic disciplines which study the human condition using analytic, critical, or speculative methods.

Human species

Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: "wise man" or "knowing man") in the family Hominidae (the great apes).
Like most primates, humans are social by nature. However, humans are particularly adept at utilizing systems of communication for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families to nations. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of traditions, rituals, ethics, values, social norms, and laws which form the basis of human society. Humans have a marked appreciation for beauty and aesthetics which, combined with the human desire for self-expression, has led to cultural innovations such as art, literature and music.

Human condition

The human condition encompasses all of the experience of being human. As mortal entities, there are a series of biologically determined events that are common to most human lives, and some that are inevitable for all. The ongoing way in which humans react to or cope with these events is the human condition. However, understanding the precise nature and scope of what is meant by the human condition is itself a philosophical problem.
The term is also used in a metaphysical sense, to describe the joy, terror and other feelings or emotions associated with being and existence. Humans, to an apparently superlative degree amongst all living things, are aware of the passage of time, can remember the past and imagine the future, and are intimately aware of their own mortality. Only human beings are known to ask themselves questions relating to the purpose of life beyond the base need for survival, or the nature of existence beyond that which is empirically apparent: What is the meaning of existence? Why was I born? Why am I here? Where will I go when I die? The human struggle to find answers to these questions — and the very fact that we can conceive them and ask them — is what defines the human condition in this sense of the term.


According to Human Development Index, life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living, and GDP per capita are slowly increasing worldwide, although faster in some countries than others. The increase is approximately 0.74 HDI annually. The world population is increasing with 2.2 percent per year, expecting to reach nearly 9 billion by the year 2050. There is also an ongoing technology development, sociocultural evolution as well as economic development, problems with environmental destruction and hence sustainability.

See also

  • World
  • "Oh, the humanity", phrase used by radio reporter describing the Hindenburg fire, has become an American meme signifying expressions of strong emotion
humanity in Chuvash: Этемлĕх
humanity in German: Menschheit
humanity in Esperanto: Homaro
humanity in French: Humanité (homonymie)
humanity in Russian: Человечество
humanity in Simple English: Humanity
humanity in Ukrainian: Людство

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Adam, Hominidae, Homo sapiens, acceptance, affectionateness, beneficence, benevolence, benignancy, benignity, brotherhood, charitableness, clay, clemency, clementness, commiseration, community, compassion, condolence, consideration, easiness, easygoingness, fallen humanity, favor, feeling, feeling of kinship, fellow feeling, flesh, forbearance, forbearing, forgiveness, frailty, fraternal feeling, generation of man, generosity, gentleness, genus Homo, goodness, goodness of heart, grace, graciousness, heart of gold, helpfulness, hominid, homo, human equation, human family, human frailty, human nature, human race, human species, human weakness, humaneness, humankind, humanness, kindheartedness, kindliness, kindly disposition, kindness, laxness, le genre humain, lenience, leniency, lenientness, lenity, loving kindness, magnanimity, man, mankind, mercifulness, mercy, mildness, mitigation, moderateness, mortal flesh, mortality, mortals, niceness, pardon, pathos, patience, people, pity, quarter, race of man, relief, reprieve, ruth, self-pity, sensitivity, society, softheartedness, softness, soul of kindness, sympathy, tenderheartedness, tenderness, the masses, the public, tolerance, understanding, unselfishness, warmheartedness, warmth, warmth of heart, weakness
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