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Line breaks: hu¦man|ism
Pronunciation: /ˈhjuːmənɪz(ə)m

Definition of humanism in English:


[mass noun]
1A rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.
Example sentences
  • The roots of ethnology lay, in turn, in the traditions of natural history, moral philosophy and humanism.
  • This has something to do with humanism, and humanist rationality.
  • Teaching humanism would be one important step towards ensuring that school education reflects their views.
1.1 (often Humanism) A Renaissance cultural movement which turned away from medieval scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought.
Example sentences
  • Renaissance humanism gradually replaced the medieval scholastic tradition from which it emerged.
  • Of the forces springing from the European Renaissance, humanism and the influence of classical learning came first.
  • If there is any one aspect of the Renaissance that can be said to have been characteristic, that must surely be the movement known as humanism.
1.2(Among some contemporary writers) a system of thought criticized as being centred on the notion of the rational, autonomous self and ignoring the conditioned nature of the individual.
Example sentences
  • Historically, however, this tension has been a highly creative one, helping develop both a more rational humanism and a science of humanity compelled to address the exceptional character of human nature.
  • Enlightenment humanism freed the individual from the status quo of natural identity, allowing humanity to reach beyond self, to change rather than simply be.
  • The ideology that did most to sustain capitalism was humanism, the belief in man as the free, autonomous origin of history.



noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • He seems in fact to have died much as he had lived, a witty and sceptical humanist.
  • Some call themselves humanists, some freethinkers.
  • The other line of argument in these chapters reflects an even more scornful rejection of conventional humanist morality.


Example sentences
  • Another and more familiar way of putting this is to say that this constitutes the humanistic understanding of being.
  • This is the only way of respecting and defending any humanistic aspect of any culture in the world.
  • Their care was greatly influenced by humanistic and philosophical ideas.


Example sentences
  • ‘Intellectually and humanistically, it's an extraordinarily rewarding profession,’ he said.
  • But both are profoundly human questions, for us, and they can only be answered, in the end, humanistically.
  • The landscape painting was accessible not only to a limited group of the humanistically educated but also to a broad segment of the population.

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