American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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HUMAN'ITY, noun [Latin humanitas.]

1. The peculiar nature of man, by which he is distinguished from other beings. Thus Christ, by his incarnation, was invested

with humanity

2. Mankind collectively; the human race.

If he is able to untie those knots, he is able to teach all humanity

It is a debt we owe to humanity

3. The kind feelings, dispositions and sympathies of man, by which he is distinguished from the lower orders of animals; kindness; benevolence; especially, a disposition to relieve persons in distress, and to treat with tenderness those who are helpless and defenseless; opposed to cruelty.

4. A disposition to treat the lower orders of animals with tenderness, or at least to give them no unnecessary pain.

5. The exercise of kindness; acts of tenderness.

6. Philology; grammatical studies.

Humanities, in the plural, signifies grammar, rhetoric and poetry; for teaching which there are professors in the universities of Scotland.