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Definition of Humanism

(noun) The doctrine that emphasizes the potential and welfare of people through the use of critical thinking and rationality—independent of religious belief or control by supernatural forces.

Examples of Humanism

Humanism Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: hu·man·ism

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /hyOO-muh-niz-uhm/
  • British English – /hyOO-muh-ni-zuhm/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈhjuməˌnɪz(ə)m/
  • British English – /ˈhjuːmənɪz(ə)m/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: humanisms
  • Also called: humanitarianism
  • A (noun) humanitarian (also called humanist) is an advocate of humanism or (adjectivehumanistic views.

Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Bilton, Tony, Kevin Bonnett, Pip Jones, David Skinner, Michelle Stanworth, and Andrew Webster. 1996. Introductory Sociology. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

O’Leary, Zina. 2007. The Social Science Jargon Buster: The Key Terms You Need to Know. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Cite the Definition of Humanism

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “humanism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 28, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/humanism/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

humanism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/humanism/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “humanism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 28, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/humanism/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“humanism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 28 May. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/humanism/>.