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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

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈhjuməˌnɪz(ə)m/
    • British English
      • /ˈhjuːmənɪz(ə)m/
  • Syllabification: (hu·man·ism)

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 August 26, 2019 (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 August 26, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/humanism/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“humanism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 26 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/humanism/>.