Humanity Hu*man"i*ty, n.; pl. {Humanities}. [L. humanitas: cf. F. humanit['e]. See {Human}.] 1. The quality of being human; the peculiar nature of man, by which he is distinguished from other beings. [1913 Webster]

2. Mankind collectively; the human race. [1913 Webster]

But hearing oftentimes The still, and music humanity. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]

It is a debt we owe to humanity. --S. S. Smith. [1913 Webster]

3. The quality of being humane; the kind feelings, dispositions, and sympathies of man; especially, a disposition to relieve persons or animals in distress, and to treat all creatures with kindness and tenderness. ``The common offices of humanity and friendship.'' --Locke. [1913 Webster]

4. Mental cultivation; liberal education; instruction in classical and polite literature. [1913 Webster]

Polished with humanity and the study of witty science. --Holland. [1913 Webster]

5. pl. (With definite article) The branches of polite or elegant learning; as language, rhetoric, poetry, and the ancient classics; belles-letters. [1913 Webster]

Note: The cultivation of the languages, literature, history, and arch[ae]ology of Greece and Rome, were very commonly called liter[ae] humaniores, or, in English, the humanities, . . . by way of opposition to the liter[ae] divin[ae], or divinity. --G. P. Marsh. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.