n. pl. hu·man·i·ties
1. Humans considered as a group; the human race.
2. The condition or quality of being human.
3. The quality of being humane; benevolence.
4. A humane characteristic, attribute, or act.
a. The languages and literatures of ancient Greece and Rome; the classics.
b. Those branches of knowledge, such as philosophy, literature, and art, that are concerned with human thought and culture.
[Middle English humanite, from Old French, from Latin hūmānitās, from hūmānus, human; see HUMAN.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.