Hu*man"i*ty (?), n.; pl. Humanities (#). [L. humanitas: cf. F. humanit'e. See Human.]
The quality of being human; the peculiar nature of man, by which he is distinguished from other beings.
Mankind collectively; the human race.
But hearing oftentimes
The still, and music humanity.
It is a debt we owe to humanity.
S. S. Smith.
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
Mental cultivation; liberal education; instruction in classical and polite literature.
Polished with humanity and the study of witty science.
5. pl. (With definite article)
The branches of polite or elegant learning; as language, rhetoric, poetry, and the ancient classics; belles-letters.
⇒ The cultivation of the languages, literature, history, and archaeology of Greece and Rome, were very commonly called literae humaniores, or, in English, the humanities, . . . by way of opposition to the literae divinae, or divinity.
G. P. Marsh.
© Webster 1913.