Definition of humanist in English:



  • 1An advocate or follower of the principles of humanism.

    ‘efforts by secular humanists to oppose creationists’
    • ‘He is a secular humanist, but also a deeply spiritual thinker.’
    • ‘In 2000, he was the only known secular humanist to have been a viable candidate for a seat.’
    • ‘He can at times sound rather more discomfortingly like a radical humanist.’
    • ‘Sure, secular humanists may dominate academe.’
    • ‘Most secularists and humanists believe strongly in freedom of religion and belief as long as religion remains a private matter.’
    • ‘I would classify myself as both a humanist and a secularist.’
    • ‘Last year, the field published several landmark texts that humanists hope will form the basis of new courses that will attract newcomers to the field.’
    • ‘The author stresses the manner in which Orwell wanted to be optimistic about how humans could alter their circumstances — a proper humanist imperative if you like.’
    • ‘The young radical humanist became a revolutionary socialist.’
    • ‘The government says atheists and humanists will also be protected under new discrimination legislation.’
    1. 1.1 A member of the Renaissance cultural movement of humanism.
      • ‘These scholars fashioned themselves humanists and engaged in an immense undertaking to understand, translate, publish, and teach the texts of the past.’
      • ‘The movement endured into the Roman era, was revived by humanists during the Renaissance, and was espoused by the philosophes during the Enlightenment.’
      • ‘Renaissance humanists were collectors of the art of the classical past.’
      • ‘Renaissance collectors sought not only to depict humanists as heirs of the classical past, but also to ensure that portraits perpetuated the memory of famous figures.’
      • ‘The demise of the original macaronic verse is due precisely to the success of the Italian humanists in their philological recuperation of classical Latin.’
      • ‘The figure of the circle that delineates the library was seen by fifteenth- and sixteenth-century humanists as an essential aspect of the encyclopedia.’
      • ‘He was one of the Roman humanists who took a delight in conversing in the language of Horace and Virgil, of Cicero and Martial for its own sake.’
      • ‘The success of the humanists fostered a palpable sense of the difference between fifteenth- and sixteenth-century attitudes toward cultural inheritance and earlier attitudes.’
      • ‘In the refined civilization that was the Renaissance, the humanists believed they were the ancients reincarnate.’
      • ‘Between 1250 and the early sixteenth century, Italian and north European humanists developed a Latin style consciously modelled on that of Roman antiquity and distinct from the styles employed in the universities and chanceries.’


  • 1Relating to or supporting the principles of humanism.

    ‘humanist philosophers’
    ‘a humanist funeral’
    • ‘It was a marquee affair and would be a humanist ceremony.’
    • ‘His novel is underpinned by an implicit liberal humanist argument.’
    • ‘I became accredited to conduct humanist funerals.’
    • ‘She makes humanist documentaries of uncommon intelligence and wit.’
    • ‘The texts examined in this book struggle to resist the "tenacious hold of the liberal humanist notion of self."’
    • ‘The humanist notion symbolizes for me our basic human needs and personal achievements.’
    • ‘For secular humanism, this should be a wake-up call, and a reminder of the days when humanist organisations fought for the right to publish uncensored information in the public interest.’
    • ‘He was cremated after a humanist ceremony.’
    • ‘When the bill was laid before parliament, numerous figures from the media and entertainment industries, and the human rights and humanist lobbies, condemned the legislation as an attack on free speech.’
    • ‘He attempts to present a world view in which humans are not central and which argues against the humanist belief in progress.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to or characteristic of the Renaissance humanists.
      • ‘He produced title pages and book illustrations for humanist texts, and antique imagery and classical lore pervade his early work.’
      • ‘In literature, the Renaissance was led by humanist scholars and poets, notably Petrarch, Dante, and Boccaccio in Italy.’
      • ‘This introduction makes a direct connection between the intent of the collection and the humanist dream of resurrecting and applying the past.’
      • ‘The Renaissance humanist view saw Gothic as anti-classical.’
      • ‘Humanist scholars took great pains to study the texts of the ancient world, not just to "harvest" the virtuous life of classical man, but to learn classical Greek and Latin.’
      • ‘Rising humanist interest accompanied the more widespread collection, discussion, and depiction of ancient works of art.’
      • ‘This book remains an invaluable source of humanist erudition, but failed to convey the intellectual and visual excitement experienced by the discoverers and adapters of that knowledge.’
      • ‘Dramatic performance and rhetoric were taught at Oxford and Cambridge as part of a classical humanist education.’
      • ‘In spite of some of the obscure, antiquarian concerns of humanist engagement with the music of the classical past, the impact of humanism itself should not be underestimated.’
      • ‘His connection with humanist circles in Vienna led him to explore in music the metres of classical poetry.’