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Human vs Humane


  • ‘Human’ (adj) means ‘relating to, or characteristic of, human beings’.
  • ‘Humane’ (adj) means ‘having or showing compassion or kindness’.

What’s the difference between ‘human’ and ‘humane’?

It is easy to see how these two adjectives might be confused, as just one letter distinguishes them. And humans are typically thought to have humane tendencies or behaviors. As defined above, however, they mean very different things. ‘Human’ is much more commonly used in academic texts, as the study of mankind encompasses a lot of disciplines. This includes anthropology, biology, history, geography, etc.

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How they’re used

Example sentences with ‘human’

  • Human rhinoviruses were first discovered in the 1950s.
  • This report provides a comprehensive analysis of international human rights law.

Example sentences with ‘humane’

  • Laws should secure humane conditions of animal slaughter.
  • Office reorganization was brought about by more humane notions of the workplace.