GC: adv

S: UNICEF – (last access: 1 May 2024); IFCR – (last access: 1 May 2024).

N: 1. humanly (adv): c.1500, from human + -ly (adverbial suffix, Middle English, from Old English -lice, from Proto-Germanic *-liko-; Weekley notes as “curious” that Germanic uses a word essentially meaning “body” for the adverbial formation, while Romanic uses one meaning “mind” (as in French constamment from Latin constanti mente). The modern English form emerged in late Middle English, probably from influence of Old Norse -liga).

2. 1 a: with regard to human needs and emotions. Example: provide humanly for those who are not needed in the economyE. F. Bacon. 1 b: with regard to or in keeping with human proneness to error or weakness. Example: humanly inaccurate. 2 a: from a human viewpoint. Examples: humanly speaking, the process works … like thisElizabeth Janeway. 2 b: within the range of human capacity. Example: did everything humanly possible. 2 c: by humans. Example: humanly made.

3. Collocations:

  • humanly impossible, humanly inaccurate, humanly made, humanly possible, humanly speaking.
  • to provide, to treat.

4. “humanly”, not to be confused with “humanely” which means in a way that is humane (= showing kindness, care, and sympathy). Examples: I don’t support the death penalty, but if people are to be executed, it should be done humanely. The authorities wanted a guarantee that the prisoners would be treated humanely. For more, please see “humane”.

S: 1. Etymonline – (last access: 4 September 2014). 2&3. MW – (last access: 1 May 2024). 4. CD – (last access: 1 May 2024).


CR: human, humanely, humanised, humanitarian.