Those words all mean ..... WE!

  • Have you looked them up in a dictionary? None of them mean "we". May 6, 2016 at 15:07

3 Answers 3

  • human: a human being, especially a person as distinguished from an animal or (in science fiction) an alien
  • human being: a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance
  • humankind: human beings considered collectively (used as a neutral alternative to “mankind”)

The NOAD has also these notes.

Traditionally, the word man has been used to refer not only to adult males but also to human beings in general, regardless of sex. There is a historical explanation for this: in Old English, the principal sense of man was "a human being," and the words wer and wif were used to refer specifically to "a male person" and "a female person," respectively. Subsequently, man replaced wer as the normal term for "a male person," but at the same time the older sense "a human being" remained in use. In the second half of the 20th century, the generic use of man to refer to "human beings in general" (as in reptiles were here long before man appeared on the earth) became problematic; the use is now often regarded as sexist or old-fashioned. In some contexts, terms such as the human race or humankind may be used instead of man or mankind. Certain fixed phrases and sayings, such as time and tide wait for no man can be easily rephrased (e.g., time and tide wait for no one). Alternatives for other related terms exist as well: the noun manpower, for example, can usually be replaced with staff or crew, and in most cases, the verbal form to man can be expressed as to staff or to operate.


human: relating to a person; characteristic of humanity

human being: an individual of the humankind.

humankind: world; all of the living human inhabitants of the earth.


I read an interesting philosophy pertaining to the question, "What is the difference among 'human' and 'human being'...?" Well first, human is the kind of creature. But "human being" was described as a fictional creature, a mythical creature that is un changeable. "Being" is to be just "there", compared to the word "becoming", which is a word implying constant change. While a human being is just not changing, which implies a fake creature that "just is", in reality humans are actually "human becomings", because we are always improving, we are growing, developing and becoming more than what we were days, hours, minutes and seconds before. Thus, a human being is actually (to put it in the way it was broken down) a slave to "being" unchangeable and not free to journey and "become". In conclusion, the free refer themselves as (just) "human", while the ignorant slave, unwise of their choice of words, maintain that they are a "human being".

  • Welcome to EL&U. You relate one author's definitions as set forth in an article, but I do not think that is necessarily the same distinction that the general public would draw.
    – choster
    Apr 15, 2014 at 2:00
  • You seem to be unfamiliar with Stack Exchange. This is not a discussion forum, but a Q&A site, and each post should attempt to answer the question posed by the original poster. Yours does not; as I noted, it relates a definition posed by one author whose name you do not even cite, not one that is generally applicable. I strongly encourage you to take the site tour and to visit the help center for guidance.
    – choster
    Apr 16, 2014 at 13:57

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