human

(redirected from humans)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

hope springs eternal in the human breast

proverb People can always find a reason to hope, even in the bleakest situations. The phrase comes from Alexander Pope's poem Essay on Man. We don't know how this business venture will work out, but hope springs eternal in the human breast, right?

human interest

cliché Of, involving, or referencing the stories and emotions of individual people. Used primarily in or in reference to articles and features in newspapers. They ran an intriguing human interest piece on Sunday about a man who has spent nearly 40 years living in a storage unit converted into a micro apartment. There's been so much doom and gloom in the news lately. Let's feature a feel-good human interest story on the front page to lighten things up a bit.
See also: human, interest

human touch

1. Literally, physical touch between two people. Babies need human touch—that's why skin-to-skin contact is so important. I was surprised by how much I missed human touch when I lived alone.
2. The ability to treat other people with warmth and empathy. In my experience, it's rare to have a psychiatrist who treats her clients with a human touch and sees them as more than a diagnosis. These automated checkouts are convenient, but they lack the human touch of having a real person.
3. Qualities unique to human beings that are present in something inanimate, such as an object or place. The phone's voice-activated software sounds like a robot—we need to give it more of a human touch.
See also: human, touch

the milk of human kindness

An innate sense of compassion. The phrase comes from Shakespeare's Macbeth. Lisa would never say anything that cruel—she has the milk of human kindness in her.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

to err is human (to forgive is divine)

proverb Being fallible and making mistakes is inherent to being a human, and forgiving such mistakes is a transcendent act. I know you're mad at your brother because he lied, but to err is human, you know. To forgive is divine.
See also: err, forgive, human, to

wake up feeling human

To wake up feeling well-rested and healthy. I thought that I'd for sure be hungover this morning, but nope, I woke up feeling human, thank goodness. No, I had a cold all week. Today is actually the first day that I've woken up feeling human. With a newborn in the house, it'll be quite a while before you two will wake up feeling human again.
See also: feeling, human, up, wake
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

milk of human kindness

Fig. natural kindness and sympathy shown to others. (From Shakespeare's play Macbeth, I. v.) Mary is completely hard and selfish—she doesn't have the milk of human kindness in her. Roger is too full of the milk of human kindness and people take advantage of him.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

To err is human(, to forgive divine).

Prov. You should not be too harsh with someone who makes a mistake, because all human beings make mistakes. (Often used as a roundabout way to ask someone to forgive you for making a mistake.) Jill: How could you let my dog get out when I told you a hundred times that he should stay in the house! Ellen: To err is human, to forgive divine.
See also: err, human, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

milk of human kindness, the

Compassion, sympathy, as in There's no milk of human kindness in that girl-she's totally selfish. This expression was invented by Shakespeare in Macbeth (1:5), where Lady Macbeth complains that her husband "is too full of the milk of human kindness" to kill his rivals.
See also: human, milk, of
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

to err is human

People say to err is human to mean that it is natural for human beings to make mistakes. To err is human, and nobody likes a perfect person. Note: People sometimes use the whole expression to err is human, to forgive divine to mean that it is a very good thing to be able to forgive someone who does something wrong. Everyone admires her behaviour — after all, to err is human, to forgive divine. Note: This expression comes from an essay by Alexander Pope.
See also: err, human, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

to err is human, to forgive divine

it is human nature to make mistakes yourself while finding it hard to forgive others. proverb
See also: divine, err, forgive, to

the milk of human kindness

care and compassion for others.
This phrase comes from Macbeth. In Lady Macbeth's soliloquy on the subject of her husband's character, she remarks: ‘Yet I do fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way’.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the milk of human ˈkindness

kind feelings: There’s not much of the milk of human kindness in him. I’ve never known such a hard man.This expression comes from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

human interest

Arousing interest or concern or sympathy for an occurrence or a person. The term appears most often in connection with a journalistic story and has been employed so much it qualifies as a cliché. Seemingly very modern, it was actually used in 1860 by Charles Dickens in an article in which he said that he traveled for the sake of human interest.
See also: human, interest

milk of human kindness, the

Sympathy, compassion. This expression, too, comes from Shakespeare. He used it in Macbeth (1.5), where Lady Macbeth tells her husband, “Yet do I fear thy nature. It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness” (to act as ruthlessly as he must in order to become king). Numerous writers have used the term, often to comment on the souring or curdling of that very milk, although one writer reports of one bishop meeting another and saying, “He had often heard of the milk of human kindness, but never hitherto had he met the cow” (E. M. Sneyd-Kynnersley, H.M.I., 1908).
See also: human, milk, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

milk of human kindness

Compassion or benevolence. Shakespeare again, but this time Macbeth. Lady Macbeth regrets that her husband doesn't have the overwhelming ambition that she has by saying, “Yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness. To catch the nearest way.” Macbeth heeds his wife, schemes and murders his way to the throne, and is then deposed and killed. The milk must have curdled. A compliment to a sweetheart of a person is to say that he or she is “full of the milk of human kindness.”
See also: human, kindness, milk, of
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Perhaps, in Jerry's brain, the rising into the foreground of consciousness of an image of a log awash connoted more intimate and fuller comprehension of the thing being thought about, than did the word "crocodile," and its accompanying image, in the foreground of a human's consciousness.
Three quarters of an hour from the time of his seizure his captors dropped gently to earth in the strangest city that human eye had ever rested upon.
Another was lolling on a garden-chair, reading a postage-stamp which some human had let fall, and when he heard Peter's voice he popped in alarm behind a tulip.
An ugly-looking man, a hunch-backed human savage to all appearance, squatting in the aperture of one of the dens, would stretch his arms and yawn, showing with startling suddenness scissor-edged incisors and sabre-like canines, keen and brilliant as knives.
Thus, during the first six thousand years of the world, from the most immemorial pagoda of Hindustan, to the cathedral of Cologne, architecture was the great handwriting of the human race.
And, indeed, human reason replies: every time conquerors appear there have been wars, but this does not prove that the conquerors caused the wars and that it is possible to find the laws of a war in the personal activity of a single man.
With savage shouts they rushed forward toward the human warriors.
Under every species of discouragement, they undertook the voyage; they performed it in spite of numerous and almost insuperable obstacles; they arrived upon a wilderness bound with frost and hoary with snow, without the boundaries of their charter, outcasts from all human society, and coasted five weeks together, in the dead of winter, on this tempestuous shore, exposed at once to the fury of the elements, to the arrows of the native savage, and to the impending horrors of famine.
He pointed out-- writing in a foolish, facetious tone--that the perfection of mechanical appliances must ultimately supersede limbs; the perfection of chemical devices, digestion; that such organs as hair, external nose, teeth, ears, and chin were no longer essential parts of the human being, and that the tendency of natural selection would lie in the direction of their steady diminution through the coming ages.
In return to all these concessions, I desire of the philosophers to grant, that there is in some (I believe in many) human breasts a kind and benevolent disposition, which is gratified by contributing to the happiness of others.
One of the phenomena which had peculiarly attracted my attention was the structure of the human frame, and, indeed, any animal endued with life.
It destroys likewise magnanimity, and the raising of human nature; for take an example of a dog, and mark what a generosity and courage he will put on, when he finds himself maintained by a man; who to him is instead of a God, or melior natura; which courage is manifestly such, as that creature, without that confidence of a better nature than his own, could never attain.
Fixing our attention on such outside shows of similarity or difference, we lose sight of those realities by which nature, fortune, fate, or Providence has constituted for every man a brotherhood, wherein it is one great office of human wisdom to classify him.
It has often been charged with inconsistency and fancifulness, and yet has had an elevating effect on human nature, and has exercised a wonderful charm and interest over a few spirits who have been lost in the thought of it.
On the other hand, it may be held that animals and plants present simpler phenomena, more easily analysed than those of human minds; on this ground it may be urged that explanations which are adequate in the case of animals ought not to be lightly rejected in the case of man.