humanities (n.) Look up humanities at
1702; plural of humanity (n.), which had been used in English from late 15c. in a sense "class of studies concerned with human culture" (opposed variously and at different times to divinity or sciences). Latin literae humaniores, they are fondly believed to have been so called because they were those branches of literature (ancient classics, rhetoric, poetry) which tended to humanize or refine by their influence, but perhaps originally the distinction was of human topics as opposed to divine ones (literae divinae).