altruism


al·tru·ism

noun \ˈal-trü-ˌi-zəm\

: feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness

Full Definition of ALTRUISM

1
:  unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others
2
:  behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species
al·tru·ist \-trü-ist\ noun
al·tru·is·tic \ˌal-trü-ˈis-tik\ adjective
al·tru·is·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of ALTRUISM

  1. A few skimpy corporate pensions were paid, but they were offered as much as departure incentives designed to promote business efficiency as expressions of altruism. —W. Andrew Achenbaum, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2006

Origin of ALTRUISM

French altruisme, from autrui other people, from Old French, oblique case form of autre other, from Latin alter
First Known Use: 1853

Other Zoology Terms

integument

Rhymes with ALTRUISM

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altruism

   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Ethical theory that regards the good of others as the end of moral action; by extension, the disposition to take the good of others as an end in itself. The term (French, altruisme, derived from Latin alter: “other”) was coined in the 19th century by Auguste Comte and adopted generally as a convenient antithesis to egoism. Most altruists have held that each person has an obligation to further the pleasures and alleviate the pains of other people. The same argument holds if happiness, rather than pleasure, is taken as the end of life.

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