Definition of altruism in English:

altruism

noun

mass noun
  • 1Disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

    ‘some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism’
    • ‘Most health professionals are motivated by altruism and concern for patients' best interests.’
    • ‘Certainly no one should imagine media corporations are suddenly guided by selfless altruism.’
    • ‘It brought out the very best in people: altruism, tolerance, noble-mindedness, and openness to others.’
    • ‘Misguided though this might have been, my grandfather was motivated by altruism and a deep belief in human dignity.’
    • ‘There have been far too many acts of generosity and altruism to list.’
    • ‘My grandmother, who is in an excellent state home, is of an age group who have shown a level of altruism and self-sacrifice that beggars belief.’
    • ‘These enlightened and evolved people believe in altruism, idealism, and activism.’
    • ‘The notions of duty and altruism are vital for a tolerant, healthy society.’
    • ‘I argued at the time altruism was being discussed that there is no pure altruism.’
    • ‘Hiking fanatics can mix self-gratification with altruism by trekking through the wilderness for charity this weekend.’
    • ‘It is as much corporate self-interest as corporate altruism.’
    • ‘It is not altruism that is at work here; it is globalisation.’
    • ‘It can't be easy for people to leave home and come to a new place, even when the people in the new place are full of altruism and eagerness to help.’
    • ‘The fans are not altogether convinced by his altruism.’
    • ‘The degree to which a society values altruism, known as social responsibility norms, can also have an effect.’
    • ‘Both had their critics, but none of their detractors would doubt their altruism and social commitment.’
    • ‘He should have such virtues as compassion, love, generosity, and altruism.’
    • ‘The free sharing of information has nothing to do with altruism or a specific anti-authoritarian social vision.’
    • ‘Patients who take part in trials do so at least partly from altruism.’
    unselfishness, selflessness, self-sacrifice, self-denial
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Zoology Behaviour of an animal that benefits another at its own expense.
      ‘reciprocal altruism’
      • ‘Yet systems of reciprocal altruism do emerge in various social species, even among us humans.’
      • ‘The book ends with an incisive analysis of animal altruism.’
      • ‘Are there any other animal examples of this type of social structure where altruism seems to play a part?’
      • ‘A phenomenon that has been well studied in birds is altruism.’
      • ‘Although this is not biological altruism, it is very close to it.’

Origin

Mid 19th century from French altruisme, from Italian altrui ‘somebody else’, from Latin alteri huic ‘to this other’.

Pronunciation

altruism

/ˈaltruːɪz(ə)m/