Definition of ALTRUISM


Altruism is a noun that refers to selfless concern for the well-being and happiness of others, often manifested through acts of kindness, generosity, or compassion. Here are several key aspects of altruism:

Selfless Concern for Others: Altruism involves a genuine and selfless concern for the welfare and happiness of others. Individuals who demonstrate altruistic behavior prioritise the needs and interests of others over their own, seeking to alleviate suffering, promote well-being, or contribute to the greater good.

Acts of Kindness and Generosity: Altruism is often expressed through acts of kindness, generosity, or compassion toward others. This may include offering help, support, or resources to those in need, without expecting anything in return. Altruistic acts can range from simple gestures of kindness to significant acts of charity or self-sacrifice.

Empathy and Compassion: Altruism is rooted in empathy and compassion for others, enabling individuals to understand and respond to the needs and emotions of those around them. Altruistic individuals are often sensitive to the suffering or struggles of others and feel compelled to take action to alleviate their pain or improve their circumstances.

Benefit to Others and Society: Altruism contributes to the well-being and happiness of others and society as a whole. By promoting kindness, cooperation, and social cohesion, altruistic behavior fosters positive relationships, strengthens communities, and creates a more compassionate and supportive society.

In summary, altruism encompasses selfless concern for others, acts of kindness and generosity, empathy and compassion, and a focus on benefiting others and society. It reflects a fundamental aspect of human nature that seeks to alleviate suffering, promote well-being, and foster positive connections with others.

Examples of ALTRUISM in a sentence

  • Her altruism was evident in her tireless efforts to help those in need, even at personal cost.
  • Acts of altruism, such as volunteering at the local shelter, are essential for building a compassionate community.
  • The organization’s mission is rooted in altruism, aiming to improve the lives of marginalized communities.
  • His altruism extended beyond monetary donations; he also devoted time to mentoring disadvantaged youth.
  • The firefighter’s heroic actions were driven by a sense of altruism, risking his life to save others.
  • His altruism was evident in his willingness to help others without expecting anything in return.
  • The organization’s success relied on the altruism of volunteers who dedicated their time to serving the community.
  • Acts of altruism often inspire others to pay it forward and spread kindness.
  • The concept of altruism challenges the notion of self-interest as the primary motivator for human behavior.
  • Research suggests that engaging in acts of altruism can have positive effects on mental health and well-being.

Etymology of ALTRUISM

The term altruism has its roots in Latin and French, reflecting its journey from ancient concepts to its contemporary meaning in English.

  • Latin Origins: The term altruism derives from the Latin word “alter,” meaning “other” or “another.” This concept of concern for others or prioritizing their well-being over one’s own is fundamental to the notion of altruism.
  • Transition through French: The Latin “alter” was adopted into Old French as “autre,” which continued to carry the meaning of “other” or “another.” From there, it evolved into the Middle French term “autrui,” which specifically denoted “others” or “other people.”
  • Integration into English: The Middle French term “autrui” was later borrowed into English as altruism, retaining its core meaning of selfless concern for the well-being of others.

From its Latin origins through its transition in French and eventual adoption into English, the term altruism embodies the concept of selflessness and concern for the welfare of others, reflecting a fundamental aspect of human behavior and moral philosophy.


  • Selflessness
  • Benevolence
  • Generosity
  • Philanthropy
  • Compassion
  • Kindness
  • Humanity
  • Charity


  • Selfishness
  • Egoism
  • Greed
  • Self-centeredness
  • Exploitation
  • Opportunism
  • Narcissism
  • Mercenariness


  • Altruistic
  • Benevolence
  • Generous
  • Sacrifice
  • Humanitarian
  • Kind
  • Compassionate
  • Selfless

🌐 🇬🇧 ALTRUISM in other languages

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