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[al-troo-is-tik] /ˌæl truˈɪs tɪk/
unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others (opposed to egoistic).
Animal Behavior. of or relating to behavior by an animal that may be to its disadvantage but that benefits others of its kind, often its close relatives.
Origin of altruistic
First recorded in 1850-55; altru(ism) + -istic
Related forms
altruistically, adverb
hyperaltruistic, adjective
nonaltruistic, adjective
nonaltruistically, adverb
1. charitable, generous, philanthropic; benevolent, unselfish.
1. self-centered, selfish, mean. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for altruistic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If she had been notoriously of an altruistic and free-handed disposition, he could have understood it.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • It was altruistic he knew, gentle he was sure, educational he was positive.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • They have no high-falutin, altruistic ideas of improving the Boche.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
  • The Associates were altruistic for the sake of altruism, not for the sake of its beneficiaries.

    The Crack of Doom Robert Cromie
  • He is altruistic, of course; that is, he feels that he needs help.

Word Origin and History for altruistic

1853, from French altruiste (adj.), from altruisme (see altruism) + -ic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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