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altruistic

[al-troo-is-tik]
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adjective
  1. unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others (opposed to egoistic).
  2. 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.
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Origin of altruistic

First recorded in 1850–55; altru(ism) + -istic
Related formsal·tru·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbhy·per·al·tru·is·tic, adjectivenon·al·tru·is·tic, adjectivenon·al·tru·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. charitable, generous, philanthropic; benevolent, unselfish.

Antonyms

1. self-centered, selfish, mean.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper