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[self-lis] /ˈsɛlf lɪs/
having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.; unselfish.
Origin of selfless
First recorded in 1815-25; self + -less
Related forms
selflessly, adverb
selflessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for selfless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He should have that oil of joy for his work, for his high, selfless purposes.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
  • Mrs. Trevor accounted him the most devoted and selfless friend that woman ever had.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
  • He enlarged on this theme, on the Kingdom which can belong only to those who are selfless.

    In the Wilderness Robert Hichens
  • There were, needless to say, selfless exceptions to the egotistic rule.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • The yearning yet selfless love which it expressed was not for my eyes to witness.

    Bat Wing Sax Rohmer
British Dictionary definitions for selfless


having little concern for one's own interests
Derived Forms
selflessly, adverb
selflessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for selfless

"devoted to others' welfare or interest and not one's own," 1825, from self + -less. First attested in Coleridge. Related: Selflessly; selflessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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