not selfish; disinterested; generous; altruistic.


Origin of unselfish

First recorded in 1690–1700; un-1 + selfish
Related formsun·self·ish·ly, adverbun·self·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unselfishly

Historical Examples of unselfishly

  • Of all the women he had known, she had most truly and unselfishly loved him.

    Long Live the King

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • And how unselfishly England has wrought for the open door for all!

    Mark Twain's Speeches

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • He was simple and unselfish and he loved her simply and unselfishly.

    Fair Margaret

    Francis Marion Crawford

  • "Yet he also has unselfishly contributed to the general diversion," said Arden.

    Lady Lilith

    Stephen McKenna

  • Dora thought as she noted how unselfishly Jerry played the gracious host.

British Dictionary definitions for unselfishly



not selfish or greedy; generous
Derived Formsunselfishly, adverbunselfishness, 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

Word Origin and History for unselfishly



1690s, from un- (1) "not" + selfish. Cf. Danish uselvisk, Swedish osjälfvisk. Related: Unselfishly; unselfishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper