Charity is an example of altruism.
- unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness
- Ethics the doctrine that the general welfare of society is the proper goal of an individual's actions
Origin of altruismFrench altruisme from Italian altrui or French autrui, of or to others from Classical Latin alter, another: see alter
- Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.
- Zoology Instinctive behavior that is detrimental to the individual but favors the survival or spread of that individual's genes, as by benefiting its relatives.
Origin of altruismFrench altruisme probably from Italian altrui someone else from Latin alter other ; see al-1 in Indo-European roots.
English from 1853. From French altruisme, which was coined in 1830 by Auguste Comte from autrui (“of or to others”) + -isme, from Old French, from Latin alteri, dative of alter (“other”) (from which also English alter). Apparently inspired by the French Latin legal phrase l'autrui, from le bien, le droit d'autrui (“the good, the right of the other”). Introduced into English by George Henry Lewes in 1853, in his translation Comte’s Philosophy of the Sciences, 1, xxi.