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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
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for altruistic
  • The gesture was not necessarily altruistic; he was hoping for a donation in return.
  • Lee wishes that she had a more altruistic reason for knitting.
  • As the world has seen, altruistic appeals to organ donation have not yielded enough organs for transplantation.
  • Of course, not all celebrities are entirely altruistic.
  • The basis of all sound altruistic activity is sympathy, and sympathy again depends on the imagination.
  • Only cynics noted that the move was not entirely altruistic.
  • The entire promotion-and-tenure system-which depends on altruistic volunteerism-would collapse.
  • Let me tell you that when an altruistic pursuit is fitted into a capitalistic mold things can get ugly.
  • No doubt, however, this has sometimes happened and may account for a fraction of one percent of all altruistic acts.
  • If that's the case, then altruism wouldn't be all that altruistic.
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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