do-gooder

do-gooder

[doo-good-er, -good-]
noun
a well-intentioned but naive and often ineffectual social or political reformer.

Origin:
1925–30, Americanism; do good + -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
do-gooder
 
n
informal, derogatory usually a well-intentioned person, esp a naive or impractical one
 
do-'goodery
 
n
 
do-'gooding
 
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

do-gooder
"a person who seeks to correct social ills in an idealistic, but usually impractical or superficial, way," 1654 (as do-good), in "Zootomia, or Observations on the Present Manners of the English: Briefly Anatomizing the Living by the Dead. With An Usefull Detection of the Mountebanks of Both Sexes," written
by Richard Whitlock, a medical doctor. Probably used even then with a taint of impractical idealism. Modern pejorative use seems to have begun on the socialist left, mocking those who were unwilling to take a hard line. OED has this citation, from "The Nation" in 1923:
"There is nothing the matter with the United States except ... the parlor socialists, up-lifters, and do-goods."
The form do-gooder appears in Amer.Eng. from 1927, presumably because do-good was no longer felt as sufficiently noun-like. A slightly older word for this was goo-goo.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

do-gooder definition

[ˈdugʊdɚ]
  1. n.
    a person who is always trying to help others. (Often derogatory.) : I don't consider myself a do-gooder, but I try to help people.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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