the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others (opposed to egoism ).
Animal Behavior. behavior by an animal that may be to its disadvantage but that benefits others of its kind, as a warning cry that reveals the location of the caller to a predator.

1850–55; < French altruisme, equivalent to autru(i) others (< Vulgar Latin *alterui, oblique form of Latin alter other (> French autre), with -ui from cui to whom; -l- restored from Latin alter) + -isme -ism; popularized through translation of A. Comte, who perhaps coined it, on the model of égoisme egoism

hyperaltruism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To hyperaltruism
World English Dictionary
altruism (ˈæltruːˌɪzəm)
1.  the principle or practice of unselfish concern for the welfare of others
2.  the philosophical doctrine that right action is that which produces the greatest benefit to others
[C19: from French altruisme, from Italian altrui others, from Latin alterī, plural of alter other]

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

1853, "unselfishness, opposite of egoism," from Fr. altruisme, coined or popularized 1830 by Fr. philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857), from autrui, from O.Fr. altrui "of or to others," from L. alteri, dat. of alter "other" (see alter). Apparently suggested to Comte by Fr.
legal phrase l'autrui, or in full, le bien, le droit d'autrui. The -l- is perhaps from the L. word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
altruism   (āl'tr-ĭz'əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Instinctive cooperative behavior that is detrimental or without reproductive benefit to the individual but that contributes to the survival of the group to which the individual belongs. The willingness of a subordinate member of a wolf pack to forgo mating and help care for the dominant pair's pups is an example of altruistic behavior. While the individual may not reproduce, or may reproduce less often, its behavior helps ensure that a close relative does successfully reproduce, thus passing on a large share of the altruistic individual's genetic material.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
altruism [(al-trooh-iz-uhm)]

A selfless concern for others.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature