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[fi-lan-thruh-pee] /fɪˈlæn θrə pi/
noun, plural philanthropies.
altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.
the activity of donating to such persons or purposes in this way:
to devote one's later years to philanthropy.
a particular act, form, or instance of this activity:
The art museum was their favorite philanthropy.
an organization devoted to helping needy persons or to other socially useful purposes.
Origin of philanthropy
1600-10; earlier philanthropia < Late Latin < Greek philanthrōpía love for mankind. See phil-, anthropo-, -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for philanthropy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Channing's philanthropy was a legitimate outcome of his view of religion.

    Four American Leaders Charles William Eliot
  • But now, when the stress came, all this philanthropy fell away.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • An imperfect conquest, on the principles of Rousseau's philanthropy, did not suit the taste or the notions of Cromwell.

  • But to call this ethics 'philanthropy' is the strangest of mistakes.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • Never had there been such a display of philanthropy and mercy since the early days of Christianity.

    Historical Miniatures August Strindberg
British Dictionary definitions for philanthropy


noun (pl) -pies
the practice of performing charitable or benevolent actions
love of mankind in general
Derived Forms
philanthropist, philanthrope (ˈfɪlənˌθrəʊp) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin philanthrōpia, from Greek: love of mankind, from philos loving + anthrōpos man
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
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Word Origin and History for philanthropy

c.1600, from Late Latin philanthropia, from Greek philanthropia "kindliness, humanity, benevolence, love to mankind" (from gods, men, or things), from philanthropos (adj.) "loving mankind, useful to man," from phil- "loving" (see philo-) + anthropos "mankind" (see anthropo-). Originally in English in the Late Latin form; modern spelling attested from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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