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[self-lis] /ˈsɛlf lɪs/
having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.; unselfish.
Origin of selfless
1815-25; self + -less
Related forms
selflessly, adverb
selflessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for selfless
  • Looked at this way, charity needn't be selfless to be worthwhile.
  • And rarely will the faculty recommendations on the budget or program review be selfless.
  • While the responsibility may fall on you, one of the more interesting ideas in the book is that survival is really a selfless act.
  • His journey and selfless dedication involved him in many causes here and abroad.
  • Sometimes payment comes by way of naive volunteers or selfless patriots.
  • Participation in evil can begin with noble and selfless intentions.
  • There are so many stories that illustrate such selfless giving.
  • Her selfless devotion to him and to our family will forever remain in our hearts and minds and will serve as an inspiration.
  • He comes across in this account as intelligent, kind, and rather selfless.
  • How the world could do with more selfless people such as her.
British Dictionary definitions for selfless


having little concern for one's own interests
Derived Forms
selflessly, adverb
selflessness, noun
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 selfless

"devoted to others' welfare or interest and not one's own," 1825, from self + -less. First attested in Coleridge. Related: Selflessly; selflessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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