English explanatory dictionary online >> altruism

Results for: altruism



al·tru·ism  (ltr-zm)
1. Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.
2. Zoology Instinctive behavior that is detrimental to the individual but favors the survival or spread of that individuals genes, as by benefiting its relatives.

[French altruisme, probably from Italian altrui, someone else, from Latin alter, other; see al-1 in Indo-European roots.]

altru·ist n.
altru·istic adj.
altru·isti·cal·ly adv.

altruism [ˈæltruːˌɪzəm]
1. the principle or practice of unselfish concern for the welfare of others
2. (Philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that right action is that which produces the greatest benefit to others Compare egoism See also utilitarianism
[from French altruisme, from Italian altrui others, from Latin alterī, plural of alter other]
altruist  n
altruistic  adj
altruistically  adv

altruism  (ltr-zm)
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 pairs 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 individuals genetic material.

Enter word: