Altruistic – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Altruistic – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Altruistic meaning refers to being selflessly concerned for the well-being of others and showing a willingness to help or benefit others.

History of the Word Altruistic

Emergence of Altruism

The concept of altruism has ancient roots in philosophy, ethics, and religion. It can be traced back to various civilizations, including Greek, Indian, and Chinese, where moral and ethical teachings emphasized selflessness and compassion.

19th-Century Development

French philosopher Auguste Comte coined the term altruism in the 19th century. Comte used altruisme to describe a selfless and benevolent regard for others, contrasting it with egoism, which focused on self-interest.

Darwinian Influence

Charles Darwin's ideas on natural selection and evolution contributed to discussions about altruism in the context of biology and ethics. The question of why individuals might exhibit selfless behavior toward others, even at a potential cost to themselves, became a subject of scientific inquiry.

Psychological and Sociological Studies

In the 20th century, psychologists and sociologists explored the mechanisms and motivations behind altruistic behavior. Researchers like John Bowlby, Abraham Maslow, and Emile Durkheim examined altruism as a fundamental aspect of human nature and society.

Modern Altruism

Altruism remains a central topic in fields such as psychology, sociology, and ethics. It is associated with pro-social behavior, philanthropy, volunteerism, and acts of kindness toward others.

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English (Altruistic As Adjective)


Altruism finds its origin in the French term "altruisme," a term coined by Auguste Comte during the 19th century.


Pronunciation of Altruistic: /ˌæltruˈɪstɪk/.

Forms of Altruistic

Adjective Altruistic
Comparative Degree more altruistic
Superlative Degree most altruistic
Adverb altruistically
Noun Altruism


  • Selfless
  • Charitable
  • Benevolent
  • Generous
  • Philanthropic
  • Compassionate
  • Kind-hearted
  • Humanitarian


  • Selfish
  • Egocentric
  • Self-centered
  • Greedy
  • Inconsiderate
  • Uncharitable
  • Self-serving
  • Egoistic

Derived Terms

  • Altruistically
  • Altruism

Translations of Altruistic

  • Altruistic meaning in Hindi: अल्पहिती (alpahitī)
  • Urdu: نیک (naik)
  • Spanish: altruista
  • French: altruiste
  • German: altruistisch
  • Chinese (Simplified): 利他的 (lìtā de)
  • Arabic: متعطّف (muta'aṯṯif)
  • Russian: альтруистический (al'truisticheskiy)
  • Japanese: 利他的な (ritateki na)
  • Italian: altruistico

Example Sentences

  • Her generous donation helped those in need.
  • Altruistic volunteers support the homeless.
  • Acts of altruism make the world kinder.

FAQs (People May Also Ask)

What does it mean to be altruistic?

Altruism means selflessly caring for and helping others.

Why is altruism important in society?

It fosters cooperation and a sense of community.

Is altruism innate or learned?

It's a combination of both, influenced by genetics and social upbringing.

Can altruism have personal benefits?

Yes, it can enhance well-being and social bonds.

How can one cultivate altruism?

Through empathy, volunteering, and acts of kindness, one can develop a generous mindset and behavior.

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