1. the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others (opposed to egoism)
2. 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
“Most men have always wanted as much as they can get; and possession has always blunted the fine edge of their altruism.”
~ Katharine Fullerton Gerould ~