Word of the day – Altruism

Word of the Day : May 21, 2021


noun AL-troo-iz-um


1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others

2 : behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species

Did you know?

Altruism refers to a quality possessed by people whose focus is on something other than themselves, and its root reveals the object of those generous tendencies. Altruism derives from the French word autrui, meaning “other people.” Autrui, in turn, developed from the Old French term autre, which means “other” and which itself comes from Latin alter, also meaning “other.” That Latin source eventually caused a curious thing to happen. Under the influence of alter, the French autrui gave rise to the altrui- of both the French altruisme and the English altruism. The English term has been in service since at least the mid-1800s.


Julian’s altruism is evident in the way he spends his time, including the ten hours per week that he spends volunteering at the homeless shelter.

“To that end, he advises his congregants to quit pursuing material desires and refocus their energies on acts of kindness and altruism that provide long-term happiness.” — Ralph Mancini, The Leader-News (Washburn, North Dakota), 25 Mar. 2021