Feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness.
1: Unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others.
“Firefighters show, on a daily basis, true altruism when dealing with saving lives, even if it endangers their own.”
2: Behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species.
“The principles composing the theory of survival of the fittest, when conducted on an individual level may seem selfish, but when applied between species one might observe altruistic situations therein.”
First known usage: 1853