philanthropy

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From phil- +‎ -anthropy.

The word comes from Late Latin philanthropia, from Ancient Greek. The prefix phil- comes from Ancient Greek φίλος (philos, friend), from the verb φίλω (philo, I like, I love). -anthropy comes from the noun ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos, man; human).

Noun[edit]

philanthropy (countable and uncountable, plural philanthropies)

  1. (uncountable) Benevolent altruism with the intention of increasing the well-being of mankind, especially by charitable giving.
    As public funding is reduced, we depend increasingly on private philanthropy.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      “I have tried, as I hinted, to enlist the co-operation of other capitalists, but experience has taught me that any appeal is futile that does not impinge directly upon cupidity. If there is the least hint of philanthropy in the project, every man of money fights shy of it.”
  2. A philanthropic act
    His tombstone lists his various philanthropies.
  3. A charitable foundation
    the Rockefeller philanthropies

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