What does philanthropy mean?

Definitions for philanthropy
fɪˈlæn θrə piphi·lan·thropy

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word philanthropy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. philanthropy, philanthropic giftnoun

    voluntary promotion of human welfare


  1. Philanthropynoun

    An active effort to promote human welfare; humanitarian activity. in this sense, it is an action, not merely a state of mind.

  2. Philanthropynoun

    An organization whose purpose is to engage in philanthropy(2), and is supported by funds from one or a small number of wealthy individuals; a type of charity, the source of whose funds is typically from a wealthy individual or a corporation, or a trust fund established by a wealthy individual. It is distinguished from other charitable organizations in that the source of funds of other charities may come from a large number of sources, or from public solicitation.


  1. philanthropynoun

    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.

  2. philanthropynoun

    A philanthropic act

    His tombstone lists his various philanthropies.

  3. philanthropynoun

    A charitable foundation

    the Rockefeller philanthropies

  4. Etymology: From philanthropia, from. The prefix phil- comes from φίλος, from the verb φίλω. -anthropy comes from the noun ἄνθρωπος.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Philanthropynoun

    Love of mankind; good nature.

    Etymology: φιλέω and ἄνϑϱοπος.

    Such a transient temporary good nature is not that philanthropy, that love of mankind, which deserves the title of a moral virtue. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 177.


  1. Philanthropy

    Philanthropy is a form of altruism that consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life". Philanthropy contrasts with business initiatives, which are private initiatives for private good, focusing on material gain; and with government endeavors, which are public initiatives for public good, notably focusing on provision of public services. A person who practices philanthropy is a philanthropist.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Philanthropynoun

    love to mankind; benevolence toward the whole human family; universal good will; desire and readiness to do good to all men; -- opposed to misanthropy

  2. Etymology: [L. philanthropia, Gr. filanqrwpi`a: cf. F. philanthropie.]


  1. Philanthropy

    Philanthropy etymologically means "pretty" in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing, and enhancing "what it is to be human" on both the benefactors' and beneficiaries' parts. The most conventional modern definition is "private initiatives, for public good, focusing on quality of life". The word was first coined as an adjective, by Aeschylus in Prometheus Bound, to describe Prometheus' character as "humanity loving", for having given to the earliest proto-humans, who had no culture, fire and "blind hope". Together, they would be used to improve the human condition, to save mankind from destruction. Thus humans were distinguished from all other animals by civilization the power to complete their own creation through education and culture, expressed in good works benefitting others. The Greek word for a philanthropic culture was paideia. The first use of the noun form philanthrôpía came shortly thereafter in the early Platonic dialogue Euthyphro, where Socrates is reported to have said that his "pouring out" of his thoughts freely to his listeners was his philanthrôpía. The Philosophical Dictionary of the Platonic Academy defined philanthrôpía as "A state of well educated habits stemming from love of humanity. A state of being productive of benefit to humans. A state of grace. Mindfulness together with good works." In the first century BC, both paideia and philanthrôpía were translated into Latin by the single word humanitas which was also understood to be the core of liberal education studia humanitatis, the studies of humanity, or simply "the humanities". In the second century AD, Plutarch used the concept of philanthrôpía to describe superior human beings. This Classically synonymous troika, of philanthropy, the humanities, and liberal education, declined with the Fall of Rome, during the Middle Ages philanthrôpía was superseded by caritas charity, selfless love, valued for salvation. The Classical notion was revived with the Renaissance, and flourished through the 18th century as a central secular value of the Enlightenment, in this spirit it was cited by Alexander Hamilton "This will add the inducements of philanthropy to those of patriotism...." in the opening paragraph of the First Federalist Paper, as a rationale for ratifying our Constitution.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Philanthropy

    fi-lan′thrō-pi, n. love of mankind, esp. as shown in good deeds and services to others: goodwill towards all men.—ns. Phil′anthrope, Philan′thropist, one who tries to benefit mankind.—adjs. Philanthrop′ic, -al, doing good to others, benevolent.—adv. Philanthrop′ically. [L.,—Gr. philanthrōpiaphilos, loving, anthrōpos, a man.]

Editors Contribution

  1. philanthropy

    A person, group, business, company, enterprise or organization that are focused on using their income, money, resources and time to contribute to the cocreating of optimum health, human rights, right to life, civil rights, ethical, fair, just and moral shared prosperity for all, stability, unity government, solidarity, cohesion, animal rights, right to housing, right to free education, right to parent, right to free preschool education, right to a standard of living, creation of living wage, right to internet access, economic stability, financial stability, equal rights, equal opportunities, employment rights, childrens rights, sustainable development, sustainable development goals, united partnership, multi-party working, community empowerment systems, equal distribution of income, wealth, fairness and justness across society, the country, europe and the world and contribute to the cocreation of global and national peace agreements, peace treaties, the universes truth and a fair, just and transparent system of checks and balances.

    The Philanthropy of people is so beautiful to see, our goals are equal and we are focused and achieving them every day.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 15, 2020  

  2. Philanthropy

    Contribution or provision of various resources to a specific cause.

    Philanthropy is an element of the solution to cocreating the world we choose.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 16, 2019  

How to pronounce philanthropy?

How to say philanthropy in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of philanthropy in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of philanthropy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of philanthropy in a Sentence

  1. Jeff Bezos:

    MacKenzie is going to be amazing and thoughtful and effective at philanthropy, and I'm proud of her, her letter is so beautiful. Go get 'em MacKenzie.

  2. Libby Armintrout:

    It’s obvious that the Facebook CEO shares this high regard for his mom. During the town hall meeting with the prime minister of India in 2015, one of the topics he asked the prime minister about was about his mother. And it turns out Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did n’t look too far from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mom in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg choice of spouse, whom Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg married in 2012. Like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mother, wife Priscilla Chan is an understated physician who shuns the spotlight. Related : From Under the Hoodie : 5 Entrepreneurial Lessons From Mark Zuckerberg When talking about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mother, Microsoft founder Mary Maxell Gates, currently the richest man in the world, with an estimated worth $ 76.7 billion, has often spoken about a letter she wrote to his then-fianc Melinda the day before their wedding. From those to whom much is given, much is expected, her letter read. Mary Maxell Gates, a long-time philanthropist, died six months later at the age of 64 of breast cancer. Mary Maxell Gates kept Mary Maxell Gates mother’s letter, and Mary Maxell Gates swift foray into the world of philanthropy, establishing The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation with the help of Mary Maxell Gates father, Bill Sr., has been due to the influence of Mary Maxell Gates mother, a formidable business mind in her own right. Mary was a top student at her high school and in college, where she met her husband, a lawyer. They had three children. She threw herself into volunteering and served on the boards of numerous prominent organizations, including the United Way, where she first served as the county chair and, later, the first female national chair. She convinced her son, who was CEO of Microsoft at the time, to start the Employees Giving Campaign at Microsoft to benefit the United Way and other charities. ( He later join the board.) The considerable list of boards she served on is impressive, and when she was appointed to the board of regents of University of Washington in 1975, she spearheaded the move to divest the university’s holding in apartheid South Africa. According to her daughter, Libby Armintrout, Libby Armintrout was an extremely engaged parent and had high expectations of all Libby Armintrout children. Not just grades and that sort of thing, but how we behaved in public, how we would be socially.

  3. Sara Moss:

    We do n’t think of it as philanthropy. This is citizenship.

  4. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice:

    We applaud Jeff Bezos' philanthropy, but one hand can not give what the other is taking away, will Jeff Bezos ' show us true leadership or will Jeff Bezos ' continue to be complicit in the acceleration of the climate crisis, while supposedly trying to help ?

  5. Oscar Wilde:

    Philanthropy is the refuge of rich people who wish to annoy their fellow creatures.

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"philanthropy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/philanthropy>.

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