"love of humankind, especially as evinced in deeds of practical beneficence and work for the good of others," c. 1600, from Late Latin philanthropia, from Greek philanthrōpia "kindliness, humanity, benevolence, love to mankind" (from gods, men, or things), from philanthrōpos (adj.) "loving mankind, useful to man," from phil- "loving" (see philo-) + anthrōpos "mankind" (see anthropo-). Originally in English in the Late Latin form; the modern spelling in English is attested from 1620s.
"a philanthropist," 1734, from Latin philanthropos, from Greek philanthrōpos "loving mankind, humane" (see philanthropy).
"of or pertaining to philanthropy; characterized by or originating in love for humankind," 1785, from French philanthropique (18c.), from Greek philanthrōpikos (adj.), from philanthrōpia "humanity, benevolence, kindliness" (see philanthropy). An earlier word in the same sense was philanthropian (1610s). Related: Philanthropical; philanthropically (1787).
"visit slums of a city," especially for diversion or amusement, often under guise of philanthropy, 1884, from slum (n.). A pastime popularized by East End novels. Earlier it meant "to visit slums for disreputable purposes or in search of vice" (1860). Related: Slumming.
late 14c., "kindness, graciousness, politeness; consideration for others," from Old French humanité, umanité "human nature; humankind, life on earth; pity," from Latin humanitatem (nominative humanitas) "human nature; the human race, mankind;" also "humane conduct, philanthropy, kindness; good breeding, refinement," from humanus (see human (adj.)). The dense of "human nature, human form, state or quality of being human" is c. 1400; that of "human race, humans collectively" is recorded by mid-15c.
Mr. W.D. Spanton (Leeds) considered that the most prominent causes of physical degeneration were—efforts to rear premature and diseased infants, absurd educational high pressure, cigarette smoking in the younger generation, and late hours at night; in fact, the love of pleasure and ergophobia in all classes of society. He considered that there was too much cheap philanthropy, that life was made too easy for the young poor, and that by modern educational methods proper parental discipline was rendered almost impossible. [report on the 73rd annual meeting of the British Medical Association, in Nature, Aug. 3, 1905]
late Old English, "benevolence for the poor," also "Christian love in its highest manifestation," from Old French charité "(Christian) charity, mercy, compassion; alms; charitable foundation" (12c.), from Latin caritatem (nominative caritas) "costliness; esteem, affection," from carus "dear, valued" (from PIE *karo-, from root *ka- "to like, desire").
In the Vulgate the Latin word often is used as translation of Greek agape "love" — especially Christian love of fellow man — perhaps to avoid the sexual suggestion of Latin amor). The Vulgate also sometimes translated agape by Latin dilectio, noun of action from diligere "to esteem highly, to love" (see diligence).
Wyclif and the Rhemish version regularly rendered the Vulgate dilectio by 'love,' caritas by 'charity.' But the 16th c. Eng. versions from Tindale to 1611, while rendering agape sometimes 'love,' sometimes 'charity,' did not follow the dilectio and caritas of the Vulgate, but used 'love' more often (about 86 times), confining 'charity' to 26 passages in the Pauline and certain of the Catholic Epistles (not in I John), and the Apocalypse .... In the Revised Version 1881, 'love' has been substituted in all these instances, so that it now stands as the uniform rendering of agape. [OED]
The general sense of "affections people ought to feel for one another" is from c. 1300. From c. 1300 as "an act of kindness or philanthropy," also "alms, that which is bestowed gratuitously on a person or persons in need." The sense of "charitable foundation or institution" in English is attested by 1690s. The meaning "liberality in judging others or their actions" is from late 15c. A charity-school (1680s) was one maintained by voluntary contributions or bequests.