Also found in: Thesaurus.


Naively idealistic in the support of philanthropic or humanitarian causes.

do′-good′ism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈdu gʊdˌɪz əm)

also do-good•er•ism

(-ˈgʊd əˌrɪz-)

the actions or attitudes of a do-gooder.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


attitudes or actions of well-intentioned but sometimes ineffectual people, especially in the area of social reform.
See also: Goodness, Society
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
In Jack Hough's " Welcome to the Ethical-Industrial Complex" see why, with the Business Roundtable changing its mind about the purpose of the corporation, there is bound to be disagreement about do-goodism. How might CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) fit into the picture?
Batton (2013) noted "ethical business practices are not just an example of selfless do-goodism, they are essential for sustainable growth, increased employee productivity and reliable investment in your business." Work ethics have a strong influence on individual and corporate success in any organisation.
Coulter doesn't mention it, but this psychology unmistakably has roots in the religious history of the American people, not just in the "Social Gospel" but far more broadly in the centuries-old "sentimental do-goodism" (for want of a better term) that has had both some very good features and arguably some very quixotic ones.
If you suddenly get a pang of do-goodism feelings, chalk it up to the energy of the cosmos and do what your heart compels.
Credit unions are one of the few industries that can get away with a lot of social do-goodism. It is your business.
No amount of international do-goodism is going to prevent countries from acting in what they perceive to be their own self-interest.
For Bacevich, "realism rather than idealism--not 'do-goodism' but self-interest--provides the impetus for action." While Etzioni offers a more academic and sociological perspective, Bacevich, who graduated from West Point and served the United States Army for 30 years, is concerned mostly with military aspects.
Karen believes that this split is a harmful dissociation between realism and do-goodism, and is not unrelated to the dissociation and splitting done by the terrorist mind.
With Iraq, Bush radicals are being confronted by the unwanted consequences of their muscularity, and Clinton alumni are again being shown the limits of do-goodism. Remarkably, however, even as the right deeply divides (remake the world versus cautiously select engagements), many lefties and righties have found common imperialist cause save for method (act with the rest of the world or without it).
Johnson McPhail apparently has failed to account for so much white-liberal guilt, which abounds on college campuses in particular, or she failed to account for sheer "do-goodism" on the part of many idealistic educators.