Please help me define the following condition using a single word.

A kind act that is supposed to help someone, but was actually unnoticed by the intended beneficiary.

  • 1
    Please ask ONE question at a time
    – mplungjan
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 8:03

2 Answers 2


"Nudging", could be seen as a way of modifying a persons behaviour without them realising it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudge_theory)

If the act was unnoticed because it didn't actually help at all, the act could be regarded as "ineffectual".

There's no reason not to simply use "helping" here. The verb doesn't itself imply any awareness or otherwise of being helped.

If someone is unconscious in the street and you come to their aid by putting them in the recovery position and calling an ambulance, then you're helping them regardless of their awareness of it.


There doesn't seem to be a single word in English for someone who provides a charitable without identifying themselves.

You might consider;

I've also seen this phenomenon referred to as "Silent Giving" or "Covert Philanthropy"

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