Suppose a person saves the life of others without giving any thought that it could be dangerous, harmful, or life-threatening to himself. He doesn't care that this endeavour might harm, injure, or even kill him.

For example, if someone is trapped in a fire and another person saves, or tries to save the trapped person. Now to report this incident, I could frame a headline like this:

A ___ person without caring his life, saved the lives of 3 people entrapped in fire.

"A brave person" is an obvious choice but I want to emphasize that he did so without even caring for his life.

What word(s), phrase, or idiom makes this clear?

  • 7
    Try selfless. – Dan Bron May 31 '15 at 10:27
  • 3
    Heroic also contains at its core the idea of a willingness to sacrifice oneself for others. BTW, "not caring about his own life..." or "with no thought for his own safety". – TRomano May 31 '15 at 11:25
  • @TimRomano - Yep, "heroic" is the word alright - though it's been watered down by the drama-queen talking-heads on the evening news. I'll up-vote if you make it an answer. – Oldbag May 31 '15 at 13:06
  • I prefer "selfless". It has much less of the grandiose (and self-important?) about i.t – Margana May 31 '15 at 13:50
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    @Mari-LouA I do think it's too basic, and could be answered by using a thesaurus, starting at OP's original brave. And no, it is not as easy to write an answer as it is to add a comment, especially from a phone. I'm telling you this from direct experience. None the less, in case you hadn't noticed, since our previous conversation on this topic, I have made a concerted effort to add more answers and fewer comment-answers. But I didn't think this question warranted that treatment. Last point: my broad offer still stands: any user is free to offer any of my comments in his own answer. – Dan Bron May 31 '15 at 14:23

The hero you describe is self-sacrificing


  • I do not think that word is appropriate here. From your reference, the meaning is "the act of giving up something that you want to have or keep in order to help someone else", so with that meaning, unless that hero died (or lost something) in his act of saving others, it would not fit much. Eg "A self-sacrificing person without caring his life, saved the lives of 3 people entrapped in fire, and later died due to severe burns." (((( Meanwhile, somebody came along and downvoted all other "more appropriate" answers, but I will not do the same )))) – Prem Jun 1 '15 at 10:36

I'd say it is part of an altruistic character. Such person may at times risk his own life to save someone in danger. Of course other personality traits can lead someone to do that and most of the adjectives already mentioned can also be used.

  • altruism (noun) - "unselfish concern for the welfare of others, behavior by an animal that may be to its disadvantage but that benefits others of its kind." - TFD

  • altruist (noun), altruistic (ajd), altruistically (adv)


Few possibilities, from the synonyms of Brave which involve Danger/Fear/Risk in the meaning :

Daring : Willing to undertake things that involve risk & danger

Spirited : Willing to face danger

Dauntless : Invulnerable to fear & intimidation

Intrepid : Invulnerable to fear & intimidation

Plucky : Marked by courage & determination in the face of difficulties & danger

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