As in, an expectation-free hug with your partner. Doing something without expecting anything in return, but not necessarily selfless. I hoped "nonexpecting" was a word, but it seems reserved for pregnancy 🙂

EDIT: Thanks for the suggestions! My example may not have been the best. I don't mean necessarily platonic or friendly, because the attitude can apply to anything. I've heard the words "wishless" and "hopeless" in some Buddhist contexts, interestingly, but those seem wonky as well.


insouciant TFD

Marked by blithe unconcern; nonchalant.


The scenario you are describing is similar to a no strings attached situation. However, I believe you want to say you are giving a friendly hug:

  1. : of, relating to, or befitting a friend: such as
    a. : showing kindly interest and goodwill
         friendly neighbors


An example of its usage:

A friendly hug is when two people embrace each other briefly and then quickly withdraw from the hug; it only lasts for a short period of time. Also, a friendly hug is often accompanied by a pat on the other person’s back to indicate their platonic relationship.


Word that means “free from expectation"?

I would use detached: (dɪtætʃt ) 1. adjective Someone who is detached is not personally involved in something or has no emotional interest in it.

...Or detachment, for the noun form.

Can the Practice of Buddhist Detachment Make you Feel Happier?

  • cursory1 literally means it’s something done in passing, superficially, with no deeper meaning intended, likely taking little time.
  • innocuous2 is obviously related to innocent and literally means ‘harmless’ or ‘not hurting’, especially in a sense that something is not intended to inflict harm whether it does or not.
  • complimentary3 (not complementary) means something is done out of politeness because it is the proper, civil thing to do, i.e. complying to those social customs. courteous3 or by courtesy aims for a higher, more noble standard.
  • unconditional4 and termless5 are probably closest to the meaning of ‘not expecting anything in return’, but they seem too strong.
  • without any ulterior6 motives is descriptive but not a single word.

I’m surprised no one has yet suggested disinterested, which would be perfect in some contexts. Beware of confusion with “uninterested,” of course.

According to Dictionary.com, disinterested is an adjective meaning:

unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish motives

Example from the same source:

a disinterested decision by the referee.

Attribution: "Disinterested." Dictionary.com. Accessed March 31, 2018. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/disinterested?s=t.

  • 1
    Please add sources to support your answers.
    – JJJ
    Mar 30 '18 at 20:59
  • From Dictionary.com:adjective 1. unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish motives: a disinterested decision by the referee.
    – RD in NY
    Mar 31 '18 at 10:27


adjective Given or done for nothing; free.
‘gratis books’
Oxford Living Dictionaries

Can be used as adjective or adverb. I'd point out that "gratuitous" can have the same meaning, however notice it is definition number 2, meaning its more common use is slightly different:

1.Done without good reason; uncalled for.
‘gratuitous violence’

2.Given or done free of charge.
‘solicitors provide a form of gratuitous legal advice’
Oxford Living Dictionaries

I'd note also that "gratis" or "gratuitous" in the second sense, as far as I know, might be interchangeable with "free".


How about unassuming? As in an unassuming (not having or showing a desire to be noticed, praised, etc.) hug.

  • Good word! Make sure to include your sources when defining a word, as it makes your answer more reputable and more likely to be upvoted. Apr 29 '18 at 22:32

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