I am wondering if there is a positive, formal counterpart to the slang "No strings attached" to describe, for example, a parent's unquestioned devotion to their children, or the virtue of someone's "a friend in need is a friend in deed", help first, question later mentality.

3 Answers 3


I think the word you are looking for is altruism

altruism, n.

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈaltrʊɪz(ə)m/ , U.S. /ˈæltrəˌwɪzəm/ , /ˈælˌtruˌɪzəm/

1. Disinterested or selfless concern for the well-being of others, esp. as a principle of action. Opposed to selfishness, egoism, or (in early use) egotism.



Philanthropist might be an alternative to altruism already suggested –

From Oxford English Dictionary (OED) –

philanthropist, n.

A benefactor of humankind; one who behaves benevolently towards others; a practitioner of philanthropy.


You might want to consider altruism, ‘Disinterested or selfless concern for the well-being of others’ in the OED’s definition.

  • Thanks for the quick reply. I was writing acknowledgement section of my Thesis. I guess altruistic is probably too strong of a word. But selfless works, why didn't I think of that! Dec 28, 2012 at 12:58
  • 1
    If you want the noun, it's selflessness. Dec 28, 2012 at 13:00

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