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We would like to know if there is a single word to describe fear of change.

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closed as not a real question by tchrist, RegDwigнt Mar 20 '13 at 7:54

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Try looking up neophobe. –  TimLymington Mar 19 '13 at 17:32
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Conservative. –  tchrist Mar 19 '13 at 17:36
    
    
@TimLymington Though sounds right, I find few instances of neophobe in Google Books results. The term is more common in the forms neophobia and neophobic, even which are rare. Agreed, it seems the word that comes closest. –  Kris Mar 20 '13 at 6:41
    
Hello Emilio and welcome. To answer the question reliably, we will need more details, context, an example sentence, something, anything. As it stands, the title and body don't even match — one asks for a word for people, the other for a feeling. And what do you mean by "describe"? What do you mean by "fear"? Are you looking for a technical term or a vivid idiom? A noun, an adjective, a verb? Please put the same amount of effort into your questions you expect people to put into their answers. You can improve the question by clicking the "edit" link. Then it can be reopened. –  RegDwigнt Mar 20 '13 at 7:54

1 Answer 1

I see neophobe has been suggested at least a couple of times, but I personally find this term a little clinical. There are many ways to describe someone resistant to change, depending on the cause for resistance.

In the negative sense, a fuddy-duddy, fogy, or mossback is someone, perhaps an older someone, with a dislike for recent developments in fashion, technology, or culture (and by implication is somewhat unfashionable, luddite, or philistine); they are set in their ways.

More positive, or at least neutral, words for those with a preference for the old ways include traditionalist or classicist; they might gently be dismissed as members of the old guard or old school who repeat the old line. Resistance to change that derives from moderation and caution makes someone conservative, reticent, or leery.

But if one clings to one idea and expresses intolerance for others, he becomes a die-hard or hidebound, and any synonyms for chauvinism, fearfulness, or intolerance may suffice. Those who not only resist change, but seek to reverse previous change, are reactionaries.

A square or stick-in-the-mud is resistant to anything unconventional; they have an establishment or bourgeois mentality. Fear of change due to small-mindedness is characteristic of insular, provincial, parochial, small-town, or pedestrian thinking.

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