I am looking for a way to describe a business that has sacrificed traditional prestige for effectivity. I understand the most direct antonym is unprestigious, but I'm not sure this word conveys what I'm trying to express.

I have considered the words “humble” and “modest” too, though in a business sense these words have different connotations attached to them, e.g., small-scale, unassuming, unambitious, etc.

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    ......'no frills' Feb 20, 2013 at 9:17
  • “No frills” suggests a lack of quality. That's not what I'm aiming for. The business in question is in Sweden, where flat organisations are common. The Swedish word “prestigelöst” works very well in this context. My foolish assumption is that an equivalent doesn't exist in English since businesses typically operate with a traditional hierarchy in the UK, USA and Australia. Feb 20, 2013 at 9:33
  • @ Jezen Thomas:"no frills": characterized by the absence of inessential features (Fairlex thesaurus) "no frills": Marked by the absence of extra or special features; basic (AHDEL) We have a local supermarket that does very well with its 'Basics' range of inexpensive own-brand (and often excellent) products. Try telling them that a phrase meaning 'basic', 'characterized by the absence of inessential features' suggests a lack of quality. 'No frills' is not the same as 'shoestring'. Feb 21, 2013 at 18:00
  • It might indeed be just from personal experience. I grew up in Sydney, and they had a supermarket chain named Franklins that sold a line of basic products under the name “No Frills”. They weren't quality products. Feb 21, 2013 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


I think you've mistranslated the Swedish word prestigelöst — the word you're looking for is unpretentious not unprestigious.

“Prestigious” refers to fame; it is a positive quality.

“Pretension” refers to the affectation of wealth/fame. It is generally viewed in a negative light, so conversely unpretentious has quite positive connotations.

  • That'd be it. The best antonym for prestigious I could think of was scorned or despised, which certainly doesn't seem to be what's intended.
    – Jon Hanna
    Feb 20, 2013 at 10:30

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