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

Bob did not like change, he was a _____.


3 Answers 3


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.


I don’t know why this question has come up again after eight years, but:

A person who dislikes change is conservative and perhaps also “a Conservative”

I am not aware of any established word in the English language meaning “fear of change”, and people may fear change for a variety of reasons, justified as well as unjustified. Of course someone may invent a phobia word for this, but I fear it will not change my somewhat conservative attitude to this.


Luddite could work depending on the context.

  • 1
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    – fev
    Aug 10, 2022 at 16:44
  • This has already been suggested in another answer on this page.
    – livresque
    Aug 10, 2022 at 18:20

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