The primary meaning of ignore is to disregard somebody. Ignorant is synonymous with unlearned and uninformed. Ignorable assigns somebody or something a low priority. I'm looking for an adjective that describes an action towards the object, such that I can rephrase the following sentence:

He ignores me.


He is [adjective] towards me.

Possible candidates: inattentive, indifferent, unresponsive, invisible and finally uncaring.


The meaning of ignore as verb is

  • refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; disregard intentionally.
    • to fail to consider (something significant)
    • to reject an indictment as groundless

The adjective that is derived from ignore is ignorable.

If you are looking for an adjective to use, you can use indifferent, uninterested, or uncaring.


Ignore is the verb. OED gives ignorable as the adjective. I haven't seen it in use much, but here are two attempts at using it:

You may think the problem is ignorable, but I think it will not go away.

He may be ignorable, but do not underestimate him.

  • I'm trying to say something different, namely that I am ignorable in his world. – m33lky Feb 6 '11 at 8:31
  • Well, I suggest you change the root word. Try: "He is indifferent towards me." – Sky Red Feb 6 '11 at 8:33

I think insignificant is a more familiar near-synonym of ignorable. See Wikisaurus for more.

I suppose the most obvious answer should not be ignored, though.

Edit: for the given usage, I would use inattentive, or inattentive towards me.

If you believe his attitude is unjust, aloof or dismissive of me would fit. It sounds like you want to capture "giving the cold shoulder," not just ignoring. Really, when one person purposely maintains silence to another's queries or advances, that is not ignoring but rather actively avoiding.

  • Yes, inattentive is the kind of word I am looking for. However, not paying attention to someone is softer than ignoring someone. An even politer version is "distant". – m33lky Feb 6 '11 at 8:33

Oblivious could work, though it implies that he is ignoring you through some form of ignorance or lack of some facility by which he should otherwise be noticing you. It implies a slightly less intentional action than ignoring someone usually would.

Disinterested might fit the bill, as might apathetic, if you want to emphasize the way he feels rather than the feeling itself.

For a different flavor, if they are ignoring you cheerfully, insouciant is (according to Merriam-Webster) feeling lighthearted unconcern.

  • 1
    As you point out these have different meanings. I think that inattentive is stronger than oblivious for the scenario I am describing. What I meant is an active act of ignorance, and I believe that's something that most contributors here understood as well. However, you have a good point, because the observer might be wrong. He might think that he is not receiving enough attention (common misunderstanding). – m33lky Jan 31 '17 at 21:47

There are already some good answers here, but none that really hit what you're after precisely. So I'm going to take a different tack, and suggest you might flop the subject and verb and say

I'm invisible to him.

This is a figurative usage, so you might add a qualifier:

Apparently I'm invisible to him.

Either way, it means he doesn't see you for whatever reason. It does not necessarily mean "he" is actively ignoring you, but it's likely to carry that connotation.

You might also try

He is unresponsive to me.

There can also be other reasons for his unresponsiveness, but this suggests you did make some effort to get his attention and failed.

As for coming up with an adjective that means exactly what you want in exactly the way you want it, I have cudgeled my brains for a while now and can't think of one. If I were trying to write a sentence with that meaning, I'd have given up looking for the exact word some time ago and simply recast the sentence to express my meaning another way.

  • Uncaring would be probably the closest. – m33lky Feb 6 '11 at 17:59

protected by tchrist Jun 14 '14 at 18:36

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