I always used to think the word was ignorant but it has turned out that I am wrong.

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    Right now I'm ignoring six billion people. Do you have some particular scenario in mind where someone is seeking attention and not getting it? I suggest not-a-stalker.
    – dcaswell
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 18:08
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    Can you avoid the smart- ass comments in future please?
    – Shaun Wild
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 18:27
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    While @user814064 could indeed have been more polite, they raise a valid point. Could you give us an example sentence or describe the situation a bit more? See our FAQ on how to ask questions.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 18:31
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    I agree with some of the comments. We need to know the context. Is the person ignoring you because he is angry; autistic; rude; self-absorbed; grieving; or what? Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 19:27
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    Shaun, my apologies. Let me clarify a bit. You've ignored a couple suggestions to provide details. But that doesn't mean you deserve you to be labeled; you have that personal freedom. I thought you'd get better answers by adding details. I felt I was free to say that; though unfortunately I didn't do it very well.
    – dcaswell
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 20:36

12 Answers 12


If somebody is ignoring others out of superiority complex, then the word is snobbish.

If somebody is ignoring others out of one's reserved nature, then the word can be aloof.

  • 1
    +1 for a more neutral set of words. Also perhaps hermit or recluse
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 21:02
  • I like the word "Aloof".
    – Shaun Wild
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 13:05

The word I would use is rude.

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    It's not perfect - you can also be rude by very much not ignoring someone; and there are (e.g. embarrassing) situations where someone wants to be ignored and compliance would actually be polite... Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 8:03

Consider self-absorbed (“Overly concerned about oneself, to the point of ignoring the feelings of others”); inconsiderate (“Not considerate of others, thoughtless”); egotistical (“Believing oneself to be better and more important than others”), and arrogant (“Having excessive pride in oneself, often with contempt for others”).

  • Or simply absorbed...if intentionally ignoring people because one is absorbed in his work, for example.
    – JeffSahol
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 23:25

In the spirit of not being more negative when referring to others than I would wish to be used when referring to me I suggest inattentive is the correct word:

Exhibiting a lack of attention; not attentive

Using neutral terminology encourages you to see communication as a two-way street. Referring to someone with using a negative term implies that it's all their fault and may not encourage you to try to resolve the issue.


Neglector may apply here .


Standoffish is a word used to describe a person who is aloof, distant, haughty. Unsociable is another word that comes to mind.


I suggest you use snubber or snob.

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    I am not sure if 'snubber' is a word.
    – aarbee
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 18:17
  • "Snub" is the correct verb, and a better noun form is "one who snubs."
    – Tom Au
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 18:44

Perhaps "deaf" is an unexpected answer. I assume you mean someone who does this intentionally or habitually. In that case "opinionated" might apply. They don't want to hear dissenting opinions, so they ignore them.

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    Opinionated does not imply ignoring. Often it is the contrary, the opinionated will indeed hear dissenting opinions and disagree. Loudly and at length.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 18:24
  • +1 for deaf. As someone who finds it difficult to hear when there is a lot of background noise, I expect I have been misunderstood as aloof or snobbish or simply rude in the past. In reality, I just haven't heard what's been said (or I've misunderstood what's been said), so I've either responded with an apparently tangential or unconnected reply, or failed to respond.
    – m-smith
    Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 9:53

Perhaps the noun isolate

a person or thing which has been or become isolated: social isolates often become careless of their own welfare


presumptuous fits the scenario were one thinks so highly of himself that other people opinions or existence are irrelevant. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/presumptuous


As indicated in the comments above context is everything.

One interpretation of the question is of someone who ignores others in a non-interfering self-centred kind of way - a perfectly rational decision deserving a neutral label. Such a person is an egoist.

the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one's personal interest; selfishness

Another interpretation is of a person who is stubborn in a stupid kind of way, mulishly ignoring other people even when they are more sensible or intelligent than them. Such a person is pigheaded, or an egotist even.

excessive and objectionable reference to oneself in conversation or writing; conceit;


Without context, it's difficult to answer correctly but standoffish works as it's a description that doesn't rely on the person's personality or health status (eg deaf).

Try this experiment on the next stranger you see on the bus who's 'ignoring' others and say to yourself 'that person is snobbish/a snob/reckless/presumptuous' etc which suggests you're aware of their personality. Doesn't work does it?

'That person is standoffish' can be applied to a stranger. The reason for their standoffish behaviour is not relevant, just their current demeanour which you're wanting to describe.

  • You could apply that statement to all the suggestions in here Jack. Without more context from Shaun, it's impossible to provide anything more than a suggestion.
    – Fiammetta
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 2:07

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