What is a good word to use as an antonym of 'try-hard'? Somebody who does not try to appear highly in another's eyes.

A word close to indifferent,aloof, detached...

  • First thing that comes to mind is modest. That is, that fits your last sentence, but it surely does not mean a modest person can not try hard to achieve something. I am not sure I see the link between those two. – oerkelens Feb 19 '14 at 9:31
  • "quiet achiever"? – d'alar'cop Feb 19 '14 at 9:38
  • The phrase hiding your light under a bushel comes to mind. – bib Feb 19 '14 at 12:53
  • The closest words I can think of are indifferent, detached, aloof. Self-effacing is related but it tells a situation because of shyness. – Emmet B Feb 19 '14 at 15:19
  • The word humble comes to mind, but that's a descriptor and not a name. – TylerH Feb 19 '14 at 16:33

You can use "unpretentious" also.

Google Dictionary: enter image description here


not having or showing the unpleasant quality of people who want to be regarded as more impressive, successful, or important than they really are : not pretentious


The adjective unpretentious is perfect for describing someone you know who's modest and natural and never tries to impress other people.

Note: There is also unostentatious which is very similar with unpretentious.


Consider self-effacing

tending to make oneself, one's actions, etc, inconspicuous, esp because of humility or timidity; modest

Also consider reticent

  1. habitually silent or uncommunicative; disinclined to speak readily; reserved; taciturn
  2. having a restrained, quiet, or understated quality

A "try-hard" is not only attempting to appear highly, but is also putting a lot of work into it. It often has an insulting connotation, implying that the person's goal is not to be the best or succeed but merely to get the reputation for success.

The opposite of this would be someone who does not try hard, and does not care about the fact that they are seen as such. This word to me is...



I'm laid-back myself.

having a relaxed style or character


Worth considering: slacker

a person who avoids work or effort.

synonyms: layabout, idler, shirker, malingerer, sluggard, laggard...

Definitely one who does not try to appear highly in another's eyes, and is close to indifferent, while ditching the humble/shy connotations of self-effacing.


Consider easy-going

relaxed and tolerant in attitude or manner

I am too lackadaisical and apathetic to give you a long answer.

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