I am looking for a word that would be used to describe a person (better if a noun) or a group of people who refuse to even consider anything other than the status quo.

I would like something that conveys that the status quo may be iffy at best and that the person or population wouldn't even have dialogue other than disparaging anyone who questioned the current "rules" or operations.

  • Traditionalists? Conservatives (political hijacking aside)? – d'alar'cop Feb 20 '14 at 6:29
  • @d'alar'cop I think both of those words are too general and offer too many submeanings. I am looking for something more exact and extreme. – RyeɃreḁd Feb 20 '14 at 6:33
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    "Imaginary" is probably the best adjective. This is a cartoon image you are creating of a person, rather than anything real. – Oldcat Feb 21 '14 at 0:05
  • If a status quo actually built a strong nation that actually produced enough food to feed itself and able to feed lesser nations, I would go with the status that grew. – user67504 Mar 1 '14 at 22:00
  • Purists. hardcore. – Dan Shaffer Feb 1 '16 at 14:27

A conservative is a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas, but that can get a bit political.

A reactionary is an extreme conservative - one who is characterized by reaction, especially opposition to progress

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    I would have thought a reactionary opposed the status-quo and wanted to return to a earlier state. – Henry Feb 20 '14 at 8:22
  • Yeah, unfortunately, that's how that word is often perceived by a lot of people these days, especially in NAmE and online ime, but it actually means the exact opposite - the reaction is to progress, not status-quo. – Shisa Feb 20 '14 at 9:11
  • @Henry A "status quo ante -ist" :) – Kris Feb 21 '14 at 6:44
  • Neither one of these are bad but I don't feel they really provide a clear meaning against status quo without a great amount of context. But +1 for getting a couple of secondary words that could work. – RyeɃreḁd Mar 1 '14 at 22:42

The very expression (?neologism) status quo-ism has already been in use by respected authors for sometime now.

[Emphasis mine.]
Seamus Deane & Ciaran Deane (Eds), Field Day Review 6 (2010), Vol.6. p.92: (Note both the usage and definition in the same sentence.)

The absolute effect of this allegorical utopianism, which creates the hope and faith that distrusts politics and realism, is apolitical status quo-ism; it is the preservation of what is, even as it declares the critical work of real analysis and possible imagination invalid and co-opted.

Michelle Bentley & Jack Holland (Eds), Obama's Foreign Policy: Ending the War on Terror, p.183:

The import of his election as a blow to status quo-ism was central to the victory speech he delivered in Chicago.


You can use hardliner.
a member of a group, typically a political group, who adheres uncompromisingly to a set of ideas or policies.

  • Yea but their ideas could be the status quo too right? – RyeɃreḁd Mar 1 '14 at 22:43

A possible word is "luddite".


The term has since developed a secondary meaning: a "Luddite" is one opposed to industrialisation, automation, computerisation or new technologies in general.

However, I have heard it applied to an opposition to any new idea.

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    This was the word I thought of when I read the question. Luddite has grown into a meaning that includes being against progress or change, i.e., maintaining the status quo. – Kit Z. Fox Feb 1 '16 at 13:14

I will offer my own word - rebel. Not sure if others would agree with this term in this use, but best I can come up with so far.

  • Usually a rebel is someone who disagrees with an authority, who rebels against social customs, who voices their opinion (often) loudly even if their dissent is not shared by the majority. You want a word that describes a person or group who refuse to budge from their standpoint, their beliefs and customs. That's not a rebel. – Mari-Lou A Mar 2 '14 at 11:56
  • A traditionalist might fit. – Mari-Lou A Mar 2 '14 at 11:57

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