What is the word for the state of ignoring something?

For instance, if I am ignoring you, am I in a state of ignorance? Is there a better word with a less negative connotation?

  • 1
    The "negative connotation" directly derives from the normally intended meaning (I deliberately and consciously do not wish to be aware of you). If you don't want that (I'm in a state of ignorance regarding you, but not by deliberate choice) then you're just unaware. That's to say, you're in a state of unawareness – FumbleFingers Mar 6 '14 at 17:47
  • 1
    The phrase willful ignorance is legal terminology to mean intentional avoidance of knowledge. – bib Mar 6 '14 at 18:11

I think you are looking for ignoration.

1. The state of being ignorant

2. The action of ignoring something, or the state of being ignored


Since you didn't mention that it necessarily needs to start with ignore- prefix, I think the most appropriate word for it is disregard.


Oblivion ( Source: Cambridge Dictionary )

the state of being unconscious or lacking awareness of what is happening around you

the state of being completely forgotten by the public

State of oblivion
The person is oblivious about your presence.
The person is in a state of oblivion.
You are oblivious to the person


This is the only way I had come to understand it ... in German. I'm aware that there's a huge difference, but I don't ya'll to remain ignorant of the fact.

Latin -ans derives present active participles.

Therefore, Latin derived English -ant is a doublette of itself: "partly (in adjectival derivations) continuing Middle English -ant, a variant of -and, -end, from Old English -ende (present participle ending), see -and." (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-ant), of which friends and friends are given as example, cp I'm friends with them!

I'm not sure what to make of that, you're example sentence is vexing because in a state of implies passivity. I mean, you are friends, a friend, or in a state of friendship.

However, wiktionary derives ignorance from ignorantia, cp e.g. dementia or currency for the suffix. The complete omission of the suffix might be due to errosion from different pronnounciations early on. ignorancy does not exist, sadly.

Beware though, the situations where such an explanation makes for a good come back are rather limited.

I'd say the negative connotation of the word stems in part from the denotrd state being simply negative. There's no way around that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.