Is there a word or phrase that means the opposite of disciplined, but which doesn't have negative connotations?

  • Perhaps ‘creative’? Otherwise, you may have to go for a phrase, rather than a word. Mar 29 '14 at 8:29

Perhaps free-spirited is what you want:

free spirit n. One who is not restrained, as by convention or obligation; a nonconformist.


However, I'd say that "the opposite of 'disciplined' ", if one can be agreed upon, is bound to have negative overtones because 'disciplined' has positive ones.

  • 1
    In the same vein, perhaps ‘unbridled’. Mar 29 '14 at 9:40
  • The problem is 'discipline' is a loaded word. And people have such radically different ideas, from those who think the best upbringing they ever got was in the army, to those who think excessive discipline makes Jack a dull boy.
    – WS2
    Mar 29 '14 at 9:57
  • @WS2: Yes; among infinitely polysemic words (ie words), 'discipline' is more infinitely polysemic than many. Which makes 'What is the / an opposite of ...?' virtually unanswerable objectively. Mar 29 '14 at 10:05

Spontaneous, perhaps. It's usually regarded as a positive word, but also implies a lack of discipline.

  • I really liked this answer too
    – Casebash
    Mar 30 '14 at 9:11

As hinted at in Edwin Ashworth's good answer, consider also unrestrained

Not restrained or restricted: a display of unrestrained delight

It can be used positively, negatively or neutrally.

Another term that can have a range of inflections is wild. While it often has a pejorative tone, it can be used in an admiring way

unconventional; fantastic; crazy: wild friends

It also can be used neutrally

Lacking regular order or arrangement; disarranged: wild locks of long hair.


A person who doesn't behave in a ritual manner or doesn't follow a fixed routine could be described as being easygoing. It usually carries very positive connotations, and implies the person is patient and tolerant, whereas disciplined can suggest intolerance and inflexibility.

Easygoing: Not rigorous, demanding, or stressful: "an easygoing life as a part-time consultant."


Undisciplined does not work for you?

Or how about: lax

M&W: 2 : deficient in firmness : not stringent

  • ‘Lax’ and ‘undisciplined’ both tend to have negative connotations. Mar 29 '14 at 9:39

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