What do you call someone who isn't a nomad? Someone who has a fixed abode.

I tried a google search, but this post and this one had some rather disappointing answers.

  • 5
    Why not Sedentary ?
    – Eilia
    Jun 4, 2015 at 11:08
  • 3
    There are dozens of synonyms for nomad but no real antonyms. Why? I presume because we don't need that term. Someone who is a nomad, or a rover, or a vagabond, or any of the others, is the one being talked about, while everyone else is not so interesting to us to require a special term.
    – Robusto
    Jun 4, 2015 at 11:12
  • 3
    What were the thesaurus suggestions that were so disappointing? Were any in the right direction and why?
    – Mitch
    Jun 4, 2015 at 11:56
  • 5
    You know you've been coding too much when: you read this title as "antonym of monad" and so your first idea for a single-word answer is "comprehensible". Jun 4, 2015 at 14:40
  • 7
    Must be mad... Jun 4, 2015 at 17:15

13 Answers 13


The antonym of nomad is nonnomad. It is mentioned in dictionary.reference.com also.

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Examples from Google Books:

...“fixed abode of the nomad (Beduin), whom death transforms into a permanent settler (nonnomad) (mugim) for all eternity”

The Spiritual Background of Early Islam by M.M. Bravmann

This represented the first time “Uyghur” entered official use to refer to the Türki-speaking nonnomad population of southern Xinjiang.

Xinjiang: China's Muslim Borderland by S. Frederick Starr

Note: The hyphenated form non-nomad looks like more common based on Google Books result.


If you're speaking of historical populations, you might use the word "settler".

  • 2
    I believe this is the right answer. A settler intends on making a specific location his home for the foreseeable future, which is the closest thing to a nomad, who implicitly accepts the fact that he has no home.
    – Elle Fie
    Jun 5, 2015 at 18:17
  • 1
    Obviously this answer makes more sense than nonnomad... which my spell checker refuses to recognize. I don't care if it is "mentioned" in a dictionary, it only reflects that people have coined that term because they were too dumb to think up "settler" or "dweller" or "resident" etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 13, 2015 at 20:34

A resident may convey the idea of someone who lives permanently in the same place:

  • One who resides in a particular place permanently or for an extended period. (AHD)

or an inhabitant:

  • One that inhabits a place, especially as a permanent resident: the inhabitants of a fishing village; snakes, lizards, and other inhabitants of the desert.

@Eilia's comment pretty much hits the mark. According to Merriam-Webster sedentary means (among others):

staying or living in one place instead of moving to different places

Or more pronounced yet:

1: not migratory: settled (sedentary birds) (sedentary civilizations)

Aside from sedentary the antonyms and near antonyms listed for migrant might be interesting as well.

  • For me that's the right answer. I remember of my teachers (when i was in school) saying something like : "The first civilizations started with the nomad people adopting a sedentary lifestyle"
    – Jaro
    Jun 4, 2015 at 13:01
  • But would you describe yourself as a sedentary person to explain that you are not a nomad? oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/american_english/….
    – user66974
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:46
  • 2
    @Josh61 If asked to explain I'd much rather say I'm not a nomad avoiding any possible weirdness. But if asked for an antonym I'd stay with sedentary.
    – Tarok
    Jun 4, 2015 at 17:16

The opposite of a nomad is a dweller.

  • Perhaps indweller would be better? Viz. "a person who inhabits a particular place" (Wordnet). Jun 4, 2015 at 17:37
  • 2
    Typically, dweller would be preceded by a noun indicating the type of place where the dweller dwells (forest-dweller, cave-dweller, mountain-dweller, swamp-dweller, tree-dweller, city-dweller, stackexchange-dweller, etc).
    – TimR
    Jun 4, 2015 at 17:55

Here in Ireland, there is a community which is traditionally nomadic: they are known by various names, but usually as The Travellers (in the UK, they are known as Irish Travellers, and recognised as an indigenous minority ethnic group). RTÉ, the state broadcaster, will refer to “members of the Travelling community”. The rest of us, by contrast, are known as the Settled community. (We are not called settlers, which to me invokes images of arriving at a place and settling there. I didn’t settle here: I was born here.)

  • "Settler" similarly evokes in me thoughts of British settlers in Australia, or similar phenomena happening nowadays.
    – Golden Cuy
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:24

To actually contrast a resident from someone who roams, maybe someone who used to roam, you could use the following...

Someone who has a fixed abode has settled down

[NO OBJECT] Adopt a more steady or secure style of life, especially in a permanent job and home:

one day I will settle down and raise a family

You can simply call them settled.

[WITH ADVERBIAL OF PLACE] Make one’s permanent home somewhere:

Informally, if a nomad stops roaming, you can say that they've dropped anchor.


I initially agreed with Tarok's answer, but from the Wikipedia page on "sedentary lifestyle":

This article is about the medical term. For the anthropologic concept, see sedentism.

So perhaps the term is sedentic?

Consider this usage from the front-inside-cover of Origins and History of Jats and Other Allied Nomadic Tribes of India:

Primarily endogamous communities, calling themselves as Jatt, Jat, Getae or Zutt, lived predominantly in large parts of norther and north-western India and in southern and eastern parts, now in Pakistan.  They were either sedentic farmers or nomadic pastoralists.


In the animal kingdom we would describe a creature, like the coral polyp, that didn't choose to roam as sessile. I doubt there is a noun form however.

  • I have seen the word 'sessor' used, but it may just be a coinage (from the Latin) by one writer, IIRC L. Sprague deCamp.
    – jamesqf
    Jun 4, 2015 at 17:57

Not a true antonym, but you may be able to use farmer. By definition, a farmer must stay in the area to tend to their crops.

A nomad is someone that by definition must travel to gather food. A farmer does not need to travel since their food is grown where they live.


Homebody may suit your needs. Of course, one need not be too narrow about their definition of "home" here. After all, the word encompasses even the unadventurous types.


I find nomad tribes and settled tribes in Pons German-English (sesshaft - settled tribes).

  • So what do you call someone who has a fixed abode? Jun 15, 2015 at 10:18

Another option might be a local.

  • Locals do not necessarily have fixed abodes. They simply remain in the same (local) area.
    – Drew
    Jun 5, 2015 at 17:50
  • Hi, and thanks for taking the time to post under this question. It's great that you want to help. However, this answer doesn't really seem to be a full answer. When answering it's best, in the case of single-word-requests, to give a good explanation why the word you're suggesting is a good one. If necessary quote and reference a dictionary. Jun 6, 2015 at 20:53

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