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Example setting: You are discussing a certain topic/problem with a math professor who is good at that certain topic/field. On this occasion he is wrong but cannot see the point because he is too confident of himself. My choice is overconfident; is there a better single word?

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9 Answers 9

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This might possibly have negative connotation where you don't mean to imply such, but the word that comes to mind is obstinate.

From Merriam-Webster

Obstinate: refusing to change your behavior or your ideas

I might even say "He was confidently obstinate" to clarify the source of the obstinance, but I believe over-confidence is the default assumption in these cases.

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What about hubris? It denotes a similar kind of overconfidence.

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  • Decent word, but slim answer. Jun 25, 2015 at 3:24
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    I am confident in it.
    – erewok
    Jun 25, 2015 at 4:04
  • @erewok it was a comment of mine 4 hours ago because it's difficult to turn into an adjective...
    – stevesliva
    Jun 25, 2015 at 4:09
  • Not so hard: hubristic.
    – deadrat
    Jun 25, 2015 at 8:23
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presumptuous

too confident especially in a way that is rude : done or made without permission, right, or good reason

usage:

A class of presumptuous men, whom age has not made cautious, nor adversity wise. --Buckminster

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Your professor seems to have superiority complex

  1. an inflated estimate of one's own merit, usually manifested in arrogance (Collins via TFD)

You could also call him self-opinionated

Having an arrogantly high regard for oneself or one’s own opinions (Oxford)

Or even conceited

Excessively proud of oneself; vain (Oxford)

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In my English class we discussed the novel Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut. Some phrases we used to describe the antagonists, bigots who contradict themselves occasionally, included Mental Divergence and Blind Faith.

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  • This answer isn't very good as it is. Blind faith might be a good answer, and using a specifc example might be useful, but we don't need to know about your english class.
    – dwjohnston
    Jun 25, 2015 at 2:13
  • @dwjohnston yeah maybe this should have been a comment. Jun 25, 2015 at 2:22
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Not very poetic, but "stubborn" seems appropriate to me.

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What about 'connivance' in place of "overconfident"?

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When someone refuses to acknowledge the value of another person's opinion, you could call them narrow-minded.

On another note: I've found that the best way to break through the wall of arrogance, is to look the perpetrator directly in the eye; say, "You're not as smart as you think you are,"... and walk away. (Don't expect to pass the course.)

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Pretentious? Pompous? Smug?

Overconfident is good, but it depends completely on the person being wrong. The professor can be pretentious, pompous and smug whether he is correct or not.

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  • The OP is specifically asking for usage for one's confidence leading to them being wrong.
    – dwjohnston
    Jun 25, 2015 at 2:12
  • Well, since blackened already had 'overconfident' and could look at a thesaurus as easily as anybody, I assumed he was looking for alternate perspectives. Maybe he's writing a story, maybe the sample is exactly whats going on - I don't know.
    – JO 753
    Jun 26, 2015 at 5:37

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