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?


9 Answers 9


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.


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

  • Decent word, but slim answer. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 3:24
  • 1
    I am confident in it.
    – erewok
    Commented 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
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 4:09
  • Not so hard: hubristic.
    – deadrat
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:23


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


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


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)


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.

  • 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
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 2:13
  • @dwjohnston yeah maybe this should have been a comment. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 2:22

Not very poetic, but "stubborn" seems appropriate to me.


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


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.)


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.

  • The OP is specifically asking for usage for one's confidence leading to them being wrong.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented 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
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 5:37

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