Looking for a word that describes someone who has a subtle intention to ridicule the other person by questioning everything they say? They act slightly hostile and hypersensitive and make expressions in response to what is being said as if to try and make the other person's question seem silly or invalid.


dismissive (or one of the synonyms given below)

dismissive /dɪsˈmɪsɪv/


feeling or showing that something is unworthy of consideration. ...

synonyms: contemptuous, disdainful, scornful, sneering, snide, scathing, disparaging, negative, unenthusiastic, offhand, perfunctory; More informal - sniffy, snotty

Google Dictionary

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I've been called-out on this a lot... I don't necessarily intend to make the other person look stupid, (in most cases) I'm just fascinated by strange thought-processes.

The behavior of argumentative questioning is often called: "playing The Devil's advocate".

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  • Yeah, I don't really mean to describe it as trait that perpetuates a persons regular demeanour. It's more of a mood or disposition that comes across as inconsistent with their normal behaviour. I really like the word 'dismissive' - it captures what I am trying to express, however there is an air of sensitivity and judgementalism to their dismissiveness due to them deciding to take comments personally. – Benjamin Clark Jul 17 '15 at 11:50

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