A perfectionist is:

  • a person who wants everything to be perfect and demands the highest standards possible. (Cambridge Dict.)

What noun could be used to refer to the opposite of the above definition? Someone who doesn't care about doing things the proper way , who tends to accept low standard of executions.

The thesaurus has no suggestion for an antonym.

  • Jim is a perfectionist in everything he does while his brother, on the contrary, is just a (the opposite).

I'm looking for a term that describes this: a "non-perfectionist" would usually perform his job/task with little interest and little care. He is not irresponsible but he is going to devote as little as he can to do it, he just doesn't feel the need, unlike a perfectionist, to do the best he can. I want a term that a term would be used mainly referring to poor execution of a job/task rather than house/personal order and cleanliness.

  • Are you seeking a noun? Or is an adjective sufficient?
    – Jasper
    Feb 8, 2018 at 20:31

7 Answers 7


I believe a positive antonym for a perfectionist is 'flexible'. Perfectionism has a sense achieving perfection in one absolute standards, whereas someone who is flexible seems multiple ways to achieve the same goals, but isn't too concerned with how to get there.


What about something like "layabout":

a lazy person who avoids work

This term may lack the explicit concept inherent in perfectionism (the need for everything to be perfect) but I would think that a person who "avoids work" is quite the opposite of someone who goes to extra effort to make something perfect.


When I think of the opposite of perfectionist, I think of terms like "sloppy", "slovenly", "neglectful", although some are more suited to different contexts. The opposite for a perfectionist at keeping one's house in order would be a slob.

Actually, for a general term "Careless" covers a lot of bases at it describes both the lack of attention to detail and to effort that a perfectionist has.

Negligent or neglectful also come to mind.

  • But these are not nouns. desultory has synonyms: casual, half-hearted, lukewarm, cursory, superficial, token, perfunctory, passing, incidental, sketchy, haphazard, random, aimless, rambling, erratic, unmethodical, unsystematic, automatic, unthinking, capricious, mechanical, offhand, chaotic, inconsistent, irregular, intermittent, occasional, sporadic, inconstant, fitful {ODO} Jul 19, 2016 at 17:15



A mediocre person.

The autobiography of Thomas Allen, by the author of Post mortem, Volume 3

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Since perfectionist is a special type, a non-perfectionist would be a normal person. Though there are different words to describe them depending on the magnitude of their apathy regarding perfection/high quality.

At the extreme, someone who has no regard for quality may be called sloppy, lax or careless.


I think, if we are going for some one who doesn't care about results then wooden would be the best answer.

Wooden - leaden, dry, flat, stodgy, lifeless, passionless, spiritless, soulless, impassive, emotionless, blank, vacant, unresponsive

Jim is a perfectionist in everything he does while his brother, on the contrary, is just wooden.

Is you are insisting on a noun, wooden+ness

  • Yet it seems possible for a perfectionist to be wooden.
    – jiggunjer
    Aug 6, 2015 at 7:55
  • the definition you provided included "wants everything to be perfect and demands..." seems rather passionate. I don't think you can be impassive or indifferent while demanding something.
    – Yeshe
    Aug 6, 2015 at 8:01
  • Sure you can. Not all desires or demands originate from an emotional decision making process. But I agree that it is a common cause for disregarding quality.
    – jiggunjer
    Aug 6, 2015 at 9:22

Dictionary.com defines "haphazard" as:

  • characterized by lack of order or planning, by irregularity, or by randomness; determined by or dependent on chance; aimless.

Your sentence might read:

Jim is a perfectionist in everything he does while his brother, on the contrary, is haphazard in nature.