What is a single word that describes someone who always questions others? A word to describe how Socrates acts in life or how he questions everyone.

  • 1
    It could be 'inquisitive' but without context it is difficult to be sure. Please give a sentence with a gap where the word should go. This will give us something to work with. Thanks. – chasly from UK Sep 16 '15 at 21:41
  • Troll is a single word which fits the description. I'm sure that's not what you had in mind, though. I've found the correct tag for your question: please see the tag info for a checklist of what this sort of question requires. – Andrew Leach Sep 16 '15 at 21:43
  • In Christian (Catholic, at least) mythology, "Doubting Thomas" is not uncommon. Of course, it's pejorative for Catholics, because it suggests lack of faith; but it also suggests a proper scientific attitude. – John Lawler Sep 16 '15 at 21:47
  • @JohnLawler that sounds like an answer – bib Sep 16 '15 at 21:50
  • Socrates also questioned himself, presumably. Is that part of what you had in mind, or did you mean someone who questions others but rarely puts himself or herself in question? – Drew Sep 17 '15 at 3:17

You can describe such a person (and their methods) as Socratic:

Of or relating to Socrates, his followers, or his philosophical method of systematic doubt and questioning of another to elicit a clear expression of a truth supposed to be knowable by all rational beings

  • Perhaps a "socratic investigator". – Graffito Sep 16 '15 at 22:08

It sounds like a devil's advocate

A person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments: the interviewer will need to play devil’s advocate to put the other side’s case forward

Oxford Dictionary Online

Also possibly gadfly

a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism



I would go with contrarian, if the person questioning others does so simply to take the opposite view to those around them.

A person who opposes or rejects popular opinion, especially in stock exchange dealing: 'it has become fashionable to be a stock-market contrarian'


W The word your looking for is "analytical".

Every human should be analytical if we are going to survive the crap that is being spewed out these days...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.