Something that doesn't necessarily embody fear but cautiousness.

Contextually, this could relate to social environments.

A desire to remain in tranquil environments.

A general preference of calm environments.

A desire to not be the center of attention.

In general I am seeking a word that could be used to describe a person/animal/thing.

  • perhaps "peace-seeking" ?
    – Fattie
    Sep 18, 2015 at 15:00
  • You haven't quite made it clear whether you want a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb. Are you looking for one of those in particular? I ask because the title suggests a verb and the question refers to nouns. Sep 18, 2015 at 15:08
  • @chaslyfromUK - tweaked it a bit. hopefully it's not more confusing.
    – Enigma
    Sep 18, 2015 at 15:21
  • I would say the person "seeks solitude".
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 18, 2015 at 19:11

5 Answers 5


I would suggest introverted:

Characterized by interest in or preoccupation with oneself or one's own thoughts as opposed to others or the environment; shy or reserved.

At least in the US, people typically describe others who would rather be by themselves than with others as introverted.

Source: the free dictionary


While it is somewhat more general, consider retire

to go away, as into seclusion, for recuperation, etc


Using it the context of the question, the term would likely be followed by an indication of what the person was avoiding or where he was going, such as

He retired from the cacophony of the of the dining table debate, seeking the sanctuary of his study.

  • 1
    Or, if an adjective is desired, retiring. Sep 18, 2015 at 15:26
  • This word does not describe a propensity, it describes an action. Sep 18, 2015 at 19:49
  • @DaveMagner I think Doug Warren's supplement is a great suggestion, having much more characteristic about it.
    – bib
    Sep 18, 2015 at 20:30
  • @DougWarren In light of Dave Magner's comment, maybe you should make your comment an answer and give a definition, a cite and an example. I'd vote for it.
    – bib
    Sep 18, 2015 at 20:32

Non-confrontational, meaning likes to avoid confrontation, disagreement. Introverts are not out-going and generally like to keep to themselves, though this is usually applied to people. Shy can be applied to animals as well. For the cautious aspect skittish might apply.

  • +1 for non-confrontational. Fits the bill for this perfectly in my opinion.
    – Adam
    Sep 19, 2015 at 7:30

In terms of avoiding attention I would go with shy, or if you'd like something more colloquial then a shrinking violet.

Neither of these really has the connotation of "flee" though; are you sure "flee" is the right word to describe what you want?

Definitions provided by dictionary.reference.com

  • flee or avoid (amended the question).
    – Enigma
    Sep 18, 2015 at 15:30
  • "avoid" = not seek out; "flee" = run as fast as can away from. They are very different things. "Fleeing" is not really avoiding commotion or attention - it's creating it. None of your examples have any connotation of "fleeing", hence why I think it may be the wrong word. If "flee" is definitely the right word then I've misunderstood the rest of the question, hence why I wanted to check.
    – AndyT
    Sep 18, 2015 at 15:35
  • well flee/leave in the sense of getting out of such an environment/situation if found to be in one and avoid in the sense of choosing not to join in such an environment/situation if observed beforehand.
    – Enigma
    Sep 18, 2015 at 16:12

This person sounds a bit monkish but that word alone can easily imply a lot more than just what you list.

You can narrow it down a bit if you're willing to elaborate on...

his monkish withdrawal from the commotion of the modern world.

Monastic could also be used in that example and many others (especially when describing inanimate objects).


MONKISH (Merriam-Webster):

of, relating to, or resembling a monk; also :  resembling that of a monk

MONASTIC (Merriam-Webster second definition)

resembling (as in seclusion or ascetic simplicity) life in a monastery

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