I am not sure whether there's a clinical term for it but if you can help me find the closest term for such behaviour I can do some research on it.

What do you call a person that disagrees with your statement but then is effectively saying the same thing?

NOTE: The person in question has been exposed to very simple questions that can't be classified as complex and yet failed to notice what he/she was doing there.

I will explain this in practical terms using one example (this example is not the same the person was exposed to)

I: The football match is on Wednesday (saying this Sunday) He/she: No it's not, it's in 3 days. (which effectively is Wednesday)

I know the example is a bit late but it's to give you the gist of the situation I'm trying to explain.

  • 4
    That's a classical case of someone who must always be right, and who, furthermore, must always prove you wrong. Usually limited to a specific domain, such as sports or politics. "Argumentative" is about all I can think of.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 12:27
  • You could try something like "kneejerk argumentative" or "hypoargumentative" (the latter you probably won't find in a dictionary but I see no problem with making up a word if it fits) , but it looks like "eristic" below fits the bill pretty well.
    – Hannele
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 12:49
  • 2
    @Hannele Are you sure you did not mean hyperargumentative?
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 14:35
  • 4
    Another pretty good word is "jerk". Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 18:27
  • 3
    The term is "Commentor in a StackExchange answer" :p
    – imin
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 19:08

7 Answers 7


A person who argues for the sake of arguing, who prefers controversy and dispute to discussion and agreement, may be called eristic. A more modern term which could be used in this context is denier. Of course, this type of person could also be called disagreeable.

  • Can you include the definitions/descriptions of your terms here? It makes your answer more valuable to those like me who are too lazy to click links. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 23:02
  • This looks like the most appropriate term. Most of the terms that were suggested only describe a portion of a person's behaviour. For example the person disagrees for the sake of disagreeing but those terms don't tell why he/she then reiterates the same thing.
    – cpu2007
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 9:00
  • Online I found this article which talks about a person disagreeing for the sake or argument but they tend to correct whatever the first person is saying(opposite to what happens in my case); apparently it's called oppositional conversational style (not sure if is made up by the author) gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2012/06/…
    – cpu2007
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 9:00
  • However the term eristic doesn't specify that whoever embraces this behaviour will argue and then state the same thing; it describes more the intention of those argument where finding the truth isn't necessary but arguing is; which I think is the best way to describe such person.
    – cpu2007
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 9:03
  • @cpu2007 Why is this the accepted answer? What you're trying to say can't be said with any of these words.
    – R Mac
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 12:35

I have often heard people say "We're vehemently agreeing with each other." vehement: (1) zealous; ardent; impassioned: (2) characterized by rancor or anger; violent:


Another common phrase is "You're preaching to the choir" referring to a pastor directing his sermon to the people in the building who most agree with him.

  • 10
    Also violent agreement.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 12:51
  • 1
    'to vehemently agree' is a bit of tongue in cheek because 'vehement' is usually negative and is usually paired with a negative like 'disagree'. So it starts off sounding negative, but turns positive. Like 'underwhelming', it used to not be a word, and gained currency because of its contrast with the usual 'overwhelming'.
    – Mitch
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 13:44
  • Also phony disagreement.
    – Graffito
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 14:27
  • 3
    +1 to the first part, but -1 to "preaching to the choir" as relevant here. So I guess 0 overall. :)
    – mattdm
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 15:46

I see two branches to this question.

Branch one assumes that he/she is aware that there is a technical agreement but are continuing to argue for the sake of argument. Possibilities are:

  1. Imperative, Domineering - (They just want to win) It appears from synonym descriptions that domineering is more accurate if it's a decision-making argument, but imperative is better as a general-purpose word.
  2. Ornery, Combative, Argumentative, Eristic- (They just want to argue)

Branch two assumes that the other person is unaware of the agreement already reached

  1. Dogmatic - I think that this one may be the best fit, since many of the examples given mention the futility of arguing with a dogmatic individual. Dogmatic is particularly appropriate if the disagreement is over politics, religion, etc.
  2. Dogged and Dense - requires two words to get the full connotation in print, but in speech either word would suffice

*I have only linked two words, but that's because of rep limits, not laziness


I'm not too sure about this but it this may be termed as hypocritical or dogmatic beahaviour, meaning:


behaving in a way that suggests one has higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.


expressing personal opinions or beliefs as if they are certainly correct and cannot be doubted

In the case of your example, the point brought forth is similar (that the football match occurs on Wednesday) but the other party simply rejects the opposing idea probably believing that he has an answer that is 'more' or 'certainly' correct, of 'higher standard' than the one given or just simple believing the fact that he 'cannot be doubted'.


I would suggest the phrase "re-contextualizing."

Basically, the person engaging in this behavior is someone who has a very rigid frame of reference or worldview, and is unable to perform simple abstraction of your frame of reference (in the example cited, calibrated in day-name) to their frame (calibrated in days hence).


This might be a word to consider:


In rhetoric, a tautology (from Greek ταὐτός, "the same" and λόγος, "word/idea") is a logical argument constructed in such a way, generally by repeating the same concept or assertion using different phrasing or terminology...[a]

  • 1
    Thank you Michael. My understanding is that the term only describes the reiterating portion of the person's behaviour where as my question is about the person reiterating but after disagreeing; a behaviour that suggest a person being incapable of understanding the question but at the same time understanding it as they do reiterate it correctly.
    – cpu2007
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 9:36

con·trar·i·an kənˈtre(ə)rēən,kän-/Submit noun 1. a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion, especially in stock exchange dealing.


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