What is the one word substitution for "one who thinks that he is doing something great but in reality there is no progress in his life"..?


3 Answers 3




  1. having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions
    Senators who think they will get agreement on a comprehensive tax bill are delusional.

  2. (Psychiatry) maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness
    He was so delusional and paranoid that he thought everybody was conspiring against him.


  • Please remember that when you quote text from somewhere, you have to include your source (in this case the dictionary you copied the definition from), with both name and link; otherwise, your quote is, according to StackExchange guidelines, considered plagiarism, and your answer will be deleted by the moderators. (Also remember that indenting text four spaces is meant for code, not quoted text; you start each paragraph with “>” to quote text instead.) Thank you. Sep 30, 2015 at 14:16

Ouch, bit of a harsh definition. Perhaps:

Idler: A person who passes time without being engaged in purposeful activity

Laggard: A person who makes slow progress and falls behind others.

Or because it's fun to say, a:

Ne'er-do-well: A person who is ineffectual, idle, unsuccessful, or completely lacking in merit.

I'd also probably put "delusional" infront of these as delusion by itself doesn't mean the person is going no-where. I mean, Donald Trump is fairly delusional and he's a billionaire running for the U.S. presidency. ;)

  • 1
    It’s gonna be tough to find both of the ideas that the OP wants in just one noun, but I agree that ‘Ne'er-do-well’ is fun to say! Maybe combining it with another fun word would work: He’s such “a vainglorious ne'er-do-well!”
    – Papa Poule
    Sep 30, 2015 at 14:13
  • 1
    @PapaPoule Oh, I like that one! How about narcissistic ne'er-do-well. Just the right amount of syllables for a children's clapping game.
    – Julia
    Sep 30, 2015 at 14:16
  • To me, none of these really convey both OP's requirements that it must describe someone who performs poorly AND thinks highly of themselves. Sep 30, 2015 at 16:19
  • I agree with Kristina
    – user258458
    Oct 2, 2015 at 10:50

You might want to consider anosognosia, or, a little less clinical, the Dunning-Kruger effect:

In 2011, David Dunning wrote about his observations that people with substantial, measurable deficits in their knowledge or expertise lack the ability to recognize those deficits and, therefore, despite potentially making error after error, tend to think they are performing competently when they are not: "In short, those who are incompetent, for lack of a better term, should have little insight into their incompetence—an assertion that has come to be known as the Dunning–Kruger effect".[2] In 2014, Dunning and Helzer described how the Dunning–Kruger effect "suggests that poor performers are not in a position to recognize the shortcomings in their performance".

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