I'm confronting someone and originally wrote that they didn't care about something. That's what I believe. However I realize I'm asserting how they feel and being extreme; I can't know they didn't care.

I'm looking for a word that describes that sort of arguing style--that is, making an extreme and hostile assertion about something I do not know for a fact, and thereby assuming the worst of someone and/or not allowing for shades of gray--so I can express how I feel but acknowledge some room for their point of view.

I want to tell you "you didn't care" but that's unfairly _________. [But I can assert] You didn't try to fix it.

I've thought about "contentious", "strongly worded", "belligerent", "unsympathetic", "close-minded", "worked-up", and "dictative". They're all dancing around the concept but not quite right.


PS I hope this is an appropriate question. I know it's a very specific concept, but it's common enough I thought it could still be useful to others ;)

  • Presumptious, dismissive?
    – Maverick
    Oct 7, 2015 at 14:20
  • Intolerance, bigotry, prejudice, chauvinism, contemptuousness, animosity.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 7, 2015 at 18:35

9 Answers 9


It sounds like the heart of the issue is almost more that you assumed something hostile, rather than the hostility itself. So perhaps "assumptive" would be the right word to fill in your blank there?

  • Good point. However maybe 'presumptive' would be even better. Oct 7, 2015 at 13:33
  • Yes that's true. Presumptive sounds less archaic than assumptive, and in my opinion also imparts a sense of hostility / negativity too.
    – Dan
    Oct 7, 2015 at 13:39
  • I agree 'presumptive' sounds less archaic, but I think its connotations are closer to inappropriate/forward/disrespectful ('presume') than aggressive/hostile. So it depends on context. For mine I like assumptive: it's neutral (to the point) and its meaning is obvious even if you haven't heard the word before.
    – Simone
    Oct 7, 2015 at 14:04

I think that to make an unsubstantiated assumption can be more succinctly called "unduly judgemental" or that your assumption is simply "unfounded".

  • ooh, "judgmental" is good--not my fave answer for the question as a whole but it fits the title perfectly. It brings the 'critical' or 'derogatory' aspects to mind too. However, I'm looking for words for an ungenerous and/or narrow interpretation of data, not for accusations not founded on data at all.
    – Simone
    Oct 7, 2015 at 14:34


(Of a person or their behaviour) failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate:

  • "I hope I won’t be considered presumptuous if I offer some advice"

Close to your context, but with a tweak:

I want to tell you "you didn't care" but I'm afraid that may be perceived as presumptuous.


I think you have already hinted at the best word: confrontational

Other possibilities:







Is there a word expressing a hostile unwillingness to give someone the benefit of the doubt / consider their viewpoint?

If you don't give someone the benefit of the doubt, or hold a hostile unwillingness to consider their point of view, you are strongly biased against that person,

  • I want to tell you "you didn't care" but that's an unfairly biased view.


  • unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something. Google

  • a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment MW

  • "We will not tolerate this biased media coverage."
  • "She is too biased to write about the case objectively."
  • "He is biased against women."
  • "The judges of the talent show were biased toward musical acts."

I'd suggest 'antipathetic':

Showing or feeling a strong aversion: it is human nature to be antipathetic to change (-- Oxford Dictionaries Online)

although I'm struggling a bit to find a good example where it's used to describe one person's attitude to another...


I'd suggest categorical.

categorical: said in a very strong, clear, and definite way. Merriam-Webster

I want to tell you "you didn't care" but that's unfairly categorical.


Offensive: characterized by attack; aggressive; causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying.

Provocative: tending or serving to provoke; inciting, stimulating, irritating, or vexing; intentionally ​causing an ​angry ​reaction.


Is there a word expressing a hostile unwillingness to give someone the benefit of the doubt / consider their viewpoint?

Yes, one might say to such an individual, "Your polemic smacks of arctic scorn."

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
    – Dog Lover
    Oct 8, 2015 at 1:03
  • How is arctic scorn not exactly "unwillingness to give someone the benefit of the doubt"? Oct 8, 2015 at 2:27
  • Hi Mark, answers here are expected to explain and elaborate - that is what my comment is referring to.
    – Dog Lover
    Oct 8, 2015 at 2:28
  • Ok, I fixed it. Oct 8, 2015 at 2:38

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