I'm tempted to use judgementality, which for whatever reason is not a word, and I don't feel like "judgement" conveys the same meaning.

I was put off by his ________ towards my life choices.

If someone is stupid, they exhibit stupidity. If someone is judgemental, they exhibit ________.

  • 2
    – JEL
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 19:40
  • 1
    @KristinaLopez Yep, see update. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 19:47
  • 1
    Please correct your spelling. There is no 'e' in judgmental. (Yes, I know, it makes no sense.)
    – Tim Ward
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 20:56
  • 3
    @TimWard British/Canadian spelling is judgemental. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 21:05
  • 1
    Interesting, because I find no evidence of that anywhere! The internet is so unreliable these days. And my teachers have failed me. I never once heard that the US had a unique spelling for this.
    – Tim Ward
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 21:09

10 Answers 10


judgmentalism (no e on judge) or the less common judgementalism

Although the best definitions can only be found at wiktionary (judgmental behavior or attitude) and a Washington Times article (quoted below), I think we will find this word in standard dictionaries soon enough.

Opinion columnists, like the rest of humanity, walk a fine line between judgment (holding people accountable to a standard we did not create) and judgmentalism (thinking ourselves morally superior because we haven’t committed the acts of others).

enter image description here

'judgmental behavior' was almost bottomed out and the single word 'judgmental' was off the chart. Both were removed. Note that with the extra e, both are on par with judgmental behavior (which is not found with the extra e) but judgementalism still wins.

  • 2
    "The Mote and the Beam (also called discourse on judgmentalism) is a proverbial saying of Jesus given in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7, verses 1 thru 5." TFD
    – JEL
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 7:55

The best single word for the attitude that finishes your sentence is criticism.

The phrase you're looking for is judgmental attitude.

Full Definition of judgmental 1 : of, relating to, or involving judgment 2 : characterized by a tendency to judge harshly <judgmental prigs>

I'm not aware of a single word that means the same thing as judgmental attitude.

Interestingly, Google Ngrams indicates that the use of "judgmental" is on a sharp rise, whereas "judgmental attitude" has only seen slight increase in the last few decades and is still a fraction of the overall usage of the term "judgmental".


The problem you have here is that the noun judgement carries very good vibes. Having good judgement is seen as a positive attribute.

But its formed adjective judgemental is quite the reverse, with bad connotations.

Unless you are to coin another noun, on the back of an adjective formed from a noun, (heaven forbid) what you need is a near-synonym of judgement which is censorious and down-putting.

The best one I can come up with is pronouncements, but you need to replace towards with on.

So how about His continual pronouncements on my life-choices were off-putting

  • 1
    I actually don't think a synonym of judgement is what I'm looking for. I think the real problem with judgment is that it more so describes a specific "thing" that exists in concrete instances. One casts judgements. One makes a judgement. But does one exhibit judgement? If that works, fair enough I guess, though something about it feels clunky to me. Probably because of this duality it seems to feature. One exhibits stupidity for example, but one does not cast a stupidity. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 20:38
  • 1
    @DrazenBjelovuk, neither does one cast a stupid...well, not conventionally anyhow. However, if you're looking for 'the state or quality of being judgemental', that's 'judgementalism'.
    – JEL
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 21:08
  • 1
    @DrazenBjelovuk, 'stupid' is an adj. and n. For the brief first part of the story, I'll refer you to Pitkin's approx. 600 pp. A Short Introduction to the History of Human Stupidity, the intro to a 27 volume partial history. In the section called "Psychagnoia" Pitkin mentions that "the normal man shows six stupid tendencies in judging other people". He lists the six and calls them "humanesque handicaps". Perhaps this is the term you seek?
    – JEL
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 10:37

The first word that springs to my mind is condescension.

I was put off by his condescension towards my life choices.

Clearly I'm suggesting the 2nd definition here

Full Definition of condescension 1: voluntary descent from one's rank or dignity in relations with an inferior 2: patronizing attitude or behavior

or even M-W's

Simple definition : the attitude or behavior of people who believe they are more intelligent or better than other people

Edited to add: Why ( I believe) it fits. In order to be judgmental, one must believe that their perspective/observations/conclusions about your life choices are superior to your own. I tend to use this term when I perceive the offender (in this sentence, the one doing the judging) is fully aware of their judgement and their belief that they are better/smarter than you - as though it was mixed with a tinge of haughtiness.

However...if, after coming out, your sweet little old granny sits you down and tells you that the Bible disagrees with your lifestyle choice and she believes it's wrong but she still loves you, it's still judgmental but I'm not sure it's strictly condescending.

Perhaps there is no English single-word solution that fits perfectly. What about judgmental attitude?

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage. This answer was flagged as low-quality because of its length and content. Can you try to include reference or link (that can support your answer) and its essential part? Please take the tour and visit our help center for additional guidance.
    – user140086
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 4:53
  • This post would be improved with a dictionary definition, but otherwise I think it's pretty good.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 5:16

piety is the first thing that comes to mind. Piety is the state of being pious.

pious adj deeply religious : devoted to a particular religion

falsely appearing to be good or moral


I was put off by his piety in regard to my life choices.


I voted for "criticism", but reprobation may fit.

"reprobation" is between disapproval and condemnation.

Example: Players faced a lot of criticism for their unsatisfactory performance and Ryan too was a target of this reprobation.


I get put off by people's snooty attitudes towards my lifestyle.

Merriam Webster:

1:  looking down the nose :  showing disdain
2:  characterized by snobbery <a snooty store>

I guess 'prejudiced attitude' would suit you.

Prejudice is remarkably similar to its Latin root in form and meaning; the Latin prejudicium means "judgment in advance."


"Judgemental" is really the word you are looking for. Unless we are talking of creating another word for it.


Judy this morning was being so judgemental on Robert's project. I wonder why.

Some people are just way too judgemental and can't work on a high creative place where judgement-free is the usual norm.

In other words, "judgement" is the act or ability to make ponderated decisions or reaching conclusions. While "judgemental" is the adjective that you use to whom is being, well, judgemental, a ferocious critic, a person way contrary of yours or someone's point of view.

  • 2
    I'm looking for a noun that represents the act of being judgemental. "Judgemental" certainly doesn't fit the bill, and I feel like "judgement" refers more to a particular criticism than the essence of the act. If someone is stupid, they exhibit stupidity. If someone is judgemental, they exhibit _______. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 20:01
  • So you want, for example, a noun that represents the act of being sad? This is called sadness. If you want the noun that represents the act of placing judgement too much, it is called being judgemental, there isn't another word for it that I'm aware of since the specific name of it is "judgemental", same way, the specific name of "feeling sad" is "sadness". You might find though some synonyms in the vicinity of the meaning here: thesaurus.com/browse/judgmental Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 20:27
  • @DrazenBjelovuk I've heard the word "judging" used in that way, especially by people working in mental health. I also found on something called www.urbandictionary.com the following: "The act of looking down upon someone; to regard with contempt or disdain; to regard as an inferior." Your initial sentence would be reworded "I was put off by his judging of my life choices."
    – Al Maki
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 2:39
  • I edited your post. You can use > to denote blockquotes.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 5:17
  • @DrazenBjelovuk, in Portuguese you have certain verbs that don't contain a specific form, they are called, by this reason, defective verbs. For them, we use verbal expressions. I'm not sure about the roots of the word "Judgemental", I might do some research on it, but it could be the same case here. No word like it, but a verbal expression that needs a helper, in this case, the verb "to be". Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 3:42

Reproval is a good word. In your exemplar sentence, however, you would need to replace towards with of.

I was put off by his reproval of my life choices.

Another--even stronger--word is condemnatory, but again, some word changes would be necessary, as in

I was put off by his condemnatory attitude toward me and my life choices.


I was put off by his condemnatory attitude about my life choices.

Haughtiness is also a possibility, as in

I was put off by his haughtiness regarding my life choices.


I was put off by his hauteur regarding my life choices.

And finally, I kind of like the words smug (adjective) and smugness (noun), each of which could be useful and apt.

I was put off by his smugness regarding my life choices.


I was put off by his smug attitude about my life choices.

And for good measure, here's another short list of possibilities:

  • arrogance

  • disdain

  • contempt

  • loftiness

  • superciliousness

  • contemptuousness

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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