Is there a specific word for a person who tries to tell you what you think or believe?

closed as off-topic by user140086, ab2, tchrist, Hellion, Rand al'Thor May 26 '16 at 19:52

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  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – Community, ab2, tchrist, Hellion, Rand al'Thor
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Your second question about professional help is a matter of opinion and is not appropriate on a forum about the English language. I have therefore edited your question to remove that sentence. As regards your first question, please read the Help pages and indicate what research you have done on that question. – TrevorD May 5 '16 at 0:07
  • 1
    I suppose "conceited ass" is two words. – Hot Licks May 5 '16 at 0:51
  • ^Lol - but yeah I definitely know what this question's getting at and can think of a few people who fit the bill, but I'm stumped as to a specific word for this. – Nick May 5 '16 at 0:52
  • To use language in attempts to influence what others think or believe is to engage in rhetoric; and, far from being abnormal or pathological, it is essential to being human. As I often tell students in my graduate seminar in rhetorical theory, every two-year-old knows that the true function of language is to influence others to do what we want, and not to communicate objective truth to them. If in verbally attempting so to manipulate others you merely annoy them, that is counter-productive, and in that case perhaps you do need professional help--from a rhetorician if not a psychotherapist. – Brian Donovan May 5 '16 at 1:21
  • A street magician. An arrogant ''mind reader.'' A ''clairvoyant.'' A ''proselytizer.'' please come up with more context and by more, I mean at least one. – vickyace May 5 '16 at 3:14

This question is impossible to answer without context. @vickyace pointed out proselytizer which is a person who attempts to convert someone. I believe by saying "tries to tell you what to think" you mean someone who has malicious intent. In that, manipulator fits the best.


'pedagogue' is a word for teacher but implies a one-way flow of information with little respect for the student.


I agree that the context is very important. I like manipulator and proselytizer. I would add to that zealot, someone who is overzealous/fanatical about an idea, ideal, cause, etc. Zealots tend to be proselytizers in the first degree. They believe everyone should think as they do.

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