Say, a guy Tom lives with his family. He is completely ignored by others at home. His wife harasses his kid and if he says something, his wife just says rubbish. Whatever others want, they do without Tom's consent. If Tom interferes on wrong things & comes in their way to stop the wrong, he is manhandled. So, others can do whatever they want and he can't do anything to stop them. Whenever others want to harass his kid, they do and later Tom, who cares a lot for the well being of kid, salves her (the kid). So Tom does everything for the happiness of the kid from his side but can't stop others of their hooliganism. He is just brushed aside.

What word can be used for him to signify his status at home?

  • One rather obscure term for a husband who is dominated by his wife is uxorious, which Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines as "excessively fond of or submissive to a wife." The person in your description doesn't sound "excessively fond" of his wife, but you could make a case for "excessively submissive."
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 18:38
  • @Sven Yargs he isn't submissive either. Plz read the comments to the answer of vickyace
    – Ravi
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 17:18

8 Answers 8


Your question title is a bit misleading but based on your explanation, Tom is a


A person who is easy to overcome or influence.

someone who is easily influenced, persuaded or defeated.

He can also be called a doormat

A person who accepts being treated badly and does not complain.

Also a submissive person who allows others to dominate them.

  • doormat doesn't fit. It isn't that he accepts being ill-treated & doesn't complain; also he isn't submissive at all. The only thing is that he is weak enough to stand them. He complains where he should, he stops them from his own side as strongly as he can but just that he isn't strong enough to handle them. He is alone and all other perpetrators are together. He does everything to stop kid's harassment but is unable to succeed.
    – Ravi
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 15:18
  • Any other word please than pushover that is more near to the context.
    – Ravi
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 15:23
  • @Ravi The situation is simple. It doesn't matter what Tom's opinion is(which you stated). What matters is what others think of him. Clearly, he is thought of and TREATED as a doormat, because if he weren't a pushover or doormat than he would have succeeded in doing what he wanted. You explanation is turning things to a paradox. "He speaks but is mute" "he is powerful but weak""he is determined but a pushover. " It is difficult to pinpoint.
    – vickyace
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 15:58
  • 1
    @Ravi Then I suggest that you describe the situation instead of a person. As in "Tom puts in a lot of effort but to no avail/it all goes down the drain.
    – vickyace
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 16:28
  • 3
    Great answer! I think pushover and doormat both fit really well. I think that making a big effort doesn't prevent you from being these things. It's not about how much effort you put in, but rather the words you say and the actions you take. Heck, if his wife is really so controlling, he could suggest family therapy, or even make an ultimatum: if things don't start to change then I'm going to start thinking about divorce. That would be the opposite of a doormat.
    – ktm5124
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 16:55

Lots of options.

Henpecked describes a husband who's dominated by his wife.

For the rest of what you describe, I'd consider victim (or victimised), bullied, abused, downtrodden, tyrannised, mistreated, persecuted or living in fear.

Since he and his child are regularly suffering physical and mental abuse, but he doesn't consider taking his child to a place of safety and contacting the police, I'd add institutionalised, and perhaps broken (or in the longer version had his spirit broken).

Given the situation, I'd be reluctant to describe him as a doormat, wimp or weakling. He's not giving in because he's weak. He's no more a wimp than the inmates of Abu Ghraib were wimps for having to submit to torture under threat of a gun barrel. Victim-blaming is very much not a good thing.


There are numerous terms, including those in some of the definitions offered, such as ineffectual. If you want a noun, consider weakling

a person or animal that is lacking in strength or weak in constitution or character


Or perhaps milquetoast

One who has a meek, timid, unassertive nature.

American Heritage

Similarly, wimp, wuss, milksop, mollycoddle, and many others (several of which have sexist overtones).



"a feeble or ineffectual man or youth"


  • I need to remember this one!
    – Matt
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 17:39

If I understand correctly, Tom is not actively targeted. I wouldn't call him pushover or outcast, but I agree with Vickyace's suggestion that he's a doormat. In Italy we would indeed say that he's treated as a foot-cloth, and Collins translates it as doormat.

I think he could also be described as a nonentity or nonperson:

Definition of nonperson

a person who is regarded as nonexistent: one having no social or legal status

Update after reading your comment,

He complains where he should, he stops them from his own side as strongly as he can but just that he isn't strong enough to handle them

I think he's more of a nonperson, and that he's being mobbed.

  • Yes mobbing seems fitting in the context becz actually he is being bullied, that's all what is happening with him. He complained in police, judiciary etc. rather everywhere but everybody was told to ignore him because he was too weak from inside; he couldn't express himself properly becz his mind was getting diverted to something else resulting which everybody was told to ignore him. They knew his problem and so took undue advantage of him and harassed him. Due to corruption law & order system harassed him & supported the culprits & he was barred from justice.
    – Ravi
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 16:44

It sounds to me like Tom is

ineffectual (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/ineffectual - "(Of a person) lacking the ability or qualities to fulfil a role or handle a situation)


impotent (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/impotent - "Unable to take effective action; helpless or powerless).

As you can see, neither of these terms explicitly refer to a person's interpersonal skills (as in Tom's case), but may be a better fit for your description of Tom's situation than terms like doormat or weakling.


A person who doesn't enjoy the benefits and protections of group to which he would naturally belong is called an outcast.

  1. a person who has been rejected by society or a social group.

Google outcast.

Keeping an outcast around as permanent reminder of what will happen if you don't go along with the group is a management 101 tactic.


An (unpleasant) informal term that is becoming popular in some circles is cuck (from cuckold).

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