I'm looking for a phrase or (ideally) a single word to describe someone who dismisses any opposing opinion as being wrong and a result of being unable to think correctly. Ideally it would also imply that the right opinion is obvious and anyone who doesn't hold it does so due to a lack of intelligence or deliberately disingenuous thinking.

I've looked at Word for someone that always has to be right and Word for dismissing someone's opinions as racist, sexist, etc, instead of debating back but I feel like they don't capture the implication of stupidity/deliberately incorrect thinking.

The closest I can come up with is disingenuous however this doesn't really fit. The word should refer to a person who dismisses opposing opinions as disingenuous (regardless of whether his own opinion is correct or not).

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    Feels kinda obvious but Trumpesque? – Max Williams Jul 12 '16 at 14:21
  • Consider: Narrow-minded, dogmatic, fanatical, intolerant, blinkered. – GrimGrom Jul 12 '16 at 14:30
  • Not quite. I would say that Trumpesque could be used as a synonym for disingenuous but what I'm looking for would be a person who accuses people with opposing opinions of being Trumpesque. The person would be behaving as though he has found the final and absolute truth and anyone disagreeing is obviously wrong, immoral and stupid. – user184993 Jul 12 '16 at 14:31
  • Can you give us an example of a sentence where you might use this word in the body of your question? I ask because it's a requisite for the single word request tag. I would also suggest editing out the "word choice" tag because if you click into it, you'll see that it's meant to be reserved for picking from a known selection of words, which this question does not provide. – Tonepoet Jul 12 '16 at 14:35
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    @Silenus, I think dogmatic is the closest but it doesn't carry the implication that people who disagree do so because of maliciousness and/or wilful ignorance. – user184993 Jul 12 '16 at 14:46

An enthusiast displays an intense and eager interest in something ( a skydiving enthusiast). A fanatic is not only intense and eager but possibly irrational in his or her enthusiasm; fanatic suggests extreme devotion and a willingness to go to any length to nurture that enthusiasm ( a fly-fishing fanatic who hired a helicopter to reach his favorite stream). A zealot exhibits not only extreme devotion but vehement activity in support of a cause or goal ( a religious zealot who got caught up in the lure of the cult). An extremist is a supporter of extreme doctrines or practices, particularly in a political context ( a paramilitary extremist who anticipated the overthrow of the government). But it is the bigot who causes the most trouble, exhibiting obstinate and often blind devotion to his or her beliefs and opinions. In contrast to fanatic and zealot, the term bigot implies intolerance and contempt for those who do not agree ( a bigot who could not accept his daughter's decision to marry outside her faith).

So I guess bigot would be more fitting. Personally most people I would describe as a bigot do act and discuss as if they think everyone who does not agree is stupid.

On the other hand the word has very negative connotations which might overstate what you want to call a person as you are asking about.

Therefore I would like to put the dogmatist forward as well. Oxford Dictionary

I would possible describe someone who acts as described in the question about something like engineering principles a dogmatist.

Since the dogma that formed the person's worldview is - from the dogmatists perspective - undeniably true, every other conclusion is by definition wrong (as the dogmatist doesn't accept the conclusion) and irrational (when it's based on something considered untrue). Admittedly that might not fulfil the 'doesn't think correctly' part in all cases.

Historically religious dogmatists (the inquisition) not only saw other opinions as wrong but also as ill willed attack on their world view. So that would fit your last comment @user184993


"Zealot" (n.)

a person who has very strong feelings about something (such as religion or politics) and who wants other people to have those feelings : a zealous person



A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.

-Oxford Dictionaries

A zealot often refers to someone so staunchly invested in the dogma of a religion or political party/leader that they fail to think critically about the issue, and can steamroll those that hold opposing views. They may not specifically believe the opposing view is irrational, but will refrain from entertaining any thought that contradicts their deeply held beliefs.

They typically would not welcome a discussion on the merits of their belief system, but would instead attempt to indoctrinate those that oppose them and may rebuff when met with logical objection.

Distinguishing between what is universally logical and deemed logical to a zealot is tricky. A zealot could argue a universally logical statement is illogical simply because it contradicts their beliefs.


I think the word you are searching for is . . ..

First, however, there is a scene in one of my favorite movies (Little Big Man, starring Dustin Hoffman) in which an actor who plays a native American is the kind fellow who fits your description, albeit on a slightly lower level, intellectually. If, for example,

  • people say hello upon seeing one another, he will say goodbye.

  • people go into a creek to bathe, he will take a "bathe" in sand

  • people ride a horse by facing forward, he will ride backward

The tribe of which he is a member call him a contrary.

With a slight modification in spelling, I proffer to you the word

contrarian: One who takes a contrary view or action . . . a contrary or obstinate person . . . a person who takes an opposing view, esp. one who rejects the majority opinion.

Contrarian can be used specifically to refer to a person whose ideas about smart investing are contrary to those of his or her peers, but it can also refer, I believe, to a person who takes a contrary position regarding virtually anything another person feels strongly about and can defend intelligently and rationally.

Why must you always be the contrarian, John? I'd like to see you acknowledge just once that I'm correct when I recommend a course of action.


hidebound TFD

Stubbornly prejudiced, narrow-minded, or inflexible.

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