I'm looking for a word that is roughly the opposite of "intimidating", but with negative connotations. I'm not looking for something like "reassuring," more like "wimpy" or "beneath notice" or "unimportant," perhaps even "tempting others to attempt intimidation," but nothing I've found quite fits the bill.

I'm wanting to say something like, "He was a nice enough guy, she thought, but it was an effort just to take notice of him. He was ???"

  • do you mean someone 'so easy to overlook' ? ' That's a phrase, not a word so I'm not going to submit it unless asked....but that IS something you hear all the time.
    – Tom22
    Jan 24, 2017 at 21:21
  • @EdwinAshworth Yes lots of good answers in that previous question thread, if that is the meaning the op is looking for.
    – Tom22
    Jan 24, 2017 at 21:29
  • 1
    Unremarkable might fit.
    – Jim
    Jan 24, 2017 at 21:43

6 Answers 6


Maybe the word mousy? Going off the third definition meaning quiet, shy, or timid. In fact, timid is a pretty good word for this as well, for one who is fearful and hesitant.


Someone who is wormy is repulsive in a non-threatening way.


You could say that he is Feeble or Fainthearted:


  • Deficient in qualities or resources that indicate vigor, authority, force, or efficiency.


  • Lacking courage or resolution; timid.

From a native speaker and professional writer:

The term you need depends on how harshly you want to express yourself. In order of harshness and irony: Sad, invisible, vanilla, wallpaper, dishrag, doormat, nonexistent, pathetic, masochistic.

Meek, already offered, is very good for a general weakness of nature, without being mean about it.

Invisible fits well in your sentence as it explains why it was hard "to take notice of him."

  • "vanilla" and "wallpaper" are very close to what I want, I think. Thanks! Jan 24, 2017 at 22:05

Try nonthreatening:

1 : not constituting a threat

2 : not likely to cause anxiety ; also : innocuous 2


Possibly insignificant correctly expresses the lack of personality?

(of a person) without power or influence:
‘she was so small and insignificant’

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