Is there a term for hatred or fear of difference? Not necessarily limited to differences between people.

All I could think of was 'heterophobia' but that doesn't sound helpful


2 Answers 2


Xenophobia refers to fear, hatred, or mistrust of that which is foreign, although it is mostly used for people from other countries/the ideals of foreign countries. You could say that someone is a bigot, meaning they are intolerant of ideas or people different from their own/themselves. Neophobia refers to a fear of anything new, but does not necessarily refer to a fear of different things. I'm not aware of any other English words that refer to a fear of that which is different.

  • That is fear of foreigners, which are a type of other.
    – Lambie
    Feb 8, 2017 at 22:57
  • +1 for the fear of anything "new", because to be afraid of something new is to be afraid of the unknown, the unfamiliar, the 'strange' i.e. 'the different'
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 4, 2018 at 9:32

Misoneist, one who is filled with misoneism, although not commonly used, best exemplifies what you ask.

Misoneism via M-W

A hatred, fear, or intolerance of innovation or change

Depending on context, you may also be interested in luddite, which references people who distrust or dislike new technology.

Luddite via M-W

One of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change: "The Luddite argued that automation destroys jobs"

Lastly, for someone who values the current over the new in a neutral connotation, you could use traditionalist.

Traditionalist via Vocabulary.com

The noun traditionalist describes a person who believes the old ways are best, like a traditionalist who favors writing letters over sending emails. Sometimes, though, traditionalist describes someone so rigid that any new idea sounds like a bad one, like the traditionalist attitude that kept some American colonists from joining the Revolution.