I am looking for a word which best describes a person who cannot be convinced by strong evidence presented in support of a theory. He may or may not present counter-arguments, but he is adamant in his refusal to be convinced.

For example

I have shown her all the evidence which convinces me that the theory is correct, but she is still __________ and says that the arguments are flawed.

The word ‘unconvinced’ would fit the blank here, but my request is for a stronger word than ‘unconvinced’ because the person in question will not discuss the evidence I have presented, but will only argue the case from other standpoints.

closed as off-topic by ab2, Mari-Lou A, Davo, Tom22, marcellothearcane Jul 20 '17 at 21:33

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    Seems like he's in denial. – peerless Jul 20 '17 at 15:56
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    Intransigent, truculent, more in a thesaurus. – Dan Bron Jul 20 '17 at 16:15
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    Can you clarify this question for me? Is the person denying the truth of the theory or accepting it but only tentatively? Many of the answers seem to think you mean the former, but your question title suggests to me the latter as perhaps does the odd phrase with which you finish "rigid about saying okay". – Steve Lovell Jul 20 '17 at 16:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because of lack of clarity. We do not know whether the OP is referring to a person who thinks the earth is flat, or a person who maintains that General Relativity needs work to be made consistent with Quantum Mechanics. – ab2 Jul 20 '17 at 19:39
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    There are two possible scenarios here ... You try to convince him, but he does not agree with you. The two possibilities: you present a valid proof (what you think); your alleged proof is not valid (what he thinks). The word to be used for this guy depends on which of these scenarios you want to assert. – GEdgar Jul 20 '17 at 20:22


Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skeptical

Relating to, characteristic of, or marked by skepticism.


She's highly skeptical of the researchers' claims.

Skepticism is defined as:

An attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object.

In this situation, this is the most apt word. From the question's description, it's not at all clear that this person has been presented with irrefutable proof. He was simply presented with "all the facts". These is no mention that these facts constitute irrefutable proof. Thus other words such as zealous, intolerant, denier don't work because they convey the idea that the person is irrational, which cannot be implied based on the question. Adamant and persistent don't work because they imply imply some sort of effort, where as it's not the skeptic that is putting in the effort, it is the other party who is presenting the evidence.

  • No, skepticism is the state of demanding supporting evidence. Once the preponderance of evidence and experiment is consistent with the theory in question, a person who still denies the situation is at best deluded and at worst corrupt (e.g., all climate-change deniers) – Carl Witthoft Jul 20 '17 at 15:43
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    A person may continue to be skeptical if the presented facts, in the opinion of the skeptic, don't constitute a strong-enough case or are flawed. Please look up the definition of skepticism: "an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object.". – afeygin Jul 20 '17 at 16:15
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    In science, the best paper presenting the most ironclad proof still needs to be independently verified before being fully accepted. – MikeJRamsey56 Jul 20 '17 at 16:23
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    @afeygin You should add that definition to your answer, along with a brief explanation of why you think it applies in this situation. (I think you're right, but that's not obvious with the answer as-is except to people who already know the word and its implications). Ping me when you edit and I'll up-vote. – 1006a Jul 20 '17 at 16:52
  • @afeygin Such a person is no longer a skeptic but a denier, or a person suffering cognitive dissonance. – Carl Witthoft Jul 20 '17 at 17:44

You might call them close-minded, but they would see themselves as being faithful to their consciences.

You might call them overly suspicious, but they would see others around them as too quick to believe, gullible or even deceived.

No matter what you call them, I guarantee the person would see it differently. No matter how you spin it, they think they are being true to the evidence (unless the person is genuinely mentally disabled or they are lying).

What is obvious to you is obviously not obvious to the other. Calling someone names -- if they are being true to their consciences -- is both mean and bigoted. Have some respect. Be patient. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

You say "all the facts" have been presented, but I guarantee if the other person is not convinced they don't see it that way.

"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." - G.K. Chesterton


Here are three words from Merriam Webster that you may find useful



1. unshakable or insistent especially in maintaining a position or opinion.

Or for a belief (usually religious)


adjective marked by fervent partisanship for a person, a cause, or an ideal

Or if you want to describe someone who could conceivably change their opinion. you could use


existing for a long or longer than usual time or continuously: such as

a : retained beyond the usual period a persistent leaf

b : continuing without change in function or structure persistent gills

c : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent

d : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides

e : remaining infective for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses

  • Please mention your sources by name as well. – NVZ Jul 20 '17 at 16:38
  • Good. +1 to that. – NVZ Jul 20 '17 at 16:40

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