I'm looking for a word to describe someone who is so nice they impose on you. For instance, someone who, despite being asked to leave a room as it is, comes in and makes the bed and "cleans up." When confronted, says, "Oh, it only took a minute." Well-intentioned but defiant.

  • an adjective or a noun? Or doesn't matter? – Boondoggle Mar 20 '18 at 16:53
  • I'm easy, go for it. – Captain Girl Mar 20 '18 at 16:58
  • Overfriendly or imposing doesn't work? I think imposing is the word you're looking for, but you've already used it in the title. – Boondoggle Mar 20 '18 at 17:26

well-intentioned collins dictionary

If you say that a person or their actions are well-intentioned, you mean that they intend to be helpful or kind but they are unsuccessful or cause problems!

  • @NigelJ does the link "well-ententioned" highlighted in red suffice? – lbf Mar 20 '18 at 16:56
  • See the Andrew Leach's top voted answer here - new-attribution-rules. "This is not acceptable because the source of the quote is not cited in plain text. It doesn't matter if the headword here is a link; the source — which is ODO in this case — must appear in plain text." – Phil Sweet Mar 20 '18 at 17:47
  • @PhilSweet aye aye – lbf Mar 20 '18 at 17:49

It depends upon whether or not you want a negative connotation. If you do, then some possibilities might be meddlesome (or meddling), do-gooder, or intrusive. If you do not want a negative connotation, then a single word might not be enough; you might need a fuller description to convey the notion that the person means well but unintentionally crosses the personal boundaries of others.

  • Meddlesome is good, but I'm looking for a word that incorporates her passive-aggressive approach to meddling. Defiantly doing what she's been clearly asked not to do. – Captain Girl Mar 21 '18 at 18:21
  • I hadn't picked up on the defiance element, of intentional vs. unintentional offense. Perhaps disingenuous would work? "Her disingenuous meddling" or something along those lines. As I said above, I can't think of any single word that will convey the subtleties and nuances that you're trying to convey. – Gregory Benoit Mar 23 '18 at 11:52

It may be too forceful a term, but I am reminded ever so strongly of the term 'smother' here.

1.1 Make (someone) feel trapped and oppressed by acting in an overly protective manner towards them.
‘it's time for you to leave the house—she'll smother you if you remain’




unctuous, according to Cambridge Dictionary:

"Unctuous people or behaviour expresses too much praise, interest, friendliness, etc., in a way that is false and unpleasant" 1

Another option could be overzealous, according to Merriam Webster:

"too zealous : having or showing too much zeal : excessively eager, enthusiastic, or fervent"2

Appropriate source attribution

1 "Overzealous." Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed March 20, 2018. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overzealous.

2 (Definition of “unctuous” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

  • It is customary to link to your reference so that others may follow it. – Nigel J Mar 20 '18 at 16:47
  • @NigelJ the little 1 at the end of the quote links to CD. – JJJ Mar 20 '18 at 16:50
  • 1
    For the benefit of those of us with less than 20/20 vision may I suggest something just a little more obvious ? – Nigel J Mar 20 '18 at 17:02
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    Sure, I'll make it redundant (I'm used to using footnotes). You can click the names of the dictionaries to go to their respective pages. – JJJ Mar 20 '18 at 17:03
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    Both Cambridge and MW provide cites, you just have to copy and paste them. Links are not satisfactory substitutes. – Phil Sweet Mar 20 '18 at 17:11

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