I'm looking for a word or phrase for describing people who favor silence about injustice, because of their dishonesty. I want to translate a phrase which literally translates to worshippers of silence:

Those cruel people were ____ , and suppressed any voice of justice.

  • @1006a I edited my question with more details
    – Meysam
    Jun 7, 2018 at 14:22
  • "Cowed" -- would that work? Meaning: terrorized, scared, bullied.
    – Bread
    Jun 9, 2018 at 18:11

3 Answers 3


There really isn't a single word that perfectly describes this concept in English, but by searching for synonyms for "reactionary" and "conservative", I came across the term "obscurantist" which is most likely the closest you can get, some further synonyms being "counterrevolutionary" and "regressive". Dictionary.com defines "obscurantism" as: "1. opposition to the increase and spread of knowledge. 2. deliberate obscurity or evasion of clarity"

If that's not quite what you're looking for, maybe it's better to translate it using more than one word to explain or adding a little extra info.

  • Yes, I also am unsure of what the OP is looking for. Without context, some of the words conflict. 'dishonest' implies they mean something different than they say, yet they may very well know what they think. Also, are they 'silent worshipers' (as in 'people of color') or do they dutifully believe 'silence is a virtue'. Perhaps this is something more like "Black lives matter" where the larger notion(not self evident in the words) that "people with dark skin are far too frequently treated as expendable criminals without cause at rates and ways that do not apply to whites"
    – Tom22
    Jun 9, 2018 at 17:58
  • +1 though for 'regressive' which I think might be what the OP wants - or go a fair way towards it by saying more than "cruel" already says.
    – Tom22
    Jun 9, 2018 at 18:00
  • Thanks for quoting and citing a dictionary definition.   FYI, in addition to that, we prefer that you link to the definition, if possible. Jun 20, 2018 at 4:41


​ "showing no interest or energy and unwilling to take action, especially over something important"


reticent TFD synonyms: secretive or taciturn


not open or communicative; not saying all that one knows; taciturn; reserved

As in:

Those cruel people were reticent, and suppressed any other voices of justice.

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