What is a single word for a person who never talks with anyone in commanding manner in any situation?

I prefer an adjective that can be used when explaining the quality of a person.

closed as off-topic by snailcar, AmE speaker, curiousdannii, tchrist Aug 24 '18 at 1:13

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    Do you want a noun or an adjective? Is it absolutely never or just usually? Can you give a sentence where the word would go? Any other nuances that might help? – Mitch Aug 22 '18 at 16:49
  • I prefer an adjective. Absolutely never. While explaining the quality of a person. – hanugm Aug 22 '18 at 16:51
  • What did a thesaurus show you already that is nearby but just not right? – Mitch Aug 22 '18 at 16:58
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    Soft-spoken...... – hanugm Aug 22 '18 at 17:22
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    Are you a native speaker? Do you know there is such a word but just can't come up with it immediately? Are you non-native and have such a word in your native language? – Mitch Aug 22 '18 at 17:52


It means not assertive, where assertive is defined as:

disposed to or characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior

  • an assertive leader

Humble (adjective) Oxford Dictionaries

Meaning: Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's importance

Usage: "Ever since he lost the election for Taipei mayor, he has been humble and self-restrained, quiet and modest, to the surprise of many."


A nice rare word is obsequent, and it is defined with a list of synonyms:

Compliant, yielding, obedient; deferential, servile.
Oxford Living Dictionaries


reticent OED

a. Reluctant or disinclined to speak out or express personal thoughts and feelings freely; reserved in speech; given to silence or concealment.

As in:

A reserved and reticent person, she nonetheless could deliver a good speech.


It can depend on what connotation you want and to what effect, but you can try any of the following terms:

If you're looking for nouns, you might try:

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    Although "beta" fits, I'd avoid "beta" because it's potentially offensive (it's often used to insult men who are not sufficiently gender conforming in the eyes of the user). – Keith M Aug 22 '18 at 21:51

If you want a more positive definition, you might like mild-mannered.

adjective, mild·er, mild·est.

amiably gentle or temperate in feeling or behavior toward others.
characterized by or showing such gentleness, as manners or speech: a mild voice.

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