I'm looking for a noun that could be applied to a person who is controlling or overbearing. Either the name of a quality they possess (ie an impetuous person has recklessness), or something they could be said to be (ie an exceptionally nice person is an angel).

Nothing so strong as a despot, but "pusher" is a bit weak, as well. I've gone through dictionary.com's thesaurus for a bit, trying to related-word my way into a noun form of overbearing (without just tacking a -ness onto the end), but to no avail.

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    Can you provide a sample sentence showing how the word you're looking for would be used? (You can put _____ where the word would go.) Are you ruling out all -ness words? Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 4:46
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    control freak works.
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 5:02
  • It would be in a list of words used to describe a character, so something like 'John is an angel, though possessed of recklessness, and slightly veering into licentiousness.' I don't like using so many -ness words, however. The "taskmaster" answer from Phil Sweet is a very good fit.
    – Travis
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 16:45

2 Answers 2



: one that imposes a task or burdens another with labor

"Taskmaster." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2018.

Idiomatically, it is often used to suggest excessive, and often heavy handed, bossiness. It is more often used in this derogatory sense than not.


How about dominator?

Annoyingly, I can only find dictionary definitions for the verb dominate, although the noun should really be the same.

From Merriam-Webster, here are some example sentences that use dominate:

// a hill that dominates the town
// his desire to dominate
// He dominated her life for many years.

And Oxford has some example sentences with dominator itself:

‘As the imbalance of power between the two grows, the dominated girl is no longer recognized by her dominator as a subject.’
‘The two were well on their way to becoming dominators of the UK trance scene.’
‘It ought not be surprising at all, then, that whistleblowers get persecuted using all the insidious, ingenious, devious, and oppressive means dominators in our society can apply.’

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