What do you call a person who hates pictures, drawings, photos, and images of all kinds and finds them unnecessary and uninteresting. I found a word iconoclast to have a similar meaning, but it had a strong religious colour. I'm not talking about people who hates their pictures taken. I'm taking about people who don't like pictures in general.

  • I'd likely coin a word like "picturephobe" or "graphicphobe". Slightly more formal would be "graphics averse" or "graphics abhorrent".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 17:51
  • English paintings were destroyed in great numbers by the Puritans during the Civil War; but they also hated dances, theatre, fairs, and holidays.
    – Hugh
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 19:00
  • It's not a fear suffix we're looking for here, it's a hate suffix. "Antipictatorial" or similar, if that were a real word. Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 19:35
  • This is some help: Is there a suffix for loathing? english.stackexchange.com/questions/58508/… Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 19:45
  • It looks like, someone has to come up with a neologism. Until then OP can use "aversion to the images [of type]"
    – Ubi.B
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 1:44

3 Answers 3


An iconoclast is, in its literal sense, someone who breaks images. The word derives from Greek εἰκών eikōn ‘image’ (also ‘shape’, ‘form’) and the verb κλάω klaō ‘break’ and literally means an image breaker.

As you’ve noted, though, the word is very heavily religiously laden, and moreover it’s mostly used in an extended, figurative sense, referring to someone who challenges (especially religious) views and principles.

There is a more appropriate formation also based on εἰκών, with the more familiar -phobe suffix, namely an iconophobe.

This is hardly a common word, but it is used. Wikipedia has an article on it, which describes it thus in its opening lines:

Iconophobia (literally fear of icons) refers to an aversion to images, especially religious icons. Iconophobia is differentiated from iconoclasm in that iconophobia refers to the aversion to or hatred of the images whereas iconoclasm refers to the actual destruction of images that may arise from iconophobia.

This is still a word with close ties to religion and religious philosophy. If you are going to use it in a written piece, you would be well-advised to specify if you’re using it in a non-religious context to refer to someone who just dislikes images in general.


Their attitude might be described as "austere" pertaining to pictures, and possibly other images, decorations, or adornments as well. They prefer life to be lived and represented as "plain" and "real" rather than as any form of "ancillary" or "artificial" representation. Pictures probably seem like contrived images to them.






  • 1
    All these words are far too broad to answer the question; they are not related to images, just adjectives that could be used to describe someone with this outlook. Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 18:43
  • Actually @Janus, I was only suggesting "austere", but I thought highlighting the others made it clearer. An austere person does not have to be "severe" as some definitions might suggest. I'm sorry the word didn't match your expectations.
    – user22542
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 20:05

Iconoclam is the social belief in the importance of the description of icons and other images or monuments, most frequently for religious or political reasons. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any individual who challenges "cherished beliefs or venerated institutions on the grounds that they are erroneous or pernicious."

It's the current figurative use of the word iconoclast applied that I would only recommend using because it's the only one most English speakers understand (and that's only true amongst college educated English speakers). The word, even in its figurative sense has only a very low word frequency use among intellectuals, and I'd say virtually is never used in English in its non-figurative sense. So I'll stand by my statement that I have never heard of a single word in English for a person who „hates, pictures, drawings, photos, etc and finds them unnecessary and uninteresting.“

  • There is no single word I`ve ever heard of in English to describe a person like this.
    – John
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 16:51
  • 1
    There's a line in Mario Klarer's 'an introduction to literary studies' 3rd edition page 2. It says:" the medieval union of word and picture, in which both components of the text formed a single, harmonious entity, slowly disappeared. This modern iconoclasm (i.e., hostility toward pictures) not only restricts the visual dimensions of texts but also sees writing as a medium that can function with little connection to the acoustic element of language."
    – Julie
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 17:02
  • 1
    See my comments below. No one uses iconoclast in its non-figurative original sense. Quoting esoteric books no one but PhD English Literature candidates would read is not helpful for an English learner.
    – John
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 18:08
  • 2
    @John This site is specifically not geared towards English learners. We have a different site for that, English Language Learners. This site is precisely where esoteric word usage is relevant as an answer. Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 18:37
  • 2
    For description, did you mean to say 'destruction'?
    – Hugh
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 18:55

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