Someone who is consulted is a consultant, but what is his counterpart called? In other words, what do you call the person who consults them?

Asker sounds informal, consulter doesn't pass my spell check, help-seeker sounds too pathological.

Is there a sensible opposite?

  • 8
    In most uses, a client is the one seeking a consultation but I wouldn't consider client to be an antonym of consultant. Oct 16, 2019 at 9:53
  • Still a good suggestion, thanks.
    – Sherlock
    Oct 16, 2019 at 10:22
  • 2
    There’s advisee
    – Jim
    Oct 16, 2019 at 12:36
  • 3
    Why do people think every noun must have an antonym? What is the antonym of brick? Of diatom? Of aspirin?
    – Robusto
    Oct 16, 2019 at 15:01
  • 4
    You are misusing the term "antonym".
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 16, 2019 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


"consultant" is too broad a term.

A consultant (from Latin: consultare "to deliberate") is a professional who provides expert advice[1] in a particular area such as security (electronic or physical), management, education, accountancy, law, regulatory compliance, human resources, marketing (and public relations), finance, health care, engineering, science or any of many other specialized fields. A consultant is usually an expert or an experienced professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. from Wikipedia

A medical doctor can be a consultant. In this case, one who is seeking medical advice, would be called "patient".

A lawyer, as well as several other professionals, can also be a consultant. Here, the person seeking help or advice is usually called "client".

  • patient (noun) - One who receives medical attention, care, or treatment. TFD

  • client (noun) - The party for which professional services are rendered, as by an attorney. TFD


Sometimes the -er(-or)/-ee juxtaposition conveys the relationships you are after, like in payer/payee, employer/employee, tutor/tutee, advisor/advisee,

At variance with this usage placing the -ee people at the receiving side, some sources indicate that a consultee is the person giving consultancy, that is the consultant, or in restricted sense, the consultor. So you find out a kind of harsh spot.

The consultee does receive questions thus. Then, beside the other suggestions given here, I would give a chance to inquirer or enquirer as per https://www.thefreedictionary.com/inquirer. This sounds less informal than asker.

As a note, do not trust to spellcheckers to test the existence of a word, since they are often based on abridged dictionaries. Dictionaries are not the same, also; for example this one does not have any key for consultee, unlike the other two cited in this answer.

Disclaimer: not a mother tongue. Please comment/edit after downvoting so I can learn from it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.