The term "evangelist" gets used a lot by tech companies as a job title to describe those who try to push knowledge, use, and acceptance of a product, service, or company in a way which promotes the product/service/company. I was wondering what would be appropriate antonyms for this sort of usage. Given the very literal definition of relating to religion by most online dictionaries and thesauruses, antonyms are either not appropriate (such as layman) or non-existent. Given the pretentiousness of the term, I think an equally "weighty" term is most appropriate as an antonym.

Words that came to mind were: denouncer, antagonist, or decrier. I'd be interested in any thoughts on these terms as antonyms or any other suggestions.

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    How closely does this word need to resemble evangelist? Would something more mundane, like vocal/active/outspoken opponent, work?
    – Juhasz
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 23:32
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    Dysangelic might work, for the adjective form. Evangelist comes from the Greek for 'good news', so if you swap the eu- prefix for a dys-, you get a literal opposite. Of course it's an adjective instead of an agent noun like evangelist; but if you're denouncing things or people, most people would connect the 'angelic' part with angels, and the dys- is pretty clear, so that may be good agitprop. Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 23:39
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    I would use deprecator, as someone who actively disapproves and works to undermine something, esp., an idea or product. "‘In academic circles, the cognitive argument that students of design can learn both deeply and widely by using their hands with their minds has equally passionate advocates and deprecators.’" (lexico.com/definition/deprecator)
    – Kris
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 7:25
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    The reason why dysangelic works while dysangelist doesn't, phonetically, is because the noun stresses AN instead of GEL. That's the wrong stress pattern to match anGELic, but the -ic(al) suffix moves the stress a syllable to the end, while the -ist suffix doesn't attract the stress. Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 16:55
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    Somebody who speaks against something can be just as much an evangelist as somebody who speaks against something. So, to say that the opposite of an evangelist is any of the words you propose doesn't seem right to me. From my perspective, the opposite of an evangelist is a silencer. But if you really want to equate evangelism with a pro stance as opposed to an anti stance, you should make that clearer in your question. Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


Naysayer may work. From Merriam-Webster:

: one who denies, refuses, opposes, or is skeptical or cynical about something

(example) There are always naysayers who say it can't be done.

So if an evangelist promotes a product, a service, or an organization, a naysayer vocally opposes the product, position, or organization. For instance, a 2010 PC World article reported "Windows Phone 7 Buzz Muted by Naysayers," with this body text:

In fact Microsoft is facing a wall of naysayers leading up this Monday when it will introduce its first batch of Windows Phone 7 phones. Analysts and investors are wary about Windows Phone 7's prospects. Third-party application developers are giving mixed reviews about the new smartphone platform. And average Joes and Janes are just making wisecracks.


Your word, evangelist is synonymous or at least 'homoionymous' with missionary and champion. The words you have chosen could do. The words you have chosen might do, though have an artificial and slightly heavy ring to them.

In the context that you mention, surely the polar opposite would be 'sceptic' or 'critic'. The evangelist is literally a messenger (Greek αγγελος - angelos) spreading good (eu) news. The opposite is one who casts doubt on the news in question.

There is another (biblical) word, generally used critically, that applies to someone given to saying that things will turn out badly. Such people are often called 'Jeremiahs', after the prophet of doom in the Book of Jeremiah. But I would suggest 'critic' or 'sceptic.

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