What Do You Call Someone Who Uses People?

Unfortunately, there are far too many people in this world who will do anything to get what they want – including using other people like tools. So, is there a word for this particular brand of awful individual?

Below, you’ll find a list of appropriate words for someone who uses other people, so read on!

Words for a Person Who Uses People

  • User
  • Exploiter
  • Leech
  • Parasite
  • Freeloader
  • Sponge
  • Mooch
  • Opportunist
  • Scrounger
  • Taker


  • When someone uses other people for personal gain, you can call them a “user.”
  • “Exploiter” is another word for someone who takes advantage of other people’s kindness.
  • If someone sticks around just to get something from you, you can call them a “leech.”

Keep reading! In the next section, we’re going to unpack our choice of words for someone who uses people in greater detail.

We’ll also provide some useful examples using each of these terms.


When you don’t know what to call someone who uses others for their own benefit, it never hurts to go with the simplest option – “user.”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a “user” as “a person who uses a relationship with someone only in order to get some advantage for themselves.”

You’ll often find that people who use others for their own benefit seem highly charismatic and likable at first.

This is how they develop relationships with their potential victims. Once they have gained someone’s trust, however, they exploit it to get what they want.

When this situation occurs, you can call that person a “user.”

Now, let’s see a couple of examples that include this term:

I implore you to never let Jenna into your house – she is a complete user and she’ll find a way to take everything you have.

It is terrible to have trusted someone so deeply only to find out that they are a user.


Another word for someone who takes advantage of others is “exploiter.”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines this term as meaning “someone who uses other people or things for his or her own profit or advantage.”

Therefore, you may think that a person is your friend when, actually, they are exploiting your good nature for their own benefit. They could be seeking to gain money, or even just time and attention, for instance.

That’s why it’s essential to make sure that all of your relationships are a give-and-take and that both parties put in effort!

Nevertheless, you can call a friend who uses you an “exploiter.” They probably won’t change as a result, but it might make you feel better to call them out on their behavior!

Have a look at the examples below to see this word in action:

Trisha is a notorious exploiter, so it’s no surprise that she hasn’t been able to maintain a friendship in years.

I thought you were my friend, but you’re just a big, greedy exploiter!


A leech is a freshwater worm that sinks its teeth into people and sucks out as much as it can. Tellingly, this is also a characteristic of a person that uses others. (Figuratively, of course – vampires aren’t real, as far as we know).

That’s why “leech” has become a word for using others for personal gain. Like a leech, people who use other people take from them in an unrelenting, parasitic way. Ew.

Merriam-Webster defines a “leech” as “a hanger-on who seeks advantage or gain.”

Therefore, if you know someone who befriends other people only because they are hoping to get some money or another advantage, you’ve found yourself a “leech”!

Finally, check out how we use the word “leech” in the examples below:

Why would you invite Frank over? He’s a total leech.

You had better hide your valuables if you are going to let your leech of an uncle stay here.