11 Words for Someone Who Doesn’t Listen

If you’re unsure how to describe someone who never listens, either because they choose not to or because they simply can’t pay attention, you’ve come to the right place!

In the list below, you’ll find some great one-word ways to describe such a person. So, read on to expand your vocab!

Words for Someone Who Doesn’t Listen

  • Obstinate
  • Heedless
  • Arrogant
  • Distracted
  • Contrarian
  • Oblivious
  • Stubborn
  • Headstrong
  • Inattentive
  • Uninterested
  • Disinterested


  • You can use the word “obstinate” to describe a person who refuses to consider different opinions.
  • If someone never listens to sound advice or suggestions, you may call them “heedless.”
  • When a person never listens to anyone else because they assume they know better, you could call them “arrogant.”

Don’t go anywhere! In the next section, we’ll discuss our top picks for what to call someone who doesn’t listen.

Moreover, we’ll provide some useful examples using each of our choices.


If you’re looking for a word for someone who doesn’t listen to others’ opinions, “obstinate” is the best term to use.

According to Merriam-Webster, someone who is “obstinate” is “stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion.” Therefore, it is a good word to describe someone who doesn’t listen to reason.

This word comes across as fairly formal. After all, you would not hear it used in a lot of casual situations. Nonetheless, it is usually used to critique someone’s stubbornness when they refuse to reconsider their position on something.

Finally, let’s see a couple of example sentences making use of this phrase:

I’ve found that college students in their first year tend to be more obstinate than those who have studied for two or three years.

He was always a smug and obstinate fellow, and it seems to have caught up with him.


If you’re looking for how to describe someone who doesn’t listen to advice, you could call them “heedless.”

Firstly, the Cambridge Dictionary defines “heedless” as “not giving attention to a risk or possible difficulty.” Therefore, you can call someone “heedless” if they do not heed sound suggestions or pay attention to risks.

Secondly, the phrase “heedless” does not always carry negative connotations. Sometimes, it is used to imply that someone was brave in their heedlessness of certain risks.

To see what we mean, consider the example below:

He ran straight back into the building, heedless of the warnings of onlookers, in order to retrieve her.

However, you can call someone heedless in a critical way as well:

Our heedless destruction of the planet’s natural resources will be our eventual downfall.


Arrogance is a common character trait of someone who doesn’t listen to others. Therefore, if you’re unsure what to call someone who simply never listens to other people’s thoughts on things, you can go with “arrogant.”

Firstly, Merriam-Webster defines the word “arrogant” as meaning “showing an offensive attitude of superiority: proceeding from or characterized by arrogance.”

Secondly, it defines “arrogance” as “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.”

In other words, a person may refuse to listen to others because they assume they know better than everyone else. This would make them “arrogant,” as they presume to have superior knowledge to others.

Lastly, let’s see this phrase used in a few examples:

He is as arrogant as always, so good luck trying to tell him anything.

I tried to advise you not to go that way, but you were too arrogant to listen.