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What do you call people who think they're always right?

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migrated from english.stackexchange.com May 26 '14 at 9:15

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If you wish to imply that they always think they are right, yet are not always right...

  • know-it-all
  • smarty-pants
  • smart alec

If you wish to imply that they always think they are right, and are indeed always right:

  • genius
  • polymath
  • Einstein
  • sage
  • guru
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While a genius, polymath etc. may always be right, I don't think that they always think they are right. A characteristic of intelligent people is that they are always aware that they may be wrong. – David S. May 26 '14 at 13:14
You can also use "Mr.,"Miss", etc. before some of these, like Miss smarty-pants or Mr. know-it-all. – user3169 May 26 '14 at 16:20

There could be many including tobyink's options. However, the closest after know-it-all (or know-all) I can think of it is...

opinionated - someone who is opinionated has very strong opinions that they refuse to change even when they are clearly unreasonable.

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Someone who thinks they are always right but are, in fact, not right is often described as being cocksure.

Completely confident in their own ability or knowledge but with no justification.

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Though originally this probably referred to a confident, strutting rooster, it's likely to have an "adult" or inappropriate connotation these days & I wouldn't recommend its use. – mc01 Aug 18 '14 at 21:02
@mc01: There's no "probably" about it, and I dislike the slow surrender of functional terms to avoid innuendo. Keep using cocksure. – Nathan Tuggy Aug 16 '15 at 20:46

3rd vote for "know-it-all" as an all-purpose term that can be used somewhat politely.

In addition to answers above, "smart ass" and "wise ass" are more vulgar, but quite common.

The more polite alternatives are "smart-aleck" and (the rather outdated) "wise-acre" (or "wiseguy" which can also be slang for a joker or a mafia member ... depends on context).

A "pedant" is someone who makes a point of correcting others and showing off how much they know.

Also, whatever my wife & coworkers decide to call me that day... ;)

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People that think they are always right are normal. People don't function well when thinking they are wrong. And if they think they are wrong and tell you, we call those people liars. If they think they're right and they are not we call those people mistaken, if they think they are right and they are we call those people correct.

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I strongly disagree that a suitable term for "someone who thinks they're always right" is "normal person". That's far too general to actually use, and it's very dubiously accurate anyway. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 21 '15 at 4:19

Narcissistic would be an accurate vocabulary word to define someone who always thinks they are right, so would ignorant

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Welcome to ELL! This is a somehow good and relevant answer, but it would become even a greater one if you add dictionary definitions, examples etc. to improve it and back up your claim. – IͶΔ Jul 5 '15 at 21:14

Pontificate - to speak or write and give your opinion about something as if you knew everything about it and as if only your opinion was correct:

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You can't call someone a "pontificate"; that's something they do. Can you rephrase to fit the question a little more precisely? – Nathan Tuggy Aug 16 '15 at 20:46

I think you're talking about a Narcissist

narcissist: a person who admires himself or herself too much, especially their appearance

A person who admires himself too much think that they are always right.

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Why? – choster Aug 18 '14 at 14:49

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