I'm currently trying to find a few words, which are more dark versions of words I know. Thus words that convey a dark version of these words.

In this case I'm trying to find something for protective and I don't find anything that is truly fitting there. If I take rulership as example something more darkly associated would be tyranny there. So I'm looking for something similar for protective.

Is there such a word?

Added (after request for more specifics): I'm trying to give players in a online chat rpg the possibility to choose between different "archetypes" that all convey something dark there. Thus instead of a benevolent ruler they choose a tyrant as archetype. Instead of a warrior a destroyer,... the only word where I'm not sure about where there exists a good one as a "dark version" is protective. So sort of a paladin and a dark paladin, if you want

  • 1
    This is rather vague--could you give us an example of a context in which you would use this word? Jan 12, 2017 at 21:35
  • Will "minatory" or "menacing" work for you? Jan 12, 2017 at 22:02
  • Given your edit, have you tried the role-playing sister site? There may be people with specific suggestions there (rpg.stackexchange.com)
    – John Feltz
    Jan 12, 2017 at 22:15
  • @John as it is not rpg specific but instead language specific I didn't find it fitting for there (as it is mostly because I'm not sure which words would fit for what I want and not anything really specific to specific rpg systems)
    – Thomas
    Jan 13, 2017 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


The most straightforward is


Which indicates that someone is protective more than they should be. Usually used with parents. A mother can be called "overprotective" of her child, if she constantly hovers over them and never allows them to make a mistake or come to any harm, even if they might learn from the experience.


Also works, used for romantic partners, someone is "possessive" of their partner when they refuse to let them spend time with friends, monitor their activities, and allow them very little freedom.


Modern usages aside, if you felt as though someone were acting like they were your father, telling you what to do and running your life, even if for your benefit, but in kind of a commanding, domineering way, you could say they were being "patriarchal". Technically if it were a woman you would say "matriarchal", but it really doesn't have the same connotations. I would probably avoid this one if you don't want to engage in debates over gender politics.

"Patriarchal" can be used to describe dictators, rulers, and kings who treat their subjects as their "family". My understanding is that this was a positive descriptor in Roman times (the word is Latin), but modern people would hate to be called a "patriarch".

Sheepdog, guard dog, rabid dog

If you felt someone was protecting you in a way that was overly violent, you could use one of these. If you had an older brother who hospitalized the neighborhood bully for taking your baseball, you could say he was acting like a "rabid dog". He was protecting you, but obviously in an excessive way.

If your brother followed you around, making sure you never got into trouble you could say he was "sheepdogging" you, although that may be AmE slang that doesn't travel well. It refers to herding dogs that watch over the herd of sheep.

  • Is possessive also useable for items and locations?
    – Thomas
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:35
  • I would say for items, yes, locations, no. For locations you could use "territorial" which means they do not tolerate other people entering their land. For items you could also use "greedy", "hoarding", and "miserly" to refer to someone who is obsessed with material goods, and not interested in sharing them.
    – mstorkson
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:54

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