Features of a product matter when you are deciding to buy it.

If you know that it has a feature, say x, that you like, then that can motivate you to buy it. But a negative feature, say y, can demotivate you. Thus, x has a positive bearing on your decision, whereas y has a negative bearing on it. One might even say that y has a negative bearing on x.

Is there any phrase or word for negative bearing of such kind. I can think of "negative pertinence", "negative relevance", "negative relation"? Are any of these any good? Is there a common way to express this idea?


X has a _______ on my decision making whether to buy the product.


7 Answers 7


I would use “drawback”, meaning “an objectionable feature”. For example,

I really like that car, but the low gas mileage is a huge drawback that I can’t overlook.

“Drawback” is less suitable for something that is a personal preference, like the color of the car, which might be something someone else would like. In that case, I would use “turn-off” as pboss310 explains in their answer.


Informally, Americans will say "turn-off". For example, "the phone doesn't have an replaceable battery, which is a turn-off for me". You wouldn't use it in more polite/formal speech though. If the issue causes you to fully reject something, you can use "showstopper".


A strike against is another option (e.g., "the colour is a strike against it"), or downside, or even just a negative.

M-W defines strike against as follows:

strike against (noun) something that makes someone or something less likely to be accepted, approved, successful, etc. : Her poor attendance was a strike against her.

while downside is defined as:

downside (noun) a negative aspect


The phrase "deal breaker" is similar to "showstopper". (But different in this way: a "showstopper" is an insurmountable problem because normally "the show must go on", whereas a "deal breaker" is not necessarily an insurmountable problem, it just means no deal is, was, or will be agreed upon)

You could also use positive and negative "impact" on your decision making process, like pluses and minuses on your personal "tally board".

While features A, B, and C positively impacted my buying decision, and features X and Y negatively impacted it; feature Z was a deal-breaker. So I walked away.


I had a marked disinclination to dating her after I found out about her incarceration for assault.

I was disinclined to purchase the car when I discovered it had been in a wreck.

I was chary of pursuing that line of action; It could could be dangerous.

Averse, or indisposed or reluctant could also be used. All of these words have various shades of meaning.

In a slightly less emphatic statement, you could say you were nervous or apprehensive about doing something.

The absence of a safety switch on the machine provided a drag on my desire to own it.

I was repelled by the odor of the sweatshirt.

  • I added an example to the question. I want something meaning "negative bearing".
    – Sasan
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 12:23
  • 1
    repulsion, antipathy... All of the above imply a "negative bearing". Averse and repelled are stronger word choices, disinclined or chary are less so, etc.
    – Msfolly
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 12:52
  • I want something that means it not merely implies it.
    – Sasan
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 13:08

A word not previously mentioned is adverse. Although similar to averse, averse typically relates to a person whereas adverse relates to some thing.

Revising your sample sentence slightly:
X has an adverse effect on my decision to buy the product. I am averse to X and therefore may not buy the product.

Both sentences tell us the likelihood of purchasing the product is diminished. The first emphasizes the detrimental aspect of the product, the second emphasizes the buyer's perspective.

"Averse" describes a person's negative feeling or bias against something: Bob is averse to flying so he always travels by bus or train. Many people are averse to purchasing upgrades if there is no backwards compatibility.

"Adverse" describes a thing's negative attribute or contrary nature: For Bob and his co-workers, skydiving was an adverse team building exercise. Many people consider a lack of backwards compatibility to be an adverse selling point for tech gadgets.

There are also some words that may be better in certain situations, depending on the nature of "X". Here are a few more alternatives that I did not see in other answers and when they might best apply:

X discourages you from purchasing the product (where X might be a person, such as your spouse or a negative reviewer, or cheap materials or poor manufacturing).

X disincentivizes you from purchasing the product (where X might be something that reduces a benefit of purchase, like a new tariff disincentivizing purchase of an imported good or the expiration of a rebate disincentivizing purchase of an electric car; or X could be some undesirable aspect that isn't specifically product-related, such as knowing you are supporting EvilCorp may be a disincentive to purchasing their product).

X deterred you from purchasing the product (where X is a possible negative consequence, such as "a lack of job security deterred me from buying a new car" or "fear of arrest deterred me from buying the illegal substance."


Bearing, pertinence, and relevance all refer to the magnitude of the relationship between things. Something that makes you not want to buy a product can have just as much bearing on your decision as something that makes you want to buy it. "Negative bearing" isn't really a thing.

You can, however, say that

X has an unfavorable influence on my decision whether to buy the product.

If you want something that sounds a little more scientific (or if you just want to sound like a statistician), you could say

The presence of X has an inverse correlation to my decision to buy the product.

  • with x and y being things. We can say x has a bearing on y. Can't we say x has a negative bearing on y?
    – Sasan
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 17:23
  • Bearing means it has an effect. If it causes you not to buy, that’s an effect. A “negative bearing” would mean less than no effect, that it matters even less than things that don’t matter at all. You might say this as a exaggerated way of saying that you don’t care whether the product has feature X or not. But that is not what you wanted to say in your example.
    – David K
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 21:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .