I'm not talking about twitter or facebook followers. Here, I'm concerned about calling a person who is not a follower of any great personality.

For instance,

Lee is a follower of Dalai Lama

but what could fill in the blank here? Tsung does not like Dalai Lama and is not a follower.

Tsung is ________ of Dalai Lama

I don't want to use 'not' in the sentence.

My homework: The opposite of 'follower' as searched on authentic sources ends up in the word 'leader' but as you clearly see, that does not answer my question.

  • 3
    Because, almost by definition, "the followers of X" for any given X will be a small percentage of the world's population, being a "non-follower" is the default state of humanity, and we do not have a word for this default state for the same reason we don't have a word for "people who are under 8 feet tall" even if once in a while some person or another grows over 8 feet tall. Make sense? That said, if these non-followers took some non-default action directed at X, such as opposing X, you could call them the "opponents of X", or the "detractors of X".
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 11:30
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    The risk of forcing a word upon that default state is indeed that you end up with something like opponent, which is only true if they actively oppose instead of follow. But the majority of non-followers are probably not opposing. (I am, for instance, not an active non-collector of stamps, in the same way I do not actively not-follow any religious leader.) If you want to remain neutral, use not. If you want to imply active opposition, you can use Dan's suggestions.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 14:06
  • You might could use something like "indifferent to", "uninfluenced by", "unpersuaded by", or "unaffected by". It depends on the context I think. These are not noun-antonyms, though...
    – elmer007
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 19:45
  • What's the word for someone who's not a specific person's father: "John is Paul's father", "Peter is Paul's _____"? Does your language have a word for this?
    – Stuart F
    Commented May 29 at 21:53
  • You say, "Tsung does not like Dalai Lama and is not a follower" so if you're looking for a single word to fill in the blank that captures both those sentiments, maybe "Tsung is critical of the Dalai Lama" or "Tsung is skeptical of the Dalai Lama"? "Critical of" carries the implication that Tsung has made his negative opinions known to others, while "skeptical of" could mean that Tsung's reservations are entirely internal. Commented May 29 at 23:49

3 Answers 3


The antonym of follower is leader; however, you do not need an antonym. You are simply negating the sentence "The Tsung is a follower of the Dalai Lama". As far as I know, there is no single word in English for the concept you are trying to express. We have 'non-believers', but we don't normally have 'non-followers'. I am afraid you'll have to use 'not'.

  • Okay. It's better to use 'not' then.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 4:59

"neglecter" (noun) — a person who neglects, or takes no notice of something


The word you're looking for is followee (2).

A person who is being followed. ‘tailgaters are fools—if an accident happens, the follower gets the blame, not the followee’

  • 1
    Please don't simply provide links. Also copy the content as applicable. We are building a reference site for learners, might as well do our best to provide useful and relevant information as much as we can. :)
    – shin
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 9:43

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