1

What do you call a decisive person "who has a purpose" in his / her life and really insists to achieve his / her goals in life? The only word which I found is:

  • "a purposeful person" which is against "a purposeless individual".

Are these adjectives work in AE as well?

  • 1
    Why don't you look up the words in a dictionary? – JavaLatte Aug 3 '16 at 12:30
  • 1
    Maybe "focused" or "goal-oriented"? "purposeless" would be the same as "aimless". – user3169 Aug 3 '16 at 17:59
  • @JavaLatte because I beleive in the fact that language changes by laps of time; I know several languages and I've never seen any language which experiences such an ascending change by the passage of time. Meanwhile you know much more better than me; Any dictionary contains lots of words, expressions which can be used in British, Scottish, Irish, Scandinavian, Australian, Canadian, American, Indian, African and many other types of English language from all over the world so they are epidemic. – A-friend Aug 4 '16 at 7:03
  • @JavaLatte What I have focused on it is what people use specially in the modern American English; sometimes colloquial and sometimes formal. You will never find any dictionary which this deeply differentiates the words and phrases. Meanwhile some descriptions of a dictionary (based on your need and understanding that has originated from your mother language) can convey a word can be used in a specific situation in natural and idiomatic sense, but when you use it in a sentence, a native of that language would even not understand you well. – A-friend Aug 4 '16 at 7:03
  • @user3169 so do you mean that the word "purposeful" does not work here and the words "focused / goal-oriented" work instead, whereas "purposeless / aimless" both are natural and idiomatic in this sense? Do you confirm this take of mine? – A-friend Aug 4 '16 at 7:03
1

I don't think there is an exact phrase for what you want, whether in English in general or specifically in American English, but you might consider describing such a person as (from Oxford Dictionaries):

driven
(Of a person)
Relentlessly compelled by the need to accomplish a goal; very hard-working and ambitious:
"my husband is a driven man"

focused
Directing a great deal of attention, interest, or activity towards a particular aim:
"Darren knows what he wants and he's very focused"
"he seems to be very focused on the new challenge"
"the need for more focused research"

determined
Having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it:
[WITH INFINITIVE] "Alina was determined to be heard"

Possessing or displaying resolve:
"Helen was a determined little girl"
"a determined effort to reduce inflation"

purposeful
Having or showing determination or resolve:
"the purposeful stride of a great barrister"

As for antonymous adjectives, you might consider:

aimless
Without purpose or direction:
"an aimless existence"

distracted
Unable to concentrate because one is preoccupied by something worrying or unpleasant:
"Charlotte seemed too distracted to him much attention"

I don't think you'll find anything that is a perfect fit, though.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.