What Is Another Way to Say “Not Listening”?

Looking for synonyms for not listening? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of other ways to say not listening.

  • Unheeding
  • Inattentive
  • Ignoring
  • Disregarding
  • Distracted
  • Neglecting
  • Unresponsive
  • Deaf to
  • Indifferent
  • Unmindful
  • Overlooking
  • Detached
  • Absent
  • Unobservant
  • Disinterested
  • Unaware
  • Tuning out
  • Unfocused
  • Oblivious
  • Preoccupied

Want to learn how to say not listening professionally? Keep reading for examples and use cases.

1. Unheeding

Appropriate Use: When someone is paying no attention despite being warned or advised.
Example: “Despite repeated warnings about data security, some employees remained unheeding.”

2. Inattentive

Appropriate Use: Suitable for describing a lack of attention or focus, often in a work or learning environment.
Example: “During the critical safety training, a few staff members were noticeably inattentive.”

3. Ignoring

Appropriate Use: When someone is deliberately paying no attention to someone or something.
Example: “She was ignoring her manager’s emails regarding the project deadline.”

4. Disregarding

Appropriate Use: Suitable for situations where advice, rules, or important information are intentionally ignored.
Example: “The team was disregarding the new procedures established for quality control.”

5. Distracted

Appropriate Use: For situations where someone is not fully attentive because of external distractions or preoccupations.
Example: “He was too distracted by his phone to contribute effectively to the meeting.”

6. Neglecting

Appropriate Use: Used when someone fails to pay proper attention to a task or duty.
Example: “Neglecting the customer feedback, the company continued with its unpopular policy.”

7. Unresponsive

Appropriate Use: Suitable for someone who does not react or respond to communication attempts.
Example: “During the feedback session, several employees were unresponsive to constructive criticism.”

8. Deaf to

Appropriate Use: Used metaphorically to describe someone who is unwilling to listen or pay attention to specific information or opinions.
Example: “The management was deaf to the employees’ repeated requests for better work conditions.”

9. Indifferent

Appropriate Use: When someone shows no interest or concern about what is being said or happening.
Example: “His indifferent attitude during the training session was noted by the facilitators.”

10. Unmindful

Appropriate Use: For situations where someone is not aware or conscious of something.
Example: “She was unmindful of the new guidelines that were communicated last week.”

11. Overlooking

Appropriate Use: Used when someone fails to notice or consider something important.
Example: “By overlooking the client’s specific requests, the project failed to meet expectations.”

12. Detached

Appropriate Use: Suitable for someone who is emotionally or intellectually disengaged from a situation.
Example: “His detached demeanor during team discussions hindered collaborative efforts.”

13. Absent

Appropriate Use: Used for someone who is physically present but mentally elsewhere.
Example: “Although present at the meeting, her mind seemed absent, focused on other issues.”

14. Unobservant

Appropriate Use: For individuals who fail to notice or pay attention to details.
Example: “The auditor was unobservant of several key discrepancies in the financial report.”

15. Disinterested

Appropriate Use: Suitable for a lack of interest, especially in a context where engagement is expected.
Example: “The disinterested tone of the customer service representative was noted in the review.”

16. Unaware

Appropriate Use: Used when someone lacks knowledge or awareness of something happening around them.
Example: “He was completely unaware of the new policy changes implemented in the department.”

17. Tuning out

Appropriate Use: For situations where someone is consciously or unconsciously ignoring or not paying attention.
Example: “During the lengthy conference call, several participants were tuning out.”

18. Unfocused

Appropriate Use: Suitable for describing a lack of concentration or clarity of thought.
Example: “The team’s unfocused approach to the project led to significant delays.”

19. Oblivious

Appropriate Use: When someone is completely unaware of what is happening around them.
Example: “He was oblivious to the growing discontent among his team members regarding work hours.”

20. Preoccupied

Appropriate Use: Used when someone’s attention is absorbed by something else, making them less attentive to their immediate surroundings or tasks.
Example: “She was too preoccupied with the upcoming merger to notice the errors in the report.”

Linda Brown