• synonyms

Job's comforter

  1. a person who unwittingly or maliciously depresses or discourages someone while attempting to be consoling.
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Origin of Job's comforter

First recorded in 1730–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for job's comforters

Job's comforter

  1. a person who, while purporting to give sympathy, succeeds only in adding to distress
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

job's comforters in Culture

Job's comforters

Three friends of Job who visited him in his affliction and offered him a way of making sense of his troubles: namely, that he was getting what he deserved. Job's friends maintained that misfortunes were sent by God as punishments for sin, and thus despite Job's apparent goodness, he must really be a terrible sinner. Job persistently disputed them, saying that God is supreme and mysterious — that God can send misfortunes to both good and wicked people and may not be second-guessed.

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A “Job's comforter” is someone who apparently offers consolation to another person but actually makes the other person feel worse.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.