What Does Luddite Mean?

A Luddite, in terms of technology, is a layman or non-professional person. It is also used to describe a person who is afraid of using modern technology and avoids it as much as possible, commonly because it is seen as an invasion of privacy.


Introduced in early 19th century, the term Luddite has been more commonly used since the 1950s when technology and industrialization prevailed.

Techopedia Explains Luddite

Luddite in modern times refers to a technologically conservative person who is not comfortable with the overwhelming boom of electronic devices. The term commonly has a negative connotation, implying that the people in question are stubborn and/or behind the times.

The term was originally used to refer to English textile workers who protested against the use of machines, in the belief that technology could be a threat to their jobs and social life. The term is believed to be derived from an Englishman named Ned Ludd who accidentally broke an expensive knitting machine. Being a poor man with no money, he was unable to pay for the loss he caused the owner. Later, workers used Ned’s name to warn their employers against industrial automation by threatening to break the expensive machines if their demands were not met.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.