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In modern usage, Luddite is defined as one who opposes new technology. The term comes from the group of English mechanics and artisans who, in 1811, organized a protest that involved destroying new manufacturing machinery which they perceived as threatening their livelihoods. They named themselves after Ned Ludd—sometimes known as Captain Ludd, King Ludd, or General Ludd—a mythical 18th-century character known for sabotaging knitting machinery. British government crackdowns quashed the movement within a few years of its start, but the term lives on. It’s often pejorative.

Luddite functions as both a noun and an adjective. Luddism is the term for the attitudes that characterize Luddites. The L in Luddite is usually capitalized, though this may change if the word remains in the language another few decades.


My opposition to certain enhancement technologies is no Luddite rejection of technology. [Slate]

In light of the advancing internet, my luddite heart is consoled by the thought that such technological retreats can occur. [Guardian]

I’m no Luddite, but neither do I believe in an unbridled technology that gives too little concern to its effect on our collective¬†future. [Albany Times-Union]

We all know that Roger is a dedicated Luddite who has never owned a computer or sent an email. [Huffington Post]