Adjectives are words, or phrases naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.

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Does “surfeit” have an adjectival counterpart?

I’m thinking of something like surfeitous, but obviously that’s not a word.
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Can adjectives always be used as nouns when they denote a plural and are preceded by the definite article?

An adjective appears to be used as a noun when denoting an animate plural and preceded by the definite article: 'The successful are those who strive.' 'The foolish are those who ...
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4answers
972 views

Can “nuisance” be an adjective?

According to Wiktionary there is a noun nuisance tax. Does this suggest nuisance can be an adjective? Is it?
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1k views

What is the difference between 'despair' and 'hopeless'?

These two words seem to have the same translation in my native language (Cambodian). What is the major difference between these two adjectives?
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Does “lesser” as in “lesser man” refer only to moral strength and goodness or can it encompass physical and mental stamina?

Does "lesser" as in "lesser man" refer only to moral strength and goodness or can it encompass physical and mental stamina?
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1answer
293 views

What objects can be classified as anonymous?

While answering and commenting on another question I discovered that I am apparently thinking about anonymity differently than everyone else who responded. There are two questions stemming from that ...
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“Indispensible”: is it correct?

Today, I saw a news headline on BBC News. It says: Nuclear power is 'indispensible' says safety agency. As far as I know, the correct word should be "indispensable". Is it a typo (an example ...
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Is my worst enemy my best friend (interpreting negative adjectives applied to negative nouns)? [closed]

"The worst student" is the student who is bad at things. In this case, "worst" simply describes the noun. Following this logic, your "worst enemy" would be the person who is very bad at being your ...
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8answers
553 views

Can changing the order of adjectives alter the literal meaning of a phrase?

Someone recently pointed out to me that most English-speakers will say "I saw a big brown spider," rather than "I saw a brown big spider". However, the second sentence has the same literal meaning as ...
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“Sick” or “ill”?

If I'm not healthy, am I sick or am I ill? Are these interchangeable, or do they merely overlap?
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2k views

“I don't think that that can be done” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem Is there something wrong with this sentence? "I don't think that that can be done." ...
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5answers
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What's the adjective form of “sauce” as “salty” is to “salt”?

Saucy has a totally different meaning. When I describe food having too much sauce, I would like to use an adjective, however salty is not really applicable here.
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110 views

Is there a specific term for “conditions treated as though there are OR operators between them”?

I'm writing a program that generates playlists from a large pool of mp3 files. The program can keep track of total playing time, number of tracks and total size of the files, and can be given upper ...
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2answers
978 views

What is the difference between “promotion tool” and “promotional tool”?

I checked the grammar: "promotional" is the description of tool, thus "promotional" tool is right while the first is wrong. Is it true? Why are there so many cases that those two are exchangeable?
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1answer
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What are the limits of using the suffix “-esque”?

I'm seeing this suffix everywhere lately. Of course, there are a number of -esques that are commonly used (i.e. Kafkaesque), but is there some sort of rule for determining who (or what) gets assigned ...
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How to express “good teaching skills”

How can I express that an explanation is clear, considering the intrinsic difficulty of the topic? I mean that the explanation might not be easy to understand, if the subject matter is intrinsically ...
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2k views

Did she judge him “wrong” or “wrongly”?

Which one is the correct use? She judged him wrong. She judged him wrongly. Or, are both correct, but have slightly different meanings?
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2answers
23k views

“Auxiliary” or “ancillary”

I am trying to phrase something like: We argue that introducing these concepts is likely to achieve ancillary goals. Should I use auxiliary or ancillary here? Is there a difference in meaning?
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Is it incorrect to use “hard” when I mean “difficult”?

My late grandfather had several word-choice peeves for which he would gently interrupt a speaker, especially a grandchild, in order to correct. The one I remember most was his dislike for the use of ...
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2answers
622 views

How would you name these two different types of adjectival qualifying?

If I say "Max is quite joyful right now" that would mean that Max is experiencing a feeling of joy, right? But if I say "This needle is rather painful" that would mean that somebody else is ...
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Is it correct to say “I feel painful” to mean “I feel pain”?

Is it correct to say "I feel painful" to mean "I feel pain"? Please note that I mean only those cases, in which the phrase is a complete sentence. There should be no words after the last word in each ...
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1answer
13k views

Why “unequal” but “inequality”?

The opposite of "equal" is "unequal", yet there is no word "unequality". Why do we use "inequality" instead?
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3answers
143 views

Is “more mainstream” a valid thing to write?

I'm writing a report talking about how a certain technique in my field has become 'more mainstream', but that phrase looks rather wrong. Is it a valid thing to say? Can something become "more ...
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248 views

Using “allium” as an adjective

I’d like to use the Latin word for garlic, allium, as an adjective, but can’t find any examples of this being done. Is there a rule for doing this with nouns ending in ‑um? Alliumnal sounds good, but ...
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Correct usage of “parallel” versus “in parallel” versus “parallelly”

I wish to know if any of the following sentences are incorrect: Using A and B parallel. Using A and B in parallel. Using A and B parallelly. Now I suspect most people are going to ...
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What connotation do these words describing “someone who straightforwardly expresses their” opinion have?

The adjective ones I have heard recently are forward straightforward forthcoming frank I was wondering if each of them has positive, negative or neutral meaning? What are other similar terms ...
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Terms to apply to something that leaves strong memory

Do the following terms have positive, neutral or negative meaning? memorable impressive remarkable What are other similar terms that are used for positive, neutral and negative intention?
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Why is anyone in a porn movie considered a porn star?

Recently, the media made a big deal about Charlie Sheen dating a porn star. It seems that anyone who is in a porn movie is referred to as a porn star. The same is not true of anyone in a normal movie. ...
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Rules for forming adjectives from Latin nouns

I read a paper today that kept using "multistrata" to describe an object with multiple layers. For example: I love multistrata cakes. This sounds wrong to my ear, I think "multistratum" sounds ...
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1answer
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Intimate and Intimate

I was thinking about the "intimate" word used here: How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend? How can I differentiate both words? Edit: in response to comments, I don't quite ...
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What is the adjectival form of “nemesis”?

If I have a non-person object or idea that I consider to be my nemesis1, how could I refer to the object as a noun but use an embellishing adjective to emphasize that the object is my nemesis? For ...
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Take -ing as adverb

I am a fan of Devil May Cry. In Devil May Cry 4, the highest rank for fighting is called smokin' sick style. Here, it seems that smokin' is used as an adverb. I guess it is derived from the usage ...
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2answers
936 views

Do adjectives typically reflect the meaning of corresponding nouns?

Is this a hard/fast rule, or are there exceptions? As he had done during oral argument in January, the Chief Justice used his opinion to discuss how words and their derivatives can mean very ...
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0answers
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Ordering of multiple, consecutive adjectives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Adjective order One a comedy show, one of the comedians was a female who was black and from the UK. The host introduced her as a the first black, female, British ...
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What is “newbie” as an adverb?

The title says it all! What is newbie as an adverb?
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Word for “left alone and to die”?

Is there a word that means "left alone and to die"? Edit: I believe there is such a word. I think I'm looking for abandoned and alone. Others expectations are that you'll die.
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Should it be “concerned person” or “person concerned”?

An office colleague wrote the following in an email: Kindly log a ticket for the same and assign it to the concerned team. I wrote back the following: I believe it should be "Kindly log a ...
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1answer
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Is “delegable” a word?

Wiktionary defines delegetable as capable of being delegated, which seems correct to the French speaking that I am. However, the same Wiktionary also defines delegable as that can be delegated. Does ...
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What would you (negatively) call a person who insists on repaying even a small amount of money?

Let's say you paid for a friend's bus ride, and he insists on paying you back rather than just let it be and stop worrying about it. You even find it rude on his part that he won't just forget about ...
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Synonyms for “anal retentive”

I would like one or more synonyms for anal retentive. I was chatting last night in an mmorpg, and any message with the word anal was banned. I ended up talking about my canal retentive minus c ...
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“My another account” vs. “my other account”

A little debate going on here so I just want to know which one it is; I'm saying it's my other account since my another would be my one other account. The other person insists they both can be used; ...
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What is the difference between “sardonic” and “sarcastic”?

Basically, sardonic and sarcastic both stand for mocking gestures, but what is the difference in their contextual use? Are there any other words that represent a similar gesture?
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What is the difference between “skeptical” and “cynical”?

Both the words "skeptical" and "cynical" refer to a doubtful mood, but what is the basic difference between them?
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How common is “fugly”?

"Fugly" is a vulgar slang adjective as far as I know, and I wonder how common it is, and how do people react when they hear that word. Native speakers are appreciated if they share their opinions.
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People usually use “typical” in place of using “difficult”. Does “typical” also mean “difficult”?

Typical actually means "of a particular type" but that particular type may not be difficult. What do you people think?
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“Egoistic” vs. “egotistic” [closed]

Does "egoistic" and "egotistic" mean the same thing?
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340 views

Which is better: “Powered by X” vs. “X-powered”

We say "Powered by Microsoft"; can one also say "Microsoft powered" instead of this?
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“One-Day Only Promotion” or “One-Day-Only Promotion”

A copywriter I'm working with wrote "One-Day Only Promotion" but my feeling is that "One-Day-Only Promotion" is correct. The first three words describe 'Promotion'. I know you don't hyphenate adverbs, ...
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Adjective form of “collide”—“collideable” or “collidable”?

I need to name an interface in a program I'm writing as being able to collide, but I've seen use of both collideable and collidable in projects with a similar type. Both of them look right in some ...
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What's the difference between “reliable” and “dependable”?

Do the adjectives “reliable” and “dependable” have the same exact meaning? If not, what is the difference and when is best to use each of them?