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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Why do we say “by all means” when we mean “by any means”?

The common expression by all means seems to advocate the use of all means possible in order to accomplish a certain object, when in fact it expresses the use of any means to do it. I realize that all ...
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4answers
1k views

single word adjective for 'temperature-related'

As temporal is the adjective which describes things relating to time, is there such a word for temperature? The hyphenated 'temperature-related' works, but it is not a single word. For context, I'm ...
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2answers
52 views

Enlightenment, enlightened, Illuminism, illuminist

The Enlightenment was a cultural movement of intellectuals (Europe, XVIII century). It is associated with the Scientific Revolution, the Atlantic Revolutions (American Revolution, French Revolution, ...
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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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2answers
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Words with Unexpected Meanings (like “restive”)

I'd like to rationalise its startling "opposite" definition which acknowledges that "The original sense, 'inclined to remain still', has undergone a reversal." What induced this change? Moreover, is ...
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3answers
113 views

Recognizing right relative pronouns for clauses

I have read some grammar points about adjective clauses, but I still have problems recognizing the right choice in questions requiring them. A Jekyll and Hyde is a person who has two ...
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3answers
116 views

Is there a word for someone born in the UK?

While watching the World Cup game a few minutes ago, I was wondering what if the United Kingdom - and not England - had a National Team, with English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Ireland players ...
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2answers
162 views

How to describe humanities students in one word

In several languages, there is a specific, usually rather derogatory word for students of the humanities. Would it be necessary to stick to 'arts students' or 'humanities students' to point out these ...
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2answers
586 views

Compound adjectives functioning as adverbs modifying other adjectives; is it possible and grammatical?

Soul-crushingly bad; heartbreakingly sad; bone-crunchingly violent; etc. I swear I have seen it done, but I am not sure whether it's proper grammar or not.
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Literal antonym to “Outspoken”

I'm working on a humorous project in which one character is called the Outspoken Mime. The adjective "outspoken" means the mime in question is "free, bold, or unreserved in speech." On one side, ...
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3answers
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Problem in adjective clauses’ grammar

I have read some grammar points about adjective clauses, but I still have problems recognizing the right choice in questions requiring them. For example: All the students ____ do well in writing. ...
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Adjective of “ignore”

The primary meaning of ignore is to disregard somebody. Ignorant is synonymous with unlearned and uninformed. Ignorable assigns somebody or something a low priority. I'm looking for an adjective that ...
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5answers
436 views

Is the word “classless” neutral in its implication, or does it have a derogatory tone?

I was drawn to the word, “classless” in Carolyn Hax’s answer to a reader in the counseling corner of Washington Post (June 7), which comes under the title, “How do you get back at a loudmouth? By ...
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2answers
931 views

Is “subtle” a positive, neutral or/and negative word?

I wonder whether subtle is a positive, neutral or/and negative word? Looking up its definition, it seems that the word means things unclear for good reason. For example, I  wonder if subtle can ...
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7answers
7k views

“I feel bad for you” versus “I feel badly for you”

What is the correct usage? Apparently it is "I feel badly", but but wouldn't that mean you have an inadequate ability to feel?
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2answers
206 views

What adjective can describe someone who counts his chickens before they're hatched?

For example, someone who writes "I chose to study biology and chemistry at school because I am going to become a doctor after graduating."
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8answers
2k views

Adjective that describes a person who shows a lot of enthusiasm in the beginning but gets bored gradually?

Can anyone provide a word which describes a person who shows a lot of enthusiasm in the beginning but gets bored gradually and eventually leaves the task uncompleted? I looked at jaded, but it ...
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4answers
733 views

Word for doing something only because it provokes a reaction from others [duplicate]

Some people act in ways that provoke surprised or shocked reactions from others, mainly because they enjoy getting those reactions and not because of any inherent desire to perform the action itself. ...
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6answers
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Word for a smart and stubborn person? [duplicate]

I'm trying to find a single adjective that would fit the best to the following person's trait: One who thinks knows everything/best, and often doesn't listen to orders and instead completes some ...
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8answers
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Word that means that someone is too powerful

More specifically, if they have the power to wiretap your communications, powerful as in power, not as in strength. A _____ [powerful] person who holds a menacingly huge amount of power who makes ...
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4answers
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Word for a person who lives in the past

Someone who is highly nostalgic and is stuck in the past, better days
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8answers
2k views

adjective that means “someone who puts people down”

I was just thinking about someone I went to school with who had a penchant for putting people down, and I was trying to think of a word that describes this, but couldn't find it. It would be a synonym ...
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10answers
9k views

Is there a word to describe someone who often inaccurately uses words?

Or a word to describe the act of inaccurately using complicated or unusual words (often in an attempt to sound more intelligent)? I considered 'bombastic' but it doesn't have that quality of ...
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7answers
2k views

What's an adjective that means “has high expectations”

If you were to describe a person as someone who has high expectations or standards (of their work, peers, or subordinates), what word would you use? "Demanding" is the closest I have come but that's ...
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What's the word for “overly proud of your education”?

A friend and I are trying to remember a word to describe someone who is overly proud of their education. An example usage would be: Does that email make me appear too ___? Where the ___ is the ...
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6answers
332 views

A pejorative term for “unreasonably gregarious”

I am looking for a pejorative term to describe someone who constantly needs social interaction regardless of quality. Something along the lines of "social nymphomaniac", but not necessarily ...
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3answers
786 views

Lexically recognized synonym for “humblebrag”?

As one might guess, a humblebrag is one who uses a pretense of humility as a vehicle for boasting. This word can be found at Urban Dictionary but, it appears, nowhere more authoritative. Yet, of ...
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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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14answers
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When to use “nude” and when “naked”

The question is quite clear. Is there any difference (semantically or connotationally, if that's a word) between nude and naked? Nude seems more formal to me, but I'm not quite sure. Interesting: ...
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3answers
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Deciding between “eponymous” and “titular”

William Gibson has a short story collection titled Burning Chrome. One of the stories in this collection is also titled Burning Chrome. I was recommending the book to someone and I wanted to say that ...
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6answers
2k views

Synonym for “focused”

I'm looking for a better adjective that means focused in the sense of "intense concentration" like an elite warrior in battle. I guess it doesn't even need the sense of having blinders on, more about ...
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2answers
684 views

Meaning of “first-level”, “second-level” in general

What do these expressions mean in general: first-level, second-level, ... ? For example, Response rates provide a first-level indicator of advertisement effectiveness. Conversion rates offer a ...
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2answers
90 views

Conjugations of Ancillary

Ancillary is already something of an uncommon word in conversation, but it came up recently in a StackOverflow chat room in the following example: Person 1: "Are you talking about me?" Person 2: ...
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1answer
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Using adjectives as nouns

What is the term for using an adjective in the place of a noun? It seems to come up a lot in fantasy fiction, generally used as a proper noun to describe a group ("the Twisted", "the Hunted"), but it ...
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“Contemporaneous” vs “simultaneous”

I've done a bit of searching but cannot find a definitive distinction between contemporaneous and simultaneous. I personally use the words interchangeably. Am I correct in doing so?
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What is the opposite of “steep”?

In rock-climbing, we describe an incline as "steep" (which is anything from 90 degrees to overhanging) but we don't have a good word to mean "not steep". At least I've never heard anyone use one; ...
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“More drunk” or “drunker”?

I am at a party. I drink wine till I'm drunk. Then I drink some more. So am I more drunk now, or drunker?
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1answer
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As a noun, “abandon” is almost always preceded by the word “reckless”. [duplicate]

Feel free to correct me if you don't share the same experience, but in my own experience, usage of the word "abandon" as a noun without being apart of the phrase "reckless abandon" is extremely rare. ...
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459 views

Adjective for not first but either second, third, fourth, etc

What is an adjective for something that is not first but either second, third, fourth, etc? We don't need to know what position it is at; the only thing that matters is that it's not the first one. ...
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0answers
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difference between suffixes '-ish' and '-y'

Recently Prince Charles used the word 'Hitlery,' in the sense of "possessing some properties of Hitler." Is there any difference between the suffixes -ish and -y ?
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Is “pejorative” used correctly in “no pejorative bone in his body”?

He doesn't have a pejorative bone in his body. This is meant to describe a timid, non-confrontational person. Is pejorative being used correctly here, in a figurative sense?
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What's an antonym to “legacy”?

I am struggling to find out what the best and shortest way is to describe the opposite of a legacy system (especially in software architecture, where legacy means the system used previously). I need ...
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6answers
95 views

A single word adjective for “having only one interpretation; leaving no doubts”

I am looking for an adjective with a meaning: this is definite, clear, and there's no room for misinterpretation; nothing's left variadic. For example: logical statements have only one, very strict ...
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5answers
177 views

An adjective to describe “being at sea”

I'm looking for an adjective that describes the fact that a ship is sailing at sea. Much as "afoot" describes a person being in the state of walking. I was hoping "asail" would be a word, but can't ...
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4answers
240 views

What is the adjective for “supersedure” or “primacy”?

Is there an adjective that can express the concept of a law that supersedes other laws? I would prefer a single adjective that has legal connotations, although a present participle will suffice. The ...
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1answer
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“Putative” vs. “surrogate” [closed]

How similar or different is "putative" to "surrogate"? The term "surrogate father" is common, "putative father" is fairly so, too. But what may be the difference in connotation?
3
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3answers
280 views

Is “over-saturated” redundant?

For me, "saturated" implies there couldn't exist more of given quantity, like concentration of substance in a solution. So "over-saturated" (as in "over-saturated market") seems redundant.
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How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem

Have you ever had a case where you felt compelled to include strange things like a double that in a sentence? If so, then what did you do to resolve this? For me, I never knew whether it was ...
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1answer
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Predicate adjective acceptable with “to do”

"I did good on the test." vs. "I did well on the test." The first example sounds fine to me, and the second a bit pedantic. Is the first example standard American English and, secondly, is "good" ...
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1answer
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“Despising look” vs “despised look”

Peter gave me a despising look. Peter gave me a despised look. Are the two statements above the same? My understanding is that in statement 1, I may have done something that Peter thinks ...