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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What is the difference between “illicit” and “illegal”?

What is the difference between "illicit" and "illegal"? Are they just synonymous? Used in different contexts?
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4answers
985 views

How to write dashes in “a 2-4-room-apartment”?

I want to write in the announcement a description of an eventual apartment, which I am searching as a rental. I am interested in apartments with 2, 3, or 4 rooms. How should I write the compound ...
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3answers
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What color does ‘pale thing’ have?

I'd like to focus in on the meaning of 'pale' which is used in color description. My dictionary, OALD, says 'pale' in such case means "light in colour; containing a lot of white". It shows me some ...
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What is the reasoning behind the “urban” slang word “tight” coming to mean “cool/great/slick”?

How and why did the word tight come to be appropriated in this sense, for example as in, "That car is tight, cuh!" ? I mean, one easily extrapolates from the "normal" definition to understand why ...
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2answers
14k views

“Melted” vs “molten”

Is there any difference (e.g. regionality) between the two forms of the past participle of melt (melted and molten)?
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1answer
727 views

Meaning of “intriguing” in the following sentence

Reading comprehension is one of the most important parts of any management entrance examination and a bit intriguing as well. Does it mean: Challenging? Interesting? Provocative? All these ...
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2answers
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Correct usage for “bad” v. “poor” adjectives

The way I was taught many years ago was that something like quality can be poor, but not bad. The reasoning was that "bad" is a value/moral whereas poor applies to non-value qualities. In this case, ...
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2answers
2k views

Synonyms and antonyms for “lacking” or “missing” when something is mandatory

I am searching for the correct term usage in my Java code, although you don't need to know anything about programming to answer my question. My "something" can be "required" (mandatory) or not (...
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3answers
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It's raining today or it's rainy today?

When you're writing a diary, you might start with "It's sunny today" or "It's cloudy today." When it comes to rain, which should it be? It's rainy today. It's raining today. It may be ...
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4answers
7k views

What's the difference between “ludicrous” and “ridiculous”?

What's difference between ludicrous and ridiculous? Are they completely synonymous?
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2answers
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Which is correct: “full context” or “complete context”?

"For the full context, see this." vs. For the complete context, see this." Are both identical in meaning? Do I need the article "the"? Please explain.
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3answers
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Using 'very' with a noun

Are these correct ways to use very with a noun? She is the very girl I want. On the very year of 2012, comes the end of the world. This is the very company everyone wants to work for. ...
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Why is “busy” pronounced “bizzy”?

Of all the ways I could come up with to pronounce the word "busy", "bizzy" would be very low on my list. At least "bussy" or "boosy". Why "bizzy"?
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12answers
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What is the difference between “quicker” and “faster”?

What is the correct word to use here and why: I will get there quicker [than you] vs. I will get there faster [than you] There must be similar adverbs for "slower".
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5answers
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What is the difference between “electric” and “electrical” and their usage?

What is the difference between electric and electrical and their usage? For example, what is the difference between "electrical machine" and "electric machine"?
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4answers
573 views

Meaning of Early Modern English “iuie”

I found this phrase in Featherstone's Dedication at the front of an English translation of the Commentary on John by John Calvin: It is an old saying, (Right Honorable,) and no lesse true then ...
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Electronic or electronics for the adjective

Is it correct to say "electronics products" or "electronic products"?
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3answers
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Is the sentence “It is removed” grammatically correct?

There is another form of the same sentence — "It has been removed". But in the sentence "It is removed," the last word is an adjective so I believe it is correct as well. Am I right?
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2answers
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Can adjectives be placed without a noun after them?

Adjectives are placed before nouns. But sometimes I've seen (though I'm not sure if they are correct), things like: The item placed there I know that it may be a short way of saying "The item ...
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3answers
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What is the difference between “little” and “a little”?

I would like to know how these two words differ in usage. Which one is singular? Which one is plural? I would greatly appreciate if you could provide me with a sample usage of these phrases.
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14answers
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Is there a polite alternative to “No thanks, I'm full”?

English is not my native language, but when I was studying in the US, I was always trying to find an alternative to I'm full! I felt that it was a very improper way to express that I have eaten ...
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3answers
357 views

What is the Adjective form of Tuba

If "xylophonic" is the adjective form of "xylophone", what is the adjective form of Tuba?
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2answers
523 views

Is there a reference book that lists words by usage or theme?

Similar to how a Thesaurus lists synonyms, is there a book that groups words (or phrases) together by conceptual usage? For example, this question is looking for words that describe a person's ...
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3answers
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“Contemporary” vs. “contemporaneous”

What is the difference between these two words? contemporary: From the same time period, coexistent in time. contemporaneous: Existing or created in the same period of time. I know that ...
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2answers
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“How big of a problem” vs. “how big a problem”

Quite a few phrases in English are constructed like so: How [adjective] a [noun]...? This is the question form of the construction, which is often answered with the negative: Not that [...
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2answers
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Differences between “vulgar” and “coarse”, “crass”, “crude”, “rough”, “rude”, “unrefined” as applied to language

This question specifically covers how these terms are used to describe language, it is a followup to What's the difference between "informal", "colloquial", "slang", ...
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Use of “facetious”

I received an e-mail including the following sentence: I am not asking for a facetious grade change, just one that would allow me to pass. What the writer means is that the request isn't ...
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What's the difference between the adjectives “strategic” and “tactical”?

I recently read this sentence: It was a strategic move rather than a tactical one. I have trouble interpreting it. Can someone help?
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1answer
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Hyphenating “steady state” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? I am unsure if and when to hyphenate steady state (in a mathematical context), i.e.: We now calculate the steady-state ...
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1answer
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South vs Southern - difference? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is the use of “north” more appropriate than “northern” and vice versa? Are there any differences in meanings of South vs Southern, North vs ...
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1answer
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“Repetitive” vs. “repetitious”

I have heard both repetitive and repetitious used in everyday speech to describe something that repeats, and I'm wondering what the real difference between the words is. Does one have a different ...
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4answers
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Why are the people of the United States called “Americans” when the whole continent is “America” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are the United States often referred to as America? Is it because there wasn't a proper adjective like "United Staterns" or something? Why are Canadians not called ...
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4answers
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“Ironic” vs. “ironical”

Being that this highly related question primarily asked whether ironical is actually a word (and if it is used regionally), I'm interested to know whether there is a difference between it and ironic ...
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Etymology of the color name “orange”

Etymonline shows orange c.1300, from O.Fr. orenge (12c.), from M.L. pomum de orenge, from It. arancia, originally narancia (Venetian naranza), alteration of Arabic naranj, from Pers. narang, ...
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Is an “informed guess” the same as an “educated guess”?

Do these phrases convey the same meaning? Is an informed guess by definition, also, an educated guess?
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“Virulent bacteria”

I read Health officials were worried enough about an unusually virulent outbreak of food-borne illness from the E. coli bacteria, This seems so wrong. Is there a name for it? (mixed metaphors,...
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Word that means “healing” or “spiritually healing”?

I know there is a word that means 'healing' as in "The therapy session was very ______", blank meaning it was healing (possibly of emotional wounds from the past).
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2answers
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What is the correct form of “advance” in the sentence: “My advance search”?

Which form is correct? My advance search. My advanced search. I ask this in comparison to "simple" that does not have a 'ed' form. My simple search.
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Correct capitalisation of “Machiavellian”?

Does the adjective Machiavellian always have a capital letter? For example: The Machiavellian Iago manipulates Othello into believing his wife, Desdemona, had an affair. Not sure if this is ...
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Word for not knowing about something

I would like to know some word choices (can be a noun, adjective,...) for not knowing about something, with a positive connotation with a negative connotation in a neutral way For example, I ...
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“Plausible” vs. “possible”

I am looking to find the difference between possible and plausible. Here is what Apple's dictionary gives for each word: Possible: Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or ...
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4answers
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Is it common to use the borrowed noun-adjective form for borrowed French phrases?

Lately, something has struck me. I've been hearing several expressions in English, some clearly borrowed from French and preserving their noun-adjective form. Some examples are: Attorney General ...
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When is the use of “north” more appropriate than “northern” and vice versa?

North, South, East, West, can be used as adjectives, but so can Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western. What rules, if any, govern which is appropriate when?
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“Too serious” vs “too seriously”

I know the vast majority of people say "Don't take yourself too seriously", as found correct by basically every native speaker I've asked about this (often accompanied by incredulous looks). What ...
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1answer
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Opposite of “arrogant”/“having attitude”

Are self-abased and humble both opposite to arrogant or having attitude? What are their differences? What are words for the opposite to arrogant, respectively in a positive, negative, and neutral way?
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Is the adjective “vain” considered offensive when applied to a person?

I am given to understand by the Chambers Dictionary and Webster's that vain can be understood as thoughtless, empty-headed, useless, which all sound rather strong to me. Is it likely that a native ...
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3answers
923 views

A “Decadent” Cheesecake?

Is the adjective "decadent" suitable to be used in the context "a decadent cheesecake"?
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3k views

Preventative vs. preventive

In this answer about the non-word disabilitated, the word preventative is compared (unfavourably, if my reading of the implication is correct) to preventive. However, I have always used preventative, ...
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“Hirable” or “hireable”

What is the correct adjective form of the word hire? I have seen references to both hireable and hirable. I checked using Google's Ngram viewer book search and it appears that both have been in use ...
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Is the use of a hyphen between “non” and an adjective strictly necessary?

Do I need to put a "-" between "non" and an adjective? As an example in physics we say "a non isolated photon", "non tight photon"... The context is very formal (paper publications and similar). Is ...