Nouns are words that refer to an entity, quality, state, action, or concept.

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What is the correct usage of trailblazer?

Let's say I invented a robot which moves a couple of meters front of me by looking to my direction. It kind of "guesses" where I'm going. So, if I call it trailblazer, will it be a correct usage? ...
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380 views

“Prices of” vs “prices for”

I came across two different sentences both containing the word "prices", but with different prepositions, "of" and "for". Here are the two sentences. Audi Cuts Prices of Spare Parts in China ...
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Is the word “granular” a synonym for the word “specific”?

I often hear the words "granular" or "granularity" being used around colleagues at my office to specify level of detail. For example: Does the running category have to be more granular? We ...
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“Napkin” vs. “tissue”

I have suddenly found out that Chinese people use the word tissue instead of the word napkin. Before I checked that word in the dictionary I couldn't understand what they are talking about. Is there ...
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2answers
28 views

Variety vs. Varieties

What's the difference between the below four phrases: A variety of flowers Varieties of flowers A variety of flower Varieties of flower I can't quite distinguish the difference between "variety" ...
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Lobbyist's Counterpart

A lobbyist is a person tries to influence the votes of legislators on behalf of a special interest. What would the correct term be for the legislators being lobbied? Lobbyee might be a logical ...
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Is there a canonic term for “the one whose birthday party is being celebrated”?

Something along the lines of 'hero of the occasion', but specifically for birthday? If there isn't, how would you otherwise say that? ('the subject of birthday party', 'the hero of this birthday ...
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When does an uncountable noun become countable?

I wonder why "fat" "carbohydrate" and "protein" can have the plural form as in the following quotes. Aren't those nouns uncountable? The Russian consumer protection agency said Friday it is taking ...
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75 views

Better hypernym to substitute for “business agenda”

I'm using the words “business agenda” to describe the set of tasks, documents, processes, features and other artifacts that are related to a single “function” executed by a business. In my language ...
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102 views

Apartment building - flat building?

Does anyone in the UK say 'flat building'? I live in the US, mind, so I have no clue. It sounds a bit funny saying that. Do they say 'apartment building' instead, maybe? Or is there another word for a ...
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7answers
615 views

What is an official collection of laws/books/etc. called?

What do you call an official collection of passages, laws, books, etc.? I'm thinking of a very official-sounding word, like "The ___crux" "The Index" or "The Axiom" or something sounding like that... ...
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1answer
148 views

Terminology for “New Yorker” vs “lives in New York”

What are the terms that can be used to differentiate between these two nouns? New Yorker versus one who lives in New York A "New Yorker" would be someone who self-identifies as a practitioner ...
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Are peas countable or non-countable?

Frequently in my childhood a conversation would arise at the dinner table that went something like this; "How many peas would you like?" "About sixty please". (Laughter ensues). The question befits a ...
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Art and Culture are to “Philistine” as Feeling and Compassion are to what?

I'm looking for a noun to embody the adjectives "unfeeling" and "heartless" the same way Philistine embodies "uncivilized" and "crude". I'm looking for something a bit more tactful than say, "a ...
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5answers
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What is the name of the small containers of half & half, etc.?

Does anyone know what the word/name for the small plastic cup things that contain liquids (like half and half for coffee) is? Right now I’m using sachet because a coworker started to do so, but I’ve ...
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76 views

How do you convert a noun into an adjective? [on hold]

What would be the adjectives for nouns like shopkeeper, country, wife, earring, teacher, father — and so on and so forth?
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3answers
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“Improviser” or “improvisor”?

I'm trying to determine whether I should use the ~er suffix or the ~or suffix for a person who improvises. What I've learned on the web is that technically one should say "improvisor". The ~or suffix ...
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What is the opposite of “personification”?

I want a word that means the opposite of personification. What is the correct word for describing people with the characteristics of an object/as if they are objects? I found the word chremamorphism ...
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5answers
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If I drive a car and ride a motorcycle, what do I do with a boat?

Once we have specific verbs to refer to the action of operating a vehicle, my question is: What verb should I use to "drive" a boat/ship?
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Is there a word for “people who are computer illiterate”?

Just as there is "computerate" to describe those who show familiarity with, and ability to use computers, is there a word to describe the opposite, those who are computer illiterate? The word I'm ...
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1answer
42 views

What principle guides word combinations with “almost”?

I am trying to explain to non-native speakers how to use "almost." I can't formulate (a) rule(s) to follow with regard to nouns/pronouns. So far, my only ideas are that almost can be collocated only ...
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1answer
614 views

What is the difference between “fair” and “festival”?

The words "fair" and "festival" seem almost identical to me, but they have separate Wikipedia entries (here and here) with similarly structured, yet different information. In terms of the meaning and ...
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Are there any English one-word equivalents for “je ne sais quoi”?

Wiktionary defines je ne sais quoi as An intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive. She has a certain je ne sais quoi about her. Is there a single-word equivalent?
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the noun form of 'we are under the department of XXX'

The meaning I want to deliver is: We need to tell the school that we are from the department of education when we approach them. But since I want to present it in a proper way, I plan to write ...
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1answer
147 views

What does “bite” and “quarter-backing” mean in this context?

It's from the first few lines of the foreword to Karl Llewellyn's "The Bramble Bush": These lectures grew out of an attempt in 1929 and 1930 to introduce the students at Columbia Law School to ...
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Alternative, more commonly accepted parlance for “currentness”

The following two sentences are identical: Ensure that X is current. Ensure the currentness of X. However, the word "currentness", while present in the dictionary, represents a very ...
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Why is there no “autumntime” or “falltime”?

Why is "autumntime" (or "falltime") not a word? wintertime => sure springtime => fine summertime => lovely But apparently autumn/fall has no equivalent. Why?
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1answer
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What's a single word for the context a word is used in (used to differentiate similar words)?

I saw a question on this site asking about the difference between two similar words and one of the answers said it was the specific context each word was used in, except they used a single word that ...
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2answers
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Can the word ‘genius’ be used as an adjective?

Can the word 'genius' be used as an adjective? For example: 'A genius plan' or 'This is a genius piece of work'?
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What's the difference between a fable and a parable?

Does either imply a lesson, or a fantastical setting?
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“Bazaar” vs. “bazar”

Which of bazaar or bazar is better to use for the domain name of specialised marketplace? Both are available according to the dictionaries. Any advice which of these two is better to use in the URL? ...
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5answers
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Difference between “taxi” and “cab”

Definition of taxi: To ride or travel in a taxicab Definition of cab: A taxicab. Since the definitions don't show many differences, is it okay to assume that there is no difference ...
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Word for a person being used

I'm looking for a word to describe someone who is being used. This person would be the subject (a noun) not a verb or or adjective. Maybe like a pushover.
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Why is the word 'Poke' obsolete?

I heard somewhere there was a word that in english translated to 3 words: pocket (small bag), pouch (regular-sized bag), and poke (large bag). I also heard that poke is now obsolete. This seems to be ...
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Difference between “novice” and “newbie” [closed]

I can say "I am a novice in English" or "I am a newbie in English". Is there any difference between these?
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1answer
51 views

Can parents “educate” their children? Or only teachers? [closed]

Many of my Asian students who are learning English say that parents can "educate" their children. However I'm not sure if this is a correct collocation in English. My understanding of "education" is ...
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2answers
48 views

Is there a good word for “unsurpassability”?

I hope that this is a good forum to post the query below, and please excuse me if it is not -- this is my first visit. I am looking for a noun that describes a state of not being surpassable or ...
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Word to Warn of Danger of Usage

I need a term or word to refer to something which is very powerful but if used naïvely will cause great harm. I could say: "This is a [noun], use with care." or: "Use this with care it is ...
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7answers
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“Indexes” or “indices”?

A table can have one index, or it has two or more ind...? Is it indexes or indices? I'm just asking since I've noticed that they're both used quite often. Even Wikipedia seems to support both ...
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5answers
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What is a noun or adjective to describe somebody who juggles work, study, hobbies, family and more?

I'm trying to describe someone who burns the candle at both ends. They work full-time, they study full-time, they have creative projects on the go, they raise their family and manage their property - ...
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When to use conclusion and conclusions in a scientific article or report?

I am writing a scientific report in English. For the final part, should I use conclusion or conclusions? I am a bit confused because in my memory it's an uncountable noun. But I saw many journal ...
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2answers
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“Stadiums” vs. “stadia” [duplicate]

I'm not that old, but when I was a child/teen, stadia was the common term. As in: Wembley, the Nou Camp, and the Santiago Bernabeu are football stadia. The MCG and Lord's are cricket stadia. ...
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1answer
29 views

Using past participle vs existent noun form for adjective

There are multiple ways a noun can be described by an adjective by a word that is already an adjective (e.g., big, dark, high, low) by a noun (mushroom house) by a participle (running dogs, painted ...
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1answer
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“Not only one of the most talented actors of our age but kind.” — what does 'kind' mean here?

I was searching for information about the original novel "House of Cards" and from following site, in the middile of the page, there's sentence which compliment Kevin Spicey as shown ...
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“A fallacy in its own right” [closed]

Would it be correct to say or write that an "organisation is a fallacy in its own right" — by failing utterly in doing what it's supposed to do?
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2answers
157 views

Nominalization of the phrase “the way they are normally represented”

In a past exam on technical writing, we were required to rewrite the italicized part of the following clause using nominalization, that is, turning verb phrases to noun phrases: "[...] this ...
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1answer
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quotes and brackets

I'm programming a parser for a new language, and need a word which references all kinds of quotes and brackets: "" '' <> () [] {} Up to now I always used "quotes and brackets", but is there ...
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English equivalent of komorebi (木漏れ日) — “sunshine filtering through leaves”

Is there an English equivalent of komorebi (木漏れ日), which means the sunshine filtering through the leaves of a tree (or trees)? It is made up of three kanji and the hiragana particle れ. The first ...
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What does “binder” mean? Why did it become a political buzzword?

I’ve been seeing a lot of “binders” in recent newspaper and magazine articles dealing with the recent Presidential debates. For examples: Time magazines October 19 issues carries the article titled, ...