This tag is for questions seeking a single word that fits a meaning. See the "phrase requests" tag instead (or as well) if you seek a phrase that fits the meaning. To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word.

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14
votes
5answers
13k views

What is antonym of “update”?

The antonym of "upgrade" is "downgrade", quite broadly used. What is the antonym of "update"? Update: Though, I hoped for something like "un-update" because reverting or uninstalling updates are ...
4
votes
1answer
781 views

What is the name of equipment that is used in films, like when saying “scene one, take two”?

What is the name of equipment that is used in films, like when saying "scene one, take two"? The equipment is usually black and white in color.
4
votes
2answers
654 views

Word meaning an object can be “empty”

I'm looking for a single word that can describe a container object as having the ability to be in a state of emptiness. The first word that springs to mind is "emptiable", but that implies an ability ...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

What is a female ass called?

I know a male ass is a jackass, but what is a female ass called? Perusal of the internet suggests jillass or janeass, but I haven't found what might be called an authoritative source.
6
votes
3answers
983 views

What is the word for a plant covered in fine white hairs?

There are some plants whose leaves and stems are not the usual glossy green, but which are covered in very fine white hairs, or white fuzz. One example I have right now in my kitchen would be sage. ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

What is this an example of: “FOR SALE: Car by elderly lady with new body and spare tire”

Historical examples: Croesus asked the oracle what would happen if he attacked Persia. The reply: ‘A mighty empire will be humbled’. Thank you so much for the book. I shall lose no time in ...
5
votes
6answers
312 views

Term for increasing military presence at sea

What term expresses an increase of troops or other military units in a standoff between two armies, when no actual fighting has yet occurred? Specifically, I'm looking for something in the context of ...
4
votes
2answers
188 views

What is a “remedy” for a “pitfall”?

I am writing an academic thesis related to a specific topic (the actual topic is irrelevant, so let's just call it XXX). The thesis basically consists of: pointing out a couple of problems in ...
6
votes
3answers
598 views

What's the word — an ironic situation

Is there a word or idiom describing a situation where a rebuttal to an argument is evidence to it (especially when it is ironic/meta)? A very simple example: John: “You can talk!” Mary: “No ...
4
votes
2answers
326 views

Is there a technical term to describe why we feel the need to put emoticons and smileys in our writing?

One often wants to convey a kind of mood when writing a comment to another person, especially if what we're saying is ambiguous or can be taken offensively. So, one adds a smiley or an emoticon. Is ...
4
votes
6answers
619 views

A word for the job a cashier does for each customer

A cashier in a grocery store has __ 80 customers today. Expedited? Served? Handled? I have a feeling there's a better word.
4
votes
6answers
1k views

To make something opaque = opaquen?

To make something opaque is to 'opaquen'? How about to make something transparent? Is it 'transparentize'? Edit 1 This is for a computer code library that manipulates colors. I have verbs to ...
1
vote
1answer
342 views

Multiple strands of hair

Is there a word that connotes multiple strands of hair?
11
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

“To kill a fly with a…”?

I seem to recall that there is an expression for when you are throwing something too big at a particular challenge: "To kill a fly with a..."? Or am I way off here? Edit: maybe it's not a fly after ...
5
votes
5answers
553 views

How can I express “bottom” superlative?

Suppose you have some elements (let's say coins) laid out over a table in vertical order. How can I make reference to the coin at the bottom? The lowest coin? The one that is below any other? I just ...
3
votes
6answers
154 views

Is there a word to make the distinction between a Year/Month Combination and a Month

Is there a word/phrase that would distinguish the combination of a year and month from a month? I'd call "January" a month I'd call "January 2011" a ____?
5
votes
3answers
257 views

Looking for the name of a type of painting

What's the name of a type of painting that typically contains a crowd of people posed along a plane? Usually they're all focused on one point or an event that is happening in the painting. I've seen ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

What's a good word that means extraordinariness or exceptional-ness?

I have a sentence that currently reads "All they want is to be extraordinary." There's nothing wrong with that. I can certainly live with it. But what I want is a sentence in the form "All they want ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

The word for “Those who are notified”

In general usage (and hopefully correct usage) a "notifier" is someone who notifies. What is the word for the person who is notified? For example: "Instruct each [X] to respond to the notification ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Word for “disqualifier”?

Is there a word that would mean "disqualifier" if "disqualifier" were a word? Alternatively, let's say someone presents a list of qualifiers x y z and says you do not qualify if any of them apply ...
0
votes
2answers
767 views

Preposition to follow “Further acknowledgment”?

I have a statement. And after that statement I have: This is further acknowledged by the consolidation of the material. But I want to remove the "This". What preposition can I use here: ...
4
votes
3answers
193 views

Term encompassing thread, string, lanyard, and wire

Looking for a general term for things one would store on a spool -- thread, string, lanyard, wire, that sort of thing. Things that occur in long lines and will get tangled up if you don't organize ...
5
votes
3answers
290 views

A generic word to define the superset of companies, NGOs and faculties

I need a word to define a set which includes companies, NGOs and faculties that sounds equally distant to those 3. I am not a native English speaker so I might be wrong but "Corporation" sounds like ...
9
votes
10answers
3k views

What's a word for an instance in which one has an opinion about something without having tried it?

What do you call it when someone has a strong opinion about something without having any experience with that thing? For example, if someone writes an entire newspaper article about how disgusting pie ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Word that means “First Among Equals”

I am trying to come up with a word that would describe someone who is the first among equals. I did a quick search on the term on Google, and didn't come up with anything really satisfactory.
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Word Meaning “A single thing that's an indicator of greater overall trends”?

What's a word that means "a single thing or a subset of things that could be used to represent greater overall trends"? I work for a bookseller. The other day I was discussing a subset of several ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

What is an alternative expression to “this”?

What is an alternative expression to "this"? As in: Medicine is very important. This can be ascertained from the fact that... I'm looking for a "synonym".
9
votes
6answers
664 views

Word for “rush of air”

What do you call the rush of air you experience when riding on a motorcycle or in a speed boat? I want to say breeze, but that is caused by the wind, not the movement of the vehicle. Update: I am ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

What is a word for a person who has been initiated into secret knowledge (apprentice, ___, master)?

I'm looking for a noun that can fit well in a 3-level scale: apprentice, ____, master. The scale describes the progress of a person from a layman/uninitiated (apprentice), through being accomplished ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

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.
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Person present at the right time and at the right place

Is there a word to describe "a person present in the right place at the right time"?
4
votes
3answers
417 views

What do you call it when a group of neglected people spontaneously forms a cruel society?

I'm trying to come up with a word to describe what happens in cartoons (and probably real life) when a traumatic event leads to a group of ordinary people (usually children) to fend for themselves. ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Alternative word for playgoers' behavior

Is there a word for playgoers' behavior when hissing and booing the villain?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

More eloquent word or phrase [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a less offensive synonym for “retarded”? Can anyone please furnish me with a word, or short phrase, that would eloquently describe a person who has ...
1
vote
2answers
226 views

How do we say “domestic apples” in normal English

If you are serving apple pie and you want to write the menu so that the customer understands that the apples in the pie are from THE VERY CITY that the restaurant is in, how can I rewrite this phrase: ...
1
vote
3answers
488 views

Are there words meaning “helping somebody to think different/freely/more widely”? [closed]

This is what my uncle does to me. I want write him a letter in English.
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Can anyone tell me the word or phrase that means 'someone who things are done to'? [closed]

I am looking for a word or phrase for someone who has things done to them and someone who does things to people. I.e. someone with no power and someone who has all the power. Would be really ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

What does the word 'dicta' ('dita'?) mean in the song 'Who's That Chick?'?

The song 'Who's That Chick?' by David Guetta featuring Rihanna features the following line in the chorus: She's been a crazy dicta, disco fever and you wonder... Lyrics websites disagree on the ...
8
votes
13answers
5k views

Better synonym for “actionable”?

In managementese, "actionable" means "able to be acted upon". Unfortunately, its primary meaning is "giving sufficient reason to take legal action" in legalese. I'm looking for a better alternative ...
12
votes
3answers
296 views

Term for dedicating a book

Let's say: John Doe writes a book -- Me and My Dog Spot. On the page after the title, he writes: For Nancy. My aunt gives this book to me for my birthday, and on the title page, she adds in her ...
5
votes
4answers
619 views

What do you call this type of elevator?

See picture -- is there a better term than glass elevator?
3
votes
4answers
625 views

Is there a stronger word than “incite”?

I am looking for a word that conveys the strongest level of inciting someone, pushing someone to do something: Their boss VERB'd them to work as hard as possible. The strongest I can think of is ...
7
votes
9answers
26k views

What word(s) describe a woman's voice as “sexy”?

I am looking for a word (or two words) to describe a woman's voice that is "sexy" in a slightly deep, smooth, alluring way. The best I could come up with is mellifluous, but I'm looking for something ...
3
votes
12answers
1k views

What is the term for accusing a person of mischief through invented, twisting and changeable terminology?

What is the term for accusing a person of invented wrongdoing in such a way that he cannot respond or even clearly understand the accusations? For example, frequently reversing the definitions of the ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a word for somebody who cares for his/her child too much?

I have just finished watching the 3rd season of Lie to Me. I am wonder whether there is a word for somebody who cares for his/her son/daughter/child too much, like Dr. Cal Lightman?
3
votes
2answers
783 views

What does ‘May that not be the takeaway of this speech’ mean in Salah Palin’s mocking Michelle Obama’s recommendation of breastfeeding?

There was an article contributed by Jena McGregor titled ‘Palin’s milk joke goes sour' in Feb 18th Washington Post, which dealt with Salah Palin’s speech mocking Michelle Obama’s recommendation of ...
13
votes
9answers
592 views

A non-straight route

In informal speech, how would you describe a bus that travels from point A to point B by passing through every part of the city instead of using the straight way? When you give someone an advice which ...
1
vote
8answers
306 views

What is a term for a system with rules without any exceptions?

What is the term for an organization or social/political system rigidly governed by rules without any exceptions?
1
vote
6answers
1k views

Colloquial expression for “compliment” that carries negative feeling

What is the colloquial/casual/conversational form of the word "compliment" in this context: A: I hate John. B: Why? He's like a genius. A: Exactly! He's such a teacher's pet. He's always ...