This tag is for questions seeking a single word that fits a meaning. To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. YOU MUST INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE DEMONSTRATING HOW THE WORD WOULD BE USED; see the "learn more..." link for more ideas on ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

2
votes
8answers
3k views

What would you call a person who looks around for useful or used stuff?

What would you call a person who searches around the block looking for useful & used stuff to buy? Also what would you call a person who sells stuffs that are no longer being used at home?
5
votes
5answers
730 views

Adverb for “Cannot be topped”

What's a good adverb to indicate an attribute that cannot be improved upon? I wanted 'untoppably' to be a word, but it isn't. Optimally and its synonyms come to mind, but it doesn't really have the ...
10
votes
4answers
10k views

Noun for enable (“enability”, “enabliness”)?

I need a noun to describe the state of being enabled/disabled. Do any exist? UPDATE: For example, I have some device (or software control), which can be in an enabled state or a disabled state. Let's ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What does “uncancellable” mean? / What is a word for “not able to be uncancelled”?

What does "uncancellable" mean? Does it mean that something may be uncancelled, or that something may not be cancelled? [Edit:] How would one express each of those ideas? For bonus points, is there ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What comes after “octuplet”?

After singletons, twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets, septuplets, and octuplets, what comes next?
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Asking a permission to ask a question by saying the word Question, followed by the actual question [closed]

My Mom does something that irks me. Either when she calls me, or sends me an e-mail, she says or writes "Question." Then asks whatever question it is. I find this rude. In my opinion starting the ...
6
votes
8answers
174 views

A single word for an “instance” of publicity

Is there a non-collective noun for an "instance" of publicity? In other words, a restaurant receives publicity every time a local newspaper publishes a review or an article about it. Each of those ...
3
votes
5answers
480 views

A term for a “clean” win

I'm looking for a sports-related term in English, that means that one side had won without the other side having scored a single point, e.g. 1:0 or 5:0. Is it "a clean win", or does a clean win mean ...
-5
votes
3answers
488 views

Is there a synonym for laziness or procrastination [closed]

...that starts with the letter 'w', 'h', or 'e'? I'm in desperate need of such a word to fit the essay I'm writing :D
0
votes
1answer
122 views

“Sites like Facebook do/does use …”

When I am talking about plural ("Sites"), should I use does or do? In case I'm talking in plural, I should use "do". But "like Facebook", is singular. So which one is correct?
2
votes
5answers
275 views

What's the opposite of 'formless'?

In some meditative traditions, there are absorption states called jhanas. Four of them are formless jhanas - jhanas without form - and four of them are jhanas with form. Is there a word corresponding ...
3
votes
3answers
921 views

Word for “on this side of the ocean”

I'm looking for a word akin to 'cismontane' that refers to oceans or seas. Does this exist?
10
votes
11answers
15k views

A single word for someone who is not pleased no matter how hard you try

I'm looking for a word that means someone (especially a boss) who is not pleased (with your work, attitude etc.) no matter how hard you try.
27
votes
7answers
3k views

Do you say 'white blackboard'?

English is not my first language, so I'm not sure what you commonly call one of these: I'm trying to choose between blackboard, white blackboard, or maybe just 'slate'.
15
votes
6answers
25k views

Is there a gender-neutral word for [aunts and uncles], parents' siblings?

Brothers and sisters are siblings. Husbands and wives are spouses. Mothers and fathers are parents. Sons and daughters are children. Grandparents, grandchildren... but what about uncles and aunts, ...
4
votes
6answers
978 views

Short and well-known term for “jump from one branch to another”

In this sentence: Bird jumps from one branch to another in a strange wood. I am interested in the part: "jumps from one branch to another". Could you tell me some well-known term of such action? ...
2
votes
6answers
340 views

Antonym for piling up?

I am looking for a verb that would be something like an antonym for piling up, describing the action of raising a pile from the bottom, specially making the base of the pile wider. For example, like ...
0
votes
5answers
744 views

What's a short phrase meaning “visited and ascended” (e.g. a tower)?

Is there a short and clear word or phrase, that is not pretentious-sounding, meaning "visited and ascended", as in buildings, e.g. Bert visited the lobby of Empire State Building, but Ernie went up to ...
49
votes
7answers
4k views

English counterpart to Japanese signal word, “Dokkoisho”

What is an English counterpart to the Japanese signal word, “Dokkoisho” uttered unconsciously in such case as sitting down on the bench? When you get old, it becomes tough to move your body. We ...
3
votes
7answers
67k views

What is the expression to suggest a few dates and times to meet?

Let's say a friend of mine tells me the following: Nice! Let’s meet up for a drink this week. And I want to say, "Sure let's do it. I will propose a few ..., and you tell me if either of them ...
6
votes
12answers
3k views

What would you call the object of an activity one does for fun?

For instance, the object related to cooking is a "dish", when playing it is "sport" or "game", when singing it's a "song". Which single term would describe the object for the general act of doing ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

Word for someone who collects dice

I collect game dice as a hobby. What is a word for someone who collects dice?
6
votes
6answers
1k views

A word for someone who has more skill than a code monkey to be at just the next level

A Code monkey is a computer programmer or other person who writes computer code for a living. This term may be slightly derogatory, meaning that this developer can write some code but is ...
66
votes
14answers
15k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
202 views

word/phrase for initial set of data or givens

I'm searching for a neutral phrase that conveys the concept of the initial condition/situation/position/set of givens or factors impacting an outcome. For example, the idea of a 'headstart' conveys an ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Term for insulting words which sound grand?

I don't mean euphemisms or backhanded compliments (or the reverse). It's the words which sound grand, but actually have a bad meaning (e.g., jumentous: smelling strongly like a beast of burden). Is ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

How to affectionately call someone who is always moaning/whinging?

How can one affectionately call someone who is always moaning/whinging? I am looking for a qualifier with minimal negative connotation.
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the literary term used to describe long vowel sounds?

What is the literary term used to describe long vowel sounds? For example in Ted Hughes's "Your Paris" in his Birthday Letters anthology "Eerie Familiar Feeling", what term would be used to describe ...
2
votes
2answers
944 views

A word for “to be completely invisible except to those who have been chosen”

I have searched everywhere, but I cannot find a word or two words that define the following: To be completely invisible except to those who have been chosen. Basically, I am in search of a word ...
2
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the word for thinking a joke is both funny and bad (groan-worthy) at the same time?

Is there a word in English that describes the feeling or thinking that a joke is funny, but really bad (i.e. groan-worthy) at the same time? For example, most puns cause many people to groan, but they ...
2
votes
2answers
418 views

What do you call those pubs that are run in ruins and soon-to-be-demolished buildings?

There are famous pubs in Budapest and Berlin which are operated in abandoned or soon to be demolished buildings. Some call them ruin pubs, but I'm not quite sure that's the correct name.
57
votes
11answers
2k views

Is there an English phrase for an inability to actually *leave* already?

There is a Hungarian expression, küszöbgörcs, which literally means "threshold-cramp", and is used to describe that long conversation you have in the entryway, with all the guests awkwardly holding ...
5
votes
7answers
6k views

Antonym of “superlative”

A friend of mine was talking about a film he has seen a trailer for and sarcastically heaping superlatives on it. He then wondered what the opposite of superlative (as a noun) is. I suggested ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the name for someone who gives his subordinates a morale boost?

What do you call someone who, merely by their presence, gives a morale boost to the people he is responsible for? What about someone who gains power from being supported by their troop? If possible I ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a single noun, preferably not a gerund, for the act of exceeding or surpassing?

Is there a single noun, preferably not a gerund, for the act of exceeding or surpassing? In editing test reports and similar technical material, I come across the notion of exceeding or surpassing a ...
5
votes
5answers
935 views

Single word for “break” with professional connotation

What is a nice way to explain that performing a certain action will "break" a product? I have to explain to a customer that use of my product in an unauthorized manner will "break" the product, but I'...
3
votes
4answers
530 views

Word for sensors that collect the same data in two different ways

I need a word that describes two sensors that collect the same features, but in different ways. The raw data may be of different types, but the features would be the same. This word would imply that ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Using “actual” to signify “current”

The New Oxford American Dictionary gives two meanings for actual: existing in fact; existing now; current How common is the second of these meanings? Is it something that can be used without fear ...
6
votes
3answers
962 views

Term meaning 'with written words'

In the same way that verbally means with spoken words, I'm looking for a term that means with written words. Is there such a word?
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Is there a name for this kind of punny transference?

First came John Guare's play Six Degrees of Separation, which was later turned into a film. It was about the web of interconnections that binds all of humanity together. Later came the well known ...
3
votes
9answers
1k views

What word describes interpreting evidence in such a way as to reach a desired conclusion?

Does anyone know what it's called when you interpret evidence to reach the conclusion you want?
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Shorter way to say “conversational partner”

I'm looking for a proper English word to say "conversational partner". Is "interlocutor" a word an average person would understand? Are there any other words or shorter expressions which could ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the subject of a survey called?

For example, the subject of an interview is an interviewee. So, I was wondering what the subject of a survey might be.
7
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there an English word meaning “snacks eaten as an accompaniment while drinking alcohol”?

I'm currently travelling in Korea and Japan and learned that both languages have words specifically for snacks that accompany alcoholic drinks, or at least go with beer and spirits such as sake or ...
7
votes
7answers
22k views

Is there a single word for speech with a double meaning?

How could one put, in a single word, language that has multiple meanings at once?
5
votes
6answers
517 views

Defining profit loss in laymans terms - without using loss in the explanation

I'm updating a training manual and need to define loss (in the context of a business) in a simple sentence. Currently it reads as (previous author): Loss: Loss is profit loss due to product theft, ...
8
votes
3answers
827 views

What do I call a word with roots from multiple languages?

As best as I can tell, a good example is sociopath: sociopath — from socio- on model of psychopath socio- — combining form of [Latin] socius pathos — from [Greek] ...
12
votes
10answers
1k views

Word for “ability to hide complexity”

Is there a single word for ability to hide complexity or ability to hide details?
18
votes
10answers
2k views

What is a synonym for “superstition” but without the negative connotation?

In my native language (Latvian) there is a word that denotes a superstition, but in a more positive way, somehow. It’s hard to explain, so let me give some examples: If you swing on the swings a ...
5
votes
2answers
865 views

Term for a former prisoner, who seems to have an aura of jail hanging around him

I read in a book about this effect, and I just can't remember the term for it. It describes the effect with a name, something like: "shadow of jail about him" or something. This is seriously driving ...