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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34
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4answers
2k views

What are the words for the different parts of a ticket?

Admission tickets such as those for the cinema are often composed of a part which will remain to the customer, and a part which will remain to the attendant. What are the two parts called? What is ...
34
votes
9answers
26k views

“Race” is to “racism” as “religion” is to what?

I've heard "racist" being used in a few cases to describe bigotry towards people of a certain religion. It's a bit annoying because it implies that all people of a religion are the same race, which is ...
34
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a term to describe an event which happens every 18 months?

Obviously every year is annual. Every two years is biennial. Does the English language have a term for every 18 months?
33
votes
18answers
8k views

Is there a word for being so polite as to appear insincere?

I'm looking for a term in English to describe being so polite that one appears to be insincere.
33
votes
19answers
6k views

What is the “thirsty” equivalent of “ravenously”?

When you eat something very hungrily, you can use the adverb "ravenously" to describe it. But when you drink something very fast in a similar way to quench your thirst, what adverb can you use to ...
33
votes
19answers
39k views

What is the opposite of procrastination in one word?

I thought of precrastination at first but that appears to be the act of planning to procrastinate.
33
votes
11answers
4k views

Other word for an empty promise (that is likely not to be held)

I'm not exactly sure how to word my questions properly, but here it is: Say I receive a reply from customer support such as: "We will take your concern very seriously" But I get the feeling that this ...
32
votes
13answers
4k views

What's a parallel for 'mitigate', for worsening a good situation?

I recently read an article claiming that employing some tactic was OK but could mitigate many of the good effects of the main action. What word should the author have used, as mitigate means to ...
32
votes
15answers
5k views

“True” is to “false” as “truth” is to… what?

If I were to reverse the sentence, "I care about the truth" I would want to say: I care about the false. Is that correct? It seems awkward at best: He speaks the truth! / He speaks the ...
32
votes
10answers
27k views

Is there a word for someone with the same name?

If a person shares my name, in Dutch there is the word "naamgenoot", meaning roughly 'member of the same name'. John A: Hi, my name is "John" John B: O, then we're insert solution word here! ...
32
votes
12answers
2k views

Is there a word to describe a highly desirable cursed treasure?

Is there a single word to describe an object or idea that is so desirable that everyone wants to attain it but once they have it they are immediately cursed? The idea is often used in literature—some ...
32
votes
8answers
13k views

X, Y, Z — horizontal, vertical and …?

When working in a 2D coordinate system you could say that X is the horizontal axis and Y is the vertical axis. Extending this to 3D, is there a similar word for the Z axis? (I'm aware of Width, ...
31
votes
10answers
5k views

What is the word to describe “the gaining of full control over an ability or power you already have”?

For example, a Jedi is born with powers, but must learn how to control them in order to use them. What's the one best word for this? I have _ _ _ my power. The word is in the back of my head ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

Winter — wintry; summer — summery; spring — ?; autumn — ?

wintry: characteristic of winter, esp. in feeling or looking very cold and bleak: "a wintry landscape". summery: belonging to or characteristic of or occurring in summer; "summery weather"; ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Revealing that someone else is gay — counterpart to “come out”

If I reveal to my friend that I am gay, I'd say I came out to my friend. How would I say that my friend told his friend (without asking me for permission) that I am gay? My friend [insert ...
30
votes
15answers
25k views

Collective word for food and drink

Is there a word that best describes food and drink taken at the same time? I've thought of refreshments and consumables but neither seem right to me.
30
votes
16answers
11k views

What's a word for avoiding a question with a generic (fake) answer?

Examples... Q: Why is the sky blue? A: Because God made it that way. (A kid to their parent) Q: Why do I have to clean my room? A: Because I said so. What is it called when someone ...
30
votes
7answers
7k views

Word a male can use to refer to a female that is not old or young (girl/lady/woman)

I'm a married male in my mid-thirties and meet a woman of a similar age and talk about business. I want to refer to this meeting later, and it feels weird to say "I met a girl today...," (feels like ...
30
votes
2answers
20k views

Is there a word for four times as much, analogous to once, twice, and thrice?

Is there a word for 'four times as much', analogous to once, twice, and thrice?
29
votes
19answers
10k views

Single-word synonym for a “pedantic rule-follower”?

What do you call a person who always follows the rules, at the expense of everything else? I’m thinking there’s one word that can describe this, but I can’t place it.
29
votes
8answers
5k views

“Warm” is to “warmth” as “cool” is to what?

Is there a word for "coolness" that corresponds to warmth?
29
votes
14answers
4k views

Is there a verb for remaining silent?

Dutch has the verb zwijgen, which means remaining silent. Ik zwijg means I remain silent or I say nothing. It is also often used as an imperative, similar to shut up. I have been discussing this ...
29
votes
13answers
2k views

English word equivalent of 膩 (sick of something due to overindulgence)

The chinese character 膩 (nì) is often used to describe when you are sick of something because it's too excessive in some way. Google translate converts it to "greasy" which is true in the sense that ...
29
votes
15answers
5k views

A word for a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh

There is a word for this in Indonesian language: jayus. (Maybe, it is used in Filipino and Malaysian language also.) It is a joke that is so bad, it's funny. It is often mentioned as ...
29
votes
5answers
3k views

A word for saying things indirectly because you do not know the correct word

Is there a word that describes the act, common of language learners, of using a cumbersome way to say something because they do not know a concise word (almost like I am doing here...). For example: ...
28
votes
10answers
6k views

What do you call money earned through unethical sources?

Money/Assets/Property that is earned through unethical sources is called ? Money that is earned through bad sources like corrupted politics, corrupted business, ransom money, stolen or theft ...
28
votes
26answers
8k views

A non-offensive term to call a lunatic?

How can a mad scientist's friend address him? For example, when engaged in a conversation with other people (who don't know the scientist), he mentions having such a friend? I suppose a loony sounds ...
28
votes
10answers
5k views

A word to make something bad sound good

Lets say we are talking about a book about teens that drink. In the book, the teens have fun and nothing bad ever happens. It's disguising it as a good thing, it's supporting it and it's making it ...
28
votes
13answers
5k views

What is a verb for “illusion”?

What is a verb for illusion? I want to use it in a sentence like the following: The optical effect [illudes] my perception of its real shape. But illude does not exist. But I cannot find illude ...
28
votes
12answers
15k views

What is a word for a question that has no answer because it is seemingly invalid?

A friend of mine posted a riddle on Facebook involving adding money and then subtracting money. It ended with a question asking where $1 went, but the trick was that there was no discrepancy, so the ...
27
votes
15answers
2k views

What is the Tacoma Narrows bridge doing in this picture?

When the plate of the bridge assumes the unnatural shape showed in the below picture, what is this phenomenon called? Contortion (example: the bridge was contorting ...). I'm not so sure, as I think ...
27
votes
9answers
2k views

Single word for people who are like “a frog in the well”

Is there a single word describing someone who is like a frog in a well? The frog believes the well is the entire world. How can I describe people who think that their own small environment is the ...
27
votes
12answers
5k views

Is there a synonym for 'fake' that has good connotations?

What's a good adjective to describe a smile which is not genuine, but still has a good connotation? I was thinking of using fake smile, but fake has a negative connotation, which I'm trying to avoid. ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a term for grammatical mistakes as a result of trying too hard?

Today, I learned the term hyperforeignism after writing that I was drinking a latté and then stopping to wonder why I was putting a diacritical mark on the "e". This reminded me of other language ...
26
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the opposite of “skyrocket”?

I recently came across a situation where something was decreasing rapidly. My friend was led to say: The price of fuel has really skyrocketed downwards lately. Something about this statement ...
26
votes
12answers
5k views

What do you call a disgusting mixture you don't want to drink?

What do you call a drink (usually an alcoholic one, say a long drink or a cocktail) that you don't want to have, because you consider it a low quality, disgusting mixture, maybe even of suspicious, ...
26
votes
12answers
9k views

How do I politely say I have used my mouth while drinking water from a bottle?

Is there a one word substitute for the scenario below, and what is the politest way of saying it to another person or colleague? I drink water from my bottle by touching my mouth When someone ...
26
votes
21answers
15k views

What do we call people who go to the gym?

A group of people who regularly attend gym classes or work-out. What are they called? Is there a single-word for this particular group? Apart from my calling them fanatics, mad (BrEng)/crazy (AmEng), ...
26
votes
7answers
2k 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'.
26
votes
17answers
13k views

Word/phrase to mean something that just happens once

What is the word/phrase to mean something that just happens once? For example, I have often been told/expected to do this and not to do that. I become aimless and gradually lose the idea of who ...
26
votes
10answers
2k views

Adjective that means “snake-like”

If bovine means related to the cow or ox, what is the word that means related to the snake?
26
votes
8answers
3k views

What are “real stores” called in English, as opposed to “online stores”?

In a piece of software, what would I call a store that sells items to the public in real life as opposed to an online store (ie. a health-food store). It will look like this: ____ Store ...
26
votes
7answers
6k views

Antonym of “exodus”

5PM. There's a mass exodus out of the city as people depart for home. What word describes the migration in the other direction -- A mass arrival of people? As far as I know, there isn't a word like ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

What word defines a category suited for both header and footer?

So there I was, trying to ask a question (now on SO) on Webmaster.SE partly involving a 'header' and a 'footer'. One part of my code defines shared aspects of both the header and the footer. Anyway ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views
26
votes
2answers
799 views

What do you call the eating of frogs?

"Herpivory"? "Ranophagy"? Hurry, I need to mock a French friend.
26
votes
12answers
2k views

Looking for a better term than 'benign envy' or 'mudita'

Often when I'm happy for someone's good fortune or success, I find myself using the words envious or envy. In casual speech with friends, voice tone and familiarity help deliver my positive intent, ...
25
votes
19answers
9k views

Word for not being happy with something but having to be satisfied with it

Is there a single word that describes the state of not being happy with something but having to be satisfied with it? Example: I wanted to split the video into small segments. Programming this ...
25
votes
15answers
4k views

Generic name for places like village, town and cities

There is the German word Ort or Ortschaft which is a hypernym for places where people live like villages towns cities etc. Is there a correspondent word in English? I don't want to use location ...
25
votes
12answers
7k views

What do you call the child who doesn’t resemble his / her parents in English?

There are sons and daughters who don’t look like their parents at all. We call them “Onikko 鬼っ子” in Japanese, which literally means the child born or brought by an ogre, not by his / her biological ...