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)

43
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the correct term for paper that has become wet and deformed as it dried out?

If a paper is submerged in water for some time then left to dry, most often the paper will be deformed. It won't be as flat as it was originally, but wavy (and not wrinkled). This is most apparent ...
42
votes
13answers
12k views

What's the single-word for “left or right handed”?

'Male'/'female' is to 'gender' as 'left-handed'/'right-handed 'is to...? Is there a word to describe this? For example, if I ask a guy What's your ____? It should mean I'm asking whether he's ...
42
votes
18answers
8k views

Word for a task which is flawed or doomed to failure but which you have to do anyway?

I'm looking for a word which describes a task which I think is poorly designed and will lead to either mediocre results or failure, but which I have to do anyway, especially in a work setting. The ...
42
votes
10answers
16k views

What do you call unclean water that you can't see through?

What do you call unclean water that you can't see through? Probably contaminated with dirt, prolonged stagnation or mineral erosion, almost pale brown, like stagnated water on a rainy day.
42
votes
10answers
5k views

“Childlessness is hereditary in our family” What do you call a statement containing a contradiction such as the example?

This kind of sentence is usually absurd and may or may not be recognized as such by the person who utters it. She will regret it till the day she dies, if she lives that long! "Aren't you going to ...
41
votes
16answers
9k views

Handwriting is to illegible as drawing is to what?

If your handwriting is illegible, then you can not understand what word is written. But if you have not drawn well then you can not understand what is being drawn. What word do I use for this? ...
41
votes
4answers
3k views

English word for taking a derogatory term and owning it with pride

E.g. "geek" or "queer" were originally meant as an insulting term, but were taken by the recipients as titles of pride. Is there a term for this phenomenon?
41
votes
4answers
12k views

What word means “the feeling of discomfort caused by watching people's ineptitude”? [duplicate]

I am watching a UK TV programme called "The Apprentice". The candidates have to sell guided tours. Some candidates are terrible at giving these tours. They fluff their lines, or they haven't ...
41
votes
6answers
20k views

What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English?

This is hard to describe, but I'm curious about what the proper word is for these thingies in English. So I searched for a picture on Google and circled what I'm referring to with red:
40
votes
12answers
9k views

Word for software which has been killed or is no longer supported

When describing a piece of software on a list I have the following information: SoftwareName Released: 2013-12-12 ????: 2014-12-12 The ???? is like the opposite of Released. Maybe I could use ...
40
votes
18answers
14k views

What is a word that means unforgettable but with a negative connotation?

When I look up unforgettable in a thesaurus, I get words like enduring, remarkable, or exceptional. These all are positive; I just cannot forget such a wondrous thing! I, however, want a word that ...
40
votes
14answers
10k views

Word that describes someone that causes his own misfortune

Is there a single word to qualify/describe someone that causes his own misfortune, or even a single noun that refers to such a person?
40
votes
10answers
113k 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 ...
40
votes
8answers
30k 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, ...
39
votes
12answers
7k views

Word for damage that isn't serious, mostly visual and not hindering the function of the thing

Like, if you get in a fender bender and there is some scraped paint, you would say "the damage was..."
39
votes
20answers
9k views

What do you call the facial expression or the state just before bursting into tears?

What do you call this facial expression that forms just before bursting into tears? (Especially when a baby has been treated in a way he/she didn't expect and consider it unfair or feels neglected. Of ...
39
votes
9answers
23k views

A more appropriate word for feeling “high”?

What is a more formal or appropriate word to replace the word high when writing "feeling high"? By feeling "high", I don't mean the person has to be smoking weed or taking crack. So the person is not ...
39
votes
10answers
7k views

Head is to decapitate as arm is to what?

Pretty straightforward but Google is failing me. What is the single word for removing a limb, specifically an arm? It can’t be disarmed, as that is used when someone has their weapons taken. I know ...
39
votes
16answers
8k views

What is a word for a person who uses resources to the maximum?

Is there a word (or words) for a person who uses all resources to the maximum; for example, a person who keeps on using pencils even if they are very small?
39
votes
11answers
6k views

What is it called when a highly respected person commits an immoral act but people don't believe that he committed the act?

I was wondering. It just came up. It has no real world relevancy. An example: A highly respected businessman commits child abuse and one day his wife finds out about it. She shares what she had ...
39
votes
7answers
8k views

“Left” and “right” are to “side” as “front” and “rear” are to what?

Is there an equivalent word to "side" when speaking of the front or rear of something (e.g. a car)? So, a mechanic might say: You damaged your wing-mirror? Ok, which side? ... or... You ...
38
votes
11answers
7k views

What is a word for a condition one is born with?

I want to say something like: From Freud's perspective, sexual deviances are not [manifest in humans from birth / present in humans from birth]. I need a word that describes a condition that one ...
38
votes
11answers
4k views

Positive variant of “taint”

I want to use taint in a positive context, something along the lines of: I will have the opportunity to taint my life with the culture and experiences of others. What would be a better word for ...
38
votes
10answers
53k 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! ...
37
votes
15answers
135k views

One word for someone who doesn't care about anything

A pessimist is someone who always considers negative outcomes of a situation, whereas an optimist always considers the positive outcomes. Is there a word for someone who, in any given situation, ...
37
votes
14answers
7k views

Is there a word or an idiom for people who only spend their families' money and fool around?

Is there a word or an idiom for rich people who spend only their families' money and do not bother to work, just fool around?
37
votes
17answers
5k views

What do you call hypothetical inhabitants living on the Moon? [closed]

I'm writing a fiction where inhabitants live on the Moon, so I want a name for them. I know that 'venusian' means 'of or relating to the planet Venus', 'martian' means 'of or relating to the planet ...
37
votes
14answers
6k views

What can be used as formal euphemism of “hack”?

I'm writing a technical document, and I need to convey the fact that we had to find a non-optimal, non-orthodox solution that was adopted as the best available alternative (a hack) to solve an ...
37
votes
17answers
7k views

Word for dismissing someone's opinions as racist, sexist, etc, instead of debating back

I'm looking for either a single word or phrase that would describe either someone or the action of dismissing someone's opinions as something "socially unpopular", without giving any reasoning why, ...
37
votes
15answers
9k 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 ...
37
votes
2answers
45k 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?
36
votes
24answers
8k views

What's a good term for source code that could theoretically still run, but is purposefully not?

I'm a software engineer. There are many times when I write a good chunk, or even the entirety of, a feature, but opt not to make it actually run in the program for some reason or another. This code is ...
36
votes
19answers
6k views

What do you call a response which does not address the question?

When some one is asked a question, sometimes if they are trying to avoid answering the question, they respond with something unrelated. What is the word for that response? Eg. A: Why were you late? ...
36
votes
11answers
6k views

A word for really thin book pages

I have recently got a book which is almost 700 pages in A4 format. To save the costs, it was printed on very thin paper and with low-coverage ink. I am looking for a single word or an idiom for very, ...
36
votes
11answers
3k views

Intentionally committing hypocrisy, to show a wrong-doer why you think what they do is wrong

I am looking for a word/idiom to describe the act of doing something against your beliefs so another person can experience the receiving end of the act. You dislike being blinded by high-beams ...
36
votes
9answers
5k views

Person who pretends to not understand unless one speaks in exactly the words they expect [duplicate]

I just realized there are some people around my workplace who always try to correct me when using a certain word, saying that that's not how I should speak, and I should use other words (the ones ...
36
votes
4answers
5k views

Double is to triple as halve is to …?

"Divide by three" is the only way I know to say this but I'm looking for a single word, if one exists.
36
votes
21answers
6k views

What is the word for an action that is “considered to be frowned upon”?

I'm looking for an adjective to describe a behavior or action that is considered to be a faux pas, or is frowned upon. Picking your nose is [word]. Wearing socks with sandals is [word]. ...
36
votes
12answers
3k 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 ...
36
votes
2answers
5k 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?
35
votes
15answers
8k 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 ...
35
votes
14answers
7k views

Appropriate word for internet name of a person

What is the appropriate word or phrase which means the internet name of a person. I mean the nickname that a person uses in almost all places on the internet like blog, IRC, forums, mailing lists etc. ...
35
votes
19answers
6k views

Completing something just to finish it despite lack of interest - is called …?

Recently I started reading a novel that I was excited to read. After getting approximately 45% into it, I lost the pace. It started becoming slow and lousy. I thought to leave it unfinished but it ...
35
votes
12answers
10k 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 ...
35
votes
19answers
62k 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.
35
votes
12answers
30k views

What do you call a person who is always online on the Internet?

Is there any specific word for a person who is always online on the Internet? I am just curious to know because staying online is like a profession nowadays.
35
votes
14answers
8k views

Feminism being referred to as equality for all, as opposed to equality for women [closed]

In a recent debate with a colleague, a self-proclaimed feminist, she described feminists as seeking equality for all, and not simply just women. I thought that this was inherently wrong considering ...
35
votes
11answers
6k views

Word to describe “beautiful but worthless”

I have a family member who worked at a cat boarding facility. There, she met a couple who jokingly described their cat as "beautiful but worthless." Is there a word in the English language to describe ...
35
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
35
votes
11answers
9k views

What is it called when words are deliberately spelled incorrectly but pronunciation is kept unchanged?

For example, Night -> Nite Through -> Thru The -> Da Though -> Tho Nite even appears in some dictionaries as having the same meaning as night. What is it called when words are ...