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)

44
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 ...
43
votes
23answers
41k views

Is there a word for the person who hides truth in order to deceive?

Let's say I caused a minor car crash some time ago and today I meet a woman. The conversation goes: Woman: Hey, I remember that car with the scratch from the crash last week, you must be the one ...
43
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 ...
43
votes
23answers
9k views

Appropriate word for someone immune to embarrassment?

I am looking for a word which can be used to describe someone who is very "comfortable in their skin", secure with themselves, and most importantly completely immune to being embarrassed or mocked. ...
43
votes
11answers
6k views

What would you call an operation you can undo?

Designers should favour allowing users to undo a delete operation over confirming it (e.g. GMail lets you undo e-mail deletion instead of asking if you are sure). What would you call such operation ...
43
votes
12answers
7k views

Word for a person who learned something in the past, but is now back down to beginner level?

What do you call a person who learned something a long time ago and now is at the same level in that skill as a beginner would be? Guy isn't a novice. He isn't a veteran either. He was proficient in ...
43
votes
13answers
4k views

Is there a visual equivalent of the word “overhear”?

I love the word overhear. I often want to communicate a similar concept, but visually - with somebody looking over my shoulder at my computer screen, for example. "My husband (overheard) me shopping ...
43
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?
42
votes
21answers
10k 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 ...
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 ...
42
votes
6answers
21k 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:
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? Edit:...
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 ...
40
votes
12answers
10k 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
9answers
25k 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 ...
40
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
40
votes
16answers
9k 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?
40
votes
7answers
4k views

A word for when you speak ill of something and it turns out the person you are speaking to likes that thing

Is there a word describing the phenomenon of when you insult or speak badly of something but it turns out the person you are speaking to likes or owns or is related to that thing? E.G. you say "The ...
40
votes
18answers
15k 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
125k 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
32k 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
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 ...
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 ...
39
votes
15answers
10k 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 untranslatable....
38
votes
10answers
57k 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
146k 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, doesn'...
37
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 ...
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
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.
37
votes
18answers
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
2answers
49k 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
7k 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
9answers
9k views

'Predator' is to 'Predatory' as 'Prey' is to…?

I'm trying to find a word like 'predatory' that refers to prey instead. Looking through some physical books gave some information about the root word 'praedor', for which I found this Wikitionary ...
36
votes
19answers
63k 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.
36
votes
12answers
31k 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.
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 false!...