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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35
votes
14answers
6k 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
6answers
12k 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:
35
votes
9answers
47k 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
10answers
7k views

One word - someone so scared that he can't move [closed]

I am not able to find an appropriate word to fill in for "scared". He was so scared, he couldn't move. He turned to stone. He was too shocked. He almost turned to stone and could not move. ...
34
votes
14answers
66k 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, ...
34
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. ...
34
votes
15answers
6k 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 ...
34
votes
13answers
6k 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?
34
votes
19answers
5k 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 ...
34
votes
12answers
6k views

A derogatory word for a splendid person

In Swedish there is a word "präktig" that can be used to describe a person that is annoyingly decent, reliable and good in every way. The common translation is "splendid" but that doesn't sound ...
34
votes
12answers
6k 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 ...
34
votes
12answers
20k 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.
34
votes
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
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 ...
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
14answers
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 ...
33
votes
18answers
9k 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
9answers
4k 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 ...
33
votes
9answers
4k views

Word for metallic “dust”?

What’s the English word for the metallic “dust”, or more precisely the tiny remains (waste) of drilling, welding, cutting through metal, and similar metal processing?
33
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
32
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 ...
32
votes
2answers
27k 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?
31
votes
10answers
7k 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
15answers
33k 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.
31
votes
9answers
6k views

What's a word for a 'thing that makes one sleepy'? [closed]

I'm imagining the sleep equivalent of words like aphrodisiac, appetiser, etc.
31
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
31
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
30
votes
16answers
14k 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
12answers
18k 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 ...
30
votes
14answers
5k 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 ...
30
votes
15answers
6k 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
19answers
13k 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
13answers
10k 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 ...
29
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 ...
29
votes
8answers
6k views

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

Is there a word for "coolness" that corresponds to warmth?
29
votes
13answers
6k 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 ...
29
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 ...
29
votes
13answers
3k 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
6answers
5k 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
23answers
5k views

Adjective describing a person who has lots of children, not “fertile”

Is there a single adjective that means "this person has lots of children"? Context: I'm not actually talking about a person. I'm talking about a data structure in a computer program, where objects ...
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
15answers
3k 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 ...
28
votes
10answers
10k 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
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 ...
27
votes
27answers
10k views

Derogatory term for a corporate employee

I’m looking for a derogatory term for a person who works in a big, international business. In Polish we have a few informal words for that, like korpoludek (“corpo little guy”) and korpoczłowiek ...
27
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, ...
27
votes
21answers
25k 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), ...
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. ...