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)

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15answers
11k views

What is “a room a company provides for eating food” called?

Companies provide a room which has tables and chairs. In some companies, the room may have other things such as refrigerators and microwaves. I have been calling this place pantry, but I noticed that ...
34
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 ...
34
votes
14answers
6k views

What is the word for “to do something one considers to be beneath oneself”?

I looked up this word before, and I got a definition which sounded something like "to do something one considers to be beneath oneself," but I can't remember exactly what the word was. I can think of ...
34
votes
18answers
10k 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.
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
16answers
26k 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 ...
34
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?
34
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 ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a pre-Internet term for “gamification”?

Gamification is a relatively new term which was coined and has been made highly popular in the Internet era. From the related Wikipedia article: Though the term "gamification" was coined in 2002 ...
33
votes
10answers
11k 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. ...
33
votes
14answers
6k views

Blanket term for things we often buy at grocery store that are not groceries, e.g., toilet paper, laundry detergent, window cleaner, saran wrap

I’m looking for a term to cover the kinds of things that we frequently buy at the grocery store but that are not actually groceries. The term needs to include things like: toilet paper, kitchen ...
33
votes
9answers
10k 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. For example: Oysters are an aphrodisiac Hot drinks are a {thing that makes one sleepy} thesaurus.com doesn't ...
33
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the antonym of DRM-free?

The term DRM-free, with DRM standing for digital rights management, is commonly used online to refer to content which can be downloaded and transferred by the user. Content which is not DRM-free ...
33
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 ...
33
votes
5answers
701 views

Is there a word for “a person from another race”?

I am searching for a word that means ‘of another race’ to be used in context of a sentence such as "She was deeply protective to her [of other race] foster children." "They shunned the ...
32
votes
11answers
8k 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 ...
32
votes
14answers
7k views

How to describe a person who has done well in every task except one, but he has done extremely bad in that 'one' task

I mean, "How to describe a person who has done well in every task except one, but he has done extremely bad in that 'one' task which adversely affects the overall result. I don't literally mean one ...
32
votes
15answers
56k 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.
32
votes
13answers
2k views

How to positively describe something, such as a war memorial, which doesn't invoke positive feelings?

If I wanted to express that something such as a holocaust memorial was good to visit I would want to avoid saying something such as "it was great" or "I enjoyed visiting it". Is there a word that can ...
32
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
32
votes
6answers
4k views
31
votes
27answers
12k 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 ...
31
votes
10answers
10k 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
9k views

Word to describe person who is rich in wealth, but is poor in class?

Looking for a word to describe a person who is rich in wealth, but is poor in class. I've heard of words to describe poor people who have no class or manners, words to describe rich people who have ...
31
votes
13answers
12k 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 ...
31
votes
11answers
8k views

What's a negative word for “subtle”?

I'm trying to describe software bugs that are hard to track down due to the mistake (introduced by the developer) being a very subtle one. "when these errors manifest they do so in a ...
31
votes
14answers
14k views

What is one word for “the nervous excitement associated with new things”?

Here are feelings which to some degree are related: The feeling of waking up in a new city for the first time or starting work on a new job. The feeling of new love, meeting someone for a date, ...
31
votes
5answers
8k 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
21answers
23k views

What is the word for the emotion I feel when I see someone being humiliated?

When I see someone else being embarrassed / humiliated, for example a singer forgetting their words in a concert, I would say something like "I feel embarrassed for them". But is there a better word ...
31
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 ...
31
votes
6answers
11k 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: ...
30
votes
10answers
9k views

Word to describe 100% success in an exam

I'm trying to find a word (preferably a verb) that signifies getting every question of an exam right and therefore scoring 100%. For example, here are some other ways to describe success or failure ...
30
votes
15answers
7k views

Is there an English word or phrase that means “intending to help and hurting instead?”

Consider the case where a professor is erasing a board and one of the teaching assistant tries to help him by erasing part of the board. Unfortunately, while trying to pick up the eraser, the ...
30
votes
21answers
6k views

Is there a single word for when something becomes neglected or forgotten (e.g. a plant dies because the gardener forgets to water it)?

What single word can we use to describe something that has “died through neglect”? For example, a plant that has died due to the gardener forgetting to water it. Note: I’m specifically hoping to ...
30
votes
12answers
6k views

Shoplifting vs. a word for “someone who orders, eats and sneaks without paying the check”

Shoplifting relates more to the physical possession of goods. A shoplifter may pretend to be a customer or buy some and steal many (or vice-versa). But while at a restaurant such pretense won't ...
30
votes
12answers
3k views

Sabotaging through purposeful procrastination

In Polish there's a word Kunktatorstwo - trying to achieve own goals through delaying action, e.g. by making the opponent run out of time, making them tire out from keeping their defenses up, or ...
30
votes
12answers
26k 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
13answers
5k 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 ...
30
votes
9answers
32k views

Equivalent of “both” when referring to three or more items?

What would be the correct word to use when referring to three or more items, in the same manner as the word both? For example, using two words, with the word both: "There are several ...
29
votes
22answers
9k views

Term for a person with absolutely zero knowledge of a topic

I'm looking for a term to describe someone who literally has zero knowledge of a topic. Initially I thought of using something like green field but that doesn't really describe the person, it really ...
29
votes
19answers
23k 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
6k 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, ...
29
votes
26answers
9k 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
10answers
8k views

Single word for “Someone who's in on a secret”

Is there a noun that means "someone who's in on a secret"? There are words like accomplice and co-conspirator for people who take part in clandestine activities, but I failed to find one for people ...
29
votes
8answers
7k views

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

Is there a word for "coolness" that corresponds to warmth?
29
votes
10answers
26k 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 ...
29
votes
13answers
8k 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
8k 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
7k views

What is the correct word for “dependee”?

What is the correct word for "dependee"? In other words, what is the word for something that is depended upon? The relationship here is in the context of software engineering
28
votes
23answers
6k 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 ...