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 tag info (below) for more ideas on how ...

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32
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14answers
6k 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
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
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 ...
32
votes
6answers
3k views
31
votes
27answers
11k 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
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
15answers
49k 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
14answers
8k 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
7k 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
22k 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
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 ...
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
15answers
8k 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 ...
30
votes
10answers
8k 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
13answers
11k 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 ...
30
votes
21answers
5k 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
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
24k 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
6answers
9k 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: ...
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
20k 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
10answers
7k 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 ...
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
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
22k 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
7k 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
12answers
5k 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 ...
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
4k 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
5answers
556 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 ...
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 ...
28
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, ...
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 following picture, what is this phenomenon called? Contortion (example: the bridge was contorting ...). I'm not so sure, as I ...
28
votes
15answers
7k 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 ...
28
votes
10answers
6k 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?
28
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a word for the time span between an old king and a new king?

A king suddenly dies, and during the immediate aftermath, the realm is without an official leader (leaving the throne susceptible to usurpers) and the heir is still being notified or is traveling and ...
28
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
28
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
28
votes
13answers
6k 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. ...
28
votes
3answers
6k views

What word can I use instead of “tomorrow” that is not connected with the idea of the rising sun?

I'm working on a novel while trying to take into account the historical context surrounding it. It begins in 1140 AD, so the characters would use Old English, Latin, Old French, and other similar ...
27
votes
21answers
22k views

Word meaning “the act of intending to do nothing”

As I am a person who frequently intends to do nothing (or at any rate as little as possible), I wondered if there was a word meaning "the act of intending to do nothing". I had the impression that ...
27
votes
19answers
9k views

A verb that means “to prove someone is guilty of a crime”

Preface: I don't think there is a single-word (verb) that expresses the concept I am asking for, in which case I'd settle for the least ambiguous and most common phrase or idiom that describes the ...
27
votes
21answers
42k 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
13answers
6k views

An antonym for “shortcut”

I know it isn't "longcut", although the term is used sometimes, humorously. How do I correct someone who believes a way to be the shortest route when it is in fact a longer route, or the longest ...
27
votes
7answers
3k 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'.
27
votes
12answers
9k views

A word for when you are almost crying, but not quite yet? [duplicate]

You know how sometimes you want to cry, but do not cry. Maybe a few tears are shed, but you mostly just choke up. The urge to cry is there, perhaps overwhelmingly, but you suppress it somehow and ...
27
votes
17answers
26k 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
27
votes
14answers
5k views

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

Noisy, in a way, that he always post on Facebook or Twitter anything he did like it is his diary, always commenting other people's posts, retweets every minute or hour, etc. An attention whore or ...
27
votes
21answers
12k views

Is there a word for “not greedy”?

The antonym of “greedy” is “generous”. Is there a word for “not greedy” (one who is content with what he has)?