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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11
votes
6answers
546 views

Word for resembling the truth

How do we refer to the act of resembling the truth, regardless if it is indeed the truth? Some context: suppose you are watching a film and the story bears a striking resemblance to "real life". ...
10
votes
11answers
12k views

Is there an expression that means something bad as a precursor to something good?

If someone is the bearer of bad news you might say, Don't shoot the messenger. If you have something that seems unfortunate at first but ends out wonderful you might say it's a blessing in disguise. ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a word that conveys an extreme distaste to the point nearing phobia?

I'm a strong swimmer, and I enjoy recreational lap swimming in pools. I enjoy sitting by an outdoor pool on vacation, and swimming to cool off. But, I detest swimming in natural water (lakes, ...
10
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there a name for someone who calls someone else what he himself is?

Say person A and person B are having a discussion/argument. Person A tells person B that his views are arrogant, or closed-minded, or some other derogatory adjective. But in fact it is person A's ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

How to refer to people of mixed race?

As is commonly known, one of the most delicate question is how to refer to people of mixed race, which can be a matter of condemnation. Some words may have fueled the problem and I never would have ...
8
votes
6answers
9k views

Is there a single word that expresses “music end-users / enthusiasts”?

To help a soon-to-be sister site out here, I was thinking English.SE perhaps could lend a helping hand as this is the best place for "word choice and usage". I'm not looking for "naming", but rather ...
8
votes
7answers
5k views

Is there a word that means “make someone (or something) redundant”?

For example, by improving some system, some function is now redundant. So the improvement XXX that function.
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Odd use of agnostic

I have heard and used agnostic to denote "uncaring". I was recently corrected on my usage of the word which got me thinking. What word should I use? Uncaring seems incorrect. Some examples: This ...
8
votes
17answers
1k views

Is there a word meaning a problem that has to be solved in order to work on another problem?

I work in the computer trade and frequently find that when I'm assigned a problem to solve, it invariably happens that other problems need solving before I can work on the real issue. Is there a word ...
8
votes
3answers
730 views

What is the word to describe a single object to represent the many?

If I am writing a poem, I might use the word peaches to symbolize all fruit. Is there a specific word for this type of symbolism?
6
votes
6answers
6k views

Short, Politically Correct word for Native Americans [closed]

No more than four syllables, more PC than Indians. EDIT: I arbitrarily chose four syllables because any more seemed like a mouthful. I like to be PC and not have to stumble over 6+ syllables.
6
votes
3answers
286 views

Better term to put on a label of a bottle of milk to describe that it's 'made' in a particular geographic location

While waiting for the kettle to boil this morning, I was idling and reading the label on the bottle of milk and was struck by the declaration: "Permeate free, made in WA". Here's a shot of the label ...
6
votes
3answers
617 views

Term meaning 'with written words'

In the same way that verbally means with spoken words, I'm looking for a term that means with written words. Is there such a word?
6
votes
3answers
844 views

alternatives for “guy”

I'm working in an English big company in Germany. Everybody speak English but most of us as second, or third language. One thing I noticed is that we are all "guys" in the office: "Ask the guy up ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

A positive word for 'opportunist'

The word opportunist seems to be used negatively for a person. Is there a word with the same but positive meaning?
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What's a man called who follows everything his wife says or wishes?

In Hindi, there is a phrase called "zoru ka gulaam". Translated in English as "slave of his wife". Typically the people who get this honorary title are those who seem to care for their wife more than ...
5
votes
2answers
182 views

A different sort of antonym for Schadenfreude?

Schadenfreude is the joy or pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. What is the word for the feeling of discomfort derived from witnessing the misfortunes of others?
5
votes
5answers
534 views

What do you call it when a name/word is better known by a pejorative?

A while back, the US Congress passed a bill called the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”. The bill quickly became known as “Obamacare”. During the time prior to when cannabis was made ...
5
votes
4answers
969 views

What do you call a pair of words which would be meaningless without one of them?

I am referring to a set of words that wouldn't make sense if one word or the other was omitted. Like barbershop quartet, or Cyber Security. What do you exactly call this set of words?
5
votes
6answers
989 views

How to name a part of a piechart

Which term best suits to describe a part/slice/share/portion of a piechart, disregarding what the chart is about ?
4
votes
5answers
8k views

The same word used to define itself [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a word for an acronym which spells out one of its component words? What's that figure of speech in which you use the same word to define its meaning, thereby ...
4
votes
13answers
9k views

Is there an idiom for people who boast too much?

I am looking for idioms or informal/slang/colloquial expression for some people that make you think that they are able of building a skyscraper, constructing a spaceship, playing the piano better than ...
4
votes
6answers
787 views

A word for someone who never had a mate because he/she has a high standard

Is there any better word than picky?
4
votes
4answers
853 views

Is there a term to describe words missing in a document?

The words are supposed to be there but have been left due to any reason. Is there a succinct term to describe such words?
3
votes
10answers
1k views

Is there an adjective for someone who can withstand ridicule?

I've been searching both my mind and several thesauruses attempting to find the adjective that best describes this type of person. The term "thick-skinned" is the closest to what I am trying to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Someone who doesn't learn from the mistakes he made

Is there a word or phrase that neans someone who doesn't learn from his mistakes or makes the same mistakes again?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Word meaning A journey of self discovery and introspection

What would be an appropriate word for "A journey of self discovery and introspection" or possibly, "To discover that you are not how you conceptualized yourself"?
3
votes
1answer
590 views

Word for phrases that are examples of what they describe

Is there a word (or phrase) for phrases that are examples of what they describe? For example, "You the verb" to tell someone they forgot a verb in an online posting, or "spacesmakethingseasiertoread". ...
3
votes
4answers
21k views

Noun for “receive”?

Receipt? Receiving? I'm trying to come up with a name for "the acceptance of a delivery." I'd like to be able to say Ten deliveries were made but there are only five [fill_in_the_blank_here] ...
2
votes
3answers
91 views

Does not show one's potential

One who has potential, but never gives the effort to show it. What would be the best word or words that match this description?
26
votes
2answers
862 views

What do you call the eating of frogs?

"Herpivory"? "Ranophagy"? Hurry, I need to mock a French friend.
21
votes
14answers
15k views

What do you call someone who is always asking for favours?

What can I call someone (a friend) who is always asking for favours such as: if you are going downtown, can you buy this for me please or, can you lend me your car for an hour or, if you have some ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

A name for hat collectors?

The Stack Exchange Winter Bash 2013 has me thinking about hats, as my collection is growing. I know that the terms for people who collect specific things are generally obscure, but they do exist. ...
18
votes
15answers
13k views

What is a word that means “a person or thing which is small yet capable of defeating big giants”?

What can I call a person or a thing that is very small yet capable of defeating big giants? I need different words that can be connected closely to this meaning. It can be related to success,war, or ...
17
votes
10answers
5k views

How can I describe a low temperature that doesn't actually feel cold?

Last night, I walked home from my bus stop (in Belgium). Since it was around 11 PM, it was quite cold, probably only about 4-5 °C. However, it didn't actually feel cold at all, and I didn't feel ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

'Patriotism' is to 'Country' as _______ is to 'City'

The title's pretty self explanatory! I can't seem to find a word which means exactly this, but I would be amazed if it doesn't exist.
12
votes
7answers
6k views

Opposite of “miracle”?

Are there any English words that mean "an unlikely calamity" in that same way that "miracle" can mean "an unlikely beneficial event"? My thesaurus only provides antonyms of "miracle" that mean "a ...
11
votes
6answers
59k views

What would be an appropriate opposite of “exceed”?

Exceed is commonly used, but when I found myself wanting to use the opposite I couldn't really find a single word that would do it. fall short of and inadequate are a little off. How about deceed?
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Proper term for people from eastern Asia

I once posted an article on the web in which I referred collectively to people from China, Japan, and the Koreas as "Oriental". I got an email from someone who informed me that this is an offensive ...
10
votes
7answers
15k views

Word for people who buy things because they are more expensive/ for the brand

Is there a word for people who buys things because they are more expensive or because they are specific brand or label? These people don't buy the items because they are higher quality. They buy them ...
10
votes
9answers
16k views

What is another word for 'all round' capabilities?

I am looking for a positive, passionate word to describe the all-around capabilities of a person. Any words better than 'all-arounder'?
10
votes
15answers
562 views

Is there a pejorative alternative to “improvise”?

I'm looking for a word or phrase that implies improvisation in a negative context. "Jury rigging" comes to mind, but I'm in need of a term that can't be mistaken as anything but pejorative. The ...
9
votes
4answers
663 views

What's the opposite of “retaliate”?

What would be a single word to mean: "to do something positive to someone because they have done or said something positive to you", when you want to return the favour with something equal or better. ...
9
votes
8answers
4k views

Word to describe using sarcasm or a similar approach to lead someone to recognise their own mistake

When reading some work of a friend, I noticed the sentence "When in doubt ask me". Instead of simply pointing out that it could use a comma after doubt, I read the sentence aloud with no gaps or ...
9
votes
12answers
4k views

What's the word for “overly proud of your education”?

A friend and I are trying to remember a word to describe someone who is overly proud of their education. An example usage would be: Does that email make me appear too ___? Where the ___ is the ...
8
votes
3answers
439 views

'Hark' and 'behold' call attention to what we can hear or see. Is there an equivalent for smell?

'Hark' calls attention to something that we hear - for example: "Hark, the herald angels sing" (hymn of the same title, by Charles Wesley) 'Behold' calls attention to something that we see - for ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a word akin to “hungry” or “thirsty” that implies a need to urinate?

Sometimes my brain (maybe because I'm not a native English speaker) tends to come up with logical extensions to common formats; in this case, more than once I caught myself thinking (not out loud, ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

A word for a relationship in which one thing (or state) must exist in order for another thing (or state) to exist

I can't think of the word to fill this blank: More importantly, now we've got ourselves an "organic" roadmap—that is, one that follows the natural order of our concerns, rather than a logical ...
7
votes
13answers
37k views

Word that means “the opposite of what you would expect”

I'm looking for a word that means the opposite of what one would expect. This word might be used to express the surprise that a teenager's grandmother uses text messaging much more than he does, or ...
7
votes
8answers
5k views

word that means: causing a paradigm shift, new era, revolution

I can't think of the word and it's driving me nuts. I'm looking for a word that can be used when some technology is discovered, way of thinking, or even event happening that causes a big change in ...