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)

26
votes
17answers
100k views

What would you call a person who doesn't want to learn anything new?

What would you call a person who doesn't want to learn new things and even maybe thinks that this is unnecessary since he knows enough already? An ignorant person?
26
votes
10answers
3k views

A word or idiom for being offended for someone else

Is there a word or idiom to describe being offended for some one else? For example, Person A makes an off-the-cuff remark that person B is 'trailer trash'. Person B knows that person A means it as ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

It's so cold that if it rains it'll snow

I want a replacement for rains in my title, as it doesn't really make sense since it won't rain, it will snow. I think I could use precipitates but I wouldn't use that in conversation as it seems ...
26
votes
22answers
3k views

Single word that unambigously describes the product of folding

I am writing a scientific paper in which I perform a mathematical operation that is illustratively called folding, which is already an established term. I now want to assign a similarly illustrative ...
26
votes
11answers
32k views

Is there a term that defines nostalgia for something you've never experienced?

Often I find I have a sense of nostalgia for things I've never actually experienced, in a way that rivals the same sort of feelings I have for things I have experienced. For example when listening ...
26
votes
8answers
4k views

Word to refer to classic 1940s-1960s news voice

I am looking for a single adjective to refer to a classic 1940s-1960s news voice. Specifically, the kind that sounds almost like yelling (to me at least). Here is a sample: https://www.youtube.com/...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a name for this type of insult: “I am friends with many manly men. And Gary.”?

Is there a term or word appropriate to describe the trick of using a general term and then explicitly adding a specific term to strongly imply that the specific is not part of the general? The trick I ...
26
votes
10answers
15k views

Is there a word that means “doing the right thing for the wrong reason”?

Is there a word that means doing the right thing for the wrong reason or getting the right conclusion from the wrong set of presumptions?
26
votes
2answers
1k views

What do you call the eating of frogs?

"Herpivory"? "Ranophagy"? Hurry, I need to mock a French friend.
25
votes
10answers
4k views

Seeking Generic Word: Place where opponents fight

I have a definition in need of a word: A universal term for a place where opponents compete. Unfortunately, most words are specific to one type of sport or combat, but I can't think of one that would ...
25
votes
13answers
11k views

Gender neutral version of housewife

Outside of American English, what gender neutral terms are there for "housewife"? There aren't any children involved, so "stay at home parent" isn't applicable. For example (when addressing an ...
25
votes
11answers
6k views

A single word for 'regularly visited place'

I am looking for a word that qualifies a place people keep coming back to, such as their favourite restaurant, or the grocery store they usually shop at. The word I am looking for is not 'popular'. ...
25
votes
19answers
17k views

Word for not being happy with something but having to be satisfied with it

Is there a single word that describes the state of not being happy with something but having to be satisfied with it? Example: I wanted to split the video into small segments. Programming this ...
25
votes
20answers
13k views

What do you call a person that goes to extreme ends to accomplish a goal?

I've been trying to find a single word that describes a person that will go to extreme ends to achieve a goal. For example, a person that would harm friends or leave behind a path of destruction to ...
25
votes
18answers
6k views

A synonym for “picky” with a positive connotation (food)?

We're very picky about the ingredients we use. In that context, what's a synonym for "picky" with a positive connotation, that denotes that we care very much about the quality of the ingredients? ...
25
votes
23answers
29k views

What do you call someone who thinks everyone is incompetent (doesn't know anything)?

I'm looking for a way to describe someone who thinks everyone is incompetent (that is, doesn't know anything) and always has to explain every minute (small) detail because his perception of the person'...
25
votes
11answers
7k views

Is there a word or expression for when someone passionately wants something, and then discovers afterwards that it's different from how he imagined?

Is there a word or expression to describe when someone passionately wants something, eventually gets it, and then discovers that it isn't what he thought it was? For example, suppose that John is a ...
25
votes
17answers
8k views

Noun for “person with intermediate skill”

I'm looking for the noun form of "person with intermediate skill". For example, in the context of a particular activity, "person with no skill" might be designated a novice, and "person with much ...
25
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there a word for a “cheap page-turner”?

The word page-turner describes a book that is so exciting or gripping that the reader feels compelled to keep reading. It seems that the connotation is more-or-less positive. Is there a negative ...
25
votes
18answers
4k views

What is a non-gendered synonym for “macho”?

In teaching computer science, I often want to mention certain beliefs that would normally be described as "macho", such as "Strong types are for weak minds" (translation: only lousy programmers need a ...
25
votes
9answers
4k views

Is there a verb form of “Extinct”?

Is there (modern) verb meaning "to cause to become extinct" please? The desired word would have the same root as "extinct". The closest I could find etymologically was "extinguish", but its usage is ...
25
votes
12answers
2k views

Word for an enthusiast whose excitement rapidly fizzles when he realizes hard work is required? [duplicate]

Is there a term for someone who gets all excited about a new undertaking and is wildly enthusiastic and full of promises until she realizes how much work is involved...whereupon she loses all interest?...
25
votes
10answers
4k views

Word for the emotion behind “D'oh!”

What is the name of the emotion that you feel when you accidentally make a mistake? Such as when you clumsily drop a bowl and it shatters? In the Simpsons, Homer says "D'oh!" when this sort of thing ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

How to describe the “oil flying out of the pan” when cooking?

Hi native speakers I wanna ask about a word in English. You know when you cook food with oil, such as frying the bacon, the oil could be heated so much that the tiny drops of it may suddenly "fly" ...
25
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the “‑cide” word for killing one’s husband?

We have uxoricide for killing one’s wife, but what is the equivalent term for killing one’s husband? Similarly, what is the husband-specific equivalent for the adjective uxorial?
25
votes
8answers
10k views

Opposite of Nightmare?

First off the word dream in most contexts does have positive connotations. When talking about dreams that people experience during sleep though the meaning becomes fairly neutral, at least as far as I'...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

What do you call a computer window when it is not maximized or minimized?

What do you call a computer window when it is not maximized or minimized? I have been using unmaximized, but I feel there is a more precise way.
25
votes
9answers
186k views

Is “actioned” a valid word?

I've just, without much fore thought, used the word "actioned" in the following (example) context, and am now wondering if it's valid (upon a re-read I've decided I don't like the way it sounds, hence ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a word for refusing to call things by their name out of fear?

Some examples: "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or "You-Know-Who" for Voldemort of Harry Potter fame Him in the Powerpuff Girls Any of the various monikers for Yahweh possibly "She Who Must Be Obeyed" for ...
25
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the “ponytail” in a knight's helmet called?

Does the ponytail thing in a knight's helmet have its own name? Or are they just called ponytails?
24
votes
18answers
8k views

What is the English idiom about “expensive” that expresses the idea that “It is so expensive that you feel like you got ripped-off”? [closed]

Ok, if I say "this car is too expensive" or "this car is very expensive", then I can not express the connotation of "expensive". However, if I say "this car is damn expensive" then I better convey ...
24
votes
27answers
77k views

What is a word that could define someone who likes to cause conflict?

What would you call someone who does things knowing specifically that his/her actions will cause pain and/or conflict or completes an action just to get someone in trouble or hurt them? For example, ...
24
votes
10answers
6k views

What is a verb that means 'to make a small amount of money last for several days'?

It happens to me every month particularly the last week. I have a little amount of money. I have to manage the expenses till I get my salary. So I make such a small amount of money last for several ...
24
votes
32answers
19k views

Alternative ways to say “I cannot answer that question”? [closed]

I'm getting bored of repeating the same "I can't answer that" phrase over and over. I'm trying other phrases, like "I'll leave that to your imagination," but that one sounds too weird. Specifically, ...
24
votes
19answers
6k views

What is a word for annoying behavior which decreases enjoyment for the other players in a game?

I'm looking for a word which describes an annoying behavior that decreases the overall quality of a game or match, specifically in online gaming (Halo, Call of Duty, etc.) The behavior, while not ...
24
votes
17answers
9k views

Is there a single word that means “hitting the target but missing the point”?

For example the waiting time target in a hospital can be met if enough patients are killed off quickly so freeing up beds. However hitting the waiting time target in that way is rather missing the ...
24
votes
9answers
2k views

How do you describe these animals' action/ state before attacking their prey?

Some animals like tigers, lions, cats, etc do this action before attacking their prey suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact they seem waiting insidiously (?) until the appropriate moment for attacking ...
24
votes
9answers
7k views

Term for a doorway without a door

Is there a specific term I could use in a floor plan for the doorway leading from one room to another? For example: a person is in the living room and looks through the "doorway" that leads into the ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

What is a one-word synonym for “religious symbol”?

What is a one-word synonym for "religious symbol"? Examples: The Cross, Star of David, Khanda, etc. Alternatively, if such a word does not exist, a neologism would suffice. Here is a casual ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

If city life is urban, what do you call living in a forest?

I know that rural relates to living in the countryside, and urban and suburban refer to living in cities, towns or residential areas. But some places, like in upstate New York, have dense trees and ...
24
votes
17answers
7k views

Is there a word for someone who is very friendly but only on a very shallow level?

It's not being a sycophant, because he doesn't want any favors from you. It's just all small talk. I would like to know the best word to describe this behavior or this person?
24
votes
4answers
3k views

crisscross, dillydally, riffraff, etc

Some English words only differ in their vowels: crisscross, dillydally, riffraff, etc. Is there a name for them?
24
votes
13answers
2k views

A fabulous word for a small wooded area [closed]

My roommates and I want to name this little "island" on the culdesac that we live on, a sort of nickname. We aren't looking for something literal, something humorously exaggeratory, like "the sacred ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

A word for an intentional error or absurdity inserted to check whether audience read an entire passage

I have a tendency to write long(ish) and detailed emails at work that I suspect the target audience don't bother to read sometimes, so occasionally I will insert something obviously silly just to see ...
24
votes
2answers
8k views

Weekly, Daily, Hourly — Minutely…?

What is the correct word for "happening every minute"? How do you pronounce it?
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a name for synonyms that appear to have opposite meanings?

The words flammable and inflammable mean the same thing, but (to someone unfamiliar with their meaning) appear to be opposites (because of the "in" prefix). Is there a name for such word pairs that ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the name for the glove worn to take out baked food from oven, so that touching the hot tray doesn't burn our hands? [closed]

Is there a specific name for the thick glove worn (or may be any cloth used) to touch hot dishes in the oven? For example, we wear a glove and take the dish containing baked food from the oven. It'...
23
votes
20answers
8k views

Is there a word that means cheating but legitimate?

Is there a word that means cheating and legitimate at the same time? For example: I play a quiz game and set the number of questions to one. So, I get 100% of my answers correct. That's cheating, ...
23
votes
22answers
25k views

Is there a single word for “one who speaks/boasts a lot about everything”?

I'm looking for a single word to most aptly describe a person possessing the following "qualities": Appears to be superior in every technology/skill under the sun, which he deems worthy of knowing ...
23
votes
12answers
4k views

Common term or single word for someone who is embarrassingly over-complimentary

Does English have a word for someone who compliments another person in a way which is awkward or even embarrassing? Someone who uses compliments which are overly-familiar and all but inappropriate, ...