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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21
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4answers
3k views

'opposite' of 'déjà vu'

Recently while driving to the store (a path I have taken hundreds of times before), I was suddenly struck by a feeling that was similar to déjà vu, but in reverse. Specifically, where déjà vu is the ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

What word describes something that can move orthogonally and diagonally?

Is there a word for the union of orthogonal and diagonal? If used in a sentence: The queen in chess can move ______. And used in another sentence: There are infinitely many directions. My ...
21
votes
2answers
709 views

Is there a name for this method of writing that includes pictograms?

I've seen people write (usually in a humorous way) a 'code-like' message where parts of words are replaced with a pictogram that sounds like that word-part. E.G.: (eyeball) (tin can)(rope knot) ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the word for someone who pretends to buy something from a street-seller, in order to draw other people?

So there's a guy on Oxford Street in London who's always shouting through a PA system from his shop that they're "closing down tomorrow" and all their crappy perfume is on sale. I walk past this place ...
21
votes
17answers
20k views

Is there a word to describe a person who likes chaos?

I am wondering if there is a word to describe a person who likes chaos. By this I mean a few specific things: The person is pleased to hear when chaos is created, or confusion emerges The person ...
21
votes
6answers
1k views

Word meaning coincidence of reference to the unusual

Most of us have had the experience of stumbling over a new fact or bit of knowledge and then finding several more references to it in the near future. For example, you see a strange word which you're ...
20
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a term for when a politician sends an anonymous idea to see whether the public is receptive?

In any democratic country, I guess, sometimes politicians want to see whether an idea is acceptable in the prevailing public opinion, but at the same time they don't want to reveal their position on ...
20
votes
23answers
4k views

Name for someone whose interest might be to discredit one's results by trying to find hypothetical mistakes?

What do you call a person whose interest might be to discredit your results by trying to find hypothetical mistakes? This person does not seem to focus on solving a problem with pragmatism. Is there a ...
20
votes
15answers
9k views

What is the word for an adult who is not mature?

What term can be used for an adult, especially a man, who is in his forties and still behaves like a teenager, shunning responsibilities typical of mature people, preferring to enjoy himself?
20
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the sound of teeth hitting each other in cold weather called?

What is the sound of teeth called that occurs in chilly weather: the sound that comes due to teeth crashing in each other in an extremely chilly winter.
20
votes
12answers
6k views

What is the word for a sentence that initially sounds profound or deep, that is, in fact, meaningless or empty?

I'm sure I saw, recently, a word for this, but I can no longer remember, or find, it.
20
votes
20answers
3k views

What's an expression for a cunningly-fake friend?

I'd like to warn somebody of one of their harmful managers, or even a so-called fake friend, so I say it like this: Don't trust him! He is nothing but a cunning person who is trying to harm ...
20
votes
18answers
20k views

An inoffensive word for “stupid”?

In my native language, there is a word that has a meaning similar to stupid, but it is friendly and usually used for a close friend or loved one. It even helps the target people to feel happy in some ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

A correct word for 'learnful'

I’m looking for a word that would fit in the sentence it was a very learnful experience: i.e., I learned a lot during that experience. Learnful feels correct to me, but the dictionary disagrees. It’s ...
20
votes
23answers
4k views

A stronger word than “snob”

I recently stayed at a charming boarding house and had the pleasure of meeting one of the most curious people I have ever come across in my life. He was polite, and yet standoffish. He reminded me of ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a writing that writes down every single word what one is thinking, called?

I remember that there was one technique of English writing that writes down every single word what one thinks. I forgot what this type of writing is called, does anyone knows the word? "umm, I think ...
20
votes
8answers
4k views

What's it called when you unfairly wrong someone just because you don't like them?

For example: if a teacher marks a students work down just because they don't like the student. Or if a McDonald's worker only fills your coffee cup half way because they remember the last time when ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

What do you call the wooden bridge-like structures that make up a harbor?

I’m referring to this: https://www.portseattle.org/Marinas/Harbor-Island-Marina/Harbor%20Island%20Large%20Image%20Viewer/Harbor%20Island%20Marina%20110706_06.jpg (I added a red arrow.) Example ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

What is the word for unconsciously blocking out background noises?

What is the word for the phenomenon where your brain blocks out background sounds, because they are constant? For example when you don't hear the air conditioning whirring away until it stops.
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Does British English have a word for dry, starchy savoury snacks that are not fried slices of potato?

Everyone, the world over, enjoys savoury snacks, particularly dry, starchy ones. Far and away the most popular kind in the Anglosphere are the ones made from deep-fried (sometimes baked) thinly-sliced ...
20
votes
7answers
4k views

What overarching category do “street,” “road,” “avenue”, etc. belong to?

Apple belongs to the category of Fruit. What category do street, road, and avenue belong to?
20
votes
12answers
5k 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
20
votes
9answers
3k views

What is a good term to describe the last of a dying breed?

Is there a word or short phrase that describes a person or animal that is the last survivor of a dying tribe/species? I'm trying to use the word facetiously to describe something technical and dry. ...
20
votes
1answer
9k views

Words pertaining to the senses and the corresponding disabilities

I need help on finding words relating to the senses/perception. I mean this in a neuronic/biological or philosophy-of-mind kind of way. A word for... pertaining to the senses (Is it sensory?) ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

Weekly, Daily, Hourly — Minutely…?

What is the correct word for "happening every minute"? How do you pronounce it?
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. ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the names of the pieces of a question mark?

A question mark ? seems to be composed of two distinct pieces, top and bottom. Do these pieces have their own names, and if so, what are they?
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Is there a name for this kind of punny transference?

First came John Guare's play Six Degrees of Separation, which was later turned into a film. It was about the web of interconnections that binds all of humanity together. Later came the well known ...
19
votes
11answers
2k views

A short term for something like “satisfaction + frustration”

Imagine that you are waiting for something you really want to happen, like maybe buying a new gadget. Since you really want it, when you finally happen to get it you feel satisfied and happy. However, ...
19
votes
10answers
3k views

What is the opposite of “abstain”?

We were thinking originally in terms of voting, but of course "abstain" has a more general meaning, of which the antonym is probably "indulge". But is there an opposite that would be more appropriate ...
19
votes
18answers
18k views

Is there a word for a person who gives out too many extraneous details?

I'm looking for a single-word term that describes a personality that wants to give out too many unnecessary details in a conversation. [EDIT] Let me give you guys an example. Suppose you ask your ...
19
votes
7answers
7k views

A word for “reaching the top of a hill or mountain”

Is there a word that specifically refers to reaching the top of a hill or mountain? I want to describe the action of reaching the top of a hill and finally being able to see what is on the other ...
19
votes
19answers
4k views

What would you call someone who makes no lasting impression?

What word would describe someone who doesn't generally leave much of an impression on people?
19
votes
10answers
3k views

Derogatory term for electronic device

In German, the term "Kiste", literally meaning "box", is often used as a colloquial derogatory term for electronic and mechanical devices. It is comparable to "jalopy", which, however, seems to be ...
19
votes
15answers
4k views

“Canary in coal mine” in a word

Is there a single word to describe the canary in the phrase "Canary in a coalmine"? The best I can come up with is sentinel, but I'm nearly positive there's a more precise option. Edit: To clarify ...
19
votes
9answers
4k views

Is there a good word for a square-rectangle relationship?

Any given square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle isn't necessarily a square, so squares and rectangles have a _ relationship. I've been noticing this sort of thing everywhere ever since I ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

What to call the area where the hair directions all change on the head?

What to call the area where the hair directions all change on the head? In Russian that term is макушка, and looking for the translation I find it to be top. However, that is not a satisfactory ...
19
votes
9answers
10k views

Word to describe “everyday things”

Is there any one word which can describe everyday things? By this, I mean things we commonly regard as things most people do every day, like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, ...
19
votes
15answers
9k views

What is the word for a path that is made naturally by the action of people walking?

I remember one day, when I was supposed to be at school, hanging out at a friends house and watching an episode of Call My Bluff and there was a word that meant something like: A path that is made ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the inverse of “guardian”?

If I am your guardian, what does that make you to me?
19
votes
8answers
24k views

Word for something sad and funny at the same time [closed]

What's a word for something that is sad and funny at the same time?
19
votes
12answers
1k views

What is the correct term for a story that sits alongside another one in time and place?

What is the correct term for a book that sits alongside another book in time and universe, sharing some characters and events? Not after (a sequel) or before (a prequel), but parallel. Example: I've ...
19
votes
7answers
1k views

Someone who appears more of an expert than they are [duplicate]

I believe there is a term for a person who uses 'expert sounding' terminology and exudes confidence, even when their actual abilities are significantly short of their 'presentation'. Using 'wine' a ...
19
votes
9answers
3k views

Opposite of the suffix -less

I'm looking for a suffix that has the opposite meaning of the suffix -less as in stainless. That is, a suffix that means “not free of ...”. In German, for example, there is the adverb “behaftet” and ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the noun to refer to the 64- or 32-bit -ness of an operating system

I know that "processor architecture" can be used to refer to whether the processor is 32-bit or 64-bit (or something else), but what word can be used for the operating system? Note that it's not ...
19
votes
4answers
23k views

What word means what many people think 'ironic' means?

'Ironic' is often used to mean an unusual coincidence rather than its true meaning which is closer to sarcastic. That being said, is there a word that would be a good replacement for what many people ...
19
votes
13answers
2k views

What do you call excessive snow?

When there’s a typhoon, the result is called a flood. But when there’s a snowstorm, what do you call all the snow it left behind? Is there a particular word for that?
19
votes
6answers
9k views

Is there a more fancy name for a “kitchen hole”?

Does English have a specific word for a hole between the kitchen and the living room that is used to get food directly to the dining table? German has the nice Durchreiche, which approximately ...
19
votes
15answers
32k views

Antonym for “exceed”

I am trying to find a single word antonym for "exceed". I am using the word as a verb (so "beneath" doesn't work) and it should have a positive connotation (as in a golf score which falls below par). ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there a word for accidentally stealing something?

Is there a single English word to describe when someone has appropriated property that doesn't belong to them unintentionally? For example, say I borrow a pen from someone and absentmindedly put it ...