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. Please use the "phrase-requests" tag instead if you seek a phrase (not a word) that fits the meaning.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

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17answers
220k views

What is a word in English that means “able to learn new things quickly”?

What is the English word to describe the following skill: “able to learn new things quickly”?
21
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the name of this “yawning like” movement?

You may do this when you're tired or after a nap. This movement is usually called "yawning" but I think yawning is a bit different. With this movement, we may yawn too. After waking up, it usually ...
21
votes
5answers
52k views

Word meaning “to make more efficient”?

I think this question came up in a conversation with a friend...we were discussing how serving lunch could be made more efficient. They could _____ the lunch line by doing this or that. The only ...
21
votes
25answers
13k views

Is there a word for a person who doesn't think the rules apply to him?

I'm trying to write a letter to the editor of my local paper about their report of a man who doesn't think the rules apply to him. Is there a word for this? He's a bit of an egoist, demanding to ...
21
votes
8answers
1k views

Word that means “outdated name”

Is there a word that means "outdated name"? For example: Record, although very little music is on vinyl Film, although most movies are digital Horsepower, although no one uses horses as a metric ...
21
votes
11answers
6k views

Word for “Can't be seen with the naked eye”?

I'm wondering if there is a word to describe something that cannot be seen with the naked eye. 'Microscopic' is the first that springs to mind, but this has too many 'science-y' connotations. It ...
21
votes
15answers
7k views

What do you call someone who exploits people and their confidence using ‘clever speech’? [closed]

I am referring to someone who makes people ‘buy’ what he says and gets things done by them through nothing but clever speech – something one can describe as crafty or beguiling, but not fraudulent. I ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

What would you call a pleading before a judge or God [closed]

Is there a noun or adjective for the following or similar: a pleading before a judge for clemency a prayer before God begging for mercy Is there a better word than "begging", "pleading", ...
21
votes
15answers
24k views

What is a term for someone who doesn't know what they haven't experienced?

I'm struggling to find a word or short term for a person or group of people who do not experience jealousy/remorse/etc. due to a lack of something. For example, people from the middle ages could not ...
21
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there a word for this emotion? Resentment over someone's good fortune without wanting it - Not quite jealousy/envy

What is the word to describe this? I was reading up about the differences between jealousy and envy and this doesn't seem to fit either, when you don't actually want what the other person has, nor do ...
21
votes
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
719 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
17answers
21k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
21k 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 ...
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
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
21k 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
5k 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
5k 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
15answers
10k 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 ...
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
4k 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
15answers
33k views

Antonym for “exceed” [duplicate]

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). ...
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
8k 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
11k 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
2answers
3k views

What to call someone whose partner is dead

Is there any particular word for a person whose partner (love) has passed away? Like he/she is keeping lonely now, crying or silent all the time because they miss their dead partner.
19
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the inverse of “guardian”?

If I am your guardian, what does that make you to me?