A synonym is a word that means the same, or almost the same thing, as another word.

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10answers
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Stronger word for “selfish”

"Selfish" could mean anything from taking the last cookie to killing someone for the last cookie. Is there a harsher word for selfish that emphasises that it's wrong and/or hurtful?
17
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4answers
1k views

Are synonyms always bidirectional?

By bidirectional I mean, if word A is synonymous with word B, does it follow that word B is always synonymous with word A? Are there any common exceptions to this rule? Extending this - if word A is ...
17
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1answer
86k views

What is the difference between “in-between” and “between”?

Do in-between and between have different meanings? What is the difference between in-between and between?
16
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13answers
7k views

An adjective or a single word that means something is “new” and “different” at the same time

When we say this approach is "New," new, here, doesn't necessarily imply that the approach is different from preceding approaches. When we say that it is "different," different, here, doesn't imply ...
16
votes
9answers
49k views

Is there a more concise term for a long-term girlfriend/boyfriend than “significant other”?

I've been together with my boyfriend for around 9 years now. There are times when I want to communicate that I am referring to someone who plays a major role in my life, like that of a husband, and "...
16
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4answers
98k views

“flat” vs. “apartment”

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition Flat: noun. [ countable ] ( BrE ) a set of rooms for living in, including a kitchen, usually on one floor of a building. Apartment: noun. ( ...
16
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9answers
7k views

Is there a real difference between “null” and “zero”?

Are zero and null perfect synonyms?
16
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8answers
28k views

Word for person who loves to share knowledge

What is a word for a person who loves to share knowledge? So far I have educator in mind. Is there any other word?
16
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8answers
18k views

When did the term “flip flop” displace the term “thong” in North America for a type of sandal?

To Australians like me "thong" means a kind of sandal such as recently repopularized by the Havaianas brand but we know it means a kind of G-string in other English-speaking parts of the world. To ...
15
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15answers
2k views

Specific verb for “training an apprentice”?

Does a specific verb exist for the process of passing on information or skills including the passing of responsibilities between an experienced worker and a new one? The verb train is too general, as ...
15
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7answers
3k views

What is the English synonym for the German word “Sparmeister”?

Well, the title pretty much says it all. A Sparmeister (noun), briefly speaking, is a person who is concerned about his finances and tries to avoid spending money whenever possible. a ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the difference between an apocalypse and a cataclysm?

What is the difference between an apocalypse and a cataclysm? I've been told that an apocalypse is an act of God, but we seem to use it as a generic term for any grand disaster. What is the ...
15
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5answers
45k views

Difference between “pain” and “ache”

What's the difference between pain and ache? I often see the two words used (almost) interchangeably. At the same time the phrase "aches and pains" is pretty common, and seems to suggest that the two ...
15
votes
8answers
28k views

Are there any differences between “I believe” vs “I think” vs “I reckon”?

These are the three most common ways to say "I think." (At least, I believe so. I mean, I think so. Um...) Are there any subtle differences between them? Are there situations where one of the three ...
15
votes
7answers
26k views

When is it appropriate to use “Yeah” and “Yep” as variants of the word “Yes”?

As a learner of English I know that yes is a standard variant and other two are informal, spoken words. I know nothing more about it, and try always use the yes variant, just not to sound ...
15
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3answers
1k views

How do you tell if synonyms of “almost” default to meaning “less than”?

Having just had a chat with Em1, I noticed that some words or phrases that mean almost will mean less than when used alone, and other synonyms will mean greater than. For example, nearly and close to ...
15
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5answers
40k views

Differences between “sledge”, “sleigh” and “sled”

Is there a difference between a sledge, a sleigh and a sled? Dictionary definitions suggest they are synonymous, but it certainly sounds wrong to refer to Santa Claus on a sledge.
15
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15answers
527 views

Synonym for “Blind Spot”

I'm looking for a term or an idiom to point to the weakness of something, specifically a computer program. Something similar to "Achilles Heel" but not that! I just found blind spot : "an area in ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Envision vs Envisage

Is there a context where envision is not a synonym of envisage, or vice versa? Envisage's definition: contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event Envision's ...
14
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12answers
2k views

Word to describe someone who goes to all the events in town! [closed]

I'm looking for a short word that could describe people who are always going to every event in town. It doesn't need to be an existing word, feel free to create one of your own. It can also be made of ...
14
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19answers
3k views

Synonym to “software wizard”

Some software programs provide helper functions which guide you through a certain process, and traditionally these are called wizards. I wish to provide this functionality in the administration-side ...
14
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16answers
3k views

Is there an adjective for “untruthful, especially when pretending to know more than one actually does”?

I originally thought of the word "disingenuous," except that my dictionary gives the definition as "not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Can one “decrease” or “increase” sound volume?

My daughter's English teacher insists that synonyms for "turn up" and "turn down" (volume)do not include the words increase and decrease. We wondered if we had been using increase and decrease ...
14
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10answers
3k views

What do you call something that is not first in a sequence?

Is there a word to describe something that is not the first element in a sequence, but can be in any other position? A synonym of "not first", in fact. This element is __ in this sequence.
14
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4answers
20k views

Is there a difference between “Speciality” and “Specialty”?

My work colleagues and I have been having a discussion about doctors (we work in healthcare), and we're split down the middle as to whether a specialist doctor would have a speciality, or a specialty (...
13
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11answers
2k views

Cases where “mistake” and “error” are not interchangeable

Are there cases where error and mistake are not interchangeable?
13
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7answers
22k views

What is a less offensive synonym for “hypocrite”?

Is there a word that describe a person who doesn't "practice what they preach"? Basically, is there a synonym for "hypocrite" that carries less pejorative connotations? For example, let's say a ...
13
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8answers
3k views

Are all myths superstitions, or are all superstitions myths?

Are all myths superstitions, or is it the other way around, i.e. all superstition being myths? Or can these words basically be used interchangeably? The dictionary definitions of these words seem ...
13
votes
5answers
23k views

“Miniscule” vs. “minuscule”

Does the former have a typo or are they synonyms? Do they always have the same meaning? Please enlighten me as I am confused on this matter.
13
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5answers
89k views

Popular alternatives to “thank you”

The context for my question might be a bit strange. I have stuttering and therefore I have some difficulties pronouncing some words starting with particular phonetics. And I've found that if a ...
13
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8answers
2k views

Single word for shopping after comparing price and features across multiple shops and product types

I'm looking for a phrase or a single word that denotes the act of buying an item after analyzing the price and features of different products across several shops. The closest I could get to was "...
13
votes
3answers
172k views

When should you use “despite” over “inspite”, and vice versa?

Most dictionaries suggest that inspite and despite are synonymous, but are there any specific instances when their usage is not interchangeable?
13
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6answers
130k views

Synonym for “such as”

As in: Many factors are to blame for this disaster, such as: «bulleted list»
13
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6answers
26k views

Are there by chance any synonyms for “synonym”?

I was discussing with some friends about synonyms when we found, that ironically nobody of us knew any synonyms to the word "synonym" itself. Are there any?
13
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6answers
4k views

What is the “explicit”'s equivalent of “imply”?

Note: The original title of this question was "Why is 'exply' not a word? While considering the words implicit, implicate, and imply, it struck me that I can't think of an equivalent to imply for ...
13
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2answers
6k views

Enquire and inquire

In British English I think these two words have different shades of meaning, but I couldn't articulate them. In American English I see inquire used where I would use "enquire". Are there shades of ...
13
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6answers
30k views

When is it appropriate to use “titled” vs. “entitled”?

When is it appropriate to use "titled" vs. "entitled"? For example, which is the correct word to use in the following sentence? I really liked the conclusion to rands’ latest blog post entitled ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

What words sound like opposites but are synonyms?

Somewhat related to this question, I am curious to know what words in English would seem to be opposites at first blush but are in fact synonyms? Immediately I can think of flammable and inflammable.
12
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6answers
5k views

What is a word for a person who thinks they are going to fail? [closed]

I need a word for someone who thinks that they won't become successful or will fail?
12
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14answers
3k views

A less hostile word that can replace “violation”

I am working with a large open source software project whose code base has to be GNU Public License version 2 (GPLv2). We have to make sure that the "stuff" that goes into the project from our ...
12
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14answers
6k views

More concise word or phrase for “people who have been taken advantage of”

I’m hoping for a single descriptive word for “people who have been taken advantage of”, but a shorter phrase would be ok. These are people who now have a lack of trust and are in need of loyalty in ...
12
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8answers
3k views

“Lover of Life”: Biophile?

Looking for a single noun to title a funeral picture board where photos show the subject dancing, eating, drinking, reading, and laughing. I want to portray this man's love of life. Other photo ...
12
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7answers
2k views

Other ways to say “I have a bad hunch”

I'm looking for ways to say "I'm having a bad hunch", or more like a bad feeling about something upcoming. The gut-wrenching feeling that something bad will happen.
12
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9answers
2k views

Synonym of 'kangaroo court'

From legal-dictionary.com, kangaroo court is defined as such: [Slang of U.S. origin.] An unfair, biased, or hasty judicial proceeding that ends in a harsh punishment; an unauthorized trial ...
12
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6answers
4k views

Is there a word for “an only child”?

Some languages (Aramaic and Arabic for instance) have a word for someone who's an only child. Does English have a word for it? Perhaps it's obscure or "extinct"? "Sole child" and "sibling-less" are ...
12
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12answers
2k views

Professional term for “useless: should be omitted”

I need a way to say something is useless, in that including it is actually harmful, but not so harshly. As in, "The last sentence is useless and should be omitted" Where the last sentence in a ...
12
votes
5answers
83k views

What is the difference between “rooster” vs. “cock” and “hen” vs. “chicken”?

When I was small and started to study English, I had pictures labelled cock, hen and chicken. Now when I search the net for pictures for showing to my children, I see the same pictures, but this ...
12
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11answers
61k views

What is a good synonym for “interesting”?

What's a good synonym for the word "interesting" or "interested"? I find that I use those words a bit too often (e.g. "I'm definitely interested!", "Yeah, that sounds really interesting, I would love ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Trying to remember a synonym for a “fixed smile”

I remember reading this word in the writings of Anthony Burgess. I think it began with an 'r' and could also be used in a medical context when describing facial paralysis. Can anyone help me out?
12
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4answers
11k views

Not to Mention ≈ [Let Alone ≈ Much Less ≈ Still Less]

For brevity, I symbolise synonymity with ≈.  So  X ≈ Y  means  X and Y are synonyms. From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/let+alone: let alone ≈ not to mention From Merriam Webster: let alone ≈ ...