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

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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
25k 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
votes
8answers
16k 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 ...
16
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1answer
83k 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?
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
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9answers
46k 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 ...
15
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4answers
91k 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. ( ...
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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
43k 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
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8answers
26k 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
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7answers
24k 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
39k 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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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
votes
3answers
3k 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
2k 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
19k 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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6answers
4k 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?
13
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7answers
21k 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
22k 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
84k 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
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3answers
167k 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
25k 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?
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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
28k 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 ...
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
5k 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
3k 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
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11answers
58k 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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9answers
2k views

Safer alternative to “opaque”?

As a child I was taught that opaque means doesn't let any light through at all, as opposed to translucent (lets some light through, but diffused/frosted) or transparent (completely clear, lets you see ...
12
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6answers
123k views

Synonym for “such as”

As in: Many factors are to blame for this disaster, such as: «bulleted list»
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4answers
4k views

“Obvious” vs. “Evident”

Are obvious and evident totally synonymous? I've noticed that both are generally translated to the same French word. However, as a native English speaker I kinda interpret them differently; obvious ...
12
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5answers
6k views

“high rate of speed” or “high speed” to mean going fast

Why do reporters (and sometimes police officers) say that somebody was going at a high rate of speed when they actually mean high speed? In physics, speed is already the rate of distance over time, ...
11
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9answers
2k views

American Equivalent of “Bog Standard”

I'm searching for an American English phrase that is the most readily equivalent to the British expression bog standard (which means, as I understand, plain, ordinary or unremarkable). I'm tempted to ...
11
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6answers
4k views

Synonym of “s--t eating grin” suitable for polite company

Can anyone think of a synonym for "shit eating grin" that would be usable in polite company? This definition from the OED captures the meaning I'm looking for perfectly: A broad grin expressing ...
11
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2answers
2k views

What is the word to mean to apply attributes of an entire race to a single individual?

Normally racism is used to mean generalizing about an entire race based on a few individual examples, but what is the word to mean to apply attributes of an entire race to a single individual? That is ...
11
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5answers
75k 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 ...
11
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7answers
44k views

Difference between contract and catch [a disease]

What could be the difference between contracting a disease and catching a disease? I know there isn't any big difference. However, it looks like there are some diseases you can both catch and ...
11
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6answers
16k views

What is the difference between “citizen” and “denizen”

Citizen: 1. A legally recognized subject ornational of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized. 2. An inhabitant of a particular town or city. Denizen: 1. An inhabitant or occupant of a ...
11
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4answers
10k 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 ≈ ...