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

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3answers
11k views

Recur vs. Reoccur

Is there any difference between the verbs reoccur and recur? Several sources suggest that they are synonymous, but some fine-tuners suggest that there is a nuanced difference, such as Grammarist, ...
11
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3answers
1k views

The use of “random” to mean “arbitrary”, “unidentified”, “unknown”, etc

I'm seeing the use of "random" instead of "arbitrary", etc., with increasing frequency. To me, "random" has a specific meaning and is not synonymous with these other words. Is it correct to use it in ...
11
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3answers
2k 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 ...
10
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6answers
2k 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 ...
10
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11answers
32k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
11k 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.
10
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8answers
1k views

Word for “decorated too much”

I'm looking for a word (verb) meaning decorate/embellish too much — in a bad sense — and in particular having the tint of being too much so that something instead of being beautiful becomes fussy and ...
10
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9answers
423 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 ...
10
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5answers
7k 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?
10
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4answers
3k 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, ...
10
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
9
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9answers
1k 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 ...
9
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3answers
868 views

Is there an adjective form of Jubilee?

With the Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne approaching, I'm seeing the word Jubilee more frequently than normal. Is there a word to describe the people celebrating with the same root as the ...
9
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9answers
2k views

What is a good word for a person who doesn't masturbate?

Is there a word for a person who doesn't masturbate? If so, what would he/she/it be known as?
9
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2answers
6k views

“To date” versus “until now”

Is there a difference between these two expressions? Are they perfect synonyms?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Why “mind” means “pay attention to”

Why the word "mind" can be used as a verb, synonym of "pay attention to"? It has the same etymology of the "mind" (centre of thought, feelings, brain) noun? When it is better to use "mind" in place of ...
9
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1answer
23k 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?
9
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5answers
2k 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. ...
9
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2answers
695 views

A word that describes “false sense of knowing”

Is there a word that describes someone having a false sense of knowing? In other words, one believes he knows X, but X isn't true. Here is an example sentence: However, consent forms give ...
8
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8answers
1k views

A single word antonym of “absorb”

In textbooks, they say "absorb" heat and "give off" heat. Is there a single word which can perfectly take the place of "give off"?
8
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8answers
13k views

What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died? [closed]

What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died? For example "He has gone to the far country where he will be happy for ages". P.S. There is this question, but it focuses on mentioning ...
8
votes
10answers
857 views

Word for energyless-ness

What's a single word that can connote the concept of (or something similar to) "energyless-ness" (which, as far as I can tell, is not a word). This is meant to be used in the context of burnout. When ...
8
votes
3answers
605 views

Difference between “dawn” and “realize”

I encountered a word dawn and I have a feeling I understood the meaning in context. For example, 1) It dawned on him that she had loved him. means 2) It entered his consciousness that she ...
8
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6answers
1k views

A better word for invigilator, a person overseeing an exam

I'm issuing a written final exam to a student in Nepal. In setting this up I need to communicate to a non native speaking person in the abroad administration, in a clear and precise manner, that a ...
8
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8answers
236 views

Word that means “Something only a philosopher would argue with”

I remember reading (apparently not on the internet) a lighthearted definition of the word I want to use. This noun means a kind of quibble that is so trivial that only a metaphysician or similar ...
8
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18answers
2k views

Single word to describe something that is “meant to be”

I am trying to come up with a single word that describes the saying "meant to be" in a poetic and prophetic manner (but I am not looking for a fantastical description that talks too much about fate). ...
8
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5answers
412 views

What is the word for “a series of two related works”?

Here dilogy is defined as "a series of two related works". I can't shake off the feeling that there is a more commonly used word for this. Is there? If yes, what is it?
8
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9answers
614 views

Is there any difference between “a few relatives” and “a few relations”?

In the following sentence I prefer saying relatives but I am unable to explain why. It's going to be a small wedding. Only a few friends and relatives have been invited On doing research I ...
8
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3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “onerous” and “arduous”?

Is there any difference in the meaning of these words? Which one of them is used the most in everyday conversation? In my vocabulary for both words I've found essentially the same meaning: "difficult ...
8
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5answers
1k views

“Bash” vs. “party”

Our management team ask us to join a pizza/beer bash, which is essentially nothing but a pizza lunch held for all employees. My concept of the word bash still remained somewhere near the name of the ...
8
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8answers
11k views

Synonyms for “anal retentive”

I would like one or more synonyms for anal retentive. I was chatting last night in an mmorpg, and any message with the word anal was banned. I ended up talking about my canal retentive minus c ...
8
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3answers
375 views

Synonymity of “simple” and “basic”

If I have two ways of doing the same thing, one requiring more input or effort than the other but also allowing for more customization, how should I label the two? The simple way and the custom ...
8
votes
3answers
366 views

Is healthful considered an acceptable synonym of healthy?

To my ear, healthful does not sound right. This could well be geographical bias on my part. Is it now a valid alternative to healthy? Does it have another meaning?
8
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3answers
53k 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?
8
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5answers
3k views

A word for “rate of change”

Physics problems are usually written like: The rate of change of the soup's temperature ... Is there a common English word that captures "rate of change" or "speed of change" in a single word, ...
8
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6answers
2k views

Is there a similar word to 'twain' but meaning 'three' instead of 'two'?

I would like to split something into three parts, is there a phrase I can use with similar overtones to "cleave in twain"?
8
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4answers
2k views

What are some synonyms for 'euphemism'?

A euphemism is a word used to replace another worse sounding word. For example, 'pass away' for 'die', 'battle fatigue' for 'shell shock', 'PTSD' for 'battle fatigue', often a word created to replace ...
8
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4answers
6k views

Argentine or Argentinian?

I was taught in my school days that Argentine was the correct adjective for something relating to the country Argentina. However, these days, even in common speech (but moreover in formal English on ...
8
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5answers
2k 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 ...
8
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4answers
7k views

Is there any difference between 'often' and 'frequently'?

Do both mean exactly the same or do they have slightly different meanings?
8
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2answers
7k views

Differences between “propensity”, “predilection” and “proclivity”

Propensity, predilection and proclivity all have the meaning of tendency, so what's the difference? Are they interchangeable?
7
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5answers
738 views

Can “paper bag” mean any bag?

Being Swedish but living in Kenya for many years I initially reacted when at the local market I was offered a paper bag (verbally) but given a plastic bag (physically). This is always the case and ...
7
votes
6answers
528 views

Is there a better word or phrase for “somewhat ostentatious”?

Certain graduates of a class are donating money to place an ad in a booklet celebrating s school’s centennial. Their names will be placed in the ad. The intent of the ad (and sale of the booklet) is ...
7
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4answers
442 views

Usage of diffuse vs. defuse

I often hear phrases such as "infantry were sent in to diffuse/defuse the situation," and I am never quite sure which people are saying, and which is correct. Both seem to make sense. To me (a ...
7
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7answers
505 views

Do synonyms exactly stand for the same

I have a question about synonyms: I'm wondering for quite a while if synonyms always stand exactly for the same thing. Is there sometimes a little difference in meaning? Let's use clumsy and clunky ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Is there a single word that can describe something that breathes/produces fire?

I'm looking for a word that I can use to describe something that "breathes" (out) fire. If there is no such word, I can create it myself, much like Stephen King created Pyrokinesis. Is there such a ...
7
votes
3answers
775 views

Gender-independent replacement for “fiancée” and “fiancé”

I can use child to replace son or daughter, sibling for sister or brother, and parent for mother or father. What is the unisex replacement for fiancée and fiancé? I don’t need it for speech, but for ...
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7answers
7k views

Synonym for not taking personal responsibility

I'm trying to think of a word that suggests a person who takes no personal accountability in their actions or always tries to shift blame on to some factor supposedly outside of their control. Is ...
7
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6answers
7k views

Is “sans” a drop-in replacement for “without”?

I keep hearing people use the word sans in place of without which causes me to cringe. Can sans really be used as a drop-in replacement? Examples: "I prefer cheeseburgers sans pickles." "I ...
7
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4answers
5k 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 ...