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

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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 ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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Difference between “socket” and “outlet”

While translating a technical document I began thinking about socket and outlet. It seems like they're mostly interchangeable. Is that correct? Or is there a difference between the two?
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
378 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?
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6answers
886 views

Is there a better term for 'low-level?'

In computer programming, low-level means something used as a base upon which to build more complex mechanisms. To the untrained ear, I think the term might imply inferiority, which is simply not the ...
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496 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 ...
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6answers
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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, ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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Is there any difference between 'often' and 'frequently'?

Do both mean exactly the same or do they have slightly different meanings?
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3answers
8k views

What's the difference between superpose and superimpose?

The definitions seem very much alike: superposed - Place (something) on or above something else, esp. so that they coincide: "superposed triangles". superimpose - Place or lay (one thing) ...
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861 views

Better term for “intellectual jokes”

What can you call a joke, pun, or anything funny that likely needs intelligence to get? All I can come up with is intellectual jokes; is there another word for this? A one-word answer would be great. ...
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769 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 ...
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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 ...
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6answers
585 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 ...
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Is there a word for one who enjoys to eat for the sake of eating (a food hedonist)?

Does such a word exist? I don't mean to excess (IE, a glutton), but rather one who eats because he enjoys eating. Essentially, I'm looking for a word that's synonymous with "a food hedonist", or "a ...
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4answers
851 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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What are alternative responses for when someone sneezes?

Question: What is an appropriate English response to reply when someone nearby sneezes? Background: I am American by birth, and was raised to respond 'God Bless You' when someone sneezes -- though I ...
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6answers
873 views

Synonym for Boolean

Question I am trying to find a word, other than Boolean, that represents a true or false value. Is there such a word? Context I am designing a programming language that is meant to be as easy as ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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3answers
993 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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5answers
923 views

Synonym for “media item”

I am looking for a synonym for "media item" by which I mean a single photo, article, video, document, etc. I need one term as a handle for one of any of these types of items. I am honing my domain ...
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I was wondering if there are synonyms for “I was wondering”

Often I ask a question (by e-mail), and precede the question with I was wondering if... For example I was wondering if you can give me your office hrs? Why not just simply ask the real question? ...
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How is “organic” different from “natural”?

Looking into my dictionary, one meaning of the word organic is: occurring or developing gradually and naturally, without being forced or contrived And you see this word being used like Organic ...
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“via” vs. “through”

Could you please explain what the difference in usage is between through and via, which sounds like a Latinism? Are they completely interchangeable?
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4answers
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Word or phrase for making something seem better by comparison

What is a word or phrase that expresses the idea of purposely making something seem better by comparison? For example, lemon Starburst was created to make the cherry flavor seem that much tastier.
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4answers
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Synonym for “a lot” where each contributes only a little

I'm looking for a professional-context appropriate synonym for the word "a lot", but with the additional expression of "each contributes only a little" For example, To fill up that vat you'd need ...
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5answers
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What would you call a person being coached?

I am looking for an intuitive one word description for somebody that is being coached, as in enjoying the services of a coach. I am thinking of something analogous to the oft used mentee as somebody ...
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4answers
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What's the difference between orthography and spelling?

The terms "spelling" and "orthography" seem to be largely synonymous. What is the difference really? Is it that "orthography" is a more formal or technical term and hence more well-defined? Or is it ...
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Differences between “tutorial”, “guide” and “how-to”

The categorization on Android Wiki looks pretty arbitrary and redundant to me contemplating the single articles in the categories. In every one you find a tutorial, guide and how-to on for example How ...
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Difference between lexicon and dictionary

What is the difference between a lexicon and a dictionary? Is a lexicon just an über-big dictionary?
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What is the difference between partial and total synonyms?

I am really confused with these terms. In my notes from lexicology lectures, partial synonyms are words which differ in emotional color, valency, style, or grammar. In some cases, I can’t see which of ...
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What's the difference between the universe and the cosmos?

Is there a difference between the universe and the cosmos? I used to think that the cosmos was a sort of container for the universe, one that could contain potentially infinite universes.
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Monsters! another question about what-was-it-then

Etymonline has the original meaning of monster as c.1300, "malformed animal, creature afflicted with a birth defect" but I am curious to know the term used at that time -- and even earlier -- for ...
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Is there a well-known term for the synonym or near-synonym “telescoping” words?

This has been rattling around in the back of my mind for many years (way before Stack Exchange came into existence), so it's a relief to finally ask the question. There are words that can be ...
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5answers
440 views

Is “ambiguate” a word, or is there a word with a similar meaning?

I want to say something along the lines of "obscure", such as "He obscured the details" but I want it to capture the idea that the obscurity lies in the ambiguous nature of his description.
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Word for trying to boost your image unnecessarily

A typical request where I have a word on the tip of my tongue that I just can't place. UPDATED: A lot of the suggestions are direct synonyms of bragging so I'll try and clear up the context more. ...
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4answers
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What's the correct term for potato chips?

In school I learned to say crisps but I don't want to mix it with french fries. So what's the correct term to use, and what synonyms are there?
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5answers
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Is there a word for permanent solution?

I would prefer a positive connotation.
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3answers
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What do you call the green slippery thing formed, due to standing in water?

I can only think of "algae" or preferably "green algae", these are in the context of science. But is there any other general word in English used for this green slippery thing? In Hindi we say, ...
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5answers
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“Last Name” and “surname”

Between last name and surname, which one is British and which one is American? If I talk with somebody from Great Britain, which one is preferable?
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Alternatives for “conducted” with respect to research

Literature review is a big part of my life. I usually use “[Scientist] conducted a research using data from” to state a previous study. Do you have recommendations of other verbs to use? I am tired ...
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6answers
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Is there an alternative, one-word name for the question mark?

Is there an alternative name for the question mark? For example, the exclamation point is often called a bang, the number symbol is called a pound sign or sharp symbol and the asterisk symbol is ...
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5answers
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What is a good substitute for “echoey”?

As in "an echoey room". People do use this word in speech, but it isn't proper in writing. I thought of "echoing", but that implies that something is currently making an echo, whereas what I'm ...
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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 ...
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Alternative to “double entendre”?

Does anyone know another word or way to say double entendre — in the non-bawdy sense of the word — as this phrase was only invented in the latter 1600's and so not around when Shakespeare wrote his ...