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

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35
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3answers
9k views

Alternatives to “and/or”?

As a programmer, I have no problem with seeing or using "and/or" in technical documentation. For example, I can upvote an answer that satisfies me and/or mark it as accepted. That's perfectly ...
38
votes
4answers
16k views

When are “because”, “since”,“for” and “as” interchangeable?

I am not a native speaker. On a previous question of mine, I thanked for an answer by saying: So the phrase is not an idiom, since it is applied in its literal sense. I consciously chose since ...
32
votes
8answers
18k views

Is there a subtle difference between “somebody” and “someone”, “anybody” and “anyone”?

Are there any subtle differences between "somebody" and "someone", or can they be used completely interchangeably? Similarly, can you imagine a situation in which you would prefer "anybody" to ...
33
votes
3answers
5k views

Why are not “infamous” and “inflammable” the opposite of “famous” and “flammable”?

Why are not infamous and inflammable the opposite of famous and flammable, like incomplete, inactivity, inappropriate and so on?
49
votes
3answers
4k views

“Toward” or “towards”?

Which one should should I use? For some reason I have always used "towards", but I see some people saying "toward", like here: A great deal of his work in economic theory has been directed ...
22
votes
17answers
6k views

Noun for “person with intermediate skill”

I'm looking for the noun form of "person with intermediate skill". For example, in the context of a particular activity, "person with no skill" might be designated a novice, and "person with much ...
18
votes
5answers
13k views

What is the distinction between “among” and “amongst”?

It seems amongst is quite often used as a synonym for among but it is supposed to sound more distinguished. Is there any difference in the meaning?
14
votes
9answers
32k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
13k views

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 ...
20
votes
16answers
16k views

What is a synonym for “girlfriend”?

I'm in my mid 40s and dating this lady of a similar vintage. I am trying to find a good word to describe our relationship, but "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" seems inappropriate for us. It reminds me of ...
14
votes
7answers
17k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
115k 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?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between “log in”, “authenticate” and “sign in”? [closed]

I didn't find the difference between them by googling Edit: Thx litterally, authenticate, means prove its identity, which is a just a subprocess of global access authorization btw I forgot to ...
17
votes
9answers
21k views

Do native English speakers use the word “touristic”?

A word usage that always annoys me and feels like Euroenglish to me is "touristic". I don't believe I've ever seen it printed or heard it used by a native English speaker and I've travelled in most ...
11
votes
15answers
77k views

What is the adjective form for the word “integrity?”

I'm looking for the adjective form of "integrity." Instead of "Be a person of integrity," I'd like to say something like "Be [one word I'm looking for]" I did a Google search for this, but I also ...
46
votes
19answers
6k views

Alternative expression for “xyz Nazi”

I'm not a native English speaker, but I do understand and personally appreciate the use of the term "xyz Nazi" to say that someone is a bit dogmatic about their point of view, without necessarily ...
18
votes
2answers
87k views

“Farthest” vs. “furthest”

My spellchecker insists on replacing "furthest" with "farthest". I was under the impression that farthest is strictly speaking in terms of distance, whereas furthest is more abstract. A poster on ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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 ≈ ...
6
votes
6answers
7k views

Is there a semantic difference between relevance and pertinence?

The dictionary defines relevant as being Closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand whilst pertinent is defined as Relevant or applicable to a particular matter. Both of these ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

English synonym online database?

Is there a good english synonym database available in the Internet? I imagine that it should work like a translator: you enter a word and synonyms for this word are displayed. The reason for asking ...
7
votes
1answer
253 views

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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Less-technical synonym for “timestamp”

I've already looked at Is there a word for "a point in time"?, but there doesn't seem to be any answers other than "timestamp". While I agree that it is the most technically accurate ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

A positive alternative to “smelling” to describe something with a pleasant odor

When one hears that something smells, one would generally assume that it smells bad. Isn't there a word which wouldn't bring to mind the idea of a bad odor? For example, how would you describe ...
5
votes
3answers
18k views

Isle vs. Island

Some islands are called isle like "Isle of Man", "Isle of Tortuga" and the "British Isles". Other islands are called island, like "Island of Malta" or "Island of Cyprus". What is the difference ...
1
vote
2answers
195 views

Is there a word to describe something that is bad/harmful, yet needed/imperative?

I am trying to describe the nature of pesticides. Although they are mostly harmful, we need them in order to produce the amount of food the world requires. Is there a word or phrase besides "necessary ...
31
votes
5answers
16k views

What are the differences between “assume”, “presume” and “suppose”

I believe that "assume", "presume", "suppose" are similar in meaning of to take some facts as a truth without proof. But it seems to me that "presume" is more formal, "assume" is less formal and ...
27
votes
12answers
7k views

Do the words “jail” and “prison” refer to different things?

In everyday speech, the terms jail and prison are used interchangeably in many situations. However, my understanding is that, at least in the US, they actually refer to slightly different things. For ...
7
votes
5answers
24k views

“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?
13
votes
9answers
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.
12
votes
5answers
64k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
13k views

What alternative would you suggest to “in/with regard(s?) to”?

I see in many of the "corporate emails" I receive the expression: "in regard to". Sometimes, it is also written "in regards to". First, to be sure: "in regards to" (with an extra 's') is ...
8
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
305 views

Better term to put on a label of a bottle of milk to describe that it's 'made' in a particular geographic location

While waiting for the kettle to boil this morning, I was idling and reading the label on the bottle of milk and was struck by the declaration: "Permeate free, made in WA". Here's a shot of the label ...
6
votes
4answers
96k views

What is a good synonym for “badass” that would be usable in a high school setting?

I'm looking for a better way to say "orchestral brass musicians are badass" that doesn't use any words that could be considered profanity. (If you're not sure what I mean by orchestral brass ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

A positive word for 'opportunist'

The word opportunist seems to be used negatively for a person. Is there a word with the same but positive meaning?
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Alternatives to 'respectively'

Is there any other word I can use instead of respectively? This word provides me a way to describe a list of items conveniently in a single sentence and hence save space. I've used this many times ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

What does the word “cinemaddict” mean?

Please explain to me (non-native speaker) what the word "cinemaddict" means. What synonyms does it have?
2
votes
1answer
653 views

Synonyms, Antonyms, and “Neutralnyms”

Two words A and B are synonyms if they mean the same thing, and antonyms if they mean opposite things. But is there a word to describe the relationship where A means "neither B nor its opposite"? ...
20
votes
11answers
8k views

Is “chubby” offensive?

I said to a person that she is "chubby" and, apparently, she took it very seriously. What I meant to say is that she's not skin and bones, she carried more pounds than needed but, precisely because of ...
16
votes
4answers
963 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
20k 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?
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What's the difference between 'envy' and 'jealousy'?

Do you have to be jealous of someone in toto as opposed to a specific thing they have or do? Is the fear of losing that person a key component of jealousy, whereas you can be envious of someone you ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Single word to denote date and time

I want one word that means Date and Time. For example in "the date and time of the event will be announced later" I want to use single word instead of "date and time"
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Are “like” and “such as” completely synonymous?

"Like" and "such as" seem to fit the exact same sentences: I want a cookie like that I want a cookie such as that There are plenty of variations where they differ: I like cookies ...
3
votes
10answers
1k views

What's a word/phrase for a player/seducer?

I can't seem to remember this particular word/phrase. I'm almost certain it's a two-word phrase. It specifically refers to someone who is skilled with the ladies, ie, someone who knows the tricks of ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

When to use “use” and when to use “utilize” in a sentence?

Sometimes I go through articles and find the expression utilize, I've always been wondering if there are special cases in which it should be used instead of used. Also because google ngram clearly ...