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
6k 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 ...
32
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
4k 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?
45
votes
3answers
3k 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
5k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
10k 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
7answers
12k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
81k 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?
15
votes
9answers
15k 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 ...
10
votes
15answers
63k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
812 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
15k 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?
22
votes
9answers
6k 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
4answers
6k 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 ...
20
votes
16answers
13k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
63k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
251 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
2answers
10k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k 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?
2
votes
1answer
556 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
5k 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
855 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
3answers
856 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 ...
13
votes
9answers
22k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
15k 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
2k 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
4answers
78k 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 ...
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
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
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a word to describe a person who wears several masks?

What word best describes a person who is deceitful and very complicated to understand? As they say, he wears several masks.
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Differences between “vulgar” and “coarse”, “crass”, “crude”, “rough”, “rude”, “unrefined” as applied to language

This question specifically covers how these terms are used to describe language, it is a followup to What's the difference between "informal", "colloquial", "slang", ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Pending” vs “Impending”. Are they synonyms?

They appear to me to mean almost if not exactly the same thing, but I am not sure. Are there differences in meaning between them?
1
vote
2answers
279 views

A synonym for “moral hypocrite”

I'm looking for a precise word to describe someone who is hypocritical on moral issues, for example: a cult guru who claims to be holy while doing something evil. or a company which partakes in some ...
0
votes
2answers
118 views

Alternative for the word “options” as in “extra purchase possibilities to go with a booking”

Is there a better alternative to the word options when referring to "extra purchase possibilities next to a booking you have already made"? For instance, you can think of food and beverages, ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a name for synonyms that appear to have opposite meanings?

The words flammable and inflammable mean the same thing, but (to someone unfamiliar with their meaning) appear to be opposites (because of the "in" prefix). Is there a name for such word pairs that ...
20
votes
15answers
13k views

Is there a word to describe a person who likes chaos?

I am wondering if there is a word to describe a person who likes chaos. By this I mean a few specific things: The person is pleased to hear when chaos is created, or confusion emerges The person ...
13
votes
4answers
36k 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. ( ...
19
votes
5answers
7k views

Is there a subtle difference between “inherent” and “intrinsic”?

I've always used "inherent" and "intrinsic" interchangeably. Dictionary.com doesn't offer much help in distinguishing them.
9
votes
4answers
3k views

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

According to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/let+alone, the following are synonyms, which I denote with ≈: not to mention ≈ let alone According to ...
9
votes
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 ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

How to describe useless conversation?

Is there a word or concise English expression for the kind of discussion that is heated, perhaps a bit contentious or pretentious, but ultimately off-topic, vague, or too abstract to be useful? A ...
42
votes
16answers
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 ...
16
votes
9answers
4k views

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

Are zero and null perfect synonyms?