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

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43
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4answers
21k 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 ...
45
votes
5answers
16k 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 ...
53
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 ...
35
votes
8answers
26k 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 ...
34
votes
3answers
7k 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?
22
votes
5answers
17k 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?
25
votes
17answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
168k 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?
30
votes
12answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
113k 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 ...
11
votes
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 ≈ ...
9
votes
1answer
455 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
18k 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
20k 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
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
9answers
30k 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 ...
17
votes
15answers
95k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
50
votes
20answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
14k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
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?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How and when did “bash” and “do” come to mean party?

I am on my way to a faculty party at the university. The Head of Sciences is retiring and is throwing a huge bash, all his staff, selected external examiners like me and various scientists from ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
30k 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
5answers
122 views

What is another word for street-wise? [closed]

Apart from 'street-smart' what is another word for street-wise?
1
vote
2answers
275 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 ...
35
votes
5answers
23k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
38k 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?
21
votes
17answers
30k 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
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 ...
16
votes
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?
14
votes
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.
11
votes
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 ...
16
votes
9answers
7k views

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

Are zero and null perfect synonyms?
11
votes
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
17k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
26k views

What is a synonym for “jack of all trades, master of none”?

What is a synonym of jack of all trades, master of none? I want to differentiate it from a generalist (might have deep knowledge about everything)? On the same note, is there a better way to say ...
20
votes
11answers
11k 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
8answers
26k 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?
10
votes
5answers
26k 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
votes
2answers
10k views

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

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 ...