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

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33
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3answers
4k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
3k 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?
26
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
42
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
17answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
6k 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
6answers
8k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
864 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
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?
5
votes
3answers
630 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
3k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
7k 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?
19
votes
15answers
10k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
206 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
680 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
13k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
4k 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
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
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
1k 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
912 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
2answers
2k 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", ...
0
votes
1answer
377 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"? ...
0
votes
2answers
102 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
891 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 ...
16
votes
9answers
3k views

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

Are zero and null perfect synonyms?
13
votes
8answers
1k views

Are all myths superstitions, or are all superstitions myths?

Are all myths superstitions, or is it the other way around, i.e. all superstition being myths? Or can these words basically be used interchangeably? The dictionary definitions of these words seem ...
10
votes
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, ...
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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

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.
7
votes
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Difference between “voters”, “electorates” and “constituents”

I'm reading an English text about politics, and in one paragraph I found "voters," "electorates" and "constituents." Now I would like to know if they are absolutely the same, or if they have slightly ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Homeland vs Motherland vs Fatherland

What is the distinction between homeland, motherland and fatherland? Is there any difference in meaning of such terms? When it comes to connotations are there any differences, except for the ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Usage of “nonetheless” and “nevertheless”

Person A: "Is it just because you think I am sad, that you want to talk with me?" Person B: "No, I want to talk with you _______." In the blank, which word is correct: "nonetheless" or ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Which thesaurus best describes the differences between several similar words? [closed]

Which thesaurus (online or paper) best describes the differences between several similar words? As a non-native English speaker, it is often difficult for me to distinguish the slightly different ...
4
votes
5answers
648 views

Euphemisms or synonyms for plagiarism

Any funny euphemisms or synonyms for plagiarism?
3
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
721 views

What are the degrees of synonymity?

In several questions and answers on this site I've read phrases that suggest there can be a scale of synonymity between words—something I haven't thought much about before. Some examples I've seen are ...
1
vote
4answers
216 views

Difference in usage between “Dependent” and “Reliant”

Based on the comments on a question on another SE site, I'm trying to define the difference between something being "Dependent upon something" and being "reliant upon something". The sentence in ...
20
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
9answers
48k views

Using “dear”, “darling”, or “honey” to address a friend

As far as I know dear, darling, and honey are commonly used between lovers, but I suppose there are more words like that. What else is commonly used? Which of these can be used to address a ...