A vocabulary is the body of words used in a particular language.

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11
votes
11answers
19k views

What's the opposite for “steep learning curve”?

[Inspired by the Steep learning curve question] Is there a phrase similar to steep learning curve (i.e. [some-word] learning curve) describing something that is easy to learn?
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “alien” offensive?

I understand that alien is used as a synonym of foreigner, as well as a synonym of extraterrestrial. I suspect that people from other planets wouldn't mind being called aliens. But is it wrong ...
2
votes
2answers
266 views

“Abandoned” as an antonym of “Abstemious” (adj) ?

Can we use "Abandoned" as an antonym of "Abstemious" (adj)? Please explain your answer.
11
votes
5answers
25k views

When would you say “woods”, and when would you say “forest”?

Is there any difference here at all?
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Emend and Amend- What's the difference? They both have the same definition

What's the difference between the words emend and amend? They both have the same definition.
3
votes
3answers
11k views

What's the difference between “successive” and “consecutive”?

What's the difference between "successive" and "consecutive"?
6
votes
5answers
21k views

What's the difference between “to confirm” and “to verify”?

What's the difference between "to confirm" and "to verify"?
2
votes
1answer
188 views

What's the difference between “to herald” and “to announce”?

What's the difference between "to herald" and "to announce"?
2
votes
1answer
381 views

What's the difference between “drivel” and “nonsense”?

What's the difference between "drivel" and "nonsense"?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between “shrouded with” and “covered with”?

What's the difference between "shrouded with" and "covered with"? Any different hues of meaning here?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

What is an “anecdote” as opposed to a “joke”?

I've always thought that an anecdote was a short funny story that had actually never happened, but was rather created by common people in order to satirize, ridicule or to laugh at someone. But ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the difference between “to frighten” and “to scare”?

What's the difference between "to frighten" and "to scare"? I've heard both, but have never been able to figure out the difference.
2
votes
2answers
400 views

Amnesty — meaning

Which of the following is the most accurate meaning for the word amnesty? a general pardon to prisoners of war a general pardon of political offenders I am aware that maybe neither is accurate, ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between “irritated” and “vexed”? [closed]

What's the difference between "irritated" and "vexed", or between "to irritate" and "to vex"?
1
vote
2answers
212 views

“Balky”, “restive” and “stubborn” - what are the differences here?

Please, share your understanding of the hues in meanings of these three words. American English is preferred, but British input would also be appreciated.
2
votes
1answer
526 views

What's the difference between “truculent” and “aggressive”?

If you don't mind, please compare them also to "belligerent" and "bellicose".
5
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the difference between “ostensibly” and “probably”?

Most of the time ostensibly and probably are used interchangeably. What is the difference between these two words?
1
vote
4answers
10k views

What does *countenance* mean, and why do I have hard time remembering it? [closed]

I keep seeing this word every couple of months in NYT or Wall Street Journal (and once again, I stumbled upon the word in the article America's True History of Religious Tolerance). Every time I see ...
2
votes
1answer
834 views

Deuce and trey - do any other kinds of pip cards have special names?

I was playing cards this evening and found myself referring to the deuce and the trey. I was wondering, do any of the other pip card ranks have special names?
3
votes
1answer
291 views

What's the difference between “fluctuate” and “teeter”?

What's the difference between "fluctuate" and "teeter"?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between “harrowing” and “poignant”?

What's the difference between "harrowing" and "poignant"?
7
votes
3answers
27k views

What's the difference between “cabinet” and “cupboard”?

What's the difference between "cabinet" and "cupboard"?
4
votes
7answers
10k views

What is the opposite of “interesting” in “This person is interesting”?

During a conversation yesterday, I couldn't come up with the opposite of interesting. "Initially she was very interesting, and I enjoyed her company. However, a few months later, she became ...
9
votes
2answers
560 views

Word to describe “compliance with unspoken resistance”

What I'm looking for is a word to describe "compliance with unspoken resistance" or something of the like. In other words, one complies, unwillingly. However, the unwillingness, is not stated ...
3
votes
3answers
13k views

Idiot vs stupid

What is the difference between the subject words?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Can “drive someone home” be used when the vehicle is a motorbike?

Can "drive someone home" be used when the vehicle is a motorbike? Can I use "ride someone home" with the same meaning as "drive someone home"?
7
votes
7answers
4k views

Using or arguing a biased opinion as fact

I'm fairly sure there is a word or phrase to describe arguing emotively from an extreme, or biased, point of view as if your view is fact, but I can't remember what it may be. (I am wanting to use ...
7
votes
3answers
28k views

What is the difference between “condescending” and “patronizing”?

When would you use each? I understand "condescend" has another meaning of "voluntarily lower oneself" (Babylon definition). But in the "look upon other" meaning, which would you prefer in which ...
3
votes
2answers
829 views

What Does 'Share and Share Alike' Mean?

What Does 'Share and Share Alike' Mean?
10
votes
1answer
902 views

Visceral English words

I often hear that other languages like Russian, Romanian, French, etc, have words that are more "powerful" or evoke more feelings than English ones. Example: "war" doesn't sound that bad, really, but ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Large company: Made up of organizations or departments?

Say you have a large 20,000+ company with many different sections, or areas. Say for example Apple would have a section for iOS development, one for Mac, one for HR, one for support, etc. What is the ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

What does “capacity” mean in this question?

How long have you known this referee and in what capacity I'm filling my university application I met this question which befuddled me. Does it mean "are you familiar with the referee"?
4
votes
6answers
369 views

Is kickassiness an accepted word?

I have been looking for a word that means kickassiness, but haven't come across one. Is this an accepted word? If not, what word can be used in its place?
2
votes
2answers
14k views

Independance or Independence?

What other words are like "independence" in British English where you replace the 'a' with an 'e'?
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Interjection “et voilà”

I know et voilà is a French interjection and means there it is. It is very much used in the US. Why is the use of et voilà so popular in the US? Which historical fact has made it so popular?
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How would you use rationale in a sentence?

How is rationale used in a sentence? Can it be used in place of logic?
1
vote
2answers
172 views

Need a proper English expression to reflect a concept [closed]

I am working on translating software and its documentation to English. This software basically organizes and stores technical documents. A document may consist of a set of various files, stored on a ...
3
votes
4answers
9k views

Which is correct: 'Drafty' or 'draughty'?

I have been changing 'drafty' for 'draughty', or because of my confusion, removing the word altogether while subbing online articles. I'd appreciate guidance on which term is correct for UK English. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Could the word “artist” be used to refer to a writer?

According to the dictionary, artist could be a painter, singer, dancer, or actor. But I think maybe writers could be considered artists as well. What's your opinion? I'm writing a composition about ...
6
votes
2answers
350 views

Should the term “salutary” be used only in reference to physical health?

I'm considering using the term "salutary" in a technical document I'm writing to refer to something beneficial. Here's the context: Salutary side effects of our model are to harness idle ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How would one use the word preposition?

I've always been interested in the word preposition and at times, had used it correctly. How would one use it?
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Are the words “mandatory,” “obligatory,” and “compulsory” interchangeable?

As a non-native speaker, I wonder what the rules are for preferring one of "mandatory", "obligatory" or "compulsory" over the others. The Corpus of Contemporary American English yields examples such ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it OK to say “an important concern”?

This the last paragraph of a composition: In sum, protecting the environment should always be an important concern of all the countries. However, when it's possible to minimize the harm to ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the name of this system of proof correction marks?

I remember in English classes when my teacher had used this sort of system when correcting essays in the class. I never asked her about what it was and just complied and made the revisions to my ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How Can I Use “Concordant” In A Sentence?

I was looking for an alternative to "unanimous" and had found "concordant" in the thesaurus. What would be the best way to use this word? For example, in an essay it would be okay to say "The texts ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Examples of different roots (and different meanings) coming to be spelled the same

Apparently the two opposite meanings of to cleave have different roots: the to adhere meaning comes from one old English root (clifian) and the to cut meaning comes from a different old English word ...
4
votes
2answers
366 views

What does “unimpressed” mean in this sentence?

I don't completely understand its meaning in the sentence below. Because of its lack of theaters, the city came, ironically, to be viewed as an unimpressed theater town, and that reputation led ...
10
votes
7answers
474 views

Is the word “yearling” appropriate for a recurring event?

The Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange sites all have a "yearling" badge. Active member for a year, earning at least 200 reputation. This badge can be awarded multiple times. So each year, if ...
34
votes
15answers
9k views

Words with opposite meanings in different regions

I can't recall it, but there is a word in American English which now means the opposite of itself in British English. What words are there that have opposite (not just different) meanings in different ...
31
votes
11answers
37k views

What does “a couple” mean to you, and what does “a few” mean to you?

What does “a couple” mean to you, and what does “a few” mean to you? Is there a proper way to use it? It was striking to hear that “a couple” meant two (2) to someone. My reaction was, “how/why do ...