I am not originally English speaking. How can I tell that something 'is being edited right now' with just one word? Thank you.

  • 7
    You can't. Despite what some people appear to believe English does not have a separate single word for every phenomenon in life.
    – tunny
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 12:58
  • 1
    I doubt there is a single word with fewer than 6 letters synonymous with "in edit". If you must have a single word, you could try "in-edit" ... maybe your restrictions (whatever they are) will consider this a single word.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 16:52
  • It would be simple if English inflected for voice and aspect, but it doesn't so the extra words "is being" have to be added. You could have got it down to "book is editing" about 150 years ago and "book's a-editing" some time before, but today they'd be far too likely to be interpreted as active (and hence nonsense). Really though, I can't see anything better than "is being edited".
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 17:08
  • How about revising or under revision even though it's two words?
    – shaunxer
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 23:21

3 Answers 3


There is a term with less than six letters - Dirty; in this sense it's invariably used in data management as a flag to indicate an unsaved modified state.

Dirty bits can also be used in Incremental computing by marking segments of data that need to be processed or have yet to be processed. This technique can be used with delayed computing to avoid unnecessary processing of objects or states that have not changed. When the model is updated (usually by multiple sources), only the segments that need to be reprocessed will be marked dirty. Afterwards, an algorithm will scan the model for dirty segments and process them, marking them as clean. This ensures the unchanged segments are not recalculated and saves processor time. (-- Wikipedia)


For online content management systems, the usual idiom is 'checked out'/'checked in'.

An item is 'checked out' when a user is editing it; it is 'checked in' when they have finished editing it and it is available to other people for editing.

Users sometimes find this meaning a bit opaque, but an analogy to library books usually clears things up for them.


I'd call it a work in progress/process. (If you absolutely have to have a single word, you can hyphenate it or call it a WIP informally.):

work with which an artist or writer is engaged but which is not completed or approaching completion

Alternatively, if you need an adjective: incomplete, unfinished, crude, unpolished, wanting... etc.

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