I am working on a system with numerous filters for data. If some filters are applied they will automatically void other filters. E.g. if the user is searching a unique ID the date range filter will automatically be disabled.

Is there a nice word for something which voids something else? Best I can think of so far is "negator".

Example 1: "The addNegator method of the Filter class accepts an observable property which will render the filter void if its value is truthy."

Example 2: "If the person was acting maliciously it may have been appropriate to call him a saboteur but his capacity override was designed into the the system and actively encouraged. Therefore it would be more fitting to call him a [...]."

  • Perhaps "blocker"? Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 13:35
  • @MaxWilliams I see it is used in sport for someone who blocks but I wonder if there is a more fitting word. I might just use 'addVoidCondition' or something.
    – Pocketsand
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 13:49
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because our Help Center specifically states that choosing names for software things is beyond our scope. We are about the English language here, not about programming. Consider posting UX questions to our sister site, User Experience.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 14:37

3 Answers 3


If you hadn't specified that it applies to a filter, that's what I would've used! :) To express something that makes another rule void, I would say that thing is a nullifier, but I am hesitant as a software engineer because I know that carries another connotation for objects. Maybe preemptor

To take place of or precedence over

I'll keep thinking - let me know if that sounds too clumsy.

  • I quite like nullifier -- bit of a trade off as you say but otherwise is spot on. Not sure 'preemptor' is quite right because I think pre-empt implies some sort of anticipation (if that make sense...).
    – Pocketsand
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 13:51
  • Yes, I see what you mean, we usually 'pre-empt' things in anticipation of a bad event (e.g. preemptively cutting off your mother-in-law before she can launch into a speech), but it doesn't have to be anticipated. e.g. "The television program was preempted due to the Kennedy assassination. Still, if you like nullifier, maybe you'd be interested in neutralizer? They more or less mean the same thing without the NULL confusion. Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 14:20
  • Ah, I didn't know it could be used that way! Neutralizer is another good suggestion... will accept your answer because I think your suggestions would be the most intuitive to a person reading the code. Ultimately I think I may just go with two words to make it more sensible, e.g. 'addVoidingCondition'.
    – Pocketsand
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 14:46

I can't think of a commonly used noun.

We have the verbs "veto" and "supersede" that fix this context. But it's rare for someone to say "vetoer" or "superseder".

We talk about one rule or another having "precedence" or "priority". But that takes a phrase and not a word. "The ID test takes precedence over the date range test."


It may already have a specific meaning in coding, but if not I think check would work.

From Merriam-Webster Online's definition of check (n):

5 : one that arrests, limits, or restrains : restraint ˂against all checks, rebukes, and manners, I must advance — Shakespeare˃

a : a standard for testing and evaluation : criterion
b : examination ˂a quick check of the engine˃
c : inspection, investigation ˂a loyalty check on government employees˃
d : the act of testing or verifying; also : the sample or unit used for testing or verifying

In your second example sentence, I would probably add what he's a check on: "it would be more appropriate to call him a check on the system."

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