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TL;DR:

  • If I use “date” for “appointment”, is it unmistakably understood?
  • If not, is there a shorter word for “appointment”?

In German, there’s Termin, from Latin terminus (“boundary, limit”), for which there is no obvious English cognate. This German substantive can mean anything of the following:

  • “appointment”, as in doctor’s appointment
  • “meeting”, as in statutory conference
  • “date”, as in future arrangement or dutiful point in time
  • “deadline”, as in closing date

In these cases, Termin is well understood and of handy length. However, Termin doesn’t mean “(calendar) date” in general, and neither does “appointment”. On the other hand, “calendar date” translates to Datum, which in turn is cognate to “date”, thus my uncertainty.

I’m afraid that “making/having a date with so.” sounds rather private (i.e. non-platonic) than professional, even if it refers to a “scheduled date”.

I’m looking for a shorter synonym for “appointment”, with generic emphasis on “future due date”, but less specific than “deadline”. Is “date” generally understood as-such? Is there any alternative more concise than “assignment”?


Some examples of potential use:

  • I need to have those appointments conducted.
  • You have to make an appointment at the doctor’s.
  • We’ll meet at the business appointment.
  • When would you like to have an appointment?

I don’t think those struck through parts can be properly replaced with “date” while retaining their original meaning. There might simply be no (short) alternative to “appointment”. Is there?

  • 1
    Did you look at a thesaurus? There were several options I found when I looked... – Laurel Mar 4 '17 at 22:24
  • @Laurel: That’s self-evident. I didn’t looked at one, but several thesauri. As you can see in the question’s text, I already stated some synonyms and my concerns regarding them. If you got something to share, tell us—ideally in an answer—those “several options”, if they address the question. – dakab Mar 4 '17 at 22:29
  • There is no alternate for your second and fourth examples. Appointment doesn't make sense in the first example. It is unclear what you mean. One doesn't conduct an appointment. In the third example, I know what you mean, but I'd say "I'll see you at the business meeting. – ab2 Mar 6 '17 at 0:10
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schedule (noun) (Dictionary.com)

a plan of procedure, usually written, for a proposed objective, especially with reference to the sequence of and time allotted for each item or operation necessary to its completion.

schedule (verb)

to plan for a certain date.

Schedule (verb) OD

1. Arrange or plan (an event) to take place at a particular time.
‘the release of the single is scheduled for April’

1.1 Make arrangements for (someone or something) to do something. with object and infinitive
‘he is scheduled to be released from prison this spring’

  • Great suggestion. I wonder why schedule never showed up in the thesauri. It might not be significantly shorter than appointment, but it’s generic and noun and verb share the same spelling. – dakab Mar 4 '17 at 14:49
  • I have the same problem as @dakab. I like the word schedule but I think it means something else: Schedule for me is the complete list of appointments, like a band is planning several gigs and all gigs together make up the schedule. But still what would be the right word for a single gig. Here schedule is not really the correct word. Maybe "date"? Not sure ... – Mathias Bader Apr 4 '18 at 13:14
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Merriam Webster offers you the following options but I don't think that any of them properly serves your purpose:

Synonyms: engagement, assignation, date, rendezvous, tryst

Related Words: arrangement; invitation; interview; get-together, meeting; call, visit; schedule

(https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/appointment)

  • Yeah, most dictionary entries are rather specifically synonymous or uncommon (like assignation or tryst; nice words though). One core issue of my question was the suitability of date as a hypernym to all what the thesaurus yields. – dakab Mar 4 '17 at 11:17
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    @dakab a date works in some contexts - romantic, family & informal arrangements - but not for anything of a formal nature. – Ronald Sole Mar 4 '17 at 11:26

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