I have a task to design a filter panel for an application to filter out and list workflows. The main two categories for workflows are the ones that are running and those that are not running. Now, I have some problems finding the suitable term for the ones that are not running since that category includes workflows that are completed, cancelled, expired etc.

I started out simply using the categories

  • Completed
  • Incomplete

But if you're looking for a workflow that you previously cancelled it wouldn't feel correct to search for a workflow in the "Completed" category.

I would like to have the categories described with one word, like Completed and Incomplete. So suggestions like Running and Not running I'm trying to avoid.

Does anyone have a nice suggestion on what I could call these categories?

  • Always the same type of people who decide to down vote without mentioning why, so cute.... Aug 30, 2012 at 13:53

2 Answers 2



active vs. inactive
in use / used vs. unused
operative vs. inoperative / dormant

If there's a particular single word that you'd like to use for one of the workflow states, then consult a thesaurus for that word's antonyms. Pick out an antonym, even if it's one you don't fancy, and look at the thesaurus results for that word until you see one that suits you. This is a good general strategy for finding "the right word".

  • +1 Personally I think active and inactive are the best ones yet. However I'm having problems selling it to my co-workers... Aug 30, 2012 at 12:22

Since these are workflows, i.e., series of actions/tasks, then you can consider a workflow to be Open (not started, in progress, suspended) or Closed (completed, cancelled).

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/open Open Sense 10c : not finally decided : subject to further consideration

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