Questions tagged [single-word-requests]

This tag is for questions seeking a single word that fits a meaning. To ensure that your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word.  INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE demonstrating how the word would be used.  Click on "Info", or "View Tag" and "Learn more..." for more information. Please use the [phrase-requests] tag if you seek a phrase and the [terminology] tag if you seek a term in a specialized subject also.

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4 votes
7 answers
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"Taste" is to "flavor" as "touch" and "sight" are to what?

For the senses, we have: flavor for taste aroma/odor/scent for smell sound for hearing ____? for touch/feel ____? for sight/see So one tastes a flavor, smells an aroma, hears a sound, feels a(n) ...
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33 votes
4 answers
10k views

crisscross, dillydally, riffraff, etc

Some English words only differ in their vowels: crisscross, dillydally, riffraff, etc. Is there a name for them?
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17 votes
12 answers
45k views

What is a word/phrase for using a term for a popular special case instead of a generic term?

Some people use a term for a popular special case in place of a generic term. (Often this popular special case is a particular product in that category.) I think that this is a common phenomenon. ...
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  • 6,179
269 votes
11 answers
102k views

Is there a word or phrase for the feeling you get after looking at a word for too long?

Sometimes after looking at a word for a while, I become convinced that it can't possibly be spelled correctly. Even after looking it up, sounding it out, and realizing that there's simply no other ...
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  • 6,763
24 votes
9 answers
215k views

What term means "one who enjoys learning"?

Is there a term that means "a person who enjoys learning"? This term might be used to describe someone who: Is a self-motivated learner. Is curious, wants to understand many things. I understand the ...
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  • 1,917
51 votes
13 answers
60k views

What would you call someone who imposes on other people's generosity?

What would you call someone who isn't afraid to ask for money or any kind of favor or who misinterprets someone's generosity for a consistent resource for what they need?
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  • 499
14 votes
17 answers
66k views

What is a word that means "someone who pretends to be your friend but is actually your enemy?"

What do you call someone who pretends to be your friend but is actually your enemy? A friend suggested spy for me, but that does not nearly describe the word I need for an English project. The ...
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  • 157
7 votes
10 answers
17k views

Expression for "intend to help but instead making things worse"

I want to say "someone (or something) intends to help, but instead it makes things worse". Is there any succinct expression or phrase for this?
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  • 303
2 votes
2 answers
856 views

Headline Language

Is there a particular term for the abbreviated language used in headlines (the removal of at least articles and conjunctions)?
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  • 165
29 votes
7 answers
16k views

Is there a term for words that have a single meaning or are only used in a single context?

Certain words you hear in English are only ever heard in a single context. For example, skirl is used to describe the sound a bagpipe makes. Etymonline generously says the word is "rarely" heard ...
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  • 147k
22 votes
7 answers
162k views

What do you call a person who does/thinks the opposite of the crowd for just that reason?

Such a person does not hold in high regard the decisions taken by a group (not a team) of people. She believes that groups tend to be anarchic and don't serve their purpose. An example would be - for ...
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10 votes
8 answers
22k views

Word for someone who acts like an expert but who has very little knowledge?

What is a word to describe an individual who acts like an expert in a subject area, constantly stating facts and correcting people, but who actually has very little knowledge on the subject?
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  • 272
13 votes
9 answers
147k views

What's a big-vocabulary word for someone with a big vocabulary?

What's a big-vocabulary word for someone with a big vocabulary? I'd like to say I'm looking for a "_____".
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  • 833
22 votes
8 answers
57k views

What's the antonym for Schadenfreude?

Schadenfreude is the joy or pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. What is the word for joy or pleasure derived from the happiness of others?
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  • 463
23 votes
7 answers
86k views

Non-offensive substitute for a swear word

What term describes a non-offensive substitute for a swear word? For example, Battlestar Galactica used frack instead of fuck. Another example is the use of snap instead of shit. I think I may have ...
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  • 333
24 votes
4 answers
9k views

Is there a word for colloquial forms of address?

For example, "dude," "man," "buddy," "pal," etc, when used to stand in for someone's name. "Hey, pal, how's it going?" Is there a word for terms like these? Or is "colloquialism" as close as we can ...
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  • 241
5 votes
6 answers
6k views

Opposite of "straight talk"

What is the opposite for the straight talk idiom? How do I best call the activity when someone makes a very long preamble before he says what he wants?
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  • 760
32 votes
8 answers
218k views

Precise names for parts of a day

I have learnt these words so far, please correct me if I'm wrong: Dawn, maybe 4am–6am? Morning, maybe 6am–9am? The food for the morning is called breakfast. People greet each other Good morning! Noon,...
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  • 5,027
28 votes
18 answers
23k views

Noun for "person with intermediate skill"

I'm looking for the noun form of "person with intermediate skill". For example, in the context of a particular activity, "person with no skill" might be designated a novice, and "person with much ...
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38 votes
11 answers
35k views

What is it called when words are deliberately spelled incorrectly but pronunciation is kept unchanged?

For example, Night -> Nite Through -> Thru The -> Da Though -> Tho Nite even appears in some dictionaries as having the same meaning as night. What is it called when words are ...
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25 votes
10 answers
100k views

What do you call somebody who asks a question and somebody who answers a question?

What do you call somebody who asks a question and somebody who answers a question? I have exhausted the thesaurus with no real luck... any ideas? EDIT: It is in reference to this - or any other ...
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24 votes
8 answers
40k views

Word for grieving parents?

Is there a word that describes a parent whose child has died? Along the lines of "orphan", "widow", and "widower", is there a single word for a parent who has lost a child (of any age)?
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  • 241
37 votes
20 answers
73k views

What do you call a response which does not address the question?

When some one is asked a question, sometimes if they are trying to avoid answering the question, they respond with something unrelated. What is the word for that response? Eg. A: Why were you late? ...
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  • 381
22 votes
12 answers
82k views

Is there a word for a "promise breaker"?

I'm somewhat vexed in that I cannot think of a word that means a "promise breaker" or "person who breaks a promise". There are words that may subsume that, such as "miscreant" or "liar", but I cannot ...
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15 votes
5 answers
2k views

What is it called when a non-verb is used as a verb?

This is in very common use on the internet. I just read this: "[The] hotel employee walks in, I say "uh, puppy" and she just NOPEd the [heck] out of the room." This is often done by adding 'd to ...
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  • 7,272
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

What's the Word for a Token Job?

What is the word used to describe a job given to a person just to give him/her the status of being in employment? The role does not effectively fulfil a purpose other than status and prestige. I read ...
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  • 43
42 votes
16 answers
62k views

What is a word for a person who uses resources to the maximum?

Is there a word (or words) for a person who uses all resources to the maximum; for example, a person who keeps on using pencils even if they are very small?
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  • 421
16 votes
4 answers
76k views

How can I form a word like "quadruple" for any number I want?

I'm not sure what these are called, but how can I form a word like "quadruple" for any number I want? Like 5× as much is quintuple, what is 31× as much or 147× as much? I want to know how they are ...
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  • 10.7k
10 votes
11 answers
40k views

What is a word or phrase for a false belief or opinion on something people hold true and repeat because they have heard it repeated so many times?

It isn't any of the words on this page and I believe it started with the letter 'e' (though please offer your word even if it doesn't). Example sentence: Because he researched what he had heard from ...
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32 votes
5 answers
19k views

"Not empty" set in one word?

Is there a single word which means "not empty"? That is, a word which one might use to describe a field with one or more cows in it, as opposed to an "empty" field with none? Full or even partially-...
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  • 759
29 votes
19 answers
10k views

What is the problem that gets worse after you try to solve it?

Example sentence - This problem is a _____ which gets complicated every time you try to solve it. Is there such a word that represents a problem which will become worse if/when one tries to solve it?...
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14 votes
13 answers
7k views

What is a word to describe inefficient communication?

Example 1 - When reviewing résumés I don't want someone to use 1.5 pages to describe one job. Example 2 - When a person uses excessive description to answer a simple question.
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  • 161
26 votes
8 answers
3k views

Word that means "outdated name"

Is there a word that means "outdated name"? For example: Record, although very little music is on vinyl Film, although most movies are digital Horsepower, although no one uses horses as a metric ...
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10 votes
9 answers
118k views

What is another word for 'all round' capabilities?

I am looking for a positive, passionate word to describe the all-round capabilities of a person. Are there any words better than 'all-rounder'?
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  • 2,551
57 votes
10 answers
78k views

"Eat" is to "feed" as "drink" is to what?

I can say "I feed someone". Am I forced to say "I give someone a drink", or is there a single word for this (as in "I [verb] someone")? Unfortunately my thesaurus can't really help me.
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  • 56.8k
56 votes
2 answers
113k views

Is there a word for four times as much, analogous to once, twice, and thrice?

Is there a word for 'four times as much', analogous to once, twice, and thrice?
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  • 10.7k
23 votes
1 answer
37k views

Words pertaining to the senses and the corresponding disabilities

I need help on finding words relating to the senses/perception. I mean this in a neuronic/biological or philosophy-of-mind kind of way. A word for... pertaining to the senses (Is it sensory?) ...
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  • 231
22 votes
4 answers
49k views

What word means what many people think 'ironic' means?

'Ironic' is often used to mean an unusual coincidence rather than its true meaning which is closer to sarcastic. That being said, is there a word that would be a good replacement for what many people ...
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  • 3,725
17 votes
13 answers
16k views

What is the name of the tactic that politicians use to bury people with torrent of words?

Some people write bloated books and long essays with skilful use of hooks, e.g. Jared Diamond; some others speak in long-drawn sentences with torrents of words, e.g. Noam Chomsky. It reminds me of a ...
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  • 1,212
23 votes
9 answers
109k views

Is there a more concise term for a long-term girlfriend/boyfriend than "significant other"?

I've been together with my boyfriend for around 9 years now. There are times when I want to communicate that I am referring to someone who plays a major role in my life, like that of a husband, and "...
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  • 349
10 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is there a name for inverting word order to accomplish a different meaning?

There are many sayings that invert the word order to convey a different meaning. e.g. "Do you live to work or do you work to live?" "He who fails to plan, plans to fail" Is there a name for this ...
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is a catchy word that means (non-)self-descriptive

I'm having fun with paradoxes, and I'm trying to come up with a catchy word for non-self-descriptive. Maybe "autosemantic" fits the bill for self-descriptive (definitely open to other suggestions!), ...
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  • 225
51 votes
13 answers
35k views

What's the single-word for "left or right handed"?

'Male'/'female' is to 'gender' as 'left-handed'/'right-handed 'is to...? Is there a word to describe this? For example, if I ask a guy What's your ____? It should mean I'm asking whether he's ...
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  • 20.8k
46 votes
14 answers
65k views

A word for a worldly wise person who pretends to be naïve?

What is a word for someone who is experienced and wise, but who deliberately acts naïve? I don’t intend it for sarcastic use; I’m trying to describe someone succeeding in making people think that ...
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30 votes
17 answers
210k views

What would you call a person who doesn't want to learn anything new?

What would you call a person who doesn't want to learn new things and even maybe thinks that this is unnecessary since he knows enough already? An ignorant person?
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  • 869
23 votes
10 answers
81k views

Word for someone who is ignorant and proud?

Many a times, we tend to meet someone who is ignorant yet arrogant; to the extent that they can go a long way blabbing about something they don't really know with so much vigour. What can you refer to ...
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36 votes
19 answers
13k views

Word for dismissing someone's opinions as racist, liberal, etc, instead of debating back

I'm looking for either a single word or phrase that would describe either someone or the action of dismissing someone's opinions as something "socially unpopular", without giving any reasoning why, ...
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  • 668
11 votes
16 answers
68k views

Word for a person who talks without content

What is a word for a person who reiterates without adding any new content? (This person is not necessarily talkative per se.) Example of a conversation by such a person would be: "You know if we do ...
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  • 213
15 votes
4 answers
680 views

A word for a symbol which has outlived its origin

I am quite sure that there is a word for a symbol which was originated by a real-life, physical prototype but has since then outlived its origin. Most notable example: the save button with floppy ...
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15 votes
3 answers
27k views

Hypernym for "movie" and "TV series"

What is the hypernym for movie and TV series? I read that medium might be possible, but it doesn't sound that good.
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