Questions tagged [synonyms]

A synonym is a word that means the same, or almost the same thing, as another word.

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60
votes
10answers
72k views

Alternatives to “and/or”?

As a programmer, I have no problem with seeing or using "and/or" in technical documentation. For example, I can upvote an answer that satisfies me and/or mark it as accepted. That's perfectly good ...
64
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4answers
11k views

“Toward” or “towards”?

Which one should should I use? For some reason I have always used "towards", but I see some people saying "toward", like here: A great deal of his work in economic theory has been directed toward ...
57
votes
5answers
43k views

When are “because”, “since”,“for” and “as” interchangeable?

I am not a native speaker. On a previous question of mine, I thanked for an answer by saying: So the phrase is not an idiom, since it is applied in its literal sense. I consciously chose since ...
36
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3answers
10k views

Why are not “infamous” and “inflammable” the opposite of “famous” and “flammable”?

Why are not infamous and inflammable the opposite of famous and flammable, like incomplete, inactivity, inappropriate and so on?
28
votes
18answers
16k 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 ...
45
votes
8answers
49k views

Is there a subtle difference between “somebody” and “someone”, “anybody” and “anyone”?

Are there any subtle differences between "somebody" and "someone", or can they be used completely interchangeably? Similarly, can you imagine a situation in which you would prefer "anybody" to "anyone"...
29
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5answers
21k views

What is the distinction between “among” and “amongst”?

It seems amongst is quite often used as a synonym for among but it is supposed to sound more distinguished. Is there any difference in the meaning?
22
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9answers
82k 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 "...
15
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3answers
207k views

When should you use “despite” over “inspite”, and vice versa?

Most dictionaries suggest that inspite and despite are synonymous, but are there any specific instances when their usage is not interchangeable?
23
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21answers
46k views

What is a less offensive synonym for “retarded”?

I occasionally use "retarded" when chastising myself or other friends. I know it's not Politically Correct, but am I only allowed to say stupid? How long before we can't say that anymore? Other ...
11
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10answers
52k views

Is there a word for one who enjoys to eat for the sake of eating (a food hedonist)?

Does such a word exist? I don't mean to excess (IE, a glutton), but rather one who eats because he enjoys eating. Essentially, I'm looking for a word that's synonymous with "a food hedonist", or "a ...
14
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4answers
21k views

Not to Mention ≈ [Let Alone ≈ Much Less ≈ Still Less]

For brevity, I symbolise synonymity with ≈.  So  X ≈ Y  means  X and Y are synonyms. From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/let+alone: let alone ≈ not to mention From Merriam Webster: let alone ≈ ...
8
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5answers
8k views

What are some synonyms for 'euphemism'?

A euphemism is a word used to replace another worse sounding word. For example, 'pass away' for 'die', 'battle fatigue' for 'shell shock', 'PTSD' for 'battle fatigue', often a word created to replace ...
23
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4answers
51k views

Difference between “spicy” and “hot”

I make a distinction between "hot" and "spicy" food ("hot" not referring to temperature). I consider "hot" food the kind that "burns" and "spicy" food that has lots of flavor, but that may or may not "...
23
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15answers
122k views

What is the adjective form for the word “integrity?”

I'm looking for the adjective form of "integrity." Instead of "Be a person of integrity," I'd like to say something like "Be [one word I'm looking for]" I did a Google search for this, but I also ...
10
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7answers
69k views

What are some slang words for “police” in countries besides the US?

In the US we have a number of slang terms that are commonly used to refer to the police: cops pigs five-O fuzz buzzkill (referring to their presence messing up the enjoyment of drugs) I am curious ...
18
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7answers
38k views

What is a less offensive synonym for “hypocrite”?

Is there a word that describe a person who doesn't "practice what they preach"? Basically, is there a synonym for "hypocrite" that carries less pejorative connotations? For example, let's say a ...
7
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7answers
8k views

Do synonyms have exactly the same meanings as each other in all contexts?

I have a question about synonyms: I'm wondering for quite a while if synonyms always stand exactly for the same thing. Is there sometimes a little difference in meaning? Let's use clumsy and clunky ...
8
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5answers
7k views

What's the difference between 'envy' and 'jealousy'?

Do you have to be jealous of someone in toto as opposed to a specific thing they have or do? Is the fear of losing that person a key component of jealousy, whereas you can be envious of someone you ...
3
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9answers
44k views

One word noun for “rule-follower”

I'm looking for a single word noun that would perfectly summarize the stereotypical nerdy uptight virgin student council president. Basically, a more proper version of the slang word "square": a ...
40
votes
7answers
25k views

Less vulgar synonyms for “circlejerk”

Someone asked in the Math.StackExchange chatroom what a "more refined word for circlejerk" might be. UrbanDictionary defines this (in our desired usage) as: [...] pompous, self-congratulatory ...
26
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7answers
76k views

When is it appropriate to use “Yeah” and “Yep” as variants of the word “Yes”?

As a learner of English I know that yes is a standard variant and other two are informal, spoken words. I know nothing more about it, and try always use the yes variant, just not to sound ...
18
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14answers
22k views

How to say “She/He is my girlfriend/boyfriend” without the possessive “my” [closed]

Is there a way to indicate that somebody is your girlfriend without using the possessive term my? I think saying She/He is my partner/other half is OK for married people, but it doesn't feel right for ...
10
votes
1answer
928 views

Is there a well-known term for the synonym or near-synonym “telescoping” words?

This has been rattling around in the back of my mind for many years (way before Stack Exchange came into existence), so it's a relief to finally ask the question. There are words that can be "...
10
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4answers
34k views

What are alternative responses for when someone sneezes?

Question: What is an appropriate English response to reply when someone nearby sneezes? Background: I am American by birth, and was raised to respond 'God Bless You' when someone sneezes -- though I ...
20
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16answers
33k views

What is a synonym for “girlfriend”?

I'm in my mid 40s and dating this lady of a similar vintage. I am trying to find a good word to describe our relationship, but "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" seems inappropriate for us. It reminds me of ...
6
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4answers
13k views

“Economic” vs. “economical”

What is the difference between "economic" and "economical"?
6
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3answers
3k views

A positive alternative to “smelling” to describe something with a pleasant odor

When one hears that something smells, one would generally assume that it smells bad. Isn't there a word which wouldn't bring to mind the idea of a bad odor? For example, how would you describe pot-...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Difference between “log in”, “authenticate” and “sign in”? [closed]

I didn't find the difference between them by googling Edit: Thx litterally, authenticate, means prove its identity, which is a just a subprocess of global access authorization btw I forgot to ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Are “like” and “such as” completely synonymous?

"Like" and "such as" seem to fit the exact same sentences: I want a cookie like that I want a cookie such as that There are plenty of variations where they differ: I like cookies I, ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

Formal alternative for “suck” [closed]

What is a more decent/formal alternative for the word suck? I want to use it in the context of being bad at something. To be precise, I want to translate "To suck less at a job every day" to formal ...
3
votes
4answers
19k views

Synonyms for Renaissance Man [duplicate]

I've been poking around the net trying to find synonyms for "renaissance man" which indicates someone that is proficient at many skills. I was thinking "jack of all trades" but that has a negative ...
2
votes
5answers
20k views

What is a one-word synonym for “science lover”?

I'm searching for a one-word synonym for "science lover". In my case, I love science and I self study it, but I never got a degree in Physics or Chemistry or any of these related subjects (except ...
20
votes
8answers
59k views

Are there any differences between “I believe” vs “I think” vs “I reckon”?

These are the three most common ways to say "I think." (At least, I believe so. I mean, I think so. Um...) Are there any subtle differences between them? Are there situations where one of the three ...
38
votes
14answers
7k views

What can be used as formal euphemism of “hack”?

I'm writing a technical document, and I need to convey the fact that we had to find a non-optimal, non-orthodox solution that was adopted as the best available alternative (a hack) to solve an ...
21
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5answers
28k views

Is there a subtle difference between “inherent” and “intrinsic”?

I've always used "inherent" and "intrinsic" interchangeably. Dictionary.com doesn't offer much help in distinguishing them.
30
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3answers
121k views

“Alternately” or “alternatively”

What is the difference between alternately and alternatively? I've seen both words being used, but which one is grammatically correct? He could do X. Or alternately, he could do Y. He could do X. ...
24
votes
10answers
68k views

Do native English speakers use the word “touristic”?

A word usage that always annoys me and feels like Euroenglish to me is "touristic". I don't believe I've ever seen it printed or heard it used by a native English speaker and I've travelled in most ...
7
votes
3answers
36k views

What are the differences in meaning among 'aid', 'assist', 'help', and 'facilitate'?

Intro The words aid, assist, help, and facilitate are all closely related. What do you believe the differences among them might be? My best attempt to make the differences explicit follows. My ...
19
votes
2answers
12k views

Enquire and inquire

In British English I think these two words have different shades of meaning, but I couldn't articulate them. In American English I see inquire used where I would use "enquire". Are there shades of ...
17
votes
3answers
90k views

Isle vs. Island

Some islands are called isle like "Isle of Man", "Isle of Tortuga" and the "British Isles". Other islands are called island, like "Island of Malta" or "Island of Cyprus". What is the difference ...
12
votes
5answers
70k views

What is a synonym for “jack of all trades, master of none”?

What is a synonym of jack of all trades, master of none? I want to differentiate it from a generalist (might have deep knowledge about everything)? On the same note, is there a better way to say ...
11
votes
2answers
30k views

What alternative would you suggest to “in/with regard(s?) to”?

I see in many of the "corporate emails" I receive the expression: "in regard to". Sometimes, it is also written "in regards to". First, to be sure: "in regards to" (with an extra 's') is incorrect, ...
55
votes
20answers
8k views

Alternative expression for “xyz Nazi”

I'm not a native English speaker, but I do understand and personally appreciate the use of the term "xyz Nazi" to say that someone is a bit dogmatic about their point of view, without necessarily ...
16
votes
6answers
58k views

Are there by chance any synonyms for “synonym”?

I was discussing with some friends about synonyms when we found, that ironically nobody of us knew any synonyms to the word "synonym" itself. Are there any?
16
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8answers
68k views

Word for person who loves to share knowledge

What is a word for a person who loves to share knowledge? So far I have educator in mind. Is there any other word?
8
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16answers
4k views

“Calling a spade a spade”: synonymous expressions?

I'm looking for expressions that are equivalent to "calling a spade a spade." In some environments and verbal contexts, this phrase needs to be avoided -- please take my word for it. Thank ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

English synonym online database?

Is there a good english synonym database available in the Internet? I imagine that it should work like a translator: you enter a word and synonyms for this word are displayed. The reason for asking ...
18
votes
8answers
42k views

When did the term “flip flop” displace the term “thong” in North America for a type of sandal?

To Australians like me "thong" means a kind of sandal such as recently repopularized by the Havaianas brand but we know it means a kind of G-string in other English-speaking parts of the world. To ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Are synonyms always bidirectional?

By bidirectional I mean, if word A is synonymous with word B, does it follow that word B is always synonymous with word A? Are there any common exceptions to this rule? Extending this - if word A is ...