17 posts tagged with language and definition.
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I think I don't understand the meaning, in English, of "touché." [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Mar 17, 2013 - 32 answers

Synonym for satisfying?

Is there a single word for finding pleasure in well done formulaic stories not because they are doing something new or even being particularly clever, but because they hit the notes well, manage the tropes, and deliver what they promise? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jan 22, 2012 - 34 answers

Settle a stupid bet at Christmastime Filter.

What is the definition of "dish detergent"? [more inside]
posted by citywolf on Dec 24, 2010 - 45 answers

How Things 'Become': The Infinity of Definition

I am looking for writings on the infinity of definition. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Mar 13, 2008 - 32 answers

Defining the Japanese Concept of 'Ma'

What do you know about the Japanese word/concept of 'Ma'? I know it denotes the negative space between objects and it relates closely to the similarly used Japanese word 'Mu'. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Dec 27, 2007 - 15 answers

What's the jargon for a "convergent" word?

I'm looking for a term my professor used to use for "convergent words." What do you call a word that uses roots with similar meanings to form the same concept across two languages? (either by chance or direct-translation) [more inside]
posted by mecenday on Dec 10, 2007 - 10 answers

Obtuse vs. abstruse

Is the word "obtuse" being used correctly here [line 5]? [more inside]
posted by matthewr on Nov 6, 2006 - 28 answers

What does one call something that contains the seeds of its own downfall?

What does one call something that contains the seeds of its own downfall? [more inside]
posted by viewofdelft on Oct 5, 2006 - 35 answers

A single word which means "negatively defined"?

Is there a single word which means "negatively defined" (or "defined by its opposite" or "defined by not being other things" or "defined by the absence of something")? In English if you can manage (I cannot think of one), but maybe in another language? German perhaps?
posted by unknowncommand on Apr 7, 2006 - 22 answers

Wie Sagt Man....

A long time ago, I was given to understand that there was a German word to denote "the sheer cussedness of things"... [more inside]
posted by Chrischris on Mar 1, 2006 - 14 answers

Better word for floaties?

Is there an antonym to 'sediment'? [more inside]
posted by PurplePorpoise on Aug 10, 2005 - 40 answers


What does "krelboyne" mean? The smart kids in the gifted class on the show Malcolm in the Middle are called that. I've googled to no avail. [more, in the middle] [more inside]
posted by littlegirlblue on Feb 1, 2005 - 7 answers

What's the difference between intern/internship and trainee/traineeship?

English language question: what is the difference between intern/internship and trainee/traineeship? [+] [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Jan 28, 2005 - 17 answers

How is the word "merc" pronounced and what does it mean?

Pronunciation/Definition Filter: The "word" merc. (+) [more inside]
posted by mygothlaundry on Dec 17, 2004 - 21 answers

Public Enemy lyrics

I'm listening to some Public Enemy MP3s and it has ocurred to me that I don't know, nor have I ever known, what "cold lampin'" means or refers to. Anyone?
posted by archimago on Jul 15, 2004 - 12 answers


What does "normative" mean? Is it a useful word? I only ever see it used in obscure, academic writing, which makes me suspect it's worthless. How is it different from "normal"? My dictionary says it means, "Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard: normative grammar." That sounds like "normal" to me, so why not just say "normal"? Can someone give me some clear sentences that use the word -- sentences that are not written in post-modern, complit speak? Can one use "normative" meaningfully in a sentence about real-world things, like butter, eggs or bricks?
posted by grumblebee on May 21, 2004 - 24 answers


What does the suffix "a' go-go" mean? You see it everywhere, attached to all sorts of things. [more inside]
posted by tirade on Jan 11, 2004 - 9 answers

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