One word substitutes

Posted by Manjusha Filed in English vocabulary

One word substitutes

Sometimes it is possible to express the idea of a phrase or even a clause with just one word. One-word substitutes make your writing concise and hence they are the best friends of a writer. Here is a list of common one word substitutes in English.


Abdicate -to give up a throne voluntarily

Aborigines original inhabitants of a place

Alimony financial support to ex-wife

Ambidextrous a person who is able to use both hands with equal skill

Adolescence - the period between childhood and adulthood

Aggressor - a person who attacks first

Amateur - one who pursues some art or sport as hobby

Amphibian - a land animal that breeds in water

Ambiguity - an expression or statement that has more than one meaning

Aristocracy - people of noble families or the highest social class. Also, government of a country by a small group of people, especially hereditary nobility

Atheist - a person who does not believe in God or deities

Autobiography - an account of a person's life written by that person himself

Anarchist - a person who rejects the need for a system of government in society and proposes its abolition

Arbitrator - somebody designated to hear both sides of a dispute and make a judgment

Autocracy - rule by one person who holds unlimited power


Bibliophile - a great lover of books

Botany - the branch of biology dealing with plant life

Bilingual - a person who speaks two languages

Belligerents - nations engaged in war

Biography - an account of somebody's life written by another person


Cannibal - somebody who eats human flesh

Convalescence - the gradual return to good health after a period or illness or medical treatment

Circumlocution - the indirect way of saying something

Catalogue - a list of books

Centenary - celebration of a hundredth year, once -a-century

Colleague - a co-worker or a fellow-worker in the same institution

Contemporaries - persons living in the same age

Credulous - a person who readily believes whatever is told to him/her

Callous - a man devoid of kind feeling and sympathy

Cosmopolitan - a man with a broad and international outlook

Celibacy - abstinence from sex


Demogogue - one who foments political discontent

Dermatologist - the specialist who treats skin diseases

Deteriorate - to go from bad to worse

Democracy - government of the people, for the people, by the people

Draw - a game in which neither party wins


Egotist - (also egoist) a person who always thinks of himself; somebody who is selfish or self-centered

Extempore - a speech or a presentation made without previous preparation

Etiquette - established rules of conduct; rules of acceptable behavior

Epicure - somebody who has refined taste for food; somebody who loves sensual pleasure and luxury

Exonerate - free somebody from blame or guilt; free somebody from an obligation

Eradicate - destroy or get rid of something completely; root out an evil or bad practice

Epitaph - inscription on a tombstone

Edible - fit for eating

Endemic - a disease that occurs within a specified area, region or locale

Epidemic - an outbreak of a disease that spreads among a group of people quickly and extensively

Epidermis - outer layer of skin


Fanatic - somebody who has extreme and sometimes irrational enthusiasms or beliefs, especially in religion or politics

Fastidious - a person difficult to please; a person who is concerned that even the smallest details should be just right

Fatalist - a person who believes that all events are pre-determined; one who believes in the philosophical doctrine of fatalism

Feminist - a believer in women's rights

Fratricide - the crime in which somebody kills his or her own brother


Geriatrics - specialty dealing with the medical problems of the elderly

Graphologist - a person who analyzes handwriting

Gynaecologist - the specialist who treats the female reproductive and sexual organs


Honorary - a post which doesn't carry any salary

Hostility - intense aggression or anger; state of antagonism

Herbivorous - an animal that eats only grass or other plants

Honorary - holding an office awarded as an honour and receiving no payment for services provided in that office


Idolatry - the worship of idols or false gods

Illegal - that which is against law

Illicit - that which is considered wrong or unacceptable by prevailing social standards

Illiterate - a person who cannot read or write

Impracticable - that which cannot be practiced

Impervious - a person who remains unmoved and unaffected by other people's opinions, arguments or suggestions

Incorrigible - impossible to change

Invisible - that which cannot be seen

Inaudible - that which cannot be heard

Incredible - that which cannot be believed

Invincible - that which cannot be conquered

Indispensable - something that is essential and cannot be dispensed with

Inevitable - that which cannot be avoided

Insoluble - incapable of being dissolved in a liquid

Inflammable - something that quickly catches fire

Infallible - incapable of making a mistake

Infanticide - the killing of an infant

Irritable - a man who is easily irritated

Irrelevant - not applicable

Irrevocable - that which cannot be changed


Kidnap - To take somebody away by force and hold him or her prisoner, usually for ransom


Matricide - killing of one's own mother; killer of one's own mother

Monarchy - a political system in which a state is ruled by one person

Medieval - belonging to the Middle Ages

Matinee - a cinema show which is held in the afternoon

Manuscript - handwritten book

Mercenary - somebody who works or serves only for personal profit. Also, a professional soldier paid to fight for an army other than that of his or her country

Misogynist - a person who hates women

Misogamist - a person who does not believe in the institution of marriage


Notorious - a person with an evil reputation

Namesake - somebody or something with the same name as somebody or something else

Novice - one who is new to a trade or profession


Obstetrician - the specialist who delivers babies

Ophthalmologist - an eye specialist

Omnipotent - all-powerful; possessing complete power and authority

Omnipresent - one who is present everywhere

Optimist - one who looks at the bright side of things; somebody positive

Omniscient - a person who knows everything

Omnivorous - an animal or a human being that eats any kind of food


Pediatrician - the specialist who treats childhood illnesses

Panacea - a supposed cure for all diseases or problems

Parasite - a person supported by another and giving him/her nothing in return

Patricide - the act of murdering one's own father

Pedagogy - principles of teaching

Potable - fit for drinking

Prosecute - take legal action against somebody

Pugnacity - inclined to fight or be aggressive

Polygamy - the custom of having more than one spouse at the same time

Polyandry - the custom of having more than one husband at the same time

Philanthropist - a person who helps others, especially those who are poor and in trouble

Plutocracy - the rule of a society by its wealthiest people

Postmortem - medical examination of a dead body

Patricide - killing of one's own father; killer of one's own father

Pessimist - very negative person; somebody who always expects the worst to happen

Postscript - a short message added on to the end of a letter after the signature


Synonyms - words which have the same meaning

Smuggler - a person who imports or exports goods into or from a country secretly because they are illegal or in order to avoid paying duty on them

Somnambulism - sleepwalking

Soporific - a drug or other substance that induces sleep

Stoic - a person who is unaffected by emotions


Theist - a person who believes in the existence of God

Triennial - taking place once every three years

Transparent - a substance that allows light to pass through with little or no interruption so that objects on the other side can be clearly seen


Usurer - somebody who loans money to other people and charges them exorbitant or unlawful interest on it

Usurper - a person who seize something without the right to do so


Verbatim - corresponding word for word translation

Valetudinarian - somebody who is excessively concerned with his or her own health

Vegetarian - Somebody who doesn't eat meat or fish

Venial - A pardonable offense

Veteran - Somebody who is considerably experienced in something


Widower - a man whose wife has died

Widow - a woman whose husband has died


Zoology - The branch of biology dealing with the study of animals

See also

One word substitutes 1
One word substitutes 2
One word substitutes 3
One word substitutes 4