Is it really necessary to ask what a single word means:


This question seems ridiculous to me unless the meaning of the word is not clear from looking at Google or an online dictionary.

  • 1
    IMO, asking on english.stackexchange.com the meaning of a word that is used in a particular way in a video game doesn't make sense. I would categorize the question as too localized.
    – apaderno
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


The quotation is from this DIY.se question. On the one hand i think it's semi-legitimate to ask for clarification on an odd word in a seemingly mixed up context at an english usage and language Q&A board. On the other hand, this was a terrible question that would have benefited from further context, or an explanation (i.e. assuming he was confused, what zombies and headcrabs had to do with with crowbars, he wanted to know what headcrabs were as they might provide some clarity).

  • Word definition requests for confusing contexts seem to be an apropos use of the site.
  • Word definition requests for an isolated word seems like an abuse of the entire merit of question and answer on this particular site

I think that a question about a word should be acceptable if it reports the definition found in the dictionary, and the OP asks if the word has over meanings too.


Another valid use case is for words that you think exist but can't find in dictionaries (possibly because you don't know how to spell them).

Example: irrehensible.

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