I have a form. This form has an element. So element can have states:

  • normal,
  • ready to be deleted (prepared for deletion),
  • deleted.

I'm trying to find good one-word synonym for this intermediate state (some sort of "hammer cocked").

This intermediate state when you still able to decide are you going to delete it forever or cancel deletion.

For example, email almost deleted:


What do you think about state names like: valuation, evaluation?

  • 1
    What about "pending"? But you have to add/provide a context that it means "pending deletion".
    – shin
    Apr 12, 2016 at 3:25
  • 3
    This sounds like a great question for UX stack exchange
    – DJMcMayhem
    Apr 12, 2016 at 4:06
  • 2
    Would "Discarded" fit here? Apr 12, 2016 at 4:53
  • 2
    In programming you often see Closing, Closed; Disposing, Disposed; Deleting, Deleted. So you could have Created, Deleting, Deleted.
    – CodeAngry
    Apr 12, 2016 at 12:23
  • I would use discarded Apr 19, 2018 at 21:44

5 Answers 5


If it's likely that any element that enters this state will eventually be deleted, you could use "condemned", by analogy with buildings scheduled for demolition and criminals slated for punishment.

If instead you want to emphasize the chance to remove this status, "probationary" carries the connotation of a risk of some more serious state, but an expectation of eventual restoration to normalcy.


Too bad you don't explain why this "element" would transition from the first state to the second state – that information might help. Since that isn't specified, however, I'm going to make an assumption: that the "element" goes into this middle state after some period of inactivity.

If that were the case, you could use:

  • Active
  • Inactive
  • Deleted

If instead the element goes into this state when, say, a balance goes to zero, you could use:

  • Funded
  • Depleted
  • Deleted

I think part of your problem stems from your choice of words for the first state: Normal. The opposite of normal is abnormal – but that's not a very good name for this state. (I suggest trying to find a more descriptive name for the first state, and seeing if that leads to a better name for the second state.)

As a footnote, if you don't mind using a little irreverent humor, you could try:

  • Normal
  • Purgatorial
  • Deleted

Collins defines that word as:

purgatorial (adj.) a place or condition of suffering or torment, esp one that is temporary
(Emphasis added)

I'm assuming this middle state is temporary; that the element's state will revert back to normal or to deleted within a relatively short time.

Wiktionary defines purgatorial as “Of, pertaining to, or resembling purgatory”, and purgatory is defined in one dictionary as:

purgatorial (n.) Any place or state of temporary suffering or oblivion.

By the way, this suggestion probably wouldn't be appropriate if the user would ever see the name of the state in a notification. However, if it was only used as a state name inside the software, it might work. (Presumably, the user would see Pending Deletion, or something like that.)

It's not an ideal candidate by any means, but you've given us a very tall order with: One-word synonym for “this is going to be deleted”. In the absence of such a word, please don't be offended by a stretch. Though "temporary oblivion" might never make it into your code, I still thought it was an interesting concept to explore.

  • I think, usecase is illustrated on the attached picture. I have list of some items. I made swipe to left and item goes to that "special" state.
    – zoonman
    Apr 12, 2016 at 18:23
  • I really like "purgatorial".
    – zoonman
    Apr 12, 2016 at 18:28

You could use an active participle to indicate that it is a transient state: deleting, recycling, Or say 'trashcan', indicating that it has been discarded but hasn't gone permanently yet.


You are wanting to mark items that are able to be deleted, but not yet actually deleted. The term deleteable will work. So normal, deleteable, deleted.

Of course, this term would not be appropriate for the end user, but OK to describe the internal code. For the end user you should just use a short phrase like "Will Be Deleted" or something implying an action in progress, such as "Deleting..."


I would use:

Permanently Deleted (sorry it is two words...)

This is similar to many OS and also email systems where "deleted" goes to the trash directory/folder, and "permanently deleted" meaning no longer accessible.

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