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I can be defining,
But I don't give much away.
I can be pretty good,
Except when I'm nasty.
I'm never at the extremes,
But you'll find me with a switch at the end.

Question: What word am I?

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How about

MEAN

I can be defining

mean can be used to describe a meaning of sth i.e. define its meaning. Also fussy is one possible use of mean.

But I don't give much away.

By calculating the average you don't get much other information besides that. Also mean can be used for people who don't like sharing money/things.

I can be pretty good,

It can be good (or not :P) when talking about grades/marks. Edit: colloquial for excellent

Except when I'm nasty.

mean can also mean nasty

I'm never at the extremes,

Due to the way of how you calculate an average (math.) it never can be at the extremes (given there is more than one value :p )

But you'll find me with a switch at the end.

Oh hell..... AMEN :D

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you explain how your word would fit with each line of the riddle? $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Oct 2 '15 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ Will do that :) $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Oct 2 '15 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ You've got the right word. Your second sentence for the second line of the riddle is the intended sense of the word and lines 4 and 5 have been interpreted correctly. Can you think how lines 1, 3 and 6 could fit better? $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Oct 2 '15 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ Good job pal. I like it :) $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Oct 2 '15 at 23:09
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I was thinking

Sick

I can be defining,

Sick can be used as an adjective, or like a defining part in someones life. ("Getting sick was a defining point in Rick's life, now he doesn't smoke anymore")

But I don't give much away.

Sick is a very broad term to describe something, illness or action

I can be pretty good,

Can be used in a good way! ("That was a sick 720 Gazelle Flip bro!")

Except when I'm nasty.

Describing yourself or someone else. ("I just got sick" or "Jenny is sick today")

I'm never at the extremes,

Normally sick isn't used as a term to describe a terminal illness or to describe something astonishing or breathtaking.

But you'll find me with a switch at the end

CK Components is a well known manufacture of many different types of switches!

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  • $\begingroup$ A few of those are a but more tenuous than the intended answer. I'm not relying on the name of any company. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Sep 29 '15 at 21:41
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My guess would be:

riddle

Here's why:


I can be defining,

A riddle should be defining and define some answer

But I don't give much away.

Riddles normally don't give too many hints, otherwise it's not a good one

I can be pretty good,

There are good and bad riddles(obviously)

Except when I'm nasty.

Definition of "nasty" is "very bad or unpleasant", which is also an opposite of "good"

I'm never at the extremes,

Can't find any decent explanation for this line (yet).

But you'll find me with a switch at the end.

Once you know the answer you'll be like: "Aha! Now it makes sense!"

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  • $\begingroup$ Exactly what I was thinking. However, for me for the Switch, since Riddle ends with E, there's a company (?) called E-Switch. Haha. Though, we're both stuck on the 'I'm never at the extremes'. $\endgroup$ – Takeshi Sep 29 '15 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ Nice try, but not what I'm looking for. I'm not relying on any company names. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Sep 29 '15 at 21:38

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