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Is there a difference in meaning or usage between 'meant by' and 'meant with'?

Many questions about meanings with this tag have the wording 'What is meant by...?'.

In the text I am currently reading the verb 'to mean' is always combined with the preposition 'with', when discussing words or passages in the Bible. I mention this because I wonder whether it might be relevant that 'meant with' is used in a linguistic context. Here are two examples:

With ‘new spirit’ the same must be meant as with ‘my spirit’ in clause e.
The suggestion made by several commentators that the doom of Judea’s downfall is meant with the ‘first things’ that should no longer be remembered takes too little account of the poem’s own concentric structure.

The translator of the Dutch original is an English native speaker coming from South Africa, perhaps that might have something to do with this usage?

Afterthought: now that I infer from the comments that 'meant with' sounds strange to English speakers, could it be a Germanism? ('Was ist gemeint mit...')? I

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You should share some specific examples. "Meant with" sounds very strange to me, unless it is in a phrase like "It was meant with love." I don't think you change "by" to "with" in a phrase like "what is meant by . . ." but I'd like to see examples. –  Greg Hullender Sep 1 '13 at 20:40
    
It can work with an active verb form (“What do you mean with that?”), but not with the passive. “What is meant with that?” does not work in English, unlike in Dutch (and, as far as I know, all other Germanic languages—certainly in German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic. Not entirely sure about Faeroese). I don’t see what your reference to the Bible is about, though? –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 1 '13 at 21:22
    
I was referring to the Bible because I thouhgt it might be relevant that 'meant with' is used in a linguistic context. Here are two examples:With ‘new spirit’ the same must be meant as with ‘my spirit’ in clause e. The suggestion made by several commentators that the doom of Judea’s downfall is meant with the ‘first things’ that should no longer be remembered takes too little account of the poem’s own concentric structure. The translator of the Dutch original is an English native speaker coming from South Africa, perhaps that might have something to do with this usage? –  Josje Sep 2 '13 at 7:40
    
You should edit your question to add additional info., rather than just put it in a comment. I've edited your question to do this, and also changed some of your wording because your original suggested the words were from the Bible, whereas they are from a discussion about the Bible. –  TrevorD Sep 2 '13 at 11:13
    
It's not meant with -- the with goes with the phrase that immediate follows it: "with the ‘first things’ ...". –  Kris Sep 3 '13 at 6:26
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1 Answer

In the first sentence you've quoted, the phrase is not meant with but meant as.

With ‘new spirit’ the same must be meant as with ‘my spirit’ in clause e.

The with in "with 'my spirit'" parallels the with in "With 'new spirit'", as I've indicated in non-bold italics in the quotation above.
But, in fact, the as pairs with the same, as in "the same ... as".

I can't tell the full meaning without the preceding context, but it seems to be something like:

The use of ‘new spirit’ means the same as the use of ‘my spirit’ in clause e.

The second sentence is more difficult without more context.

The suggestion made by several commentators that the doom of Judea’s downfall is meant with the ‘first things’ that should no longer be remembered takes too little account of the poem’s own concentric structure.

I suggest it means:

Several commentators have suggested that the doom of Judea’s downfall is meant as [one of] the ‘first things’ that should no longer be remembered ... [or vice versa?]

But I also note that there is reference to a poem. It should be borne in mind that poems, songs, etc. often use 'strange' terminology for reasons of meter or rhyming.

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Thanks for editing my question, Trevor. I agree with you on the meaning (the vice versa one, in the second case), but in the second example 'as' belongs to 'same' as a complement, and 'with' to 'meant', in my opinion. –  Josje Sep 2 '13 at 14:36
    
@Josje So what does the With at the beginning of the sentence relate to? –  TrevorD Sep 2 '13 at 19:27
    
It also is a complement to 'meant'. The sentence shows a form of contraction: 'With 'new spirit', the same must be meant as (is meant) with 'my spirit''. Much like 'I like chocolate just as much as (I like) icecream'. –  Josje Sep 2 '13 at 21:14
    
@Josje I'm not sure why you asked the question if you seem so sure about what it means. You also have the benefit of the rest of the context which we don't have, so there's no point in discussing this further. –  TrevorD Sep 2 '13 at 22:11
    
I am sorry, I can understand the sentences I came across but my only question was if one can say 'is meant with' as a variant of 'is meant by' in English. Now that I see that it leads to so much confusion, I guess that it must be a germanism. –  Josje Sep 3 '13 at 16:01
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