This tag is for questions related to definitions and nuances of meaning of a word or phrase.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

0
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1answer
21 views

Meaning of “would be” in “announced that he would be leaving Google”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Bloch What I can understand: I will leave google. I would leave google. What's the meanning of: would + be + verb-ing
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Why isn't there a word for the super-type of people and businesses?

I was originally framing this question as a search for the 'right word' but the site's suggestions pointed me to a previous question that was almost identical. So I'll turn the question around and ...
0
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4answers
22 views

Meaning of this Ben Jonson quote

Many men believe not themselves what they would persuade others; and less do the things which they would impose on others, but least of all know what they themselves most confidently boast.
2
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2answers
38 views

Why is “envy” is considred a sin while “envious” is a rather desirable attribute?

We have two similar words in envy and jealousy. The American Heritage Dic. defines them as below. jealousy: A jealous attitude or disposition. Close vigilance. envy: n. pl. en·vies ...
0
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2answers
18 views

Meaning of `put defeat behind`

Often I encounter with the following constraction in some articles Someone put defeat behind him Don't undestand the meaning of this whole phrase. Does it mean that someone succeed or failed?
0
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0answers
41 views

bumped vs faced [migrated]

Can anybody say me difference between BUMPED and FACED PS I heard in conversation: Yesterday I bumped with my friend. Does it make sense? In meaning he met his friend accidentally. Thanks! ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Label word for someone? [on hold]

What would you call a person that causes harm to you( not physical) destroying your property and then is offended when you call them out on this? Not sure what word to use for their label.
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Blazing in his eyes

The following passage is taken from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I cannot understand exactly what the phrase 'blazing in his eyes' mean. What is the subject of the verb 'blaze'? ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Meaning of “False Positive”

My question title itself is self explanatory. Can any explain what "false positive" means? I got this word usage from one of my clients in bug report. Can anyone explain with usage in layman's ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “a bit of a tartar” mean?

Recently, a woman I know who lives in England (OK, she's my fiancee, if you want to know), wrote to me and described someone she knows as "a bit of a tartar". Now in context it seemed like a friendly ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

What is “school annex”? [on hold]

Could you please explain what does the following expression mean: school annex I saw a building with this title on the front. However, I cannot figure out what it is exactly, and how does it ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Does “The UK” mean the state or its citizens?

When I have expressed criticism towards the UK government saying The EU policy is crystal clear ... The UK as usual in their bizarre anti freedom ways and I got an (obviously) UK citizen pissed ...
1
vote
2answers
25 views

to be riddled with something vs to teem with something

I'd like to ask how verbs 'to be riddled with something' (idiom) and 'to teem with something' (phrasal verb) overlap each other and can we replace with one another in the same sentence? For example: ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

I was set up in a sting [on hold]

I read someone's story and she said: "Then I was set up in a sting by the same woman who got me started. I was wondering what has just happened !! .. What is she implying ? I couldn't understand by ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Fun + Challenging =?

I am looking for a single word that can be used to describe an activity (e.g., work or studies) that is both “fun” and “challenging”. Words I have tried include “intriguing”, “fascinating”, ...
0
votes
0answers
76 views

What did Terry Pratchett mean by “avec”?

Terry Pratchett used in his disc world novels the word "avec" as a common food ingredient for french (in his books named "quirmian" or "Quirm" for the country) food. Excerpt from "Snuff" by Terry ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

What is potass?

I'm reading The Four Feathers by A.E.W.Mason, it contains a reference to a beverage consumed by one of the characters:- It would have been strange, after all, he thought, if he had not been able ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

for + period of time + present continuous/past perfect tense [on hold]

What is the difference between (1) I've taken antibiotics for 10 weeks. (2) I've been taking antibiotics for 10 weeks. (3) I'm taking antibiotics for 10 weeks. (4) I take antibiotics for 10 weeks. ...
0
votes
2answers
24 views

What does “Of such” mean in this context?

I do not know what "of such" means in the following quotation: “Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

What does “Take care sweets” mean?

A good friend wrote me an email and at the end she added Take care sweets. I guess it's something good, but not sure what is the exact meaning. I searched a little bit what does that mean and didn't ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

What does “Retail politics” mean? Is it an established political term?

I come across the word, “retail (oriented) politics” in an article under the title, “All presidential politics is local” in Conway Daily Sun (December 23, 2015), which contained the following ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Meaning of “to have seconds” [on hold]

I'm watching Futurama now, and on episode s1e7 there is Zoidberg's quote I cannot understand nor find out the explanation. The dialog is: Amy Wong: Is this salt water? Bender: It's salt with ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Keeping my soul and my senses apart [on hold]

Trying to translate a famous song. Something's gotten hold of my heart Keeping my soul and my senses apart What is the meaning of "senses" here? Is it "mind, clear state of mind" or ...
2
votes
2answers
31 views

Usage of “Sufferer” in Diseases and Disorders

So I've recently seen a few people use the word "sufferer" to describe themselves having a certain mental disorder. I know that a person thinking that they are suffering a certain disorder may be ...
1
vote
4answers
57 views

What is the difference between “perpetrator” and “transgressor”? [on hold]

I don't quite understand when one might be applied, but not the other. Also, is anyone who committed a transgression a transgressor, or might they also be perpetrators? Does it make a difference? ...
-1
votes
0answers
27 views

Difference of “I visited / have visited the museum many times when I was a university student.” [on hold]

(a) I visited the museum many times when I was a university student. (b) I have visited the museum many times when I was a university student. What is the difference between (a) and (b)?
0
votes
0answers
45 views

“Try to open the car” vs. “Try opening the car” [migrated]

I have a few questions. Do the following structures sound natural to native speakers? Is there any difference in meaning between them? Try to open the car. Try opening the car. You ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

What does “Take a collective look” mean? [on hold]

Surely the fortieth anniversary is a good time to take a collective look at this problem. What does Take a collective look mean?
1
vote
1answer
45 views

To do something is something - what use of the infinitive is this?

I teach English and a student of mine recently came out with the following sentence: She thinks that to become a marketing manager is the opportunity she seeks for. I thought this was a curious ...
6
votes
4answers
322 views

What does the author actually means when he says “ underestimate the value of gold.”

Excerpt from Honor Among Thieves: "The reason for numbers being limited on this occasion will become all too obvious to you. The issue we are about to discuss is so sensitive that the fewer ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

The word quite “ very and not very” [on hold]

I have a question. The word quite has two meanings, very and not very. How can I distinguish between them?
-1
votes
0answers
35 views

“Clutching” vs. “Flinging”: Which one is correct here? [on hold]

I think option C is correct. Option A and B are clearly ruled out. I don't understand what is the difference between option C and D. From Cambridge Dictionary Clutch : to take or ​try to ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

I have bought a car this year too [migrated]

I have bought a car this year, too. What does this sentence mean? "Me, too," or "I have done something else and have bought too," or "I have something else and a car too," or "this year too." ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Use of “well” in “Britain’s Labour Party is in thrall to a man well to the left of Mr Sanders”

I have a question about a sentence from an article of The Economist Magazine: Britain’s Labour Party is in thrall to a man well to the left of Mr Sanders. Does the word "well" in this sentence ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

crack of the door [duplicate]

Through the the open window and the crack of the door, the wind came in, and rustled the book pages. the preposition is "of" as opposed to "around". What does "crack of the door" refer to? 1) the ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Can something be disgusting without something else to feel disgust?

Disgusting means Causing disgust; repulsive; distasteful and is a deverbal adjective in that it behaves purely as an adjective, not a present participle. If we take an adjective such as ...
9
votes
8answers
503 views

Why is this use of the word “meaning” not quite right?

Today one of my students gave me some writing as part of her preparation for a Cambridge Proficiency exam. She was describing how after she'd moved away to go to university she'd temporarily lost ...
0
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0answers
48 views

what does that's a first mean [on hold]

It's a first! I'm not familiar with the meaning of this phrase. I was explaining a situation and this is the response that I received via email.
0
votes
1answer
51 views

“Feel bad about someone” versus “feel bad for someone”

Does the sentence "I feel bad about you" have the same meaning as "I feel bad for you"?
0
votes
1answer
45 views

“To come undone”

"Oh, it'll take a little time, might take a little crime to come undone (...) Who do you need, who do you love, when you come undone?" Please, can someone help me with this? I'm pretty sure that ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Date as a synonym for anus

In the Song "Ten Foot Cock And A Few Hundred Virgins" Tim Minchin uses the phrase "it's a sin to take it up the date, even if it's great, even with your cowboy mate". I'm not a native English speaker ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

What does the “was held to” mean in this sentence? [on hold]

Beijing was widely held to botch its reaction to a stock market fall and its decision to allow its currency to devalue. I understand that hold means to take place or to occur. Why past tense ...
-3
votes
0answers
40 views

Meaning of “Context” [on hold]

I received the following comment on one of my paragraphs in my article: Provide some context what do you mean. I don't understand what he actually means by "context". Any suggestion, please.
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Thank you, you too have a great day? [closed]

Is this the correct sentence to say: "Thank you, you too have a great day!" when someone says: "Have a Great day"
3
votes
1answer
81 views

What's the meaning of “triggeronomy?”

I never heard of the word "triggeronomy." What does it mean? “She’s bright,” Harlan said. “Mrs. McReady at school says Shan’s the brightest pupil she’s taught in her whole career, and that ...
-1
votes
1answer
28 views

What does the phrase “Modern industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America paved the way” mean?

I understand each separate word but the meaning of the whole phrase is obscure to me. I particularly do not understand what "for which" is used for. Thank you.
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

Kneecapped what other uses the word have? [closed]

I want to know the meaning of "kneecapped" in this sentence: "...acquisition costs appear to have kneecapped the growth.."
3
votes
2answers
53 views

The word “still” as an adjective — does it have a connotation of 'somehow related to death or the dead"?

I realize that the definition of "still" (used as an adjective) goes like this: someone or something that is quiet, calm or not moving. examples: the still water of the lake still wines (vs. ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Meaning of “Your Point Being?” [duplicate]

I commented on my friend post and the friend replied "Your Point Being?". But I didn't understand the meaning of "Your Point Being?". What is the meaning of "Your Point Being?".
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Is it right to use the word “quotation” in this case?

I'm developing a software application that can automatically send quotations (as a PDF document) to the user's client. So the system sends an email with the text: Please find attached the ...