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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

2
votes
3answers
30 views

Is it “tomorrow” after midnight? Or is it still “today”?

Let me start with an observation: Let's say it's half past 12 and you're heading off to bed, I personally would say Tomorrow I have to get up early for work And as far as I know all my friends ...
1
vote
2answers
25 views

Is there a word that means to see something but not be able to describe?

I'm looking to find if there is a word that describe the feeling or situation you arrive upon when you can't find words to describe something you can see. Similar to being speechless but kind of in ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

What is the definition of “cousin” when used as a verb?

What does the word cousin mean when used as a verb? By context I take it to mean that someone is putting someone else on or being difficult with someone else. For example, in The Dark Tower (Stephen ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Can you please explain what “Not to say” means here:

Can you please explain what "Not to say" means in the context of the following sentence. "Not to say I might not be up for going tomorrow".
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Does this imply a mutually exclusive relationship?

"The process of successfully growing into the world requires negotiation between hard work and new pathways" are 'hard work' and 'pathways' implied to be mutually exclusive by this statement
-5
votes
0answers
28 views

Your misuse of the apostrophe [duplicate]

You profess to explain the correct use of grammar in the English language, yet you use the apostrophe incorrectly in the following extract on your own website example! Martin ...from circa early ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

For computer science, are the files corrupted or corrupt?

Computer files: Are they "corrupt" or "corrupted"? I feel they could be both. What is the standard?
-1
votes
1answer
16 views

Does this phrasing imply a mutually exclusive relationship?

'To grow into the world is to negotiate between x and y" Furthermore, can this statement be interpreted to mean "To grow into the world is to negotiate between x for y
1
vote
3answers
39 views

What does “Your team kicking serious butt” mean?

Some said "Your team kicking serious butt" to me in an email. Does that mean that he thinks my team is awesome? To me I feel it may have similar meaning to "kick ass" but I'm not sure and can't find ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Differences between: “prior”, “ precede”, “predate”, “in advance” and “former”

I am struggling with the exact meanings of these words. In the dictionary they all seem to be connected to the idea of "previous". But I don't know which word I should use and in which context. ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Word for a person who starts a project, then starts another one?

What do you call a person who starts projects, doesn't ever finish, then starts another project?
1
vote
1answer
25 views

“Enjoin” vs “Adjure”

"Enjoin" means to direct someone with emphasis and authority. "Adjure" means to command in a serious manner. Are the two words used in different contexts?
-1
votes
0answers
31 views

What's the definition of the word “Striving” in this context? [on hold]

What type of person would you find yourself striving alongside in a working environment? Really don't want to look stupid on my job application.
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

What do sharp-witted and quick-witted mean? [on hold]

If you’re sharp-witted or quick-witted, does it mean you’re intelligent and bright?
3
votes
0answers
41 views

Can 'how easy something is' be used equally to 'how difficult something is' or are they already implying something?

I'm currently writing a text and I want to explain that I conducted some tests to see how easy/difficult it is do perform a certain process. Therefore I want to write: We now want to test how easy it ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Use of 'write down' [on hold]

Can the expression write down be used in a context where I will write down my opinion or statement so that we can remember it in the future? Like a promise or statement with weight? 'The United ...
-1
votes
0answers
28 views

Difference between “to enhance” and “to develop”

what's Difference between “to enhance” and “to develop”?
2
votes
3answers
153 views

Is there a difference between “dislike” and “don't like”?

A friend of mine for whom English is a second language told me that I am the only person he knows who uses the word "dislike", and asked me what the difference was from saying that I "don't like" ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

What is the meaning of this life quote?

I am trying (but failing) to understand the meaning of this life quote: Trying is a part of failing. If you are afraid to fail then you are afraid to try. Can you explain what it means?
0
votes
2answers
52 views

'What does the abbreviation RE: means when referring to something?

What does 'RE means when referencing to something?
0
votes
4answers
81 views

A rare currency

For example: When I am writing an article about friendship, and want to say it's difficult to find a good friend, it is possible to say it's like finding a rare currency today?
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Question about “The logic of this (preference p suffering) relation…”

I came across this construction in "Consider the Lobster" by David Foster Wallace. Any ideas about the "p"? To my lay mind, the lobster’s behavior in the kettle appears to be the expression of a ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Is the phrase 'increasely likely' acceptable? If so, what does it mean? [on hold]

I like to read different newspapers and news websites to pick up some English words and phrases with which I'm unfamiliar. I found the two-word phrase increasely likely, which I found confusing.
0
votes
1answer
46 views

What does this quote by Sun Tzu-The Art of War mean? [on hold]

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of 100 battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If ...
-1
votes
0answers
20 views

“Is it stated that the X is to complete the generic Y with disposals for 1, 2, 3 specific to concerned part?” [on hold]

I'd like to clarify what "is to complete" means in the phrase above. I have one version of understanding that it is "to be in addition" And second "is designed/made/fullfiled etc. to ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

What is the real meaning of “Speak English”? [migrated]

I am a non-native speaker of English so I am trying to get used to every phrase I come across while hearing and reading. As a result, I have watched many American movies and so I have heard the phrase ...
2
votes
2answers
45 views

Does 'sewer crabs' insinuate any other meaning?

The second old man threw his axe down pettishly, spat in the direction of the closed door and went off among the stacks of cordwood. The door of the shack opened, the man in the Mackinaw poked ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

How can I say this in other words? [on hold]

Recently I took a personality test and got some good results. However, there was a part of the full description that I didn't understand. I'd like to know how I can say this text in other words, must ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

“I never was” vs. “I was never”

What is the difference between "I never was" and "I was never"? It seems that there is a subtle difference, but I can't quite grasp it. Is one of them informal? For example: I never was a good ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

infidelity. used only in regard to cheating/affair

When using the word infidelity which means unfaithfulness does it always mean cheating or can it also be used for not listening to your spouse or worse in murder as well.
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What kind of question-tag is this: “I was in the bath, wasn't I?” Is it polite? rude?

Context: (BrE) - a friend is complaining... a- "I phoned you three times this morning but you never answered." b- "I was in the bath, wasn't I? Why the question-tag, if the listener had no idea ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

What's it called in english to be cautious about something you do?

Is there a term in english for where you want to describe the discreet or cautious approach you take, when you want to make sure you're not risking or jeopardizing anything in doing a routine job? ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

While in England, how do I say, “ I might stay” [on hold]

I am writing a chronicle for a Yorkie poo. His moniker is "I might stay." Now he thinks in French, writes in English and sometimes he speaks with an English accent. "Je pourrais rester" is his French. ...
3
votes
4answers
110 views

Can “some” be more than 50%?

The word "some" has often the sense of "few" if given in a bound. Does this mean more than 50%? It would be good if some historical account mentioned, who uses "some" to be more than 50%?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Bend someone with eye dropper?

He turned around in his chair and pointed out through the sleazy curtains at a distant hill. On top of the hill was a yellow and white house that shone in the sun. "Hell, that's where he lives. He's ...
-1
votes
2answers
51 views

Meaning of the phrase “without breaking down” [on hold]

Computers are very reliable; they can work for a long time without breaking down. What does the phrase “without breaking down” mean in this sentence?
-2
votes
0answers
29 views

quote response AP English 3 [on hold]

What is the meaning of this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald? There is nothing more obnoxious than someone else's luck.
1
vote
2answers
34 views

'Scenic box'… is it correct?

I would like to use an expression that refers to a theatre space, a stage space, or any space for performing theatre: the space for a 'scene' in general. The expression is 'scenic box'. Is it ...
4
votes
3answers
68 views

Does there exist a subset of words which can be used to define all others?

All words in the dictionary are defined by using other words. Has there been any research that has traced these definitions down to a subset of the English language which can define the rest of it? ...
-1
votes
0answers
22 views

Meaning of “X is 6 times less than Y” [duplicate]

I encountered a Physics Problem in which I can't understand the meaning of this sentence "X is 6 times less than Y". What does this expression mean?
1
vote
0answers
58 views

What is “thars” in Dr. Seuss poetry “The Sneetches”?

The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss: Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small. ...
-2
votes
1answer
74 views
+50

Questions about meanings and usage of “deez nuts”

Please note, I did check the Urban Dictionary, and also Stack Exchange. What is meant in the line @JoeBlow wrote in What is the origin of “Best.Boyfriend.Ever”? “What can I say but :/ omg deez ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of the ending “‑exia”?

If a word ends in -exia (such as dyslexia, anorexia, and pyrexia), does this imply anything about the word itself? For example, in electronics a word ending in ‑ance (such as impedance or ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

what does the phrase “a real word” mean?

I'm interested in how a word becomes "a real word" in English, and what constitutes that "real word" when it exists. Twentyfive questions appear in the list of questions already asked on this forum ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

What does have drunk freely mean?

Does it mean having been drunken? http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/8887/how-to-interpret-john-210 says that methiosin in the bible means alcoholic intoxication Words similar to it ...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

What does “Deal with it [as Trump would say]” mean? [on hold]

There was the following passage in Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times (August 22) under the title, “Donald Trump struts in his own pageant” starts with the following lines; “It’s ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

In anything but…meaning and usage

I am reading some documentation and cannot fully understand the meaning of 'In anything but..' In anything but the smallest applications it makes sense to organize the service definitions by ...
-1
votes
1answer
25 views

double drift of stars

I read the following sentence "They seemed like a double drift of stars, streaming through space." In this passage: "...Then this blood began to change too. Instead of a continuous liquid ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Can “the restaurant you told me was not good” used as noun?

The restaurant you told me was not good. If there is a sentence like this, it most of the times means that "the restaurant you told me about was not good." So when can this sentence be used with ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What is a word/phrase that means “the police had no other option but to fight back” [closed]

I'm trying to to make a Model United Nations speech, and I need a powerful way to say this.