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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

1
vote
1answer
13 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
35 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
739 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
32 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
76 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
62 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
69 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
2k 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
39 views

for + period of time + present continuous/past perfect tense

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
23 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
94 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
63 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
74 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
41 views

Keeping my soul and my senses apart

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
56 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
26 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
33 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
501 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
votes
0answers
46 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
50 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? [on hold]

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
35 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
69 views

Time Zone is a Region: what is the Word for 'currently using Daylight Savings' or not?

The current Wikipedia entry for 'Time zone' starts with: A time zone is a region that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Informally though people (and ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the difference, if any, between these two sentences? [closed]

What is the difference, if any, between the following two sentences? (1) The sun sets at 9 P.M. tomorrow. (2) The sun is setting at 9 P.M. tomorrow.
-2
votes
0answers
46 views

what is the meaning of " he is under water' [closed]

it was in situation where someone asked how you find X? the second replied that "he is under water', what dose that mean
1
vote
1answer
58 views

directory path or directory’s path

I know that I should use an apostrophe if I want to show possession. My questions: Which form should I use? Are the forms interchangeable?
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

In a sentence where I define something, am I the arbiter of the word being defined as being singular or plural?

...starting the sentence with "X is" or "X are". "Treasure is minerals and coins amassed together" doesn't sound right, even if I, since I am making the definition, decide to make treasure a singular ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Metaphysician vs Metaphysicist

A practitioner of physics is known as a physicist. It seems like it would logically follow that a practitioner of metaphysics would be known as a metaphysicist; yet, in every text I've read, a ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

What does it mean transport in network program

All, I just read the book Netty in action. A word Transport is mentioned in the book like below. NIO is used in this example because it’s currently the most widely used transport, thanks to its ...