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

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6 views

What is the minimum number of objects in a stack?

A stack is defined by the OED as: A pile of objects, typically one that is neatly arranged In turn, a pile is defined as: A heap of things laid or lying one on top of another and A ...
4
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3answers
201 views

Meaning of “all shelves about me towards the worse”?

"Here am I now upon my high place," he said to himself. "Life may be no better; this is the mountain top; and all shelves about me towards the worse. For the first time I will light up the ...
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0answers
40 views

“when it's snowing and when it isn't” vs “when it's snowing and when it isn't snowing”

Are either of the following sentences grammatically incorrect? Assuming they are both correct, is one preferred over the other? If so, in what situations is each preferred? I eat puppies when it's ...
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3answers
49 views

What does “delinquent” mean in this context?

I'm more or less aware of the meanings of the word delinquent. However, I can't decide what it exaclty means in the following quote which is from god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and where he ...
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1answer
38 views

“Charges levied” Actually a thing?

I am positive I've heard of "charges levied," as in "criminal charges brought against" (e.g. the sentence "The charge levied against my client is unfounded."). However, while searching for a ...
1
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2answers
41 views

On a shady street

I wonder what image does the expression'on a shady street'invoke in a native speaker if he or she comes upon following paragraph. "They were from a nice family in a nice house on a shady street. ...
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1answer
34 views

“How are we?” vs. “How are you?”

What's the appropriate response to "How are we?" and what is it actually referring to?
0
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1answer
48 views

Meaning of word “nicy” [on hold]

Can you explain me the meaning of word "nicy"? I'm newbie in english, and I've already tried google translate, but I'm not sure. Maybe there is some informal forms, or other ways of using this word.
1
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1answer
27 views

What counts as a polearm?

Based on the definition, I would think both lances and spears are a type of polearm. However, in some cases, I have seen the word polearm used separately to lances or spears. For example, in the game ...
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2answers
56 views

Help on interpreting this sentence?

These same perspectives may contribute to a 'glass ceiling' prohibiting relationship-oriented (i.e. feminine) leadership behaviors from being integrated into organization management structures. I ...
1
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2answers
64 views

Single word that could mean three other words

I would like to know whether there's a word which could mean these 3 things: Support Like Congratulate I hoping to use it in my website for user's status. I would really appreciate if you could ...
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3answers
54 views

what does “First quality” mean?

My English teacher asked me what "First quality" means? No website on internet gives any definition of that term. is it correct to say like this? Starbucks is famous for its first quality coffee
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2answers
80 views

what is the meaning of “dry up and blow away” in this sentences?

"The Canadian flag's supposed to be a symbol of power... it's a leaf! Yeah, don't mess with us or we'll dry up and blow away!"-Jeremy Hotz Suppose that truth had simply dried up and blown away in the ...
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2answers
47 views

Difficult sentence strucure [on hold]

His thesis works relatively well when applied to discrimination against blacks in the US, but his definition of racial prejudice as "racially-based negative prejudgements against a group generally ...
1
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3answers
67 views

Can someone help me to understand this difficult sentence structure?

Please help me to understand the following. I have difficulty with the passage that appears between the two dashes. Gutman argues convincingly that the stability of the Black family encouraged ...
2
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1answer
46 views

First wife vs. Former wife

Does one of the designations indicate that one of the partners is dead vs. divorced? First vs. Former
2
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1answer
74 views

What to call words with permanent prefix, but no unprefixed form? (ex: nonchalant, untoward) [duplicate]

What do you call prefixed words with no unprefixed counterpart? For example, there's no such thing as a "chalant person". Bad behavior may be "untoward", good behavior is never "toward". What are ...
1
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2answers
32 views

“Restricted in” [on hold]

"Product has been restricted in: list of countries" Does this mean the product is available only in the countries listed, or not available in them? Thank you.
1
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1answer
47 views

Reading Comprehension Question: How to narrow down to correct answer? [on hold]

Passage (Its a bit long) The pioneers of the teaching of science imagined that its introduction into education would remove the conventionality, artificiality, and backward-lookingness which ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Is the definition of a word also a synonym of that word? [on hold]

When writing, you can substitute the definition of a word for a word and still make a correct (if more complicated) sentence. Does that make the definition of a word a synonym for the actual word ...
1
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1answer
30 views

“I consider that …” in place of “I think that…”

I often see people use the verb “consider” in place of “think” as in (a) “I consider that this project will be completed in three years,” (b) “We consider that this deficiency can be overcome ...
3
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3answers
111 views

What does “… which is somewhat long in tooth” mean, and what is the source of the phrase? [on hold]

This is the complete sentence where I found it. It is from an online training about the Linux operating system. e4defrag is part of the e2fsprogs package and should be on all modern Linux ...
1
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1answer
35 views

What's the difference between “case by case” and “case to case”?

What's the difference between "case by case" and "case to case"? I often hear the former from my Japanese students. When I asked them where they got the phrase, they always say they learned it from ...
3
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2answers
55 views

What does “to-” in today, tomorrow, tonight mean?

As in the title. Does it mean anything? Does it mean the same thing in all of these words? What is its origin? Are there any other words with "to-"?
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1answer
27 views

Nobody would believe what an effort it is **to do what little I am able**,--to dress and entertain, and order things

Nobody would believe what an effort it is to do what little I am able,--to dress and entertain, and order things. (a part of "Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman) I don't ...
0
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2answers
58 views

Usage of *was going to do* [on hold]

The following is an article by Patrick Wintour in The Guardian website. Miliband’s team admitted that they were slow to realise the danger. One close adviser admitted that he was initially ...
1
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1answer
43 views

Meaning of up front

I came upon this paragraph: Dennis was taken back to the jail. He carefully removed his new suit and put it on a hanger. A guard took it up front. I can not figure out what the guard did with ...
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1answer
28 views

If “propriety” is from the French for “property”, why is it now about proper comportment?

I was trying to reverse-translate a quote I mistakenly believed to be originally in French that I saw in English, so as to find the source. (It turned out to be from Jeremy Bentham.) In the process, I ...
1
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1answer
82 views

'Mental illness' or 'Mental disorder' or 'Mental condition'?

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and when talking about it, and other mental conditions like depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia, I'm wondering what term to use. Is there perhaps a distinction ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Burn a hole in the road?

my question is: In Marry The Night's lyrics, Lady Gaga sings "I'm gonna burn a hole in the road". Why is that? I've heard the expression "on the road" but not "in the road". I don't speak English ...
0
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1answer
36 views

What could one-minded word mean if it were to exist? [on hold]

Unfortunately I can not use like-minded as my app name, it is used already, and I though one-minded would have the same meaning: people with same mind, interest. What do you think? Do you know any ...
8
votes
4answers
131 views

“Come out with your hands up… and something with coconut” [on hold]

English as a second language here. I'd like to ask why this quote from The Simpsons (from episode 9F20 "Marge in Chains") is funny and what it means. Chief Wiggum (to Marge, at the Kwik-E-Mart): ...
-1
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0answers
28 views

What does “I thought that I loved ” means? [on hold]

"I thought that I loved doing that Bach thing - George did it better than me, he could do the real thing - but that was my goof of it." Full article ...
2
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1answer
58 views

What does “having a party piece” mean in the following content? [on hold]

"That style of playing originally came from me and George [Harrison] having a party piece when we were kids, which was a piece by Bach. Full article ...
0
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3answers
88 views

What is the difference between “to curse” and “to swear at”?

Both of them mean to use bad words, but I don't know their differences. Please explain with some examples! Thanks!
7
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5answers
989 views

Is “I can't stop laughing” the same as “I can't help laughing”?

I know "I can't help laughing" means I can't stop myself from laughing. What I want to know is "I can't stop laughing"* also means the same. Thank you guys for helping me out especially prem, your ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What does “arrive from” exactly mean [on hold]

"I have just arrived from France?" This sentence means "I have just come to France and I am in France now" or "I have come back to the my country from France and I am not in France now?" My native ...
0
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2answers
72 views

What is the implication of “collateral and self-expression” in this passage?

What started as a side interest has since budded into an enterprise generating over $1 million a year in annual revenue and satisfying a market demand for collateral and self-expression. It didn’t ...
0
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3answers
59 views

Looking for the word which covers the eye lid of the horses and led the horse to run straight

I am looking for the word which covers the eye lid of the horses and led the horse to run straight without track distractions .. Some thing similar to funambulist.
0
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1answer
57 views

What does 'drinkle' mean? [on hold]

I came across the word "drinkle" in the sentence: It's one of the Drinkle girls. I Googled it, but I couldn't find anything helpful.
-1
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4answers
52 views

How are the words 'Suburb' and 'Superb' related to 'Superbas'?

All are Latin, or I guess come from Latin, but is it a direct shot to say that whenever Suburbs first became recognized and named, that they were given the status of being Superb? At one point was ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

the use of the word “even”

What is does the word "even" mean in this sentence? It's good to be busy, even you missed a good lunch. When I heard it, it gave me the impression to mean that I am not normally busy, but now I ...
-1
votes
2answers
62 views

What is the meaning of “I am on my word”? [on hold]

Does "I am on my word" mean that one keeps their promises? Or does it mean that one still believes in what one has previously said?
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0answers
38 views

Incomprehensible vs Unintelligble

I'm having hard times fathoming the difference between 'Incomprehensible' and 'Unintelligble' After some research, I assume that Incomprehensible would be used to express the inability to understand ...
1
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3answers
62 views

What does “bet-covering” mean in this context?

As always, I'm stuck in a Hitchens sentence from God Is Not Great. Here it is: If you believe in god and there is a god, you win. If you believe in him and you are wrong — so what? I once wrote a ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

I was meeting a lot of people while I was working in London. I met a lot of people while I was working in London [duplicate]

I was meeting a lot of people while I was working in London. I met a lot of people while I was working in London. What is the difference between them? I'm not sure about these sentences. How to ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Word that means written, non-spoken word?

I'm looking for a word that describes written word that is not monologue or dialog. For example, I understand monologue to describe this type of writing: `I wish I hadn't cried so much!' said ...
0
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2answers
56 views

To be sound in doing something?

I've looked up each and every possible meanings of sound. I've reduced the options to two or so. But I still find it hard to ascertain the meaning of sound and the way its is used in this context. ...
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votes
1answer
36 views

I lost my temper in Domino's pizza the other day and ended up pushing the bloke “behind the till” [closed]

I lost my temper in Domino's pizza the other day and ended up pushing the bloke behind the till. What is the meaning of "till" here ? Is it preferred to use such formations in general ...
0
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1answer
40 views

the switch went on (definition)

I heard this in a documentary. The speaker is some serial killer who claims he started his rampage after watching a video. He goes like this: "I put one of the videos in and what came on the ...