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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

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2answers
94 views

What is the meaning of “it is to…”

What is the meaning of it is to in the following: It is to the Director [of Central Intelligence] that the assistant first turns to learn the facts in a crisis and for analysis of events, and ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Rhetoric: 'Anyone that believes _____, must be _______.'

Is there a specific name for rhetoric that follows this general form? 'Anyone that _____, (is a, must be, etc.) _______.' I seem to recall that the above was a specific type of rhetoric pointed out ...
0
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2answers
38 views

Is there word for this, other than know-it-all? [duplicate]

Just wondering, if there's a word for: One who makes it appear as if they're an expert on a subject while there are also signals (subtly or blatantly noticeable) that this person doesn't know very ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Curious words that make me suspicious

I'm curious about that curious object. I'm suspicious of that suspicious stranger. I'm dubious about that dubious plan. I can't think of any other words that allow this: using the same ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

what's the meaning of “tree”?

what's the meaning of "tree" in the following sentence Pappus showed how both analysis and synthesis are used to solve problems by working in both directions to find a solution path (a tree or ...
-2
votes
1answer
37 views

Androgenization refers to masculinity, but Androgynous refers to masculinity and femininity. Why? [on hold]

I recently came across the word "androgenization" which I have found to mean "possess male hormones". I found this rather strange, because to be androgynous is to have neither/both male and female ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Relations between base level English words

A lot of dictionaries these days when they explain a word, they usually suppose that we know some base level words e.g, 'a', 'the', 'he', 'that' ,and 'be'. If I look up to their definitions in the ...
0
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2answers
31 views

How can a poem be defined? [on hold]

Merriam webster says: A piece of writing that usually has figurative language and that is written in separate lines that often have a repeated rhythm and sometimes rhyme. Googling 'define: poem' ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Are “a perfect fool”, “a proper fool” and “a precious fool” the same kind of “fool”?

Is there any (subtle) difference in meaning and usage when these adjectives qualify "a fool"? Are these adjectives perfectly interchangeable "A precious fool I would look, if I did that." "The ...
6
votes
12answers
959 views

What would you call a person who shares every thought they have? [on hold]

What would you call a person who thinks they know everything and decides to share every little fact they can think of? For example, if a teacher or professor says something and a student decides to ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

What is a wheenydom?

What is a wheenydom? It's in the following context: (from a tech-related article) I know that PowerShell is cooler and such than TCSH and BASH, but this smells of Windows wheenydom to me. ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

What does the phrase “in you” mean in a Christian context? [on hold]

I have heard phrases such as "love in you" or "live in you" (with "you" meaning God) in Christian settings, such a prayers as well as Christian pop songs. What does this mean?
0
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2answers
59 views

what is the meaning of “leaving messages on the fridge” [on hold]

In American English file 3 page 68 (chapter 5 ,topic is slow down, you move to fast) what as the meaning of “I communicate with my wife by leaving messages on the fridge”
0
votes
3answers
37 views

A single word that collectively means volume, shape and size

With regard to a hollow object (such as a room), is there a single word that captures the collective import of the terms 'volume', 'shape' and 'size'? (particularly in the fields of mathematics or ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

What is an appropriate antonym for “genesis”?

In my academic discipline (meteorology), I very occasionally see lysis used to refer to dissipation of a system where genesis has been used to describe its initial development. However, lysis seems ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Usage of the word terrorism

We read in the newspapers and watched on tv, many cases regarding students gunning down their classmates and teachers. Suppose a student brought a gun to his class and started pointing it to his ...
1
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2answers
66 views

The meaning of “yet” in “Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes”

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2. within a month; Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, She married: I'm wondering about the ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

positive warrant - meaning [on hold]

I have a question perhaps for philosophers. What does “positive warrant” mean exactly? Is it closer to premise or to claim? Or neither of them? Are there any synonyms? Example of context: We ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Psychological term or phrase for experiencing the world via the senses

I am looking for a psychological term or phrase for experiencing the world via the senses. (I am particularly interested in visual, auditory and thermal stimuli.) I am not looking for the word ...
4
votes
3answers
228 views

The horribility of English language

Pretty much every adjective that ends in the suffix -able or -ible gives rise to a related noun: corruptible becomes corruptibility mutable becomes mutability respectable becomes respectability ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Is there a difference between negligible and neglectable?

According to wiktionary.org they are synonyms. However, most words have a slight difference in the way or in which context they are used. I would like to know those differences. For example, when one ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

I thorougly enjoy _____ [on hold]

Does thoroughly fit well in this sentence? Is it appropriate to use it in a formal sentence?
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Meaning of “to be hurting” [on hold]

What exactly does the phrase "he/she was hurting" mean? Is the person in question experiencing pain? Update: I am specifically looking for the phrase "to be hurting", not the individual words "hurt" ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

What does “trabacaloes” refer to?

The book I'm reading contains the following excerpt: He thought of men he knew, junior to him but with better luck or better interest, who were now lieutenants in command of brigs or cutters, or ...
-2
votes
0answers
22 views

Walden and Civil Disodience [on hold]

I carry less religion to the table,ask no blessings; not because I am wiser than I was,but, I am obliged to confess, because, however much it is to be regretted, with years I have grown more coarse ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Is there a meaning behind “Aw(e)” in Awful and Awesome? [on hold]

I had to explain the meaning of "awesome". The person asking the question then asked, why some of "Aw" is good and a lot of "Aw" is bad. She was referring to "awful". I don't know the answer to ...
3
votes
4answers
400 views

Is positive reality good? [on hold]

I was reading this: A new sensitivity in today’s pastoral consists in grasping the positive reality of civil weddings and, having pointed out our differences, of cohabitation. It is necessary ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

what does “in quiet sophistication” mean here?

"it strikes me as the last word in quiet sophistication." I have two questions here. First, I do not understand the meaning of "quiet sophistication." I know that sophistication is a trait ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

The basic or the main component

I want to write a scientific paper and I am looking for a nice word that can describe a theory can be a basic component or a main tool for another theory. What is the best word that I can use?
1
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2answers
58 views

Difference between 'sort of', 'kind of' and 'somewhat'?

I was told that these three phases have the same meanings, but I want to know if there are any differences between them: sort of kind of somewhat
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What does the phrase “do your bit for your fellow gentlemen” mean? [on hold]

Does gentlemen in the phrase "do your bit for your fellow gentlemen" mean yourself, or fellows at your company, or someone else?
-3
votes
1answer
24 views

what's the meaning of “in uncertainty”

I dont understand the meaning of "in uncertainty" in these sentences Estimating (providing mathematical proof in uncertainty) and arguing (providing logical proof in uncertainty) are required to ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

“Formal English” - Can its meaning vary from place to place? From person to person?

Can it be opinion based? Whenever I ask a question here about word usage in formal English, I will invariably get a comment saying "It depends on what you mean by formal English". Isn't there an ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

“In and of itself”? What does it mean?

"It might be different if he were flagging down a passing car or trying to phone for help, but typing, in and of itself, is not an inherently dramatic activity." In this sentence, I do not understand ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

What does “I am busting” mean?

I was watching Seinfeld and whenever things start becoming great for George (he is always jobless and miserable) he says : "I am busting". Does it mean breaking the bad luck or something else?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

I wonder the meaning of 'come' particularly in this sentence

I have been reading the book which is 'The Road To The Churchyard' written by Thomas Mann and translated by David Luke. It follows bellow. On the saddle sat a young man-a boy, a carefree tourist. He ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“simply”, “merely” and “only” - Are they interchageable in formal writing?

In the following sentence: "They are ....... wasting their time." Would "simply", "merely" and "only" be interchangeable? When I was a student of English I was taught the use of "simply" in formal ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Does “it gives me good feeling” make sense?

Helping others is important to me. It is beneficial to me as well, for it gives me good feeling.
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

“a priori pigeon-holing of learners” What is the meaning of this phrase? [closed]

...Teachers must certainly guard against "a priori pigeon-holing of learners" before we have even given learners a chance to perform...
-1
votes
0answers
27 views

Does this make sense? [closed]

The scope of the internet is perplexing. I'm trying to write of the lengths of the internet and how much information it holds. If there's a way you would better put it, please share. Thanks.
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Is there a link between Fenestrated and Defenestrated? [duplicate]

Normally, when you place the "de" prefix on a word, it becomes the opposite. This does not appear to be the case with "fenestrated" and "defenestrated". Why do the two words, which appear so ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

The use of OR in interrogative sentences

Is Indonesia a developing country or an underdeveloped country? Or Is Indonesia a developing or an underdeveloped country? I understand that "or" is either inclusive or exclusive. Is there ...
1
vote
2answers
40 views

“turn on a single word”?

"In fact, Matt says there is a lawsuit going on right now that may turn on a single word - the word and. " In this sentence, I do not catch the meaning of "turn on a single word." What does it mean? ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“have/has condition” or “need condition”

Yesterday, I put a message in a social network environment to inform other members about lottery: "Lottery for year 2016 is now open, try your chance. It does not have any especial condition." But a ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

“Quite a combo” - meaning

I found this phrase in comment for one song - "I really like this song, and i really like how diverse shawns family is, thats quite a combo." It seems, that it's a some kind of idioms. I really ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

“Comfort me in accomplishing my task”

In a formal letter, can one say comfort me in accomplishing my task as in Your presence will significantly enhance this scientific event and comfort me in accomplishing my task. ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Meaning and use of girl child

I just stumbled across the name of the United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child To be honest, I have never heard the term "girl child" before, and could not find it in online ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Before I go to sleep vs before I'm going to sleep [closed]

Are both sentences grammatically correct? Is there any difference in meaning between these two? I'm going to finish my report before I go to sleep. vs I'm going to finish my report before I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Definiton of “lowest dredges”? [closed]

What is the definition of this sentence: He sunk to the lowest dredges. In specific, I want to know the definition of lowest dredges, in above sentence. Thanks
1
vote
1answer
96 views

What does the phrase “grain and hair of life” mean?

from the Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever: For with his maturity, Moses had found in himself a taste for the grain and hair of life. The context doesn't really help so much in understanding.