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

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1
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3answers
1k views

“Are you having a good day?” Is it about me or about the weather?

When I'm asked over the phone in a long-distance call "Are you having a good day?" is this a question about me (my mood, my health), or about the weather? Assuming I'm speaking with a Brit, that ...
0
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1answer
19 views

Is it common to refer to the person steering a ship as 'pilot'?

According to its M-W entry (supported by some other dictionaries), a pilot (used of a person) can mean, among other things: a : one employed to steer a ship : helmsman b : a person who is ...
0
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2answers
85 views
16
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3answers
2k views

What is this type of idiom called: “I know he's not the smartest person in the world, but…”

Basically, when someone says something along the lines of "I know he's not the smartest person in the world, but he should at least pass first grade math." It's peculiar because they are ...
0
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0answers
46 views

What does “one” refer to in this sentence?

Here I am with a Hitchens sentence again! I can't come up with an exact part or parts one might be referring to in the following sentence. (Please note, however, that I will give the whole preceding ...
-1
votes
0answers
34 views

How many objects do you need before it becomes a stack of objects? [on hold]

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 ...
0
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1answer
89 views

Which word should I choose in this context?

I have participated in many campaigns aiming at providing some opportunities for students to perceive vicariously what was going on in the real life behind the economic data which they were familiar ...
1
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1answer
21 views

Is “a-blink” an adjective form of “blink” in old days?

Under his breath, with a furtive exultation, he began once again the paean of victory and devastation. And presently his eyes were rewarded: out through that doorway came a long, low, ...
-1
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2answers
44 views

How do i know if the word is step or glide in English [on hold]

today I have a lesson in school about steps and glides and i didn't understand it. My first question what are steps and glides? My second question is how do i know if the sentence ends with steps or ...
1
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2answers
71 views

“I don't mistake” or “I don't make a mistake” Which one is correct? [on hold]

I have a query about these sentences: If I do not mistake, she would be his fiancée ... but my teacher told me that it must be expressed in another way If I do not make a mistake, she ...
5
votes
4answers
16k views

Does “turning down the air conditioning” make it warmer or colder?

As the title says, I've heard two possible meanings for turning down the air conditioning: It could mean set the target temperature lower (i.e. colder) or make it work less (i.e. warmer). Turning ...
0
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2answers
55 views

what is the difference between verbal and oral? [on hold]

what is the difference between verbal and oral ? I am looking forward to the answer and I appreciate your effort
2
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1answer
82 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
vote
1answer
45 views

When do you use the plural of “medicine”?

Or in other words, I am asking: How do you "count" medicine? Is the word "medicine" like "gas" where a collection of gas is still called gas: The air was filled with nitrogen gas. Instead of: ...
0
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1answer
37 views

What is the meaning of “constituent” in this phrase?

Site Location : This is a process that organizations use to identify retail locations most suitable to the "constituent customer profiles ".
5
votes
0answers
67 views

Using 'tedious' to mean 'annoying'

Some of my British friends use the word 'tedious' to mean 'annoying.' A recent example: The museums in Oslo aren't open on Mondays. That's a bit tedious. I'm a native American English speaker ...
1
vote
5answers
121 views

a word for a person who never attains a desire or goal

Is there a word in English that describes a person who never attains a desire or goal? I have found loser or dud or flop but these all seem to be informal, is there a better, more formal word that ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Infiltration & Neoplasia

I'm working on/reading a scientific article about the use and effects of Corticosteroid or Ketorolac on rabbit tendons and I got stuck at infiltration in the following excerpts: "Despite the ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

As I said - is it polite way or not really to point out again something what has been missed or unnoticed? [on hold]

If someone missed sth in our conversation or let say did not read the email properly is it polite to say... Dear John, As I said before or As I wrote before ...or it would not look polite from UK ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “Thanks for having me” mean?

It seems to be used like "Thanks for inviting me". But it sounds like "Thank me, cause I was there". Looking for a better explanation and situations it should be used in.
0
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2answers
47 views

Are there any differences? - to buy x to purchase [on hold]

Are there any differences between the meanings of "purchase" and "buy"? Thanks in advance.
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Cannot understand sentence in preface to “Old Indian Legends” by Zitkala-Ša

I'm reading the preface to Old Indian Legends by Zitkala-Ša, originally published in 1901. My mother tongue is not English, and I am having some trouble understanding - in detail - what she actually ...
2
votes
2answers
14k views

“Further, …” versus “Furthermore, …” at the beginning of a sentence (meaning the same thing)?

I am not a native speaker (my mother tongue is German). In the context of a technical paper (computer science), is there a difference between Further, ... and Furthermore, ... at beginning of a ...
0
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What does it mean to be “worth someone's keep”?

“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. What does it mean ...
4
votes
3answers
216 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
28k views

What's the difference between “egotism” and “egoism”?

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
0
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0answers
41 views

“when it's snowing and when it isn't” vs “when it's snowing and when it isn't snowing” [on hold]

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
56 views

What does “delinquent” mean in this context? [on hold]

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
43 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

“How are we?” vs. “How are you?”

What's the appropriate response to "How are we?" and what is it actually referring to?
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does the word 'peasant' have such a negative meaning in English?

In French the word *paysan (fem. paysanne) translates to English as 'farmer', as well as 'peasant'. (Collins). It is by no means demeaning in many European countries (including France) to refer to ...
1
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2answers
59 views

Help on interpreting this sentence? [on hold]

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
vote
1answer
86 views

What does “wind levels” means in this context

I'm having a difficulty understanding something from the book You Only Have to Be Right Once, by Randall Lane, p. 32: Pulling onto the 405, he attentively configures the optimum temperature and ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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.
9
votes
5answers
325 views

This book will change your wife – trope?

“This book will change your wife.” The cliché is “This book will change your life”. By changing one word, the cliché is transformed into a more interesting sentence: in this case about a novel, 50 ...
1
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2answers
84 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 ...
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
vote
1answer
28 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
33 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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2answers
3k views

Origins of round in “round of applause”

A round of applause is a short period or burst of applause. What are the origins of the meaning of round in this phrase, and indeed the phrase itself? Are there any other phrases that use round in ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

What is the meaning of “ironically” in this passage?

A rocket launched and shortly afterward exploded, on Tuesday. Below is passage from a news article written about it: This was the second launch attempt for the mission. Monday evening's try was ...
1
vote
3answers
74 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 ...
1
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3answers
55 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
0
votes
1answer
41 views

bleed inside out/got-have got

I've been wondering if there is the expression "I bleed inside out" or if it is correct. For example "someone or something makes me bleed inside out" - as we say "it breaks my heart". And actually I ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Single word that could mean three other words [on hold]

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
51 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
113 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

First wife vs. Former wife

Does one of the designations indicate that one of the partners is dead vs. divorced? First vs. Former