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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

0
votes
2answers
9 views

What is a “trigger reaction”

What kind of reaction is "trigger reaction"? Is it a reaction that itself brings about a lot of next reactions?
0
votes
0answers
41 views

The meaning of “What a bum rap”

I got that words from novel. I've been looking for the meaning but still can't get what it means. Is that kind of slang? "Hi, Mr.Tushman! I see you're running a little behind today! Did your car get ...
13
votes
13answers
422 views
+50

Synonym for “Blind Spot”

I'm looking for a term or an idiom to point to the weakness of something, specifically a computer program. Something similar to "Achilles Heel" but not that! I just found blind spot : "an area in ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Too blessed to be stressed [on hold]

What is the meaning of the phrase "too blessed to be stressed" ?
4
votes
1answer
20 views

Grammar questions regarding an excerpt from The Giver

I've been reading Lois Lowry's The Giver recently, and have questions regarding a sentence from her book. I know that some sentences in literature, like The Giver, do not always follow strict grammar ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Something can be estimated therefore it is “estimatable”?

While the meaning of the word estimatable is quite clear, it is not a real English word. Is there such a real English word with the same meaning? In case it helps, this is based on the INVEST user ...
5
votes
9answers
3k views

How do I interpret “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”?

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. - Salvor Hardin This sentence has always struck me as a bit off. I see two ways to interpret it: If violence is your last option, you are ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Springtime is when

I heard the saying below, and don't understand what it means. I heard it in a concert, but it is also recorded in an american book of proverbs linked below. (b) In spring a young man's fancy turns ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Words or phrases that describe a person who knows the answer to a problem but is not believed

I'm trying to find either a word or a phrase that describes a person who knows the answer to a problem or problems but is never believed. Or ignored. The nearest I can come up with is maybe the story ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin and meaning of the American 1960s slang phrase, “bread is”

I am trying to answer a question from a library patron who remembers the entire phrase, "bread is" that she and her friends used in the 1960s. She accepts that "bread" was used for money or "dough," ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Please explain to me the meaning of these phrases [on hold]

I have highlighted the words that I couldn't understand. Please explain to me what they mean. 1 Put returns between paragraphs. 2 Butler can be an explosive player, but as a batman struggles under ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

“Dear GOD, in heaven” [on hold]

Where does the phrase "Dear GOD, in heaven" derive from ? Isnt "God" assumed to be in heaven already. Or is there a reference that a "GOD" from hell exist or another GOD exist somewhere ?
1
vote
2answers
38 views

what does “Emperor lives on” mean? [on hold]

Simply, I couldn't understand that sentence. I found that sentence on an image on twitter . could you help ?
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Meaning of “I'll have it nicely dried”

I can't understand the meaning of the phrase "I'll have it nicely dried". Does it mean the same as "I'll dry it very well"?
1
vote
2answers
22 views

Meaning of “to campaign towards”

What does "to campaign towards" mean? "to campaign against" "to campaign in support of" "to campaign regarding something (either against or in support of)"
0
votes
1answer
26 views

GRE-sentence completion [on hold]

Although the warring parties had settled a number of disputes,past experience made them _______ to express optimism that the talks would be a success. A)rash B)ambivalent C)scornful D)intrepid ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

The use of “Earnestly ask” [on hold]

I wonder if "earnestly ask" is proper to say when requesting someone to make comments for my proposal. The whole sentence goes, I do earnestly ask for your comments. Thanks!
2
votes
2answers
106 views
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Anyone helps me understand a sentence below?

In a recent article, I didn't fully understand the meaning of "on the books" in this context. Anyone with interests in ongoing presidential elections in the United States cares to enlighten me? ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

What does “bucking traffic” mean?

I believe buck, in this context, means fight. So this would mean fighting traffic. When one refers to traffic, it can be described as having a flow, so to fight it would be to go against it. Or, it ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

“Woman” is to “coquette” as “man” is to what?

Wiktionary reads: coquette: a woman who flirts or plays with men’s affections. Is there an English word which fits the following definition? ???: a man who flirts or plays with women’s ...
5
votes
2answers
441 views

What does "Megyn Kelly promoted and teased the interview 'within an inch of its life'” mean?

Vanity Fair (May 19) carried an article reporting the most watched TV show held on May 17 on Fox broadcast under the title, “Megyn Kelly slams media “Bias against Trump” for criticism of her ...
2
votes
3answers
59 views

Specifics of “occupy” (and alternatives)

I'm writing some game rules where players' in-game areas move around in cities. The different cities are divided by zones, which basically means that different tiles are put together to form a city. ...
5
votes
2answers
94 views

“rendered mute” vs “rendered moot”

I have seen both, and now I am unsure when to use which. To the best of my knowledge "rendered mute" is roughly equivalent to "rendered speechless" and "rendered moot" to "rendered irrelevant". But I ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Meaning of “I'm so excited I could crush a grape”

I read this on a sports website, where a fan is welcoming a new signing in their team. I assume this means one is really excited, but what is the meaning of "crush a grape" - does it imply opening a ...
2
votes
7answers
6k views

Difference between 'Redundant' and 'Superfluous'

(I made a search for this question on this forum but surprisingly did not find related questions. Which is odd because surely this question is asked often.) First, the sentence I'm trying to use ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

“As you mentioned” vs “as you said”

I've heard these two sentences a lot "as you said " and "as you mentioned". I'm a bit confused about them. I want to ask: what's the difference between these two sentences: "As he said before this ...
13
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the distinction between “role” and “rôle” [with a circumflex]?

One of our users, Stan Rogers, mentioned there was such a distinction, I think, when he answered a question and talked about how the orthography of foreign loan-words typically changes to conform with ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What does “liabilities” mean in this context?

From CNBC's article "Will AI spark a wave of job losses in banking? This what the experts think". (Emphasis mine) "There's a lot of liabilities," said panelist Matthew Blume, director for client ...
4
votes
3answers
69 views

What is the adjective for this kind of presentation of data?

For example, one can state Jane is a student. She is 20 years old. Jane likes swimming and reading. Jane's closest friends are Carmen, Mia and Alison. Otherwise, this can be stated as Name: ...
0
votes
2answers
407 views

Accurate definition for poetic devices

Although I can recognize and construct phrases that include usage of poetic devices, I certainly cannot define all of them accurately. For example, I read in a book that metaphor is defined as ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

“10 Commonly Misunderstood Words In English”

We have all probably misunderstood words and then used them in the wrong context from time to time, so a little update might come in handy. This infographic from Grammar called 10 Commonly ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

If parties and partying are both events, how are they different?

Smiles, walks, dances, weddings, explosions, hiccups, hand-waves, arrivals and departures, births and deaths, thunder and lightning: the variety of the world seems to lie not only in the assortment ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

What does it mean “double-digit lead”

I see that on the presidential election news these days that "Trump holds double-digit lead in 2 national polls", I don't understand what it means.
0
votes
1answer
13 views

Would “development of” suggest exclusive performance?

In a CV, "development of a ... software" is an appealing, short expression. But does it suggest that the author has accomplished the development on their own? Please advise, I may have to fall back ...
2
votes
2answers
657 views

What is the difference between a forefather and an ancestor?

Stumbled upon this question today while going through synonyms of various terms. I was advised that they are not synonymous to each other. Please advise.
1
vote
1answer
41 views

What's a “summer-funeral hit”?

In a YouTube comment commenting on Jamala's song 1944, someone says You guys enjoy your summer-funeral hit! I have nothing else to add. after saying Ukraine should't have won! What a ...
12
votes
8answers
9k views

Is “seminal” safe to use in a formal text?

I am writing an academic text, and I want to describe an important book as "seminal", since it has made a profound impact on the field. However, the first entry on the dictionary.com page is ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

Starring vs Featuring?

I'm writing a description for a photograph, and I'd like to place the emphasis on the scarf that the person in the picture is wearing. The description would be something along the lines of "__ the ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

The difference between ''cringy'' and ''cringey'' [closed]

Can anyone explain to me the difference between these two words? I looked up them in a dictionary but I find the both meanings to be quite similar. Also, is there any difference in their ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Equal vs Equivalent: Finer differences in meaning and usage?

Equal vs Equivalent: Finer differences in meaning and usage? What would be the subtler differences & similarities? Examples & scenarios where: Only one can be used Both can be used One ...
8
votes
9answers
16k views

Is “architect” a verb and a noun?

I hear the word architect used as a verb in the technical field and now more often in other industries and groups, for example: We need to architect a better solution to the problem. I am ...
-1
votes
0answers
24 views

Can v. be able to (case)

Consider the following: My baby could walk without any help last night. My baby was able to walk without any help last last. Questions: Both seem correct to me, since we use could for for ...
2
votes
2answers
37 views

Fear of hurting or betraying others

Adopted children often have a fear of hurting or betraying their adoptive parents. I think this is different than the fear of abandonment, which is also found in adopted children. Is there a better ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What does the word transducionalify mean? [on hold]

I have been looking up uncommon words over the internet, and found the word transducionalify, which is reportedly occuring only once somewhere. In consequence, the word is not found in any known ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

a single word that means, the manner in which he spoke [on hold]

A word that means To say to somebody,"its not your fault you lost the money, I don't blame you" but really you do think its there fault.
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What does 'Fame Table' mean? [on hold]

In FINDERS KEEPERS by Stephen King, Rothstein, a reclusive writer, got angry when he was blamed for having left the Fame Table. Does anybody know what this 'Fame Table' is?
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Please, explain the joke about a walkie talkie

Q. What do you get when you cross a parrot and a caterpillar? A. A walkie talkie. What feature of caterpillars was chosen to create this joke? As far as I know a walkie talkie is a device ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

Fairly deep phrase meaning

I'm having difficulty with understanding the below phrase: sorry, I've been in a fairly deep recently Is this statement cut off as not making greater sense to me? That was a response to my ...
-2
votes
1answer
48 views

What's the difference between “tale” and “fiction”? [on hold]

I'm learning English and reading a 504 book. I arrive to fiction word, and I observed no difference between fiction and tale. Are they synonyms? The Longman Dictionary says for tale: a story ...