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
3answers
917 views

“Currently the environment is so contaminated” vs. “the environment is currently so contaminated”

Currently the environment is so contaminated that urgent measures should be taken. The environment is currently so contaminated that urgent measures should be taken. Are both sentences ...
0
votes
2answers
285 views

“Company's engineer” - What does it mean in this context?

What is company's engineer in this context? Does it refer to the stakeholders? If aircraft maker Boeing is trying to win a contract from United Airlines, it will emphasize different qualities when ...
1
vote
1answer
744 views

Is “well-accomplished” a natural expression?

I know that "well" can be placed before a past participle, to increase the extent to which something is acted on. For example, well-preserved, well-known, well-packed.. But when I use some word with ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Meaning and etymology of “Crabbit” [closed]

What does this phrase mean? Being a crabbit is not gonna make it any easier for you.
1
vote
3answers
506 views

What's the meaning of 90-plus?

What's the meaning of 90-plus? More than 90? If so, please tell me more ways to say "more than 90". Thank you!
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “casting a blind eye”? [closed]

What do you mean by "casting a blind eye to scenes of misery around them." ?
1
vote
2answers
211 views

What's meaning of “hauled off” in a particular phrase [closed]

I'd appreciate help of native speakers. There's line in a poem: Water and Gold by Michael Burch You came to me as rain breaks on the desert when every flower springs to life at once, ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

What do they mean saying “thumping through the brush”? [closed]

I came across a phrase given by Lennon during his bed-in session. Here is the context Also, of course, we live with rattlesnakes. You just can’t go thumping through the brush, thinking of what ...
2
votes
2answers
891 views

Difference between the words “validate” and “agree” [closed]

What is the difference between agreeing with a persons feelings and validating their feelings?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“… need XXX-ing” vs. “… need to be XXX-ed” [duplicate]

What is the difference between these two expressions? Your hair needs brushing. Your hair needs to be brushed.
7
votes
4answers
7k views

What does “enough” mean in expressions like “Fair enough” or “Funny enough”?

As a non-native speaker, I already get used to the word enough in expressions like those below, but I sometimes still got confused of it. It makes me wonder what it actually means and where does it ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

“There are still problems” vs. “there still are problems”

There are still problems. There still are problems. Is one word order more correct than the other and do they have identical meaning?
0
votes
2answers
728 views

Belong to Vs. Pertain to

I would like to know if the meaning of belong to conform the meaning of pertain to. If no, what is the difference and when each one of them is more suitable? Update Well according to my search ...
2
votes
1answer
775 views

Do astute and acute have identical meaning and usage? [closed]

Do astute and acute have identical meaning ( - quick or shrewd) and usage? Thanks. EDIT: From the comments below there appears to be significant disagreement about usage and a discussion seems ...
1
vote
1answer
626 views

Meaning and usage of “big time” [closed]

"Gabi agreed with rule changes big time." What does that mean? In which context is it appropriate to use and where it is not? Word order - is it always used at the end of sentence? Is it ...
1
vote
2answers
599 views

What's a “Xerox word”?

While reading this (interesting) article about how to improve english and reduce accent, I met a concept I've never heard about before: Xerox words. So I visited toastmasters.org and found a club ...
0
votes
4answers
795 views

A “friend” friend? Is that ironical?

Here is a quote from the "Lois & Clark" series: A: Who are you? B [a guy]: I'm a friend of her ["her" is another female character whom B is looking for]. A: A boyfriend, a "friend" friend ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

What does “Seeing right through them” exactly mean?

I was drawn to the phrase, “Seeing right through them“appearing in the New York Times (October 5) article written by Daniel Goleman under the title, “Rich people just care less.” It begins with the ...
-1
votes
3answers
206 views

What do people normally call a glass walled lab or room? [closed]

I remember reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol and coming across a word that was used to call one of Katherine lab/research rooms. I can't remember what it is, and this really bugs me. Does anyone ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

the word “palmetier” or “palmeter”

looking for a definition for a word that is either spelled palmetier or palmeter. Ever heard of it? I have looked in the Webster's Dictionary, googled it and looked on various sites. All it says is ...
1
vote
5answers
696 views

Deja vu meaning [closed]

If deja vu means already seen or experienced, what would you call the feeling that you're experiencing something again, but in fact you haven't; it's just a strong, but false, feeling of familiarity? ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Proper usage of the term 'hmmmmm' [closed]

In his 2006 book The Singing Neanderthals, the palaeontologist Steve Mithen has developed a theory to suggest that language developed from song, and that the Neanderthals were the first to make that ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

When to use trust and believe? [closed]

What is the difference between trust and believe , and when should we use them . For example "I don't believe him " is correct or "I don't trust him " .
1
vote
3answers
359 views

Made from vs made up of for dishes [duplicate]

If I want to question someone about what makes up a given dish, which of the following sentences is the most appropriate ? What is this dish made up of ? What is this dish made from ? It ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “swear polyglot” mean?

In the novel Dracula I came upon this sentence: "The captain swore polyglot, very polyglot, polyglot with bloom and blood, but he could do nothing." Judging by the dictionary definition of ...
1
vote
1answer
427 views

Does an adjective apply to both nouns when joined with 'and'?

Can you grab the blue shirts and socks? Is the above sentence stating that both the shirts and the socks are blue? Or only the shirts? At this stage, I am leaning towards the earlier (only the ...
-1
votes
1answer
683 views

Meaning: channel vs river [closed]

What is the difference between a channel and a river? UPDATE I understand the difference between canal and river, but why there is also channel? Is that the same as canal?
0
votes
2answers
399 views

Other/the other confusion in a sentence

Consider the following sentence (it is a real medical condition) These people have blue skin. We should let them get in touch with other sufferers. I would prefer using the other sufferers as ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Origin of the saying 'eyes like pissholes in the snow'

What is the origin of the phrase eyes like pissholes in the snow?
0
votes
4answers
624 views

What does “Eat Lunch or be lunch” mean in this context?

I came across this phrase: The problem facing companies today is that there are too many fishermen and not enough fish in the market. It’s a matter of eat lunch or be lunch — or, as stated by ...
-1
votes
1answer
102 views

Why is “violent” a synonym of “impetuous”? [closed]

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, impetuous can be defined succinctly as "without thought or reason; controlled by emotion rather than thought". However, violent is listed as a synonym, ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“Is it any wonder?” reversal [closed]

It's my understanding that “Is it any wonder . . . ?” is a rhetorical question used to state the obvious, usually with a degree of sarcasm, equivalent to “It's no wonder that . . .” or “Small wonder ...
5
votes
1answer
488 views

Meaning and etymology of “kemosabe”

I've heard it recently in a movie called " Lone Ranger". Tonto called the lone ranger kemosabe. What does it mean and what is the origin?
0
votes
1answer
3k views

A sentence using negative construction expresses bad news or the writer’s dissatisfaction or unhappiness. True or false?

'A sentence using a negative construction always expresses bad news or the writer’s dissatisfaction or unhappiness.' Is this strictly true?
3
votes
2answers
12k views

What is the difference between “Computer science” and “Informatics”?

I could not find any difference... or at least no good source that definitely distinguishes both. I tried: Wikipedia (Informatics has a redirect to Computer Science), so I guess the only difference ...
4
votes
5answers
25k views

Difference between “taxi” and “cab”

Definition of taxi: To ride or travel in a taxicab Definition of cab: A taxicab. Since the definitions don't show many differences, is it okay to assume that there is no difference ...
4
votes
2answers
227 views

“Prolers” is in no English dictionary and yet it's in several online Scrabble dictionaries. Is it an English word?

Is the word prolers an English word or just rubbish/noise added to the Scrabble dictionary? If it's a real English word, what does it mean? (Not a general reference question by virtue of this word ...
4
votes
2answers
446 views

A suicide bomber blew himself off, or blew himself up in a mosque?

We meet twice a week to practice listening of English language news among English language enthusiasts in our community. We listen to mostly AP news broadcasted through FEN (Far East Net Work). At ...
1
vote
3answers
500 views

Usage of “Prohibited” vs “Prevented” in a given sentence

Is the following usage of "prohibit" correct? The disk crash prohibited me from saving the file. I have an opinion, but want to hear what others think before I share it.
1
vote
3answers
113 views

What's the meaning of 'deflating mots' in this sentence?

I'm graduating in translation and one of my 2nd semester's works is a movie review about Philomena. I am stuck, however, at this part: (He's an) expert purveyor of deflating mots on any subject, ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Replacement for the phrase “Online Represence”

I'm writing a CV. I have a section which I've currently named "Online Presence" in which I give details of my online accounts like twitter, linkedin, github, stackexchange etc. But the phrase "Online ...
3
votes
1answer
620 views

“Control Panel” V.S. “Control Cabinet”

I want to know the differences between theses two terms. For my own understanding, I think they mean the same thing but appearences are different. Or could it mean that the control panel is usually ...
1
vote
1answer
396 views

What does “anticipation” mean in this sentence?

He sees Empedocles' work as a primitive anticipation of Plato, a significant union of spiritual other-worldiness with the philosophical and scientific traditions of the Presocratics. (Empedocles' ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “take stock of” means here in this sentence? [closed]

By the divine is meant that which, being greater and more excellent than man, enjoins upon him, as he comes to a recognition of it, the need to take stock of his own shortcomings and enter into a new ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “meanest flower might blow” mean

A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous, treacherous crime. Months of voiceless agony, and then a child born in pain. The mother ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

Has been run vs has been running

If I want to question someone about for how many hours a computer is turned on and running - and by the time of the question it is still running - which of the constructions below is more appropriate? ...
7
votes
3answers
487 views

What does “steal” in this Oscar Wilde piece mean

I was reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. In the 2nd chapter I read the following prose: Yes, there would be a day when his face would be wrinkled and wizen, his eyes dim and ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is difference between congregate and aggregate?

What is difference between congregate and aggregate? I see that those words deal with same things, but there are difference, and I don't see which?
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is it not appropriate to appropriate?

When used as a verb, the word appropriate means "to take (something) for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission". Basically, stealing. However, when used as an adjective, the same ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the word “exgest” exist?

A colleague of mine found reference to the word "Exgest" in a contract. In context, this appeared to mean the opposite of the word "Ingest" which was used earlier in the contract. These words were ...