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

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2answers
51 views

Meaning of the phrase “without breaking down” [closed]

Computers are very reliable; they can work for a long time without breaking down. What does the phrase “without breaking down” mean in this sentence?
-2
votes
0answers
29 views

quote response AP English 3 [closed]

What is the meaning of this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald? There is nothing more obnoxious than someone else's luck.
1
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2answers
34 views

'Scenic box'… is it correct?

I would like to use an expression that refers to a theatre space, a stage space, or any space for performing theatre: the space for a 'scene' in general. The expression is 'scenic box'. Is it ...
4
votes
3answers
68 views

Does there exist a subset of words which can be used to define all others?

All words in the dictionary are defined by using other words. Has there been any research that has traced these definitions down to a subset of the English language which can define the rest of it? ...
-1
votes
0answers
22 views

Meaning of “X is 6 times less than Y” [duplicate]

I encountered a Physics Problem in which I can't understand the meaning of this sentence "X is 6 times less than Y". What does this expression mean?
1
vote
0answers
58 views

What is “thars” in Dr. Seuss poetry “The Sneetches”?

The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss: Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small. ...
1
vote
3answers
168 views
+50

Questions about meanings and usage of “deez nuts”

Please note, I did check the Urban Dictionary, and also Stack Exchange. What is meant in the line @JoeBlow wrote in What is the origin of “Best.Boyfriend.Ever”? “What can I say but :/ omg deez ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of the ending “‑exia”?

If a word ends in -exia (such as dyslexia, anorexia, and pyrexia), does this imply anything about the word itself? For example, in electronics a word ending in ‑ance (such as impedance or ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

what does the phrase “a real word” mean?

I'm interested in how a word becomes "a real word" in English, and what constitutes that "real word" when it exists. Twentyfive questions appear in the list of questions already asked on this forum ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

What does have drunk freely mean?

Does it mean having been drunken? http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/8887/how-to-interpret-john-210 says that methiosin in the bible means alcoholic intoxication Words similar to it ...
2
votes
3answers
182 views

What does “Deal with it [as Trump would say]” mean?

There was the following passage in Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times (August 22) under the title, “Donald Trump struts in his own pageant” starts with the following lines; “It’s ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

In anything but…meaning and usage

I am reading some documentation and cannot fully understand the meaning of 'In anything but..' In anything but the smallest applications it makes sense to organize the service definitions by ...
-1
votes
1answer
27 views

double drift of stars

I read the following sentence "They seemed like a double drift of stars, streaming through space." In this passage: "...Then this blood began to change too. Instead of a continuous liquid ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Can “the restaurant you told me was not good” used as noun?

The restaurant you told me was not good. If there is a sentence like this, it most of the times means that "the restaurant you told me about was not good." So when can this sentence be used with ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What is a word/phrase that means “the police had no other option but to fight back” [closed]

I'm trying to to make a Model United Nations speech, and I need a powerful way to say this.
1
vote
2answers
47 views

meaning of “count clouds”

"Just stop trying to count clouds with me," I growled. "Talk sense. If you've' got a job for me, it's probably too dirty for me to touch. But I'll at least listen." It could be understood "sound ...
-1
votes
1answer
67 views

What does the phrase “in all of its moods” mean? [closed]

I said that when I grew up I would own a house right here in Sea Bright. I would be able to look at the ocean every day, in all of its moods, even when the wind howled in winter and smashed the sea ...
0
votes
5answers
53 views

What does it mean when the beginning of a sentence is 'To Think' (followed by a comma)?

For example, "My name rolled out of his tongue like it laced the abhorrence of a deplorable word. He might consider using to it summon the devil. To think, I hated my last name." I don't understand ...
-1
votes
1answer
67 views

What does David Hume mean by the word “dull” in this quote?

In his essay "The Skeptic," 18th-century English philosopher David Hume concludes: In a word, human life is more governed by fortune than by reason; is to be regarded more as a dull pastime than ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Is 'euphemism' definition by dictionary.com correct?

Euphemism - noun the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt. the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism ...
2
votes
4answers
72 views

To raise/lower the blinds or to draw the blinds?

I'm an English learner and I'd like to know which verb should I use when using the word venetian blinds. Do you say 'to raise/lower the blinds' or 'to pull the blinds up/down?' or 'to draw the ...
2
votes
3answers
68 views

What is the origin of “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes”?

I hear this term everywhere I go and from almost everyone I meet. I know this means to be more empathetic. Emotions and feelings if seen from a scientific point of view are just neurological responses ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Precise interpretation of “in excess of”

I'd like to have some precision on the meaning of "in excess of" in following sentence. Commissions in excess of 180% of quota in a given fiscal year will be calculated at 0.3x of the base rate. ...
-2
votes
1answer
51 views

I’m learning English [closed]

Given this matrix sentence: Jack is not the kind of man ____ work Then which of these is the correct choice to fill in the blank, and why? had avoided avoiding to avoid avoids
0
votes
0answers
31 views

What does the expression “that about sums it up” mean in the context provided in the question? [closed]

This phrase is taken from the Lost series, in particular from Episode 3, in case that rings any bells for anyone. Basically, the question that I have is, what does this phrase mean: That's about ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

What is the meaning of “How choice” [closed]

So, this is from the musical Sweeney Todd, where Todd sings to Mrs. Lovett in A Little Priest: Mrs. Lovett, how I lived without you all these years I'll never know. How delectable, also undetectable. ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

A is 8 times older to B

A is 8 times older to B Does this mean (a) A's age = 8 * B's age or (b) A's age = A's age = 8 * B's age + B's age? Similarly what is the meaning of A is 8 times older than B?
3
votes
2answers
79 views

What limits are there to the word 'stepmother'?

The OED defines stepmother as: A woman who has married one's father after one's mother's death or divorce. In the case of a child such as Ruairi (Rory) Aldridge (character in the BBC radio soap ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Usage of 'and' in sentences

... ratio between low value apples and oranges. Does this refer to the ratio of low value apples with low value oranges, or does it refer to the ratio of low value apples with oranges of a ...
-1
votes
0answers
31 views

Help to learn this Word “Pitch” [closed]

Please let me know the meaning and usage of the word pitch.
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Enter or insert into the orbit?

There is a term orbit insertion which means a maneuver performed by a spacecraft flying by a celestial body in order to become an artificial satellite. What word or phrase would you use to describe ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

How can I use the phrase, “do right by”?

1) How can I use the phrase, "do right by"? 2) And what does it mean exactly when we say that? 3) Can I say, I hope they do right by me? Or I hope he/she does right by me?
3
votes
2answers
107 views

If someone says “They insisted that he left”, is there any ambiguity in BrE or in AmE?

Do they mean something like "please go! You must leave!" or could it be "We assure you that he left"?
0
votes
4answers
194 views

It's a little more than that [closed]

What does it mean when someone says:"It's a little more than that" and when we can say it.
1
vote
3answers
54 views

How I can use a word of “whereas”?

I looked up Oxford dictionary: In contrast or comparison with the fact that: "you treat the matter lightly, whereas I myself was never more serious" I am still confusing about this meaning. Please ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Which word is this relative pronoun the object of?

The following is a sentence from an analysis by Sarah Dillon of a passage of Elizabeth Bowen’s A World of Love. The fact that the tree’s a chestnut then promises in its symbolism the potential ...
-3
votes
1answer
39 views

“No time” meaning [on hold]

Good day all. I would like to know what exactly Cecile McLorin Salvant has in mind when saying "no time" in the song called "Nobody"? Does it mean "never"? "Nobody, I will never do nothing for ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

What does the word 'fully' mean as a noun?

Movie 'Half Baked' (1998) has these two phrases: Fully, man. and This is an official fully. Jim Breuer playing the main (always stoned) character said this while looking at a woman's bare ...
-7
votes
1answer
59 views

What are the differences between “genes” and “men” and “boys”? [closed]

What are the differences between genes and men and boys? Also, what is the difference between men and man?
0
votes
0answers
20 views

What is it driven by? VS what is it motivated by?

Assuming those two are same meaning for me, but I would like to know how people pick a word among many thesaurus? Of course, it is depends on context but when you make a simple question like this. I ...
1
vote
4answers
79 views

What does 'Apply yourself' really mean?

For a long long time, I thought that applying oneself meant that whatever I know, I should be able to apply that to a problem that is presented to me. For example, if I was asked something, and I ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Does “snatch up” have the meaning “rush to purchase”?

One of the famous English teachers in Taiwan tells the reader that "snatch ... up" has the meaning "rush to purchase". I looked snatch up in a lot of dictionaries and can't find that meaning. Could ...
0
votes
2answers
22 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Is “should” appropriate for polite requests?

I am placing request to a customer for a project and I want him to provide some information. I had worked with them in a previous assignment and they failed to provide me most of the details ...
7
votes
3answers
944 views

What does 'vivarious' mean?

There is such a word, but it seems to not have a definition. Several examples of using this word is as follows: There was the same lithe, wiry frame, unworn by much endurance, the sloping brow, ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Perfect word for the clicking sound which happens when you stretch your bones?

What is the perfect word for the clicking sound which happens when you stretch your bones? When chiropractors try to do adjustments, we can hear a clicking sound on the bones. What is that sound ...
1
vote
2answers
35 views

What is “from which” doing in “A living hell from which Rupert, thank God, rescued me”?

I got this line from the film About Time when the female character is describing the first meeting with her boyfriend Rupert at a party: A living hell from which Rupert, thank God, rescued me. I ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Origin of term “Microbe” [closed]

What's the origin of the term microbe? According to related definitions and topics, I think it may be micro + be. If it is, what does "be" stand for?
-1
votes
3answers
66 views

An alternative for cancel. [closed]

what is the best alternative for the word "cancel" to be used in a phrase like "to cancel a contract".can I use disrupt or maybe abolish??? what is the standard word that is used in official language? ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “Call things by their name” mean?

The Washington Post’s (August 12) article that came under the headline, “Emperor offers a regal critique of Japan’s drift away from pacifism” wraps up with the following episode: “Earlier this ...