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
1answer
39 views

Difference between 'spake' and 'spoke'?

The King James Bible interchangeably uses 'spake/spoke', 'sware/swore' and 'bare/bore' for the simple past tenses of 'speak', 'swear', and 'bear', respectively. Were their interchangeability an ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

converting a phrasal verb into a noun?

Is it common to convert a phrasal verb into a noun, especially a phrasal verb having more than 2 words? I found phrases like "do some figuring out" or "have some figuring out to do" in these days. ...
2
votes
2answers
41 views

word descibes teaching by order

What is the proper word for describing the kind of teaching which based on executing/applying what you heard from your teacher without thinking of it or even applying reason. To just to do what you ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

What is the definition of the following sentence ''His broad, windburned face bore a set"? [on hold]

I was reading a fantasy novel by Terry Brooks, The Sword of Shannara, and in the first paragraph I came across the following sentence: His broad, windburned face bore a set, placid look, and only ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Of the translations of the gambler

What follows is a few sentences from two existing translation of The Gambler by FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY. At first,I must say ,I don't want by any means to take PEVER and VOLOKHONSKY part. In my view ,...
1
vote
3answers
47 views

Is “Tenor” okay?

I came across an advertisement which reads as follows: As one may find, the advertisement uses the word "Tenor" to say that the Bond would have a term (or duration) of 8 years. Is "Tenor" okay in ...
-2
votes
0answers
45 views

Does anyone know of an academic definition of “detail”? [closed]

I'm looking for a formal definition of what a detail in writing is, apart from the obvious definitions I can find on a dictionary site. Ideally, the definition would be from an academic paper, but I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
12k views

What does “change one's stripes” exactly mean?

I found a phrase in the headline of today’s Washington Post article (Feb. 14) that reads "Mubarak loyalists change stripes to fit into the new Egypt." Though I interpreted the meaning of change one’s ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

how to describe a person capable of reading and writing in more than one language [duplicate]

what would describe the person who able to read and write in more than one language. Is there any other descriptive word than "Bilingual"?
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Does it make sense to say “It beggared belief of the most astonishing nature”?

Basically, I've been trying to find out whether saying "What he said beggared belief of the most astonishing nature" makes sense. I believe it doesn't as the phrase "beggars belief" already indicates ...
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

Help with the difference in the meaning of the verbs [closed]

What is the difference between to own and to possess? I own a phone and I possess a phone. Explain me the difference?
0
votes
1answer
27 views

What does mean “just given” [closed]

What does mean "just given" in the following sentence: "Yet however obvious and irrefutable the Humean argument just given may appear, Kant's transcendental argument may be regarded as a direct ...
4
votes
3answers
667 views

Explicit vs Specific

Recently I asked on the personal productivity Stack Exchange Is there specifically a reason why there isn't an ADHD tag? The context here, being that people with ADHD have issues with productivity, ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

meaning of “one aside”

Does "one aside" here mean "I, as a participant, ..." or "apart from this, ..."? Later, tumbling down the main steps of Tate Britain as we head first for Lambeth Bridge, the city is awash with ...
81
votes
3answers
14k views

Why does “Mickey Mouse Operation” refer to a poorly run company?

A phrase I commonly hear (and use myself) when a company (or individual, in some cases) does something that seems foolish or not planned is to ask What kind of Mickey Mouse operation are you ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

What is the proper adjective for keep looking for long time?

What is the proper adjective that best describe the way a person keeps looking at any other person or object so that as if his eye is about to get out. As an example, when a man keeps looking at a ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What exactly does “The guy's multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit.” mean?

Was watching Avengers: Age of Ultron. In that Nick Fury says this about Ultron, The guy's multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit. What does that mean?
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What can back room mean related to security?

In an article about Putin's business trips, this passage appeared: For security reasons during presidential trips across Russia the license plate is not placed on the front of the vehicle. As a ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Classification for phrases like “slim chance” and “fat chance” that look like opposites but have the same meaning

How is it that "slim chance" and "fat chance" have the same meaning? Is there a linguistic classification for this phenomenon of seemingly opposite phrases that have the same meaning?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What are “tribal lays”?

There is a famous poem from Kipling: In the Neolithic Age. There it says: "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, "And every single one of them is right!" My question ...
4
votes
4answers
421 views

a sentence in ESPN sport [closed]

ESPN is kind of pleasant stuff for me to improve my reading, but sometimes, they really freak me out. Here is the sentence: Arsenal are interested in Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi as they ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“You don't need to” & “I don't mind if you” are not the same to me, you? [closed]

I feel that one is not the same as the other and would appreciate clarification.
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Difference between deterrent and hindrance?

I have this sentence: In India analysts attributed high cost of Apple's devices to be a major deterrent to sales of iPhone that completes with android based smartphones. My question is why ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

what does “ 'way down ” mean?

What does " turtles 'way down in the pond were afraid " mean ? Does it mean "turtles that is down something in the pond were afraid" ?
3
votes
2answers
322 views

What does “disciplinary” mean in this sentence from the NY Times? [closed]

The claim is not simply that disciplinary expertise confers moral and political superiority, but that historians, because of their training, are uniquely objective observers: “As historians, we ...
1
vote
4answers
71k views

Is it rude to say “Thanks for asking”?

My manager recently asked me "How are you doing? Everything OK?". I felt happy that he asked me that question, and felt that he was really concerned about me. I was doing well. So I told him that and ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

The Meaning and Grammar Aspect of This Sentence [closed]

I read it in the book called "The Devil In the White City". This was a part about the pamphlet made from the Ferris Company praising Ferris Wheel's inventor. It read as follows: Built in the face ...
5
votes
1answer
111k views

Usage / examples of “of which” [closed]

Could anyone give me some examples or rules for using ", of which"? I mean only ", of which", neither "which" nor ", xxx of which". Any idea is appreciated. p.s. She discovered so many spiders, of ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Does 'Belvedere' mean the same as 'viewpoint'?

A student of mine used google translator to translate the Portuguese "miradouro" into English. Instead of an expected viewpoint, scenic overlook or similar, the translator suggested "belvedere". She ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Where can we find the connotation of words? [closed]

There are instances when there are different ways of expressing a concept with different connotations. For example I read in a translation text that the concept of dying with respect to respecting or ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Use of “beware” and “be aware” in this particular situation

We have a large motorized moving gate. I am designing a sign to warn people to stay clear of it. So which one should it be? "Beware of moving gate!" or "Be aware of moving gate!"
0
votes
1answer
500 views

Usage of 'Ohh stop it, you!'

Heard it quite a few times in television series episodes but find it hard to use it in real life. I have found this question 'Use of the expression "Stop it! You are too cute"' which I think ...
1
vote
4answers
357 views

Long word meaning “to purify the text in a literary work”

What is the long word that means "to purify (remove vulgarity) in the text of a literary work"? I have been thinking on it for a while - I used to know it - but forgot. There is only one word that ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Meaning of “ to be dizzying in”

There is a text in my english book that talks about the wetlands from Brazil and there is a sentence that goes like this: "(...) life is dizzying in its abundance, variety and beauty." I have already ...
14
votes
5answers
16k views

Is there honour among thieves or not?

I'm not sure which one of these apparently flatly contradictory proverbs I heard first but I have definitely heard both several times. One of them is: There is honour among thieves. Another is: ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why Literacy “Rate”?

I recently had a discussion with a friend, and he was using a phrase repeatedly which said "Conversion Rate vs Time". I pointed out to him that Rate already has the time factor, so you don't have to ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

“I jarred to life” meaning

I understand the meaning of "to jar" (thank to the dictionaries) but "to jar to life" makes me confused and puzzled. Is it something near to "sprang to life"? You can meet this phrase in Google: ...
4
votes
2answers
53 views

What is the word for a Road Sign that shows direction

What is the right word for the signs in the highways that indicates the correct direction to another city or province for an example? I thought about the word "road signs", but it is not what I am ...
-3
votes
1answer
43 views

difficulty understanding abstract ideas? [closed]

If someone asks you if you have difficulty understanding abstract ideas, what exactly are they asking? What is an abstract idea, can someone please define this in a sentence to help me better ...
-2
votes
2answers
37k views

Survey vs. Questionnaire? [closed]

What is the difference between a survey and a questionnaire? Which word would be more appropriate in a report?
-1
votes
1answer
42 views
5
votes
2answers
264 views

Why does caliber refer to a dimension?

I often get confused when referring to gun sizes. I often say "caliper" when the term used is "caliber". Looking at the defintions, it seems to make no sense as "caliber" has two very different ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

What does this sentence from Shakespeare mean? [closed]

Can someone kindly help me translate the following sentence from Shakespeare's language to Modern English through a context: "Prithee, would'st thou stay and sup with me in yonder chamber?"
3
votes
1answer
17k views

'Preclude' vs 'Exclude' vs 'Prevent'

I'm trying to really understand how the word preclude differs from either exclude or include. Merriam Webster defines preclude as to make impossible by necessary consequence : rule out in advance ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Adjective for a situation that is so depressing that it can make you laugh? [closed]

What is the proper adjective that describes a situation that is so depressing that it can make you laugh as well?
2
votes
1answer
301 views

Have vs. get in the causative

In causative constructions, for example: I'll have him do it for me. I'll get him to do it for me. What is the difference in meaning between them? Obviously, there's a difference in ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

What are the origins for the phrases “Knock it off” and “Cut it out”?

When taken literally, the colloquial phrases "Knock it off" and "Cut it out" do not seem to mean "Stop what you're doing." How did these two phrases get their current meanings?
5
votes
1answer
104 views

What does the prefix “aff” mean? [closed]

What does the prefix "aff" mean in the following words: affine, affirmative, affirm, affable, affection, affluent. Do they have some meaning in common?
3
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the word with the definition: “One that is modulated”?

If I employ someone, then they are my "employee". If my computer program modulates other computer programs, then they are my computer program's _____.? I can't find any reference to "modulatee" ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

Two orchard thieves [closed]

In Herman Melville's Moby Dick there is the passage The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. Who are those two orchard ...