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

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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 ...
3
votes
3answers
87 views

What is the difference between candidly and honestly?

In almost every dictionary, candidly and honestly are explained as having the same meaning. Still, I'm pretty sure there must be some difference, whether big or tiny. Any reasonable tip would be much ...
1
vote
6answers
156 views

what is the opposite way of an expression of “win-win situation”?

I am just trying to find out an expression that is an opposite of "win-win situation? when you are having problems or in troubles and trying to get out or to solve those problems in multiple way but ...
3
votes
2answers
711 views

What did Shakespeare mean by “gild refined gold” [closed]

In the play King John by Shakespeare the following line is used: To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet, What did Shakespeare mean by "gild refined gold"? ...
-3
votes
0answers
56 views

Meaning of sentence

My conversation with my friend. I told to my friend I'll sacrifice everything for my gf. My friend asked me. "Still everyone u know except her dies would u sacrifice that ". So what my friend ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Are countries either “developed” or “developing”?

The term "developing" feels a little like "deferred success". Are all countries typically categorized as either "developed" or "developing"? Is it normal to describe a country as neither?
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Get vs grow (in the meaning become)

Is there any difference between these sentences: He got older. He grew older. And in general, what is the difference between get, grow and become in this context?
0
votes
2answers
51 views

usage of refrain and abstain

I am frequently confused regarding two words : refrain and abstain. I understand that abstain has negative connotations as it conveys that something must be stopped. On the other hand, refrain carries ...
0
votes
4answers
75 views

Is this statement nonsensical?

The experience of transition1 requires negotiation between sacrifice and opportunity I asked this on philosophy.SE a while ago. Most agreed that the statement is nonsensical: You cannot ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

what means “you're standing on my neck”? [closed]

from song "You're Standing On My Neck" (Splendora). Main theme song of Daria's TV show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIA7ZHcobys I'm not sure about the meaning, my guess is some kind of "you are ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Meaning of the phrase “difference is transparent”

Does "difference is transparent" mean something like invisible, not apparent? For example: "Like a char device, each block device is accessed through a filesystem node, and the difference between ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What does a “run on a bank” mean? [closed]

I've heard it in several finance movies and the sentiment is kind of clear but what does it actually mean, "a run on a bank"?
2
votes
3answers
116 views

What does “our bone chattering” mean in this excerpt?

What does "bone chattering" mean? For example when someone says: "our bone was chattering". I am not talking about teeth chattering. After, only six Little Fish survive. Me and Siv and Kha and ...
0
votes
0answers
6 views

“The book fell open” [migrated]

What is meaning of the sentence : The book fell open at a page of illustrations. The sentence doesn’t have subject ( it is passive ) for example somebody has opened the book and the book is open ...
2
votes
5answers
118 views

the phrase “to love to complain” is very common - is there one word that means this?

For example, schadenfreude is the pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.. I'm sure that someone's love of the act of complaining is encapsulated in one word, but I don't know ...
3
votes
4answers
60 views

What is something called that has a deadline?

As the title says, just one word that describes something with the attribute of having a deadline. For example "Please don’t feel rushed to RSVP as I have no ******". Is there a word that works in ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Is there a difference in meaning between “dedicated solely” and “solely dedicated”?

Rock Creek Conservancy is the only organization solely dedicated to Rock Creek Park. Rock Creek Conservancy is the only organization dedicated solely to Rock Creek Park. Do these statements mean the ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the meaning of “reset” in this sentence?

What was the meaning of "reset" in this letter? "change"?, "setting again?" , “setting back to the original state" We did not "reset the time" in these animals. We put them into an environment ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Rest vs have a rest [duplicate]

Perhaps this question should have been asked on ELL, but I will try here and move there if fail here. There are verbs (currently I've found rest, walk and another one I'd better not cite) which can ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

What is the difference between apologize and apologise and how could use it in suitable place? [duplicate]

I am confused every time when I am using these words, then using any one of them without knowing its difference. Can anyone help me how could I use these words in appropriate situation?
4
votes
3answers
122 views

What does 'come' mean in this context? [duplicate]

BIONDELLO: Why, is it not news, to hear of Petruchio's coming? BAPTISTA: Is he come? BIONDELLO: Why, no, sir. BAPTISTA: What then? BIONDELLO: He is coming. BAPTISTA: When ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

What is the word for letters that do not ascend above the midline / uniform height? (i.e. aceuomnwxz, not btlj)

I found the word for the part of letters that rise above the midline (ascender: The part of a lowercase letter that rises above the main body of the letter (as in b, d, h). The part that extends above ...
1
vote
4answers
71 views

A word that means you need to be better or do better but not necessarily better than others [closed]

I am looking for a word or phrase that means that you have a feeling or need to improve or enhance yourself just for the sake of it.
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Arrangement of Words and Omission of “of”s

Could you list the difference between the terms "set functionality", "set of functionality", "functionality set" and "functionality of a set"? For example, the terminology is used here: And ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Reset = “setting again” or to “setting back to the original state”?

In the OED dictionary, "Reset" has the following meanings: reset See definition in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary Line breaks: re¦set Pronunciation: /riːˈsɛt/ Definition of reset in English: ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

What does “you you’re writing about” means in the following content?

Yes. I wrote from the point of view of someone who was sad. But when you’re taking on a part, it’s usually you you’re writing about. Your psychiatrist would say it’s you.
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Meaning of “in the way their culture dictates” [closed]

Please tell me the meaning of in the way their culture dictates in the following sentence: In this documentary we meet many girls from across the world, as they come of age in the way their ...
4
votes
5answers
159 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
671 views

Is Provocation necessarily deliberate?

Does provocation always imply that the provoker intender to provoke? Is there such a thing as "accidental provocation"? Is the 'deliberate' in "deliberate provocation" a redundant word?
0
votes
1answer
22 views

What is different of these: Host, Organizers, Sponsors, committee? [closed]

I don't know the different of "Host, Organizers, Sponsors, committee" in the conference.
0
votes
2answers
31 views

as resilient as they come

Obama said to Carter, "Jimmy, you're as resilient as they come, and along with the rest of America, we are rooting for you." What does "they" refer to in "as resilient as they come?"
0
votes
1answer
46 views

when and how I can use plural form of a noun.

I am still confusing on when I should use plural form of noun. For example, "Nancy survived her five-hour ordeal by following another intuition: She engaged the dangerous stranger in constant ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Signs vs. Signage

Native speaker here, and recently I got into a discussion with my pops about the word 'signage'. His contention is that the word 'signage' is entirely superfluous and is only used as a $5 alternative ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

What does the term “economics of discovery” mean?

The Internet transformed the economics of communication. Then other technologies, like the Web, were built on top of the Internet, which has become a platform for innovation and new businesses. ...
-1
votes
2answers
62 views

It was Lily this and Lily that [closed]

The following sentences are taken from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. What would you paraphrase the sentence "It was Lily this and Lily that"? I was the only one who saw her (= Lily) ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

What does 'personality cult' mean?

I hear this so many time while reading about famous people on news channel/social media. Where is this term derived from?
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What's the meaning of “what's the draw”?

I watched the TV serials How I Met Your Mother. And the phrase came out when Robin said, "What? I mean, I don't hate kids. I'm-I'm just not a kid person. I mean, yeah, it's cute that their shoes ...
1
vote
3answers
53 views

What does “for comfort” in “too fast (close / hot/ warm / crammed) for comfort” mean?

I was drawn to the phrase, “Too fast for comfort” in New York Times (August 10) article with a headline, “China devalues its currency amid economic slowdown.: The move appeared to be a response to ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences? [closed]

He isn't meant to be disrespectful. He didn't mean to be disrespectful.
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Unaffected vs Uneffected

I have always struggled with this. Consider the following statement: Format string before insert into database else return unaffected string Would I use unaffected or uneffected in this ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

What does “Q1/2/3/4+year” mean? [closed]

I've started to see a lot this use: Q1 2016 Q4 2016 But what does it exactly mean? What does Q stand for?
-1
votes
3answers
106 views

What means when “you're not sold on 1-3”?

I found a funny pic on the internet with reasons to date me, but i don t get this line: " if you re not sold on 1-3, look at my butt"
-1
votes
1answer
86 views

Meaning of “using 10-dollar words to describe 10-cent ideas” [closed]

I came across the phrase "If you enjoy using 10-dollar words to describe 10-cent ideas,... " , but I am not sure what it means, specifically when related to Hindi. Do we have a similar expression in ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Is this meaning of “scurrilous” only known/understood to speakers of American English?

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the word "scurrilous", meaning "given to the use of coarse or vulgar language". I shared this word with two other people, but they had taken it to mean "scandalous". ...