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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

2
votes
2answers
55 views

etymology of predation and predating?

Do predation and predating share a common etymology? Predation seems to imply that one species holds precedence over another species in the food chain, whereas predating seems to imply that one ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

Difference between “worst way possible” and “worst possible way”

What is the difference between these two phrases? worst way possible worst possible way
0
votes
1answer
40 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
61 views

Is “within” inclusive? [closed]

Hypothetically, if you are exactly 1 metre from something, are you "within" 1 metre? I keep seeing definitions that read "not further than (when used with distances)".
0
votes
3answers
57 views

Up to now vs until now

I want to say that something is currently completed, in a percentage. Which sentence is correct? Up to now the job has been completed by 10% or Until now the job has been completed by 10% ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Technically, “a handful of rice” is “the amount of rice that fills up just 1 palm of a hand or 2 palms of both hands”? [closed]

If we say "we only have a handful of rice", then technically, "we only have the amount of rice that fills up just 1 palm of a hand or 2 palms of both hands"? Is there anyone saying "technically, we ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Can you clarify How to use the word “technically” that has the meaning of “strictly speaking”? [duplicate]

I heard a lot of native English speakers use the word "technically" that has the meaning of "strictly speaking". Search on internet, "technically" means "according to the facts or exact meaning of ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

future tense in a subordinate clause

The following is an (outdated) article from the Guardian Under the terms set before Tsipras, the Greek parliament has to endorse the entire package on Monday and then pass several pieces of ...
0
votes
5answers
201 views

What is a word that means someone who hates their own race? [duplicate]

I'm seeking a word that means you hate your race for whatever reason, but you don't hate yourself for being a part of it, because it wasn't up to you to choose to be so.
5
votes
4answers
715 views

what does the preposition “up” mean in “He got beaten up by other kids in school”?

Many times I heard people say that "beat up someone". But on the internet, I can only found this definition which does not seem matching with the word beat up in the above sentence "beat-up:(of a ...
0
votes
3answers
98 views

What does the west wind signify to New Yorkers?

The New Yorker carries the archives of entertaining old articles. Among them there was a short piece titled “The street and into the grill” written by E.B. White and published in October 1950. A man ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

What is “corrective discipline”?

I have a question and need your help. What does "corrective discipline" mean in the following passage? Does "discipline" here mean "training" or "restraint/control" or something else? Context: ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

What additional meaning does “as” impart to this phrase (see below)?

"I shall render assistance when, if, and as I can." My question: What additional meaning does the word "as" impart to the sentence given above? It seems superfluous to me, but maybe there is a ...
2
votes
4answers
477 views

What does “off the hook” mean?

I just saw this on internet and i know this is a slogan and how to use it too, but i dont know the whole meaning of this phrase.
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Meaning of 'that's really the crab of my story'

He made one or two other suggestions, but Scotland Yard had been before him in every case. That’s really the crab of my story, if you’ll excuse the expression. From "Two Bottles of Relish" by ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

difference between blunt and brusque

I cannot tell the fine differences between the synonyms brusque and blunt. Blunt suggests lack of polish and of regard for the feelings of others. Brusque connotes sharpness and abruptness of speech ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

What is called when you save the best for last?

When I eat I tend to eat the best for last. And I do this with everything! I.e. I eat around the center of a hamburger/sandwich and eat the center last, I eat both ends of a hotdog/burrito/taco then ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

“Abner's hand became a vise and his voice rang as over metal”

But Randolph heard nothing, saw nothing. Only the sun entered. Abner's hand tightened on his arm. "It is here! Look!" And he pointed to the wall. Randolph, following the extended ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Does the word “plethora ” necessarily have a negative connotation?

"Plethora" is frequently used to express an abundance of something in a positive sense. My understanding of the word is an overabundance or "too-muchness" Is it a case that the word has changed ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

What does 'For long, in need' mean? [closed]

What does the below mentioned phrase connote? "For long, in need"
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Meaning of Samuel Johnson quote on puns [on hold]

It seems like every article on puns written in the last 150 years (most recently in The Atlantic) includes this quote by Samuel Johnson, who compiled the 1755 Dictionary of the English Language and ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Quote about windows

I'm not sure if this is where I should be asking this.. But it seemed to be the most appropriate community on StackExchange. Anyways, I'm setting up a Google+ page for a small business that does ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Meaning of “By the time”

Graduating with a bachelor's or master's degree from a college or university located in a country where the primary language is English by the time you would start the Ph.D. Program would qualify for ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

“ being off the stick”

What does " being off the stick" means in following sentence mean? " Robert: tell me the truth. Chris: How can I say it, in all honesty, without you thinking I'm off the stick?" How do I know it ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Meaning of “reinforce that approach”

I want to rephrase the following sentence: "Reinforce that approach with the language you use." The sentence is taken from a guide for facilitators.
0
votes
0answers
35 views

what is the difference between 'what is connected' and 'things that are connected'?

Could you please explain to me the difference between the following 3 terms? what is connected should be taken as one. things that are connected should be taken as one connected things should be ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

The meaning of on the way

"Anything of interest?" "No." He tossed a magazine on her desk and said,"This one is on the way. Could be fun." The expression "on the way" baffles me. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
-1
votes
0answers
10 views

whats difference between nerd and geek [duplicate]

Does nerd and geek were same?Is it just the terminology or does the words have inner meaning?
0
votes
1answer
42 views

subjective or objective role of “let alone…”

A Navaho sand painting ritual for a sick child is a mystery – we literally cannot read the signs nor subscribe to the belief, let alone the science, that she can be made better this way. Does ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

How do you properly define and use the phrase, “buy into”?

I found this line while I was reading: That commercial said that this product would help me lose weight in one week. I’m not buying into that idea. While I somehow understood the meaning of the ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

is 'how-being' correct or acceptable? [closed]

I heard "how-being" on international media and was wondering if it is correct. I asked about his health and how-being.
1
vote
1answer
44 views

What does “had been a rusty sea shanty” and “urban” mean in the following content?

The Beatles sang “held her hand in mine” they harmonized like Top Cat and his gang, cartoon-like and feline in their ease and mobility. Love Me Do had been a rusty sea shanty – album one, track ...
-1
votes
0answers
43 views

What's the difference between the words: prison & jail? [duplicate]

How the f**k are you going to jail tomorrow. Prison. Not jail. This is a dialog from 1 episode of "Orange Is The New Black". And I thought, what's the difference between these words?
0
votes
1answer
36 views

meaning of “a descent of night”

What does "a descent of night" man here? Does it mean the dominance of night? "It is the very event of observing, a descent of night, an invasion of shadow." mean?
0
votes
2answers
41 views

What is the usual meaning of “nutritious”? [closed]

What does "nutritious" (as in "nutritious meal") generally implies? Mostly something with enough (or even a lot of) calories? or more something that has a good variety of the nutrients necessary for a ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Does inscrutable mean “hard to figure out”?

To figure out usually means to find out.....although on Dictionary.com, it's defined as "hard to understand or solve" with none of its definition close to "to find out". What puzzles me more is the ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Does it make sense to say “plummets upward”?

According to Google, the word "plummet" means "fall or drop straight down at high speed." So, if I want to say that something quickly shoots upward, would "plummet upward" make sense, or sound normal ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Meaning of an excerpt from Seneca [closed]

I am having trouble understanding the sense of the sentences in bold type (below) from Seneca's essay "Of Benefits": It is a common saying, "I gave such or such a man so much money; I would I had ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Since when and how did the word “virgin” have connotations of purity?

This is what my Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary says on the noun: 1 a : an unmarried woman devoted to religion b capitalized : VIRGO 2 a : an absolutely chaste young woman b ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Does anyone still use “skyrocket” in the original sense?

In US English, I can't recall having heard this word used to describe a reaction-drive pyrotechnic or vehicle in many years. Almost invariably, the word as used describes a rapid or exponential ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

Usage of “put a bottle on the fence”

Where I work there is a common saying thrown around, to "put a bottle on the fence" or the deliverable was a "bottle on the fence". It generally indicates the creation of an example or starting point ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What does “2007 - date” mean?

I saw an example of someone's résumé through a Google search, in the 'work experience' section she wrote: 2007 - date 2008 - date 2007 - 2010 2008 - date What does " ... - date" mean?
2
votes
2answers
66 views

“invent” and “orders”

He also recognised that through the very process of perceiving and acquiring knowledge, we partly invent the world by our means of measuring it – in space and time and by the ‘orders’ he ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't it go like “him and his wife”?

Please take a look at this excerpt from The Catcher in the Rye: I think I probably woke he and his wife up, because it took them a helluva long time to answer the phone. This phrase confused me. ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

To give/receive credit against

The verb 'to give credit against' is used widely in legal texts. For example, As a preliminary matter, the court considered whether a Non-defaulting Party who wishes to enforce the payment ...
-1
votes
3answers
67 views

What does this mean: “Why would that be the case?” [closed]

What does a person mean when they ask this question: "Why would that be the case?"
0
votes
3answers
68 views

What does “very notion” mean? [closed]

What does "very notion" mean in this sentence "The second epistemological consequence derives from the very notion ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Does the verb 'to tank' meaning to lose deliberately, or fail to finish, only apply to lawn tennis?

The Australian tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, is proposed in the Australian press to have tanked in his second set at Wimbledon, yesterday. According to the OED sense 6 of tank when used as a verb ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

If I were to have or If I should have [duplicate]

I am not native English. My question regards the conditional form of the verb have to, must. I was wondering if I could use in interchangeable way the expressions "If I were to have" and "If I should ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

What does “rally behind one another” mean? [closed]

Can someone explain to me what this expression means? Also if possible, how can I translate it to a Romantic language, such as Spanish? Below are some sentences that make use of this expression: ...