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
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
43 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
303 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
105 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
55 views

Is there a better term than “dummy” to describe a non-functional part of a program?

I'm searching for a different or more neutral term than "dummy" to describe a non-functional or non-interactive part of a program. I've been using this term to refer to code in interactive charts ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

What does “slewed” mean in this context? [closed]

Good afternoon everyone, I would like to ask you a question about this peculiar verb I came across while reading a book. Here is the sentence: "...but now Brad saw him with his head down, his chin ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

What is a “trigger reaction”

What kind of reaction is a "trigger reaction"? Is it a immediate and instant reaction? The context is added: The available space is too confined,rendering any such meeting of gazes ‘...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

How are “autopsy of a corpse” and “post-mortem of a corpse” different?

Autopsy is surgical examination of a corpse to find out the cause of the death. Post-mortem, used in isolation as in "Post-mortem was done", refers to surgical examination of a corpse. Now, the ...
1
vote
3answers
107 views

What is meant by memory hog? [closed]

I found the following statement: Reading in the whole file at one time is called slurping. It can be useful but it may be a memory hog. What is the meaning of hog, and how does it relate to ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Different strengths of words that have the same meaning?

I'm not sure how to ask what I want to ask, but I'll try. Is there a thing like the following and how is it called, maybe some kind of a rule or an explanation ? Let's say I have two nouns : idiot ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

What is the difference between “over the span of” and “in a span of”? [closed]

1: This task has been done in a span of 2 days. 2: This task has been done over the span of 2 days. I want to know which one in correct and basically what is the difference between them.
4
votes
2answers
98 views

What is the meaning of “peel” in this passage?

The following passage from Planescape: Torment is when Ghysis the Crooked is describing the different demons that humans may make contracts with. What is the meaning of the word "peel" here? It ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

List of, or name for, words with distinct meanings?

Let me explain my question. The word "run" has quite a few meanings but a large number has to do with the main meaning, whether we talk of journey or water running or running into another person, etc....
3
votes
0answers
59 views

What phrases exist which are apparently contradictory, but actually mean the same thing?

I have several items of clothing for which their dark colours could run on washing. Some have a warning label in that says 'wash dark colours together'. Some have a label that says 'wash dark ...
-2
votes
0answers
21 views

Do you want me continuing? [migrated]

It's the phrase in the Title correct? My name is Jair Guel I'm from Mexico and I usually use that phrase for ask my boss if he need more support from me in an specific activity. But obviously I'm not ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

What does the phrase 'ambiguous effect' mean in a sentence? [closed]

The net effect of globalization on environmental sustainability is ambiguous. Does it mean that globalization impacts environmental sustainability both positively and negatively?
2
votes
1answer
25 views

Does 'upskill' refer only to increasing the abilities of people with low skills?

Or does it also include anyone who is trying to acquire new skills regardless of their initial skill level? (e.g. it could be someone who is really skilled in one discipline but wants to acquire new ...
0
votes
1answer
12k views

Difference between 'meant by' and 'meant with'?

Is there a difference in meaning or usage between 'meant by' and 'meant with'? Many questions about meanings with this tag have the wording 'What is meant by...?'. In the text I am currently reading ...
-2
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I treat “of course” and “of course not” like “yes” and “no”?

Which of these two expressions is correct? 1) Of course not, I am here. 2) Of course not, I am not here. For example: Yes, he is a boy The word "yes" emphatically introduces a ...
8
votes
4answers
606 views

The usage of “banzai”

I started to reread a pretty old mystery of Thomas Harris, “The silence of the lambs,” which I once gave up reading because of difficulty of understanding the narrative studded with technical jargons ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

what it looks like with the media

1) No matter what it looks like with the media and their quasi-toughness on Hilary, no, I've said it all along that the skids are greased for her. Sarah Palin. Here: https://www.yahoo.com/news/ap-...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Can I define our company's business as sell furnishings if we do not sell furniture?

Our company produces and sells rugs, throw pillows, decorative objects, cushions, lamps, wall decor products, curtains, candle holders and generally everything else which is decorative for the house, ...
29
votes
4answers
35k views

“Relation” versus “relationship”

What is the difference between relation and relationship? Some say that relationship often refers to social connections. For instance, She has a close relationship with her daughter. How ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Grammar of “so long as S+V, S is otherwise [adjective]”

So long as the receiving market is financially open and deep enough, which many emerging countries now are, that money is otherwise pretty indifferent to the merits of the economies it is parked ...
0
votes
2answers
239 views

what does “to which it is a party” mean in this sentence?

I have a statement here, and I dont get the meaning exactly: Each of the Members agrees to make an annual report to the International Labour Office on the measures which it has taken to give ...
8
votes
14answers
3k views

What is a word or phrase for someone who professes to know something but actually doesn't?

Is there a word or phrase that describes when a person professes to know about a certain subject, but in fact knows nothing about it?
2
votes
2answers
200 views

The use of “rift” in Orwell's “Politics and the English Language”

In Orwell's famous article "Politics and the English Language," he writes: DYING METAPHORS. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the difference between “safe” and “vault”?

What is the difference between safe and vault, where both the words refer to a place where to put things you want to keep safe? As additional question, why does vault seem more frequently used in ...
2
votes
3answers
115 views

A word describing a skilful footballer

Is there a common word describing a footballer who skilfully dribbles the ball and get past defenders easily?
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What does it mean to possess a danger?

Here's the sentence I'm trying to understand: This made the division between High and Low Church or Tory and Whig stark indeed, and the result was the 'prostitution of the pulpit, particularly in ...
4
votes
1answer
25k views

“Never” vs. “never ever”

Example: I never use this cup. I never ever use this cup. What is the difference between these two sentences?
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Is this meaning for the word Paradigm correct?

I have seen the word paradigm described as: The way any individual perceives, understands, and interprets the surrounding world and it doesn't sit right with me. My understanding was that ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Can anyone explain this sentence meaning in simple English?

Sentence is AngularJS is what HTML would have been had it been designed for building web applications. What this sentence try to explain? and what is the use of have been had it been in this sentence?...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

How to correctly name the windows on a wristwatch?

Well, I know it can seem to be primitive, but I cannot find a sharp definition. I am working for a wristwatches catalog, and it must be stated right. Some manufacturers call it a crystal, some call ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

What's a phrase to capture traffic, road type, weather conditions?

What is a short phrase that could be used to describe the conditions under which one is driving (traffic, road type, stop-and-go, weather)? Our product provides a "rating" to consumers of how risky ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Passive vs. permissive

What is the difference between passive and permissive? They both seem to have the same meaning, in the sense that they both allow something to happen and not doing anything about it and if they are, ...
-3
votes
1answer
47 views

Do vs Dost, the difference [closed]

"Thou coward knight, why wilt thou not do battle with me?" -The Age of Chivalry, Chapter 16 In this sentence, why is do not dost? Very commonly do I see the word dost be used in older text in place ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Words suffixed by -tion

Words that are suffixed by -tion -or for that matter -soin or -cion - are commonly used in speech and the written word, but what is the grammatical word for those ending in these suffixes and from ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What does the phrase “touch space” mean?

Recently some of my colleagues has started using the phrase "touch space" a lot, for example in sentences like "I just called you to touch space", or "I will touch space with him tomorrow". I can ...
8
votes
4answers
26k views

Why do we use the phrase 'Across the pond'?

Why do we use the phrase Across the pond to refer to the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean? Considering the size of the Atlantic Ocean is vast, is it suggesting the ocean is only a small hindrance? ...
4
votes
5answers
197 views

correct word for “proving a prediction false”?

Which word should I use to say that " A is trying to prove B's prediction wrong"? For example, in the recent United Nations water scarcity report, UN predicted that in 10 years from now, two-thirds of ...
-3
votes
1answer
83 views

What is “Yindy”? [closed]

I've heard a song "Yindy" by "Fiddler's Green". Here's the first couplet and a refrain from it: My mother she took me to the preacher. She told me that he will be my teacher. My father he thought ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Use of “eclectic” when referencing objects in a set

I have often referred to my music tastes as being eclectic, until I recently encountered a possible aspect to the definition I had not previously considered. In referencing musical tastes, there are ...