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

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52
votes
11answers
9k views

What is the difference between “gender” and “sex”?

What is the difference between gender and sex? Wiktionary says that gender is The mental analog of sex but that's too high English for me. Basically, I'm developing a web-application that stores ...
1
vote
3answers
186 views

What is the difference between 'finished' and 'completed'?

What is the difference between 'finished' and 'completed', As both words gives the same meaning. Ex 1: He finished his homework. Ex 2: He completed his homework. And also how to use or ...
3
votes
6answers
21k views

What is the word to describe something that has hidden meaning?

I'm writing an essay (yay) on I'm the King of the Castle, by Susan Hill. I am trying to explain how the description of the atmosphere may have hidden meanings (e.g. the fact that Warings is a ...
0
votes
3answers
65 views

Using the word “Influential”

A Japanese friend asked me this: When I want to say that someone has influenced me, I can say "influenced by". When I am skeptical of someone or doubtful of someone, I can say, "skeptical of" and ...
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
91 views

Interpreting trucker lingo

I am translating a text from English, and I have a problem with two expressions. I was not able to find anything on the internet, and I'm not sure I understand the meaning of them. Basically these ...
0
votes
3answers
76 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Customer to be called means? [closed]

My courier service provided updated the status as "Customer to be called". What does that means? Should I need to call them or they will call me?
12
votes
4answers
8k views

What does “I’ve had a little bit too much” mean?

I don't understand this sentence: I’ve had a little bit too much. What does it mean? PS. My native language is Ukrainian (Russian)
2
votes
4answers
574 views

Word to describe a person who expresses his or her feelings frequently?

I'm looking for a word to describe a person (it can be a term of animal behavior) who expresses his or her feelings frequently, particularly through facial expressions.
6
votes
5answers
5k views

How long is a 'wink'?

If I'm off to catch forty winks, how long will I be asleep? I'm interested to know if there is a specific amount of time associated with a 'wink', or if there's no actual amount of time behind it?
1
vote
3answers
56 views

“squeamish” and “relishing in” [closed]

"It looks at the somewhat squeamish work being produced by artists relishing in new gene technologies." What type of artworks are "squeamish works"? What does "relishing in" mean here? Does it mean ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

meaning of as - as in following sentence [duplicate]

"The Plaza hotel is as near as it gets to the best shopping along New York's famous Fifth Avenue." Whats the meaning of this sentence?and what does as-as means here?
2
votes
2answers
90 views

What is the difference between 'in the bed' and 'in bed'?

I really don't know the detail meaning between 'in the bed' and 'in bed' I think that generally 'countable noun' has 'article' like 'a/an' or 'the' But I can find the sentence like 'I usually read ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Lift is for car so what is for bike?

The word lift generally means for car. Then what is for bike? Eg: Can I get a lift? Meaning, can I ride in your car? Similarly, I want to know how can we say for "Can I get a lift with you on ...
0
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the difference between the words “journey”, “travel” and “trip”?

As they always were interchangeable in an article, I just want to know the difference.
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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
5answers
202 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.
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
3answers
58 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
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
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, ...
3
votes
8answers
8k views

I'll take you home / I'll bring you home

Being both non-natives, I had some discussion today about the following situation: suppose you're at a party and you want to take/bring your drunk buddy home. I believe that: "I'll take you home" ...
7
votes
8answers
29k views

Usage of the word “technically”

I use this word in my daily language even without knowing what it actually means. Technically speaking, there is no big difference between […] and […]. So what does this word imply, not in the ...
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 ...
5
votes
9answers
6k views

What does it mean by “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold”?

There's a famous Mario Puzo quote from The Godfather. Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold. How to interpret this sentence?
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
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
453 views

May the words “Creation” and “Creativity” be used in the same way?

Consider a soccer player in the penalty box area of the pitch. He is extraordinarily creative in his skills in this area. It may be said that his "Creativity" is second to none, but may the word ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

How do you reconcile these definitions of the word 'cynical'?

From the Google Search dictionary (similar definition at oxforddicationaries): 1.believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. ...
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
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 ...
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
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

A word for intentionally losing a bet?

Is there a word, or phrase, to express when someone makes a bet with the intent to lose? I’m looking for one of two things (or both). Either a verb to express the action of making such a bet, or a ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
18k views

Does “turning down the air conditioning” make it warmer or colder?

As the title says, I've heard two possible meanings for turning down the air conditioning: It could mean set the target temperature lower (i.e. colder) or make it work less (i.e. warmer). Turning ...
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.
-2
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “A mile wide, an inch deep” mean? [closed]

I read the phrase "USA intellectualism: a mile wide, an inch deep". What does it mean?