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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

6
votes
3answers
7k views

Difference between “memoir” and “biography”

I am an avid reader, and noticed that books I checked out from the library lately seem to use "memoir" and "biography" interchangeably, although they are all shelved as "biographies". Is there an ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Is it correct to say “lower the possibility”? [closed]

I searched on the internet, found sentences like lowering the risk, but I don't know if it's correct to say "lower the possibility" or I should say "reduce the possibility."
0
votes
2answers
54 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 ‘...
0
votes
0answers
87 views

Usage and meaning of 'would prefer to have+past participle [migrated]

What is the meaning "would prefer to have+past participle " in the following sentences: I would prefer to have stayed at a small family-run hotel than a big international chain. I would prefer to ...
6
votes
5answers
20k views

Meanings of word “nick” in British English

Word nick seems to be used to describe many things. According to the dictionary, the main meanings are: a small notch, groove, chip, or the like, cut into or existing in something. a hollow place ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

What does “barely” imply when used with a quantity? [migrated]

This is the definition of "barely" from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 7th edition. I believe I understand the first and second definition: "barely" implies that something did happen, ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

should I use which or what [duplicate]

It doesn't matter what wagon you board; you will love the journey. In this sentence do I use what or should I say which?
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Meaning of “What to you are going to take?” [closed]

The sentence is as follows: So let’s say you’ve made your own mind up about this method and what to you are going to take? What would you mean when you say What to you are going to take?
0
votes
1answer
11k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
21k views

What does “somebody plays things close to the vest” mean?

I heard this phrase in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" and also found it online by googling it. What does the phrase mean?
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Can I use the word “spare” when it's unambiguous that I will pay for the favour?

I'd have liked to ask some guys, if they had some tickets for sale via a facebook event (the tickets were already sold out officially). But I didn't know I could have used the word "spare" in this ...
0
votes
1answer
30 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-...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Could you help me understand this sentence precisely? [migrated]

The sentence: Despite dramatic increases in trade worldwide, countries still differ substantially in the extent to which they engage in trade. It is a fill-in-the-blank question in our recent ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

What is a co-pay card? [closed]

What is a co-pay card? It's out only used with respect to pharmaceutical matters? The Wikipedia says so, but I need your comments to find the answer.
0
votes
2answers
66 views

correct use and best definition of “as in”

I am translating an English text, which has the following sentence: The operative word is “protect”. As in protecting our religion. First I would think that “as in” is a set phrase. But there is ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Difference between to “sate” and to “satiate” [closed]

Is it that to satiate is primarily connotative of satisfying hunger or thirst, whereas to sate satisfies other desires?
2
votes
2answers
28k views

Is it correct to say : I am glad to be part of this family NOW?

I am joining a team and just as I join, I say this sentence. Is the "now" correct in the end of the sentence or how to make the sentence more fluent? I am glad to be part of this family now. I ...
3
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the difference between “Computer science” and “Informatics”?

I could not find any difference... or at least no good source that definitely distinguishes both. I tried: Wikipedia (Informatics has a redirect to Computer Science), so I guess the only difference ...
-1
votes
0answers
55 views

Why did he use “more of” in this context? [migrated]

I am learning English like a ESL if I write this sentence below I wouldn't use more of. Why did he do it? What does it mean? This percentage is more of a guideline for what makes a good, ...
0
votes
1answer
71 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
215 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Rreduced to “less than a maximum of 10%” vs “less than 10%” - difference [closed]

In a book, it reads the following: Dollars spent on these activities will be reduced to less than a maximum of 10% per project. I wonder what is difference if there simply was "to less than ...
1
vote
3answers
98 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?
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Meaning of 'Wasted' [closed]

I've just watched the Simpsons episode "Bart Gets a 'Z'" (LABF15). During this episode Seymour Skinner reads the front page of a news paper called "Daily Fourth Gradian". On the front page there's a ...
2
votes
4answers
520 views

In Rudyard Kipling's poem, “if”, what do “unforgiving minute” and “worth of distance run” mean?

The full-length poem is here. I love this poem and know it by heart, but I don't fully understand the following verse: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

Possible double negative sentence explanation

At nearly 450 pages, the novel is prolix : the author does not often resist the temptation to finish off a chapter, section, or even paragraph with some unnecessary flourish. Is the second part ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What does “take stock of” mean here in this sentence? [closed]

By the divine is meant that which, being greater and more excellent than man, enjoins upon him, as he comes to a recognition of it, the need to take stock of his own shortcomings and enter into a new ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Confusion about the meaning of 'loquacious'

Dictionary.com states the meaning of the word 'loquacious' as "talking or tending to talk much or freely; talkative; chattering; babbling; garrulous". Babbling is one of the words used there, ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Should we use “esp not” or simply “esp” following a negation?

This occurred to me when I was having a conversation about sleep disorder with my friend. When I asked of tips to have a good sleep, he advised me to do a lot of workout and make myself as tired as ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What does “performance context” mean?

I am learning about Hamilton (the musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda), and was given this question. Your assignment is just to use the text box to note one thing that seems to be part of the ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between a cafe and a diner?

I recently ate at an establishment called The Park Cafe and Diner. How could a debate not ensue? What is the difference between a Cafe and Diner? Apparently, this place is both. I have read various ...
17
votes
6answers
71k views

What's the difference between “Collaborate” and “Cooperate”?

Both of these words seem to mean much the same thing: working together to achieve some goal. I can instinctively feel a difference between them, but I can't easily put it into words. Can you help me? ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Why is the bill from my health care provider sometimes called a “factura”?

I've seen it on several healthcare-related invoices that I've received over the years. I'm assuming it's some kind of "legacy" word used in the healthcare industry. But what is this strange word "...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin and meaning of the American 1960s slang phrase, “bread is”

I am trying to answer a question from a library patron who remembers the entire phrase, "bread is" that she and her friends used in the 1960s. She accepts that "bread" was used for money or "dough," ...
3
votes
0answers
489 views

What is the meaning of “Agrift”? [closed]

I saw this word here today. A Party Agrift by Paul Krugman What does "Agrift" here refer to? I tried on Webster. I could find the meaning for "grift", which means "to acquire money or property ...
-1
votes
0answers
34 views

Is this a solecism, an auto-correct failure, or something else?

I'm just looking for a word to describe the type of error in the quote below. Solecism is the closest I can find/think of. Relax and watch alcoholic repressed insurance cops harassing tragically ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Try it yourself or Try it for yourself [migrated]

Which one is correct- Try it yourself or Try it for yourself. If both are correct then please tell the scenario in which each should be used. I am actually testing a website which contains one of ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

'get a quote' or 'get a quotation'

I'm not an English native, and as it often happens, I've lost something in translation. I asked a travel agent to 'send me a quote' for a travel we've worked on, and in response I got his logo and ...
2
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

what does “line ministries” mean?

Could someone explain it for me. I googled it but couldn't find any useful information. I would appreciate it if you could tell me what it means. Example usage... The antimonopoly committee has ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

A word for performing an act due to motivation from a prior event? [closed]

a word for performing an act due to motivation from a prior act? for example, moving in together because you have just married
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What's the difference between “kind of” and “a little bit”?

I am a little bit angry. I am kind of angry. I searched the two phrases, but can't found the difference. Are them the same?
8
votes
3answers
9k views

What's the difference between “act” and “action”? [closed]

What's the difference between "act" and "action"? More specifically in the way they are generally used (and not more specific theatrical definitions, for instance)?
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Ex's and Oh's : What is “Oh's”? [closed]

What does "Oh's" mean in the pop song "Ex's and Oh's" by Elle King? http://www.metrolyrics.com/exs-ohs-lyrics-elle-king.html I'm not asking any interpretations of lyrics, but would like to know what ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Why have I not heard “radical muslim terrorism” on TV?

In the United States, on TV I have heard much about "radical islamic terrorism" during the republican debates and also in mainstream media. Nearly all these cases involve a male aggressor, or a ...
7
votes
2answers
13k views

How do you interpret 'up to'?

Consider the sentence: "The boxes must be filled up to the last box". Does this mean 'including' the last box or all 'but' the last box? If I ask you to start with 1 and count up to 8, you'll likely ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of “Detachment is not that you should own nothing. but that nothing should own you”

I do not understand the exact meaning of this statement: "Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you."
4
votes
1answer
252 views

Meaning of “trapezium” in “trapezium of zoonotic ogres”

What is meant by the following quote and especially by 'trapezium'? I can't find any other meaning of trapezium here except the mathematical one and I can't apply that here. Please help. India ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

How to use “Come true”

I'm from Italy and my mother-tongue is not English,so sorry in advance for my mistakes. This is my question: I know the sentence "Wish my dreams come true", but can I use "come true" in other ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Having one's hair up about something

I have been reading a fantasy novel. I stumbled upon the phrase "have one's hair up about something". Below I quoted the sentence in context. I have done quite some searching, but so far all has been ...