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

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2
votes
1answer
36 views

Enter or insert into the orbit?

There is a term orbit insertion which means a maneuver performed by a spacecraft flying by a celestial body in order to become an artificial satellite. What word or phrase would you use to describe ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Formatting of defined terms

In my report, I am defining/describing some terms. What is a proper way to start and format a sentences like: The term crawling denotes the practice of ... Should I put the word/term crawling in ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

How can I use the phrase, “do right by”?

1) How can I use the phrase, "do right by"? 2) And what does it mean exactly when we say that? 3) Can I say, I hope they do right by me? Or I hope he/she does right by me?
-7
votes
1answer
59 views

What are the differences between “genes” and “men” and “boys”? [closed]

What are the differences between genes and men and boys? Also, what is the difference between men and man?
0
votes
4answers
201 views

It's a little more than that [closed]

What does it mean when someone says:"It's a little more than that" and when we can say it.
1
vote
3answers
56 views

How I can use a word of “whereas”?

I looked up Oxford dictionary: In contrast or comparison with the fact that: "you treat the matter lightly, whereas I myself was never more serious" I am still confusing about this meaning. Please ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Explanation for “them's”

Recently someone said to me: Them's the rules I thought he had the sentence wrong, but as it turns out it is slang. I am learning English as a second language and I would really appreciate if ...
-3
votes
1answer
41 views

“No time” meaning [closed]

Good day all. I would like to know what exactly Cecile McLorin Salvant has in mind when saying "no time" in the song called "Nobody"? Does it mean "never"? "Nobody, I will never do nothing for ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

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

What does the phrase "For long, in need" connote?
0
votes
2answers
85 views

meaning of “stretch a point”

"It may not amount to anything," he said slowly. "It is difficult to get any perspective on things around here, because every one down in the village is sure he saw the murderer, either before ...
1
vote
4answers
80 views

What does 'Apply yourself' really mean? [on hold]

For a long long time, I thought that applying oneself meant that whatever I know, I should be able to apply that to a problem that is presented to me. For example, if I was asked something, and I ...
10
votes
6answers
147 views

Why is it called an Asynchronous method?

I was looking for an antonym for asynchronous (for documentation purposes) when I discovered that asynchronous means "not in parallel". To me an asynchronous call was always one that effectively ran ...
0
votes
2answers
22 views

Specifics of “occupy” (and alternatives)

I'm writing some game rules where players' in-game areas move around in cities. The different cities are divided by zones, which basically means that different tiles are put together to form a city. ...
-1
votes
2answers
43 views

“their” is used in this sentence for whom? [closed]

President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to authorise military action against the Islamic State militants who are cutting a swath across the West Asia, vowing their forces “are going to ...
1
vote
1answer
13k views

What does 'back-stopping' mean?

We have a tender document, and it lists how the offer should be proposed. Basically this is split into 3 sections: Rationale Strategy Details of Proposal Under section 2., there is this clause: ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

“Regress” vs. “retrogress”

What do each of them mean exactly? Is either (or both) the opposite of "progress"? Could someone please explain the difference? To add some context: When I look up the definitions I see the ...
25
votes
8answers
87k views

What's the difference in meaning between “emigrate” and “immigrate”?

What's the difference between emigrate and immigrate? They seem to have the same definitions in the dictionary but they are antonyms...  
1
vote
1answer
650 views

Word-order and meaning - which is correct for this notice? [closed]

I'm creating some signs for the office car park, and one of these signs is to control access. What I'm trying to get it to indicate is that cars aren't permitted between 10 am and 4pm except for ...
5
votes
2answers
13k views

“Starting with” vs. “starting from”

I would like to ask about the difference between the two phrases starting with and starting from. Take the following two sentences for example: Please give me all the names starting with A. ...
-2
votes
1answer
107 views

could you explain a sentence about reporting?

"Half-yearly reporting included in overall project management costs" a report about the costs of the overall management of the project? or something else?
7
votes
3answers
946 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, ...
8
votes
6answers
32k views

What does “triage an issue” mean?

I've found this definition of triage: "The process of sorting people based on their need for immediate medical treatment as compared to their chance of benefiting from such care." So I can ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Does “snatch up” have the meaning “rush to purchase”?

One of the famous English teachers in Taiwan tells the reader that "snatch ... up" has the meaning "rush to purchase". I looked snatch up in a lot of dictionaries and can't find that meaning. Could ...
1
vote
3answers
624 views

What does “trigger-happy on broken windows” mean?

What does this expression mean: to be "trigger-happy on broken windows"
0
votes
0answers
20 views

What is it driven by? VS what is it motivated by?

Assuming those two are same meaning for me, but I would like to know how people pick a word among many thesaurus? Of course, it is depends on context but when you make a simple question like this. I ...
3
votes
4answers
61 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
486 views

Is there a word like “compersion” that isn't just for romantic/sexual situations?

I just saw the word "compersion" for the first time, and love it: A feeling of joy when a loved one invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship. Is there a word ...
2
votes
4answers
19k views

Usage of “being” in sentence

Why is being used in the sentence below, and what does it mean? Lisa is upset about not being invited to the party Are they trying to use the passive voice? If yes, how would the sentence look ...
2
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
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?
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

What does “literary stylist” mean? Is it a characteristic or a profession?

The following passage in an article in The Guardian titled Occupy was right: Capitalism failed the world (April 13, 2014) comments on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the twenty-first century, a work of ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Ne'er cast a clout till May be out. Meaning?

Today across southern England, it was one of those glorious May mornings of which the poets wrote. The darling buds in bloom, the scent of the blossom hanging like nectar in the air, and the sun up in ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Word/phrase for describing a relationship/association that could be productive and conterproductive

How to explain such a relationship/association (preferably not in the human context) : Approach A could be regarded as an innovative idea to leverage full potential of system B. In the reverse ...
9
votes
8answers
12k views

Is “IMHO” a rude thing to say (or type)?

The initialism1 IMHO stands for "in my humble opinion". It's commonly used in text-based communication (chat clients, forums, popular Q&A platforms). Here's an example: Person A: What do you ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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
3answers
1k views

Meaning of 'sky high'?

China is a rich country, yet food prices are sky high. The word 'sky' seems an adjective.
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Origin of street names ending in “-hurst”

There is a large number of streets in the UK whose names end in -hurst, for example Ravenhurst, Gathurst, Oakhurst, Amhurst, Bonehurst, Eaglehurst, etc. Is there a common meaning for this -hurst ...
1
vote
1answer
84 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?
0
votes
1answer
118 views

Word for belief or prejudice that is held, but it is not conscious

I remember reading about an idea of a belief or prejudice that is subconscious. It had a prefix, and it was something like: belief -> alief or prejudice -> ajudice But I can't remember the ...
-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? ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Difference between “Registration” and “Enrollment”

I'm developing a scholar system which I have to support english(and others) language. This system haves an "Enrollment" proccess. I've called it as "Enrollment" after some research because I could not ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

difference in meaning: morphology / structure

What is the difference in meaning between "morphology" and "structure"? Coming from a physics background and being a native German speaker, I tend to use "structure" when describing an internal ...
12
votes
2answers
10k views

How did “tongue-in-cheek” get its current meaning?

A statement is said to be tongue-in-cheek if it is not to be taken seriously. How did this meaning come into vogue? Where did it originate from?
10
votes
7answers
458 views

Is the word “yearling” appropriate for a recurring event?

The Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange sites all have a "yearling" badge. Active member for a year, earning at least 200 reputation. This badge can be awarded multiple times. So each year, if ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Is “scant little” redundant?

I have seen this written (and have used it myself as well) but never really bothered to notice the meaning before. However, upon further inspection, "scant" is defined as "barely sufficient or ...
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
1answer
15k views

“I could not” vs “I would not be able to”

Does I could not do X have the same meaning as I would not be able to do X? It seems to me that the first can mean the second, but it mainly means: I tried and I was not able to do X. Is that so?
0
votes
4answers
76 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 ...