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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

0
votes
1answer
33 views

The meaning of inference conditional form

I'm studying conditional forms, and as I understood most of the time the if clause did not happen, for example in If I had prepared for the interview, I wouldn't be so nervous, so it means that I did ...
3
votes
2answers
57 views

Meaning of the phrase “Relax Into The Pain”

Quite often I have come across this phrase - Relax into the pain. We can treat a pain but how does one relax into the pain, especially if it's an emotional pain, for example grief? Can anyone please ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

What does “adept at turning circles” mean? [closed]

I just been given this response in an online, ahem, discussion: "you are very very adept at turning circles, i imagine if you were a dog you would catch your tail with great skill. have you ever ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Is it correct to say “schedule in advance” or should it just be “schedule” and “in advance” is unnecessary? Or are those two different things?

I'm not sure if it is correct to say "schedule in advance" or just "schedule"? Is there any difference?
2
votes
2answers
121 views

A question in a sentence of the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

I have a question in another sentence of the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". The sentence is in the paragraph below. Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that ...
1
vote
4answers
98 views

Word meaning doing something just cause you can or have the abilitity to do it

I'm looking for a word that describes the act of doing something without a real logical reason but just because they can. A example of what I'm talking about would be like this: The boy hacked the ...
1
vote
2answers
30 views

What's the meaning of “is there any other way to see it?”

A: Are you saying accepting your help obligates me? B: ls there any other way to see it? A: No. I found this line from the movie, As Good As It Gets, and I'm curious about this phrase ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Please explain to me the meaning of the sentence below [closed]

From an Op-Ed piece by Bryce Covert in The New York Times (1/13/16) [But as president, Mr. Obama gets to take time to crow about what’s good in the economy, not just focus on fixing what’s bad, as ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

What does this quote mean in 4 sentences? [closed]

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." (Buddha)
0
votes
1answer
63 views

What is the meaning, form and pronunciation for the items listed in bold? [closed]

Tide laundry detergent is meant to be used for household cleaning purposes, but thieves are turning it into something dirty. Authorities are reporting a spike in thefts of Tide, and in some cities ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

What does “customized website” mean? [closed]

What does customized website mean? 1) a website with unique design and features. or 2) a website that I can change, for example, add new page without writing a code. Update with the ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

What does “a composer of no ordinary merit” mean? [closed]

I'm not sure I'm grasping the meaning of the last two words. My friend was an enthusiastic musician, being himself not only a very capable performer but a composer of no ordinary merit.
0
votes
1answer
56 views

“Down by a point” meaning [closed]

What does 'The Foxes are up to bat and down by a point' mean? Does this mean the Foxes are behind their opponent by one point?
1
vote
1answer
35 views

What is change of billing?

Below is a diagram from Brian Krebbs, a security researcher, which shows that our email is more valuable than we think. What is change of billing and how this could be dangerous? Does it mean ...
0
votes
4answers
67 views

One word synonymous to display of power

I need one single word that is synonymous to "bold display of power/might/hold/domination in some place" .It would be much appreciated if someone can provide me a noun otherwise a verb will also do ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

When should you use regardless and irregardless?

Does anybody working with words ever experience synesthesia?
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Meaning of “chosen markets”

I have been reviewing view proposals and I came across: We state that the Company has been trading successfully in its chosen markets for over twenty years. What is the meaning of the above ...
4
votes
4answers
182 views

complicated sentence in “To Kill a Mockingbird”

I am from China. I tries to read the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. I met a question in a sentence. The sentence is in the paragraph below. Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some ...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

Meaning of “a certain air of”

What does "a certain air of" mean? I met it in the Chapter 3 of "A Study in Scarlet" by sir A. C. Doyle: He was a man with some amount of self-importance and a certain air of command.
-1
votes
1answer
58 views

Is '⚡' an emoji? [closed]

Me and a few other people debated over this for a while. I wanted to see what you guys thought it was. The debate started here: http://mcforums.org/threads/208/#post-2031
0
votes
3answers
58 views

Meaning of phrase “to close the loop on this”?

I recently received an email from my colleague saying that "he wanted to close the loop on a task". I didn't quite get the context. It would be great if you could let me know.
0
votes
2answers
21 views

the meaning of “elsewhere”

I don't understand the meaning of "elsewhere" in this sentence "Most units raised in Britain went elsewhere on the European continent, although one is recorded in Morocco." Does it mean, all the ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Walls closing in

An old couple who are my friends, are so lonely that the walls are closing in/on them. Is my phrase correct to say that they start to behave oddly?
1
vote
3answers
80 views

Why do we say “plant a kiss”?

The term plant means a living organism; a thing with roots, shoots and leaves that needs water and sun in order to grow. So why do we say "to plant a kiss"? She planted a kiss...
1
vote
2answers
32 views

“wait for the laughter to die down” [closed]

What does "wait for the laughter to die down" mean? and when we can use it? is it an idiom or a slang? Please provide me with an example.
3
votes
3answers
111 views

How did “squarely” come to mean “in a straight or straightforward manner”?

Squarely is the adv. of Square. Its meaning is in a square shape, form, which means the shape has 90 degree. However, it has other meanings: directly; without evasion; in a straight or ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What is the meaning of “Bussin' juugs”?

I've been listening to trap music lately and I came across Gucci Mane's "Bussin' juugs". There is a lot of slang in the lyrics of trap music and given that I'm not a native speaker I didn't understand ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

“OF” between the subject and the verb “seem”?

When reading "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," I came across the sentences as following: "'They of seem so helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these.'" What is this "of" ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

What is the function of the human and no in this sentence? [closed]

a feral child is one who has had little or no human contact, thus she has no human language.
3
votes
0answers
51 views

What are some common examples of Homeoteleuton? [closed]

A Google search reveals only a handful or arcane examples. Maybe the brilliant minds here have some ideas. From the Wikipedia definition: As rhyme, homeoteleuton is not very effective. It is the ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Why are “muscle cars” called so?

Merriam-Webster defines muscle car as: any of a group of American-made 2-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving Why is this term restricted to ...
1
vote
2answers
38 views

Can I use “Engage List” instead of “Engagement List”? [closed]

In a sales context, can I use "Engage List" for a list of prospects instead of "Engagement List", which sounds more like a wedding list? This is to be used in a web service to define a list of ...
1
vote
4answers
74 views

Meaning of “I may never be able to do this”?

The problem is, that I fail to unambiguously understand this phrase. There are two ways in which I can understand it (and a number of similar phrases): I may never be able to do this = It's ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

does apropos have contradictory meanings? [closed]

Definitions: 1) with reference to; concerning. 2) very appropriate to a particular situation. 3) used to state a speaker's belief that someone's comments or acts are unrelated to any previous ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Does “two within different areas” imply “two in each different area”?

the company offers two internships within different areas: Engineering IT/IS Finance Marketing/Sales Business development Procurement How many internships is the company ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Test question difficulty [closed]

The African American painter Jacob Lawrence has frequently used the series format as a way to tell a story. As in narrative series painted by such earlier masters as Giotto, Goya, Daumier, and ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

What are the most popular meanings for 'stall'

Some English words have different meanings, e.g., stall has 22 meanings. Do I need to remember all of the meanings? It seems it is an impossible job for me. Which are the most meanings if I want to ...
4
votes
3answers
252 views

What does “go rogue” mean in “Donald Trump goes rogue left and right”? Is “go rogue” a common idiom?

There was the following passage in the New York Times' article that came under the headline, “Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump, which could bolster him in Iowa”: “As Mrs. Palin announced her ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

“Run about the street” meaning?

In "Of human bondage", by W. Somerset Maugham, there is a sentence in the conservation between Foinet and miss Price: "Then it is my duty to tell you that you are wasting your time. It would not ...
-1
votes
1answer
31 views

What is the specific meaning of “Smoking crater?”

I'm suddenly seeing and hearing the phrase "smoking crater." It's always used in a derogatory fashion, but what's the specific meaning?
1
vote
3answers
70 views

Word for having the perfect word for an occasion

I remember reading or hearing once that there was a word, I think of Greek etymological roots, that meant "having exactly the right word for an occasion." It's rather frustrating that I can't ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Is it possible to say 'suspicion and anticipation (…) has reached'?

In the article about Dismaland there is a paragraph saying: Inside the walls of a derelict seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, UK, mysterious construction over the last month—including a ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Is there a term or expression for certain terms that we have lain in a dictionary that we consider useless?

I've researched and I found out that "Pleonasm" is not what I'm referring to. So it's not that. For example: The term prognosticate -"To prognosticate weather conditions is not a simple matter." ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

“Imponderable” definition and usage

If "ponder" means "to consider carefully",did "imponderable" originally mean "not able to be considered"? And how did it seemingly evolve into its usage today meaning "unanswerable" (despite careful ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Adjective for serving as an example, validity of exemplative

I want an adjective that describes a noun as something that serves as an example of something. I viewed this ESE discussion but I feel that exemplary doesn't suffice, because it implies bias ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

I am wondering what it is called when an argument or description uses what the thing is not to expose a point or concept

This is useful when trying to expose on an abstract concept or something that is not a commonly understood. so contracting the difference between complimentary phenomena that are defined. It directs ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

The meaning of though in the end of this sentence [duplicate]

I was reading the declaration that Michael Jackson´s daugther posted about her smoking cigarettes these past days, outside a restaurant. And she wrote a sentence like this: "Sure as hell beats ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

what does ' but so too' mean? [migrated]

I came across the following sentence on the BBC new. China's headline annual economic growth numbers are important to the rest of the world - but so too are other monthly economic data as they ...
0
votes
2answers
22 views

“High-paying occupation” vs “high-paying job or position”

I am a beginner of English and my native language is Chinese. I just wonder why I can't use high-paying occupation? My teacher suggests that using high-paying job or position is much more ...
-3
votes
3answers
41 views

Is this headline concise and clear enough? [closed]

I want to say it like im 5. Essentially, where a 5 year old could be able to comprehend the message. I tried to simplify this line, but I feel it's still a bit complicated. Making deliveries ...