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

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0
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1answer
63 views

Is it common to use “totally” in such a way as “Michelle Obama’ s totally running in California.” [duplicate]

Vanity Fair magazine (October 23 issue) carried an article titled, “A brief history of Michelle Obama career-goal rumors,” and wrote as follows under the caption, “She’s totally running in ...
2
votes
4answers
418 views

What does “mertilize” mean?

I have been unable to find a definition, or a source for the word mertilize. I've seen it used on TV, in articles, and even in comic strips.
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Use of decline for condition has got worse

I am trying to say that health difficulties have got worse - or the difficulties have increased: I have long term health difficulties that have declined and are significantly impacting on... Does ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

What does “a turn-away crowd” mean?

When I watch some sports events, narrator says, "A turn-away crowd tonight, a sold-out American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX" (actually this one is from WWE ;-) What is the meaning of " a ...
2
votes
2answers
301 views

What word means to feel better by writing about what you feel?

What word means "to feel better by writing it down?" Usually speaking about your emotions.
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“polished surfaces reflect brutal efficiency” meaning?

This is the description of the location "The Ebony Barracks" in Act 3 of Path of Exile. I wasn't too sure whether to ask it here or in Gaming.SE since it is English related. What is the meaning of ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

What does the phrase “old Charlottes” refer to?

I'm reading the novel Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian at the moment. It has the following passage in it: '… it seemed to me there was an unnatural proportion of Lord Mayor's men among ...
-1
votes
2answers
30 views

Difference between Interoperability and Interaction [closed]

Is there any difference between those two terms: 'Interaction' and 'Interoperability'?
0
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4answers
51 views

Treatment vs Management

What is the difference in meaning between management and treatment? Is the word "treatment" just a medical term or can we use it in another situations? i.e in order to say "I want to relieve his ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Conclusion VS Summary [closed]

In the scientific papers it is very common to see words like abstract, summary and conclusion. What is the difference between those words and how we can use them correctly?
0
votes
1answer
70 views

the meaning of “this far”

what does" this far" mean? is it a synonym for"thus far"? and what does it mean in this example:" Oh I guess we made it, Or at least we made it this far, And it all looks smooth from here."?
17
votes
7answers
3k views

Does “candlelight” mean “compare side by side”?

Some of my colleagues use the word "candlelight" to mean "directly compare similar things". A specific example is comparing two lines on a line chart like this: "We can use this chart to ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

What's the meaning of “pillage and plunder”? [closed]

In the last episode of "Once Upon a Time" (S04E04 - The Apprentice) there was this dialog: Girl: Well, I don't pillage and plunder on the first date, just so you know. Man: Well, that's because ...
0
votes
5answers
67 views

To what extent do 'earn income' and 'generate income' differ? [closed]

I've had a short search on this but may have overlooked an easily-accessible source that differentiates the two. They don't seem synonymous, but I can't yet point to a definition of the two. To me, ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

“… and then Judah decides to eliminate his mistress.” Is it correct to use “eliminate” for “kill”? [closed]

In a review for the 1989 film "Crimes and Misdemeanors" a critic says: "...and after his mistress has been eliminated, Judah decides..." meaning "has been killed". I always thought of "eliminate" as ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

How to use “sous vide” in a sentence

First, I'm not sure if sous vide is a trademark or just a cooking method like boil or fry. How should I use sous vide in a sentence when writing a recipe?
0
votes
2answers
47 views

what does “I think it was par for the course” mean [closed]

In an interview ElonMusk says the following about steve jobs(http://www.freshdialogues.com/2013/02/25/elon-musk-on-steve-jobs-innovation-critics-transcript/). I think it was par for the course ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

“As if it weren't bad enough”: meaning and subjunctive mood?

This is a sentence from a preface of book: As if it weren’t bad enough that I wrote my first book during our first year of marriage, I wrote this book during our first year of parenthood. Although ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Does the word “comparatively” require two operands?

Comparatively is similar to relatively. When using relatively it is common that you are comparing against general knowledge or an aforementioned entity(ies). When using comparatively, do you need ...
-1
votes
3answers
90 views

“All but” - what does it mean? [duplicate]

I actually have a very naive question. When someone says All but five people have left the town. What does it actually mean? Have 5 people left the town or has everyone else left, with only 5 ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

Is “Needless to say” ever worth saying? [closed]

I get a weird twinge in my stomach when ever I have the urge to write "Needless to say." If it's needless to say, it would seem stupid to say it. Am I right? Am I wrong?
0
votes
1answer
87 views

“Would you like some coffee?” “Thank you!” - In this context, does “thank you” mean “yes, please” or “no, thank you”?

The OED defines "thank you" as a polite expression used when acknowledging a gift, service, or compliment, or accepting or refusing an offer. ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

isolate vs. isolated

I'm doing research paper and I want to write a sentence like We wanted to compare two groups isolated. A colleague told me to write isolate, without d. I just checked, this is an actual ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Contentious Vs. Controversial

Are the words contentious and controversial synonymous AND interchangeable? or is there some difference in some contexts or in emphasis? For example, take this sentence I found in an excerpt from a ...
0
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3answers
54 views

“Preliminary Considerations”

In my thesis I have a part where I provide all the algorithms which I have developed. I want to introduce this part with a chapter containing the literature review regarding these algorithms, ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

What's the difference in meaning between “evidence” and “proof”?

What's the difference between "evidence" and "proof"? I've noticed that the word "evidence" is often used in English as if it meant proof. For example, ...there is evidence of human existence in ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

What is it called, when a situation is described in a complicated way instead of a simple one?

How to say in English, when one describes the matter in a more complicated manner than it is. For instance, one has two options, A and B; and either of them has to be accepted. One want to say the ...
1
vote
5answers
104 views

Meaning of “I'm going to have to let you go now”

I got a call from my company and I heard as follows: Sorry, we are going to have to let you go now. Can anyone tell me what does this means.
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Why 'aye aye sir' instead of 'yes sir' in naval response?

From Wikipedia, I know Aye aye sir is used in a naval response. I want know the origin of why Aye aye sir is used here? Another question: when I saw TV series A Song of Ice and Fire, I found Aye is ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

On the Existence of the Word 'Grousily'

Is 'grousily' a word? I would like to use it in a sentence to mean 'grumpily, as if in imitation of a rumpled grouse' but don't think it's okay because of how I couldn't find it in either OS X's ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Founder or co founder? [duplicate]

I created a website one year ago and a friend joined me on the project seven months later. So i worked one year on it and he worked four months. I searched on many website to understand the ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Movable Type vs. WordPress [closed]

Is the name of the blogging platform 'WordPress' word play? Does it have any additional meaning for a native English speaker? For example, the name of the blogging platform 'Movable Type' refers to ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Subject of investigation vs. Object of investigation? [duplicate]

which of the following is better: "He is the subject of our current investigation." "He is the object of our current investigation."
3
votes
7answers
148 views

“I'm dry” meaning “Would you buy me a drink?” What semantic or rhetorical term describes such usage?

Instead of saying "Could I have some water, please?" a visitor says "I am thirsty". The host understands it perfectly and says "Let me get you something to drink. What would you like?" or at a ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

What's the meaning of “by string of” in logic

I don't know the meaning of "by string of" in following sentence Infer by string of IF-THEN statements found in the following Source: Knowledge Management in the Intelligence Enterprise
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Validate or Ratify?

Is there a clear difference between the "validation" or "ratification" of a document.? I came across a document that stated "Form for the Validation & Ratification of...." I thought that to ...
1
vote
3answers
165 views

What is the meaning of “it is to…” [closed]

What is the meaning of it is to in the following: It is to the Director [of Central Intelligence] that the assistant first turns to learn the facts in a crisis and for analysis of events, and ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Rhetoric: 'Anyone that believes _____, must be _______.'

Is there a specific name for rhetoric that follows this general form? 'Anyone that _____, (is a, must be, etc.) _______.' I seem to recall that the above was a specific type of rhetoric pointed out ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

Is there word for this, other than know-it-all? [duplicate]

Just wondering, if there's a word for: One who makes it appear as if they're an expert on a subject while there are also signals (subtly or blatantly noticeable) that this person doesn't know very ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Curious words that make me suspicious

I'm curious about that curious object. I'm suspicious of that suspicious stranger. I'm dubious about that dubious plan. I can't think of any other words that allow this: using the same ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

what's the meaning of “tree”?

what's the meaning of "tree" in the following sentence Pappus showed how both analysis and synthesis are used to solve problems by working in both directions to find a solution path (a tree or ...
-2
votes
1answer
49 views

Androgenization refers to masculinity, but Androgynous refers to masculinity and femininity. Why? [closed]

I recently came across the word "androgenization" which I have found to mean "possess male hormones". I found this rather strange, because to be androgynous is to have neither/both male and female ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Relations between base level English words

A lot of dictionaries these days when they explain a word, they usually suppose that we know some base level words e.g, 'a', 'the', 'he', 'that' ,and 'be'. If I look up to their definitions in the ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

How can a poem be defined? [closed]

Merriam webster says: A piece of writing that usually has figurative language and that is written in separate lines that often have a repeated rhythm and sometimes rhyme. Googling 'define: poem' ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Are “a perfect fool”, “a proper fool” and “a precious fool” the same kind of “fool”?

Is there any (subtle) difference in meaning and usage when these adjectives qualify "a fool"? Are these adjectives perfectly interchangeable "A precious fool I would look, if I did that." "The ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

What is a wheenydom?

What is a wheenydom? It's in the following context: (from a tech-related article) I know that PowerShell is cooler and such than TCSH and BASH, but this smells of Windows wheenydom to me. ...
0
votes
3answers
44 views

A single word that collectively means volume, shape and size

With regard to a hollow object (such as a room), is there a single word that captures the collective import of the terms 'volume', 'shape' and 'size'? (particularly in the fields of mathematics or ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

What is an appropriate antonym for “genesis”?

In my academic discipline (meteorology), I very occasionally see lysis used to refer to dissipation of a system where genesis has been used to describe its initial development. However, lysis seems ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Usage of the word terrorism

We read in newspapers and watch on TV many cases regarding students gunning down their classmates and teachers. Suppose a student brought a gun to class, pointed it at his friends and teachers, and ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

The meaning of “yet” in “Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes”

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2. within a month; Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, She married: I'm wondering about the ...