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

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1
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1answer
45 views

“contractor” vs. “construction company”

I'm not a native English speaker. What is the difference between these terms, and which is more common? "contractors" vs. "construction companies" If I want to say: "It's a software vendor for ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Can somebody explain “alienating customers” and “on either side” in this context for me? [closed]

"UK banks have been fearful of alienating customers on either side, while eurozone-headquartered institutions can more easily relocate business from London back to their home countries in the event of ...
-2
votes
1answer
75 views

the water's edge [closed]

When we use the phrase the water's edge are we referring to the water from the vantage point of the land? Can a person in a rowboat, while he is in the middle of a lake, say "I am now going to bring ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

definition of the word circuadjacent

This word is in The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald: Turning from the first glance at the circuadjacent splendour, it dwindled into nothing as he looked again at the lady. Neither I or ...
3
votes
2answers
269 views

Etymology and Meaning of “geodeter”

While researching the source and use of mathematical formulas to calculate the radius of the earth, I came across this passage: Mitchell also showed that the mean radius of the earth was defined ...
1
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0answers
46 views

What is implied in this sentence? [closed]

In "How to write mathematics" by Halmos I came accross the following fragment: "A credit line from me here wouldn’t add a thing to their stature, but my possible misunderstanding, misplacing, and ...
-2
votes
3answers
120 views

What does “stereotype” mean in: “this movement is very fast, stereotype and for a short duration”?

Please tell me the meaning of stereotype in the following passage Reflexes: This is the behaviour in which movement takes place in a particular organ. This movement is very fast, stereotype, and ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Anti-System Abstraction

I'm looking for the best word describing Anti-System, implying liberal of any controlling mechanism. The word can be historical (ancient greece, egypt, or persia), or it can be self-created. It can be ...
-3
votes
2answers
89 views

If I'm a sophomore in high school, what Year would I be? [closed]

I'm trying to sign up for UCAS, but I don't know what to put for the Year (Year One, Year Two, all through to "Post 19".) What do you call the years for high school students?
1
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0answers
41 views

Came “into” fruition?

My friend wrote some copy, explaining that her "company came into fruition because she realized the opportunity..." I've never used "came into fruition" -- only "came to fruition". Is "came into ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

What is meant by saying that someone feels possessed by something? [closed]

I suffered an attack of sneezing, my skull hurt, and I had a fever, but I felt possessed by a strength and determination I'd never had at any age or for any reason. The text as it now ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Word/term for tutorial materials

We're working on some type of e-learning system in which users will be provided with tutorials and exercises. To title the tutorial materials, I was looking for an appropriate term/word but I could ...
0
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2answers
56 views

The meaning of the word “ Host” in a sentence of a story [closed]

What does the word "host" mean in the sentence below? " father O'Mahoney as the light failed, Blacker than ever in his suit and with the black-fringed stole hanging over his shoulders and the white ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

If we define “good” as “giving satisfaction” who is getting satisfaction in a sentence like “the book was good”? [closed]

good - satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree satisfactory - giving or affording satisfaction; fulfilling all demands or requirements How would we reword a sentence like "the book was ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

What does it mean “ticket puncher” in this sentence?

Mature ticket-punchers are more "adult" or specialized in their interests; Tend to do OK academically but socially they subsist outside the mainstream (they ask less and add less). Here is the link ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

What is the difference between “drop” and “dump”? When should I use each? [closed]

I do not know the difference meaning using these two verbs when you 'throw' something in the floor. For example, in the sentence: "I dumped/dropped my wallet on the street." It may be a very silly ...
-1
votes
2answers
43 views

What do you call when someone engages in this kind of activity? [closed]

what do you call it when someone randomly but methodically goes out of their way to get you to believe they're doing one thing but than goes and does the complete opposite? IDK if the purpose is to ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Difference between the verbs “appropriate” and “expropriate”?

Expropriate has the following definitions (Merriam-Webster): to deprive of possession or proprietary rights to transfer (the property of another) to one's own possession For example, in ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

What does “in a blur” mean? [closed]

What does "in a blur" mean in the sentence below? Is it a slang? Does it mean "very fast"? "I grinned as I counted more quickly and ran the numbers together in a blur." Source: Counting Stars ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Can capitol and capital mean the same thing? [closed]

So, can these two things mean the same thing? I wonder because I remember someone using both words for the different meanings.
3
votes
2answers
125 views

“Changing threat level to Magenta” (SNL) - What is the “Magenta” joke?

I was watching "Cold Opening: Homeland Security - Saturday Night Live". I am supposed to translate the entire sketch for my next classes, but I really don't know what is the joke here. I only know ...
8
votes
2answers
557 views

What does muwaah mean?

I am not a native English speaker. Anyways, there's this girl in my class who quite frequently bunks and she relies on me for notes. I am basically her asset who does all her assignments and other ...
2
votes
4answers
116 views

What is the word when you destroy small part of a building or something big

I think destroy and demolish don't the fit actual idea I'm trying to describe. Let me give an example; let's say we have many columns in a building and we only want to 'destroy' a single column. Is ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

what is the meaning of'the latest and greatest when it come stop technology'

I am not a native English speaker, I look at this sentence ,very confused. what is the meaning of 'the latest and greatest when it come stop technology' context: If your organization can offer ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

What does “life is a unicorn pooping rainbows of candy” means? [duplicate]

What does "life is a unicorn shitting rainbows of candy" means? Saw it on epidode 10 season 1 of the magicians.
1
vote
3answers
68 views

Is the word 'append' synonymous with 'insert'? [closed]

Append is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary to mean: "to add (something) to a piece of writing" When observing the common usage of the word, it's typically to imply that something was ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

What is the difference between “bind” and “link”? [closed]

Bind and link are both verb and noun but the difference in meaning between these words are quite hard for me to catch. I'd say the "the moral bind of the law" to express that both of them are tied ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

“Invite someone [over] to dinner” vs. “… for dinner”

What's the difference between "invite someone [over] to dinner" and "invite someone [over] for dinner"? Please, consider as an example: Thank you for inviting me [over] to dinner. Thank you ...
3
votes
3answers
161 views

What is a “foreign fighter”?

I was inspired to ask this question (on ELL) because of something in a CNN article that didn't sound right to me. Per capita, Belgium has the highest number of foreign fighters in Syria of any ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

What would you call a person that is so scared of losing their own life that they will go so far as to risk the lives of others?

What would you call a person that is so scared of losing their own life that they will go so far as to risk the lives of others? I'm trying to think of a word that expresses the meaning of someone who ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Origin of “moke,” used in the mildly derogatory term “you lil' moke”

Does anyone know the origins of this term? I have only managed to track one reference to it. I heard it from my Granny who was Romani. The Online Etymology Dictionary has this short entry: moke ...
0
votes
3answers
60 views

Using “Prescience”

Is it alright if I use the word "prescience" in this manner, since the term prescience means to know something in advance? From the looks of the dark clouds outside the window, I've got a prescience ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What can I translate the word “argument” in this passage? What does it mean?

The brain is an argument. We make different decisions in different ways. In addition, different parts of the brain respond to stimuli in different time frames. Think of two teams of lawyers doing ...
4
votes
2answers
399 views

What does 'odds' mean in 'overcome the odds'? [closed]

Well, I guess the 'odds' in 'overcome the odds' means kind of 'diffculties'. But I cannot find such kind of explaining in dictionary (oxford dict online) nor in "Practical Everyday English (by Steven ...
13
votes
11answers
624 views

Word for stealing an item then returning it without the owner's knowledge?

Does there exists a specific word to describe the action of stealing an item, keeping it for few days then returning it from where it was taken? An example: A friend of mine "lost" his personal diary ...
-2
votes
2answers
62 views

Is answering back with “Of Course” offensive and insulting? [closed]

One of my business clients asked me , that, if I had a particular skill. example Microsoft word..........I instantly answered back "Of Course" in a strong voice. Is it offensive and insulting to say ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Please explain the grammatical structure of the bold part in the sentence

Spotify’s initial foray into Asia saw it land in small and fairly Western-influenced countries like Hong Kong and Singapore, markets where it was likely to see uptake.
0
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0answers
36 views

What this “you've learn” means?

Batman said "It's time you've learn what it means to be a man." Does this mean almost same as "It's time that you have to learn what it means to be a man." ? What is the difference from "It's time to ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

The Meaning of “Crank” in Scotts slang?

On a train, earlier today I overheard one Scottish guy say to another: "There's nary a hold chap in that bunch of slordy, poofy freeks. All o' 'em is crank in the head, that's what I say". I have ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Usage of “Have something to do with”

The other day, I was eating at a restaurant with my mate. The food was really good but the waiters seemed to be rather rude. Then when we left there, my mate asked me what I thought of this ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

How to describe someone with an adjective? [closed]

I want to say that 'If I should give you an adjective that would be '. Although I am not sure if this is correct or if there is any better way to say that?
25
votes
10answers
4k views

Seeking Generic Word: Place where opponents fight

I have a definition in need of a word: A universal term for a place where opponents compete. Unfortunately, most words are specific to one type of sport or combat, but I can't think of one that would ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

How to interpret this sentence, “Apple didn’t update the iPad Air, which could have hurt the sales numbers.” [closed]

I found this sentence in this article. And yet, it’s a bit intriguing that Apple is choosing to raise the price on the mainstream iPad. In the most recent quarter, iPad sales were down 25 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Operator: “Are you through, Sir?” - AmEng vs. BrEng

In the context of a telephone call via an operator-assisted service, is it fact that in AmEng, if the operator asks the service user (caller) if they are through, what is meant by that is, are you ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Difference between “wants to be you” and “wants to become you”

I've been watching the latest season of House of Cards and in the latest episode I saw there is a line that I think is supposed to convey an image, but I can't quite understand it. It is about the US ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

What does the word “nanities” mean? [closed]

I found the word "nanities" in some Marvel fanfic about Tony Stark. I know Helen said he [Tony] would be better than new after the nanities finished doing their job, but we are all worried. But ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

Because of a reason vs for a reason

When people say "Everything happens for a reason" it sounds like that "reason" is in the future. Is my interpretation wrong? If not, how do I clearly state that "Everything happens due to cause and ...
1
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2answers
77 views

Can “prognosis” ever be correctly used outside of the medical meaning of the word? [closed]

i.e. would it be correct to ask about the 'prognosis' of an ongoing engineering project?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a Junker?

Everything changed; planes flew, and a businessman tossed a sack of letters out of a Junker and invented airmail. - (Garcia Marquez: Memories of My Melancholy Whores) The closest match I found ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

What does “left to center” mean?

I was watching a TV show and a man was talking about a singer and he said that singer was a left to center artist. Clearly it was a compliment but I kind of got lost there. What exactly does that ...