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

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3answers
75 views

When to use “we are meant to be”?

I am Korean living in Seoul. I wanted to look up an expression which I can interpret 인연, Korean word describes the relationship meant to be. This expression is often used by men for pick up lines even ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Is there a (possible archaic) definition of “permitted” that does not imply “permission”?

I recently came across this question, about an oddity from Lord of the Rings. The question is asking about this passage: “I would ask one thing before we go,” said Frodo, “a thing which I often ...
1
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2answers
88 views

Is “throw guns into a hot stove” a common phrase or just one-off figurative expression?

Today, Scott Simon, the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition news program, interviews former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder about the cease-fire between the Ukrainian government and Russian separatists, and ...
1
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1answer
36 views

What does “ceremonial” mean in this context?

What does "ceremonial" mean in this context? Thus, it was for freedom (legitimate moral and ceremonial freedom) that Christ set us free. Definitions of "ceremonial": 1. relating to or used for ...
2
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1answer
41 views

What does “unsexy skills” mean?

What does "unsexy skills" mean in following sentence? Tackle the unsexy skills that are rarely addressed but highly important for transitioning into a professional setting.
0
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1answer
63 views

I hope I don't regret this vs I hope I won't regret this [duplicate]

What is the difference between these two? From my understanding: "I hope I will not regret this" - this means he has hope that in the future he will not regret something he has done(or will do) "I ...
0
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2answers
106 views

What does “what you're in for” means [closed]

What does what you're in for mean in following sentence? The journey seems intense and, frankly, it often is. It's important that you understand what you're in for, particularly if you go it ...
3
votes
3answers
111 views

What does it mean to be 'debonair'?

Debonair seems to me to have disappeared from current English, and perhaps belongs in an age when they made films like Gone With the Wind. Is it that the word has ceased to exist, and if so what is ...
1
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1answer
65 views

Just how is the the adjective “sanguine” used in current English?

According to various dictionaries, sanguine means "(eagerly) optimistic, confident, cheerful, hopeful". Yet I always get the impression that modern writers intend a somewhat weaker meaning: more like ...
0
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2answers
107 views

Do you ever use the phrase 'good for you' with a completely positive connotation? [duplicate]

I feel the phrase 'good for you' shows a sense of detachment or lack of interest and sounds so rude while the phrase 'I feel happy for you' shows a sense of interest and friendship. I wonder why would ...
0
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2answers
46 views

Sum on interest [closed]

What is the meaning of this statement? She shall receive 5% interest for each year on the sum of $100,000 for 10 years. Does it mean that she has to get $100,000 (it say ON the SUM) plus ...
0
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1answer
51 views

Pretentious vs Superficial [closed]

From what I Understand , both these words in a day to day vocabulary describing a Person Pretentious means Someone who is trying to get more importance by pretending something or Exaggerating ...
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0answers
26 views

“The Internet” vs “Internet” [duplicate]

I've read about Articles: THE is called a definite article. "Definite" means "specific". A and AN are called indefinite articles. "Indefinite" means "not specific". Use A (AN) when you are ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Consider that to mean 'believe that' [closed]

The European audit authority "the Court" systematically presents its findings/opinions with sentences that begin: 'the Court considers that....' This sounds like a gallicism to me. Can we use ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Why is “decimate” still linked to its number-specific definition when other similar words are not? [closed]

As any pedant will tell you, decimate means “to destroy a tenth of something.” Of course, its modern usage has been expanded to this: to destroy a large number of (plants, animals, people, ...
3
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5answers
126 views

Is there a word for “someone who can talk to anyone”?

Trying to think of a word for a resume that would cover "being able to converse with almost anyone from having a general knowledge of many subjects". It wouldn't be articulate but I can't find ...
0
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0answers
23 views

What does “size availability” mean in the following context?

It's about woods, more precisely about the tree called "Thuya Burr" : USES: Mostly used for decorative veneers as size availability is limited. Many thanks for your help
1
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3answers
48 views

find one's own unique cadences

The following passage is quoted from an article in the Observer, Sunday 15 September 2013 titled This glorious and unruly English language that lets everyone in What does the phrase "to find within ...
0
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1answer
103 views

Different between “alacrity”, “fervor”, “zeal” and “fanaticism”

What is the different between "alacrity", "fervor", "zeal" and "fanaticism"? I find these definition in Google: Alacrity: brisk and cheerful readiness. Fervor: intense and passionate feeling. ...
6
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3answers
463 views

Reverse relation of role model

If A is a role model to B. B is what to A? I assume there is something more focused than fan or follower.
7
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5answers
952 views

What does “Anyone who is married” mean in “Anyone who is married should know that facts and logic are not always helpful to one’s cause”? [closed]

I’m drawn to the phrase, “anyone who is married” taken from Benn Steil's recently published book, The Battle of Bretton Woods that deals with the battle engaged by Maynard Keynes and Harry White, each ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

what does sentience mean in the given context [closed]

Before we give doors and toasters sentience, we should decide what we're comfortable with first. Please explain the bold part.
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2answers
75 views

Word meaning both create and update?

I'd like to know if someone has a better word than these (authored, produced) , for both creating and updating something. Context: I'm a software developer and I'm trying to think of a clever way to ...
1
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2answers
37 views

Contribute vs assist [closed]

How is it correct to say - I contributed in your achievements VS I assisted in your achievements. I will explain what I want to say - I dont way to say that I help, because a man can consider that I ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

What does permeate mean in this sentence?

"I like girls who are just as confident without make-up on than when they are when it permeates their face." I saw it on Twitter. In this sentence, does permeate mean when makeup covers the whole ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Meaning and usage of “to be done for”

(Not to be confused with "to be done with stng") I've seen several times the expression "to be done for", not followed by anything. Here is an example not so far from what I could actually read or ...
1
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2answers
34 views

meaning of “attempted together ” [closed]

What does "attempted together" mean in the following sentence. The problems of all the stages attempted together are enough to swamp anyone. Also please clarify whether it refers to the stages ...
0
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3answers
144 views

Is “haha” a sarcastic phrase? [closed]

So, is that "fake" funny? Is there any difference beetween "hehe", "haha", "huh", "heh", "hahaha", "ha", and so on and so forth?
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Memorable or Recall or what

I used in a sentence: your most memorable dream. I meant it as the dream I thought of first. It was interpreted as the dream which is remembered with the most detail. Memorable means, "worth ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

“Abusive” vs “invective” vs “vituperative”

What is the different between abusive, invective and vituperative? In the following definitions from Oxford, the last two both contain abusive, which makes me hard to distinguish them. Abusive: ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

“Don't even get me nests than the client admitted to”

I'm trying to understand this phrase. What does it mean? Is it even grammatically correct? Context: "How was the hunt though? Worth it?" the blond countered. "Don't even get me nests than ...
3
votes
2answers
315 views

One sentence with two meanings! “The door was locked”

I'm learning English. I think the sentence "The door was locked" has two meanings!. I'm very confused. First of all, let's look at this example: I broke the glass (Active) The glass was broken ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Where does mercurial get its meaning? [closed]

I'm curious where the word "mercurial" derives its meaning? Two guesses I have are the Roman god Mercury, and the chemical element mercury. I'm leaning towards the latter... because the word ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

What does the term 'Institutional Cowardice' mean? [closed]

Werner Herzog said this - "Thwart institutional cowardice". I could not get hold of exact meaning of this line. Can somebody help me here?
0
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0answers
28 views

Do you still “know” something you have temporarily forgotten?

Sometimes people say, for example I know it, but I can't think of it at the moment. But if you can't think of it at the moment, then can you truthfully state that you "know" it? Dictionary ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

what does “ attention whore” mean?

I heard "attention whore" from a radio,my finding in this case is that whore means somebody who does anything in order to achieve what they want,so they do anything to get attention of others, how do ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

“Depend just as much on”? [closed]

Moore and Noyce shared a vision, recognizing that success depended just as much on intellectual pizzazz as on Intel's ability to deliver a product. What does this sentence mean? The part ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

Meaning of “mind is full of red”

What does it mean (from famous song Somebody to love of Jefferson Airplane): When the garden flowers, baby, are dead yes And your mind, your mind is so full of red Especially "mind full of ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

I don't understand the meaning of the last sentence. “He held out his palms as if to have them read” [closed]

A thin dark man in a dirty caftan materialized and spoke to us in a lengthy nasal language. He held out his palms as if to have them read.
2
votes
5answers
233 views

Is the misuse of “literally” an example of a malapropism?

The new Father John Misty album takes up the "people keep misusing the word 'literally' and I'm mad as hell about it" cry and calls its misuse a malapropism. I think of things like "french benefits" ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

'Orthogonality' in words [closed]

The concept of the opposite of a word is well known, for example black/white, on/off. In mathematics, there is the concept of 'orthogonal', meaning geometrically perpendicular. Is there a ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

The Wider Empire and the wrong parts of Britain

The following quotation is taken from an article by Fintan O'Toole titled This glorious and unruly English that lets everyone in. (The Observer, Sunday 15 September 2013) What do the terms "the ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

The meaning and etymology of the exclamation “Lawdy me!”

What does a speaker mean if he/she exclaims "Lawdy me!"? I noticed this exclamation when I was reading a short story "the Conscience of the Court" by Zora Neale Hurston. There was one brown-skinned ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Meaning of “Bump” on forums

A guy posted something on (or in?) a forum. Another one posted "bump". Sometimes it's the same guy. What does it mean? In dictionaries, bump is typically defined as (as a noun) a small raised ...
1
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1answer
82 views

“private reason” vs “personal reason”

Someone turned down my invitation for visit to our university for some private reasons. I am not sure what he meant by that. The situation is like he used to work for a company and there might be a ...
1
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1answer
86 views

Meaning of “So yeah”

I often hear that phrase at the end of sentences. Sometimes at the beginning. What does it mean?
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Meaning of “in so far as” [closed]

Groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir and Tablighi Jamaat play a peripheral role in so far as both men and women may be radicalised as they gravitate toward their teachings. What's the meaning of the ...
-1
votes
2answers
37 views

“their” is used in the below 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
2answers
44 views

difference between “teacher's monitoring” and “teacher monitoring”?

What is the difference between "teacher's monitoring in classroom learning activities" and "teacher monitoring in classroom learning activities?
0
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0answers
35 views

Midnight at the Halls or Midnight in the Halls

I was writing a title for an article and I was curious which version of the title would be more grammatically proper: "Midnight at the Halls" or "Midnight in the Halls" It's trying express the fact ...