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

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3
votes
6answers
227 views

Misusing 'hone' to express subtly different idea that combines 'hone' and 'home in' [duplicate]

This question is similar, but I'm looking for something subtly different. Suppose you have a philosophy describing a way of thinking and acting. Acting on this philosophy requires work: your mind ...
2
votes
3answers
665 views

What is the English word for “one who composes prayers”?

I remember meeting a priest from Rome who described himself as a [missing word here] which he defined as one who writes prayers. I cannot for the life of me recall or find this word, and I'm starting ...
-1
votes
1answer
582 views

What is the meaning of this sentence?“I shall pay for this later.” [closed]

What is the meaning of this sentence? "I shall pay for this later."
0
votes
1answer
541 views

“I want to be much than more” vs. “much then more” [closed]

The doubt came after listening to Fireal from Deftones. I'm not sure of the meaning, or should I say the point the singer wants to make. This is the context: Life before I would shine down unshy ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Is the opposite of 'within', 'without'?

Typically without is used to mean not having something. E.g. He went to work without his pants on. However, I'm wondering if it can be used for outside the bounds of. We do this with within. ...
3
votes
4answers
139 views

Regions and reasons for the usage of “sleep” as “go to sleep”

This question is very closely linked to this english.SE question, which discusses the usage of "sleep" as a verb meaning "go to sleep" and inspired by this ell.SE question, in which the accepted ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are a coolie and a draw, as in “feed in the coolies & water in the draw”?

In a cowboy song the narrator, who is riding an old paint (spotted horse), says the dogies (motherless calves) "feed in the coolies & water in the draw." Where do they feed, and where do they ...
0
votes
1answer
497 views

Only requires or requires only [duplicate]

I am always unsure about the position of "only" in the sentence. For example: This ticket only costs 5 dollars. This ticket costs only 5 dollars. Are there any difference? Which one is ...
3
votes
3answers
382 views

Is there a word for human litter-mates?

If my brother and I shared a womb during gestation (as humans) we're twins. If there was another sibling in there we're triplets.. and so on, but is there a general term to describe us irrespective of ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

A person who can read lines of “hand”? [closed]

A person who can read lines of "hand" ? Is there a word of such a person. As far as I am concerned there is that I am missing?
-2
votes
1answer
94 views

What to use : “that” or “who”? [duplicate]

Consider this sentence : "I was going down the hill and on my step down I saw a guy who appeared to be disguised". "I was going down the hill and on my step down I saw a guy that appeared to be ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

What is opposite of “Love”? [closed]

In a argument with my friend who lost her love, I came across her experience of life and what she said is : Opposite of love is NOT Hate. why, Because in love people have feeling and think about ...
4
votes
1answer
373 views

Can the term “G-Man” be used to describe a Government official who is not an FBI agent?

Earlier today I was doing Merl Reagle's crossword and one of the clues was "Fraud fighting Fed." The answer turned out to be "T-Man," being short for "Treasury Man." So, this got me thinking... ...
14
votes
13answers
4k views

What word or phrase means “a loss of what was on your mind”?

Sometimes, in the middle of a conversation, a "loss of mind" can affect the speaker. What is the word for that situation and that person ? Are there more specific terms or phrases than: the loss ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

What does “misabilerist” mean?

James Wolcott, Vanity Fair culture critic, wrote a piece on the HBO series True Detective, including the following segment: What lifts creator Nic Pizzolatto's show above the misabilerist monotony ...
0
votes
4answers
163 views

What does it mean to have a “pyloric” house?

When a friend says my house is "pyloric" he says it means dirty. When I look it up it means "part of a stomach". Is there a meaning of "pyloric" for dirty or is he wrong?
-1
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there words that mean “meet the criteria”?

I'm making a comic strip and looking for a funny word in the theme of hair, maybe something that means "make it meet the criteria". It is hard for me to explain, as my first language isn't English. ...
3
votes
3answers
631 views

What does “Empty dress” exactly mean?

Washington Post (May 22) reported the victory of the 35-year-old Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky Democratic primary to position her as the challenger to 72-year-old Senate’s GOP leader, Mitch ...
6
votes
1answer
611 views

Runners in her hose?

This is from a song that Johnny Cash sang. I want to know what runners in her hose means: Back when we could laugh and play On family reunion day Didn't we all look funny In our ...
0
votes
1answer
262 views

Interviewer grinding me down

"Interviewer was grinding me down this morning". But if I had to say it in a manner like "I had to go through a lot of grinding in the interview" would it be correct? (without the word 'down' because ...
-4
votes
4answers
173 views

What is synonym of Abide? [closed]

What is synonym of Abide? a) Pays b) Diverts c) Hang Real sentence is "Curse abides on a tyrant for ever!"
0
votes
4answers
7k views

Late Night vs Early Morning [duplicate]

Can anyone explain me Difference between late night & early morning ? "I slept early morning".Is this sentence correct ? What time is called morning ? After 12:00 AM ?
1
vote
3answers
277 views

What is the usage of “need to want”?

"Indeed, whoever buys this needs to want a tablet and laptop in more or less equal measure." "Needs to want"? Isn't it a kind of unnecessary way around saying: "I think that people buy this if they ...
9
votes
5answers
696 views

Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, Chap. 2: what does “shy of being confidential on a short notice” mean?

In those days, travellers were very shy of being confidential on a short notice, for anybody on the road might be a robber or in league with robbers. I understand the meaning in general which ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

“X is inequitable because Y is disproportionate to Z.” Is there a better way to put this?

While a full Major League Baseball season is 162 games, the first round of the playoffs is only a 5 game series. I feel that this system is inequitable because the length of the opening playoff ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Difference between “Merchandise” and “Goods”

In an economics and accounting context, what is the difference between goods and merchandise ?
0
votes
1answer
448 views

What does the following statement mean? [closed]

Can anyone help me to make sense of the following statement : May all sentient beings never separate from peace and happiness. Thanks for your help.
0
votes
2answers
94 views

Explaining the structure of a thesis

The following sentence, and in particular the bold part, has no entry in google. Does it sound natural to native speakers? The work in this thesis is organised around three research themes of ...
0
votes
5answers
35k views

What does “What are you into?” mean?

I personally don't use this question in spoken language but I usually see it in written language. I also frequently see that when someone asks this question, it elicits in turn the question "What do ...
6
votes
5answers
40k views

What's the origin of “water under the bridge”?

What's the origin/background of the phrase "water under the bridge"? To what does it allude? I understand it means to let bygones be bygones--to move on from the past. But I don't think I understand ...
0
votes
1answer
17k views

Is “humbleness” a word? [closed]

I am curious if "humbleness" is a word that can be used in place of the word "humility." Example usage: A certain amount of humbleness is necessary to fit in with the office environment.
0
votes
1answer
23k views

What’s the difference between “in” and “at” when used before a Location/Site/Country/County etc

We always were told that you could use the word in before a place which is a large space e.g. country/city etc. Whereas, before a smaller site or place you should use at. But actually I don’t know ...
7
votes
6answers
8k views

The origin of the term half assed

Does this slang originate from half asked, since the difinition means exactly that. You only did half what I asked you.
0
votes
1answer
21k views

What does it mean to qualify a statement or argument [closed]

What does it mean by a statement being contestable? - (qualify a statement).
2
votes
1answer
146 views

What is the difference between two words “amorphous” and “mercurial”? [closed]

The meanings in the dictionary are as follows: amorphous: without a clearly defined shape or form. mercurial: subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind. What is the origin of the ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

“As” vs “because of” [closed]

I am a little bit confused in meaning of "as" and "because of". there are two sentences: I felt tired today as I worked hard yesterday. I felt tired because of I worked hard yesterday or I felt ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference in meaning between “booking is amended” and “booking has been amended” [duplicate]

What is the difference in meaning between "booking is amended" and "booking has been amended"?
0
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between “Rest of the things” and “Remaining things”?

In which context these words find their use? are they synonym to each other?
5
votes
6answers
3k views

Does the word Effortless imply a negative or a positive comment?

I watched a TV show where a group of dancers were performing a number. After that, the host interviewed one of the audience and he was told that the Group A's performance was effortless and gave a low ...
0
votes
3answers
198 views

Is “Everyone tends to get the best of my worst” a valid sentence?

Is there any alternatives to the above sentence? I just needed to know how to say : "everyone tends to find my worst qualities easily" in a subtle way. And i really had no what to tag it with :)
0
votes
3answers
105 views

Meaning of 'an academic air'

What does 'gave her an academic air' mean in the following sentence: He opened the door without knocking, and there she was alone at her desk, absorbed, serious, with the new eyeglasses that ...
1
vote
3answers
16k views

Difference between “wedding” and “marriage” [closed]

What is the correct usage between the following? A wedding anniversary A marriage anniversary? What differences are there, if any.
0
votes
1answer
217 views

jungle town and sporting woman

I wanna know the meaning of "jungle town" and "sporting woman" in the following context from Hemingway's To Have and Have Not: We stopped the car in back of this place and went into the kitchen ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

What's the exact meaning of “make to a budget”

The sentence is as follows: This isn't just an Apple tablet made to a budget Am I correct in assuming it means: This isn't a cheap tablet made within certain budgetary constraints so that you can ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

V number out of Tampa

I don't get the exact meaning of "V number out of Tampa" in the following context from Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. Freddy Wallace's boat, the Queen Conch, 34 feet long, with a V number out ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What does “stuff one's nose into another's orifices” mean?

According to Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (May 20) under the headline, “Remember to forget,” the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Google and other search engines can be ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

What does ‘Konrad Lorentz’s observation was “one sentence”’ mean?

New York Times (May 20) introduces a study of Dr. Johanna H. Meijer at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands that proves mice are really enjoying wheel-running in the article titled, “...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

What is a sub-base?

I found the term sub-base in To Have And Have Not by Ernest Hemingway (1937): "We'll have to steal the boat. You know they ain't got her fixed so I can't start her." "How you going to get her ...
3
votes
3answers
238 views

Word for skill without passion

I am looking for a word that describes a skill a person possesses but does not enjoy. For example: Although Robert does not like tennis, he is very good at it. What word could be used to ...
4
votes
3answers
302 views

Word that describes exploration coupled with transformation?

Is there a verb that combines the sense of explore as well as transforming that which you are exploring? For instance, if I want to describe an explorer who also changed the lands he visited, is there ...