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

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1answer
73 views

Meaning of “missile”

What's a missile in this case? Would you rather a cop grab a quick nap while not on a call if they're exhausted or drive around a two ton missile with a gun on their hip while half asleep.
6
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1answer
3k views

Use of 'at large'

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at ...
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4answers
3k views

The meaning of “from that of”

I came across the following sentence on a website: Deaf children's emotional development differs from that of hearing children. I am guessing that the sentence simply mean that deaf ...
21
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7answers
14k views

Difference between “the very first” and “first”

I have the sentence: Who wrote the very first dictionary ever? Is it any different from Who wrote the first dictionary ever? I don't get how something could be more first.
5
votes
1answer
287 views

“Fight with the grape”: what does it mean?

I am reading Why the West rules---for now and found the idiom "to fight with the grape": Like the Medes before him, he fought with the grape: he let the Massagetan vanguard loot his camp [...] I ...
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2answers
5k views

“Would rather [infinitive1] than [infinitive2]” vs. “would rather that [subjunctive]”"

I am aware of sentences like Beth would rather study at the library than go to parties. There is another type of using rather that: She would rather that the plane leave early in the ...
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5answers
5k views

What is the precise meaning of “soul”? [closed]

I was translating a sentence which contained the Arabic word "نفس (nefs)" in an answer to a question. نفس is physical entity of a living thing, that feels and experiences earthly desires and emotions ...
2
votes
1answer
266 views

Meaning of “pull up”

What's the meaning of pull up? Tried pulling up on my cell(video), wouldn't work. Will watch when I get home.
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3answers
2k views

Understand the meaning of “tall order”

I was wondering why a "tall order" means a formidable task or requirement? Is it a metaphor? If so, how shall I understand it?
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3answers
619 views

Does the sentence “His confident visage hid insecurity” make sense?

I was wondering if this sentence makes sense, and if it does, is the meaning of visage in this sentence metaphoric? His confident visage hid insecurity.
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2answers
259 views

Assembler, Installer, Fitter

Say, you buy some new office furniture. You get the furniture parts delivered including the service to put the different parts - for example the desk top and the desk legs - together to complete ...
0
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2answers
11k views

Proper usage of “take your time”

What is the proper usage of "take your time"? Can we use it in the following context? Rachel sent me an email saying that she is busy and will not be able to meet me until the following week. In ...
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3answers
371 views

Give Signs Of Uncertainty

The project gives signs of too much uncertainty. The project gives too much uncertainty. If I am trying to use sense 5c of this dictionary, would one of the sentences above be wrong? ...
0
votes
1answer
493 views

Looking for a word or words meaning to change something so it's more widely used and more efficient to use [closed]

I'm writing a proposal regarding website development work and would like a meaningful name for the proposal. I currently have a system for developing websites that isn't the most efficient and costs a ...
0
votes
1answer
188 views

Word order again?

I have been thinking about word order and its meaning, thus when we have for instance: Planet of the apes or Apes planet Proposal for extra work or Extra work proposal Which is the more ...
2
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5answers
7k views

“Enclosure” vs. “attachment”

If I understand it correctly, one usually uses the term enclosure when referring to extra documents to e.g. a letter. But what if these extra items are not other documents and papers? Say I have ...
11
votes
3answers
18k views

Difference between “packet”, “parcel” and “package”

The definition on OALD is identical for parcel and packet. parcel (especially British English) (North American English usually package) something that is wrapped in paper or put into a thick ...
1
vote
1answer
298 views

“Proceed” or “precede” [closed]

When I use Microsoft Word, it shows me that the word proceed is wrong with the following sentence: This is the only way I can proceed with school and it corrects it to the following: This is ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

Difference between “belong to” and “belong in” [closed]

How would you understand this example? I actually belong in his world.
3
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2answers
212 views

What does “The devil take the waltz, my only regret is for the coda—I wish that had been a success!” mean?

"The devil take the waltz, my only regret is for the coda—I wish that had been a success!", Johann Strauss II said I don't understand what he said, and what he means to.
0
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2answers
55 views

Which sense of “out” is used here? [closed]

What's the meaning of out in this case? Oh and out on watching the vid. I learned my lesson on that.
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4answers
1k views

The meaning of “how” in questions

Some of my colleagues have argued that when a statement/question uses the work "how", the reader expects to get a list of solutions. Examples: "How could world hunger be solved?" "How can a ...
1
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3answers
10k views

When we entered, he had been there

So I heard this sentence and also few contradictions about that. Does it mean that when they entered, he was already gone because he had there been before them? Or he just was there before them and ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

What is the meaning of “does is”?

I have read this sentence and can not get "does is" meaning. Which type of grammar is it? Couchsurfing is a fairly new website, and what it does is it allows travelers from different parts of ...
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votes
3answers
834 views

On/in its semantics?

Please help me in choosing the right preposition in the below sentence: The returned values seem a bit confusing on/in its semantics, Here I'm talking about returned values of a computer ...
20
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4answers
3k views

What's up with the word “egregious”?

According to Google's dictionary (and MacOS/iOS dictionary), egregious has the following definitions: I've seen words with multiple definitions, but not ones that are exact contradictions. Some ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Meaning of “in your general direction” [closed]

I'm not a native English speaker, and I don't understand the meaning of the phrase "in your general direction." I have found its use in the line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: I fart in ...
6
votes
1answer
469 views

What particular word is used for this doll? [closed]

A doll is created which looks like a human and is kept near or among crops in the farm to keep animals like deer away. I don't know what it is called in English.
12
votes
2answers
10k views

What's the difference between a “nook” and a “cranny”?

I think both words mean a sort of crevice or corner. Presumably there must be some significant difference. The words are almost always used together: e.g. She searched in every nook and cranny ...
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3answers
1k views

What do “resolved” and “improved” mean when they are used about recovering from a disease?

Please have a look at the image below. What does the underlined words resolved / resolution improved mean in this image? And, what is the difference between the meanings of "improved" and ...
0
votes
1answer
275 views

Grammar correctness of “could” sentence

I would like to know whether the following is correct: Someone is knocking on your door. Who could it be? As far as I know, modal verbs do not change its form in reported speech: He ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of “first-level”, “second-level” in general

What do these expressions mean in general: first-level, second-level, ... ? For example, Response rates provide a first-level indicator of advertisement effectiveness. Conversion rates offer a ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Meaning of “herding the cats”

What is the meaning of the phrase herding the cats? I've found one description on Wikipedia but it is not clear enough.
3
votes
3answers
161 views

Meaning of “work better for silence”

Holmes and Watson are alone in the room. Holmes: I shall work better for silence. Watson: Oh, well. I dare say I can find something quiet to do. Does he mean he needs silence to work? And ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Meaning of “make labor of”

When someone says not to make labor of it what does it mean?
2
votes
7answers
646 views

Meaning and usage of “be of”

As I'm preparing my GMAT test, I see the "be of" structure very frequently. for example By 1940, the pilot Jacqueline Cochran held seventeen official national and international speed records, ...
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1answer
359 views

“Ad nauseum” vs “ad nauseam” [closed]

Is there a difference between the two: ad nauseam and ad nauseum?
2
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2answers
10k views

Is it correct to say : I am glad to be part of this family NOW?

I am joining a team and just as I join, I say this sentence. Is the "now" correct in the end of the sentence or how to make the sentence more fluent? I am glad to be part of this family now. I ...
1
vote
2answers
408 views

Doing something an amount of times 'up to' so many [closed]

Does it include doing it zero times? For example: "By signing here, you have agreed to catch the bus to work up to 10 ten times." I was sure it did but I'm just reading something worded similarly ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

Meaning of “a while since”?

I read the following sentence in a newspaper, but I don't understand what it means. It's been a while since Germany had so many good players. Could someone explain what it means?
1
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2answers
2k views

What is the distinction between terms 'where', 'while', 'whereas' and 'whenever'? [closed]

It seems all of these four words can denote 'at the same time' or 'if and only if', but do the meanings of them identical? Update: e.g. Day comes where the sun rises. Day comes whereas the sun ...
3
votes
4answers
125 views

“Assignee”: doctor or patients

Let's say we have a list of doctors and a list of patients. Each doctor will be assigned to check on some of these patients. Now who are the assignees: the patients or the doctors? I am confused here. ...
1
vote
3answers
19k views

What do brackets in a quote mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes? What do brackets around a word or words in a quote mean? This may seem silly, but I've never figured this out. ...
1
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2answers
3k views

What's the figurative meaning of “the end of the line”?

Leaving aside the strong sexual connotations of the lyrics of Pulp's song "This Is Hardcore", I was wondering what is the figurative meaning of the expression the author used: "This is the end of ...
2
votes
4answers
191 views

Is there a word that means 'Skeptic Hatred'?

Is there a word for the phenomenon where people have extreme emotional distress towards others who ask for evidence or question the validity of a popularly accepted claim, where the distress commonly ...
1
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1answer
1k views

what does “into the blue” / “to the blue” exactly mean?

What does it mean? And when is it used? If someone says: "To the blue", "into the blue"? What to except?
0
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2answers
292 views

What does “fraction of Blue Book value” mean?

On this page : http://boston.craigslist.org/i/autos the fourth point of "How to recognize a vehicle scam attempt on CL" What does "fraction of blue book value" mean?
7
votes
3answers
43k views

Difference between “think of” and “think about”

Is there a difference between "think of something" and "think about something"? I've also met "have heard of/about something".
1
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3answers
986 views

Can the word 'pre-order' be used for an item already in production?

As I understand it the term pre-order refers to ordering an item that hasn't been released yet, probably as a concatenation of pre-release order. However I just received an email from Farnell ...
1
vote
1answer
283 views

Describing a frame as “thin” or “bold”

I need to describe the thickness of an image frame. Is it correct to say this frame is thin and that one is bold?