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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

0
votes
3answers
131 views

Is it necessary to discern between 'owing to' and 'due to'? [duplicate]

I recently wrote a paper, and the examiner picked me up on using 'due to' when apparently I should have been using 'owing to'. I understand that there is some difference between them, as was discussed ...
1
vote
2answers
579 views

Can I say “I concur with something” instead of “I agree with something”? [duplicate]

Hi I'm still learning English and I rather have problems with grammar. So my question is can I use I concur with this statement instead of I agree with this statement Is it weird? Does ...
1
vote
1answer
371 views

what's the difference between “Indispensable Amino Acid” and “Essential Amino Acid”?

As I have seen several times of the using of those two words in even the same book. But I don't know what's the difference meaning between those two words.
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of “it will do you in”? [closed]

What is the meaning of the expression "it will do you in"? I came across this sentence: if you are not careful, it will do you in.
2
votes
2answers
824 views

Programming vs. Coding

As a programmer, I often hear "writing a program" and "writing code" used interchangeably. The way I understand it, a program is a file which contains code written to perform a task or a series of ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Nuance of “Intellectual Bad Ass” [closed]

To me as a non-native to the English language, it reminds funny, geeky, nerdy hero, like Tony Stark (Iron Man) excluding his riches and Iron Man suit. But what are the nuances of "intellectual bad ...
2
votes
1answer
286 views

The word “chemist” and its origins?

I know chemist means someone who sells medicines or drugs. However, we use physicist for someone who studies/researches physics, and so will anyone naturally understand. But it has always confused ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“Kafkaesque” vs. “Kafkan”

Is there any difference in meaning between the adjectives Kafkaesque and Kafkan, or are they synonyms?
-3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “search” and “look up”? [closed]

This questions is coming from here. Is there any difference in meaning between the 2 terms?
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Can we use “morning” to describe half a day? How to say half a day using an adjective?

I don't know how to use an adjective word to describe the same meaning of half a day. E.g. I have done all the work in the morning. In this sentence, "in the morning" means from 08:00 am to 11:59 am ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

teenage-free - meaning [closed]

I would like to dedicate my portions of this book to my wonderful wife, Dawn Etta Riley. She has been supportive of me in my personal endeavors, and although some of them don’t pay off, she still ...
5
votes
3answers
524 views

What does the slang term “Joe Gland” mean?

In the 1985 novel Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle I came across the following paragraph: They took out identification cards. Clybourne glanced at them, but Jenny thought he looked at ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

industrial-grade - meaning

The future of PHP looks very bright. Leading platform vendors such as IBM, Oracle, MySQL, Intel, and, most recently, Red Hat have all endorsed it. The new Collaboration Project initiated by Zend ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Pre-planning vs planning

The Oxford online dictionary defines "pre-plan" as to "plan in advance". But isn't that generally the point of planning - to do it in advance?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What does 'to be maxed out' mean?

I want to understand what Chandler means when he says he's maxed out after thinking he's embarrassed by his bunny costume.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

The person who marries for money usually earns every penny of it

The person who marries for money usually earns every penny of it. ...anonymous quote. What does this phrase mean? It seems to suggest that if you marry for money, you will earn all of the money ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Daycation vs overnight trip

Is a daycation the same as an overnight trip? Do they refer to the same amount of time for a very short holiday?
2
votes
3answers
461 views

Does the word “wizardry” have negative connotations?

The Free Dictionary defines wizardry as The art, skill, or practice of a wizard; sorcery. The first part certainly sounds positive, but then the word sorcery is cited as a synonym. This ...
4
votes
1answer
701 views

“The man was either mad or both”

In the delightful Fry and Laurie sketch The Letter, several puns are expertly delivered by Stephen Fry, however there is one I don't understand. At 4:45 in the video, he says "The man was either mad, ...
2
votes
2answers
384 views

What does “dish” mean in this context?

In this article about male friendships, there are two references to "dish": "Well, what do you have for me?" Dish, she meant – like maybe some of that marital strife. and: "What do you got ...
0
votes
2answers
512 views

What does absent fraud mean? [duplicate]

I came across the phrase absent fraud in this article. I searched for its meaning on Google but didn't find anything. What does absent fraud mean? I can’t help but empathize with an employee ...
2
votes
4answers
810 views

Indian English use of “only” for emphasis

In my dialect of English (American West Coast), the word only exclusively means exclusively. I've worked with folks from Southern India for a while (and used to live abroad in Dubai), and it seems to ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

Usage of “keenly aware of”

Need help on right usage of "keenly aware of", what are the similar expressions? Can I say: strongly aware of ? thanks
0
votes
2answers
349 views

When to use “compatible”, when “incompatible” [closed]

Reworded as requested. I am confused about when one uses the term “incompatible” and when “compatible”. Is it sometimes believed that compatibility is about “working” and incompatibility about “not ...
1
vote
3answers
567 views

I'm looking for a word that is the noun-form of “poorly-constructed” and ends with the -ation suffiix

I'm going for some alliteration in a paper I'm writing discussing the history and once-current state of a particular navy, and one of the three things I want to talk about is the possibility of poorly-...
3
votes
3answers
18k views

What's the meaning of “in the spirit of”?

The following is a passage from this article: In the spirit of full disclosure, the texter in question turned out to be my editor at Salon. (Hi, Sarah!) She has not texted me again. What does in ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Difference between a “self-serving individual” and “self-centered individual” [closed]

Is being "self-serving" the same as being "self-centered"? While looking for an answer to this question, I saw this previous question on the difference between "selfish" and "self-centered". I ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

what's the meaning of“to be a best approximate”? [closed]

what's the meaning of"to be a best approximate"? e.g. the coincidence of state and nation is a best approximate, and nowhere more approximate than at their edges, where the offi cial presumption is ...
2
votes
6answers
13k views

How to understand 'flatter to deceive'?

How should you understand the expression: "flatter to deceive"? The Oxford Dictionaries defines flatter to deceive as: Appear promising but ultimately disappoint. Which is all nice and dandy....
-1
votes
1answer
4k views

labour v.s. labourer [closed]

What's the difference between them when I mean "worker"? In other word, which one below is right? Companies can barely find young labours in an ageing society. Companies can barely find young ...
0
votes
3answers
36 views

…if to a reduced degree - meaning, usage

Even so, many of the original advantages of stored programs (such as enhanced security and reduction in network traffic) still apply, if to a reduced degree. The use of stored programs is still ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

What does it mean to say you are doing something “over the next 3 weeks”? [closed]

What does it mean to say "over the next 3 weeks"?
2
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the word for “the way a word sounds to your ear”?

I do not mean "Phonaesthetics" or euphony or cacophony which carry a value judgement. Words have an audio 'pattern', mostly unique and different from other words. This is the unique audio "finger-...
12
votes
2answers
98k views

What's the difference between “dissatisfied” and “unsatisfied”?

Is there a clear-cut difference between dissatisfied and unsatisfied?
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Can 'trains' be used as a synonym for 'postponement'

Was solving a cryptic crossword clue recently which reads Coaches for postponement (6) The answer is 'trains' obvious from coaches , but dont get the postponement reference. The solution ...
5
votes
3answers
885 views

Limp and Hobble

I have a problem with the word "limp" and "hobble". I do not know which word is appropriately used when it comes to context because I do not know how the words differ from each other. Can we use them ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Variations in meaning between “Last week” vs. “The last week” vs “The last n weeks”? [duplicate]

Similarly between "Last month" and "The last month". Last week implies, at some point during the previous week. Not inclusive of the current week. What exactly does the last week mean? Is that ...
-5
votes
1answer
2k views

The term “No problems” meaning? [closed]

For example you send an email to an acquaintance or friend. "I've been busy. Recovering from unexpected surgery. My recovery is going well. I will send information on that hobby, could email it soon. ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

What lexical relationship lies between the days of the week?

I'm confused, What is the lexical relationship between "Monday" and "Tuesday"? I mean is the relationship hyponymy, prototypes, polysemy, homophones, metonymy etc?
1
vote
1answer
600 views

What does “as good as any out there” mean? [closed]

I don't how to interpret the following sentence: "Her research seems about as good as any out there." What does that mean? Is 'her research' just average, better than average or the best ever ...
1
vote
1answer
549 views

To have a game in hand

I have come across the expression game in hand in an article on England Premier League, as follows: Third-place City has a game in hand but the surprise result against Sunderland, coupled with ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

meaning of the expression “wet flannel”

I would like to know what is the meaning of the expression "wet flannel" referred to a person or personality trait. I have seen it mentioned here: http://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2012/...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Spendthrift vs Thrifty - origins

I have always been curious to understand the origin of these two seemingly similar words. Looking at them for the first time, I thought they were synonyms, but ever since I learned of their existence, ...
1
vote
2answers
21k views

Is there any difference between “student” or “pupil”? [duplicate]

I am a little bit confused, when somebody told me that a student is the same as a pupil. Would it be correct, if I said "He is a pupil of MBA."? Which of the following expressions is the most ...
6
votes
9answers
83k views

What is the word to describe something that has hidden meaning?

I'm writing an essay (yay) on I'm the King of the Castle, by Susan Hill. I am trying to explain how the description of the atmosphere may have hidden meanings (e.g. the fact that Warings is a ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Check out of, check into - meaning [closed]

When you are editing a stored program, check it out of the source control system and load the checked-out copy into the MySQL Query Browser or other tool. When you are satisfied with your ...
0
votes
2answers
223 views

find something gone or find something has gone

Are both of them right? Next morning when you wake up, you find your kidney has gone. Next morning when you wake up, you find your kidney gone. If they are all right, what's the difference?
0
votes
2answers
193 views

The meaning of “…Identity between”

There is this sentence which I can't work out the meaning. "They have a unique identity between language and thought that means they cannot conceptualize a lie. This also means that deception, ...
1
vote
4answers
465 views

Can't come up with the correct sentence

I have some trouble coming up with the right sentence for a form input where I'm asking a user's first and last name. What I'm actually trying to say is that the name the user is filling in will be ...
1
vote
1answer
312 views

meaning of Republic [closed]

I've been thinking what might be the real meaning of the word Republic? As far as I know the prefix re- gives the base word the meaning of again; as in renew, replace, reclaim. I am wondering what ...