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

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0
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1answer
37 views

What is the difference between revise and reformulate?

What is the difference in meaning between revise and reformulate? For example in the sentence, "the scientist revised/reformulated his hypothesis"? Revise: reconsider and alter (something) in the ...
1
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2answers
2k views

Is there a semantic difference between “manipulable” and “manipulatable”?

In all the sources I can find, the terms "manipulable" and "manipulatable" are both defined as some form of "able to be manipulated". But depending on the source, one word seems to be related to ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the difference between “vouch” and “guarantee”?

To me, there is a difference between "vouch" and "guarantee". To vouch for someone, you are stating that because of your relationship, you have knowledge that their character is good. However, I ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

What does 'yield the pedestrian!' mean? [on hold]

What does 'yield the pedestrian!' mean? Is it about drivers letting pedestrians cross the road? The answers available in the test I'm doing are Pedestrian, let the car pass! Attention, ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

Truth is subjectivity [migrated]

What does Kierkegaard mean when he says " Truth is subjectivity " in his book - Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments. Since "Subjectivity refers to how someone's judgment is ...
1
vote
2answers
29 views

Meaning of 'proverbial worm'

"An appropriate and dramatic end to a singular and yet typical case," said Thorndyke, as he put down the newspaper. "I hope it has enlarged your knowledge, Jervis, and enabled you to form one or ...
-1
votes
0answers
28 views

Is this sentence logical/semantically sound? [on hold]

I would like to truncate the following sentence: "By using this site, you are certifying that you have read our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, you understand our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and ...
-4
votes
3answers
31 views

What is the effect of 'stiff' in this sentence? [on hold]

In Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder, there's this part that goes "...there's a stiff penalty..." What is the effect of 'stiff' here? It supposedly has some effect on the reader. Stiff means firm ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

What is the difference between “depth of the trench” and “trench depth”?

As a non-English native speaker, I don't know what is the difference between these following expressions and whether or not the first expression is correct? The first expression: Then you ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

“Seeking for an answer” or “seeking an answer”

What is the difference between seeking an answer and seeking for an answer? I found an ngram which says that seeking an answer is used much more often compared to seeking for an answer but how about ...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

Can I start a sentence with “Established in”? [closed]

So, I am proofreading a text which starts as follows: This is a bank established since 1900 with majority shareholding held by... I feel like it can be improved. Can I change it to: ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

“Flammable” versus “Combustible”

In Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (2003), the first definition of combustible is "capable of combustion," the first definition of combustion is "an act or instance of ...
2
votes
5answers
571 views

Is there any scenario, situation, or way to make “doing something selfishly” have a positive connotation?

The thing is, I am confused whether the word selfish itself can be used without expressing a negative connotation. I am a bit biased about it since I believe that by using this word it automatically ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Using the word “guess” in a scientific paper

I wonder if one can use the word guess in a scientific paper in the following context: "... to provide the best guess on answer response time ..." Would the usage of prediction or estimate be more ...
-3
votes
0answers
17 views

legal contract meaning [on hold]

I would like to understand if I am supposed to edit the work or not supposed to. It is for download of graphic images. Here is the full content of the clause: 1. The License: This is a license, not a ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the action called when a grumpy old man shows that he is annoyed, by making a 'throat-clearing' sound?

Sometimes when a grumpy old man gets annoyed, he makes noises like clearing his throat. Does grumbling or grunting define that action? Is there a more appropriate word or an idiom for that?
0
votes
2answers
28 views

“is to make sure” vs “is making sure”

I've encountered both variants: My goal is to make sure we are safe. My goal is making sure we are safe. Another example: His biggest challenge is making sure all the wood is legal. ...
0
votes
1answer
369 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
0
votes
2answers
416 views

What is “take note of the fine print”?

A friend of mine bought something on Groupon, and received a mail about how to use the voucher. It says: Open the pdf file attachment Print voucher Take note of the fine print Redeem ...
3
votes
1answer
28 views

Is there a difference in meaning between “aggregate” and “aggregated”?

The word is meant to be used as a description of the summarized number/count of something (e.g. aggregate(d) consumption of heating oil, consumed by all households in a country). I've seen both words ...
1
vote
7answers
196 views

What is the word that defines walking confidently, coldly and calmly?

Is there a word for walking confidently, coldly and calmly...but not angrily, frustrated or in a rush. And not a fake self-confident walk to make people believe you are an important person.
0
votes
1answer
750 views

What is the meaning of ''until the shine wears off''?

I love the songs Lost! and Lost? (well, it's the same song but in different versions) by Coldplay. In these songs, we can hear: I just got lost Every river that I tried to cross Every ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What “order in advance” means?

I am buying somethings from one site and I aways see this phase: "Order in Advance". Order in advance for your specific needs! This mean that I need to order (or buy) a lot of things to have my ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Meaning of the word Ghāt

I am a cartographer and am working on a map for a region in northern India. My map source is quite old (1910-1920). There are several named places on the map referring to Ghāts. Many of these named ...
15
votes
4answers
7k views

Origin of “Put up your dukes”

This link claims that one cannot be sure of origin of this phrase. Three explanations are given here, but they are not very convincing (I am not a native speaker). In one of our newspapers, ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Difference between “difference” and “discrepancy”?

For quite a long time I have been using these two words interchangeably without thinking of their difference, even if it is slight. So can someone differentiate the former from the latter, please?
5
votes
2answers
75 views

What does “cock of all jests” mean?

As seen in The Church Porch by George Herbert, this is the phrase's context: A sad wise valour is the brave complexion, That leads the van, and swallows up the cities. The gigler is a ...
0
votes
7answers
63 views

Is there a word or an idiom for respecting someone because you are afraid of him?

I am looking for a word or an idiom about showing respect to someone superior in work because you are afraid of him. I'm not talking about real respect or showing respect to him or his works, just ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What does “stage-cutch” mean?

I would like to ask about the meaning of "stage-cutch" in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. it appeared in my translation test this afternoon and I didn't find any definition of it. In my opinion, ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Should I use 'follow lemma (1)' or 'follow from lemma (1)'?

In mathematical papers, some theorems are proved based on some existing lemmas. Then, should I use Following lemma (1), we prove... or Following from lemma (1), we prove...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “failure to fail”? [on hold]

What is the meaning of the phrase "failure to fail"?, And If I close now by professing that abject/ecstatic failure to fail, it is only by way of reminding myself..."
0
votes
1answer
54 views

meaning of “mask out” in screen printing

I'm having a hard time translating a passage about screen printing. For screen prints, mesh (originally silk) is stretched tautly across a frame. An image is glued or otherwise affixed onto the ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

What does “What the day brought” mean?

I'd get into the cab and just see what the day brought, really. I was my own boss. What is the exact meaning of "what the day brought" in this sentence? I am curious!
-1
votes
0answers
16 views

Is a “hot cup of tea” the same as a “cup of hot tea”? [duplicate]

Would it be correct to use the phrase "a hot cup of tea"? I have been told that the correct phrase would be "a cup of hot tea", but I do not agree, as I feel both phrases are correct and convey the ...
0
votes
4answers
351 views

Meaning and Origin of word “Pantheon”?

I spotted the word "Pantheon" here on the first and second paragraph on The Hindu but not able to understand the editor's view. On the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, on April 14, ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

meaning of the phrase “sitting on a tin-tack”

I am having problem with understanding the phrase in this sentence. Orwell: If you have to define humor in a single phrase, you might define it as dignity sitting on a tin-tack. What does it mean? ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What does “blue's my colour” mean in this context?

Monica: How are you? Fake Monica: I'm not too bad. Fortunately, blue's my colour. How-how did you know I was here? Monica: Because... I'm Monica Geller. It was my credit card you were ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

How did 'cleave' come to have two opposite meanings? [duplicate]

I find it odd that cleave can mean two opposite things. One definition being: verb used with object to split or divide by or as if by a cutting blow, especially along a natural line ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Meaning of “lead” in the context of knots/ knot tying

In The Ashley Books of Knots (ABOK), Mr. Ashley frequently refers to various knots having or giving good or bad "lead" in a given situation. Two examples: The ANGLER'S LOOP has an excellent ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What do you mean by 'spark somebody up'?

I have searched throughout the internet to find the real meaning but was at loss.
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Difference between “take off”, “take from” and “take out”

What's the difference between these three sentences? Let's take this part out of the picture. Let's take this part off the picture. Let's take this part from the picture.
2
votes
4answers
455 views

What does “What the monarchies have going for them are royal families that allow them to stand above the fray” mean?

I saw the sentence in the following quote of Kenneth M. Pollack, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, about Middle East upheaval in New York Times’ ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a “moorland farmer”?

I came across the phrase "moorland farmer" yesterday while reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Google shows that the phrase has some currency. [link] We don't have moors in the U.S. — or ...
-3
votes
4answers
140 views

First, second and third conditional

I found this sentence in my workbook: If you were a king, what'd your wife be called?" Why was the ‘second conditional’ used here? That situation is completely impossible, so I think, it ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Leading from behind [on hold]

I was trying to answer a question that someone asked about leading from behind and President Obama. However, I cannot do it because I need a "50 reputation" or something like that. Nevertheless, I'm ...
1
vote
3answers
7k views

Does “positive” mean good and “negative” bad?

Some examples are a negative connotation, Don't be so negative!, or Be positive! Is it proper to use these words this way? The denotations of negative and positive support this use weakly. However, I ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “bespoke” mean in this context?

The synthetic CDOs that caused the trouble were expensive bespoke instruments that were very profitable for the banks involved – JPMorgan was paid $19m to structure and market the Squared CDO alone ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Meaning of some unusual words [on hold]

Yesterday I came across three unusual words while surfing the net and I tried to look them up; however, Google was of little avail. Can anyone give me a clear definition? I would appreciate any help. ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

What's the full form of DTO [on hold]

In my company, my colleagues always say 'DTO' when they take a leave. What is the full form of DTO?
7
votes
3answers
5k views

“He acted strange(ly?)”

It would make sense if both of these sentences were grammatically correct; but is anything different between them meaning-wise? He acted very strange when I told him about the missing amulet. ...