Questions tagged [meaning]

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

522 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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4
votes
2answers
61 views

What is the word to describe an action taken for ones self?

I was wondering what is the best way to describe an action taken for one's self without a negative, or positive connotation behind it? Such as in the action of someone recusing themselves from an ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Salute usage as Firecracker

Recently, I learned about another meaning for the word "Salute": A firecracker. However, I could find this definition in only one online dictionary (M-W): firecracker (q.v.) ... together ...
4
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1answer
296 views

Origins of the word “understand”?

I'm curious about the word understand and based on brief research its origins seem not very clear, https://www.etymonline.com/word/understand Breaking up the word in two, under-stand, I could make a ...
3
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1answer
308 views

What part of speech is the word “entire” in “over the little garden field entire”?

The sentence is: "After a while she got up from where she was and went over the little garden field entire." A quote from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I want to know if the ...
3
votes
1answer
722 views

How did epilogue and epigraph come to take on meanings opposite spatially when used in books?

I was thinking today about the apparent similarities in spelling at the start of the two words: Epigraph Epilogue And the fact they have seemingly opposed semantics. The first appearing at the start ...
3
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1answer
4k views

What is the difference between need and necessity?

I was asked what the difference between need and necessity was by a non native speaker. It was in the context of the name of an article to do with global warming, i.e "The need/necessity for....". I ...
3
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1answer
214 views

Are “Get” or “Grasp” stative or dynamic verbs?

In Merriam–Webster, the definition of understand is as follows: to get the meaning of something / to grasp the meaning of something. Now my questions are regarding a sentence like: I don’t ...
3
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1answer
24k views

be intended to vs intend to

I see a lot of examples of be intended to and intend to. Both of them mean plan to do. Some examples: Selling was my game and I intended to be a winner. The ban is intended to be permanent. ...
3
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2answers
154 views

English can be a right dastard sometimes. Why not?

Bastard, meaning one begotten and born out of wedlock, is a very old word from Old French (earliest OED citation 1297). Dastard, meaning one who meanly or basely shrinks from danger; a mean, base, or ...
2
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0answers
52 views

Is there a term for hyperbolic words or expressions that are no longer used for exaggeration?

I recently encountered two instances of apparently hyperbolic terms that were used without any realisation that the traditional implications were far more serious / demanding / extreme. Someone said ...
2
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1answer
37 views

English Philology vs English studies difference in meaning and connotations for Natives?

In Poland, English University major is called "English Philology" (pol. Filologia Angielska), and this is how it is usually translated and communicated. By the Poles. When you google English ...
2
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1answer
186 views

What is exactly “This sounds like barn door statistics!”?

This sounds like barn door statistics! How to understand this phrase?
2
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0answers
49 views

'up' meaning each/apiece in sports?

I often hear sport scores being mentioned as '5 up' meaning the score is tied at 5 each/apiece. AHD gives: up adv. ... Each; apiece: The score was tied at 11 up. Can anyone ...
2
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0answers
40 views

Why is “remove to” no longer used?

By Googling, the difference between remove and move can be found as follows: As verbs the difference between remove and move is that remove is to move something from one place to another, especially ...
2
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0answers
250 views

What does “work on my tan” mean?

Here is the context: He It's not gonna be easy She Well, I don't do easy. If I wanted that I'd move to Florida and work on my tan
2
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0answers
74 views

Can the phrase “once more” be a noun in American English?

Can the phrase "once more" be a noun in American English? I'm wondering if it can, as the two Japanese online dictionaries I'm using for my translation of 今一度 both say that the entry, -which only ...
2
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0answers
396 views

Vocabulary Question: Stane (verb); to stane to do something

I came across the word "stane" in a poem in the Paris Review, and I can't seem to find a definition that fits its use in the poem. I checked several dictionaries. Some didn't have it at all, and those ...
2
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0answers
61 views

Difference between supplemental NP and absolute clause?

What is the difference between a supplemental noun phrase and a absolute clause? In these examples and in general. Is it just the non-finite nature of the second example? Are they not serving a ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

What does “dog on the sofa moment” mean?

I'm a Brit since birth so a native English speaker but I heard the expression "dog on the sofa moment" whilst listening to the radio and I have no idea what it means. I could have mis-heard but I don'...
2
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2answers
144 views

“Both” for more than two objects

If I were to ask: Which children did you bring? and you respond: I brought both Adam and Billy. The "both" implies not only that you brought two children, but that you brought your only two ...
2
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0answers
91 views

Difference between intrusion on/upon/of/into

Different dictionaries suggest different answers. One example, suggests that all of them, except for of work. However, as we can see here the of structure is also possible. There must be a ...
2
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1answer
130 views

Meaning of “it is only a small percentage of whom this would be true at present.”

In the extract It will be said that men will not work well if the fear of dismissal does not spur them on. I think it is only a small percentage of whom this would be true at present. could the ...
2
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1answer
751 views

Why are Centennials called that?

People of Generation Y have the nickname millennials, because many of them graduated around the year 2000, the millenium. People of Generation Z are sometimes called centennials. "Centennial" means "...
2
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0answers
246 views

Etymology and distinction between pottage and potage

At dictionary.com, there is a bit of an inconsistency in the origins and meaning of two historical variants of the same (probably French) word: Potage noun, French Cookery. 1. soup, especially ...
2
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0answers
41 views

What is the meaning of the following sequence of words: “adj or pp+as+pronoun+verb”?

What is the meaning of the following sequence of words: "adj or pp+as+pronoun+verb"? Example: It is climate that largely determines the type of agriculture that may be carried out in a particular ...
2
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0answers
234 views

Meaning of gosh all, git-up in this context

In the song Jeepers creepers by Louis Armstrong, there is a line that goes like this: Oh, gosh all, git up, how'd they get so lit up? It refers to the eyes of a person. My question is: what does "...
2
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0answers
482 views

Looking for a word that describes the merger of two words, is this an example of Portmanteau?

This is slightly awkward to explain, so I will be as clear as possible. I am aware of what a portmanteau is, as you will see below, but I am unsure if my examples classify as such. I'm looking to ...
2
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0answers
2k views

What does “nine while nine” mean?

In "Nine While Nine" by The Sisters of Mercy there is this line: Nine while nine and I'm waiting for the train... What does "nine while nine" actually mean? I've never encountered anything similar ...
2
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0answers
394 views

“that was a classic money handshake”

I'm reading the play "Dumb Show" by Joe Penhall. (See on Google Books) Almost at the beginning of the play one of the characters uses this phrase: classic money handshake. What does it mean? (Barry ...
2
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0answers
3k views

Came “into” fruition?

My friend wrote some copy, explaining that her "company came into fruition because she realized the opportunity..." I've never used "came into fruition" -- only "came to fruition". Is "came into ...
2
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0answers
152 views

Connotation of a sentence in a listening material from TPO

(Here for the original audio source (MP3 file). The part in question begins approximately at 2'18'') This conversation is an excerpt from one listening material in a TPO (TOEFL Practice Online) test, ...
2
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0answers
493 views

Distinguishing among classification, typology, taxonomy, and ontology?

I recently wrote a thesis applying archaeological typology to art attribution. In the process, it became clear that disparate disciplines share analogous debates regarding classification. I'd like to ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

what is the meaning of 'ruinously'?

What meaning does 'ruinously' convey in the given sentence: "A city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name." Does it mean that, it was so badly sad that it had forgotten its name or that ...
2
votes
1answer
290 views

What is the difference between 'Corporate' and 'Corporation'?

I've done an extensive search but didn't find anything on that. Is 'Corporate' (as a noun) simply a shorter form of 'Corporation'? Also, if a condition dictates that 'a company name can't include ...
2
votes
1answer
714 views

Endebted v. indebted: is there a difference in meaning?

I was recently told by a senior academic that I ought to replace the word indebted with endebted in an essay during which I suggest one text alludes to another. I have searched the web (no help) and ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

What is the difference between “even if” and “given that” in this context?

I am doing a CAE, Use of English, Part 1 (Multiple choice) exercise and I came across the following paragraph: As nomadic peoples in Asia are known to have been playing the game over two thousand ...
2
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3answers
295 views

What do people mean by “measurable definition?”

What is the definition of "measurable definition?" What does that mean? I have interns who are victims of verbose, academic language, and they frequently use terms that I don't think they even ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Can “up to” mean neglecting, ignoring, excluding…?

In scientific writing my professor (not a native English speaker) sometimes uses "up to SOMETHING" with the intention of expressing that SOMETHING is neglected, ignored, or excluded (see the examples ...
2
votes
1answer
364 views

What is the meaning of “from overwhelm to whelm”.

Kindly exlpain the phrase "from overwhelm to whelm" from the following sentence. "In future we'll have new services to help us bring that universe from overwhelm to whelm". https://www.quora.com/...
2
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1answer
206 views

Use of “eclectic” when referencing objects in a set

I have often referred to my music tastes as being eclectic, until I recently encountered a possible aspect to the definition I had not previously considered. In referencing musical tastes, there are ...
2
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1answer
2k views

'Preciseness' and 'Precision'

By my current understanding of the two words, the sentence: The preciseness of this precision is very definite is grammatically correct. Correct me if I'm wrong, and if so; what is the distinction ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

What is the english equivalant of Tamil saying 'pul thadukki bayilvan'?

In Tamil, there is a saying புல் தடுக்கி பயில்வான் ( pul thadukki bayilvan ) that translates to something like below: A person who thinks himself as a wrestler but falling down even his legs ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Brave or bravely?

I am translating a text from English to my own language. This is the context, my question is about the sentence in bold. My question is about the interpretation of a word. If we did not find ...
2
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2answers
303 views

Meaning of “dismay”

What is the exact meaning of dismay? Is it close to shock and surprise? Or is it closer to disappointment and unhappiness? Or does it mean embarrassment? When I looked the word up in the ...
2
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2answers
126 views

pretentious happy faces

I am wondering if the following sentence reflects a correct usage of pretentious: She put on a pretentious happy face. The definition of pretentious says "adjective attempting to impress by ...
2
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1answer
322 views

For whom does “upwards of” mean “less than, but approaching” ? Is it a regionalism?

The phrase upwards of X appears to be defined very explicitly to mean simply and only “more than X”. (In other words, it is an exact substitute for “north of”.) I have a pernicious and deeply held ...
2
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1answer
409 views

Word for words with close/similar spellings

I am working on Levenshtein distance and I try to explain the concept. Is there a word that means that 2 words are "close graphically speaking". I found homophone, or homogragh, but these words are ...
2
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4answers
2k views

usage of the term “former” to apply to the dead

I've been told that is it wrong to call FDR a "former president" as "former" means someone who is still alive who was once President,
2
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2answers
656 views

Is there anything that cannot be called a thing?

I understand the contradiction in my title and this post is exactly about that. Considering the definitions of a noun by Oxford and by Cambridge, an idea is very possibly a thing. My question is ...
1
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0answers
14 views

What does having ''mixed feelings of uncertainty'' mean?

I don't know very well so I need help to fully know the meaning of this