Questions tagged [meaning]

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

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4
votes
1answer
270 views

Meaning of “shed all gentlemanly reticence”

Please explain the meaning of the text in bold, taken from this Bloomberg article. Ah, yes. They have shed all gentlemanly reticence over dragging former allies into court.
24
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4answers
132k views

What's the difference between “yet another” and “another”?

What's the difference between yet another and another?
14
votes
10answers
33k views

Is “architect” a verb and a noun?

I hear the word architect used as a verb in the technical field and now more often in other industries and groups, for example: We need to architect a better solution to the problem. I am ...
28
votes
7answers
8k views

What is the difference between “venom” and “poison”?

What is the difference between “venom” and “poison”? Both in usage and in meaning.
8
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3answers
10k views

How much exactly is increased when it is “increased by 1.1”?

I saw it in a text book, and a similar problem that also appeared in the book is "3 times faster", which is already asked. Simply speaking, the book says: Unfortunately, it increases the CPI by 1.1....
16
votes
7answers
126k views

What do all capital letters typically refer to in writing?

In many error messages and conversations, I come across words in all capital letters, as demonstrated in the examples below. ERROR: Please type your e-mail address. or ME: I can't make it SHE:...
3
votes
2answers
604 views

What is the the role of the two a’s in “we planned to meet a few times a year”?

How can I rewrite this sentence without the two a’s? We planned to meet a few times a year. I think this would be the best way to show the role that the two a’s play in the sentence.
8
votes
1answer
475 views

Is 'Blood libel' an established expression?

I came across the word, 'Blood libel,' apparently associated with Ms. Sarah Palin's agressive statement which was zeroed in at Democratic lowmakers in today's Washington Post. Neither Concise Oxford ...
6
votes
4answers
29k views

What does the phrase “before too long” mean?

What does the phrase "before too long" mean? Excerpt from where I read this phrase: The response to the SDK has been quite good and I expect to start hearing about some great apps and success ...
4
votes
4answers
986 views

Can snow be dry?

Disclaimer: There are a lot of questions packed in but their answers are interdependent. Different textures of snow can be described as "wet" and "dry". Considering that water is the quintessence of ...
7
votes
4answers
8k views

What does the expression 'Do the fish' mean?

I just recently heard this expression and couldn't quite figure out its meaning from the context, unless it means something like "take the bait." Is this a common expression? Is it perhaps an ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What do we call this kind of recursive expression?

A metaphor is like a simile. Is there a name for the kind of statement that suggests an infinite recursion? It is in a way similar to a paradox such as the one with a statement written on each side ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Gut-wrenching or -retching?

It was the most gut-retching thing I have ever heard. Wrenching sounds like it would make sense, but so does retching.
10
votes
3answers
121k views

What does “what's the catch” mean?

It sounds like a marketing term. Does it mean "However there are some points to take note"?
4
votes
3answers
960 views

What does 'McKinley Moment ' mean?

I saw the following sentences in today's Washington Post and another article found in a web site. What does 'McKinley moment' mean? I don't find this word in any of English Japanese dictionaries at ...
44
votes
8answers
7k views

Is there a difference between “disc” and “disk” for naming digital storage media?

I thought that a disc was a disc, and it is sometimes spelled disk. I now have got an indication that those two are not the same thing. In this answer on Graphic Design, I wrote floppy disc in the ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

May, might confusion [duplicate]

When should I use each of the following: This may help. This might help. I always get confused about the use of may and might.
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What does 'outsize character' mean?

I saw the following sentence in today's New York Times: Despite questions about their coach's outsize personality, the Jets have won three playoff games in two seasons under Rex Ryan. As the ...
14
votes
4answers
10k views

Meaning of “meta-”

I am trying to figure out the meaning of prefix "Meta-" in English. Quoted from Wikipedia Meta- (from Greek: μετά = "after", "beyond", "with", "adjacent", "self"), is a prefix used in English (...
7
votes
3answers
25k views

Differences between “audio” and “sound”?

What is the difference between "audio" and "sound"? Is it possible that a beeping noise could be considered one but not the other?
16
votes
7answers
4k views

What does “they made bones” mean?

Context: an old (70+ years old) Londoner is being interviewed about his past as a lighterman on the River Thames and says the following: Three big wharves there, they've flattened, all gone. One of ...
18
votes
7answers
47k views

What does “fine-grained” mean?

I always see "fine-grained" in technology articles. What does it mean?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the preposition “back” in the following sentence?

We learned how to test-drive the repository back in Section x.x, Creating and Reading Records, on page xxx.
1
vote
1answer
250 views

What's the meaning of 'symbolic swipe'?

I saw the following sentence in today's Washington Post: House Republicans cleared a hurdle Friday in their first attempt to scrap President Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul, yet it was ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the meaning of “Ye Olde Timers got Ye Olde Tired of this.”?

In a blog article posted by Joel Spolsky, there is a sentence saying "Ye Olde Timers got Ye Olde Tired of this." I don't know what the meaning is. I've checked the definition of "Ye olde" in wiki, but ...
4
votes
4answers
14k views

What does “to bleed something” mean?

In Bloomberg magazine, I saw this sentence: Rust Belt states that have bled manufacturing jobs. Does it mean they have lost the jobs or gained more jobs?
3
votes
6answers
40k views

“Injured” vs. “wounded”

I just saw a news report in which the reporter said: "They used the term injured and not wounded". I am wondering what the difference between the two is. Is wounded used only when there is an open ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Literal echelons?

Merriam-Webster and the OED list only figurative senses of the word echelon (i.e. military formations and organizational ranks). Would it be incorrect to use it in the literal sense of the French word ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Quote meaning: A wife is essential to great longevity

Can anyone please explain to me the meaning of this quote? A wife is essential to great longevity; she is the receptacle of half a man's cares, and two-thirds of his ill-humor. -Charles Reade
1
vote
2answers
166 views

usage of “only” and “have”

If I say this: You don't have only what it takes to master English but all the languages. For you, is it a compliment or an insult? The usage of "only" and "have" is a little bit confusing.
5
votes
6answers
4k views

Why “integrity” means “honesty”

The word integrity meaning wholeness seems to come from the word integer which, roughly speaking, refers to whole numbers. Why does integrity also mean honesty?
36
votes
3answers
169k views

What does “I stand corrected” mean? [closed]

When someone says I stand corrected. What does that mean?
3
votes
5answers
939 views

What does 'cool toy' mean?

I found a word 'cool toy' in the following sentence in today's New York Times article: 'Spending money on tablet computers may seem an extravagance, but some educators say they are more than just a ...
3
votes
2answers
72k views

What is the correct meaning of “held up” here?

Is it grammatically correct to use the phrase "held up" in the following sense? "I got held up with some other work", or "Let's reschedule the meeting. Looks like you got held up."
37
votes
6answers
217k views

What is the difference between “nothing but”, “anything but”, and “everything but”?

What is the difference between these phrases? When is it valid to use which? Should they be avoided as being ambiguous?
14
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “OMG ponies!” mean?

What does this mean and what is the origin of this phrase?
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Meaning of “a glimpse of insight”

I understand the words glimpse and insight, but what is the meaning of the whole idiom a glimpse of insight?
1
vote
3answers
7k views

Difference between “abase” and “abash”

It seems as if both words mean to humiliate and degrade?
9
votes
9answers
29k views

What's the difference in meaning and usage between “target” and “goal”?

What are the differences in usage and meaning? For example, is it, My targets for 2011 are... or My goals for 2011 are... Which one is correct or more suitable here?
1
vote
3answers
44k views

What does “Nothing like anything” mean?

What does the phrase "Nothing like anything" mean? Literally it doesn't make sense to me and also I do not know its figurative meaning either.
8
votes
6answers
70k views

What is the difference between “Class of 2004” and “Batch of 2004”?

What is the difference between "Class of 2004" and "Batch of 2004"? I have a feeling that one means the students who joined the university in 2004 and the other means those who graduated in 2004. Is ...
0
votes
5answers
31k views

Exact meaning of “sense of well being”?

I want to find the exact/literal/detailed meaning of the phrase "sense of well being". Not just "well being", but "sense of well being". (What exactly is meant by "sense"?) Note: I understand what ...
1
vote
2answers
244 views

Question on Champagne

The meaning for Champagne, which one is better? I found both in different reference books. A white sparkling wine. A sparkling white wine. :-)
1
vote
1answer
115 views

“Proportion of IPOs in France”?

Assume you read a text discussing the total value of all IPOs world-wide and those in France, stating France's IPOs' total value is 9% of those world-wide. Is it valid to refer to this percentage as "...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

What does “open up a vein” mean?

I found the phrase 'open up a vein of fury' in the article of today's Washington Post as shown below. The New Year's Day suicide bombing of a church that killed 21 people has opened up a vein of ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What is “however” in this sentence referring to?

No definite mass is identified. However, for further evaluation of this patient given his symptoms, an MRI is recommended. In the above sentence, does the "however" refer back to looking for a mass ...
16
votes
3answers
47k views

“Between A and B” or “from A to B”

Suppose we are talking about the numbers 1, 2, ... , 10. When we use the phrase between 1 and 10, do we include the end-points 1 and 10? Is there any difference if we say from 1 to 10 instead?
7
votes
3answers
10k views

Why can 'kick back' mean 'get relaxed'?

I came across the following sentence in today's NPR news: In 2011, boomers start turning 65, the age when Americans traditionally stop working and kick back. A dictionary at hand gives the ...
4
votes
1answer
422 views

What does Bloomberg's 'concessionary tone' mean?

I found the phrase 'concessionary tone' in today's New York Times: Bloomberg Is Criticized on Storm Response as He Tours City Beyond Manhattan The mayor on Thursday delivered the message that ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

Meaning of “Render onto Caesar the things which are Caesar's”

Render onto Caesar the things which are Caesar's What does this sentence mean?