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Questions tagged [meaning]

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

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14 votes
4 answers
5k views

The use of "random" to mean "arbitrary", "unidentified", "unknown", etc

I'm seeing the use of "random" instead of "arbitrary", etc., with increasing frequency. To me, "random" has a specific meaning and is not synonymous with these other words. Is it correct to use it in ...
Dennis Williamson's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
6k views

New Oxford American Dictionary describes "the" as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary, I read the following definition. (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 59.4k
3 votes
4 answers
13k views

What is the meaning of the phrase "a man of the world"?

The name of one of the Ernest Hemingway's short stories is "A man of the world". It seems to me that I understand the meaning of this phrase out from the context of the short story. But all the same ...
rem's user avatar
  • 10.4k
2 votes
2 answers
19k views

When should one use the "recent past"? How much time should have passed?

When we can use "recent past"? How much past time qualifies for "recent past"?
pramodc84's user avatar
  • 605
10 votes
4 answers
58k views

"Before" vs. "in front of"

Especially in speeches I often hear a sentence like I stand here before you... However during my English classes in school (I'm German) we were told that before should only be used if you're ...
Christian Seifert's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
53k views

Should I refer to "Section 2.3" or "Subsection 2.3"?

When writing a document that is divided into numbered sections and subsections, sometimes I would like to refer a certain subsection that has been numbered 2.3, for example. Here the 2 represents the ...
Douglas S. Stones's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why "mind" means "pay attention to"

Why the word "mind" can be used as a verb, synonym of "pay attention to"? It has the same etymology of the "mind" (centre of thought, feelings, brain) noun? When it is better to use "mind" in place of ...
Wizard79's user avatar
  • 223
43 votes
2 answers
32k views

What does the phrase "Begging the question" mean?

What does the phrase "begging the question" really mean? And does it even matter if I use it correctly? Almost everyone just uses it as a synonym for "posing the question" these days.
JSBձոգչ's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
76k views

I thought "spare me with ..." means "don't bother me with the details of ...". Does it?

But according to my friend I am wrong. What do you think?
bmm's user avatar
  • 173
33 votes
7 answers
16k views

What does "great good" mean in the tutorial title "Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!"?

There is a site learn you a haskell with the title "Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!". Does "Great Good" mean "very very good"? Does the whole phrase mean "learning Haskell is good for you" or "...
bootleg's user avatar
  • 1,153
61 votes
7 answers
52k views

Where does the "quint" in "quintessential" come from?

Doesn't "quint" mean "five"? What does that have to do with the meaning of "quintessential"?
Daniel LeCheminant's user avatar

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