Questions tagged [polysemes]

Questions about words or phrases that have multiple meanings.

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3 answers
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How to tell the difference between the two meanings of "dream" in a sentence?

Whenever I want to speak about a dream I had, people always think it's a dream in the sense of something you want to achieve and not of something you see in your sleep. For example, The girl I saw in ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Pun of the word “fall”

Is this sentence sound native to English speakers? Fall falls on falls. Which I intended to say "Autumn comes to the waterfalls." If this does not sound native, how would you use the word &...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Does "inanimate object" mean an object that is "not alive" or an object that is "not moving" or both?

I recently became confused by the term "inanimate object", because "inanimate" can have two meanings (from Merriam Webster) 1 : not animate: a : not endowed with life or spirit b : ...
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26 votes
3 answers
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What do you call a word that has multiple senses or parts of speech in one sentence?

Consider the following sentence. John used to work for the newspaper that you are reading. (It has been collected from here.) "Newspaper" has several well-known senses. Newspaper could ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Can my teachers be trainers or would I be taught by my shoes? [closed]

I am working in an educational organisation and we often co-operate with other institutions from other European countries, e.g. in EU-wide projects. Very often we have to write applications for ...
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1 vote
5 answers
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What is one word for a person who is emotionally bipolar and can't hide his emotions at all?

He is sad, he bursts into tears and when happy his heart knows no bounds. He is that transparent person when it comes to emotions. An open book!! I am looking for a word for it, if it exists. Thanks
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3 votes
2 answers
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Are any senses of the word 'candidate' acceptable for attributive-noun usage?

I've just used 'candidate' attributively to mean '[worth considering as] a real possibility [for the purpose stated, or implied by context] (eg a candidate term or construction). I've not been able ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Are there other acceptable juxtapositions of polysemes?

An advert for BBC iPlayer read [I've dropped the comma]: Making the unmissable unmissable. The first 'unmissable' obviously has the sense '[that which is] too good to miss', and the second 'always ...
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