I have an assignment and one question confuses me a lot. the question is:

The words below have a literal as well as an extended meaning. Write the literal meaning of the words. Use the following words in sentences of your own using the ‘extended’ meaning.

  1. angry
  2. train
  3. mouth

What does "an extended meaning" mean? And how can I use extended meaning to form a sentence?

2 Answers 2


The website vocabulary.com says that extended means:

extended (adj.) beyond the literal or primary sense

So I suppose there are two ways a word could have an extended meaning:

  • the word could be used in a figurative sense, rather than a literal sense
  • the word could have a secondary meaning that we don’t immediately associate with the word

As for your exercise, the word mouth seems easy. People have a mouth, and so od lions – but rivers have a mouth as well.

The mouth of the Rhine is at Hoek van Holland by the North Sea.

As for a word like angry, we only need to consult a good dictionary for ideas. From Wordnik:

angry (adj.)

  1. adj. Displaying or feeling anger.
  2. Inflamed and painful.
  3. Dark and stormy, menacing.

That third one looks like an extended meaning to me. So, we might say:

When Stella noticed the angry clouds, she called her children inside.

The word train has dozens of meanings, so it’s a little harder to figure out which ones are the “primary” definitions and which might the “extended” meanings. But I will say this about the noun train: a railroad yard has a train, but so does a wedding dress. Moreover, about the verb train: a woman might train a dolphin, but she also might train her hair.


The use of extended is odd. Without more context, I would guess that what the assignment is talking about is a figurative meaning. (In contrast to literal.)

For instance, the words are not being used in a literal sense in the following sentences:

It was an angry wound.
They got on board the pity train.
She was at the mouth of madness.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .