I have asked an Isreali guy "You said the video was compelling. In what sense?" He said, "emotionally and in that it points out the problems with these laws."

Here I suppose the "in what sense" was interpreted as "in what way".

However, when I saw the definition of "as in", I saw the following: As in: (idiomatic, conjunctive) In the sense of.

E.g. "bow" as in the weapon, not the front of a ship

Here I think "in the sense of" is like "having the meaning of", although I am not sure.

And so when I asked "in what sense", what I meant was, "what do you mean by using that word" "what does the word that you used mean?"

So what's the correct understanding of "in what sense" "in the sense of"? Does it mean "in what way", "what does it mean", or both?

Sorry if this sounds a bit complicated.


There are two separate phrases in your question.

The first is: in what sense which, as you correctly surmise, is another way of saying in what way.

The second is: as in, a phrase that is generally used to introduce an example or category, which you illustrate correctly.

Most of the time, instead of saying as in, you might say referring to, signifying or meaning.

So you might say to someone, I am interested in the origins of the word sow as in (meaning, referring to) seeds rather than sew (referring to, signifying) as in clothes.

  • I can understand. However, if "as in" is "in the sense of", doesn't it mean that "as in" is like the answer to "in what sense"? That's what I am confused about.
    – user103302
    Oct 19 '19 at 17:25
  • If somebody asked you:**In what sense do you mean sanction?** You might reply: as in punish, not permit. In what sense is a question. As in is used to introduce the answer. Oct 19 '19 at 17:55

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