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This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about what a word means. If the question is about the meaning of a word that can't be understood outside its phrase or sentence, the "meaning-in-context" tag should be also used; for the meaning of a phrase, use the "phrase-meaning" tag ...

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Mam or mum in English crime series

In English crime series I often hear mom or mam or mum. I don't know... What does it mean? When is an appropriate time to use it? See this trailer from the BBC's Bodyguard crime series.
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2answers
17 views

somewhat incomplete it is true

To this question physical science gives an answer, somewhat incomplete it is true, and in part still very hypothetical, but yet deserving of respect so far as it goes. Physical science, more or ...
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1answer
31 views

What does this mean? “we're not going to make the guilt worse by telling that listening is a good thing, worthy but in fact rather dull.”

Many of us probably have a nagging feeling that we don't listen enough to other people. Here we're not going to make the guilt worse by telling you that listening is a good thing, worthy but in fact ...
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2answers
30 views

What does “sick spots” mean?

This is coming from Charlie and Cardi B on BBC1 radio show: Charlie - Would you rather have a night out with me or Offset? Cardi B - With my man (Offset) Charlie - Come on, man! I know London ...
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1answer
16 views

What does the man mean by saying this statement?

I read this NYP article about a Volvo car breaking Guinness word record. However, at the end of the article the man said this sentence which I don’t understand: “I don’t see my ex-wife or my kids. ...
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1answer
27 views

Life is a healthy respect for mother nature laced with greed

I read such a quote from command line utility fortune $ fortune Life is a healthy respect for mother nature laced with greed. Does that sentence mean that we are greedy to live long?
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2answers
25 views

When did you marry? Or get Married ? Why? [duplicate]

I saw a lesson in English, said in Past Simple the following examples: When did you get married? When did you graduate? Now, Why he said at (1) "get married" NOT "marry" like "graduate" in ...
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4answers
3k views

Is “too few” equivalent to “not enough”?

Kindly, consider the image below: Can I say for the glass in the middle: "too few water" instead of "not enough water"? Are they equivalent in meaning?
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1answer
1k views

What's the meaning of “Ride The Cyclone”?

It is a line from an American TV drama when a man saw a young boy after 5 years and said: Last time I saw you, you were too short to ride the Cyclone. I searched on Google and it shows that ride a ...
1
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1answer
23 views

Difference between read on and read about

Very often my co-workers ask me the question: What are you doing? And I always wonder whether I should reply with reading on or reading about : I am reading about the origins of the universe. ...
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2answers
34 views

“can certainly” vs “certainly can”

This function, at least, philosophy can perform. Most philosophers, rightly or wrongly, believe that philosophy can do much more than this—that it can give us knowledge, not otherwise attainable, ...
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2answers
29 views

What does 'go' mean in 'go show', 'go say', 'go want' etc and why no 'to' between?

What does 'go' mean in 'go show', 'go say', 'go want', 'go do' etc and why no 'to' between? What the difference between these pairs of words without 'to' and with 'to' as with the infinitive? There ...
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0answers
31 views

“end a run off five successive tournament exits on penalties” Why is “off” used in this sentence?

I don't quite understand the role and usage of the preposition off in this sentence from an online article: Eric Dier scored the decisive kick to end a run off five successive tournament exits on ...
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2answers
284 views

What's the meaning of 'afield'? [on hold]

Is it something like "far away"? Unfortunately I don't have the context but it would be nice to have some examples of how this word is used. Is it conversational?
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1answer
22 views

What does “a front for” mean?

I am an IELTS test-taker. I am fond of using procon.org as English study material. Anyway I have a question about a sentence on the website. Medical marijuana is a front for drug legalization and ...
4
votes
1answer
284 views

Meaning of “a homicide in Palermo is news”

“Palermo, in the 1980s, counted a dead person a day, they were so common people were almost used to them. Now, a homicide in Palermo is news,” he says. Source: How the Mafia's Murder of an Italian ...
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2answers
24 views

damned thing will do me

While I’m reading The Martian, I may as well yell toward Earth for all the good that damned thing will do me. What is the meaning of “damned things will do me” here?
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2answers
502 views

What's the correct spelling of 'shmare'?

I've heard this expression several times in TV shows, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Is it like a small "piece" of some spread? Can I say for example: "Shmare me some Nutella"? Or Can I have ...
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0answers
28 views

What does “And off she started…” mean?

I came across it in a children's book Pippi longstocking. The way I understand it is something like: "there it goes again". I would really appreciate if someone confirmed (or the other way round) my ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What does “commission” mean in this context?

What does commission mean in this context: a volunteer who fixes up old, dilapidated houses for better community housing commission I looked it up in the Oxford dictionary, but it doesn't seem to ...
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2answers
22 views

The meaning of the following sentence

Can anyone help me with these sentences? The middle classes jeer at the collier for buying pianos-but what is the piano, often as not, but a blind reaching after beauty? I don't understand what ...
0
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2answers
29 views

meaning of the phrase “as far as one is concerned with”?

I have found it in this video. It is at 4 minute and 51 second. Here is the context: The brain doesn't atrophy because the brain is the most important organ as far as we are concerned with survival....
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3answers
35 views

‘Turns out’ usage

I’m English learner and reading The Martian. In there: Turns out, through a neat set of chemical reactions with the Martian atmosphere, for every kilogram of hydrogen you bring to Mars, you can ...
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0answers
39 views

Meaning of the phrasal verb “beam in”?

It is from this program. It is at 2 minute and 11 second. Here is the context: At the one time, we're so horrified by what we are seeing — the whales are dying, the oceans vomiting plastic, beaming ...
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1answer
30 views

What is the correct?

What is the right choice “I started playing piano when i was six “ Or “I was starting playing piano when i was six “ , and why?
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2answers
30 views

The meaning of “'I wouldn't for ten pound ”

I heard through the window Father Hickey's voice, saying, 'I wouldn't for ten pound that this had happened, Phil. He's as mad as a march hare. The Cardinal told me so. This is from "Miraculous ...
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1answer
28 views

difference between “cleaning a room” and “tidying a room”?

What's the difference between "cleaning up a room" and "tidying a room"? Is it like cleaning, unlike tidying, involves wiping, sweeping and mopping?
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0answers
17 views

What is the difference between “I haven't gone” and “I haven't been” in the below context? [duplicate]

Studying English today, I see the following question: A: Do you often go to the cinema? B: No, _______ a long time. The answer was "I haven't been to the cinema for", but I did't know why "I ...
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1answer
36 views

“As of now”, is it possible to distinguish between the meanings?

I am quite puzzled as not even native speakers can agree whether "as of now" means "currently" or "from now on". Looking in the dictionaries: (Oxford) As from (of) - Used to indicate the time or date ...
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1answer
17 views

should never have been led to

Of course it is not by argument that we originally come by our belief in an independent external world. We find this belief ready in ourselves as soon as we begin to reflect: it is what may be ...
1
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1answer
31 views

What does “channel emotions” mean? [closed]

I have found it in this video. It is at 53 second. Here is the context: Somehow, channelling this strong emotion had substantial physiological effects on Hans.
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2answers
34 views

What does “put something in control” mean?

This product has capabilities that put users in control so that pre and post document processing costs can be reduced. Since "put something in control" means "take control of something", does it ...
0
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1answer
30 views

a triangle is of playing football

Thus the behaviour of the sense-data which represent the cat to me, though it seems quite natural when regarded as an expression of hunger, becomes utterly inexplicable when regarded as mere ...
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0answers
29 views
0
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2answers
26 views

What's the meaning of “cross any of our desks”?

So I saw this line from a TV drama (again) and couldn't understand it. Here is the line: But Michaela Stone remains a person of interest in the most perplexing investigation ever to cross any of ...
0
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1answer
29 views

What does “in steps of + a certain number” mean?

What does “in steps of + a certain number” mean? It was in this video. Here is the context: After tha they will have to count backwards from 1022 in steps of 13.
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1answer
28 views

Meaning of semi-friendly arrangement

In a book I'm reading there is the phrase "semi-friendly arrangement" that I don't fully understand. Here is the context He and I silently acknowledged each other, and although I wondered ...
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1answer
38 views

What does “come in” mean?

The way in which simplicity comes in from supposing that there really are physical objects is easily seen. If the cat appears at one moment in one part of the room, and at another in another part, ...
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1answer
31 views

Meaning of: “to be a good male, it's better not to talk – silence is golden.”

I was faced with a problem, while reading an article men talk just as much as women. I can't totally understand what's this text talking about, especially its last part? However, researches had ...
0
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1answer
23 views

What would you call a speech introducing an honoring ceremony for highest-ranking graduating students?

Suppose I am a college president and I'm preparing a speech to deliver in honor of the graduates who came top of their graduating class. After the speech, there's going to be a celebration and the ...
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1answer
28 views

Does “least two weeks to complete” mean it will be done in 2 weeks or more than 2 weeks?

We are in the process of updating your account. These updates take at least two weeks to complete. Please clarify this... does this mean that it will be done in 2 weeks or 2 week or more ?
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1answer
10 views

What does “free somebody for something” mean?

I get confused when I read this sentence: "An increasingly efficient agricultural industry freed British workers for factory employment." Does the phrase "free...for..." exist? Does it mean "workers ...
0
votes
1answer
15 views

Karaoke as a place

Karaoke is a form of entertainment, not a place, as far as I understand. The place where people can sing karaoke would be a karaoke venue, e.g. a karaoke bar. So, I got confused when I saw the ...
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0answers
19 views

What does “intellectually consistent” mean?

Here it goes in context: Thomas Jefferson is considered to be, by some, the greatest intellectually consistent faunding father of the US.
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0answers
15 views

Meaning of the phrase “wire service story” [closed]

What is the meaning of the phrase "wire service story" in this sentence: At one time a 30 is signified the end of a wire service story
3
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1answer
46 views

What does the phrase “something for something” mean?

It is from this article. Here is the passage: This is coming with a calorie ticket of 230, which makes legumes highly nutritious, calorie for calorie. I can understand the phrase word for word, ...
1
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2answers
28 views

A word to use in articles to mean a chapter for additional content

I am creating an article. I have chapters such as Objective, Preamble, Assumptions, Instructions. I need to add a chapter for some things that are out of the article essence but related to and ...
0
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1answer
18 views

What does “tight space” mean in this context?

I am not sure about the meaning of the word "tight space" in the following sentence in a game's description: When hungry fishes loom over, tight spaces can be your lifesaver. The virtual game lets ...
0
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2answers
51 views

What does 'had on' mean here?

What does had on or head-on in mean here? Could you give me the link in dictionary for its meaning. It is difficult I think to address these issues had on an (or head on in ) American fiction. ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Meaning of the word “illuded”

I'm doing some test online (on Upwork) and this is one question: Complete the following sentence: The herd of gazelles successfully __________ the wild cheetahs. alluded eluded ...