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This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about the meaning of a word, or a phrase, in a specific context. Be sure to give as much context as possible.

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1answer
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What is the meaning of 'unlikely to comply to preserve'?

I saw the translation of 'unlikely to comply to preserve' and I don't understand why it means 'likely preserve' and not vice versa. Could you clarify it? The newspaper said Roscosmos has asked for ...
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2answers
23 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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3answers
622 views

Meaning of “Why Has Love Got To Be So Sad”

I saw a song of Eric Clapton in which he says "Why Has Love Got To Be So Sad". This kind of structure is a little difficult to me to understand as an non native English speaker. In the simple ...
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2answers
21 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 ...
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1answer
16 views

two thousand five hundred a year? [on hold]

This is sentence from novel 'the Death of the heart' From the business, and from interest on the residue of his mother's capital, Thomas derived, at present, an income of about two thousand ...
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1answer
29 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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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
34 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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2answers
34 views

Is the 'operator' the driver?

Arrested limo company operator The operator of an upstate New York limousine company charged with negligent homicide in Saturday's crash that killed 20 people bore "sole responsibility" for the ...
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1answer
39 views

I'm done with the class the today Vs. I finished the class today

In standard English, which of the following two means that I finished the class today only but doesn't mean that I finish it forever? I am done with the /my class (or lesson). or I finished ...
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0answers
21 views

What does “wage an all-or-nothing return” mean here?

I use this link but don't think it helps: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/wage_2 Binaries are a financial instrument where traders wage an all-or-nothing return. In this ...
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1answer
17 views

meaning of the word “ask” in context

It is from Crash Course US history. It is at 13 minute and 3 second. And in light of this, Bartleby just stops working, saying "I prefer not", when asked, well, pretty much anything. I cannot get ...
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1answer
24 views

Do a make-up exam have the same questions/exercises as the original exam? [closed]

This is the definition given by a site: The purpose of any makeup exam is to allow students, with legitimate reasons for missing a scheduled exam, to fulfil the requirements of a course, and ...
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0answers
14 views
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3answers
65 views

“In the city” meaning “not at home”

Consider the following sentence: Sorry for not being at home when they came. I had to be in the city. The person who says it lives in some city and on that day he/she is still in the same city ...
0
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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
22 views

“Dramatic” vs. “big” in “a dramatic effect”

Kindly consider the following sentence: This rise in sea level will have a dramatic effect on coastal cities and towns all over the world. I was told that the adjective "dramatic" in this context ...
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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
30 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 ...
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1answer
37 views

If I dress awkwardly, then is it out of social context?

The general meaning of "out of context" I know is with the word 'take' i.e. when you take something out of context then it means that it has a chance of being misinterpreted. As my question says: If ...
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1answer
16 views

Meaning of the word “divergence”

I just read the following sentence which is part of a quote from Richard Taylor, Restoring Pride: "[..]Indeed, many people will account their lives to be successful if they get through them with ...
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1answer
27 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
22 views

meaning of the word “ever” before a verb in the continuous form in context

Here is the context: "Before ever writing Chapter one, he will write synopsis after synopsis, for up to a year, ironing out all the wrinkles, developing not just plot and peripeteia (or twists) but ...
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2answers
31 views

meaning of the word “one” in context

It is from Crash Course US history. It at 1 minute and 12 second. Here is the context: Now, both parties realized that it was important to coordinate their electoral strategy to make sure the vice ...
0
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1answer
29 views

What does the meaning of the sentence in bold?

As the day was pleasant, Madame Valmonde drove over to L'Abri to see Désirée and the baby. It made her laugh to think of Désirée with a baby. Why, it seemed but yesterday that Désirée was little ...
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2answers
42 views

Database is [nothing but] an organized form of data

I encountered a sentence Database is nothing but an organized form of data [...]. and got confused by the part "nothing but". What is it used for and what meaning does it convey here? How ...
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1answer
24 views

Does the mentioned sentence properly mean what I intend?

There are things (A, B, and C), and I am entitled to be informed about all of them equally. That means I am entitled to be informed about A as much as I am to be informed about B and C, and so on. ...
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1answer
28 views

meaning of the phrase “great move” in context

It is from this article. Here is the context: Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to become the lineal champion and remains undefeated after 27 fights, while Wilder has won all 40 of his ...
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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 ...
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1answer
21 views

Unless + negative in an exmple, makes sense?

First, I am not sure whether it is grammatically correct (that would be my first question) and I would like to know whether it is a normal usage or I should rather avoid that: I heard he likes ...
2
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1answer
30 views

Figuring out meaning of a sentence with ambiguous word

How to identify the intended meaning of a sentence when a word with different meanings is used in it. For example, consider this sentence: "I was tremendously apprehensive" If taken out of ...
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1answer
40 views

How to understand “fer cryin' out loud” in this context?

“Sorry?" barked Hagrid, turning to stare at the Dursleys, who shrank back into the shadows. "It's them as should be sorry! I knew yeh weren't gettin' yer letters but I never thought yeh wouldn't even ...
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1answer
28 views

What's the meaning of the phrase “take a swing out”?

Just take a swing out to Rockaway after work I saw this sentence in the movie The Flamingo Kid. What's the meaning of the phrase "take a swing out" here?
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1answer
57 views

What is the meaning of this joke? “Judgement day is upon us. The minions of Lucifer walk upon the earth.. Oh, no.. It's merely the Danish”

Judgement day is upon us. The minions of Lucifer walk upon the earth.. Oh, no.. It's merely the Danish. Came across this phrase (title) in a history game and I'm not entirely sure what the deeper ...
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1answer
34 views

Meaning of “round” in the given context

Please see the following sentence: It is not much difficult to bend a free kick round a wall of defenders. I am not sure which of the following meanings of the word "round" fits here: adv. ...
0
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1answer
28 views

What does “numbers game” mean here?

I use this link but don't quite understand it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_game What does the author imply here? "What separates and sets apart these 18 emerging market economies from the ...
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1answer
21 views

'on what amounts to' causes difficulties. What the sense of meaning whole sentence here?

What the sense of meaning whole sentence here? We cannot condone government involvement on what amounts to a privately owned venture.
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1answer
20 views

What does “Given my reverence for, but ignorance of, the Bible, ….” mean?

Can someone please explain the meaning of the passage below? "Bruce could quote the Bible at will, and did so to an amazing degree. Given my reverence for, but ignorance of, the Bible, it all ...
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2answers
449 views

The sentence's object? (pains or Bummer Baskets?)

I've come across with the sentence below: One innovative company, Bummer Baskets, sells a range of care packages, each designed to assuage a particular variety of pain, dominated by the ...
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2answers
24 views

Meaning of I had a dream it would end this way

I’m watching a show, Community, and I have a question about a line of it. Please watch it: Community. The guy says “I had a dream it would end this way”, and what does it mean? Does “a dream” mean ...
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3answers
20 views

Healthy vs. average

A sample IELTS question in the reading section concerns a passage about how dentistry has improved over the last few centuries. The passage includes: Modern dentistry was in its infancy for most ...
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2answers
19 views

Relationship between “detrimental” and “effective”

A sample IELTS question in the reading section concerns a passage about how dentistry has improved over the last few centuries. The passage includes: "...for most of the 18th and the beginning of ...
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2answers
26 views

What does 'Move over' mean here?

How to uderstand is 'Move over' phrasial verb or not and what does it mean here? World's Latest Healthiest Diet (Move Over Mediterranean!) I also would like to sea the link of the meaning in ...
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0answers
17 views

word meaning - articles and tidbits

When referring to a piece of information, as in "articles and tidbits," does the word tidbit always refer to juicy, gossipy, or salacious information?
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1answer
53 views

I don't get the meaning of the phrase in bold clearly?

At night he went home and there was Lucile - less like a flower, but still silent, fragrant, hopeful. He said to her: "you will never have anything more than you have now, Lucile, do you realize that?"...
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3answers
58 views

Loops as synonyms to handles or straps

From the sitcom Seinfeld, they were describing a bra in the sentence "You got the cups in the front, two loops in the back". It seems that in this context "loops" means "straps". Is that correct? ...
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1answer
13 views

meaning of the word “on” in context

It is from this article. Here is the passage: On its work on the Skripal poisoning, Bellingcat says investigators searched images on several online search engines, contacted former Russian military ...
2
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1answer
22 views

says rather more than is strictly certain

But some care is needed in using Descartes' argument. 'I think, therefore I am' says rather more than is strictly certain. It might seem as though we were quite sure of being the same person today ...
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3answers
28 views

What do 'snapped forward' 'bounded off' mean in context?

I don't understand what do 'snapped forward' 'bounded off' mean in context? The breath whistled out of Jock Danby's throat, and he stopped in mid-charge as though hit in the chest with a double ...
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3answers
69 views

What is the meaning of “wrought” in this sentence and can it be replaced by “worked”?

I understand wrought as a word with two meanings--as the archaic past tense and past participle of work and as an adjective in its own right. However, I can't quite understand its meaning in this ...