Questions tagged [meaning]

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 instead.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
1answer
332 views

What does this example sentence for “shake down” mean?

Oxford Dictionaries Online gives the following definition for the phrasal verb shake down: become established in a new place or situation; settle down And it gives the following example sentence ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

'Flying glass' and 'doorway' during an earthquake; what do they mean?

My book has a paragraph giving advice on what we should do during an earthquake: If you live in an earthquake zone, you should take some time to look around your house ... Check the mirrors in your ...
3
votes
2answers
513 views

“The last time was never”

  "I'm going to show you a telegram from the German foreign minister, Arthur Zimmermann, to the German ambassador in Mexico."   She looked astonished. "Where did you get that?" &...
7
votes
2answers
38k views

What's the meaning of “that said”? Under what contexts can we use it? [closed]

As title said, I'm confused by the meaning of "that said". I tried to google it, but I failed find a clear and convincing definition.
0
votes
1answer
929 views

What's the meaning of “when I fall in love, it will be forever”?

If someone says "when I fall in love, it will be forever", which of the following does that mean? The speaker is pointing out the fact that they have already fallen in love and this is something that ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

“Have/has” vs. “of”

Given "the account that has the number 45823", can we replace the has with of to get "the account number of 45823"? And what about "the account of the number 45823"? I could not find this in any ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “see” mean in this context?

   "Wizards have banks?"    "Just the one. Gringotts. Run by goblins."    Harry dropped the bit of sausage he was holding.    "Goblins?" &...
5
votes
2answers
91k views

How to use “what is more”?

Just curious if "what is more" is basically the same as "furthermore". It seems to be an expression that creates emphasis, right? How about the following sentence: I am a great admirer of her films;...
4
votes
1answer
768 views

“I've gotten to do” vs. “I have to do”

What is the difference between "I've gotten to do" and "I have to do"? Context: Hi Mom, Dad, and Sam, The Vatican is weird! As you can see, the Catholic Church still has a lot of money left ...
7
votes
1answer
178k views

What are the differences between 'proof' and 'prove'? [closed]

I've been wondering for a long time when I should use proof and when prove. They seem so awfully similar and I can't get hands on any good examples that would show the key differences. I know both of ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Meaning of “The experiment to be carried out was a success”

I can't quite get the meaning of this expression. "Was" is confusing me. Is it just a mistype of "with"? "The experiment to be carried out was a success."
-4
votes
1answer
629 views

Meaning of vocabulary in context

What is the meaning of ? cunningly contrived whereas contrived means forcefully and cunning means attractive. Source: The sentence came from Question 2 on this GRE practice question. 2. We ...
7
votes
2answers
263 views

What is a “judicial divination”?

What is a "judicial divination" in next sentence? I quoted it from the book "Human rights written by Andrew Clapham". They considered the matter was better left to national legislators than to a ...
1
vote
2answers
235 views

Could anyone explain what this sentence means?

I study English and I can't understand what some of my teacher's questions mean. For example: Q: What role does the image of a slim figure play in different cultures? Can anyone explain it for me?...
5
votes
3answers
45k views

“Come to mind” vs. “come to one's mind”

Which of the following phrases is correct: "to come to mind" or "to come to one's mind"? If both are possible, do they have the same meaning? If not, when should I use each of them? Would you ...
7
votes
1answer
828 views

Is there a standard dictionary to use for vocabulary?

I have come across many kinds of English dictionaries like Oxford, Cambridge, Collins and other similar ones which are commonly used. Suppose I wanted to look for a word, apparently each of them gives ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

What does “the hubris of the defeated” mean? [closed]

I saw a movie "A Beautiful Mind". In the movie, a person said "hubris of the defeated" to a person who lost a game. In the language I use, it appears to mean "the statement uttered when a person ...
1
vote
1answer
8k views

What is the meaning of `light my fire` in this sentence? [closed]

What is the meaning of light my fire in this sentence: You light my red fire. Hot white, and blue. American Flag? The context is the song On Our Way by Lana Del Rey: You, ooh-ooh-ooh You ...
2
votes
3answers
81 views

“Who has emerged as the less gutsy Nadal to his less regal Federer, playing to the heart-warmed fans”

What does the bold part mean? I don't understand the structure of it, especially the "less […] to […]" part. The match itself was something of an anticlimax. Djokovic, spent from his encounter ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

What does 'trust' mean in this context? [duplicate]

   That evening, Dudley paraded around the living room for the family in his brand-new uniform. Smeltings' boys wore maroon tailcoats, orange knickerbockers, and flat straw hats called ...
2
votes
2answers
651 views

In and at uses in city and places or any alternative?

What is right? I live in Seattle? I live at Seattle? and can I use Hails instead and how?
1
vote
2answers
259 views

“Not much of skyscraper by today’s standards, is it really?”

Please help me know, what is the exact meaning of the following sentence and what could be the context where I would use it? Not much of skyscraper by today’s standards, is it really?
0
votes
2answers
12k views

I'd rather you didn't, if you don't mind

I would like to know if is there something which could be similar and simple for this Question's answer. And Please give me the clear meaning for this answer too. Question : Is it ok if I use your ...
2
votes
2answers
421 views

Does “tree-borne raft” mean that the raft is made of trees (woods)?

Does "tree-borne raft" mean that the raft is made of trees (woods)? Freddy wants a tree-house, and I always meant to build one in the copper beech. Nothing fancy – just a sort of tree-borne raft, ...
0
votes
1answer
434 views

What does “twittering away to itself” mean?

What does "twittering away to itself" mean? Does it mean that the radio is twittering and the sound generated by the radio is outward from it? White hair endows you with the demeanour of a friendly ...
0
votes
3answers
176 views

“Hyacinths on (what I fondly call) my rockery”

Satin white, Persian purple, oil-paint yellow. When I planted these birches they were broomstick-height, and now look at them. They tap our bedroom window on stormy nights. Hyacinths on (what I fondly ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Use “declaration” to let the readers feel that this sentence is ironic and humourous?

I think this author uses declaration to let the readers feel that this sentence has irony and humour,Am I right? Because the general usage would be "but after I had heard what Lorna said, […]." Here ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

What does this sentence mean by “challenging modern media outlets”?

The growth, exponential influence and scope of participation in social media, challenging modern media outlets, is rivalling that of nation states. What does "challenging modern media outlets" refer ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “She’s nice to see and she’s soft to touch” mean?

I read a following poem in Les Miserables. There is a castle on a cloud, I like to go there in my sleep, Aren’t any floors for me to sweep, Not in my castle on a cloud. There is a room ...
3
votes
1answer
975 views

What does “just” mean?

What does the highlighted "just" mean in the following paragraph? Dumbledore turned and walked back down the street. On the corner he stopped and took out the silver Put-Outer. He clicked it once,...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Would you say “Let's head in!”? [closed]

Do we have such expression in English? (I don't remember where I saw it, but I'm sure I did) Let's head in!
-1
votes
1answer
234 views

What does the term “dream-skinners” mean in this paragraph? [closed]

What does dream-skinners mean? Does it mean the people who cheat others in dream, like the people in the film named "Inception"? In spite of her name (an elegant, whimsical female name which meant ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

What does “we sent his way” mean in this sentence?

The following paragraph is from "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2" written by Jeff Kinney. I'm sure our Giving Tree guy will throw his sweater in the trash, along with the ten cans of yams we sent his way ...
1
vote
1answer
192 views

What's the meaning of “ be high in indoctrination”?

In Evelyn Waugh's Loved Ones, there is a sentence: Mrs Komstock had...a nephew who was high in indoctrination: Wars simply don’t interest me. Everyone’s like that now. Well, I was like that in ’...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Is “go to school in” correct?

I have read a passage as following: Most buildings are built for people to live in, work in, or go to school in. But some buildings are built just to hang pictures in. These buildings are called ...
0
votes
1answer
501 views

What does “focused and narrowed” mean?

What does the highlighted part means? The ground rumbled beneath her, even as her ears popped with pressure –more laughter from The Tortoise in the Lake, even as the darkness of space focused and ...
1
vote
0answers
98 views

Distorted Cabins & Oily Sheens: What happens really when a low rumble comes? [duplicate]

For this text: There came a low rumble, which distorted the cabin around her, and cast an oily sheen on the walls. Could you tell me that what happened really here as the above text says?In this ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

What does “not likely ” mean?

I have read the following conversation: —Have you finished your homework? —__. Just half of it.How about you? The options for the blank are the followings: A.Not at all B.Not likely C.Not a bit ...
1
vote
1answer
395 views

What does “two-way justice” mean?

What does "two-way justice" mean? Can I use it to describe a relationship between two people (without considering the role of gender) in which there is a complete equality in behaviors and reactions?
1
vote
1answer
141 views

How should I understand “I will read pages that only weary me”?

This is a quote from W. Somerset Maugham's On Reading as a text in our textbook. And the whole sentence look somewhat like the following: To know how to skip is to know how to read with profit and ...
9
votes
1answer
10k views

How can I explain the difference between 'suppose', 'assume', and 'presume'?

My boss tends to overuse the word "suppose". He'll say stuff like I suppose you received my email? Now, clearly there are more things wrong with that sentence than just using "suppose" in a ...
4
votes
2answers
214 views

Meaning of “Hostages to Providence”

I read this quote recently from businessman Conrad Black, in a newspaper interview published in the Financial Times. How should it be interpreted? “I was a bit insouciant. While my conduct ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

What does “may” mean?

“Well, Voldemort’s going to try other ways of coming back, isn’t he? I mean, he hasn’t gone, has he?” “No, Harry, he has not. He is still out there somewhere, perhaps looking for another body to ...
-1
votes
1answer
141 views

Can I understand the last two clauses in this way?

For this text: When you're a guy, and a dad," I told Freddy's scarecrow, "and you have to ask your wife to put £5,000 of her bonus into the joint account so that the garage won't refuse your card, ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

The role and the meaning of the “of”

Consider the two sentences below It is of crucial importance that we make more use of technology if we are to make progress. and It is crucially important that we make more use of technology ...
3
votes
1answer
391 views

Is “Sausage sizzle” only used for charity events?

In Australian or New Zealand English, is the term "Sausage sizzle" only used for charity events, as opposed to a BBQ that you're having with friends? Wikipedia has an entry on sausage sizzle, but I ...
1
vote
1answer
321 views

What does 'already' with future tense mean?

"Yes..." said Ron softly, "It's the only way... I've got to be taken." "NO!" Harry and Hermione shouted. "That's chess!" snapped Ron. "You've got to make some sacrifices! I take one step forward ...
7
votes
2answers
200 views

How would a native speaker understand buying 2 socks?

How would a native speaker understand this sentence: I have bought 2 socks. A pair of socks is quite obvious, 2 pairs of socks also, but what with 2 socks? 2 socks are a pair, but since you can't ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Meaning of “slow-building”

What does slow-building mean in that sentence? Does it mean "movements that were built slowly"? Some of our stories are about slow-building movements that display great momentum and dexterity in ...
0
votes
1answer
231 views

What does the sentence “Alma did not visit Edna before both Cleo and Dina” mean?

What does the sentence "Alma did not visit Edna before both Cleo and Dina" mean ? Alma, Bess, Cleo, Edna and Dina are friends. Does it mean, 1a) Alma did not visit Edna before Cleo. 1b) Alma did ...