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.

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10
votes
6answers
16k views

What does “Don't take my words at face value” mean?

What does "Don't take my words at face value" mean?
5
votes
1answer
7k views

What does “do't” mean?

I found this line in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. I'll do't. Dost thou come here to whine? What does "do't" mean? Google returneth only "don't". Is "do't" an alternative spelling of "don't"? ...
12
votes
4answers
12k views

Froth and foam, which one is preferred?

Tonight, while having a cup of hot-chocolate, me and my friends had a little discussion about the foam/bubbles/froth formed on the top of the drink. While I said that it should be referred to as ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

“Confused” vs. “bewildered”

Is there any major difference in the meanings of bewildered/bewildering and confused/confusing? How about the context in which they can be used?
3
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2answers
2k views

What is a hobo?

I know technically a hobo is homeless vagabond. Is this name also used as some sort of curse word or would one only use that name in exactly that context?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Are these sentences the same? “To sit at someone's feet” vs. “To sit at the feet of someone”

Examples: He sat at the feet of his professor. He sat at his professor's feet. I found the expression "sit at sb's feet" in Oxford dictionary and I found the expression "sit at the feet ...
2
votes
1answer
681 views

What is the function of “that” in this sentence?

A touch of a spurred heel made his horse first start and rear, and then bound away; the dog rushed in his traces; all three vanished- "Like heath that, in the wilderness, The wild wind whirls ...
0
votes
1answer
231 views

What do these pronouns refer to? [closed]

Who blames me? Many, no doubt; and I shall be called discontented. I could not help it; the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes. Then my sole relief was to walk along ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Meaning of 'to' in the dictionaries [closed]

The word 'set' is defined in certain dictionaries as: [OED] put, lay, or stand (something) in a specified place or position [Random House] to put (something or someone) in a particular place The ...
8
votes
3answers
262 views

What does “grab a hit” mean in this context?

Audiences expect spicy and sometimes dark narratives, but because the networks are still in the business of not offending mass audiences, they cannot even grab a hit when it comes lurching through the ...
8
votes
3answers
12k views

“Surely” vs. “Certainly”

"The high oil prices are surely not wholesome for the economy." —Axel Weber. Does Axel Weber correctly use surely in his statement? How does the meaning of that quote change replacing ...
14
votes
3answers
44k views

What is the difference between “look at” and “look to”?

I've heard/read/seen both "look at" and "look to" (and "look up at" and "look up to"). Is there a difference between the two? When should I use one over the other?
22
votes
1answer
15k views

What's the difference between words “number”, “count”, “amount” and “quantity”? [closed]

I just can't understand when i should use one of these words and when another. They are too similar, but looks like they are not absolutely the same. So what is the difference between them?
1
vote
1answer
251 views

What is the question actually asking?

The question is quoted from here on math.stackexchange.com A cylindrical chocobar has its radius r unit and height h unit. If we wish to increase the volume by same amount either by increasing its ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Differences and similarities between “catastrophe” and “disaster”

In my field study Environment Eng. disaster is used for natural happenings which cause irreparable results in the nature and human beings' lives, but I have seen and read people use them for different ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

“Rectangle with 3 straight lines” vs “rectangle using 3 straight lines”

How do the three sentences below differ in meaning, and which can be answered with 'yes'? Can you draw a rectangle with 3 straight lines? Can you draw a rectangle by using 3 straight lines? ...
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
1answer
719 views

Meaning of “bombastic” nowadays

Wiktionary's defintions of "bombastic" are: adj. of a person, their language or writing Pompous or overly wordy. adj. High-sounding but with little meaning. adj. archaic Inflated, overfilled. "They ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

What’s the full sentence for ‘no’?

“If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.” “No; I know I should think well of ...
3
votes
2answers
395 views

Does 'would have choked' mean she had the bread?

. . . ; she [Helen] brought my coffee and bread. “Come, eat something,” she said; but I [Jane] put both away from me, feeling as if a drop or a crumb would have choked me in my present condition. (...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What does it mean “like a slug”?

The Dursleys often spoke about Harry like this, as though he wasn't there - or rather, as though he was something very nasty that couldn't understand them, like a slug. (Harry Potter and the ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

Is this an imperative sentence?

"You could just leave me here," Harry put in hopefully (he'd be able to watch what he wanted on television for a change and maybe even have a go on Dudley's computer). Aunt Petunia looked as ...
1
vote
3answers
144 views

“I feel I carry everyone in prayer” vs “I feel I ought to carry everyone in prayer”

I feel I [ought to] carry everyone in prayer, in a present that is God’s, where I recall every meeting, every voyage, every pastoral visit. (The Huffinghton Post) Why does the journalist have ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

“Someone” and “somebody”: one or many?

Is it correct that somebody may imply many people or an organization as a whole? Particularly, can I think that someone assumes only one person whereas somebody can be said about a group of persons ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

What does it mean by 'out of the air'?

A low rumbling sound had broken the silence around them. It grew steadily louder as they looked up and down the street for some sign of a headlight; it swelled to a roar as they both looked up at the ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Are these all ironies?

It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge. It must have made sense to Dumbledore, though, because he put it back in his pocket and said, "Hagrid's ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the non-literal meaning of “neckbeard”?

Wikipedia gives a literal description for Neckbeard: Neckbeard (a.k.a. Neard) — similar to the Chinstrap, but with the chin and jawline shaven, leaving hair to grow only on the neck. While never ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

What's the meaning of “as much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation”

I'm reading Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. There is a quote that says, "As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation." What's the meaning of this? EDIT: The ...
3
votes
2answers
653 views

Sentence combinations and word choice

Is it correct to say "A world with no borders, no time and no place."? Why do I get the feeling that "boundaries" is a better word choice in this case? Also is it better to say "A world without ...
3
votes
2answers
657 views

“At times” or “at the same time”

A deeply conservative pontiff, whose tenure has been overshadowed by sexual abuse scandals, Pope Benedict, 85, leaves with a chequered reputation after a papacy that was at times both conservative and ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the meaning of 'it was no good'?

Mr. Dursley sat frozen in his armchair. Shooting stars all over Britain? Owls flying by daylight? Mysterious people in cloaks all over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the Potters... Mrs. ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is “a few seconds before” an idiom?

It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realized that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn't seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. Source: Harry Potter and the ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “eating your hat” mean?

What does it mean to eat your hat? Does it mean to really eat the hat or does it mean you have disagreement to someone? This expression appeared in the comments of Shawn Mooney's answer to Can we add ...
7
votes
1answer
539 views

What do 'hisself' and 'nuff money' mean?

He got hisself kicked out cause he couldn't cough up nuff money to pay the rent. What do 'hisself' and 'nuff' mean? It maybe looks like the nuff money is type of money. But how he can cough up money?
11
votes
2answers
9k views

What does “gas and alcohol don't mix” mean?

I have heard the expression "gas and alcohol don't mix" from the Egyptian president Muhamed Morsy. What does it mean?
44
votes
3answers
213k views

What does “viewer discretion is advised” mean?

Viewer discretion is advised. I've stumbled upon this phrase a few times (mainly at the beginning of video clips or movie trailers), but I'm still not quite sure what it really expresses. What is ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Is there something omitted around or in the phrase?

No, Bessie: she came to my crib last night when you were gone down to supper, and said I need not disturb her in the morning, or my cousins either; and she told me to remember that she had always been ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What does 'onding on snaw' mean?

It was a very grey day; a most opaque sky, “onding on snaw,” canopied all; thence flakes felt it intervals, which settled on the hard path and on the hoary lea without melting. (Jane Eyre) ‘...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

What does “they blew everyone away” mean?

The band was awesome! They blew everyone away. What does this mean? Surely it does not mean the band actually blew everyone away. But it seems to mean something good?
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Difference between “They are goofing” and “They are goofing off”?

What's the difference between "They are goofing" and "They are goofing off"? I have heard both, but I don't know the distinction.
2
votes
3answers
144 views

What are the differences between should, were, and if conditional clauses?

Mr. Brocklehurst, I believe I intimated in the letter which I wrote to you three weeks ago, that this little girl has not quite the character and disposition I could wish: should you admit her into ...
14
votes
5answers
7k views

Can 'domestic animal' be used instead of 'livestock'?

Is it correct to use domestic animal instead of livestock (cattle)? livestock animals and birds that are kept on a farm, such as cows, sheep, or chickens domestic animal an animal that is ...
1
vote
3answers
163 views

What do these pronouns indicate?

To one as young as you, I'm sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day. After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

What’s the purpose of ‘for’?

You got there? You got Hermione's owl? We must have crossed in midair. No sooner had I reached London than it became clear to me that the place I should be was the one I had just left. I arrived ...
4
votes
1answer
681 views

What’s the semantic difference between the two sentences?

From 'Jane Eyre': Bessie was gone down to breakfast. Comparing this with an alternative not from 'Jane Eyre': Bessie had gone down to breakfast. What’s the semantic difference between these ...
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?
4
votes
1answer
230 views

What does it mean: to roll into the wild

Context: Android 4.2.2: A better Jelly Bean rolls into the wild. Does it mean that Android 4.2.2 becomes something like an animal, something crazy?
77
votes
3answers
266k views

Does “a couple” always mean two?

Today I said some event was a couple of weeks away. A native speaker from Australia corrected me and said, no it's at least three weeks away. What followed was a discussion as to whether a couple ...
19
votes
6answers
8k views

How many items are actually “a few items”?

When we use a few, how many items are usually indicated? My intuition tells me it's something between 3 and 9, but what is the most common range for a few?
4
votes
2answers
12k views

What does “do” mean in “What do I do”?

What does "do" mean in "What do I do?" I think it means "What do I usually do?", but I don't know why anyone would ask what they usually do. Does it mean something else?