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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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 ...
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1answer
316 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 ...
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1answer
63 views

What's a good word for "OwnType"?

I am creating a kitesurfing website, and I have a problem. Explanation: There is a table with the columns Title, OwnType, Type of equipment, DateCreated Entries in the OwnType column may be 'My' or '...
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126 views

Meanings of the word "betray"

If Edward Snowden were a Russian citizen who was born in Russia, became a professional spy and later infiltrated the US, could I still say that he betrayed the USA?
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What does "it's quite all right" mean?

I read the article below. Mark Twain was a famous American writer. James Whistler was a famous American painter. Twain liked Whistler’s work very much. One day Twain was looking at Whistler’s ...
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1answer
6k views

Is "We are running the red lights" right?

I read the following dialogue which I think is quite weird. Look! Some people are running the red lights. We should wait although others are breaking the rule. I don't think the sentence "...
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2answers
1k views

How often is "check" used to mean "ensure"?

I'd like to know how often check is used to mean ensure, which means not only "determine if everything is right," but also "take the appropriate actions to correct the situation if it is not." What I'...
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0answers
2k views

It has been developed vs It is being developed [duplicate]

What is the difference between the following sentences? It has been developed vs It is being developed It has been held vs. It is being held Which tense is "is being" used here and ...
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1answer
218 views

The verb "to overlook" embraces the opposite meanings?

One of the meanings of the verb to overlook is "to provide a view of" (the chateau overlooks fields of olive trees), when it gives you the possibility of seeing. The other meaning is "to fail to ...
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1answer
149 views

efficacy vs. efficiency

I've got troubles perceiving the difference in meaning between these terms. They have different Latin roots which means they have to be different (efficacy—efficacia, efficiency—efficientia). These ...
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4answers
38k views

What is the different between "what" and "which"?

What is the difference between what and which? For example, what is the difference between the following sentences? What is correct? Which is correct?
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4answers
1k views

Meaning of "as complicated as it is"

This area of science as complicated as it is. What does it mean? All instances I have found on the Internet have something at the end, e.g. "Buying gifts for men isn't nearly as complicated as it is ...
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1answer
264 views

What is the meaning of "The wise, for care, on exercise depend, ..."?

The wise, for care, on exercise depend, God never made his work for man to mend. It's a quotation of Dryden made by this essay. Another version is from wikiquote: John Dryden, where for care is ...
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2answers
99 views

What's the meaning of "by exhaustion"

The question of what is a mathematical object was a deep source of debate in the last part of the eighteenth and first part of nineteenth century. There has only been at best a partial resolution, ...
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1answer
181 views

Help me understand the meaning of this sentence

He [the boy] remembered climbing the steps to the stage with his parents, his father by his side that year instead of with the Nurturers, since it was the year that he would be given a newchild of his ...
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2answers
3k views

What does "regards" mean?

I emailed my teacher a question, and he answered with the following sentence: Titan atmospheric conditions are nearly identical to Earth's in many regards. What does regards mean in this context?
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1answer
197 views

What do you thing about "In France, there is a Chinese proverb that says ..."? [closed]

What do you think about: In France, there is a Chinese proverb that says "..."? Is it just a joke or something serious?
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1answer
103 views

The meaning of Scan

Some words seem to have opposite meanings in different contexts. For example, scan, have both the meanings of look carefully and look carelessly? How to identify that?
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3answers
6k views

What's the meaning of "get behind"?

During a discussion, people were criticizing the teen singer Justin Bieber of his poor style of dress on one of his photos wearing an outfit that included a drop crotch pants. Someone then mentioned ...
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3answers
7k views

"claim": What does this word actually mean in general context?

Can anyone please help me explaining the weight of the word claim in general purpose sentences? For example, if I say I will claim the amount. Does it mean it is my right to get the amount, or ...
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2answers
34k views

What's the meaning of "I'd say"?

In a discussion on closets, person A posted a picture of his closet and person B made a comment on it: Cowboy boots in the north WTF, and who needs that many hats? Person A then replies: I've ...
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5answers
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Paint vs Draw Difference in meaning

What are the differences between 'to paint' and 'to draw' when we are talking about arts? As I guess draw refers to pictures in pencil or pen and paint to watercolor pictures or something. I need to ...
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1answer
6k views

What's common explanation of 'hammer, meet nail'? [closed]

Would someone explain what exactly that means? Also is it right that there is comma between 'hammer' and 'meet'? Source: http://youtu.be/RidsxnnVTR4 Lyrics in print: http://www.lyricstime.com/dr-...
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2answers
139k views

What does the word "Print" mean on a form?

I find the wording of this form confusing. What should I write next to "Signed" and "Print"?
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3answers
3k views

What's the meaning of "piss on"?

This is a comment made from a discussion on homeless people: There are those who have pissed on the help, love and concern of any family they once knew. What's the meaning of piss on in this ...
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1answer
1k views

What does "drop of an opinion" mean?

What does "drop of an opinion" mean in this context: They were almost as much into talking as they were into protesting. They were ready to take part in an all-night bull-session on the space ...
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2answers
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"We have eaten breakfast together every morning since our honeymoon."

We have eaten breakfast together every morning since our honeymoon. (I don't understand it.) We have been eating breakfast together every morning since our honeymoon. (I understand it.) Is there a ...
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5answers
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Differences between branch, twig, and bough

Could someone explain to me the differences in meaning between those words: branch, twig, and bough? For me they look very similar. Picture would be very helpful. :)
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between "swept away by", "swept up by/in" and "swept over"?

Is there any difference between "swept away by" vs "swept up by/in" vs "swept over"? For example, what is the best fit in the following sentences? Is there any difference ...
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1answer
2k views

"It has been on the news" vs. "it was on the news"

I'm trying to gain the full understanding of perfect tenses. Are my explanations about the sentence and the difference between using the Present Perfect instead of the Simple Past correct? It has ...
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2answers
9k views

Different syntax, different meaning: "application field" & "field application"?

I was wondering about the difference between these two expressions is. application field (generic) field application (I think this is specialist jargon in engineering). Apparently they indicate the ...
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1answer
663 views

What does this 'for' mean?

Ducking under Peeves, they ran for their lives, right to the end of the corridor where they slammed into a door - and it was locked. "This is it!" Ron moaned, as they pushed helplessly at the door,...
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2answers
34k views

What is exactly the difference between "gaze" and "stare"?

According to dictionaries, they both mean "to look steadily at somebody / something".
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1answer
500 views

What do "tabs" look like?

This is the definition of flag on Dictionary.com: Flag n. 5.to mark (a page in a book, file card, etc.) for attention, as by attaching protruding tabs. I have an idea of what a tab is, but what ...
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3answers
17k views

What does *bend the rule* mean?

Malfoy certainly did talk about flying a lot. He complained loudly about first years never getting on the house Quidditch teams . . . "He's just the build for a Seeker, too," said Wood, now ...
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2answers
1k views

Does exasperate mean "anger" or "irritate"?

exasperate - Irritate intensely; infuriate. I've seen many entries in dictionaries that have two set of definition like the above "irritate intensely" and "infuriate". What does this mean? If I use ...
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1answer
2k views

"As it could have been" versus "as it could be"

What is the difference in meaning between these two phrases? not as effective as it could have been not as effective as it could be
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2answers
249 views

Translation for "calificador" (from Spanish to English)

In Spanish, calificador means someone (or something) that examines some score or performance and gives you a grade or a score. Wich is the best and commonly used term? I've found this one: grader: a ...
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1answer
4k views

What's the difference between "dressing" and "seasoning" when it comes to the ingredients of cooking?

I'm often confused with the two words when expressing the ingredients that adjust flavor of dishes, such as garlic, vinegar, basil, curry... Which are dressings and which are seasonings? And how to ...
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2answers
2k views

For ever and forever

What is the difference between the meaning and usage of for ever and forever in British English? From what I could gather from my online research, forever means : (also for ever) for all ...
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1answer
1k views

You're the light in my "deepest" hour

This is one of the verses in the song How deep is your love by Bee Gees. I believe in you You know the door to my very soul You're the light in my deepest, darkest hour You're my savior when ...
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2answers
85 views

Is there an omitted relativizer?

From her [Joad’s mother] position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to ...
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1answer
238 views

"corner caught against the coffee table"

This is a comment someone made about their dog during a discussion on dog tricks, Mines a lost cause, he had a cone on the other day because he was scratching his ear, and he tried walking over to ...
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1answer
3k views

What's the meaning of "as nature intended"?

In a discussion, a funny dog video was posted. In response to the video, person A said, non crated dogs ftl. Person B disagrees and said what Person C replies Person B, It's what non-dog people ...
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6answers
32k views

"Misuse" vs. "Abuse"

What are the differences between misuse and abuse? This is what is listed for misuse in the dictionary: Verb: Use (something) in the wrong way or for the wrong purpose. Noun: The wrong or improper ...
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1answer
6k views

"Small change" vs "Loose change"

When we are talking about money, is there any difference between "small change" and "loose change"? It seems that both mean "coins of little value." These are examples from Oxford Dictionaries: I ...
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1answer
49 views

Could there be any difference between using "over" and "to" in the idiom "to cast one's mind back"?

Examples from Longman: 1 - Cast your mind back to your first day at school. 2 - He frowned, casting his mind back over the conversation.
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What do they want to know, when they ask 'what's she like'?

What’s she like? She’s shy, but she’s very kind. (From a Korean middle school English textbook.) ‘What is used to ask for particular information about somebody/something’ says Oxford. When they ask ...
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2answers
2k views

What's the meaning of "deep" here?

This is a passage from the song Hero by Enrique Iglesias: Would you swear, that you'll always be mine? Or would you lie? Would you run and hide? Am I in too deep? Have I lost my mind? I don't care ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...