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Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

Use this tag for questions about the meaning and usage of a particular phrase, for which a dictionary cannot answer.

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Feed sb sth VS feed sb on sth

Sentences: I feed the dog biscuits. I feed the dog on biscuits. Does feed on mean to give as a regular food, and feed mean simply to give food? Explain. Thank you.
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1answer
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Meaning of 'ends meet'

What is the meaning of ends meet in this context Hi, This email is to inform you that your application has been rejected. As the Test scores were not enough. However, we wish you all success ...
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1answer
27 views

What does mean “to get {somebody} {something}”

Could you say if I'm correct translating the following sentence: And I'd like to see about getting Harry some contacts. like And I'd like to see about providing Harry with some contacts. I'm ...
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2answers
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“taking their lead from him” in this context

He(Neville) had not once mentioned his meeting with Harry, Ron and Hermione on the closed ward in St Mungo's and, taking their lead from him, they had kept quiet about it too. Harry Potter and ...
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2answers
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Charles Dickens bleak house interpretation

It's from Bleak-House. Chapter Down in Lincolnshire ( LXVI) Some of her old friends, principally to be found among the peachy-cheeked charmers with the skeleton throats, did once occasionally say, ...
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1answer
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Do “usually never” and “usually always” make sense?

When visiting the lunch buffet: "I usually never take the spicy dressing" When waiting for Tom: "Tom usually always comes on time" It seems like a bit of colloquial exaggeration - but is it ...
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1answer
29 views

“Kick your ass on the road” meaning

I heard "Kick your ass on the road" in a movie. The context is that there were two people in a truck. One guy said it to the driver. From the context, I guess it probably means he had asked the driver ...
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2answers
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How to understand the phrase “the unwilling objects of a gruesome sort of reflected fame”

There were relatives of their victims among the Hogwarts students, who now found themselves the unwilling objects of a gruesome sort of reflected fame as they walked the corridors: Susan Bones, whose ...
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2answers
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What does “reintegrate into the labour market” mean?

A: XYZ helps unemployed individuals prepare for, find, and maintain suitable employment. B: XYZ offers programs and services that help unemployed workers reintegrate into the labour market and ...
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2answers
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What does “tippy top” mean here?

And except for those at the tippy top, shareholder value isn’t a meaningful goal that excites and engages them. I searched online dictionaries but I didn't find a good definition for"tippy top" ...
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1answer
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How is “over-the-top” related to online streaming? [closed]

I know OTT means online content business, but why is "over the top" linguistically used? Literally I don't see much connection.
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1answer
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What does “at stake” mean in this emboldened sentence?

For the past two weeks Chinese and American negotiators have been locked in talks in Beijing and Washington to end their trade conflict before the deadline of March 1st......Don't be distracted by ...
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2answers
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“clunked into place” meaning

She walked away. Harry stood staring after her, his brain working frantically. Then something clunked into place. "Cho! Hey - Cho!" He ran after her, catching her halfway up the marble ...
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1answer
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alive once alive forever?

doubt Is it correct to say alive once alive forever meaning one who feels alive once lives forever?
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2answers
237 views

Does the phrase “more obvious” mean “just barely noticeable among many” in certain contexts?

Let me add some context here: In Frank Herbert’s Dune, there is this sentence: “I know the Dark Things and the ways of the Great Mother,” Jessica said. She read the more obvious signs in Mapes’ ...
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1answer
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What does “but not say” mean?

I believe that the requirement is being exercised but not say, directly called in the test. What does "but not say" mean? Does it mean something like "though we can't say"?
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1answer
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Is it OK to use “slowly” after “to edge”?

I came across a sentence Why does a car have to edge forward slowly when turning from a side street into a main street? The use of slowly made me look up the definition of edge as a verb in a ...
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1answer
34 views

sitting position… knees open or what?

Image cropped from https://yurielkaim.com/7-fat-burning-leg-exercises/ I am making a sentence presenting the image in picture. I want to say that one shouldn't sit the way that the knees are wide ...
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1answer
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Match Made It in Heaven meaning

How to understand in other words the title of the text according to the story?: Match Made It in Heaven As I sat sipping a cup of tea at my sister Doris" house, my husband, Brian, caught my eye ...
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What is “to have a run of accidents”?

What is "to have a run of accidents"? Miss Lowe had a run of accidents before her birthday, spending a week in hospital after a fall at home and suffering whiplash in a car accident while being ...
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3answers
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What is the meaning of “notice to quit at once” and "Lotty points”

Lord Beamys led the way with Mrs. Gervase, Mrs. Dixon followed with Sir Vivian Ponsonby, and the multitudes that followed cried, saying, “What a dear old man!”—“Isn’t it kind of him to come all this ...
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2answers
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What is the meaning of “share our frustration with~” in the following sentence?

What is the meaning of "share our frustration with" in the following sentence, Many of our fellow shareholders share our frustration with Apple’s capital allocation policies. ? Does it mean "...
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1answer
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How can “I don't know if you can tell or not, but…” be used in spoken English?

I've just come across that phrase I don't know if you can tell or not, but... Would you tell me what it means and how I can use it? Thanks for your help
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5answers
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Does “legal poaching” exist?

I heard the illegal poaching being uttered so many times in a TV show, about animals, that my ear of a non-native speaker, made me questioning the validity of the term. I have made some Ngram ...
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1answer
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What does “as good as” mean?

http://lovefreenovels.com/Fiction/This_Is_Falling/page_44.html The girl wants to break up with here unconsious forever boyfriend and writes such a say-goodbye letter: The more I think about it, the ...
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1answer
269 views

What is the meaning of “pick up” in this sentence? [closed]

We had thought the turnout for these events would pick up, but it's really lagged behind our estimates. Does this sentence equal to: We had thought the turnout for these events would increase, ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of “his path beaten out in the turf”

Suddenly the darkness about him glowed; a furnace fire had shot up on the mountain, and for a moment the little world of the woodside and the steep hill shone in a pale light, and he thought he saw ...
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2answers
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What message does “should you decide to accept” really convey?

In 'Mission Impossible' movies a recurring phrase is ... your mission, should you decide to accept it, is ... Which of the below alternatives best catches the true meaning of the sentence? ... ...
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1answer
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“For the/a Xth year running in…” meaning?

Years running means consecutive years. No problem with that. But I saw it is used in sentences like: That helps explain why Greece probably beat its primary budget target for a fourth year ...
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1answer
29 views

Take this opportunity vs take up this opportunity

I have just watched a british youtube video. She said: "I really hope some of you take up this opportunity" My question is, what is the difference of that to "Take this opportunity" Is this ...
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1answer
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Meaning of “would lead him to Esmeralda”

A few weeks later, Frollo’s studies were disturbed by a loud knock on his chamber door. “Enter!” he called out. It was his brother Jehan. He had come, as he often did, to borrow some money. ...
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1answer
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What is it called if a thing have different descriptions of the same phenomena?

Does anyone know what it is called when a thing have different descriptions of the same phenomena? Some would say it would be called "paradoxical", but that would be if a thing had opposite ...
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2answers
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what does the phrase “where it really matters” mean?

"Your power to choose is made supreme where it really matters--the choice of health institutions and professionals." What does "where it really matters" mean? Is it an adverb? If so, an adverb for ...
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1answer
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Using “as much as” in a sentence

Is this sentence correct: "It is not the words that angered me as much as the way you used them". I want to mean that I got angry more because of the way you used the words than the words themselves. ...
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1answer
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This restaurant has become popular in recent years. (event or process?)

Does the sentence This restaurant has become popular in recent years. imply an ongoing, continuous process (becoming popular) that has been happening during the recent years? Or does it mean that ...
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2answers
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Does “I don't think I'm any more [adjective]” mean “I'm not [adjective]”?

https://youtu.be/-qfI3DZmmQw?t=42 It’s not like there’s a shortage of scientific facts out there spelling it all out for us. But let’s be honest — not many people can relate to scientists ...
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1answer
39 views

“Documents have been updated” VS “Documents are updated”

I've received an email titled "Documents have been updated" informing me that some changes were introduced in some our documents (no surprise here of course). But I'd like to know if there is any ...
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1answer
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What is mean “cover grammar”

I met this phrase when I read the specification of a computer language. And I would like to know what this phrase means. For example: The input stream is syntactically in error if the tokens in ...
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1answer
23 views

center of the universe

What is meant by the center of the universe? I read this sentence: She thinks she is the center of the universe. But I couldn't figure out the meaning.
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3answers
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Meaning of “our findings could be reproduced” in a scientific paper

From The basis for folinic acid treatment in neuro-psychiatric disorders (Ramaekers et al., 2016): In the latter group of low-functioning autism our studies identified a prevalence of blocking FR ...
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“Pay off” vs. “pay up”

Merriam-Webster - Definition of "Pay Off" (transitive verb) to pay (a debt or a creditor) in full Merriam-Webster - Definition of "Pay Up" (transitive verb) to pay in full According to the ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of the word mapping in this sentence?

In the book titled What the Future and Why It's up To Us by Tim O'Reilly there is a line as follows: How can we all become better at mapping future trends? Here a keyword in this sentence is the ...
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2answers
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What does “move past people” mean in this context?

It can be a very sensual spot to touch lightly as a form of flirting, or just to move past people. I came across this sentence from here. "Move past" seems to be a slang, and I haven't managed to ...
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1answer
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What does “tank up” mean in this context?

"- and Gryffindor back in possession and it's Katie Bell tanking up the pitch -" cried Lee valiantly, though the singing was now so deafening that he could hardly make himself heard above it. ...
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5answers
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What does “south of due west” mean?

I was solving an astronomy problem which said "south of due west." This could be interpreted in two different ways and I don't know which one is correct. Is 'south of' in that phrase an idiom? Or does ...
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1answer
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Use of assimilate vs imitate in a sentence

Today I took an English test , in which I was asked to choose between assimilate and imitate as a word which closely resembles the phrase ‘to make a copy of’. I chose assimilate , because in my ...
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0answers
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What does ' relate back to' mean?

When do you use the phrase relate back to? Does it mean remind? I would be very thankful if someone could provide an example.
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What does “smell the glove” mean in this article?

https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2015/03/04/smell-the-glove Smell the Glove. Handshaking may be a chemical as well as a social greeting GRIP firmly, maintain eye contact. ...
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1answer
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What does “Last school attended” means?

What does “Last school attended” means? I have form to fill with this question. Is it year when I was in school or is it type of school? The full question is: Please fill in the information ...
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What does the expression “Happy is as happy does” mean?

I just read an article in The Economist's China section (2019/02/16) with the subtitle "Happy is as happy is told to". Feeling confused, I googled about this expression, only to find a quite similar ...