Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

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

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How to express the process of making communication more elegant?

I'm looking for a phrase that would express the act of reducing some convoluted idea into one that can be well understood to a layman or perhaps crafting a piece of media to make it express the ...
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deaths given definition

The "surplus" region of the Soviet Union was to be detached, its grain and other agricultural produce gathered and diverted to Germany. As discussed at the previous meeting in Berlin, the ...
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What does "data trail for transactions" mean?

Today when reading a working paper of Auer 2021 about CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), I found a sentence: Conversely, central banks in jurisdictions with a large informal (“shadow”) economy may ...
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What is the meaning of phrase " ever up"?

And then disappears ever up. What is the meaning of phrase "ever up"? From Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Meaning of "former Fellow" in context

Ryan McNamara is a current undergraduate student at Duke University, studying Economics, Environmental Science, and Chinese. He is a former Fellow with the Economic Policy Team at Friends of the Earth ...
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Is 'most often' synonymous with 'usually'?

I referred to a number of dictionaries to no avail. What does most often exactly mean? While efforts to prevent student violence are most often promoted following high-profile school shootings, they ...
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What does this "be failing" mean?

This is from TOEFL speaking TPO3: In my first year in high school, I was addicted to video games. I played them all the time, and I wasn't studying enough. I was failing chemistry. That was my hardest ...
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What is the difference between "compose of" and "composed with"?

More precisely, I want to understand "composed with us in mind" in the following passage. Roughly, I think that maybe "composed with us in mind" means "made by our mind"....
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"On the open down"?

I fail to comprehend the part in bold. The Invisible Man, Wells: He vanished behind a laburnum, and appeared again clambering a fence that abutted on the open down.
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Does a lack of something mean an absence or not enough?

The dictionary says that a lack of something means an absence or not enough of that thing. If that is the case then what should I assume in this type of contexts: a lack of recreational facilities a ...
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What does the phrase 'a high diversion shot' mean?

Context: Cops are trying to get a view on an offender, there is a sniper out there trying to see the offender that is inside the high rise building. A: Hailey (the sniper), I need you to get set for ...
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What does "sweat and exhaust" mean in this context?

I suppose exhaust is "exhaust gas", but what is "sweat"? Cars are neither sweating nor worrying. What is meant by that? Ben and I hit traffic. The stop and go of the freeway was ...
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what "bear out" mean in this context?

This is a part of an online article titled "Why do gamers like RGB Lights?" (RGB lights are the lights installed in gaming keyboards that illuminate the keys and make them visible in ...
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What does it mean for a clock to be "running late" or "running early"?

My understanding is that if a clock is running "2 minutes fast" or "2 minutes ahead", that means it displays 09:02 when the true time is 09:00, whereas if a clock is "2 ...
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'Take odds' meaning

When someone says 'I'll take these odds' I usually take it to mean something like 'I am confident I can overcome this challenge'. To be sure I went to ask google to see exactly how phrases with the ...
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How to describe to carry / move a kid

I wonder how a native would ask if someone could e.g. lift a baby out of a chair. First, I had the followings in mind (probably influenced by my own native language which is German): Could you get ...
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The meaning of "I was trying for the commission."

‘Do you think I’d keep on with this sewage job if it wasn’t for the pension?’ Loftie asked. He had followed research the more keenly since, at twenty-two, he had wrecked his own happiness. ‘Be free, ...
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Table equivalent of the word booth?

I was watching one TV show, and in one episode, the protoganist were having food at an establishment. They used the word booth to describe where they were sitting, instead of chair. I would like to ...
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What does the phrase "lock into" mean in this context?

The context is from the movie "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" One of the characters at the begging of the movie describes the drugs they bought for the trip to Las Vegas. DUKE: ...
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What does 'be overhead by' mean? [closed]

https://www.lexico.com/definition/barren ‘In Act Two the barren Lady Kix, lamenting her childless and unfruitful state, is overhead by Touchwood Senior.’ I couldn't find any 'overhead' meaning that ...
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Sounds nice/fine is the same as saying sounds good/great?

I'm in doubt if 'sounds nice/fine' it has the same meaning: 'used for telling someone that their idea or suggestion seems like a good one.' I know 'sounds good/great' it has. Examples: That sounds ...
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What does mean "to crack upon" in English?

Is this phrase correct? "This political movement was actively cracked upon by the secret services"
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What does this sentence "We smack them with a five-stack tax for the back end, that's 20 grand total" mean?

In a tv show there is this conversation about drug dealing The dialogues are: A: I'm talking about four bricks at a time 50 a pop. B: What's my take? A: We smack them with a five-stack tax for the ...
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Expressing hard work with idioms

Consider the situation where I am handling a project, and now my manager assigns me one more. So I want to express to him that it will be hard work. I am in software, so taking on two projects will ...
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meaning of 'a mark in one's favor'

This is from the podcast Stuff You Should Know. But in the early 2000s, America squandered a lot of its credibility, a lot of its legitimacy in adventurism like invading Iraq, unprovoked, illegally, ...
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What does 'with oil' mean here?

In an essay, the writer talks about a public relations team and writes, "they're the people who try to make sure everyone sees the corporation as the good guys. Even when they kill puppies. With ...
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the poster child for Covid-19 handling [closed]

Is "poster child" an approving term in the following? Does it mean more or less the same as "role model" here? ‘How quarantine keeps families apart’. New Zealand is the poster ...
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What does 'set melted sugar' mean?

Oxford dictionaries (at least the lexico.com version of them) have several definitions containing 'set melted sugar' in them: https://www.lexico.com/definition/brittle A brittle sweet made from nuts ...
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What's the meaning of 'in an essential way'?

I thought it meant something like 'necessarily', but there are plenty of other contexts where it has a different meaning, e.g. 'basically'. What does it mean?
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What does "Trying to get the most beads" mean?

The daughter has very low grades at university and her father reprimands her, the conversation goes like this: What are you doing down there in Louisiana anyway? Trying to get the most beads? Gross. ...
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"Your Hitlers, your Stalins, all the greats."

I transcribed a podcast ad. I’m Robert Evans. I host a podcast called Behind the Bastards where we give in-depth histories about the worst people who ever lived. Your Hitlers, your Stalins, all the ...
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Have/has known vs familiar with

I wonder if there is any difference between: I have known about calculus. I'm familiar with calculus. To me, I assume those are equivalent, but I think there is something different between them that ...
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Why does the following sentence use "get to grips with" with "ing" added after "get"?

The following text is of DI (Dependency Injection) in programming languages which I grabbed from a book called The Complete ASP.NET Core 3 API Tutorial by Les Jackson: Dependency Injection Dependency ...
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What is the meaning of phrase "were on top of your paperwork"?

I was anxious to hear about Theodore Nott and -- thought I'd check whether you'd kept your promise and were on top of your paperwork. What is the meaning of phrase "were on top of your paperwork&...
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What does "coming right up on" mean in this context?

In "Batman Begins" by Christopher Nolan there is a chase scene in which police are chasing the batmobile. One of the Police officers is talking on the radio to the dispatch, while he is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does "live by practice" mean?

What does "live by practice" mean? It's from The Invisible Man He turned aside, walked out of the room, and went into his little consulting-room and lit the gas there. It was a little room, ...
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What does "take a drop" mean?

What does "take a drop" mean? It's from The Invisible Man Where'd you be, if he took a drop over and above, and had a fancy to go for you?
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What is "the blessed turning"?

What is "the blessed turning"? It's from The Invisible Man I didn't know the blessed turning, that was all! How the devil was I to know the blessed turning?
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the most common terms day-to-day here [duplicate]

"The States" is almost never used inside the United States. We just don't say that here. But Americans will say it overseas because they know people use it that way overseas and it's ...
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6 votes
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What is the meaning of "If his blood is cold enough maybe I will catch him"?

His apartment is on the third floor. All windows dark. If his blood is cold enough maybe I will catch him. Source: Batman (1940) Annual 19 What does the bold part mean? The way I get it is if the ...
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What does "Jewish nose" imply?

In the following link of the youtube video at 1:10, the bride says: "He is an Irishman with a Jewish nose." What does "Jewish nose" imply to make people laugh out loud in the video?...
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Can the expression "I comment my reserve" also be correct? [closed]

I was surfing on a facebook platform, then saw a comment made by a teacher of English language thus: I comment my reserve. I've been thinking if the expression was correct.
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Is it necessary to use the word officially at end of the expression?

A new manager was employed in our school, some of the staff occasionally met with him for some reason but not officially. And the new manager did not call for an official meeting. So the staff thought ...
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Please explain the meaning of this phrase

Below sentences is confusingly structured. It is not uncommon for the person being sexually assaulted to have no physical injuries or signs of their assault. Is the meaning that it is common for ...
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1 answer
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Meaning in context of "define __"

I read this conversation in a book once, A: Can you get me a wrench? B: Define wrench. Is this "define wrench" a sarcastic tone, or is it something else?
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same meaning of "10 percent of gross sales" by putting gross sales in front?

Sometimes I'm in a situation where I have to give more detail such as a specific number only after I speak a thing. For example as written in the title, when I speak about a gross sales of a company, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is the term "beltway pansy" used in modern English?

I was watching this video, and one of the characters stated that they "weren't one of those beltway pansies". Previously, he'd said that he didn't go to an Ivy League school. Is this a ...
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What is the meaning of this short paragraph? [closed]

whining in a lack of action that really gets to me like we're going to put my little irritations that would all go all the way up to high if there's a whinin. Source: https://youtu.be/ojWEDcHBLig?t=...
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Is reaping off a correct word [closed]

This Company is reaping us off. Is that a correct sentence? I am not sure what that means But I feel that it means that the company is taking a lot of work and value out of the employees. Although it ...
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"in replacement of" vs "in place of"

What is the difference between "in replacement of" and "in place of"? I was using "in replacement of" in this sentence: Shah and his team managed to devise a system that ...
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