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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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Correct me if I'm wrong

I had always had the impression that when people say "correct me if I'm wrong", their underline meaning is not to ask for correction but to stress that "I'm 100% sure of what I'm saying", especially ...
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What do【lacerating wit】and 【poisonous put-downs】mean in this context?

I listened to a podcast talking about Murray Gell-Mann, a famous physicist of the 20th century. And here is what confuses me in this transcript. “Gell-Mann was admired by everyone—feared by some ...
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2answers
23 views

Meaning of “Any life will seem dramatic if you omit mention of most of it”

You remember it differently. You remember that the cold settled in stages, that small curve of light was shaved from the moon night after night, until you were no longer surprised the sky was ...
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1answer
69 views

waiting … upon his arrival

It seems that the following examples are of different grammatical status:: a. ?Mary is waiting for him upon his arrival. b. There is a letter waiting for him upon his arrival. c. Mary is ...
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Meaning of “unlike” [on hold]

What does this "unlike" is meaning in this sentence? While Jackie Robinson was a Brooklyn Dodger, his courage in the face of physics threats and verbal attacks was not unlike that of Rosa Parks, ...
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22 views

died from/ died of

Why can't I say “she died from drinking 18 cans of Coca-Cola”? Instead, the correct sentence would be “she died of drinking 18 cans of Coca-Cola”. Why does that happen?
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1answer
67 views

meaning of “the scale still hunched and human” and 3 other phrases

I am reading the book "Aloft" By ChangeRae Lee, and I have the questions of the following 3 phrases. be exactly in your own skin the scale still hunched and human putting on a serious buzz in a rope ...
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2answers
38 views

Meaning of the sentence in bold is unclear to me

We will not [says Socrates] then allow our charges, whom we expect to prove good men, being men, to play the parts of women and imitate a woman young or old wrangling with her husband, defying ...
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1answer
13 views

Meaning of “one bit glinting more than the rest”

People liked the idea of our being together, leaving the city for the country. So many people visited, and the fireplace made all of them want to tell amazing stories; the child who happened to be ...
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112 views

“Give a hand” vs “help”: transfer of inputs [duplicate]

Can the phrase "will you give me a hand?" be used instead of "will you help me?" 'Help" in this sentence includes physical or intellectual help also. Or "help" pertaining to intelligence. Sharing of ...
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1answer
35 views

What is the meaning of “confer order on its listeners”?

Here, Mr Carslake’s comparison of the painting to an ‘old English song’ celebrates music’s expressivity and capacity to confer order on its listeners, but also evokes the extensive contemporary ...
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What does this phrase by Benjamin Graham mean?

A stock is not just a ticker symbol or an electronic blip; it is an ownership interest in an actual business, with an underlying value that does not depend on its share price.
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1answer
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What does the phrase “bring up” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a task management app: Linking to events makes it easy for you to bring up notes on the day. I know the lexical meanings of the phrase "bring up", but they don't seem to ...
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between “over this year”, “during this year” and “in this year”?

What's the difference between "over this year", "during this year" and "in this year"? For example, Over this year, he's been able to provide a lot of correct answers in class. During ...
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2answers
20 views

What does it mean when you say someone “got it all figured out”

I was watching the TED video Refusing to Settle, and the speaker mentioned a friend who had a great job and life, and said: "He got this amazing job at one of the top corporate firms, making well over ...
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2answers
37 views

meaning of “all got in on the fun”

At last the play began again, but the audience had lost interest. One man shouted, “People of Paris! This play is not amusing. Nothing happens! I thought we were going to select the Pope of ...
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1answer
22 views

What do ‘Slide Away’ and ‘Slide In’ mean?

These are famous lines from a song called Slide Away by Oasis ‘Slide away and give it all you've got’ ‘Slide in baby together we’ll fly’ and I have no clue what they mean. I'm always confused when ...
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1answer
16 views

What does “differentiate for” mean?

What does differentiate for mean?. I looked it up in several online dictionaries such as Cambridge or oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com but all of them are about the meaning of differentiate from or ...
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1answer
18 views

What does the phrase “weigh down” mean here?

Here is a sentence from an adventure game: In the game, you use your enemy's corpse as bridges and to weigh down pressure plates, providing cover from spears-firing traps – sometimes for ...
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1answer
38 views

Meaning of 'all yea' in the context

What does this phrase mean? I saw this phrase in the movie The Post, 01:44:13. (But i'm not sure if the spelling of the subtitle is correct.) Here is the context. All rise. The Honorable the ...
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1answer
3k views

“Exclusions apply.”: What does it mean?

When I saw a receipt of an e-commerce, I found a sentence "Exclusions apply." "Apply your 20-character promote code to receive this discount. Exclusions apply. See details at xxxxxxxx.com. Expires ...
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1answer
37 views

The meaning of sentence from “The Hobbit”

I'm trying to translate the sentence below from "The Hobbit" to Russian, but meaning is unclear for me: But lock nor bar may hinder the homecoming spoken of old.
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1answer
36 views

Expert “in” or “on”?

I saw in a textbook, “He studied the slipperiness of banana peels. (...) He is an expert in medical science.” I have seen “expert on —-“ many times but this is the first time I saw “expert in —-“....
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1answer
21 views

The meaning of “on”

What does "on" mean in the examples? I also have another question. In the sentence one, does "on" make an idiom with "later" or do we use "on" here because of the "the show" coming after "on"? 1- ...
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2answers
20 views

“Blasting down the doors”

Every cop in this city is gonna be blasting down these doors after what you did. What does the marked phrase mean? Is it something like "break the door down"
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3answers
27 views

How should I parse “popular accept friends” in this “when” clause?

In the sentence below, The danger comes when teens eager to appear popular accept friends that they don’t really know and post too much information thinking that only their friends will see ...
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1answer
159 views

What is the meaning of “smiting his victims by score” and “colony” in the context below?

That was in May. In November a cold, unseen stranger, whom the doctors called Pneumonia, stalked about the colony, touching one here and there with his icy fingers. Over on the east side this ravager ...
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34 views

older half and younger full. What does it mean?

What does it mean when someone says? I am the middle child, older half and younger full
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2answers
23 views

A of B or B A (used adjectivally)

I am having a hard time understanding the function and meaning of "of" in some examples. According to Cambdridge Dictionary, one of the meaning of "of" is "THAT IS/ARE". I am not quite sure what that ...
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2answers
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What's the meaning of the expression “short circuit” in the text bellow?

What's the meaning of the expression "short circuit" in the text bellow? During a time when our collective national identity continues to be called into question, excruciating politeness might well ...
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1answer
19 views

Does “take the wind out of someone” imply exactly the same thing as “take the wind out of someone's sails”

I came across a sentence like below (Reference) It took the wind out of me. I know that the phrase "take the wind out of someone’s sails" means to make someone feel less confident, usually by ...
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2answers
23 views

What does “at its + adjective” mean?

there are phrases on paper saying things like at its most radical at its + superlative and there is no way of understanding the meaning of this phrase because I can't find it on dictionary. ...
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20 views

Meaning of “be that of”

I received this answer for my another thread. "Should", like most modals, has a range of meanings. The most common one is that of obligation (or duty, or the best chance of success). But I ...
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2answers
38 views

What is the meaning of a verb “sport”?

In the sentence of Facebook alone sports thousands of groups which allow members with similar interests to meet and network—purportedly the actual point of having a social networking site. What ...
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meaning: crashed out in practice

A dictionary gives the following example sentence. What does "crash out" mean? Does it refer to defeat in a sports event? But how can there be victory or defeat if the activity is only practicing? ...
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1answer
40 views

What does “stand up to” mean in this sentence?

I don't quite understand the meaning of "stand up to" in this passage: Still others, Horn says, insist the saying is a melding of "spirit and image," as in "he's the very spirit and image of his ...
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6answers
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Meaning of 'lose their grip on the groins of their followers'

What exactly does this phrase mean? Specifically, is groins used here as an idiom? Or just coined by the speaker here? Here is the context: What I hope for the future is that all that major ...
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3answers
147 views

“contribute to” and “lead to”

I'd like to know whether "contribute to" and "lead to" are synonymous expressions in the following: a. Hard work alone does not necessarily contribute to / lead to success. Does any contradiction ...
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1answer
31 views

What does “play the beard” mean in this context?

This is a scene from the movie Synchronicity. Jim: Was I playing the beard tonight? Abby: Why do you ask? Jim: Well, either you came to the lab with Klaus or you got there through the ...
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1answer
36 views

Meaning of “work of much labour and learning” in context

"The Life of Franklin", by James Patron, is a work of much labour and learning which has fallen into unmerited neglect. Q1) Was this work so difficult to write (by author) or it takes so much labour ...
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1answer
125 views

My two younger sisters

Hello everyone: Let’s say I have two younger sisters named Mary and Stacy, aged 28 and 25 respectively. In a conversation with a friend of mine, I want to talk about Mary, who is younger than me ...
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1answer
25 views

As for / as to with people and new subjects

As far as I understand from my research on internet, there is no clear consensus on their usage. I found one speaker saying: "When you introduce a subject related to what you have just been ...
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2answers
38 views

Like something done / like something being done

Which version should I use? Is there a difference in meaning? 1) He was captured like a rat caught in a trap. (a rat which is caught in a trap) 2) He was captured like a rat being caught in a ...
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1answer
53 views

“Solid knowledge” is it correct expression or not

Is it correct to use the word "Solid" with "Knowledge" and if it is, can we use it in our formal communication or is it better to find something else?
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1answer
53 views

What does the phrase “add stakes” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a platform game app: Without any doubt, it’s a great way to add stakes to the platforming. The game has a revised gameplay in which a player can start from the most recent ...
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1answer
1k views

“apart from” vs “other than” vs “aside from” vs “except for” vs “besides”

I have a question regarding the usage of "apart from", "other than", "aside from", "except for" and "besides"? Suppose I have three books X, Y and Z. My friend knows I have Book X. So if he wants to ...
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30 views

The meaning of “to be a matter of”?

Happiness is a matter of health in body and soul. The sentence is meant to say that "happiness is defined by health in body and soul". Does "is a matter of" mean that? Is it idiomatic to use it in ...
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1answer
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Meaning of “a quick take”

What does "a quick take" mean in the following context? Especially the usage of"take". "As a writer who has produced award-winning novels, novellas, short stories and essays, Chabon has done a ...
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2answers
42 views

What's the meaning of “what it means for {someone} to be in some place”?

There is this context: "Since we are discussing the relationship of space, time, and logic, let us talk about time-travel paradoxes. We first have to ask ourselves what it means to travel back ...
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2answers
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Meaning of 'chase … with a stinger' here

Here is the context. His mother (Bryce Dallas Howard) swills martinis and chases each gesture of love toward her son with a stinger. “You’re choosing a life of being alone forever,” she tells ...