Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

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

1
vote
1answer
41 views

Meaning of “upon her” in this context

Esmeralda was a very light sleeper. She woke as soon as the key turned in the lock. Then, just before Frollo blew out the lantern, Esmeralda saw his face. “Oh, no!” she cried out faintly. “It’...
-1
votes
1answer
15 views

what is the defference between 'I don't have anything' and 'I have nothing'

I don't have anything. I have nothing. What is the differnece between them? I wanna know the nuance, because to me they just look the same.
0
votes
1answer
22 views

How to understand “All could devil set me free”?

I'm listening to this song "A Whisper in the Noise - All my.." All could devil set me free I'm so tired I can't sleep All my feelings gravity's Spinning in the world over me ...
0
votes
1answer
14 views

Could you write the sentence in bold in other words?

Now he starts to stir. The fluttering of his eyelids is a response to some age-old, unexplainable instinct that the sun is nearly down and his time is near. Tonight, he is particularly hungry and as ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the simile “quick as silk”?

It seems that the Internet is unhelpful at all. The original quote, where this simile appears, is: “Once upon a time,” began Frank switching, quick as silk, to a sonorous story-telling voice... ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

“considered to be” and “considered as”

This passage is from TOEFL: Those who are considered to be gorgeous can make millions of dollars due to their looks, while musical geniuses with modest looks may remain in obscurity. I wonder ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

What is the meaning of “all the news that's fit to print”?

The heroic image of journalist selflessly gathering "all the news that's fit to print" and publishing it "without fear or favour" is itself a heavy idealisation. I know it is a newspaper motto, ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Meaning of “He may not come today”?

I suppose that He may not come today means that he is not allowed to come today. Right? But what is the right way to say that he is allowed not to come today? He may not to come today Is that ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What does “in one form or another” refer to in this sentence?

In Italy bells stand for power and control. And bells, in one form or another, accompanied him throughout his life. The article is talking about the prime minister of Italy. I am confused about the ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

Difference between “be of great importance” or “have great importance”

What is the difference in meaning between that two phrases? Example: A change request is a document containing a call for an adjustment of a system; it is of great importance in the change ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Take to the streets,” “take it to the street,” and “take it to the streets”

According to online dictionaries, take to the streets and take it to the street are idiomatic. As defined in the Free Dictionary, Take it to the street: to tell everyone about your problems. ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

How should I understand “is its own”?

In general I do not understand the usage of "is its own" in a sentence. For example how should I understand "is its own" in the following sentence? Since the hand of a clock is its own clearly ...
0
votes
1answer
645 views

Step to it, to it

this question arose from a discussion with a friend of mine. So it all started with the following: "Look mate, if you want to get very strong you got to start lifting weights! That's the first step ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

“Product list” vs “Products list”

I have a page with list of products. What is the correct name for this page? Product list or Products list And What's difference?
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Is this a run-on sentence? & What about the phrase “no matter…”

The following sentence comes from a Youtube video regarding idioms: "So, he finally decided that letting Annette go would be the lesser of the two evils as an angry staff is a less productive staff ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

The man of double deed

There is this beautiful poem I heard on "The Fall" (british tv show). There was a man of double deed, Who sowed his garden full of seed; When the seed began to grow, 'Twas like a garden full ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What's the meaning of “ding on the head”?

I'm an English learner and I read this news below: Concussion? Oh, got a little ding on the head, no, no you can't play for the rest of the season. Our people are tough! Trump said. What's the ...
2
votes
2answers
577 views

What is the meaning of levy a fine

I came across the following definition: To levy a fine - to commence and carry on a suit for assuring the title to land or tenements. But I've always thought it means something like is that you ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Meaning - 'out of all proportion to the ambiguity'

The bolded in the last para about the fewer v less dispute confuses me: The Cambridge Guide to English Usage notes that the "pressure to substitute fewer for less seems to have developed out of all ...
0
votes
2answers
19 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “provocatively elliptical”?

The following line can be found in the novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin: a laconic language that frequently lapses into the provocatively elliptical and imparts a sensation of breathlessness. The ...
2
votes
2answers
398 views

SNL line about getting a donut

Ok. so English is my 2nd language... I watch this episode of SNL. And people are cracking up.. But I can't get my head around why "Can a bitch get a donut?” is funny and who is Keven Roberts (Googling ...
0
votes
2answers
337 views

What does Tete-a-Tete mean?

I am wondering if Tete-a-Tete has a similar meaning as mutual relation between two entities such as the following: Suicide rate and depression are Tete-a-Tete.
1
vote
1answer
19 views

What does the phrase “shadows dance on the gravel underneath it” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a sentence: Sunlight kisses the yellow leaves of a tree by the lake, as shadows dance on the gravel underneath it. I am not sure about the phrase ""shadows dance on the ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

What does “suggests after the event…” mean?

Just as the development of a society sometimes suggests after the event a pattern not in the minds of its creators, the transition from the old convict system to the new did not always follow the ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

What is a “tomato word”?

In this explanation of the word myopic I get stuck by this sentence: In terms of pronunciation: it's a tomato/tomahto word: pronounce it "my-OP-ick" or "my-OH-pick," although that short o sound ...
-1
votes
0answers
13 views

You can expect to: [on hold]

advance the end-to-end process workflow shorten IT support delivery time reduce operational costs deliver consistent and predictable IT experience for end-customers be ready to scale up on demand.
1
vote
1answer
18 views

Does the phrase “literary servility” have a negative meaning in this paragraph

Following paragraph is from the novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin: Antagonised by Zamyatin's insistence on telling the truth as he saw it, by his open disdain for anything that smacked of literary ...
0
votes
1answer
215 views

What does the meaning of the sentence in bold?

As the day was pleasant, Madame Valmonde drove over to L'Abri to see Désirée and the baby. It made her laugh to think of Désirée with a baby. Why, it seemed but yesterday that Désirée was little ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

“in the morning on Sunday” and “on the morning of Sunday”

Jesse takes the train in the morning on Sunday. or Jesse takes the train in the morning of Sunday. It looks to me that both are correct. If yes, do they have different connotations?
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Question about plural nouns modified by both a definite article and an 'of' noun phrase

I had a conversation on a topic here that I am interested in a lot but have not get a response yet to my question about it, so I have decided to address the question to the community on this site for ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Are they equivalent: “prolonged periods of high unemployment” and “persistently high levels of unemployment”?

...the program tackles broader labour market problems, such as shortages of skilled workers, prolonged periods of high unemployment, and ... What I am trying to convey is that the unemployment rate ...
0
votes
3answers
53 views

phrase request - authentic-looking dishes?

Suppose someone were talking about fake food, i.e. plastic food models on display at some restaurants. Could we refer to fake food as "authentic-looking dishes"? How about "authentic-looking items"?
4
votes
3answers
841 views

What does “straight to smashing” mean?

Tinder is like Facebook, but it's just, like, straight to smashing. What does "straight to smashing" mean? I tried to find answer following below step, but it doesn't make sense. Please, help me. ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

“If you pay for my ticket then we will be quits.” — what's the meaning?

I just came across the following sentence; If you pay for my ticket then we will be quits. What does the phrase "we will be quits" mean in there? Please, elaborate!
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Unifying in a common bond versus rectifying inequalities

Passage: I conceive the education of our youth in this country to be peculiarly necessary in Pennsylvania, while our citizens are composed of the natives of so many different kingdoms in Europe. ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

It be not until ~ that ~

It was not until after we had been on the highway for several hours that Peter asked me if I wanted stop at a restaurant for a bite to eat. In my opinion, It ~ that ~ is a sentence that emphasize ...
0
votes
1answer
12 views

A worker who takes orders in McDonalds

what do you call a worker who asks me about what i want to eat? I mean it's not a waiter and it's not a hostess i guess. And what do they say when there is no any line and they are ready to serve ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

When a company launches a new product do they “come out” with a new product or do they “come up” with a new product?

When a company launches a new product do they "come out" with a new product or do they "come up" with a new product?
1
vote
1answer
245 views

What is “making up one's life”?

Having evaded wretchedness, the gay young man making up his shining life in the city is one of civilization’s wonders, and Édouard Louis is a new, inspiring real-life example of such transfiguration.
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What is “animal nourishment”?

As there was no demand for the medicine, however, and no necessity for the messages, he usually occupied his unemployed hours—averaging fourteen a day—in abstracting peppermint drops, taking ...
1
vote
3answers
30 views

“to play out” meaning

After that, the back-seat chattering stopped. When Mr. Hampton looked into his rearview mirror he saw his daughter sending a text message on her cellphone. “Katie, you shouldn’t be texting all the ...
-1
votes
1answer
18 views

“milling over the grass” meaning?

Sirius stared around at the students milling over the grass, looking rather haughty and bored, but very handsomely so. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix I'm not sure what "milling over ...
0
votes
2answers
98 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

“back and forward” or “back and forth”

The quill whizzed across the parchment between them, back and forward as though it were skating. I've never seen "back and forward" before. I doubt if it means the same as "back and forth". Is there ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Meaning of pay by use and potential alternatives

A company is experimenting with a new licensing model. It is called "Pay by use". However, this does not make sense to me. In my understanding, "Pay by use" means: "I compensate for the hotdog by ...
0
votes
4answers
27 views

One of the students whose mobile _missing(is or are)

Usage of "one of" if a relative pronoun whose is used in the sentence what will be the verb? One of the students whose mobile (is/are) missing
2
votes
1answer
67 views

What is the meaning of this phrase? [closed]

Can anyone rewrite this phrase in an easier fashion, so I can understand it: The last function of reason is to recognize that there is an infinity of things which are beyond it. It is but feeble if ...
-1
votes
1answer
52 views

“by as much as” + number

“The authors of the study, one of the most closely watched overviews of the global high-end retail market, predicted that such expansion would drive up growth across the global luxury market by as ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the past tense of the phrase “catch up with someone”?

Can I use the phrase "caught up" to mean that I met someone after a long time? e.g. I caught up with my friends on my way back to home.