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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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“give full scope to” VS “give full play to”

we will be able to give full scope to the advantages of A, B and C and further strengthen their cooperation and enable the three to draw on each other's strength. we will be able to give full play ...
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1answer
27 views

Meaning of “compositional effects”

The belief that the art of the novel can be discussed and evaluated only after its narrative techniques or ‘‘devices’’ have been identified and enumerated launches novel theory into an Adamic ecstasy ...
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1answer
128 views

Meaning of “critical language”

The belief that the art of the novel can be discussed and evaluated only after its narrative techniques or ‘‘devices’’ have been identified and enumerated launches novel theory into an Adamic ecstasy ...
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1answer
16 views

What does “that's cooking/smoking” mean?

I'm watching a video about 100-meter sprint, On YouTube - Why It's Almost Impossible to Run 100 Meters In 9 Seconds | WIRED@About 4:17 they said That's cooking. It's smoking. What does it ...
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1answer
167 views

What's the meaning of “try me”?

I read a comic and a character uses this word when the day is over and the other character said he experienced something unusual. So what's the meaning of try me? What is the something to try? Why me?
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1answer
38 views

Is this ok as written? [closed]

***They met on the Ponte Trinita, *she seeing and calling out to him first.**** I wanted to find out the usage (as I don't know?)
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4answers
47 views

only too good to be true?

Many dictionaries define "only too" as "very." If so, what does "only too" mean in the following? "That was only too good to be true" Does it mean "that was very good to be true"? Or "that could ...
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2answers
305 views

How to understand the use of “to” in “rolling up the magazine to continued gales of laughter from the Slytherins”

... Harry could feel his face burning. Snape was pausing at the end of every sentence to allow the Slytherins a hearty laugh. The article sounded ten times worse when read by Snape. Even Hermione was ...
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1answer
34 views

Meaning of “want of a received nomenclature”

James's prefaces to the New York edition of his work (1907-9) offer plain-speech terms like "picture," "scene," and "center of consciousness" to describe the compositional effects he most valued. This ...
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1answer
44 views

meaning of “Adamic ecstasy of naming”

The belief that the art of the novel can be discussed and evaluated only after its narrative techniques or "devices" have been identified and enumerated launches novel theory into an Adamic ecstasy of ...
1
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1answer
32 views

Idiomatic meaning av “Lenny's a survivor” (or similar expression)

In The Simpsons S29E10 @ 01:33, the God's finger crashes the area of the collision and Lenny's jiggling that he's a survivor. The character isn't connoted with particular surviving skills and I'm not ...
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1answer
26 views

“that…that” VS “such…that”

... (Ray's mother)Her dress hung badly on her body as if she had recently lost a lot of weight. "Ray," she(Ray's mother) said in that whispery conspirator's voice that he had come to dread. "Ray, ...
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1answer
25 views

“Get to know” usage

Can I use this phrase for complete strangers? For example, my friend and I are sitting at the table in a coffee shop. There is a girl sitting at another table. I want to come to her, introduce myself ...
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1answer
27 views

The meaning of “the inconsistencies are generally consistent”

I was watching a TV program and I couldn’t quite get the meaning of a phrase. The doughnuts don’t look that great I know there are inconsistencies but the inconsistencies are generally ...
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1answer
345 views

What is the meaning of “athletes of color”?

In the following sentence, what does mean the bolded phrase? The annals of sports are filled with great athletes of color.
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1answer
24 views

What does “The man behind the muscles” mean?

Rita Skeeter's smile flickered very slightly, but she hitched it back almost at once; she snapped open her crocodile-skin handbag, pulled out her Quick-Quotes Quill, and said, “How about giving me an ...
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1answer
22 views

How to understand “bobbed out into the middle of the lake”?

He, Ron, and Hermione left the castle together on Saturday and set off through the cold, wet grounds toward the gates. As they passed the Durmstrang ship moored in the lake, they saw Viktor Krum ...
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1answer
42 views

The sentence in bold seems unclear to me

In these books written to edify and instruct American boys, success was the goal to strive for, and success was to be measured by rising above the station one was born into, or, to put it more baldly, ...
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1answer
25 views

What does “the halls of learning” mean?

“Now, now, Viktor!” said Karkaroff with a laugh that didn't reach his cold eyes, “don't go giving away anything else, now, or your charming friend will know exactly where to find us!” Dumbledore ...
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1answer
24 views

“an exciting checkmate of Ron's” meaning

... and she sat down to watch their chess match, which culminated in an exciting checkmate of Ron's, involving a couple of recklessly brave pawns and a very violent bishop. 'Checkmate' means: In ...
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2answers
24 views

Meaning of “so that one has someone do something”

Can you explain to me the meaning of the bold phrase? Zhmud translates pragmateia as “science” (2012a, 216) so that he has Aristoxenus attributing the invention of the science of number to ...
4
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1answer
772 views

once-beautiful meaning

I am wondering to know the once-beautiful meaning where I could not find its meaning in the dictionary or internet! The once-beautiful building was now dirty, decrepit, and roofless.
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1answer
24 views

Determiners usage with phrases

Our life was fine until we experienced Rocky, the/a neighbour's dog that chases our cat. Are the determiners always necessary to govern the connection of the noun phrase with the rest of the sentence ...
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1answer
23 views

meaning of “some versions of himself”

Twain has survived his celebrity, as will Hemingway, and for the same reason: They wrote wonderful books. But both writers have been admitted to the canon despite the off-putting aroma of publicity ...
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2answers
25 views

“Slick in the eye”?

Is there such phrase in English as "slick in the eye" to have the meaning as "directly to the eye"? For example: "A glass bead hit him right in the eye." or "A glass bead hit him slick in the ...
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1answer
28 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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2answers
53 views

What does “Right little ray of sunshine” mean?

There's no way any of the other tasks are going to be that dangerous, how could they be?” Ron went on as he carried Pigwidgeon to the window. “You know what? I reckon you could win this tournament, ...
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2answers
57 views

I don' t get the meaning of the sentence in bold clearly in this context?

Twain has survived his celebrity, as will Hemingway, and for the same reason: They wrote wonderful books. but both writers have been admitted to the canon despite the off-putting aroma of publicity ...
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1answer
40 views

“How could it hurt?”. Does this sentence have any special meaning other than what it says?

I have been watching a good British drama (Downtown abbey) and this sentence is from that drama. It is from a dialogue between a servant who is waiting for his dismissal and the head of the servants(...
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2answers
793 views

What does “nesting mothers” mean? [closed]

“Just get past them, I think,” said Charlie. “We'll be on hand if it gets nasty, Extinguishing Spells at the ready. They wanted nesting mothers, I don't know why…but I tell you this, I don't envy the ...
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1answer
23 views

It's appreciated, if not loved

What does this sentence mean? That it's not loved, only appreciated? Or oh my goodness I so appreciate this, I might just love it too! I'm not sure how I should take this. As a slight middle ...
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2answers
35 views

What does “looked death in the face” mean?

“Of course, you've looked death in the face before, haven't you?” said Rita Skeeter, watching him closely. “How would you say that's affected you?” I guess it could be a figure of speech as if ...
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0answers
23 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 ...
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3answers
44 views

How to understand “for all the notice anyone took” in this context?

…Everyone wanted to know how he had done it, how he had tricked Dumbledore's Age Line and managed to get his name into the goblet.… “I didn't,” he said, over and over again, “I don't know how it ...
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1answer
18 views

usage in this example

A survey was written by the company. (sentence) (past tense) A survey written by a company (phrase). (no tense) A survey written by a company suggested there were faults in the business. Does ...
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1answer
20 views

The meaning of “as much as” in this sentence

As much as the weaponry it produced as one of the “arsenals of the United Nations,” the TVA itself was potent propaganda, an authoritative, living symbol of how a liberal world could be constructed ...
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2answers
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What does “Bless you” mean in this context?

“What's that?” said Ron, pointing at a large dish of some sort of shellfish stew that stood beside a large steak-and-kidney pudding. “Bouillabaisse,” said Hermione. “Bless you,” said Ron. ...
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1answer
25 views

What's a galaxy question?

I'm watching a MSNBC commentary about Syria war and @6:02 where a guest says: That's a galaxy question What's the meaning of galaxy question? Does it mean the question is off-topic? Or it mean it'...
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1answer
19 views

He's laying it down?

What's the meaning of: He is laying it down! I'm watching a MSNBC commentary about Syria war and @3:38, which the host is astonished by a truth being told by a guest and said this sentence, so ...
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1answer
32 views

“leaned in toward” VS “leaned toward”

George, however, leaned in toward Hermione. I've never seen the phrase "lean in toward" before. Is it a common collocation? What will be the difference between "leaned in toward Hermione" and "...
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1answer
19 views

What does it mean by “clean up its act by pleading poverty”?

"In the past India has explained its failure to clean up its act by pleading poverty, noting that richer countries were once just as dirty and that its output of filth per person still lags far behind ...
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1answer
27 views

“He broke out in a grin”

Her face broke out in a grin as she nodded, her ponytail swinging. (source) Lee broke out in a grin and went on. (source) Wondering what the jocularity was about, Matsuzaka finally noticed ...
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1answer
50 views

“In what month” Vs. “In which month”

What's idiomatic of these two choices ("In what month" Vs. "In which month")? I were told in the past that I have to choose "what" in a place where I don't know anything about the choices (for ...
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1answer
22 views

What does “bent in upon its body” mean?

At once, the spider's leg bent in upon its body; it rolled over and began to twitch horribly, rocking from side to side. I don't understand the phrase "bent in upon". I can't picture what it would ...
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1answer
27 views

Something be to try to do something

China Move to Cut Duties on U.S. Imports Lifts Auto Stocks “Last week, events seemed to conspire to throw the truce into disarray, but the underlying incentives of both sides at the moment are to try ...
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1answer
27 views

What does 'divide against' mean?

AFAIU, there's a phrase by Abraham Lincoln (and maybe Bible before that, I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter) 'a house divided against itself cannot stand'. I guess I somewhat understand the meaning ...
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1answer
102 views

What does “Place swimming in soup” mean?

“Oh the usual,” said Nearly Headless Nick(about Peeves), shrugging. “Wreaked havoc and mayhem. Pots and pans everywhere. Place swimming in soup. Terrified the house-elves out of their wits -” I'm ...
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2answers
25 views

Meaning of the phrase `believe in'

How to understand the phrase "believe in" in the sentence "We believe in investing in scientific research."? I find the example sentence under the specification of the word `scientific' from Longman ...
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1answer
21 views

What's the meaning of “somebody gave up something to somebody”?

It's a line from "The Marvelous Ms. Maisel" a comedy-drama in the 1950s. The phrase I confused is a line from a comedy stand-up, here are the full story: I do not charge for sex. I mean, that's ...
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1answer
36 views

What does “run to the left” mean exactly in the context of politics?

I was reading a Wikipedia page when I ran into this passage: Wu and Teachout ran against Andrew Cuomo, the incumbent governor, and Kathy Hochul, an upstate Democrat and former Representative in the ...