Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

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

134 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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135 views

What does it mean by “asleep at the watch”?

What does it mean by "asleep at the watch"? The childish awe that accompanied the president stands in unfortunate contrast to the indifference greeting the next state visit to Israel. Unlike the ...
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1answer
31 views

Who made tomorrow and one out yesterday?

In the lyrics to Money Never Build a Mountain by Ronnie Davis, which is an old Reggae song about God the Creator, there is the line Who makes tomorrow and one out yesterday? I couldn't quite parse ...
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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 ...
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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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1answer
361 views

What does “let’s get rocks” mean?

I saw this on a t-shirt one of my friends is about to make for a sports event. Let’s get rock (or "rocks", I am not sure). And there is a dirt bike on it too. The event is dirt bike racing, my ...
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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 ...
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1answer
67 views

Permanent carapace of conscience

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/kashmir-situation-india-pakistan-indo-pak-war-bangladesh-un-the-bilateral-bind-3035013/ What is meant by the emboldened part The pictures ...
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16 views

Usage of “to do with”

Can I use "to do with" in the same meaning as "about/concerning a particular subject" ? For example: 1- All applications to do with this role go through my secretary first. 2- Most of the ...
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1answer
73 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
28 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 ...
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1answer
47 views

“to set a man framing titillating hypotheses”. What does it mean?

I am reading a book right now. I saw a phrase and I couldn't understand what it means. What does "to set a man framing titillating hypotheses" mean? (Emphasis below is mine) I can only see her ...
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1answer
44 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’...
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1answer
42 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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1answer
214 views

“ten minutes out”

There is a scene in the movie Drinking Buddies where Gene and Luke are talking in a bar. Gene: I've been ten minutes out since I got here. I had one of these, and then I said, "I'm gonna have one ...
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2answers
404 views

Convinced of something/somebody

We can felicitously say: I am upset with your performance. And a related idea like this: I am upset with you. Similarly, we can say: I am disappointed with your performance. And again,...
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2answers
130 views

collocation with a word stress

This is my question. feel stress have stress receive stress get stress which collocation is best fit for a word stress? (particularly in academic writing) and if there are any awkward collocation,...
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1answer
93 views

more than a hint of beauty

Her expression is demure, but there’s more than a hint of beauty. What is it intended to convey? Is she beautiful, or not so beautiful? Any help would be appreciated.
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1answer
797 views

Difference between “on the fringe” and “on the fringes”

The Longman Dictionary seems to suggest that on the fringes can be used either literally or figuratively, while on the fringe refers to something actually physically away from the center. on the ...
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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 ...
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1answer
72 views

Act On Somebody

When I was reading a text, I encountered a sentence which contains the verb phrase "act on". The Internet and smartphone applications are used for distributing hate messages and acting on the users ...
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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 ...
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1answer
171 views

To + (verb) as infinitive/gerund

I have a question on preposition ‘to’. When we use verb after ‘to’ we use either infinitives or verb in ing format but my question is: will the word ‘to’ be a preposition in both the case? also, ...
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1answer
308 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.
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1answer
35 views

Past participle usage in below sentences / passives

I hope all the below form of sentences give ‘Passive’ meanings, am I correct? 1) be + verb3 [i.e. past participle] be prepared. 2) being + verb3 being processed (but in continuous form). 3) ...
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2answers
155 views

Do Prepositions Alter Meaning of a Subject?

Do prepositions alter the meaning of a subject in a way that changes what the verb's compliment is referring to? (Specifically infinitive phrase compliments) Examples: I work at my position in time ...
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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 ...
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1answer
93 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 ...
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1answer
51 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 ...
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2answers
7k 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 ...
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1answer
942 views

What's the meaning of “at least as important are …” in the following sentence?

Changes in the geometric properties of the joint with wear occur slowly for a lower pair. At least as important are the simple geometries of the relative motions that these joints permit. I don't ...
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2answers
447 views

What does “In line with this theme of competition comes the expression…” mean in this paragraph?

I have a paragraph as follows: Source All of us are very receptive to adopting beliefs when we are young, but the idea that “males have to earn females” is not something that is only hammered into ...
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1answer
560 views

Meaning of “plug fill” or “fill plug” in pharmaceutical industry

From an FDA guideline: Bracketing can be applied to studies with multiple strengths of identical or closely related formulations. Examples include but are not limited to (1) capsules of different ...
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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
108 views

What are the meaning of “put to bare” in the sentence and the meaning of the sentence?

the context is as follows ...or complex moment where ethical reasoning skill will be put to bare where they will have opportunity to discuss online their reactions to that particular film... First,...
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1answer
1k views

What's the meaning of “self-spoken”?

Character Information ... Personality Mean, abusive, prejudiced, self-spoken (http://zootopia.wikia.com/wiki/Woodchuck_bully)
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1answer
787 views

The meaning of “fresh off of”

I came across this sentence in an article online: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, fresh off of not apologizing for the social media giant’s failure to prevent sketchy election data firm Cambridge ...
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3answers
3k views

“Have you ever worked in a …” vs. “Have you ever been working in a …”

Which one of these sentences is right, the perfect simple or the perfect continuous? A: Have you ever worked in a factory? B: No, never! or A: Have you ever been working in a factory? B: No,...
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1answer
25 views

Meaning of “Reverse my Polarity”

In Talking Tom and Friends, Season 1 Episode 5, "Magnetic Ben", when Ben became a magnet and got stuck to the garage door, he said to Angela: "I need you to reverse my polarity!" Immediately, Angela ...
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1answer
30 views

are “displayed upfront” and “hidden covertly” the same? I guess not and I need a double check

This post says overlays of a symbol or text that may be hidden covertly or displayed upfront to protect an image from being used without owner’s approval. to illustrate above, the post gives ...
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13 views

“Being such” or “Being as such”

Looking for an descrpition of a phrase, I came across these definitions: Definitions for Natural: 1- Being such from birth or by nature. 2- Being such by blood and not by adoption or ...
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18 views

Worth of meaning

A: Bag belongs to one of his suppliers. And it contains a football's worth of cocaine. (A is showing a football's size by his hand while speaking. The size of the cocaine pile is similiar to a ...
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34 views

How to politely tell your senior that what they told is wrong?

How to politely tell someone whatever they told is not correct according to me? Is it okay to say "let me know if I am wrong?" after explaining them about that concept?
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10 views

Tautology or not?

I’d be grateful for your help for what, on first glance may appear to be a legal question, but I believe that its essence is an English question. I was recently involved in a court case where a ...
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19 views

What does the expression “go get your play on” mean here?

I came across the expression "go get your play on" in the description of the new games that are worth playing. The expression is the last sentence of the games that are chosen by editors. I got the ...
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1answer
26 views

“Saying that” meaning

It is hard for me to understand the meaning of the expression "saying that". If it is at the beginning of the sentence, how is it right to explain? Where is it appropriate to use and what construction ...
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27 views

What does it mean by “pinch a hole in one thing or another”?

https://youtu.be/9C20XmtHkQM?t=583 (9:45) “I’m not pinching a hole in one thing or another” At least that’s what I hear, but I have no idea what it means. I know what “pinch” and “hole” is but can’...
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1answer
20 views

Something of that kind/ that kind of something

Can I use these versions interchangeably? 1- I didn't say anything of that kind. 2- I didn't say that kind of anything. 3- It is a game of some kind. 4- It is some kind of a game. ...
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1answer
35 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
29 views

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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36 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