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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meaning of (has continued to do so until now)

He started writing his first novel last year and has continued to do so until now. Does the highlighted part mean that he is still working on his first novel?
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Does 'rest is history' always talk about the positive result?

If I remember all the sources from the past, the phrase 'rest is history' always talks about the positive results. Is there any way that this phrase is used for the negative results or in that sense, ...
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What is the difference between "the one thing" and "only thing"?

Do "the one thing" and "only thing" mean the same? Consider the following: Basketball is the one thing that X is can do and Y cannot. Basketball is the only thing that X is can do ...
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What does "I put it on myself" mean in this context?

The following context is from the movie "The Wolf Of Wallstreet" by Martin Scorsese JORDAN My job, you know, it's tough. I mean I'm not complaining, it's just the stress. All these people ...
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Pun intended vs No Pun intended vs Pun intended, perhaps?

Pun intended vs No Pun intended vs Pun intended, perhaps ? I have come across these 3 terms a lot of times, so decided to clarify once for all if my understanding about them is correct or not, please ...
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Helping with understanding comics dialogue

Can you help me understand their last dialogue? there is no prior information other than that man in yellow - Jason Blood Indian - Randu, Indian delegate to the UN third guy - Harry Matthews - ...
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What does "blood drains from stomach"mean?

what is the meaning of "blood drains from stomach"? Elisa is shocked, so I suppose it's the same like "stomach churns​/​lurches​/​tightens", but is it really so? And then ... next ...
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What's the meaning of the phrase "so as" on this context?

This is a context from an English translation of "Crime And Punishment" by Dostoevsky "I have considerable reason to believe that Marfa Petrovna, who was so unfortunate as to fall in ...
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What does "social evolutionary outcome" mean?

Han et. al.,2021 mentioned Our article differs from this literature in examining how social transmission biases such as SET affect the social evolutionary outcome Simply speaking, SET is Self-...
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In and of itself

In the accepted answer to this question : What's the difference between "in itself", "by itself" and "in and of itself"? it is stated that in itself means "not ...
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Is "on the higher side" a meaningful phrase?

I was documenting a software feature for an internal audience and I wrote: "...when the character count is on the higher side." Here, I wanted to mean a case where the number of characters ...
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defied expectations to become even stronger

The Wall Street Journal tweeted At 24, the most powerful gymnast in history has defied expectations to become even stronger—after surviving abuse, enduring a family ordeal and overcoming her own ...
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Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets (ch 4)

Arthur and Lucius have a bit of a row in the middle of Flourish and Blotts "Clearly,” said Mr. Malfoy, his pale eyes straying to Mr. and Mrs. Granger, who were watching apprehensively. “The ...
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How could we understand or rephrase this sentence?

When reading a paper, I saw a sentence Overall, these results suggest that firms do respond to increased competition by making organizational and top management changes that improve efficiency. I am ...
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Can I use the phrase "at its best" to refer to a party?

Can I use these idioms to convey for example: We left the party at its best (at the party's peak; while the party was reaching its peak; while the party was going really well)
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'it didn't happen until afterward" happened later or didn't happen continuously?

'it didn't happen until afterward" After reading this sentence, it's not certain to interpret it as intended because "not until A" means something happened after A. The above sentence ...
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unfair to natural justice to judge the people

I understand "to natural justice" as "for the sake of the natural justice." Am I on the right track? Andrew Roberts: “If we topple Nelson, what do we do about the pyramids, built ...
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fighting their suppression

Does the phrase "fighting their suppression" mean "fighting against their suppression"? Or "fighting for their suppression"? The Democrats tweeted: Republicans are ...
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What is the meaning and origin of the phrase "Steal your eyes"?

I've come across this phrase only in song lyrics: Just then, somebody stole my eyes again (2017) The loneliness of loving someone can steal your eyes (2015) You stole my eyes, so you I will take (2015)...
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Is it correct to say "Gathering all together, I'd like to say ..."

Let's say I wrote a lot of things that describes my point of view about something and now I want to summarize and I'd like to know if it's ok to say: Gathering all together, I'd like to say...
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have shifted higher and lower

Is the polishing used in the phrase "have shifted higher and lower" an oxymoron? I don't quite understand it. It perhaps means "(goals) have shifted higher and timelines have shifted ...
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What does "sweet pieties" mean?

What is the meaning of the bold part? Is it about insincerity? "There are those who, under the influence of theoretical preconceptions, regard the human values expressed in architecture ...
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What does "Do you think" mean in this sentence?

A Conversation Between a Robot and a Human Robot: Oh, Frankie. Woman: Oh, oh, look what you made me do. Robot: What? Woman: You made me prick my finger. Oh, I wish you wouldn't keep doing that. I hate ...
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Can "carve into" be used figuratively?

The expression carve (something) into (something) means, according to Free dictionary: to create a carved object by sculpturing raw material OR to use a knife or other tool to carve a block of some ...
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What's "alarm mesh"?

Langdon had been standing inside the men's room refusing to run from a crime he didn't commit, when Sophie began eyeing the plate glass window and examine the alarm mesh running through it. Then she ...
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How is "he'd better get used to it" different from "he should get used to it"?

I'm trying to understand the phrase "better get used to it". I know it basically means "he should get used to it", but is there a small difference between them? Is one more ...
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Is the "with the blessing of" here used in a sarcastic way?

I read this from the Harper's Magazine, and here is original article. But perhaps Ukraine’s clearest departure from the standard model of European liberalism is its proliferation of armed far-right ...
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Meaning of "The past was the enemy in Ireland"

She wondered where they would go, and could not bear the thought of somewhere that was impossible to imagine. She cried to herself among the ferns that grew in clumps a few yards from the stream. ‘It’...
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"play a friend" Is this expression natural?

I recently knew expressions "play the victim", "play the fool", "play innocent". In this context, is "play a friend" natural, meaning "to fabricate a ...
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What is the difference between "in a bit, shortly, soon" vs "later"?

When texting via Instant Messaging apps, what would be appropriate to say when we do not intend to respond to the other person? "in a bit, shortly, soon" vs "later" - The first ...
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What's the meaning of "chopped the bill off to fight"?

I'm reading "The Old Man and The Sea" a novel by Ernest Hemingway. There is small paragraph that I don't understand completely because of that statement "chopped the bill off to fight&...
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"unleashed a torrent of bullets at/on/toward the man"

Does any of these prepositions tell anything about whether any of the bullets hit the man or not? The police officer unleashed a torrent of bullets at/on/toward the man.
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Wearing the proverbial “pants”?

But appearances of gender equality can be deceiving. In my most recent study, I asked 114 young adults about their heterosexual relationship experiences. Unsurprisingly, power was skewed in favor of ...
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An interpretation of "be to + infinitive" in Bertrand Russell's "The Conquest of Happiness"

I'm having trouble interpreting the following sentence from Bertrand Russell's "The Conquest of Happiness" (Chapter 1): To prevent the perpetuation of poverty is necessary if the benefits ...
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at its core VS to the core

Google is a search engine to the core. Google is a search engine at its core. Is there any difference between those sentences?
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Meaning of 'All-out brawl'?

I know the meaning of 'brawl'.But what does this phrase 'all-out brawl' mean? Thanks in Advance.
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what means "undimmed by time, unbound by death"?

So the full line is If we have souls, They are made of love we share Undimmed by time, unbound by death I didn't quite understand what the write meant by undimmed by time.Is it means that the ...
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vague phrasing: characteristically

In Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, the adverb characteristically means "​in a way that is very typical of something or of somebody's character." In the following extract from Frankenstein, who ...
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What is a "grammar point"?

I found lots of posts use a phrase "grammar point". For example, If you study the grammar point comparison forms of adjectives you will find that ... where comparison forms of adjectives appears ...
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“What is its name” vs “What is the name of it”

Let’s say a friend of mine is listening to a song, and I heard the song while he is listening to it; and I wonder what the song is called. Can I use these sentences interchangeably to ask him the name ...
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"In xx years" vs "In xx years' time"

Hi I am a English learner, and am confused with the following expressions: "In xx years", and "In xx years' time" What's the difference between the two? Thank you.
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Is this sentence okay to wish Mother's Day?

I'm going to make a design and I'm writing a copy on it which will be: On this Mother's day, let's thank her for (her?) selfless care (for us?). (Not very sure if care and care for has different ...
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"occur in/to genes"

During my research, I came cross some context found in articles. These changes occur in genes that are essential for development. Sometimes changes occur to genes, resulting in medical ...
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"For" VS "in" usage

Which preposition is right and which is wrong? We haven't been harnessing a lot of resources for the medical field. We haven't been harnessing a lot of resources in the medical field.
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What does "is accounted for" in this mean?

I partially get the idea of the sentence but I'd really want to know the actually meaning of this phrase here. Plus, for that last clause I don't really get its sentence structure as well. Lastly, ...
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2 answers
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Put in for it first

“Turns out some of those b****** didn’t like us getting Christmas week off. It doesn’t matter that we put in for it first. They got denied vacation after it filled up. Lisa warned me that it happens ...
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What is the meaning of "just so often" in this context?

What is the meaning of "just so often" in this context? Mr. Mompesson, in bed with his little daughter (about Kate's age) whom the sound seemed chiefly to follow, "observed that it would exactly ...
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What does "off my case" mean?

What does "off my case" mean? It is the title of a part in a book. I tried to google it and I find "get off my case", meaning "stop nagging me". The book is called "Case for Christ - for kids" and is ...
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What does 'beak trouble' mean?

Of course, I tried to look it up in a dictionary, but it didn't help. I assume it some kind of slang. "Hey, Lip. Everything okay?" "What, you got beak trouble, Charlie?" (from the 2018 movie ...
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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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