124 Answered Questions for the topic meaning in context
Question about the phrase "fought fire with oil" as used in the film "Spartacus"?
In the film "Spartacus," the character Crassus remarks that he "fought fire with oil" in regards to him buying the Senate behind his rival's back to appoint his friend to a position of... more
Why does 'with' mean 'against' and not 'alongside' in phrases of opposition?
In phrases like *fight with*, *argue with*, *combat with* etc, why does *with* mean the subject is opposing the object (grammatical object, technically a human opponent)?Phrases like *go with*,... more
What does “The city (Ferguson) learned too late that the well was dry” mean?
I scratched my head in understanding the meaning of the following passage in the article titled, “The tragedy of Ferguson” of Time magazine (September 1 issue). [Some excerpts appear at... more
again in "Today is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be again."?
Saw this sentence today. It has two variations, one ends with *again* and one without it. While the *again* does have a nice ring to it, I kind of feel that it makes no grammatical/semantic sense... more
Meaning of "the waft of"?
> Now he was beginning to have the waft of an old man who hadn't bathed for several days.The meaning of the sentence is absolutely clear to me, since the second part of the sentence explains the... more
Does "unbearable" always have a negative connotation?
I came across with this sentence> "As a child he held an unbearable curiosity, he needed to question everything"Since english is not my first language, I was giving it a second thought and... more
Meaning of "lethuel" (an occupation)?
The [Reginald Punnett](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_C._Punnett) Wikipedia article quotes from the 31 March 1901 <del>British</del> Census as follows:> Reginald Crundall... more
What does “sheafs” mean in “The rays cut straight sheafs”?
This sentence is from *Atlas Shrugged*, depicting rays of light running through coils of steam enveloping a building:> The rays of a few strong lights **cut straight *sheafs*** through the>... more
Does the expression ‘Someone, who took his while presumed innocent, will get bail any time soon’ sound natural?
I found the line, ‘Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who took his while presumed innocent will get bail,’ in the following paragraph of New York Times article (May 17), titled ‘Hotel Keycard of I.M.F. Chief May... more
What does "several states of mind away" mean? Does it mean a strange place or something else?
In this sentence,> I met him at the coffee place where I was working after I’d dropped> out of graduate school out West, many states and **several states of**> **mind away** from the New... more
What is the meaning of "I believe you're up"?
My question is very simple. I just would like to know what do they mean by: "I believe you're up"I've heard this expression in a movie and here is the script:- I already met your dad. He loves me.-... more
What does "…not immune to such charges" mean?
This is a GRE text completion sentence>To claim that the prevailing account of an important incident, whether it happened last century or last week, is corrupted by disinformation is to enter... more
What's the meaning of "put someone on one's heels"?
> Get graphics working on tables, charts, the whole nine yards. Janine! > > What's the angle, five words? > > Far left of center. > > That's four. > > Very far left of... more
Can we use "commiseration" and "condolence" interchangeably?
On what occasions can we use these terms and are they perfect synonym for each other to use interchangeably? Can we say to someone who has lost a friend "our commiseration to ..."?
Why "planet of the apes" but "planet of the blind"?
Why is it *planet of the apes* but *planet of the blind*? Is that "s" necessary after *the ape*? I know that *the* can change singular nouns and adjectives into plural nouns. But is there any rule?
Fall Hard For Something?
I am trying to find the right definition of "hard" in this piece of writing: >[newspaper](http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/garden/25frazier.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) Looking for a... more
How to understand "cat's evening wear"?
I really had a difficult time to understand this. It comes from a book I am reading, and it is used to describe a concept the author speaks highly of.Does it mean that something is very special? Or... more
Meaning of "fall guy" relative to "scapegoat" and "martyr" in article context?
This was in an article in Newsmax:>Stressing his loyalty, Cohen has steadfastly denied wrongdoing and defended Trump. But he has confided in associates in recent weeks that he is fearful of... more
When does thousand turn into thousands?
My boyfriend and I are arguing whether *thousands of miles* means 1000+ or 2000+ miles. The first argument is that 1000+ is over 1000 and therefore 'thousands of miles' by rounding up. The other... more
What does "At least X to Y" mean?
What does it mean to say "at least..." and then give a range of values? "At least 10" means anything greater than or equal to ten. "10 to 15" means anything greater than or equal to 10, but not... more
my friend vs "a friend of mine"?
I always found it weird to hear people say things like "My friend asked me to come" (with no prior mention of said friend), as opposed to "A friend of mine asked me to come". To me it seems as... more
What does "Come on, let's wrangle up the cattle" mean?
Andy said this to Woody in Toy Story 1. Is this idiom?
Relationship between "detrimental" and "effective"?
A sample IELTS question in the reading section concerns a passage about how dentistry has improved over the last few centuries. The passage includes:> "...for most of the 18th and the beginning... more
Barlow knife quote meaning in Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer?
> True, the knife would not cut > anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and there was > inconceivable grandeur in that - though where the Western boys ever > got the idea that... more