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General Writing and Grammar Help/meaning of the expression "by every definition of the word"

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Question
Dear Ted,
I'm not sure if I understand the meaning of the expression " by every definition of the word". I think it means the following: certainly, completely, totally. Is my understanding of the expression correct? In other words, does the following sentence make sense and is it grammatically correct?
"By every definition of the word, he is honest."

Answer
Dear Glen:

I'm not sure if I understand the meaning of the expression " by every definition
of the word". I think it means the following: certainly, completely, totally. Is
my understanding of the expression correct? In other words, does the following
sentence make sense and is it grammatically correct?
"By every definition of the word, he is honest."

*** Your interpretation is correct, and so is your sentence.

The phrase essentially means that, if you list all the attributes of the word "honest," the man fulfills or has them all.  In short, the man is "honest," in every possible way that you can define the word "honest."

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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