Questions regarding the meaning of certain terms or phrases used in a work of literature. If your question concerns the symbolic significance of something whose surface meaning is clear, use the [symbolism] tag instead. Please add specific tags as well: for the author (if known), the language (if not English), and either the work itself (if long) or the [poetry] or [short-stories] tags for short works.
The meaning tag is used for questions where the asker is having trouble understanding the meaning of some text from a literary work. This could be either the literal meaning (e.g. for a sentence with complex grammar) or a figurative meaning (e.g. when literary-devices are involved). There are some situations where this tag is inappropriate:
- Asking about the symbolic meaning/significance (symbolism)
- Asking about the meaning/significance of a name (name-significance)
- Asking about the high-level meaning of a work (theme, moral, interpretation)
When asking a meaning question, context is important. Try to quote at least a sentence or two on either side of the part you're asking about. (Quote by using
> at the start of a line. Add two spaces at the end of a line to force a linebreak.) If possible, provide a link or citation to the full context. This helps answerers understand what you're asking about.
Bolding the parts within the context which your questions focuses on is a useful way to draw attention to them. (Bold by using
** on either side)
Like all other questions, meaning questions should have supplementary tags for the literary work they are from. See the tagging FAQ. Note that non-literary meaning questions are off-topic - this is not a general English-learning site. Please see English Language Learners or English Language & Usage instead.