English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning
English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning- आज इस आर्टिकल के माध्यम से हम आपको English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning के बारे में विस्तार से जानकारी देंगे। इससे पहले आर्टिकल में आप Adjective Meaning and Examples के बारे में विस्तार से पढ़ चुके हैं।

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-

What is an Idiom?

Idioms occur in all languages on every continent throughout the world. They are known as a form of formulaic language. This type of language is not meant to be taken literally in most cases. These phrases are meant to have a figurative meaning that paints a picture in someone’s mind as a comparison for what is literally implied by the terminology being used. Most idioms come in the form of phrases known as idiomatic phrases. Idioms are used every day in all types of conversations and discussions about many topics. They most often appear in informal conversations, but can also appear in formal discussions as well.

Idiom Definition

“An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal meaning. An idiom’s figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning.”

Idioms are things that people say or write that when taken literally, don’t make sense. This can be quite confusing, but essentially they are ‘sayings’ or ‘phrases’ that are understood by English speakers in terms of their intended meaning, but when taken at face value the words together make little or no sense at all. An example might be somebody saying they were “Over the moon” because of something good happening in their lives. Taking that literally would leave somebody feeling quite confused, but most people understand that the individual is trying to say that they are really happy about something. There are many examples of idioms in English and we’ll take a look at a few more later, but why do we use them to begin with?

इंग्लिश में मुहावरों के उदाहरण अर्थ सहित –

Idioms List-The following is an extensive list of 1500+ common English Idioms with their meanings.

List of English idioms that start with A.

A Bit Much: More than is reasonable; a bit too much

A Bite at The Cherry: A good opportunity that isn’t available to everyone

A Busy Bee: A busy, active person who moves quickly from task to task.

A Cat Has Nine Lives: Cats seem to get away with dangerous things

A Cat in Gloves Catches No Mice: You can’t get what you need if you’re too careful.

A Cat Nap: A short sleep during the day

A Cold Day In July: (Something that) will never happen

A Cold Fish: Someone who is not often moved by emotions, who is regarded as being hard and unfeeling.

A Cut Above: Slightly better than

A Cut Below: Inferior to; somewhat lower in quality than

A Day Late And A Dollar Short: Too delayed and insignificant to have much effect

A Dog in The Manger: A person who selfishly prevent others from using, enjoying or profiting from something even though he/ she cannot use or enjoy it himself.

A Few Sandwiches Short Of A Picnic: Abnormally stupid, not really sane

A Good Deal: To a large extent, a lot

A Great Deal: To a very large extent

A Guinea Pig: Someone who is part of an experiment or trial

A Hair’s Breadth: A very small distance or amount

A Home Bird: Somebody who prefers to spend his social and free time at home.

A Hundred And Ten Percent: More than what seems to be the maximum

A Lame Duck: A person or enterprise (often a business) that is not a success and that has to be helped.

A Leg Up: An advantage, a boost

A Lemon: A vehicle that does not work properly

A Life Of Its Own: An indepdendent existence

A Little Bird Told Me: I don’t wish to divulge where I got the information

A Little Bird Told Me: I got this information from a source I cannot reveal.

A Little from Column A, a Little from Column B: A course of action drawing on several different ideas or possibilities

A Lone Wolf: Someone who is not very social with other people

A Lot on One’s Plate: A lot to do

A Million and One: Very many

A Notch Above: Superior to; higher in quality

A Penny for Your Thoughts: What are you thinking?

A Penny Saved is A Penny Earned: Every small amount helps to build one’s savings

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: A visual presentation can communicate something very effectively

A Plum Job: An easy and pleasant job that also pays well

A Rare Bird: Somebody or something of a kind that one seldom sees.

A Scaredy-Cat: Someone who is excessively scared or afraid.

A Second Bite At The Cherry: A Second chance to do something

A Sight for Sore Eyes: Someone that you’re pleased to see

A Sitting Duck: A person or object in a vulnerable position that is easy to attack or injure.

A Snowball’s Chance in Hell: Little to no likelihood of occurrence or success

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: Fix something quickly, because if you don’t, it will just get more difficult to fix

A Stone’s Throw: A very short distance

A Storm in a Teacup: Unnecessary anger or worry about an unimportant or trivial matter

A Tall Order: A difficult task

A Week Is A Long Time In _____: In the field mentioned, the situation may change rapidly

About Time: Far past the desired time

About To: On the point of, occurring imminently

Above And Beyond: More than is expected or required

Above Board: Openly, without deceit. Honestly, reputably.

Above The Law: Exempt from the laws that apply to everyone else.

Above The Salt: Of high standing or honor

Above Water: Not in extreme difficulty. Especially said of finances

Accident Of Birth: Luck in something due to family good fortune

Accident Waiting To Happen: A dangerous way of setting up or organizing something

According To Hoyle: Properly, in accordance with established procedures

Ace In The Hole: A hidden advantage

Ace Up One’s Sleeve: A surprise advantage of which others are not aware.

Acid Test: A crucial event that determines the worth of something

Acknowledge The Corn: Admit to a mistake, especially a small one; point out one’s own shortcomings, or another’s

Acquired Taste: Something one learns to appreciate only after trying it repeatedly

Across The Board: In relation to all categories, for everyone

Across The Pond: On or to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Act High and Mighty: Be arrogant, presume that one is better than others

Act of Congress: Hard to get, said of authorization

Act One’s Age: To be mature, not childish

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: One’s character and intentions are shown more accurately by one’s actions than by one’s words.

Achilles’ Heel: The weak point of an otherwise powerful person or organization

Add Fuel To The Fire: Worsen already existing tension

Add Insult To Injury: Compound a defeat with humiliation or mockery

Add Insult to Injury: Humiliate someone in addition to doing damage to him or her

After One’s Own Heart: Similar in a pleasing way

After The Fact: Too late; after something is completed or finalized

After The Lord Mayor’s Show (UK): Anticlimactic; occurring after something impressive

Against The Clock: Forced to hurry to meet a deadline

Against the Clock: In a very limited amount of time; with a shortage of time being the main problem

Against The Grain: Contrary to one’s natural inclinations

Against The Run Of Play: A typical of the way a game has been going

Age Before Beauty: Something said by a younger woman to an older one, for instance allowing her to pass through a doorway

Agree To Disagree: Accept or set aside a disagreement

Agreement In Principle: In a negotiation, an agreement in which not all details have been worked out

Aha Moment: Sudden realization, the point at which one suddenly understands something

Ahead Of One’s Time: Offering ideas not yet in general circulation; highly creative

Ahead Of The Curve: Innovative, devising new ideas in advance of others

Ahead Of The Curve: Offering ideas not yet in general circulation; highly creative

Ahead Of The Game: Making faster progress than anticipated; ahead of schedule

  Angry behavior inside an airplane

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-

Airy Fairy: whimsical, nonsensical, impractical

Albatross Around One’s Neck: Something from one’s past that acts as a hindrance

Alive and Kicking: In good health despite health problems

All Along: For the entire time something has been happening

All And Sundry: Everyone(separately) Each one.

All Bark And No Bite: Tending to make verbal threats but not deliver on them

All Bets Are Off: What seemed certain is now unclear

All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go: Prepared (with clothing or otherwise) for an event that does not occur

All Ears: Listening willingly, waiting for an explanation

All Eyes And Ears: Attentive

All Eyes Are On: Watching alertly or attentively. Having prominent eyes. Everyone is paying attention to

All Fur Coat And No Knickers: Superficially attractive, physically or otherwise

All Hands on Deck: Everyone must help.

All Hat And No Cattle: Pretentious, full of bluster

All Hell Breaks Loose: The situation becomes chaotic.

All In A Day’s Work (Excl.): That’s what I’m here for; although I have accomplished something, it is part of what I’m expected to do

All In Good Time: Eventually; at a more favorable time in the future. This phrase encourages one to be patient.

All in One Piece: Safely

All It’s Cracked Up To Be: As good as claims or reputation would suggest

All Mouth And No Trousers: Superficial, engaging in empty, boastful talk, but not of real substance

All Over But The Shouting: Certain to end in a specific way

All Over Hell’S Half Acre: All over the place; everywhere.

All Over The Board: Everywhere, in many different locations

All Over The Map: Everywhere; in many different locations

All Over The Place: Everywhere; in many different locations

All Rights Reserved: Said of a published work; all reproduction rights are asserted by the copyright holder

All Roads Lead to Rome: There is more than one effective way to do something; many different methods will produce the same result

All Set: Ready, prepared, finished

All Sizzle And No Steak: Failing to live up to advance promotion or reputation

All Talk and No Trousers: Prone to empty boasts

All Told: With everything taken into consideration

All That Jazz: Similar things, similar qualities, et cetera

All The Marbles: The entire prize or reward

All The Rage: Very fashionable

All the Rage: Very much in fashion

All The Same: Anyway; nevertheless; nonetheless.

All The Tea In China: Great wealth, a large payment

All Things Being Equal: In the event that all aspects of a situation remain the same

All Things Considered: Taking all factors into consideration

All Thumbs: Clumsy

All Very Well: True to a certain extent

All Wet: Completely mistaken

Along The Lines Of: In general accordance with, in the same general direction as

Amateur Hour: A display of incompetence

Amber Gambler: Someone who accelerates to try to cross an intersection before a traffic light turns red

Amber Nectar: Beer

American Dream (The): The belief among Americans that hard work leads to material success

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Eating healthy foods will keep one from getting sick (and needing to see a doctor)

An Axe: To Grind A grievance, a disagreement with someone that justifies confrontation.

An Early Bird: A person who gets up early in the morning, or who starts work earlier than others.

An Eye for an Eye: Justice in which reparation or vengeance exactly matches the harm caused to the victim

An Offer One Can’t Refuse: An extremely attractive offer

Ancient History: Something, such as a disagreement, that happened long ago and ought to be forgotten

And All That: Et cetera, and so on.

And Counting: And the number just mentioned is increasing (or decreasing)

And Change: And an additional amount of money that’s less than the next round number

And His Mother: An intensifier for an inclusive noun or phrase such as everyone, everybody

And So Forth: Indicates that a list continues in a similar manner, etc.

And So On: Indicates that a list continues in a similar manner, etc.

And The Like: And other similar items, etc.

And Then Some: And even more than what has just been mentioned

Another Nail In One’s Coffin: Something that leads to someone’s death, literally or figuratively.

Answer Back: Respond impertinently; to talk back.

Ants In Your Pants: Restlessness

Any Port in a Storm: If you’re in trouble, you’ll turn to anything that improves the situation.

Any Tom, Dick or Harry: Any ordinary person

Angel’s Advocate: Someone who takes a positive outlook on an idea or proposal

Angle For: Aim toward something, try to obtain something, often indirectly or secretly

Apple of One’s Eye: A favorite person or thing, a person especially valued by someone

Apple of Someone’s Eye: The person that someone loves most of all and is very proud of

Apples and Oranges: Of two different classes, not comparable

Apples and Oranges: Of two different classes, not comparable

Arm Candy: An attractive woman accompanying a powerful or famous man at a social event

Armed to the Teeth: Carrying many weapons

Around the Clock: At all times

As American as Apple Pie: Very or typically American

As Far as I Can Throw (someone): Only slightly

As Fit as A Fiddle: To be healthy and physically fit

As Pale as A Ghost: Extremely pale

As Pale as Death: Extremely pale

As Poor as a Church Mouse: Very poor

As Red as A Cherry: Very red

Asleep at the Wheel (Switch): not paying attention to one’s work; not doing one’s job diligently.

At Death’s Door: Very near death

At Each Other’s Throats: Constantly and strongly arguing

At Loggerheads: In a state of persistent disagreement

At Loggerheads: In a state of persistent disagreement.

At Sixes and Sevens: Someone is in a state of confusion or not very well organized.

At the Drop of a Hat: Spontaneously, suddenly

At the Eleventh Hour: It happens when it is almost too late.

At the End of One’s Rope (Tether): Running out of endurance or patience

At the End of the Day: In the final analysis; when all is said and done

At Wit’s End: Frustrated because all measures to deal with something have failed


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of English idioms that start with B.


Babe In Arms: A baby being carried

Babe In The Woods: An innocent, naive person

Babe Magnet: A man to whom women are attracted

Baby Blues: Blue eyes.

Baby Boomer: A person born in the years following World War II, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate

Babysitter Test: An evaluation of the ease of use of household appliances, especially remote control devices

Back And Forth: Dialogue, negotiations

Back At You: Same to you (used to return a greeting or insult)

Back Burner (On The): Not urgent; set aside until later

Back Forty: Remote, inaccessible land

Back in the Day: Formerly, when I was younger, in earlier times

Back Of Beyond: A remote location

Back Office: Support services for a business

Back on One’s Feet: Physically healthy again

Back to Square One: Back to the start

Back to Square One: Forced to begin something again

Back to the Drawing Board: Forced to begin something again

Back to the Salt Mine(s): We have to go back to work.

Back to the Salt Mines: It’s time for me (us) to go back to work

Back the Wrong Horse: To support the losing side

Backing and Filling: Delaying a decision by making small changes or arguing about small details

Backseat Driver: A passenger in a car who gives unwanted advice to the driver is called a backseat driver.

Backseat Driver: Someone who likes to give (often annoying) advice to the driver of a car, or the leader of some other enterprise

Bad Apple: A discontented, trouble making, or dishonest person

Bad Blood: Enmity or hatred that stems from something in the past

Bad Egg: Someone who is not to be trusted

Bad Taste In One’s Mouth: Unease, a feeling that something unspecified is wrong in a situation

Bag of Tricks: A set of methods or resources

Bail Out: To rescue someone from a bad situation, to shield someone from the consequences of his or her actions

Ball and Chain: 1. One’s spouse (derogatory but often affectionate); 2. an ongoing burden

Ballpark Figure: A rough estimate

Banner Year: A year marked by strong successes

Bang for Your Buck: Value for money

Bang for Your Buck: Value for your money

Bang One’s Head Against the Wall (Against a Brick Wall):Try repeatedly to do something without making progress

Baptism by Fire: A difficult task given right after one has assumed new responsibilities

Bar Fly (or Barfly): Someone who spends much of his or her time in bars

Bare One’s Heart (Soul): To confess one’s deepest secrets

Bark Up the Wrong Tree: Pursue a mistaken approach or belief; be wrong in a course of action

Basket Case: So upset or stunned that one is unable to function; in a hopeless condition

Bat/Play for Both Teams: To be bisexual.

Bat/Play for the Other Team: To be homosexual.

Batten Down the Hatches: Prepare for a storm

Batten Down the Hatches: Prepare for a storm

Be A Barrel of Laughs: To be fun, funny, and pleasant.

Be A Cold Day In Hell: (Something that) will never happen

Be An Item: Two people are an item when they are having a romantic relationship

Be Footloose and Fancy-Free: To be free of responsibilities, including romantic commitments

Be Head Over Heels (In love): Be in love with somebody very much

Be in Seventh Heaven: Extremely happy

Be in Two Minds (about something): To not be certain about something, or to have difficulty in making a decision

Be Like Chalk and Cheese: Things or people who are very different and have nothing in common

Be Lovey – Dovey: Expressing your love in public by constantly kissing and hugging

Be on the Mend: Be improving after an illness

Be Snowed Under: Be extremely busy with work or things to do

Bean Counters: Accountants, finance professionals in an organization

Bean Counters: Accountants, finance professionals in an organization

Beat Around the Bush: To speak in a roundabout way in order to avoid confronting an unpleasant topic

Beat Someone To The Draw: To accomplish or obtain something more quickly than someone else

Beat Someone to the Punch: Do something before or faster than someone else

Beat the Drum for (Something): Speak in favor of something to try to generate support

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep: External appearance is a superficial basis for judging someone

Bed of Roses: A comfortable situation

Bedroom Eyes: An expression of the eyes that seems to invite sex

Bee in One’s Bonnet: Someone who has a bee in their bonnet has an idea which constantly occupies their thoughts.

Beggar Thy Neighbor: To do something beneficial for oneself without worrying about how it affects others

Behind the Eight (or 8) Ball: At a serious disadvantage

Behind the Scenes: In a way not apparent to the public

Behind the Times: Old-fashioned

Bell the Cat: Take on a difficult or impossible task

Bells And Whistles: Attractive but unnecessary features of a product

Belly Laugh: Loud, hearty laughter

Bend an Elbow: Drink alcoholic beverages at a tavern

Best (Greatest) Thing Since Sliced Bread: An innovative development

Best of Both Worlds: Combining two qualities that are usually separate

Bet One’s Bottom Dollar (On Something): Be certain that something will happen

Bet the Farm: Risk everything; spend all one’s money on something in hopes of success

Better late Than Never: It implies that a belated achievement is better than not reaching a goal at all.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Caught between two undesirable options

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: In a difficult position

Beyond the Pale: Too morally or socially extreme to accept

Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt: Absolutely certain

Big Apple: An informal name for New York City

Big Brother: Government, viewed as an intrusive force in the lives of citizens; government spying

Big Cheese: An important person in a company or organization

Big Deal: An important event or accomplishment

Big Fish: An important person

Big Picture: A wide perspective; a broad view of something

Big time: If you do something big time, you do it to a great degree.

Birds of a Feather: People having similar characters, backgrounds, interests, or beliefs.

Bird’s-Eye View: A view from above; a broad perspective on something

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: Try to do more than one is capable of doing

Bite the Bullet: To do something even though it involves pain, discomfort, or difficulty

Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Act badly toward someone who has helped you

Bitter Pill to Swallow: An unpleasant fact that one must accept

Black and White: A clear distinction between good and bad, positive and negative

Black Eye: A mark of shame

Black Sheep: A person who does not fit into a group, especially a family

Black-and-Blue: Bruised, showing signs of having been physically harmed

Blank Check: Permission to spend or do whatever one wishes; carte blanche

Blind Date: When two people who have never seen each other before go on a date

Blinded by Love: When a person is so madly in love with somebody that they can’t see the person’s faults or negative characteristics

Blood and Thunder: A dramatic, spectacular performance

Blow Away the Cobwebs: If something blows away the cobwebs, it makes you feel more lively and refreshes your ideas.

Blow Hot and Cold: Shift one’s level of enthusiasm repeatedly

Blow Off Steam: To express anger and frustration in a way that does no damage

Blow One’s Top: Lose one’s temper

Blow One’s Stack: To lose one’s temper and explode in anger

Blow the Cobwebs Away (or Out of Something): Make space for fresh ideas, encourage something new

Blow the Whistle: Reporting an illegal or unacceptable activity to the authorities

Blow Up: Explode

Blow Your Own Trumpet: Brag; emphasize one’s own contributions

Blue Blood (adj. blue-blooded): Person of aristocratic background

Blue Eyed Boy: A person who is a favorite of those in authority; someone whose mistakes are forgiven

Blue Light Special: 1. a temporary sale at a discount store. 2. a traffic stop by the police.

Bob’s Your Uncle: The rest is easy; you’re almost finished

Bolt From the Blue: Something completely unexpected

Bone Dry: Completely dry, totally without moisture

Born on The Wrong Side of the Blanket: Born to parents who were not married

Borrow Trouble: Take needless risks, invite problems

Bottom of the Barrel: Low-quality choices

Boy Toy: A young man who is the lover of an older, often wealthier woman (see toyboy)

Boys will be Boys: A phrase of resignation used when boys get into trouble or are stereotypically reckless or rowdy

Brainstorm: To generate many ideas quickly

Break a Leg: Good luck! This is used for a stage performer-or for anyone else who is about to give some kind of a performance, such as an important speech

Break Out in A Cold Sweat: To perspire from fever or anxiety

Break the Bank: Exhaust one’s financial resources

Break The Ice: To get something started, particularly by means of a social introduction or conversation

Break up/ Split up (With Somebody): End the relationship

Bring Home the Bacon: Earn money for one’s family

Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight: Underequipped or unprepared

Brush Under the Carpet: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error

Bucket List: Things you want to see or do before you die

Bull in a China Shop: A clumsy or tactless person

Bump in the Road: A temporary problem, a small setback

Bundle Up: Put on lots of warm clothing

Burn One’s Bridges: Leave a job or a relationship on such bad terms that one does not stay in contact

Burn the Candle at Both Ends: To work too hard, with possible bad consequences for one’s health

Burn the Candle at Both Ends: Work very long hours

Burn the Midnight Oil: To work late into the night

Burn the Midnight Oil: Working late into the night

Bury (Hide) One’s Head In the Sand: Ignoring something that’s obviously wrong, not facing reality

Bury the Hatchet: Make peace, agree to end a dispute

Business as Usual: A normal situation (whether related to business or not), typically restored after some change

Busman’s Holiday (UK): A working vacation

Busman’s Holiday: A vacation where you do the same thing you do at work, a working vacation

Busted Flush: A failure, someone or something that seemed promising but did not develop well

Butter Wouldn’t Melt in (Someone’s): Mouth This person is cool in manner, prim and proper

Buy a Pig in a Poke: To buy something with no prior inspection

Buy Time: Cause a delay in something with the aim of improving one’s position

By a Whisker: By a very short distance

By All Means: Of course, certainly

By Hook or by Crook: By some possibly dishonest means

By the Skin of One’s Teeth: Barely escaping disaster

By Word of Mouth: Via personal communications rather than written media


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-

List of English idioms that start with C.


Call a Spade a Spade: To speak frankly and directly about a problem

Call It a Day: Decide that one has worked enough on something for the day

Call It a Night: End an evening’s activities and go home

Call the Shots: Make the important decisions in an organization

Call the Tune: Making important decisions and controlling a situation.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees: Is unable to maintain a wider perspective

Can’t Swing A Dead Cat In (Place): Without Hitting A (Thing) There are many examples of [thing] in this [place].

Carrot-and-Stick (Approach): A tactic in which rewards are offered, but there is also the threat of punishment

Carry a Torch (for): To continue to be in love with someone even after a relationship has ended

Carry Coals To Newcastle: Supply something that is unneeded; engage in useless labor

Carry the Can: To take the blame for something one did not do

Cash In One’s Chips: 1. To take advantage of a quick profit 2. To die

Cash-Strapped: In need of money

Cast the First Stone: To be the first to criticize or attack someone

Castle in the Air: An impractical plan

Cat Fight: A fight between two women

Cat Got Your Tongue?: Don’t you have anything to say?

Cat on a hot tin roof: Be extremely nervous

Cat-and-Mouse (adj.): In a toying way; playful in an unpleasant way

Catch One’s Death of Cold: To become very ill (with a cold/flu etc.)

Catch Some Rays: To sit or lie outside in the sun

Catch Someone’s Eye: Attract someone’s attention

Catch-22: A difficult situation from which there is no escape because options for avoiding it involve contradictions

Cat’s Paw: A person being used by someone else, a tool

Caught Red-Handed: Apprehended while committing a crime

Circle the Wagons: To prepare as a group to defend against attack, adopt a defensive posture

Claim to Fame: Unusual feature or offering

Clean Up Nicely: Look good when one is dressed up. Usually said of women

Clear the Air: Defuse tension, be honest about conflict so as to reduce it

Clip Someone’s Wings: Reduce someone’s privileges or freedom

Close, But No Cigar: You are very close but not quite correct.

Cock and Bull Story: A far-fetched story, probably untrue

Cock-A-Hoop: Elated, excited

Cold Day in Hell: A condition for something that would be extremely unlikely to occur

Come By Something Honestly: Acquire something honestly, or inherit it

Come Clean: To confess; to admit to wrongdoing

Come Hell or High Water: No matter what happens

Come Out in the Wash: To be resolved with no lasting negative effect

Come Out of the Closet: Reveal a secret about oneself, usually that one is gay (homosexual)

Come Out Swinging: Respond to something very aggressively

Come Rain and Shine: Do regularly, whatever the circumstances

Come to Grips With: To acknowledge a problem as a prelude to dealing with it

Come to Terms With (Something): Feel acceptance toward something bad that has happened

Coming Down the Pike: Likely to occur in the near future

Cook Someone’s Goose: To insure someone’s defeat, to frustrate someone’s plans

Cook Up a Storm: Cook a great deal of food

Cooking Up a Storm: Cooking a great deal of food

Cool as A Cucumber: Calm and composed even in difficult or frustrating situations; self-possessed

Cool Cat: Someone who has the respect of their peers in a young, casual way.

Cool Your Heels: Wait

Couch Potato: A lazy person who watches a great deal of television

Crash a Party: To attend a party without being invited

Crickets: Silence

Cross to Bear: A problem one must deal with over a long time, a heavy burden

Crunch Time: A period of high pressure when one has to work hard to finish something

Crunch the Numbers: Do calculations before making a decision or prediction

Cry Over Spilt (USA: Spilled): Milk To waste energy moaning about something that has already happened

Cry Wolf (verb): To issue a false alarm, to ask for help when none is needed

Cry Your Eyes Out: Cry hard for a very long time

Cry Your Eyes Out: Cry hard for a very long time

Curiosity Killed The Cat: Stop asking questions, don’t be too curious

Cut (Someone) To the Quick: To deeply hurt someone emotionally

Cut Corners: Economize by reducing quality; take shortcuts

Cut It Fine: To do something at the last moment

Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face: To act in a proud way that ultimately damages your own cause

Cut Someone Some Slack: Avoid treating someone strictly or severely

Cut to the Chase: Get to the point; explain the most important part of something quickly; skip the preliminaries

Cut the Gordian Knot: To solve a complex problem in a simple way

Cut the Mustard: Do something adequately

Cut Your Teeth on Something: To learn basic skills in a field

Cutting-Edge: Very novel, innovative

Champagne taste on a beer budget: Expensive or extravagant tastes or preferences that are beyond one’s economic means.

Change Horses in Midstream: Change plans or leaders in the middle of a process

Change of Heart: A change in one’s opinion or outlook

Change One’s Tune: To alter one’s opinion about something.

Changing of the Guard: A change in leadership at an organization

Chase Rainbows: To pursue unrealistic goals

Cheap Shot: An unfair attack; a statement that unfairly attacks someone’s weakness

Cherry-Pick: To present evidence selectively to one’s own advantage

Cherry-Pick: To select the best or most desirable

Chew the Fat: Chat for a considerable length of time

Chickens Come Home To Roost: The negative consequences of previous actions reveal themselves

Child’s Play: A very easy task

Chill Out: Do something that helps them to calm down and relax for a while.

Chin Music: Meaningless talk

Chin Up/ Keep Your Chin Up: Cheer up; try to be cheerful and strong

Chip off the Old Block: Someone who resembles a direct ancestor, usually the father

Chomp (Champ) at the Bit: Be eager to do something

Chomp at the Bit: To be eager to do something

Chop Chop: Quickly, without delay

Chop Shop: A shop where stolen cars are disassembled for parts

Chuck a Wobbly: To act in an emotional way


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of English idioms that start with D.

Da Man (Slang): An accomplished or skillful person. Generally used in the compliment “”You da man!””

Dance to Someone’s Tune: Consistently follow someone’s directions or influence

Dance with the Devil: Knowingly do something immoral

Dark Horse: A surprise candidate or competitor, especially one who comes from behind to make a strong showing

Darken Someone’s Door (Step): Make an unwanted visit to someone’s home

Dead Ahead: Directly ahead, either in a literal or a figurative sense

Dead as the Dodo: Completely extinct; totally gone

Dead Eye: A good shooter, a good marksman

Dead Heat: An exact tie in a race or competition

Dead of Winter: The coldest, darkest part of winter

Dead ringer: Very similar in appearance

Dead Run: Running as fast as possible

Dead Shot: A good shooter, a good marksman

Deep Pockets: The new owner has deep pockets, so fans are hoping the football team will improve next year with new players

Deliver the Goods: Provide what is expected

Devil’s Advocate: Someone who argues a point not out of conviction, but in order to air various points of view

Dirty Look: A facial manner that signifies disapproval

Do 12-Ounce Curls: Drink beer

Dodge a Bullet: To narrowly escape disaster

Doesn’t Amount to a Hill of Beans: Is unimportant, is negligible

Dog Days of the Summer: The hottest day of summer

Dog in the Manger: A person who prevents others from using something, even though the person himself or herself does not want it

Dog-and-Pony Show: A flashy presentation, often in a marketing context

Dog-Eat-Dog: Intensely competitive

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: Don’t be deceived by looks; don’t rely on looks when judging someone or something

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk: Don’t worry about minor things.

Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: Do not question the value of a gift. The expression comes from the practice of determining the age and health of a horse by looking at its teeth.

Double-Dip: Improperly get income from two different sources

Double-Edged Sword: Something that can be helpful or harmful; something beneficial that also has a downside

Down in the Dumps: Depressed, sad

Down the Road: In the future (in your lifetime)

Drag One’s Feet (or Heels): To do something reluctantly and slowly

Drag Your Feet: Do something very reluctantly; delay doing something

Drain the Lizard: Urinate

Draw a Blank: Be unable to remember something

Draw a Line in the Sand: Issue an ultimatum; specify an absolute limit in a conflict

Draw a Line Under (Something): To conclude something and move on to something else

Draw a Long Bow: Exaggerate, lie

Draw the Line: To set a limit to what one will accept

Dressed Up to the Nines: Someone is wearing very smart or glamorous clothes

Drink the Kool-Aid: Accept a set of ideas uncritically, often dangerous ones

Drive a Hard Bargain: To arrange a transaction so that it benefits oneself.

Drive a Hard Bargain: To negotiate effectively

Drive a Wedge Between: Try to split factions of a united group by introducing an issue on which they disagree

Drive Someone Up the Wall: Deeply irritate someone

Drop a Line: To write a letter or send an email

Drop the Ball: Fail to fulfill one’s responsibilities; make a mistake

Dry Run: A practice execution of a procedure

Dutch Courage: Alcohol drunk with the intention of working up the nerve to do something

Dutch Uncle: A highly critical person

Dyed-In-The-Wool (adj.): Consistent in an affiliation or opinion over a long period; inveterate


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of English idioms that start with E.

Eager beaver: The term eager beaver refers to a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous.

Eagle-Eyed: Having sharp vision

Early Bird [noun or adjective]: Someone who does something prior to the usual time, or someone who gets up early.

Eat Crow: To admit one was wrong, and accept humiliation

Eat Humble Pie: To admit defeat or error, to accept humiliation

Eat Someone’s Lunch: Defeat someone thoroughly

Eat Your Heart Out!: (excl.) Go ahead, be jealous.

Eighty-Six (v.): 1) Discard, eliminate. 2) Throw someone out of a bar or store.

Elephant in the Room: A major problem that no one is talking about

Elevator Music: Pleasant but boring recorded music that is played in public places.

Elevator Pitch: A brief presentation of an idea, one short enough to be delivered in an elevator

Eleventh Hour: The last minute

Even Steven: Owing nothing; tied (in a game)

Every Dog Has His (Its): Day Everyone has a moment of fame, power, or influence

Every Man and His Dog: Many people

Every Man for Himself: Pursue your own interests; don’t expect help from others.

Excused Boots: Allowed to avoid mandatory tasks


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of English idioms that start with F.


Face the Music: Dealing with consequences of one’s actions

Face the Music: To accept judgment or punishment

Fall for Something: Hook, Line, and Sinker To be completely deceived

Fall in Love with Somebody: Start feeling love towards somebody

Fall Off the Wagon: To begin using alcohol (or another problem substance) after quitting

Fall on One’s Sword: To accept blame; to sacrifice oneself

Fall Prey to: Be victimized by; be harmed by; be vulnerable to

Fancy Someone (British English): To find someone very attractive

Farther (On) Down the Road: Later, at some unspecified time

Farther (On) Down the Road: Later, at some unspecified time

Fashion-Forward: Tending to adopt new styles quickly

Fat Cat: A highly placed, well-paid executive

Father Figure: A mentor, a person who offers guidance

Feast Your Eyes On: To take great pleasure in looking at someone or something

Feather in One’s Cap: An achievement for which one is recognized; a noteworthy achievement

Feather One’s (Own) Nest: Use one’s influence or power improperly for financial gain

Feather One’s Nest: To take advantage of one’s position to benefit oneself

Fed Up With: Refusing to tolerate something any further; out of patience

Feel Like a Million Dollars: To feel great, to feel well and healthy.

Feel On Top of The World: To feel very healthy

Fell off a Truck: Probably stolen or illicitly obtained; said of something offered for sale to avoid discussing its origins

Fell off the Back of a Lorry: Probably stolen or illicitly obtained; said of something offered for sale to avoid discussing its origins

Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Temporary renown

Fifth Wheel: A superfluous person

Fight Fire with Fire: Use the same measures that are being used against you, even if they’re stronger than you would usually use

Fight Like Cat and Dog: Continually arguing with each other

Find One’s Voice: Become more confident in expressing oneself

Find Your Feet: To adjust to a new place or situation

Finger-Pointing: Blame; a situation within a group where each member attempts to blame others

Finger-Pointing: Blame; a situation within a group where each member attempts to blame others

Fire in the Belly: strong ambition

First In, Best Dressed: The first people to do something will have an advantage

Fish for Compliments: Try to manipulate people into praising you

Fish or Cut Bait (usually an exclamation): Make a decision or give someone else a chance

Fish Out of Water: A person who is in unfamiliar, confusing surroundings

Five-Finger Discount: Shoplifting

Flash in the Pan: A one-time occurrence, not a permanent phenomenon

Flat Broke: Having no money at all

Flat Out Like a Lizard: Drinking Very busy

Flesh and Blood: Blood relatives, close relatives

Flew the Coop: Left, escaped

Flip-Flop (v. or n.): To vacillate between two choices, to be indecisive

Fly by the Seat of One’s Pants: To improvise, to make decisions without planning or preparation

Fly High: Be very successful, especially temporarily

Fly Off The Handle: Lose one’s temper suddenly and unexpectedly

Fly off the Handle: To become suddenly enraged

Follow In Someone’s Footsteps (Tracks): Follow the example laid down by someone else; supplant

Follow Your Heart: Rely on one’s deeper feelings and instincts when making a decision

Food for Thought: Something that makes you think carefully

For a Song: At very low cost

For a Song: At very low cost

For Crying Out Loud (excl.): An expression of extreme annoyance

For Xyz Reasons: For multiple reasons, not worth specifying individually

Foul Play: Crime, typically murder

Fourth Estate: The media and newspapers

Fox in the Henhouse (Chickenhouse): Someone who causes trouble

Freak Out: A wildly irrational reaction or spell of behavior

French Leave: Absence without permission

Freudian Slip: Accidental use of an incorrect word; a revealing slip of the tongue

From Pillar to Post: From one place to another, in a forced, random way

From Scratch: From individual ingredients, not using a prepared mix

From Soup to Nuts: Everything; from beginning to end

From the Bottom of One’s Heart: Sincerely and with deep feeling

FUBAR: Hopelessly ruined, not working, messed up.

Fu** (Or Screw) The Dog (Pooch): To make an embarrassing error

Full Fathom Five: Lost deep in the sea

Full of the Joys of Spring: Very happy, enthusiastic and full of energy


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of English idioms that start with G.

Game of Chicken: A conflict situation in which neither side will back down for fear of seeming cowardly (chicken)

Get A Charley Horse: To develop a cramp in the arm or the leg

Get A Word In Edgewise: Be able to say something while someone else is talking a lot

Get Along (with Someone): To have a satisfactory relationship

Get Bent Out of Shape: Become angry, upset

Get Carried Away: Become overly enthusiastic

Get In on the Ground Floor: Invest in or join something while it is still small

Get in Shape: Undertake a program of physical conditioning; exercise regularly

Get Off Scot Free: Be accused of wrongdoing but pay no penalty at all

Get Off Scot Free: Be accused of wrongdoing but pay no penalty at all

Get One’s Ducks in a Row: Have everything organized; get oneself organized

Get One’s Hands Dirty: To do the unpleasant parts of a job

Get Someone’s Goat: To irritate someone deeply

Get To Grips With: To begin to understand and deal with something

Get the Ball Rolling: Do something to begin a process

Get the Picture: Understand what’s happening

Get the Runaround: Be given an unclear or evasive answer to a question

Get the Sack, Be Sacked: To be fired

Get the Third Degree: To be questioned in great detail about something

Get Wind of: Hear about

Get With the Program: Figure out what everyone else already knows. Often used sarcastically, as a command

Go Along (With): Agree to something, often provisionally

Go Ape: Express wild excitement or anger

Go Ballistic: Fly into a rage

Go Bananas: To become irrational or crazy

Go Bananas: To become irrational or crazy

Go Belly Up: To go bankrupt

Go Berserk: To go crazy

Go Bonkers: To be or become wild, restless, irrational, or crazy; to act in such a way

Go Cold Turkey: Stop using an addictive substance suddenly, without tapering off

Go Down in Flames: Fail in a spectacular way

Go Mental: To suddenly become extremely angry

Go Nuclear: Use an extreme measure; because extremely angry

Go Nuts: To become crazy

Go Off Half-Cocked: To say or something prematurely, with a negative effect

Go Off the Deep End: To unexpectedly become very angry, especially without a good reason

Go Off The Rails: To go wrong, to begin acting strangely or badly

Go Out on a Limb: Assert something that may not be true; put oneself in a vulnerable position

Go Pear-Shaped: To fail; to go wrong

Go See a Man About a Dog: Go to the bathroom (said as a euphemism)

Go to the Dogs: To become disordered, to decay

Go to the Mattresses: To go to into battle

Go the Extra Mile: Put forth greater-than-expected effort

Go Under the Knife: Undergo surgery

Go Viral: Begin To spread rapidly on the Internet

Go with the Flow: To accept the way things naturally seem to be going

Grab (Take) the Bull by the Horns: To begin forthrightly to deal with a problem

Grasp (Grab) at Straws: To take desperate actions with little hope of success

Grease Monkey: A mechanic, especially an auto mechanic

Grease the Wheels: Do something to make an operation run smoothly

Greasy Spoon: An inexpensive restaurant that fries foods on a grill

Green Around the Gills: To look sick

Green as Grass: Lacking training, naive; often said of young people in new jobs

Grind One’s Teeth: Be very annoyed or angry about something without being able to say anything about it.

Guilty Pleasure: Enjoying something which is not generally held in high regard, while at the same time feeling a bit guilty about it, is called a guilty pleasure.

Guinea Pig: A test subject, a person who is used as a test to see if something will work

Give and Take: Negotiations, the process of compromise

Give ’em Hell (often excl.): Express something passionately to a group

Give Lip Service to: Talk about supporting something without taking any concrete action

Give Lip Service: to Talk about supporting something without taking any concrete action

Give One’s Two Cents (That’s My Two Cents): Offer an opinion, suggest something

Give Someone a Holler: Contact someone

Give Someone a Piece of Your Mind: Angrily tell someone what you think

Give Someone a Run for Their Money: Compete effectively with the leader in a particular field

Give Someone an Earful: angrily express an opinion to someone

Give Someone the Cold Shoulder: act hostile toward someone; to ignore, snub

Give Someone The Old Heave-Ho: Fire someone, remove someone from a group or team

Give Something a Whirl: Attempt something without being totally familiar with it

Give the Green Light: Approve something; allow something to proceed

Idioms (H)

List of English idioms that start with H.


Hail Mary (n. or adj.): A desperate, last-ditch attempt

Hair of the Dog (That Bit You): A small amount of the alcoholic beverage that caused your hangover

Hands are Tied: You are prevented from doing something. It is not within your power

Hands Down: Undoubtedly

Hang It Up: To retire, to end an activity one has pursued for a long time

Hang Tough: Maintain one’s resolve

Hanging by a Thread: In great danger of elimination or failure

Happy-Go-Lucky: If you are a happy-go-lucky person, you are cheerful and carefree all the time.

Hard Nut to Crack: A difficult problem or a difficult person

Has the Cat Got Your Tongue?: Why are you not saying anything?

Hat Trick: Scoring three goals in hockey or soccer (football), or accomplishing three of anything.

Hatchet Job: A strong attack on someone’s reputation; intentionally destructive criticism; calumny

Haul Over the Coals: To scold someone severely

Have (one’s) head in the clouds: Not know what is happening around you or out of touch with reality

Have A Ball: To have a very enjoyable time

Have a Bone to Pick (with Someone): To want to discuss something someone has done that has angered or annoyed you.

Have a Bone to Pick (with Someone): To want to discuss something someone has done that has angered or annoyed you.

Have a Chip on One’s Shoulder: To harbor resentment; to have an angry attitude

Have a Dog in the Hunt (Fight, Race): To support a certain person in a competition

Have a Lead Foot: A tendency to drive very fast

Have a Lot on One’s Plate: Be busy, be in the middle of many ongoing tasks

Have a Lot Riding On (Something): Be depending on the successful outcome or development of something

Have a Nose for (Something): To have natural ability at something, a talent for finding something

Have a Screw Loose: Be slightly unbalanced or crazy

Have a Tough Row to Hoe: Be faced with a task that is difficult because of unfavorable conditions

Have A Whale of A Time: To enjoy yourself very much

Have an Ace Up One’s Sleeve: To have a hidden advantage

Have Bigger Fish to Fry: Have more important things to do

Have Egg on Your Face: They are made to look foolish or embarrassed

Have Foot-in-Mouth Disease: To embarrass oneself through a silly mistake

Have Hand of Aces/Hold All the Aces: To be in a very strong position in a competition

Have It Out with Someone: To have an argument with someone in order to settle a dispute

Have One Foot in The Grave: To be near death (usually because of old age or illness)

Have One Over the Eight: A person is slightly drunk.

Have One Too Many: Drink too much alcohol

Have One’s Cake and Eat It, Too: To want two incompatible things (usually used in the negative)

Have Skin in the Game: Be risking something in an undertaking

Have Something in the Bag: Be certain to win

Have the Hots for (Somebody): To be (sexually) attracted to somebody

Have the Hots for Somebody: Finding somebody extremely attractive

Have The Time of Your Life: If you have the time of our life, you enjoy yourself very much.

Have the Time of Your Life: To have a very fun, exciting, or enjoyable time

Have Your Nose in the Air: Have a snobbish or disdainful attitude

Have Your Say: Express your opinion on something

Have Your Thumb Up Your Ass: Have nothing to do

He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best: Being victorious is often a matter of simply surviving a conflict

He Would Put Legs Under A Chicken: He will talk your head off; he is very talkative

Head (Go) South: Decline, get worse

Head and Shoulders Above: Far superior to

Head and Shoulders: Above Far superior to

Head Start: An advantage over everyone else

Heads Up (excl.): Get ready! Be prepared

Heads Up!: Be careful!

Heads Will Roll (Are Going to Roll): People will be fired

Heads Will Roll (Are Going to Roll): People will be fired

Hear (Something) Through the Grapevine: To learn something via gossip

Heart and Soul: With all one’s energy or affection

Heavens Open: Start to rain heavily

Heavy Hitter: A powerful, influential person

Helicopter Parenting: Overattentive child-raising

Hell for Leather: Very fast, as fast as possible

High as a Kite: Strongly under the influence of drugs or intoxcants

High as a Kite: Strongly under the influence of drugs or intoxcants

High as a Kite: Strongly under the influence of drugs or intoxcants

Hightail It (Out of There): Flee

Highways and Byways: You take large and small roads to visit every part of the country.

Hit a Wall: suddenly stop making forward progress

Hit It Out of the Park: Succeed brilliantly

Hit the Books: To study (generally said of students

Hit the Ground Running: To begin a job or project with no learning or training period needed

Hit the Hay: To go to bed

Hit the Jackpot: Do something that brings great success

Hit the Nail on the Head: To be absolutely correct (said of an utterance)

Hit the Road: To leave

Hit the Roof: Explode in rage; become extremely angry

Hit the Roof: To become very angry

Hit the Sack: To go to bed

Hit the Spot: Be very satisfying (said of something eaten)

Hive Mind: The knowledge of humans as a group

Hobson’s Choice: A choice among bad options

Hold One’s Liquor: Be able to drink a large amount without being affected

Hold One’s Peace: Be silent

Hold the Phone: Wait a moment (whether you’re on the phone or not)

Hold the Phone: Wait a moment (whether you’re on the phone or not)

Hold Your Horses (generally excl.): Stop; restrain yourself; don’t be so excited

Home Away from Home: A habitual hangout; a place one frequents often and where one feels welcome

Home Truths: Honest, often painful criticism

Honor System: A system of payments that relies on the honesty of those paying

Hot Mess: Something or someone in a state of extreme disorder

Hot on the Heels (of): In close pursuit

Hot on the Heels (of): In close pursuit

Hot Potato: A controversial subject or difficult project that is best avoided


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of English idioms that start with I.

I Wouldn’t Put It Past (Someone): I think it’s quite possible that [this person] would do this.

If It Had Been a Snake, It Would Have Bitten Me: It was very obvious, but I missed it.

If the Shoe Fits, Wear It: If this description of you is accurate, accept it.

I’m All Ears: You have my attention, so you should talk

In a Fog: Confused, not mentally alert

In a Heartbeat: Immediately. This is especially used in hypothetical situations

In a Jam: In need of help, in a difficult spot

In a New York Minute: Very quickly

In a Nutshell: Expressed in a few words

In a Pickle: In need of help, in a difficult spot

In a Rut: Confined by routine, bored and seeking new experiences

In Broad Daylight: When something occurs in broad daylight, it means the event is clearly visible

In Clover: Benefiting from a positive financial situation

In For a Penny, In for a Pound: Committed to something even though the risks are increasing

In Full Swing: When something, such as an event, gets into full swing, it is at its busiest or liveliest time.

In His Cups: Drunk

In Hot Water: In need of help; in trouble

In One Fell Swoop: All at once, in a single action

In One’s Element: In a situation which is entirely suitable, familiar, or enjoyable.

In Someone’s Wheelhouse: In someone’s strongest area of competence or enthusiasm

In Touch: In contact

In the Blink of an Eye: Quickly, seemingly instantaneously

In the Cards: Likely; likely to occur

In the Crosshairs (Cross Hairs): Targeted for blame or criticism

In the Dark: Not informed

In the Dark: Unaware of something

In the Driver’s Seat: In a dominant position, in control

In the Hot Seat: Undergoing criticism or scrutiny; under pressure publicly

In the Interim: It denotes a period of time between something that ended and something that happened afterwards

In the Limelight, In the Spotlight: Receiving large amounts of publicity or attention

In the Long Run: Over an extended period of time

In the Nick of Time: Just in time; with no time to spare

In the opinion of the speaker, a person has just spent money unnecessarily and is, therefore, a fool.

In the Pipeline: Being prepared for the marketplace, being worked on

In the Red: Losing money; (of a market index) below a specified starting point

In the Same Boat: In a similar situation; similarly vulnerable

In the Toilet: In disastrous condition

In the Works: Under development; coming soon

Iron Out (Problems, Difficulties): To resolve

Is the Pope Catholic?: Isn’t the answer obvious?

It Never Rains but It Pours: Bad luck and bad things tend to happen at the same time

It Takes Two to Tango: When something goes wrong involving two people, it’s likely that they share the blame; cooperation is necessary

It Takes Two to Tango: You say this when you think that a difficult situation or argument cannot be the fault of one person alone.

It Won’t Fly: It won’t work; it won’t be approved.

Itchy Feet: A person who has itchy feet is someone who finds it difficult to stay in one place and likes to travel and discover new places.

It’s a Wash: A positive and a negative development cancel each other out, so the situation has neither improved nor gotten worse

It’s All Greek to Me: It is unintelligible, impossible to understand

It’s No Skin off My (Your) Nose (Back): The outcome will not affect me personally

It’s Not Over Till the Fat Lady Sings: Do not give up too soon; things may improve.

It’s Not Rocket Science: It’s not difficult to understand.

I’ve Had It Up to Here: My patience is almost exhausted.


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of common English idioms that start with J.

Jack of All Trades: A person with a wide variety of skills

Jam Session: Playing improvised music in an informal setting

Jim Crow: The system of racial segregation in the American South prior to the American civil rights movement.

Join the Club (excl.): I feel sympathy for you because I have experienced something similar.

Jump in with Both Feet: Begin a new experience wholeheartedly

Jump on the Bandwagon: To follow a trend or craze

Jump on the Bandwagon: To follow a trend; follow the crowd

Jump the Gun: Start doing something too soon

Jump the Shark: To pass peak quality and begin to decline. Often used to describe television programs or movie series.

Jump the Track: To shift suddenly from one activity or line of thought to another

Jump Through Hoops: Complete a series of tasks in order to satisfy someone

Just Around the Corner: Occurring soon

Just for the Record: I would like to make it clear that …

Just What the Doctor Ordered: Exactly the thing that is or was needed to help improve something or make one feel better

Idioms (K)

List of common English idioms that start with K.


Kangaroo Court: A court of law where proper procedures are not followed at all; a sham judicial proceeding

Keep (Something) at Bay: Maintain a distance from something or someone

Keep a Stiff Upper Lip: Control one’s emotions; not give in to fear or grief

Keep an Eye On: To keep an eye on something or someone is to watch it periodically, to keep it under surveillance.

Keep an Eye Peeled: Be observant; watch out for something

Keep It Under Your Hat: Don’t tell anyone; don’t reveal this secret

Keep Someone at Arm’s Length: Avoid close interaction or cooperation

Keep Your Nose Clean: Avoid trouble or situations that compromise one’e honesty

Keep Your Powder Dry: Do not attack until you are ready.

Keeping One’s Nose to the Grindstone: Working hard on something repetitive or tedious

Kick Ass, Kick Butt: 1) Defeat badly; 2) be excellent or highly effective (only kick ass would be used for 2)

Kick the Bucket: To die

Kick the Can Down the Road: Postpone an important decision

Kill a Fly With an Elephant Gun: Approach a problem with excessive measures

Kill Two Birds with One Stone: Act in such a way as to produce two desirable effects

Kill Two Birds with One Stone: Solve two problems with one move

Kill the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg: To destroy a source of ongoing profits or benefits

Kink in One’s Neck: A cramp in one’s neck that causes pain

King of the Hill: At the top of one’s field; the most influential person in a given field or area

Kiss and Make Up: Make peace after an argument

Kith and Kin: Family (collectively)

Knock on Wood; Touch Wood: Let’s hope I have good luck or continue to have good luck.

Knock Some Sense Into: To beat someone in order to teach him/her a lesson. May be used figuratively.

Knock Someone’s Socks Off: Amaze someone

Knock Up: To impregnate a woman. Often used in the form knocked up.

Knockout: An extremely beautiful woman

Know (Something) Like the Back of One’s Hand: To be very familiar with something, especially an area


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of common English idioms that start with L.

Larger Than Life: Conveying a sense of greatness, imposing

Last But Not Least: What I have just said does not reflect a ranking in importance.

Laughter is the Best Medicine: Laughing a lot is a very effective means of recovering from physical or mental injury

Learn the Ropes: Become more familiar with a job or field of endeavor; be trained

Leave Someone in the Lurch: Abandon someone in a difficult situation

Lend an Ear: Listen

Let Bygones Be Bygones: Agree to forget about a past conflict

Let Bygones Be Bygones: Agree to forget about a past conflict

Let Off Steam: To express anger and frustration in a way that does no damage

Let One’s Hair Down: To relax and enjoy themselves.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: To avoid stirring up a problem; to leave things alone

Let the Cat Out of the Bag: Reveal a secret, usually a secret you or others are trying to keep

Let the Genie Out of the Bottle: Reveal something hitherto suppressed

Letter of the Law: The explicit meaning of a law, as opposed to the spirit of the law, the law’s general intention

Lick One’s Wounds: Rest after a bad defeat

Life is A Bowl of Cherries: Life is wonderful or very pleasant

Light a Fire Under Someone: Inspire someone to work very hard

Light at the End of the Tunnel: A sign of hope after a long period of difficulties

Like a Kid in a Candy Store: To be so excited about one’s surroundings that one acts in a childlike or silly way

Like a Moth to a Flame: Drawn to something or someone despite the dangers

Like Father, Like Son: Sons inherit their fathers’ traits and preferences, often even without realizing it.

Like Shooting: Fish in a Barrel Very easy

Like Taking Candy from a Baby: Very easy

Like Two Peas in a Pod: Bearing a strong resemblance

Like The Cat That Got The Cream: Looking particularly self-satisfied, often to the annoyance of others

Lion’s Den: Any dangerous or frightening place.

Lion’s Share: The largest part of something

Live Large: Have a luxurious lifestyle

Living in Cloud Cuckooland: Having unrealistic or foolish beliefs or plans.

Living on Borrowed Time: Following an illness or near-death experience, may people believe they have cheated death

Living Under a Rock: Ignorant of important events. Usually used as a question: Have you been living under a rock?

Loaded for Bear: Prepared for problems, well prepared for a challenge

Loan Shark: A predatory lender; one who makes high-interest loans to desperate people

Lock Horns: To lock horns is to argue, to come into conflict.

Long Shot: Something with little chance of success

Look the Other Way: Take no notice of violations of laws or rules, unofficially condone something

Look What the Cat Dragged In: Someone unwelcome has arrived.

Loose Cannon: Someone out of control; someone who speaks or acts recklessly

Lose It: To suddenly become unable to behave or think in a sensible way

Lose One’s Touch: Suffer a decline in one’s skill at doing something

Lose Touch: To fall out of contact

Lose the Thread: Be unable to follow someone’s reasoning

Love at First Sight: Falling in love with somebody the first time you see them

Love Rat: Somebody who cheats on his/her partner

Love Someone With All of One’s Heart And Soul: To love someone completely

Lower the Boom: Implement a punishment; reprimand severely

Low-Hanging Fruit: Easy parts of a task; solutions easy to obtain


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of common English idioms that start with M.

Mad As A Box Of (Soapy) Frogs: extremely mentally unstable; psychotic; detached from reality.

Mad as A Hatter: Mentally ill, psychotic

Main Squeeze: Committed romantic partner

Make a Break for It: Try to escape, run off

Make a Mountain out of a Molehill: To take something too seriously; to make too much of something

Make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear: Turn something ordinary or inferior into something refined and beautiful

Make Ends Meet: Have enough money to cover basic expenses

Make Hay (While the Sun Shines): To take advantage of an opportunity at the right time.

Make Love: To have sexual intercourse

Make Nice: Act cordial despite conflict

Make One’s Mark: Attain influence or recognition

Make Someone’s Day: Do something pleasing that puts someone in a good mood

Make Waves: Cause controversy, disturb a calm group dynamic

Man Cave: A part of the house, often the basement, that is left to the man of the household, perhaps with a workshop, a television for watching sports, etc.

March to the Beat of Your Own Drum: When someone does things the way they want to, without taking anybody else or anything else into consideration.

Match Made in Heaven: A relationship in which the two people are great together, because they complement each other so well

May-December (adj.): Significantly different in age. Said of couples where one member is much older. The most common usage is May-December romance.

May-December Marriage: A marriage between a younger and an older partner, typically a young woman and an old man.

Me Time: Activities undertaken for one’s own enjoyment, free from responsibilities to others.

Meeting of the Minds: Strong instinctive agreement on something

Mend Fences: Improve relations after a dispute

Mind One’s P’s and Q’s: Be attentive to details; be on one’s best behavior

Miss the Boat: Be too late for something; miss an opportunity

Monday Morning Quarterback: Someone who offers criticisms or comments after already knowing the outcome of something

Month of Sundays: A long time, many months

More Fun Than A Barrel of Monkeys: A very good time; a pleasant occasion

Mother Nature: The natural world

Move Heaven and Earth: Take all possible steps in trying to accomplish something

Move the Needle: Have a measurable effect on something

Move Up in the World: Become more successful

Movers and Shakers: Influential people, especially in a particular field

Much Of A Muchness: Essentially equal, not significantly different (said of a choice)

Mum’s the Word: This is secret; don’t talk about this. Often used as an answer to a request not to talk about something.

Music to My Ears: Good to hear; welcome news

Mutton Dressed Up as Lamb: A woman who dresses in a style appropriate to someone of a younger age

My Dogs Are Barking: My feet hurt.

My Old Man, My Old Lady: My spouse

My Way or the Highway: If you do not do things the way I want or require, then you can just leave or not participate.


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-

List of common English idioms that start with N.

Nail-Biter: A suspenseful event

Nailing Jelly/Jello/Pudding To A Wall/Tree: An impossible task

Neck and Neck: Very close in a competition, with neither of two entities clearly in the lead

Neck of the Woods: A region, especially one’s home region

Nest Egg: Retirement savings; wealth saved for a future purpose

Never in A Million Years: Absolutely never

Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: It’s rude to examine a gift closely; accept gifts politely.

New Wrinkle: A novel aspect to a situation, a new development

Nice Chunk of Change: A large amount of money

Nickel and Dime: To negotiate over very small sums; to try to get a better financial deal, in a negative way

Nine Times Out of Ten: Almost always

Nine-to-Five Job: A routine job in an office that involves standard office hours

Nip (Something) In The Bud: Deal with a problem before it becomes large

No Holds Barred (usually adj., often hyphenated): Unrestricted, without rules

No Love Lost Between: There is a mutual animosity between two people

No Names, No Pack Drill: By not accusing anyone specifically, I may avoid trouble.

No Names, No Pack Drill: If no one can be identified, no one will be punished.

No Rhyme or Reason (to): Without logic or pattern

No Room to Swing A Cat: Very small, not big enough

No Shit, Sherlock: That’s very obvious!

No Tree Grows to the Sky: Growth cannot continue indefinitely.

Not Cut Out for (Something): Not naturally skillful enough to do something well

Not Enough Room to Swing a Cat: A very small space

Not Give A Fig: To not care at all about something

Not Have A Cat In Hell’s Chance: Have no possibility of succeeding, coming to pass, or achieving something

Not Have a Prayer: Have no chance of success

Not Know Jack: Not know anything

Not Lift a Finger: Do nothing to help

Not Mince Words: Moderate or weaken a statement

Not One’s Cup of Tea: Not something one is interested in

Not Playing with A Full Deck: Stupid, mentally deficient or impaired

Not Ready for Prime Time: Not yet perfected; inexperienced

Not Sit Well with (Someone): Be difficult to accept; make someone uncomfortable

Nothing to Write Home About: Unspectacular, ordinary

Nuts and Bolts: Everyday details of something

Nutty as a Fruitcake: Crazy; idiotic; wacky.

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-

List of common English idioms that start with P.


Pack Heat: Carry a gun

Paddle One’s Own Canoe: To be able to act independently.

Page-Turner: A page-turner is an exciting book that’s easy to read, a book that’s difficult to put down.

Pain in the Ass; Pain in the Butt;

Pain in the Neck: Someone or something making your life difficult

Paint the Town Red: Go out drinking and partying

Par for the Course: What would normally be expected. This has a negative connotation.

Pass the Buck: Transfer a problem to someone else

Pass With Flying Colors: To succeed brilliantly, as on an exam or other test

Passing Fancy: A temporary interest or attraction

Pay Through the Nose (For Something): Pay a large amount of money

Peaches and Cream: A situation, process, etc., that has no trouble or problems

Pecking Order: Hierarchy, rank of importance

Pencil Something In: Make tentative arrangements

Penny-Pinching: Frugal, avoiding expenses whenever possible

Pep Talk: An encouraging speech given to a person or group

Perfect Storm: A rare combination of disastrous occurrences

Pet Peeve: A small thing that you find particularly annoying

Pick a Fight: Intentionally provoke a conflict or fight with someone

Pick Up the Slack: Do something that someone else is not doing; assume someone else’s responsibilities

Pick Up the Tab: To pay a bill presented to a group, especially in a restaurant or bar

Pie in the Sky: Something that is unrealistic or that cannot be achieved

Piece of Cake: Very easily done

Pin Someone Down: Demand a decision or clear answer

Pinch Pennies: To be careful with money, to be thrify

Pink Slip: A layoff notice; loss of a job, typically because of layoffs

Pipe Dream: An unrealistic hope, a fantasy

Piping Hot: Very hot (generally said of food)

Pipped to the Post: Defeated by a narrow margin

Pissing Contest: A meaningless argument or competition, typically between males

Play Ball: Cooperate, agree to participate

Play Cat And Mouse: Trying to trick someone into making a mistake so you can defeat them.

Play Hardball: Adopt a tough negotiating position; act aggressively

Play it by Ear: To play a piece of music without referencing sheet music or a recording

Play It by Ear: To respond to circumstances instead of having a fixed plan

Play the Percentages: Bet on or rely on what is most likely to happen

Play the Ponies: Bet on horse racing.

Play With Fire: Do something very risky

Play Your Cards Right: Exploit a situation to your best advantage

Point of No Return: A place from which it is impossible to go back to the starting point

Point the Finger At: Blame (someone)

Point the Finger: At Blame (someone)

Poison Pill (n): A provision or feature added to a measure or an entity to make it less attractive, an undesirable add-on

Poison Pill: A provision or feature added to a measure or an entity to make it less attractive, an undesirable add-on

Pop One’s Clogs: To die

Pop One’s Cork: To release one’s anger; to blow one’s top

Pop the Question: Propose marriage

Pot Calling the Kettle Black: Accusing someone of something of which you are also guilty; being hypocritical

Pour (Rub) Salt into (on) the Wound (an open wound): Worsen an insult or injury; make a bad situation worse for someone

Powder Keg: An explosive situation, a situation in which people are angry and ready to be violent

Powder Keg: An explosive situation, a situation in which people are angry and ready to be violent

Powder One’s Nose: To use the restroom (lavatory). This is used by women

Preach to the Choir, Preach to the Converted: To make an argument with which your listeners already agree

Preaching to the Choir: Making arguments to those who already agree with you

Pretty Penny: A lot of money; too much money (when referring to the cost of something)

Price Yourself Out of the Market: Try to sell goods or services at such a high price that nobody buys them.

Puddle Jumper: A small airplane, used on short trips

Pull Out All the Stops: Do everything possible to accomplish something

Pull Strings: Use influence that’s based on personal connections

Pull the Plug On: Terminate (something)

Pull Yourself Together: Control your emotions; recover from a strong emptional upset

Puppies And Rainbows: Perfect, ideal (usually used slightly sarcastically, in contrast with a less ideal situation)

Puppy Dog Eyes: A begging look

Puppy Love: Adolescent love or infatuation, especially one that is not expected to last

Pure as the Driven Snow: To be innocent and chaste (frequently used ironically)

Push the Envelope: Go beyond common ways of doing something, be innovative

Pushing Up Daisies: Dead

Pushing Up Daisies: Dead and buried

Put a Thumb on the Scale: Try to influence a discussion in an unfair way, cheat

Put Down Roots: Establish oneself in a place; settle

Put in One’s Two Cents: Say your opinion

Put Lipstick on a Pig: Make cosmetic changes to something bad

Put one’s Face On: Apply cosmetics

Put Out Feelers: Make discreet, informal suggestions, ask around

Put Someone on the Spot: Force someone to answer a question or make a decision immediately

Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It: Accept and consider what I’m saying, even if you don’t like it!

Put the Best Face On (Something): Emphasize the positive aspects of a bad situation

Put the Brakes On: Slow something down

Put the Cart Before The Horse: To do things in the wrong order

Put the Cart Before the Horse: To do things out of the proper order.

Put the Cat Among The Pigeons: Say or do something that causes trouble or controversy

Put the Genie Back in the Bottle: Try to suppress something that has already been revealed or done

Put the Pedal to the Metal: Drive as fast as possible

Put Up with (Something): Tolerate, accept

Put Words Into Someone’s Mouth: Attributing an opinion to someone who has never stated that opinion

Put Your Foot Down: Use your authority to stop negative behavior

Put Your Foot In Your Mouth: Say something that you immediately regret

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Back up your opinions with a financial commitment

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-

List of common English idioms that start with Q.

Quake In One’s Boots: To be very frightened

Quarter Past: Fifteen minutes after the hour

Quarter To/Of: Fifteen minutes before the hour

Queer the Pitch: Interfere with someone’s plans; make something more difficult

Quick as a Flash: Very fast

Quick-and-Dirty: Approximate, hastily done

Quote Unquote: Ironically speaking; suggesting that if a phrase were written out, it would be in quotation marks to convey sarcasm


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of commonly used English idioms that start with R.

Race Against Time: To rush to meet a deadline, to be forced to do something very quickly

Rain Cats And Dogs: Rain heavily

Rain Cats and Dogs: Rain very heavily

Rain on Someone’s Parade: Spoil someone’s plans

Raise (Someone’s) Hackles: Make someone angry and defensive

Raise One’s Voice: Talk loudly

Raise Red Flags: Warn of trouble ahead

Raise the Bar: Increase standards in a certain competition or area of endeavor

Raise the Roof: Make a great deal of noise (said of a crowd)

Rake (Someone) Over the Coals: To scold someone severely

Rake Over the Ashes: Restart a settled argument; examine a failure

Rake Someone Over the Coals: Scold severely

Rank and File: The ordinary members of an organization

Read Between the Lines: Perceive what is not explicitly stated

Read the Tea Leaves: Predict the future from small signs

Rear Its Ugly Head (said of a problem or something unpleasant): Appear, be revealed

Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic: Taking superficial actions while ignoring a much larger and perhaps fatal problem

Red Flag: A warning; a sign of trouble ahead

Red Herring: A misleading clue; something intended to mislead

Red Meat: Political appeals designed to excite one’s core supporters; demagoguery

Red Tape: Bureaucracy; difficult bureaucratic or governmental requirements

Red-Light District: A neighborhood with many houses of prostitution

Reinvent the Wheel: Devise a solution to a problem for which a solution already exists

Riding High: Enjoying success

Right as Rain: Absolutely correct

Right Under (One’s) Nose: In an obvious location, yet overlooked

Right-Hand Man: Chief assistant

Right-Hand Man: Chief assistant

Ring a Bell: Sound familiar

Ring a Bell: When something seems familiar

Rob Peter to Pay Paul: Pay off a debt with another loan; solve a problem in such a way that it leads to a new problem

Rob the Cradle: To be sexually or romantically involved with someone who is very young

Rob the Cradle: To be sexually or romantically involved with someone who is very young

Rock Bottom: An absolute low point

Rock the Boat: Cause a disruption in a group. Often used in the negative: don’t rock the boat.

Roll the Dice On: Take a risk

Roll With the Punches: Deal with problems by being flexible

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day: Complex projects take time

Rookie Mistake: An error made by an inexperienced person

Rotten to the Core: Entirely evil

Rub (Something) in Someone’s Face: Humiliate someone by repeating and criticizing his or her mistake

Rub It In: Say something that makes someone feel even worse about a mistake

Rub Someone’s Nose in (Something): Humiliate someone by repeating and criticizing his or her mistake

Rubber-Stamp (v.): Approve something without consideration, as a formality

Rule of Thumb: A general principle or guideline, not a specific formula

Run a Tight Ship: Manage an organization in a strict, well-regulated way

Run in the Family: Be inherited (as a trait) by multiple members of a family

Run in the Family: To be a common family characteristic

Run into a Buzz: Saw Encounter severe and unexpected problems

Run into a Buzz: Saw Encounter severe and unexpected problems

Run off at the Mouth: Talk a lot about unimportant things, talk incoherently

Run on Fumes: To be in a situation where one’s energy or resources is almost exhausted

Run Out of Steam: Lose momentum, become tired

Run the Table: Win every game or contest


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of commonly used English idioms that start with S.

Sacred Cow: An indvidual or organization that one cannot criticize

Saving Grace: Something that redeems a bad situation

Scare the Living Daylights Out of Someone: Frighten someone severely

Scorched Earth (Tactics, Policy, etc.): Ruthless, extremely destructive

Screw The Pooch: To make a serious error

School Of Hard Knocks: Difficult real-life experiences from which one has learned

Second Banana: A person in a subservient position

Second Stringer: A substitute player in a sport; a substitute for a job who is not the most talented person

Second Wind: Renewed energy

See Eye to Eye: To concur, agree

See Something Out of the Corner of Your Eye: Use peripheral vision

Seize (Take) the Bull By the Horns: Attack a problem directly

Seize the Day: Take an opportunity

Sell (Someone) a Bill of Goods: Trick someone; be deceptive

Sell Like Hotcakes: Be sold very quickly

Selling Point: An attractive feature of something for sale

Set in Stone: Fixed; unchangeable

Set something to Music: To write a piece of music to accompany a set of words

Set the Bar (Too) High: To set a high standard for something

Set the Thames on Fire: Do something amazing. Usually used in the negative.

Set the World on Fire: Do something amazing; have a brilliant stretch in one’s career

Shake the Dust off Your Shoes (Feet): Make a clean break with a relationship or situation

Shape Up or Ship Out: Behave properly or leave the organization

Sharp as A Tack: Mentally agile

Shell Game: A method of deception in which you conceal your actions by moving something frequently

Shift Gears: Change the subject, or change what one is doing

Shipshape And Bristol Fashion: Tidy, clean

Shit a Brick: Be extremely fearful.

Shoot from the Hip: Talk or act without consideration

Shoot Off One’s Mouth: Talk without considering one’s words

Shoot Oneself In The Foot: Do something that damages oneself or one’s own cause

Short Fuse: A quick temper; a tendency to anger quickly

Shot Across the Bow: A warning of more serious actions to come

Shoulder A Weight Off Your Shoulders: You no longer worry about something or deal with something difficult

Show Me an X And I’ll Show You a Y: There is a consequence to X that you may not have thought of.

Show One’s True Colors: Reveal one’s true nature

Show Your Cards: Reveal your resources or plans

Sick and Tired of: Extremely annoyed by something that occurs repeatedly

Sick as a Dog: Extremely ill.

Sick as a Parrot: Very disappointed

Sight for Sore Eyes: A sight that makes you happy

Silver Bullet: Something simple that resolves a difficult problem

Simmer Down: Become less angry; regain one’s composure

Sink or Swim: Fail or succeed

Sing a Different Tune: Change your opinion

Sit On (Something): Delay revealing or acting on something

Sit Tight: Wait and do not go anywhere

Sitting Duck: Something or someone easily attacked or criticized

Sitting Pretty: In a favorable situation

Six Feet Under: Dead and buried

Six Feet Under: Dead and buried

Six of One, a Half Dozen of the Other: The two choices have no significant differences.

Six Ways to (from) Sunday: In every possible way

Slam Dunk: An effort that is certain to succeed

Sleep Like a Baby: To experience a very deep and restful sleep; to sleep soundly

Sleep with the Fishes: Dead, often by murder

Slip Someone a Mickey: Add a drug to an alcoholic drink in order to knock someone out

Slippery Slope: A series of undesirable effects that, one warns, could result from a certain action

Slower than Molasses: Exceptionally slow or sluggish; not fast at all.

Small Beer: Unimportant, insignificant

Small Fry: People or organizations with little influence; children

Small Potatoes: Unimportant, insignificant

Smell a Rat: Suspect deception

Smoking Gun: indisputable evidence of a crime

Snafu: A malfunction; a chaotic situation

Snake Oil: A useless medicine; a quack remedy; a product or measure promoted as a solution that really does nothing to help

Snake Oil: Medicine of unproven value; fraudulent medicine

Sneak Peek: A sneak peek is an opportunity to view something in advance of its official opening or debut

Soak Up the Sun: To enjoy the sun

Sold On (Something): Convinced of something

Some Eggs: Achieving a major goal requires the ability to tolerate some problems

Someone’s Fingerprints Are All Over (Something): Someone’s influence is evident

Something to Crow: About Something to be proud of, an accomplishment about which one is justified in bragging

Son of a Gun: 1) A rogue. 2) An exclamation of surprise.

Sore Point: A sensitive topic for a particular person

Sour Grapes: Disparagement of something that has proven unattainable

Sour Grapes: Spiteful disparagment of a goal one has failed to achieve

Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child: It is necessary to physically punish children in order to raise them right.

Speak of the Devil (and He Shall Appear): The person we have just been talking about has entered.

Speak with A Plum in (one’s) Mouth: To speak in a manner that is indicative of a high social class.

Spick and Span: Clean and neat

Spill the Beans: Reveal a secret

Spin A Yarn: Tell a story

Spin One’s Wheels: Engaging in activity that yields no progress; getting nowhere

Spit into The Wind: Wasting time on something futile

Spoiling for a Fight: Combative, wanting conflict, eager to argue or fight

Spoiling for a Fight: Combative, wanting conflict, eager to argue or fight

Square the Circle: Attempt an impossible task

Stab Someone in the Back: To betray (somebody)

Stalking Horse: Someone who tests a concept in advance of its application; a candidate who enters a political race in order to test the strength of the incumbent

Stand (Someone) In Good Stead: Be useful in the future

Stand On One’s Own Two Feet: To be independent and self-sufficient

Stand One’s Ground: Refuse to back down; insist on one’s position

Start with a Clean Slate: To start (something) again with a fresh beginning; to work on a problem without thinking about what has been done before

Steal Someone’s Thunder: Upstage someone

Stem the Tide: To stop or control the growth of something, usually something unpleasant.

Step Up One’s Game: Work to advance to a higher level of a competition

Step Up to the Plate: Prepare to take action, be the person in a group who takes action

Stick It to the Man: Do something that frustrates those in authority

Stick Your Nose into Something: Intrude into something that is not your affair

Sticker Shock: Surprise at the high price of something

Stick-in-the-Mud: A person who dislikes or adapts slowly to new ideas

Sticky Wicket: A difficult, tricky situation

Stiff-Necked: Stubborn; excessively formal

Storm in a Teacup: A commotion that dies down quickly, about something unimportant

Stormy Relationship: Relationship that has a lot arguments and disagreement

Stumbling Block: An obstacle, physical or abstract

Straight Arrow: An honest, trustworthy person

Strain at a Gnat and Swallow a Camel: To make a fuss over something unimportant while ignoring larger issues

Strike A Chord: Used to describe something that is familiar to you, reminds you of something or is connected to you somehow.

Sugar Daddy: A rich man who is generous with younger women in return for sexual favors

Sure-Fire: Certain to occur

Swan Song: A final appearance

Swan Song: This expression is used to describe a final act before dying or ending something.

Sweep Under the Carpet: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error

Sweep Under the Rug: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error

Sweet Dreams!: Sleep well!

Sweeten the Deal: Add something to an offer during a negotiation

Sweeten the Pot: Increase the amount of winnings potentially available in a game of chance, especially poker

Swim Against the Tide: Do something contrary to a trend or usual opinion

Swim with Sharks: To take a major risk

Swim with the Fishes: Have been killed, especially with involvement of organized crime

Swing for the Fences: Attempt to achieve the largest accomplishment possible

Swing for the Fences: Attempt to achieve the largest accomplishment possible

Sword of Damocles: Something that causes a feeling of constant threat.


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of useful English idioms that start with T.

Take (Someone) to the Cleaners: 1) Swindle; 2) defeat badly

Take a Deep Dive (Into): Explore something extensively

Take a Flyer: To take a rise; especially to make a speculative investment

Take a Gander: Go to take a look at something

Take a Hike: Go away

Take A Powder: To leave, especially in order to avoid a difficult situation

Take a Rain Check: Decline an invitation but suggest that you’ll accept it at a later time.

Take Five (Ten): Take a short break of five (ten) minutes

Take Five: To take one brief (about five minutes) rest period

Take It Easy: 1) Relax, rest; 2) (as a command) Calm down!

Take It Easy: Don’t hurry; relax; don’t get angry

Take It Easy: When you relax, or do things at a comfortable pace, you take it easy.

Take It on The Chin: Be attacked; suffer an attack

Take It or Leave It (command): You must decide now whether you will accept this proposal

Take Someone to Task: Reprimand someone strongly

Take Something with a Pinch (grain) of Salt: If you take what someone says with a pinch of salt, you do not completely believe it.

Take the Cake: Be the most extreme instance

Take the Edge Off (of Something): To slightly improve something negative

Take the Fifth: Refuse to answer because answering might incriminate or cause problems for you

Take the Gloves Off: Negotiate in a more aggressive way

Take the High Road: Refuse to descend to immoral activities or personal attacks

Take The Mickey (Piss) (Out Of Someone): Make fun of or ridicule someone

Take the Shine Off (Something): To do something that diminishes a positive event

Take the Starch out of (Someone): Make someone less confident or less arrogant

Take The Wind Out of Someone’s Sails: To reduce someone’s confidence, ofte by doing something unexpected

Take Your Life in Your Hands: Undergo extreme risk

Take Your Medicine: Accept something unpleasant, for example, punishment, without protesting or complaining

Take Your Time: Don’t hurry, work at a relaxed pace

Taste of Your Own Medicine: The same unpleasant experience or treatment that one has given to others

Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: To change someone’s long-established habits. Usually used in the negative: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Tear One’s Hair out: Be extremely worried or frustrated

Tear-Jerker: A film or book that makes you cry

Tee Many Martoonies: Too many martinis, scrambled to suggest drunkenness

Tell It to the Marines: I don’t believe you; you must think I’m gullible.

Tempest in a Teapot: A commotion about something unimportant

Ten a Penny: Ordinary, inexpensive

Ten to One: Something very likely

Test the Waters: Experiment with something cautiously

Test the Waters: Try something out in a preliminary way

Tie the Knot: Get married

Tighten the Screws: Increase pressure on someone

Tight-Lipped: secretive, unwilling to explain something

Til the Cows Come Home: For a very long time

Time is Money: time is valuable, so don’t waste it.

Tip of the Iceberg: A small, visible part of a much larger problem

Tip One’s Hand: Reveal one’s advantages; reveal useful information that one possesses

TLC: Tender Loving Care

To be A Peach: Someone or something that is extremely good, impressive, or attractive

To be Smitten With Someone: To be completely captivated by someone and feel immense joy

To be someone’s One and Only: To be unique to the other person

To be the Apple of Someone’s Eye: To be loved and treasured by someone

To Bear Fruit: To develop in a profitable or positive way

To Bear Fruit: To develop in a profitable or positive way

To Carpool: To travel to the same place with a group of people in one car. e.g. work/school

To Each His Own: People have different tastes.

To Get Cold Feet: To experience reluctance or fear

To Have a Chip on One’s Shoulder: To be combative, to be consistently argumentative

To Have Butterflies In Your Stomach: To be nervous

To Have One For the Road: To have one last (alcoholic) drink before you go home

To Pay an Arm and a Leg: A very high cost

To Pop (one’s) Cherry: To do something for the first time

To Pull Someone’s Leg: Lie playfully

To Run Hot and Cold: To be unable to make up one’s mind

To the Letter: Exactly (said of instructions or procedures)

Toe the Line: Accept authority, follow the rules

Tone-Deaf: Not good at perceiving the impact of one’s words, insensitive

Tongue-in-Cheek: Said ironically; not meant to be taken seriously

Too Busy Fighting Alligators to Drain the Swamp: So occupied with multiple challenges that one can’t keep the big picture in mind

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth: A project works best if there is input from a limited number of people

Too Many Chiefs and Not Enough Indians: Everyone wants to be a leader, and no one wants to do the actual work

Too Many To Shake A Stick At: A large number

Toot Your Own Horn: Brag; emphasize one’s own contributions

Top Banana: The boss, the leader

Toss a Wrench (Spanner) Into: Sabotage; cause a process to stop

Touch Base: Meet briefly with someone

Touch One’s Heart: Affect someone emotionally, be touching

Touch Water: Be launched. Said of a boat.

Tough Cookie: A very determined person

Tough Cookie: Someone who can endure hardship; especially: a strong negotiator

Tough Sledding: Difficult progress

Turn a Blind Eye: (to) Choose not to notice something

Turn on a Dime: Quickly reverse direction or position

Turn Someone Inside Out: To cause strong emotional turmoil; to completely change someone

Turn Something on Its Head: Reverse something, cause something to be done in a new way

Turn Turtle: Capsize, turn over

Turn the Corner: To begin to improve after a problem

Turn the Tables: Reverse a situation

Turnabout Is Fair Play: If you suffer from the same suffering you have inflicted on others, that’s only fair

Twenty-Four Seven: At any time

Twist the Knife (in Deeper): Make someone’s suffering worse

Twist the Knife (in Deeper): Make someone’s suffering worse

Two a Penny: Ordinary, inexpensive

Two Peas in A Pod: Two people who are very similar in appearance

Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF): Let’s be happy that the workweek is over!

That Ship Has Sailed: That opportunity has passed.

That’s Music to My Ears: I am very happy to hear this.

That’s a Stretch: What you are suggesting is very difficult to believe; I am very skeptical

That’s All She Wrote: That was the end of the story.

The Apple Never Falls Far From the Tree: Family characteristics are usually inherited

The Birds and the Bees: Human sexuality and reproduction

The Cat Is Out of the Bag: The secret has been revealed.

The Coast Is Clear: We are unobserved; it is safe to proceed.

The Cherry On the Cake: The final thing that makes something perfect

The Deck Is (The Cards Are): Stacked Against You Unfavorable conditions exist.

The Jig Is Up: A secret illicit activity has been exposed; your trickery is finished

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Although something may seem superficially new, it has not altered the basic situation.

The Only Game in Town: The sole option for a particular service.

The Powers That Be: People in charge, often used when the speaker does not want to identify them.

The Real McCoy: A genuine item

The Story Has Legs: People are continuing to pay attention to the story.

The Time is Ripe: If you say that the time is ripe, you mean that it is a suitable point for a particular activity

The Walls Have Ears We: may be overheard; be careful what you say

The Walls Have Ears: We may be overheard; be careful what you say

The Whole Enchilada: All of something.

The Whole Shebang: Everything, all the parts of something

The World Is Your Oyster: You have many opportunities and choices.

There But For The Grace Of God Go I: I could easily have done what that person did.

There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat: There’s more than one way of achieving a certain goal.

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch: Nothing is given to you without some expectation of something in return.

Thin On The Ground: Rare, seldom encountered

Think Big: Consider ambitious plans; avoid becoming overly concerned with details

Think Outside the Box: Try to solve a problem in an original way; think creatively

Think Tank: A group of experts engaged in ongoing studies of a particular subject; a policy study group

Think Tank: A group of experts engaged in ongoing studies of a particular subject; a policy study group

Third Rail: A topic so sensitive that it is dangerous to raise. This is especially used in political contexts

Third Time’s a Charm: Even if you fail at something twice, you may well succeed the third time.

Thirty-Thousand-Foot View: A very broad or general perspective

This Has (Person X) Written All Over It: [Person X] would really like or be well suited to this.

This Is Not Your Father’s ____: This item has been much updated from its earlier versions.

Three Sheets to the Wind: Very drunk

Through the Grapevine: Via gossip

Through Thick and Thin: In good times and bad

Throw a Wet Blanket on (Something): Discourage plans for something

Throw a Wrench Into: To sabotage; to cause to fail

Throw Caution to the Wind: To act in a daring way, without forethough

Throw Down the Gauntlet: To issue a challenge

Throw Elbows: Be combative; be aggressive (physically or figuratively)

Throw in the Towel: To give up, admit defeat

Throw Someone for a Loop: Deeply surprise someone; catch someone off guard

Throw Someone Under the Bus: Sacrifice someone else’s interests for your own personal gain

Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water: Eliminate something good while discarding the bad parts of something

Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water: To discard something valuable or important while disposing of something worthless

Throw The Book At: Prosecute legally as strongly as possible

Throw the Fight: Intentionally lose a contest, usually in collusion with gamblers

Throw the Game: Intentionally lose a contest, usually in collusion with gamblers

Throw the Match: Intentionally lose a contest, usually in collusion with gamblers

Thumbs-Up: Approval

Train Wreck: Anything that develops in a disastrous way

Trash Talk: Insults directed at one’s opponent in a sporting event or contest

Tread Water: Maintain a current situation without improvement or decline

Trial Balloon: A test of someone’s or the public’s reaction

Trip the Light Fantastic: Dance well; do ballroom dancing


English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of useful English idioms that start with U.

U Turn: A complete change of opinion, direction, etc.

Ugly Duckling: An awkward child or young person who grows into a beautiful person

Under (Below) the Radar: Not generally perceived, below popular consciousness

Under Someone’s Spell: Fascinated, entranced by someone

Under the Impression: Believing something, perhaps mistakenly

Under the Table: Without being officially recorded

Under the Weather: Feeling ill

Under the Weather: Not feeling well

Under Wraps: Temporarily hidden, secret

University of Life: Difficult real-life experience, as opposed to formal education

Until the Cows Come Home: For a long time

Until You’re Blue in the Face: For a long time with no results

Up a Creek: In a very bad situation

Up for Grabs: Available

Up for Grabs: Available for anyone

Up in Arms: Angry, protesting (usually said of a group)

Up in the Air: Not yet decided

Up to One’s Neck: Nearly overwhelmed

Up to Scratch: Meeting a basic standard of competence or quality

Up to Snuff: Meeting a basic standard

Up the Ante: Raise the stakes; increase the importance of something under discussion

Up the Duff: Pregnant

Upset the Apple Cart: To disorganize or spoil something, especially an established arrangement or plan

Use One’s Head: To think, to have common sense

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of useful English idioms that start with V.

Vale of Tears: The world in general, envisioned as a sad place; the tribulations of life

Vicious Circle: A situation in which an attempt to solve a problem makes the original problem worse.

Victory Lap: Visible public appearances after a victory or accomplishment

Virgin Territory: Something that has never been explored, physically or intellectually

Vote with One’s Feet: To physically depart from something as a way of showing disapproval

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-

List of useful English idioms that start with W.

Waiting in the Wings: Ready to assume responsibilities but not yet active, ready to become a successor

Waka-Jumping: Change political parties (said of politicians themselves)

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee: Stop deluding yourself

Wake Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed: Be grumpy or ill-humored. Generally used in past tense

Walk on Eggshells: To have to act very sensitively in order to avoid offending someone

Walk the Plank: Be forced to resign a position

Wandering Eye: A tendency to look at and desire women or men other than one’s committed romantic partner

Wandering Eye: A tendency to look at and desire women or men other than one’s committed romantic partner

Wash Your Hands of (Something): Decline to take further responsibility; refuse to be involved with something anymore

Water Under the Bridge: Something in the past that’s no longer worth worrying about

Watering Hole: A place where alcoholic beverages are served, a bar

Weekend Warrior: Someone who has an office job but enjoys contact sports on weekends; a member of a military reserve force (whose exercises are typically on weekends)

We’ll Cross That Bridge: When We Come to It We’ll deal with that problem if and when it comes up

Welsh (Welch) on a Deal: Not observe the terms of an agreement

Wet Behind the Ears: inexperienced, immature, new to something

Wet Behind the Ears: Inexperienced, immature, new to something

Wet Blanket: Someone who dampens a festive occasion

Wet Your Whistle: Drink something

What Do You Make of (Him)?: What is your evaluation of this person?

What Goes Around Comes Around: The kind of treatment you give to others will eventually return to you; things go in cycles

What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Gander: What’s OK for a man is OK for a woman, too

When Hell Freezes Over: Never

When In Doubt, Leave It Out: When unsure about something, omit it.

When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do: When you visit a new place, follow the customs of the people there

When It Rains, It Pours: Problems tend to come in groups.

When Pigs Fly: Never

When the Chips Are Down: When a situation becomes urgent or difficult

Where (When) the Rubber: Meets the Road In reality; where an idea meets a real-world test

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: If you have a strong desire to accomplish something, you will achieve it even in the face of considerable odds.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: If there is typical evidence of something, the most likely explanation is that it is actually occurring.

Whisper Sweet Nothings (in Someone’s Ear): Speak meaningless romantic utterances

Whistle in the Dark: To be unrealistically confident or brave; to talk about something of which one has little knowledge

Whistle Past the Graveyard: Remain optimistic despite dangers; be clueless

Whistling Dixie: Being unrealistically optimistic

White Elephant: An unwanted item that is difficult to sell or dispose of

Who’s She, the Cat’s Mother?: Why does she have such a high opinion of herself?

Wild Goose Chase: An impossible or futile search or task

Window Dressing: A misleading disguise intended to present a favorable impression

Window Shop: To look at merchandise in a store without intending to buy it

Witch Hunt: An organized attempt to persecute an unpopular group of people and blame them for a problem.

With Bells On: Eagerly, willingly, and on time.

Work One’s Fingers to the Bone: Work very hard over an extended period

Worn to a Frazzle: Exhausted, completely worn out

Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead: Would absolutely not allow myself to do this

Writing (Handwriting) on the Wall: Hints of coming disaster

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of useful English idioms that start with Y.

Year In, Year Out: Annually without change

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but You Can’t Make It Drink: It’s very hard to force someone to do something against his or her will.

You Can Say That Again!: I agree totally!

You Can Take It to the Bank: I absolutely guarantee this

You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: You can’t know people (or things) well by their external appearances.

You Can’t Make an Omelet (Omelette): Without Breaking

You Can’t Make Fish of One and Fowl of the Other: People must be treated equally.

You Know the Drill: You are already familiar with the procedure.

You Snooze, You Lose: If you delay or are not alert, you will miss opportunities

Young at Heart: Having a youthful outlook, regardless of age

Your Guess Is as Good as Mine: I don’t know; I have no idea

Your Mileage May Vary: You may get different results. This does not necessarily refer to a car, although it may.

Your Number Is Up: You are going to die (or suffer some bad misfortune or setback)

You’re Driving Me Nuts: To make someone giddy or crazy

Yours Truly: Me

English Idioms Examples with Idiom Meaning-


List of useful English idioms that start with Z.

Zero In On: Focus closely on something; take aim at something

Zig When One Should Be Zagging: To make an error; to choose an incorrect course

Zip One’s Lip: Be quiet