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Idioms Article rated 3.4/5.0
Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions that are either grammatically unusual, as in, “Long time, no see!”, or their meaning cannot be taken literally, as in, “It’s raining c...
Make A Note Of Article not rated yet
Write down as to remember; or, remember.For Example:I’ll make a note of the fact that the tires are low. Shakespeare used this term in a slightly different form in The Two Gentlemen of Verona(2:...
Barking Up The Wrong Tree Article not rated yet
This is an especially humorous English phrase because of the word “bark” being used in the same phrase with the word “tree.” While “bark” is a word for the outer la...
At The Drop Of A Hat Article not rated yet
This is an English phrase that is used to say that only the slightest movement is necessary to start a process or activity. It is used to indicate that a person needs very little motivation to cause t...
Easy As Pie Article not rated yet
This common phrase has basically the same meaning as the previous phrase. It refers to a task or activity being as easy to accomplish as enjoying a piece of pie.For Example:“Algebra is as easy a...
A Piece Of Cake Article not rated yet
This is a common phrase that is used to say that a task is relatively easy. When someone is doing something that is as easy as enjoying a piece of cake, it is really easy.This is often used as a boast...
Hold Your Horses Article not rated yet
This is a common phrase that is spoken to ask someone who is in a hurry to slow down or stop for a moment. It is a reference to a person driving a vehicle that is pulled by horses. “Holding&rdqu...
Eyes Are Bigger Than Stomach Article not rated yet
The phrase does not literally mean that a person’s eyes are actually bigger than the person’s stomach. It basically means that a person has ordered more food than they are actually able to...
Jumping Ship Article not rated yet
It is usually used when talking about quitting a project or situation that seems too challenging to complete.For Example:It can be used when talking about a person: “He is jumping ship on the pr...
Steer Clear Article not rated yet
This is a phrase that is conceptually related to driving a vehicle. The phrase is essentially saying to avoid a certain person, place, or thing. This is similar to avoiding obstacles when using the st...
On The Ball Article not rated yet
Essentially means to stay attentive and focused on a task. This can be used in various ways. One example would be: “He is really on the ball since he started eating salad every day.” Anoth...
News To Me Article not rated yet
This is a relatively common English phrase used to state that something new and surprising has just been heard by a person speaking.For Example:Imagine a headline on a newspaper. The phrase is commonl...
Pedal To The Metal Article not rated yet
This is a really intriguing English phrase that likely sounds rather ridiculous when it’s first heard. The phrase is actually based on driving an automobile. The concept is that of pushing the g...
Leap Of Faith Article not rated yet
This English phrase may sound rather daring and it likely should. It is usually used to refer to an act of bravery on some level. The act of bravery being spoken about may be relatively small. If so, ...
Like An Open Book Article not rated yet
This is an English phrase that is used to describe a person who is very open and not hiding anything. It can be used to describe a person or something about a person. For instance: “He is like a...
Bending Over Backwards Article not rated yet
This common phrase doesn’t usually have much to do with a person physically bending over. The phrase is used to describe someone who is doing everything possible for a person or a situation.For ...
Butterflies In The Stomach Article not rated yet
The concept is based on how someone’s stomach might feel when they are nervous.For Example:The feeling is conceptually similar to having butterflies flying around. This can be used in the follow...
A Little Bird Told Me Article not rated yet
It is used when you want to tell someone something, but don’t want to tell them how you found out about it.For Example:Jon tells Sally that his company is doing really well. Sally tells her frie...
Life In The Fast Lane Article not rated yet
It is a way of saying that someone is living bravely and doing what they truly want to, sometimes indulgently.For Example:The phrase is usually used in the following manner: “He (or she) is livi...
A Big Fish In A Small Pond Article not rated yet
The meaning of this English phrase is different than it may sound. The phrase is actually a way of saying that someone is content to have a lot of influence in a relatively small group of people or pl...
Take It Easy Article not rated yet
The meaning of this common English phrase is very different than it may sound. In fact, it doesn’t really make logical sense when reading it. The phrase is essentially the same as saying: &ldquo...
A Diamond In The Rough Article not rated yet
Someone or something with great potential despite an appearance to the contrary.For Example:“She might not try very hard to look pretty, but I think Suzy is a diamond in the rough. If she focuse...
Just Deserts Article not rated yet
To get what one deserves.For Example:“I told Michael not to cheat on his taxes. Now he’s getting his just deserts; the IRS is auditing him.”
Out Of Your Depth Article not rated yet
Having no knowledge or experience on a topic.For Example:“My physics class is so hard. I’m way out of my depth in there.”
Runs Deep Article not rated yet
Something that is very established or concrete.For Example:“That red hair runs deep in Jimmy’s family genetics.”
To Death Article not rated yet
A phrase used to emphasize an emotion.For Example:If you are “scared to death,” you are really scared. If you are “bored to death,” you are really bored.
Get A Raw Deal Article not rated yet
To receive poor treatment or a bad outcome. If you get a raw deal, you had things go unfavorably.For Example:“I got a raw deal today at work: I found out they’re closing my position at the...
Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Article not rated yet
A phrase that indicates a refusal to do something.For Example:If someone “wouldn’t be caught dead” doing something, that’s their way of saying they would never do it.
Make Someone’s Day Article not rated yet
Doing something that makes someone happy.For Example:“You should go tell Jenny that you noticed she’s lost some weight. I’m sure it will make her day.”
Don’t Give Up Your Day Job Article not rated yet
A phrase used to tell someone they’re not very good at something.For Example:If Cory invites his friend Chris to go golfing and realizes his friend Chris is very bad at golfing, he might say, &l...
In Broad Daylight Article not rated yet
Making no secrets or attempts to hide something.For Example:If you do something in broad daylight, you’re doing it for anyone to see.
Late In The Day Article not rated yet
Too far along in a certain activity to attempt a certain action.For Example:“Jim thought we should kick a field goal, but it was too late in the day for that. Since we were down by 21, we had to...
Call It A Day Article not rated yet
To declare the end of a day’s work.For Example:“Alright, I think we got enough orders shipped out today. Let’s call it a day and go get a beer.”
A Shot In The Dark Article not rated yet
A wild guess.For Example:“The final question was ‘who won the World Cup in 1994?’ I didn’t have any clue, so I just took a shot in the dark and said Spain.”
In The Dark Article not rated yet
Ignorant of a certain fact or issue.For Example:“In the debate when the Senator was asked his opinion on nuclear waste disposal, it was clear by his stuttering that he is in the dark on that iss...
Not Cut Out For Article not rated yet
Not fit to be a part of.For Example:“Debra thought she wanted to become a journalist, but after her first week of classes she determined she’s not cut out for that career.
Can’t Cut The Mustard Article not rated yet
Often shortened to “can’t cut it,” this phrase means you can’t handle a certain task or issue.For Example:“Bill thought about joining the Marines, but he eventually concl...
Off The Cuff Article not rated yet
Without being prepared in advance.For Example:“The President was asked to give a speech off the cuff, so he wasn’t at his best.”
A Far Cry From Article not rated yet
One thing that is very different from another thing, usually inferior.For Example:“You can’t compare Cornell to Harvard. Cornell is a far cry from Harvard.”
When It Comes To The Crunch Article not rated yet
When an important decision must be made.For Example:“When it comes to the crunch, you always want to go with your star player.”
Crocodile Tears Article not rated yet
Pretending to be upset by something.For Example:“He acted really upset about not being invited on the trip, but I think he was just crying crocodile tears.”
Up The Creek Article not rated yet
In a difficult position with no easy way out.For Example:The full saying is “up the creek without a paddle” which means you’re in a bad situation and don’t really have anything...
Take Its Course Article not rated yet
Allowing something to happen without outside influence.For Example:The full saying is usually “let nature take its course” which means “just relax and let’s just see how everyt...
A Couch Potato Article not rated yet
Someone who watches a lot of television and is therefore assumed to be lazy.For Example:“Did you invite Greg to the party?” “Yes, I did, but I doubt he’ll come. That guy is suc...
In A Tight Corner Article not rated yet
In a difficult situation.For Example:“When Mary told me I had to choose between her or my career, I really found myself in a tight corner.”
Lose Your Cool Article not rated yet
To become tempermental or nervous.For Example:“When the store clerk told Bill they were out of beer, he lost his cool and shouted that he would never return to the store again.”
Keep Your Cool Article not rated yet
To remain calm in an adverse situation.For Example:When someone keeps their cool, they don’t become emotionally upset or distracted in a scenario where most people might.
A Tough Cookie Article not rated yet
An underdog whose determination usually results in success.For Example:“No one thought Mark stood a chance in that fight, but he is one tough cookie and proved everyone wrong.”
In Inverted Commas Article not rated yet
A phrase that indicates the phrase you’re using to describe something is being used with sarcasm.For Example:You might say, “Bill thinks one day he’s going to ‘save the company...
With Flying Colors Article not rated yet
With great success.For Example:If Sarah needed to score 80% to pass a test and she scored 97% on the test, you would say “she passed the test with flying colors.”
Left Out In The Cold Article not rated yet
Failing to include someone as part of an activity.For Example:“The government’s health care policy leaves seniors out in the cold.”
The Other Side Of The Coin Article not rated yet
To see things from a different, opposing perspective.For Example:“let’s look at the other side of the coin for a minute and contemplate what will happen if we don’t go forward with t...
Wake Up And Smell The Coffee Article not rated yet
Try to understand or pay attention to something.For Example:If someone said “wake up and smell the coffee,” they’re trying to get you to see things from their perspective.
Like Clockwork Article not rated yet
Predictable or reliable. The statement implies that something will happen as sure as another second on the clock will tick by.For Example:If an employee is never late to work, her boss might complimen...
Turn Back The Clock Article not rated yet
To recreate things as they were at an earlier time.For Example:If a couple is having some troubles in their relationship, one of them could say to the other, “let’s turn back the clock and...
Round The Clock Article not rated yet
All day and all night.For Example:If someone were to say “I’ve been working round the clock,” they are saying they’ve been working non stop.
Steer Clear Of Article not rated yet
To avoid something.For Example:“I would recommend steering clear of that road, there’s a lot of construction going on right now.”
In The Clear Article not rated yet
Not guilty of an offense or unobstructed by something undesirable.For Example:If someone is worried they might have their taxes audited but the date by which they expected to be audited comes and goes...
Squeaky Clean Article not rated yet
Completely clean. When used in reference to a person it means they are very honest or good-hearted.For Example:“Jim would never steal from the company, he’s a squeaky clean sort of guy.&rd...
Come Full Circle Article not rated yet
To return to the situation or beliefs you originally had.For Example:If a movie starts off in the past, comes back to the present and then ends back in the past, you could say that the movie “ca...
Chip On Your Shoulder Article not rated yet
A disposition to become easily upset.For Example:“When the reporter suggested that he thinks Darnell is a better player, Ricky became really upset. Clearly Ricky has a chip on his shoulder.&rdqu...
Don’t Count Your Chickens Article not rated yet
Don’t assume a positive outcome will happen until you know for sure. The full saying is “don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” This means that if you just count your eg...
Get Something Off Your Chest Article not rated yet
To share your feelings on something you were previously silent about. The statement implies that you are relieving yourself of holding in your thoughts about something.For Example:“there’s...
Change Of Heart Article not rated yet
Reversing a decision or one’s beliefs on something, usually over an emotional issue.For Example:“I had a change of heart and decided not to break up with her.”
Chalk And Cheese Article not rated yet
Two things that have very little in common. Chalk and cheese have little in common with each other.For Example:if you say “those two people are like chalk and cheese,” you’re saying ...
My Two Cents Worth Article not rated yet
To share your beliefs or opinion in a conversation.For Example:“If you want my two cent’s worth, I think he would make a terrible President.”
A Fat Cat Article not rated yet
Someone who is wealthy and smug.For Example:An investment banker who spends thousands of dollars on dinner every night could be referred to as a “Wall Street fat cat.”
A Cash Cow Article not rated yet
Any product, business or idea that generates a steady stream of cash flow.For Example:“Those vending machines are a cash cow.
In The Cards Article not rated yet
Almost certain to happen. If something is “in the cards“, it will probably happen. “Not in the cards” is also a common phrase.For Example:if a guy asked a girl on a date she co...
A Close Call Article not rated yet
Something bad that nearly happens or a difficult decision.For Example:If lightining struck ten feet away, you would say, “wow, that was a close call!”If you are trying to decide between tw...
Have Your Cake And Eat It Too Article not rated yet
Getting your way on both wishes.For Example:A man who wants to have a wife and also a girlfriend on the side would be trying to “have his cake and eat it too.”
At Touch Of A Button Article not rated yet
When something is capable of happening “at the touch of a button,” it means it could be done immediately.For Example:A boss might ask an employee, “how long would it take you to fini...
Someone Means Business Article not rated yet
An indicator that someone is taking an issue very seriously.For Example:If a politician’s top priority was to remove dog waste from the parks, you could say, “wow, that guy really means bu...
Put On The Back Burner Article not rated yet
Something you hold in low priority or something that does not require immediate attention.For Example:“That project is on the back burner for now, there are other important things I need to focu...
Burn Your Boats Article not rated yet
This phrase is similar to the phrase “burning one’s bridges”. It means you’re cutting off ties to something that previously added value to your life.For Example:When you burn y...
Burn Your Bridges Article not rated yet
Alienating or destroying a once utilized connection.For Example:If you used to have a friend who could get you discounted electronics but are no longer friends with that person, you could say, “...
The Buck Stops Here Article not rated yet
This phrase is similar to “a line in the sand.” It means that there will be a time of reckoning.For Example:If something has been taking place which you do not condone and you intend to pu...
The Bubble Has Burst Article not rated yet
In investing, when a bubble bursts it means that correction occurs in which something that was previously viewed as being very valuable is no longer viewed as having as much value.So if a football pla...
Cross That Bridge When You Come To It Article not rated yet
To avoid dealing with an issue until dealing with it becomes absolutely imminent.For Example:If your friend asked, “what are we going to do about getting a ride home later?” You could resp...
Hold Your Breath Article not rated yet
This phrase is often used to indicate that something is very unlikely to happen.For Example:If your friend said, “hey, maybe you’ll win the lottery tomorrow!” You could respond, &ldq...
Give Me A Break Article not rated yet
When someone feels they are being attacked or over-utilized, they might say, “oh give me a break!”This phrase can also be used as a response to something seemingly ridiculous.For Example:I...
The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread Article not rated yet
This phrase indicates a brilliant invention or discovery. Sliced bread is assumed to be a brilliant idea.For Example:“that’s the greatest idea since sliced bread,” it serves to stron...
Bread And Butter Article not rated yet
Someone’s basic source of income or value.For Example:“I can’t skip work on Fridays. That day is my bread and butter.” That phrase implies the speaker makes a lot of money on F...
Out Of Bounds Article not rated yet
In sports, out of bounds means outside of the field of play. This phrase can be used to symbolize something that is off-limits.For Example:“I would ask Brett’s sister on a date, but I&rsqu...
Get To The Bottom Of Article not rated yet
Reaching a state of conclusion over an issue or subject.For Example:In a murder investigation, the lead detective could tell a peer that they will “get to the bottom of this case,” meaning...
Give Someone The Boot Article not rated yet
To end relations with someone either profesionally or personally.For Example:A friend might ask, “are you still dating George?” To which one could reply, “no, I gave him the boot.&rd...
By The Book Article not rated yet
Following the rules to their exact letter.For Example:If you do something “by the book,” you’re doing it exactly as intended with no deviation from a prescribed plan.
Rock The Boat Article not rated yet
Stirring controversy or bringing sensitive issues to the forefront is “rocking the boat”.For Example:“It implies that everything was smooth beforehand and by broaching that subject y...
Call Someone’s Bluff Article not rated yet
A poker term that means identifying when someone is lying or being deceitful in hopes of misleading you.For Example:“He was acting like an expert on astronomy, but when I asked him his thoughts ...
Out Of The Blue Article not rated yet
Something that happens suddenly and unexpectedly.For Example:If one received an unexpected raise from their boss, they might tell a friend, “oh, and I got a raise out of the blue today which was...
In Cold Blood Article not rated yet
An action that is committed without regret or remorse.For Example:If a killer shows no remorse for his crime, the judge might say “he killed in cold blood.”
Black And Blue Article not rated yet
If someone is covered with bruises they are said to be black and blue. This phrase is used to symbolize someone being bruised up even if they were not physically bruised up.For Example:if an investor ...
Bite Off More Than You Can Chew Article not rated yet
To take on more responsibilities than you can handle.For Example:If you took too big of a bite, you might have to spit some back out.If you take on too many responsibilities, you “bit off more t...
Fit The Bill Article not rated yet
Possessing certain qualities which are needed.For Example:if the manager of a basketball team is looking for a powerful player over 7 feet tall and is introduced to someone who meets those critera, he...
A Safe Bet Article not rated yet
Something that is perceived to be a sure thing or very likely to happen or result in success.For Example:a boss could say to another boss, “let’s have Daniel handle the reorganizing of thi...
Give The Benefit Of The Doubt Article not rated yet
In a situation where you’re not sure which side to take, you take the side most favorable to the other party.For Example:A woman could tell her friend, “I thought my boyfriend was cheating...
Round The Bend Article not rated yet
Having lost one’s sanity, particularly as a result of drug or alcohol use.For Example:“His excessive drinking is starting to send him round the bend.”
Beggars Can’t Be Choosers Article not rated yet
Those who are desperate are in no position to negotiate.For Example:if you gave a homeless person a candy bar and they asked for money instead, you could say, “beggars can’t be choosers!&r...
Spill The Beans Article not rated yet
Disclosing some piece of information, usually a secret.For Example:If a friend was reluctant to divulge something to you, you could say, “oh c’mon, spill the beans!”
Keep Something At Bay Article not rated yet
Preventing something unpleasant from coming too near to you for fear that it will harm you.For Example:If a coach was asked why he doesn’t play a particular player very often, he might say, &ldq...
A Losing Battle Article not rated yet
A failing activity or attempt at something.For Example:If you’re running for public office but are trailing by 30 points in the polls, you are fighting a losing battle.
Jump On The Band Wagon Article not rated yet
When you support something that is popular you are “jumping on the bandwagon.”For Example:The New York Yankees have a lot of fans because people jump on the bandwagon to root for them sinc...
Get The Ball Rolling Article not rated yet
To initiate momentum on a project or plan.For Example:A boss could say to an employee, “let’s get the ball rolling on the renovation project,” which would be indicate to the employee...
Play Ball Article not rated yet
This phrase is used prior to the start of every American baseball game. It means to get started on something.For Example:“at the end of a meeting, a boss could tell his employers “play bal...
Have A Ball Article rated 3.7/5.0
HAVE A BALL means to have fun or to have a great time. When you’re having a ball, it means you are having a wonderful experience.For Example:you could tell a friend, “have a ball at the pa...
In The Balance Article not rated yet
IN THE BALANCE means Yet to be decided.For Example:“with the game hanging in the balance, the star player lined up for a crucial penalty kick.”
Be Someone’s Bag Article not rated yet
To be something that someone would be interested in or good at.For Example:“Given how good he is at tennis, I think raquetball could be Jerry’s bag.” The implication is that since Je...
Go Behind Someone’s Back Article not rated yet
GO BEHIND SOMEONE’S BACK means to interfere in people’s affairs without permission, usually in a dishonest or selfish way.For Example:I thought I trusted him, but I found out yesterday he ...
Turn Your Back On Article not rated yet
TURN YOUR BACK ON means to ignore or forget someone or something, especially a friend who needs your help.For Example:He needs to learn that you shouldn’t turn your back on those kind of respons...
Get Your Own Back Article not rated yet
GET YOUR OWN BACK means to get some kind of revenge, to do or get something in return for a bad thing someone did to you.For Example:The director has been unfair to the teachers all week, so here&rsqu...
Be Glad To See The Back Of Article not rated yet
BE GLAD TO SEE THE BACK OF means that you are happy someone or something unpleasant is finished or gone.For Example:Last night we had a farewell party for John, but to be honest I’m glad to see ...
Up In Arms Article not rated yet
UP IN ARMS means that there is strong opposition or anger against something.For Example:“We heard the news over the radio at lunch break and I tell you, we were really up in arms about it.&rdquo...
A Grey Area Article not rated yet
A GREY AREA means something that is not clearly defined and needs careful judgement.For Example:“We have always had a professional attitude to copyrighted texts, but online copyright is still a ...
Go Ape Article not rated yet
GO APE is an informal expression meaning to just lose control and become really angry or excited.For Example:When I told him we had tickets to see the rock concert on Saturday, he just went ape. (Mean...
In The Air Article not rated yet
IN THE AIR means people have a general feeling or expectation that something will happen in the near future. This feeling among people is often not clearly defined.For Example:No one knew for sure wha...
Clear The Air Article not rated yet
To CLEAR THE AIR means to somehow resolve a difficult situation between people. It is especially used for talking openly about problems, or being patient and waiting for bad feelings to lessen.For Exa...
Actions Speak Louder Than Words Article not rated yet
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS means that what someone says is different from from what they do. It is often used when someone makes a promise but then doesn’t keep it.For Example:“Dad, I...
A Piece of The Action Article not rated yet
A PIECE OF THE ACTION means that someone wants to be involved in some popular or beneficial social activity.For Example:Due to the team’s success in recent games ticket sales have soared, and it...
Clean Up Your Act Article not rated yet
CLEAN UP YOUR ACT means that someone needs to do much better, especially because they are behaving unacceptably.For Example:John’s been late for work almost every day this week, and he always st...
A Class Act Article rated 3.0/5.0
A CLASS ACT means that something or somebody is of particularly high quality.For Example:Dave’s rap performance last night was a class act. He’s one of the most original rap artists on the...
Get Your Act Together Article not rated yet
GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER means that someone needs to improve, especially because they are inefficient or disorganized.For Example:“You have every chance to do well in this course, but you just need...