500 Idioms and Their Meanings + PDF Download

Do you know what an idiom is? No, it’s not a nasty bug. An idiom is simply an expression or phrase that has a culturally understood meaning different from the literal words that make it up. In other words, when someone uses an idiom, they use the metaphorical meaning of the saying rather than its actual word-by-word definition. For example, “He hit the nail on the head” doesn’t mean literally hitting something with a hammer – instead, it means he was spot on in making his point or coming to a conclusion. With 500 idioms and their meanings laid out for you here today along with examples of how each can be used in actionable situations and our handy PDF download guide at the end of this post to help you keep them all straight, now we’re ready to figure out just why these wise words have stood their ground as part of the everyday language!

500 Idioms and Their Meanings

Why Use Idioms?

Idioms are used to express ideas that might be difficult to explain directly. They can add clarity, color, and interest to our language. Idioms often tell a story that can help readers form mental images.

For example, the phrase “raining cats and dogs” conveys a vivid image of an extremely stormy day!

Download this complete list of idioms in PDF. (Download)

A to Z Idioms and Their Meanings

Dive into this extensive collection of 500+ essential idioms to expand your knowledge and vocabulary. Each idiom is listed in alphabetical order with a corresponding definition/meaning for easy reference!

Idioms With A

  • Alive and kicking: Still in good health or condition.
  • A sitting duck: Someone or something that is vulnerable and easy to attack or criticize.
  • According to Hoyle: According to the official or accepted rules.
  • All it’s cracked up to be: Something that is as good as people say it is.
  • All in good time: Something will happen when the time is right.
  • Acknowledge the corn: To admit the truth or reality of something, especially something unpleasant or embarrassing.
  • A sight for sore eyes: Something or someone that is pleasant or comforting to see.
  • Aha moment: A sudden realization or understanding.
  • All hat and no cattle: Someone who talks big but has no substance or ability to back it up.
  • A bite at the cherry: An opportunity to do or have something desirable.
  • A lame duck: Someone or something that is weak or ineffective.
  • Above and beyond: Going beyond what is expected or required.
  • Against the clock: In a race against time or with limited time available.
  • Across the pond: Referring to something on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean (i.e. UK from the US).
  • All ears: Eager and attentive to hear what someone has to say.
  • Above board: Honest and straightforward.
  • About time: Something that should have happened sooner or is long overdue.
  • Above the law: Exempt from the law or rules that others must follow.
  • A week is a long time: A lot can happen in a short period.
  • All eyes are on: Everyone is watching or paying attention to someone or something.
  • Achilles’ heel: A weakness or vulnerability that can lead to downfall.
  • A life of its own: Something that is independent and has its own energy or momentum.
  • A cold day in July: Something unlikely to happen.
  • A dog in the manger: Someone who selfishly prevents others from using or enjoying something they themselves do not want or need.
  • All bets are off: A situation in which it is impossible to predict the outcome.
  • A lemon: Something that is useless or of poor quality.
  • All over the place: Disorganized or chaotic.
  • All hands on deck: Everyone is needed to help with a task.
  • Age before beauty: Used humorously to allow an older person to go ahead of a younger one.
  • Add insult to injury: To make a bad situation worse by doing or saying something that hurts or offends.
  • A home bird: Someone who prefers to stay at home rather than go out.
  • A lone wolf: Someone who prefers to work or act alone rather than with a group.
  • About to: On the verge of doing something.
  • Act of congress: A bureaucratic or slow-moving process.
  • Ahead of the curve: Being ahead of the average or expected progress.
  • Airy fairy: Unrealistic or impractical.
  • A million and one: A very large number or an overwhelming amount.
  • Above the salt: Of high social rank or importance.
  • All over hell’s half an acre: A place that is far away and difficult to find.
  • Acid test: A definitive or conclusive test to determine the true value or worth of something.
  • All along: All the time; from the beginning.
  • Above water: In a stable or secure financial position.
  • A plum job: A desirable or well-paying job.
  • All and sundry: Everyone who is present; everybody.
  • A hair’s breadth: A very small distance or amount.
  • All hell breaks loose: A situation suddenly becomes chaotic or violent.
  • Against the grain: Doing something that goes against the normal or expected way of doing things.
  • A bit much: Excessive or over the top.
  • Accident of birth: The circumstances of one’s birth and family background that determine their social status and opportunities in life.
  • Act high and mighty: Behave arrogantly or haughtily.
  • A hundred and ten percent: Giving more than is expected or required.
  • A leg up: Assistance or an advantage in achieving something.
  • All over the map: Disorganized or unfocused.
  • All in a day’s work: Something that is expected or routine in one’s job or profession.
  • A busy bee: Someone who is very active and hardworking.
  • Act one’s age: Behave in a manner appropriate to one’s age.
  • After the fact: Occurring or being done after an event has already taken place.
  • All mouth and no trousers: Someone who talks a lot but does not take action or back up their words.
  • Across the board: Affecting or pertaining to everyone or everything involved.
  • A cut above: Superior to or of a higher quality than something else.
  • Agree to disagree: Accept that people have different opinions about something and that they will not be able to come to an agreement.
  • All over but the shouting: A situation that is almost over and certain to have a predictable outcome.
  • Ahead of the game: Being in a strong or advantageous position.
  • A cat has nine lives: Cats are resilient and can survive dangerous situations.
  • All over the board: Happening in a variety of ways, with no clear pattern or direction.
  • A tall order: A difficult or challenging task.
  • A little from column A and a little from column B: Combining different approaches or ideas to create a new solution.
  • A cold fish: Someone who is emotionally distant and unfeeling.
  • A little bird told me: Information that was given to you in confidence.
  • Acquired taste: Something that one may not like initially, but may grow to enjoy over time.
  • A notch above: Superior to or better than something else.
  • A rare bird: Something or someone that is unusual or rare.
  • Ace in the hole: A secret or hidden advantage.
  • Air rage: Aggressive or violent behavior by passengers on a plane.
  • Agreement in principle: An agreement made in theory rather than in practice.
  • Against the run of play: Against the expected outcome or direction.
  • A stone’s throw: A short distance away.
  • An accident waiting to happen: A dangerous or risky situation that is likely to result in an accident.
  • A storm in a teacup: A minor or insignificant problem that is blown out of proportion.
  • Ace up one’s sleeve: A secret or hidden resource that can be used to gain an advantage in a situation.
  • A cut below: Inferior to or of lower quality than something else.
  • A lot on one’s plate: Having a large amount of work or responsibilities to deal with.
  • A scaredy-cat: Someone who is easily frightened.
  • A great deal: A significant amount or a lot.
  • All in one piece: Unharmed or undamaged.
  • A guinea pig: Someone or something used for experimentation or testing.
  • After one’s own heart: Something that one likes or approves of.
  • Ahead of one’s time: Being innovative or ahead of current thinking.
  • Add fuel to the fire: To make a bad situation worse by saying or doing something.
  • All bark and no bite: Someone who talks tough but does not follow through with action.
  • All eyes and ears: Being very alert and paying attention to everything.
  • A cat nap: A short nap or rest during the day.

Idioms With B

  • Beat the drum for (something): To promote or support something enthusiastically.
  • Bring home the bacon: To earn a living or provide financial support for one’s family.
  • Ballpark figure: an estimate or rough calculation of a quantity or cost.
  • Beat around the bush: to avoid addressing a topic directly or honestly.
  • Back forty: a large, remote area of land often used for farming or ranching.
  • Be an item: to be romantically involved with someone.
  • Black eye: A physical injury or a tarnished reputation.
  • Back to the drawing board: to start over from the beginning because the previous attempt failed.
  • Blow hot and cold: To be inconsistent or unpredictable in one’s actions or opinions.
  • Break the ice: To make a social or emotional connection with someone.
  • Big picture: The overall perspective or view of a situation or problem.
  • Back to the salt mine(s): to return to work or resume a task after a break.
  • Black-and-blue: Bruised or beaten.
  • Birds of a feather: People with similar interests, personalities, or characteristics.
  • Be a barrel of laughs: to be funny or entertaining.
  • Busted flush: Someone who has failed or lost everything.
  • Backing and filling: to change one’s position or opinion frequently or without conviction.
  • Back and forth: a movement or action that goes in one direction and then the opposite direction repeatedly.
  • Best thing since sliced bread: A phrase used to describe something that is considered extremely good or useful.
  • Bell the cat: To undertake a dangerous or risky task that no one else wants to do.
  • Blue light special: A sale or discount that is only available for a limited time.
  • Beauty is only skin-deep: Physical appearance is not the most important factor in judging someone’s worth.
  • Beyond the pale: Unacceptable or outside the bounds of proper behavior.
  • Beyond the shadow of a doubt: Absolutely certain or unquestionable.
  • Be a cold day in hell: an expression used to convey extreme skepticism or doubt.
  • Black and white: Clear and distinct, with no room for ambiguity or compromise.
  • Bird’s-eye view: A panoramic or general view from above.
  • Bite the hand that feeds you: To harm or criticize the person who helps or supports you.
  • Blank check: Complete freedom or authorization to act as one wishes.
  • Back to square one: to return to the beginning or starting point of a task or project.
  • Buy a pig in a poke: To buy something without inspecting it first.
  • Blinded by love: To be so in love that one is unable to see the faults or flaws of the other person.
  • Bad apple: a person who is dishonest or troublesome within a group.
  • Break the bank: To spend more money than one can afford.
  • Be on the mend: to be recovering from an illness or injury.
  • Big time: To a great extent or on a large scale.
  • Behind the eight (or 8) ball: In a difficult or disadvantaged position.
  • Bet the farm: To risk everything on a single venture or decision.
  • Be snowed under: to be overwhelmed or burdened with a lot of work or responsibilities.
  • Beat someone to the punch: To do or achieve something before someone else can.
  • Be in seventh heaven: to be extremely happy or content.
  • Backseat driver: a passenger in a vehicle who gives unwanted or unnecessary directions to the driver.
  • Bury the hatchet: To make peace with someone and end a conflict.
  • Bark up the wrong tree: to make a mistake in one’s assumptions or accusations.
  • Babysitter test: a test to determine the ease of use of a product or service, often performed by someone unfamiliar with the product or service.
  • Back the wrong horse: to support or invest in the losing side or outcome of a situation.
  • A bitter pill to swallow: Something that is unpleasant but must be accepted.
  • Blue-eyed boy: Someone who is favored above others.
  • Bail out: to help or rescue someone from a difficult or dangerous situation.
  • Brainstorm: To think creatively or come up with new ideas.
  • Boy toy: A young man who is used as a sexual object by an older woman.
  • Basket case: a person or thing that is in a state of extreme emotional or mental distress.
  • Big cheese: An important or influential person.
  • Bundle up: Dress warmly or wear layers of clothing.
  • Bob’s your uncle: A phrase used to indicate that something will be easily accomplished or completed.
  • Bringing a knife to a gunfight: Being unprepared for a difficult or dangerous situation.
  • Break up/split up: To end a romantic relationship.
  • Babe magnet: a person who attracts a lot of attention and admiration from the opposite sex.
  • Baby boomer: a person born during the post-World War II baby boom, generally between 1946 and 1964.
  • Black sheep: A person who is considered a disgrace or an outcast within a family or group.
  • Beggar thy neighbor: To pursue one’s own interests without regard for the negative impact on others.
  • Buy time: To delay or postpone something.
  • By a whisker: To win or succeed by a very small margin.
  • Bull in a china shop: Someone who is clumsy or destructive in their actions.
  • Bend an elbow: To drink alcohol.
  • Bite the bullet: To endure pain or hardship without complaint.
  • Blow up: To suddenly become very angry or to explode with force.
  • Bar fly (or barfly): a person who frequents bars or nightclubs often.
  • Belly laugh: A loud and hearty laugh.
  • Blow the cobwebs away: To refresh or invigorate oneself after a period of inactivity or boredom.
  • Back to the salt mines: a humorous way of saying that one has to return to work or resume a task after a break.
  • Best of both worlds: To have the advantages of two different options at the same time.
  • Business as usual: Continuing with normal or routine activities.
  • Big deal: Something that is not very important or impressive.
  • Big fish: An important or influential person.
  • Boys will be boys: An excuse for bad or reckless behavior by males, especially young ones.
  • Better late than never: It is better to do something late than not at all.
  • Bee in one’s bonnet: An obsession or persistent idea that someone cannot stop thinking about.
  • Blow off steam: To express one’s anger or frustration in a harmless way.
  • Behind the scenes: Happening or working secretly or out of public view.
  • Be in two minds (about something): to be unsure or undecided about something.
  • Bad taste in one’s mouth: a feeling of disgust or disappointment.
  • Bad blood: a feeling of resentment or hostility between two or more people.
  • Back in the day: a phrase used to refer to a time in the past.
  • Bare one’s heart (soul): to reveal one’s deepest emotions or thoughts.
  • Bone dry: Completely dry.
  • Break out in a cold sweat: To suddenly become anxious or scared.
  • Bat/play for both teams: to engage in sexual activity with both men and women.
  • Be like chalk and cheese: to be very different from each other.
  • Be head over heels (in love): to be deeply in love with someone.
  • Bump in the road: A minor setback or difficulty.
  • Bad egg: a person who is unreliable or untrustworthy.
  • Bat/play for the other team: to be gay or homosexual.
  • Blow the whistle: To reveal or report illegal or unethical behavior.
  • Bucket list: A list of things one wants to do before one die.
  • Baby blues: a feeling of sadness or depression that can occur after giving birth.
  • Bed of roses: A comfortable or easy situation.
  • Blow away the cobwebs: To refresh or invigorate oneself after a period of inactivity or boredom.
  • Busman’s holiday: A situation where someone does the same thing on their vacation that they do at work.
  • Blood and thunder: Intense emotion or drama.
  • Blow your own trumpet: To boast or praise oneself excessively.
  • Break a leg: A phrase used to wish someone good luck, especially in a theatrical performance.
  • Beat someone to the draw: To act or react quickly in order to gain an advantage over someone else.
  • Backburner (on the): a low-priority task or project that is temporarily put aside to focus on matters that are more urgent.
  • Baptism by fire: a difficult or challenging initiation or introduction to a new job or situation.
  • Ball and chain: a burdensome or restrictive responsibility or obligation.
  • By all means: Definitely or certainly.
  • Bottom of the barrel: The lowest or worst of a group or situation.
  • Blow one’s top: To become very angry or upset.
  • Banner year: a year of great success or achievement.
  • Back office: the administrative or support staff of a business or organization.
  • Bolt from the blue: A sudden and unexpected event.
  • Big apple: A nickname for New York City.
  • Bang for your buck: a measure of the value or benefit received in exchange for something.
  • Borrow trouble: To worry unnecessarily or needlessly.
  • Bean counters: a slang term for accountants or financial analysts.
  • Blow one’s stack: To suddenly lose one’s temper and become very angry.
  • Bet one’s bottom dollar: To be absolutely certain or confident about something.
  • Butter wouldn’t melt in: Someone who appears innocent or sweet, but is actually deceptive or mischievous.
  • Brush under the carpet: To ignore or cover up a problem or issue.
  • Back on one’s feet: to recover from a setback or difficulty.
  • Big brother: An all-knowing, powerful entity that monitors and controls people’s actions.
  • Be lovey: to be affectionate or loving towards someone.
  • Blue blood: Someone of noble or aristocratic birth.
  • Burn the midnight oil: To work late into the night.
  • By word of mouth: Information that is spread through personal communication rather than official channels.
  • Burn one’s bridges: To sever ties or relationships, making it impossible to go back.
  • By hook or by crook: By any means necessary, even if it is not completely honest or legal.
  • Be footloose and fancy-free: to be free of responsibilities or commitments.
  • Back at you: a response to a comment or action that is meant to be returned to the speaker.
  • Batten down the hatches: to prepare for a coming storm or difficult situation.
  • Back of beyond: a remote or isolated location.
  • Bells and whistles: Additional features or enhancements that make something more attractive or exciting.
  • Blind date: A date between two people who have never met before.
  • Bedroom eyes: A seductive or inviting look.
  • Behind the times: Outdated or old-fashioned.
  • Bag of tricks: a collection of methods or techniques used to achieve a desired outcome.
  • By the skin of one’s teeth: To barely succeed or escape a difficult situation.

Idioms With C

  • Crickets: a silence or lack of response, usually in a situation where one expects a reaction.
  • Curiosity killed the cat: a warning that being too curious can lead to trouble.
  • Call the shots: To be in charge or make the decisions.
  • Come clean: to confess or admit the truth about something, especially something one has been hiding or keeping a secret.
  • Coming down the pike: something that is expected to happen or arrive in the near future.
  • Crunch the numbers: to perform a detailed analysis of numerical data.
  • Chomp at the bit: to be impatient or eager to do something.
  • Cut the mustard: to meet expectations or perform well.
  • Carry a torch (for): To have romantic feelings or be in love with someone who does not feel the same way.
  • Catch one’s death of cold: to become extremely ill from being exposed to cold weather or water.
  • Changing of the guard: a shift in leadership or authority, especially in an official capacity.
  • Clear the air: to resolve a misunderstanding or conflict by openly discussing it.
  • Cry wolf: to raise a false alarm or warning.
  • Come out in the wash: to become clear or resolved over time, especially after a period of confusion or uncertainty.
  • Cook up a storm: to cook a large quantity of food or to cook very well and with great enthusiasm.
  • Call it a day: To end a task or workday.
  • Crunch time: the period of time just before a deadline, when there is a lot of pressure to complete a task.
  • Chin music: idle talk or conversation, especially when it is meant to deceive or distract.
  • Cut the Gordian knot: to solve a difficult problem in a bold or unconventional way.
  • Cat on a hot tin roof: to be nervous, restless, or uncomfortable, especially in a situation where one is expected to remain calm.
  • Cut corners: to do something quickly or cheaply, often by sacrificing quality or accuracy.
  • Come out swinging: to be very aggressive or forceful in one’s approach to a situation or problem.
  • Cool as a cucumber: to remain calm and composed, even in a stressful situation.
  • Child’s play: something that is easy or simple to do.
  • Cutting-edge: using or incorporating the latest or most advanced technology or techniques.
  • Cat got your tongue: used to ask someone why they are not speaking or responding when they should be.
  • Cool your heels: wait patiently, often when one is annoyed or frustrated.
  • Catch someone’s eye: to attract someone’s attention or notice.
  • Cut to the chase: to get to the point or important matter without wasting time on irrelevant details.
  • Cherry-pick: to selectively choose or take the best parts or elements of something, while ignoring the rest.
  • Cut it fine: to complete a task just in time, with very little margin for error.
  • Clip someone’s wings: to limit or restrict someone’s freedom or independence.
  • Catfight: a fight or argument between two women.
  • Change one’s tune: to change one’s opinion, attitude, or behavior.
  • Close, but no cigar: used to describe a situation in which someone has come very close to succeeding, but has ultimately fallen short.
  • Cash in one’s chips: To die.
  • Catch some rays: Spend time in the sun, soaking up its rays.
  • Cat’s paw: a person used by another as a tool or pawn to accomplish their own purposes.
  • Carry coals to Newcastle: To do something that is unnecessary or redundant.
  • Circle the wagons: to come together in a protective or defensive manner, especially in the face of a threat or danger.
  • Chill out: to relax, calm down, or stop being so uptight.
  • Chop shop: a place where stolen cars are disassembled for their parts.
  • Cut (someone) to the quick: to deeply hurt or offend someone.
  • Cooking up a storm: creating a lot of excitement or commotion.
  • Chin up/ keep your chin up: to remain optimistic or confident in the face of adversity or difficulty.
  • Chip off the old block: a person who is very similar in personality or behavior to one of their parents.
  • Crash a party: to attend a social gathering without an invitation.
  • Change of heart: a change in one’s opinion or attitude, especially after being convinced to see things differently.
  • Call the tune: To be in control of a situation or event.
  • Come out of the closet: to reveal or publicly acknowledge one’s homosexuality or other non-traditional sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Chop-chop: a phrase used to urge someone to hurry up or do something quickly.
  • Cast the first stone: to be the first one to criticize or condemn someone, especially for something one is also guilty of doing.
  • Catch-22: a paradoxical situation in which one is trapped by contradictory rules or requirements.
  • Come to terms with: to accept or reconcile oneself to a difficult or unpleasant reality or situation.
  • Cock-a-hoop: to be extremely pleased, excited, or proud.
  • Call a spade a spade: To speak frankly and directly, even if it may be unpleasant.
  • Come rain and shine: to remain loyal or committed, regardless of the circumstances.
  • Cat-and-mouse (adj.): characterized by a game of teasing, tormenting, or pursuing followed by temporary escape or victory by the pursued.
  • Chuck a wobbly: to become very angry or upset, especially in a sudden and unpredictable way.
  • Carry the can: To take responsibility or be blamed for something, often unfairly.
  • Cross to bear: a difficult or unpleasant responsibility or burden that one must bear.
  • Cut someone some slack: give someone a break or leniency.
  • Cut your teeth on something: to gain experience or expertise in a particular area.
  • Cold day in hell: used to express the idea that something is unlikely or impossible to happen.
  • Cock and bull story: a fanciful, improbable, or false story.
  • Carrot-and-stick: A system of rewards and punishments used to motivate or control behavior.
  • Come hell or high water: to remain determined and committed to a goal or plan, regardless of the challenges or obstacles that may arise.
  • Chew the fat: to have a casual or leisurely conversation, especially over food.
  • Come to grips with: to accept and deal with a difficult or unpleasant situation or problem.
  • Castle in the air: an unrealistic, impossible, or impractical plan or idea.
  • Come by something honestly: to obtain something through hard work, honesty, or legitimate means, rather than through deceit or dishonesty.
  • Couch potato: a person who spends a lot of time sitting on a couch watching TV or being inactive.
  • Claim to fame: the one thing that a person or thing is known for or recognized for.
  • Cry your eyes out: to cry excessively and uncontrollably.
  • Cash-strapped: Having little or no money.
  • Clean up nicely: to look very attractive or polished after cleaning oneself up.
  • Cry over spilled milk: to be upset or regretful about something that has already happened and cannot be changed.
  • Cheap shot: an unfair or unethical attack or criticism.
  • Chase rainbows: to pursue something that is unrealistic or impossible.
  • Cool cat: someone who is effortlessly stylish and composed.
  • Cook someone’s goose: to ruin someone’s chances of success or happiness.
  • Call it a night: To end an evening or event.
  • Idioms With D
  • Dog days of summer: the hottest and most oppressive period of summer.
  • Draw a line under (something): To end something or conclude it.
  • Double-edged sword: something that has both advantages and disadvantages, or can be both helpful and harmful.
  • Dark horse: a person or thing that is little known or unexpected to succeed in a competition.
  • Drive a hard bargain: To negotiate aggressively for a favorable deal.
  • Double-dip: to receive two benefits or rewards for the same action or effort.
  • Dead ringer: someone or something that looks exactly like another person or thing.
  • Dirty look: a hostile or disapproving look or stare.
  • Dyed-in-the-wool (adj.): Firmly established in a particular belief or opinion.
  • Deep pockets: having a lot of money or resources.
  • Dance to someone’s tune: to do what someone else wants or follow their lead.
  • Draw a long bow: To exaggerate or stretch the truth.
  • Da man: a person who is highly respected or successful in a particular field.
  • Draw a line in the sand: To establish a boundary beyond which one will not tolerate or compromise.
  • Dodge a bullet: to avoid a dangerous or harmful situation or outcome.
  • Dance with the devil: to take a risk or engage in a dangerous or unethical activity.
  • Do 12-ounce curls: to drink beer, often to excess.
  • Drop the ball: To make a mistake or fail to do something that was expected or required.
  • Drive someone up the wall: To irritate or annoy someone greatly.
  • Dog-eat-dog: a competitive and ruthless environment in which people will do anything to get ahead.
  • Drain the lizard: To urinate.
  • Down the road: in the future, at a later time or stage.
  • Drive a wedge between: To cause a division or create conflict between two people or groups.
  • Dog-and-pony show: an elaborate presentation or demonstration that is designed to impress or entertain, but may lack substance.
  • Dead ahead: directly in front or straight ahead.
  • Dead as the dodo: completely extinct or obsolete.
  • Dead of winter: the coldest and darkest part of winter.
  • Dog in the manger: someone who prevents others from enjoying or benefiting from something, despite having no use for it
  • Dead heat: a tie or draw in a competition or race.
  • Drop a line: To write a brief note or letter.
  • Draw the line: To set a limit or establish boundaries beyond which one will not go.
  • Dutch courage: False courage or bravado gained from consuming alcohol.
  • Dead shot: a highly skilled marksman or shooter.
  • Darken someone’s door: to visit or intrude upon someone who does not want to be disturbed.
  • Drag your feet: To delay or procrastinate unnecessarily.
  • Dead run: a fast and uninterrupted movement, often used in reference to a chase or escape.
  • Devil’s advocate: someone who argues against a particular point of view for the sake of debate or to consider alternative perspectives.
  • Drink the Kool-Aid: To blindly accept or follow a particular ideology or belief.
  • Draw a blank: To fail to remember or come up with an answer or idea.
  • Down in the dumps: feeling sad, depressed, or discouraged.
  • Dressed up to the nines: Dressed very stylishly or elegantly.
  • Dutch uncle: A person who gives frank and direct advice or criticism.
  • Dry run: A rehearsal or practice session, especially in preparation for an important event.
  • Dead-eye: someone who has excellent aim or accuracy.
  • Deliver the goods: to fulfill expectations or promises.
  • Drag one’s feet (or heels): to delay or procrastinate, to be slow or reluctant to take action.

Idioms With E

  • Every man and his dog: A large number of people or things, often in a crowded or chaotic situation.
  • Eleventh hour: At the last possible moment or just before a deadline.
  • Eighty-six (v.): To refuse or reject something, often from a menu in a restaurant.
  • Eagle-eyed: Having keen eyesight or the ability to notice details quickly.
  • Excused boots: An excuse or justification for not doing something.
  • Eat someone’s lunch: To outperform or beat someone, often in a competitive context.
  • Eat your heart out!: Used to express pride or boastfulness, often in a playful or teasing manner.
  • Elephant in the room: An obvious problem or issue that everyone is aware of but no one wants to discuss.
  • Eat crow: To admit to being wrong or having made a mistake.
  • Elevator music: Background music that is played in public spaces, such as elevators or waiting rooms.
  • Even Steven: To be in a situation where everything is equal or balanced.
  • Elevator pitch: A short and persuasive description of a business idea or project that can be presented quickly to potential investors or partners.
  • Eager beaver: A person who is enthusiastic and eager to work or participate.
  • Eat humble pie: To apologize or show humility after being proven wrong or having made a mistake.
  • Every dog has his (its) day: Every person will have a period of success or good fortune at some point in their life.
  • Every man for himself: A situation where everyone is only concerned with their own interests or survival.
  • Early bird: A person who wakes up or arrives early, often for work or to take advantage of opportunities.

Idioms With F

  • Fire in the belly: a strong desire or passion to succeed or achieve something.
  • Freak out: to become very emotional or anxious in response to a situation or event.
  • Finger-pointing: blaming or accusing someone for something.
  • Fifteen minutes of fame: a brief period of fame or attention.
  • Feel like a million dollars: to feel exceptionally good or healthy.
  • First in, best dressed: the first person to arrive gets the best or most desirable outcome.
  • Fall in love with somebody: To develop strong romantic feelings for someone.
  • Feather in one’s cap: An achievement or honor that one can be proud of.
  • Fish for compliments: to make an effort to get others to compliment or praise oneself.
  • Fubar: acronym for “f***ed up beyond all recognition”, indicating a situation that is completely messed up or broken.
  • Flesh and blood: someone who is related by blood.
  • Fed up with: to be tired, annoyed, or frustrated with something or someone.
  • Fall on one’s sword: To take the blame or accept responsibility for error or failure, often at a cost to oneself.
  • Face the music: To confront the consequences of one’s actions or decisions.
  • Food for thought: something to think about or consider seriously.
  • Five-finger discount: stealing something.
  • Flash in the pan: a brief and fleeting success or achievement.
  • From pillar to post: from one place or situation to another without any progress or resolution.
  • Fly off the handle: to become suddenly and uncontrollably angry.
  • Farther (on) down the road: At a later time or in the future.
  • Feel on top of the world: to feel very happy and successful.
  • Fell off the back of a lorry: the same as “fell off a truck”, commonly used in British English.
  • Fight like cat and dog: to argue or fight vehemently and frequently.
  • Fifth wheel: an extra or unnecessary person or thing.
  • Flat out like a lizard: to be very busy or working hard.
  • Father figure: A male role model who provides guidance and support, often in a paternalistic or nurturing manner.
  • Flip-flop: to change one’s opinion or position frequently.
  • Find your feet: to become comfortable or confident in a new situation.
  • For crying out loud: an exclamation of frustration or annoyance.
  • Fish out of water: a person who feels uncomfortable or out of place in a particular situation.
  • Fell off a truck: to be stolen or acquired illegally.
  • Fall off the wagon: To resume a negative habit or addiction after having previously quit.
  • Fall for something: To be deceived or tricked into believing something that is not true.
  • Fourth estate: the press or news media, as a powerful influence on public opinion.
  • Flew the coop: to escape or leave suddenly and secretly.
  • Full of the joys of spring: to be very happy and enthusiastic.
  • Full fathom five: a line from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” that refers to something that is completely submerged or lost.
  • Fall prey to: To become a victim of or be influenced by something negative or harmful.
  • Feather one’s (own) nest: To use one’s position or resources to enrich oneself, often at the expense of others.
  • For a song: very cheaply or at a low price.
  • From scratch: to start something from the beginning.
  • Follow your heart: to do what you feel is right or follow your intuition.
  • Foul play: unfair or dishonest behavior, especially in sports or games.
  • Flat broke: completely out of money.
  • Fight fire with fire: to fight back using the same methods or tactics as one’s opponent.
  • Fashion-forward: Describing someone or something that is trendy or innovative in the fashion industry.
  • Fly high: to be successful or prosperous.
  • Fox in the henhouse: a person who is not trustworthy and may cause harm to others.
  • Feather one’s nest: To provide for one’s own interests or well-being, often by accumulating wealth or resources.
  • Fly by the seat of one’s pants: to improvise and make decisions without a plan or preparation.
  • Feast your eyes on: To look at something with great pleasure or admiration.
  • For XYZ reasons: for various reasons or unspecified reasons.
  • French leave: to leave without saying goodbye or without permission.
  • Fat cat: A wealthy and powerful person, especially one who is perceived as greedy or corrupt.
  • Find one’s voice: to discover and express one’s own opinions and feelings.
  • Fancy someone: To have a romantic or sexual attraction to someone.
  • From soup to nuts: from start to finish, including all details or steps.
  • Freudian slip: an unintentional mistake in a speech that reveals one’s true thoughts or feelings.
  • Fish or cut bait: to make a decision or take action instead of hesitating or delaying.

Idioms With G

  • Go pear-shaped: To go wrong or to become problematic.
  • Grind one’s teeth: To clench or gnash one’s teeth, especially in anger or frustration.
  • Go out on a limb: To take a risk or to make a bold or unsupported statement or action.
  • Get one’s hands dirty: To become involved in something that requires hard work, effort, or involvement in unpleasant or morally ambiguous activities.
  • Get to grips with: To become familiar with or to understand a difficult or complex subject.
  • Go ballistic: To become extremely angry or agitated.
  • Go with the flow: To follow the current or popular opinion or direction, rather than resisting or opposing it.
  • Get a word in edgewise: to have a chance to speak or be heard in a conversation where others are dominating.
  • Get a charley horse: to experience a sudden muscle cramp or spasm, usually in the leg.
  • Get in on the ground floor: To become involved in a new or developing situation from its early stages, especially for gaining an advantage.
  • Grasp (grab) at straws: To make desperate or unreasonable attempts to find a solution or to avoid failure.
  • Get the sack, be sacked: To be fired from one’s job.
  • Go under the knife: To undergo surgery or a medical procedure.
  • Grease monkey: A person who works on cars or other mechanical devices, especially as a profession.
  • Go to the mattresses: To prepare for a confrontation or a fight, often involving physical violence.
  • Go berserk: To become extremely angry or irrational.
  • Give ’em hell: To vigorously criticize or challenge someone or something.
  • Get off scot-free: To avoid punishment or negative consequences for something that was done wrong.
  • Give someone a holler: To call out to someone or to give someone a phone call.
  • Go belly up: To fail or to go bankrupt.
  • Go along (with): To agree with or to accept something, often reluctantly.
  • Go down in flames: To fail or to be unsuccessful in a spectacular or embarrassing manner.
  • Go viral: To become widely popular or well-known through the internet or social media.
  • Get someone’s goat: To irritate or annoy someone.
  • Go nuclear: To resort to extreme measures, especially in response to a crisis or threat.
  • Grease the wheels: To provide incentives or advantages to facilitate a process or transaction, often through bribery or other unethical means.
  • Greasy spoon: A small, cheap, and often dirty restaurant or diner that serves greasy, unhealthy food.
  • Go off half-cocked: To act impulsively or prematurely without adequate planning or preparation.
  • Give the green light: To give approval or permission for something to proceed.
  • Get the third degree: To be subjected to intense questioning or interrogation.
  • Green around the gills: Feeling or looking sickly, nauseous, or pale.
  • Go ape: To become extremely excited or agitated.
  • Go bananas: To become extremely excited, crazy, or irrational.
  • Get wind of: To hear about or discover something, often before it becomes public knowledge.
  • Get the ball rolling: To initiate or start a process or activity.
  • Get one’s ducks in a row: To get one’s affairs in order or to be well-prepared for a task or event.
  • Get bent out of shape: to become overly upset or angry about something.
  • Get the picture: To understand or comprehend something.
  • Get carried away: to become overly excited or enthusiastic about something to the point of losing control.
  • Get in shape: To become physically fit and healthy, usually by engaging in regular exercise and healthy eating habits.
  • Get the runaround: To be given excuses or evasive answers rather than straightforward or helpful information.
  • Give lip service: To express agreement or support for something without truly believing in it.
  • Get along: to have a good relationship or be friendly with someone.
  • Get with the program: To conform to the expectations or requirements of a particular situation.
  • Go to the dogs: To deteriorate or to become less successful or less prosperous.
  • Go cold turkey: To stop an addictive or habitual behavior abruptly and without assistance.
  • Game of chicken: a risky and dangerous game or situation
  • Give lip service to: To express support or agreement for something without taking any real action to support it.
  • Go bonkers: To become extremely excited or irrational.
  • Go nuts: To become extremely excited or irrational.
  • Go off the deep end: To become extremely upset, angry, or irrational.
  • Guilty pleasure: Something that one enjoys or finds pleasure in, despite feeling guilty or ashamed about it.
  • Go see a man about a dog: To give a vague or evasive reason for leaving, often to attend to personal business.
  • Green as grass: Inexperienced, naive, or untrained.
  • Go the extra mile: To make an additional effort or to do more than what is expected.
  • Guinea pig: A person or animal used for experimentation or testing.
  • Give one’s two cents: To offer one’s opinion on a matter.
  • Go mental: To become extremely agitated or irrational.
  • Go off the rails: To go out of control or to behave erratically.
  • Give someone an earful: To strongly and at length express one’s disapproval or criticism to someone.
  • Give something a whirl: To try something out or to attempt something new.
  • Give and take: To participate in a cooperative exchange of ideas, opinions, or actions.

Idioms With H

  • Have the hots for: To be intensely attracted to someone romantically or sexually.
  • Hobson’s choice: a situation where a choice must be made between options that are equally undesirable.
  • Honor system: a system based on trust, where people are expected to act honestly and with integrity without oversight or monitoring.
  • Hightail it (out of there): To leave quickly or run away in fear or haste.
  • Hell for leather: To go at full speed or with great intensity, usually in a reckless or wild manner.
  • Hands are tied: Unable to act or do anything because of circumstances beyond one’s control.
  • Hot mess: a chaotic or disorganized situation or person.
  • Hot potato: a difficult or controversial issue that is passed from one person to another.
  • Hit the sack: to go to bed or sleep.
  • Have a nose for: To have an intuition or talent for recognizing something, especially in business or finance.
  • Heavens open: It begins to rain very heavily or a significant change in a situation occurs suddenly and unexpectedly.
  • Have a bone to pick: To have a complaint or disagreement with someone, and want to discuss it with them.
  • Hang tough: To persevere or stay strong in the face of adversity.
  • Home truths: honest and often uncomfortable facts or realities that must be faced.
  • Head start: An advantage or headway that someone has over others in a competition, task, or project.
  • Heads will roll: A warning that someone will be punished or lose their job or position because of something they did wrong.
  • Hit the roof: to become very angry or upset.
  • Hail Mary: A last-ditch effort or a desperate attempt to achieve something.
  • Home away from home: a place where one feels comfortable and at ease, even if it is not their actual home.
  • Head and shoulders: Far superior to or much better than something else.
  • Hit the hay: to go to bed or sleep.
  • Heart and soul: With complete dedication, passion, and enthusiasm.
  • Hit the jackpot: to have a very successful and profitable outcome.
  • Have a lead foot: To drive a vehicle very fast, especially when it is not safe or legal to do so.
  • Hatchet job: A severe and unfair usually in writing or speech.
  • Hit the road: to start a journey or leave a place.
  • Happy-go-lucky: Carefree, cheerful, and optimistic.
  • Have a tough row to hoe: To have a difficult and challenging task or problem to solve.
  • Have something in the bag: To be confident of achieving success or winning something.
  • Hot on the heels (of): immediately following or closely behind something.
  • Hit it out of the park: to achieve great success or do something exceptionally well.
  • Hair of the dog: A drink or small amount of alcohol consumed to cure a hangover.
  • Have your say: To express your opinion or perspective on a matter.
  • Head (go) south: To deteriorate or decline rapidly, usually referring to a situation or relationship.
  • Heavy hitter: A powerful or influential person, especially in business or politics.
  • Have a chip on one’s shoulder: To be easily offended or always ready to argue or fight.
  • Hanging by a thread: In a precarious or unstable situation, with only a slight chance of survival or success.
  • Hit the ground running: to start a new project or job with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
  • Helicopter parenting: A style of parenting that involves hovering over and controlling every aspect of a child’s life, often to the point of being overprotective.
  • Hold one’s liquor: to be able to drink alcohol without becoming drunk easily.
  • Hit the nail on the head: to identify or do something exactly right.
  • Hard nut to crack: A difficult problem or challenge that is hard to solve or overcome.
  • Have a ball: To have a great time or lots of fun.
  • Hive mind: a collective mindset or way of thinking where individuals share their ideas to form a group decision.
  • Highways and byways: Referring to all the roads and paths in a place, often used to mean “everywhere.”
  • Hang it up: To quit or retire from something.
  • Have a lot on one’s plate: To have a lot of tasks or responsibilities to handle at the same time.
  • Hold the phone: to ask someone to wait or stop what they are doing.
  • Hit a wall: To reach a point of stagnation or failure, usually after a period of progress or success.
  • Have a whale of a time: To have an incredibly enjoyable and exciting time.
  • Hit the books: to study or do academic work.
  • Hands down: Without a doubt; unquestionably.
  • Hold your horses: to wait and be patient.
  • Have skin in the game: To have a personal interest or stake in a situation or outcome.
  • Have a lot riding on: To have a lot at stake, usually referring to a significant investment of time, money, or effort.
  • Have a dog in the hunt: To have a vested interest or stake in a particular matter or outcome.
  • High as a kite: To be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or feeling very excited or euphoric.
  • Hit the spot: to be satisfying or fulfilling.
  • Hold one’s peace: to remain silent or not speak out, especially when it would be appropriate to do so.
  • Have (one’s) head in the clouds: To be dreamy or impractical, not paying attention to reality or what’s going on around them.
  • Have a screw loose: To be crazy or mentally unstable.
  • Hat trick: In sports, scoring three goals or achievements in a single game or event.
  • Head and shoulders above: Significantly better or superior to something or someone else.
  • Heads up!: A phrase used to quickly alert someone to an impending danger or situation.

Idioms With I

  • It takes two to tango: both parties are equally responsible for a situation or problem.
  • In a nutshell: in summary or briefly.
  • Iron out: to resolve problems or disagreements; to smooth out differences.
  • In the interim: during the time between two events or periods; temporarily.
  • In someone’s wheelhouse: within someone’s area of expertise or skill.
  • It won’t fly: an idea or plan that is unlikely to be successful or accepted.
  • In the hot seat: to be in a position of high responsibility or scrutiny, where one’s actions and decisions are closely monitored and judged.
  • I’m all ears: to be eager and willing to listen to what someone has to say.
  • In the toilet: ruined, destroyed, or facing major problems.
  • In the works: being planned or developed; in progress.
  • It never rains but it pours: when one problem occurs, others follow in quick succession.
  • In the nick of time: at the last possible moment; just in time to prevent disaster or achieve success.
  • I wouldn’t put it past: to believe that someone is capable of doing something, often something negative or deceitful.
  • In full swing: actively happening or fully underway.
  • In a jam: to be in a difficult or problematic situation.
  • In his cups: to be drunk or under the influence of alcohol.
  • In clover: to be in a state of great comfort or prosperity.
  • Itchy feet: a strong desire to travel or move to a new place.
  • In the pipeline: in the process of being planned, developed, or prepared for future use.
  • In a fog: to be confused or unclear about something.
  • I’ve had it up to here: to be frustrated, annoyed, or at one’s limit with something.
  • In for a penny, in for a pound: to be fully committed to something, even if it involves significant risks or costs.
  • In hot water: to be in trouble or facing a difficult situation.
  • In the red: to owe money; to have negative financial balances.
  • In the long run: over a long period of time; considering the eventual outcome or consequences.
  • If the shoe fits, wear it: if something is true or applies to someone, they should accept it or admit it.
  • In one fell swoop: all at once or in a single action.
  • It’s a wash: the outcome or result is equal; no advantage or disadvantage to either side.
  • Is the pope catholic?: used to sarcastically express disbelief or to emphasize the obviousness of a situation.
  • In broad daylight: to occur or be visible in plain sight, often used in the context of illegal or immoral activities.
  • In a New York minute: very quickly or immediately.
  • In a rut: to be stuck in a routine or pattern that is difficult to break.
  • In a pickle: to be in a difficult or complicated situation.
  • In touch: staying in communication or maintaining contact with someone.
  • In the same boat: in the same difficult situation as others; facing a common problem or challenge.
  • In the limelight, in the spotlight: to be the center of attention, often in a positive or public way.
  • In one’s element: to be in a situation or activity that one is comfortable with or skilled at.
  • It’s not rocket science: a task or concept is not difficult to understand or accomplish.
  • In a heartbeat: very quickly or without hesitation.

Idioms With J

  • Jump through hoops: to complete a series of difficult or complicated tasks or requirements in order to achieve a goal or satisfy a requirement.
  • Jump in with both feet: to enthusiastically and completely commit to a task or project.
  • Jam session: an informal musical performance, often involving improvisation or experimentation.
  • Just for the record: used to clarify or emphasize a statement or fact, often in a formal setting.
  • Jack-of-all-trades: a person who can do many different types of work or has many skills.
  • Jump the shark: the moment when a TV show, movie, or another form of entertainment begins to decline in quality or popularity.
  • Jump the gun: to act too soon or prematurely, often before all the necessary information is available.
  • Jump the track: to deviate from the intended course or plan.
  • Just what the doctor ordered: exactly what is needed or wanted, often in a beneficial or restorative sense.
  • Jim crow: a system of racial segregation and discrimination, particularly in the southern United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Just around the corner: something is imminent or about to happen soon.
  • Jump on the bandwagon: to join a popular trend or movement, often without careful consideration.
  • Join the club (excl.): used to express empathy or solidarity with someone else who is experiencing a difficult or unpleasant situation.

Idioms With K

  • Keep your nose clean: to stay out of trouble or avoid doing anything that could get you into trouble.
  • Kick the bucket: to die; to pass away.
  • Kangaroo court: a mock court where the verdict is predetermined and unfair.
  • Keep (something) at bay: to prevent or keep something from happening or approaching.
  • Kick ass, kick butt: to do something extremely well; to succeed or win in a remarkable way.
  • Keep your powder dry: to be prepared and ready for action; to conserve your resources and not act rashly.
  • Keep an eye peeled: to watch carefully for something, often with a sense of urgency or caution.
  • Keep it under your hat: to keep something a secret; to not reveal information.
  • Keep someone at arm’s length: to keep someone at a distance; to maintain a cautious or guarded relationship with someone.
  • Keep a stiff upper lip: to remain brave and determined in the face of adversity or difficulty.
  • Keep an eye on: to monitor or observe someone or something closely.

Idioms With M

  • Mend fences: To reconcile or repair a damaged relationship.
  • Movers and shakers: Influential people who have the power to make things happen.
  • Miss the boat: To miss an opportunity or chance.
  • Meeting of the minds: A situation where two or more people come to an agreement or understanding.
  • May-December marriage: A marriage or romantic relationship between partners with a significant age difference.
  • Month of Sundays: A long period of time, often used in a negative context.
  • Move heaven and earth: To make every effort possible to accomplish something.
  • Me time: Time spent alone for personal relaxation or reflection.
  • Mind one’s p’s and q’s: To be careful and mindful of one’s behavior and language.
  • Match made in heaven: A perfect pairing of two people or things.
  • My way or the highway: An ultimatum given to someone to either accept one’s demands or leave.
  • My dogs are barking: To have sore feet or tired legs.
  • Much of a muchness: To be very similar or alike, often used in a negative context.
  • My old man, my old lady: Slang terms for one’s husband or wife.
  • Move up in the world: To attain a higher position or status in society or one’s career.
  • Move the needle: To cause a significant change or progress in a particular situation or task.
  • Music to my ears: Information or news that is pleasing to hear.
  • Mum’s the word: To keep quiet or not reveal a secret.
  • Mother Nature: The forces and elements of nature, personified as a motherly figure.

Idioms With N

  • Not cut out for (something): To not have the necessary skills or qualities for a particular task or job.
  • No shit, Sherlock: A sarcastic response to an obvious statement.
  • Neck of the woods: A particular area or region.
  • No room to swing a cat: A cramped or confined space.
  • Nuts and bolts: The practical and essential details of a situation or task.
  • Nest egg: A sum of money saved for future use or emergencies.
  • No love lost between: A situation where two people or groups have a strong dislike or animosity towards each other.
  • Nine-to-five job: A regular and predictable job with set working hours.
  • Not lift a finger: To not make any effort or take any action.
  • Never in a million years: An emphatic way of saying that something will never happen.
  • Not enough room to swing a cat: A cramped or confined space.
  • No tree grows to the sky: A reminder that every success has limits and eventually comes to an end.
  • Not have a prayer: To have no chance at all.
  • Nutty as a fruitcake: A phrase used to describe someone who is eccentric or crazy.
  • No holds barred: Without any restrictions or limitations.
  • Nice chunk of change: A significant amount of money.
  • No rhyme or reason (to): Without any clear explanation or logic.
  • Not know jack: To not know anything about a particular topic or situation.
  • Not have a cat in hell’s chance: To have no chance at all.
  • Nail-biter: A situation filled with tension and uncertainty.
  • No names, no pack drill: An expression used to indicate that anonymity will be maintained.
  • Nine times out of ten: An expression used to indicate that something is very likely to occur.
  • New wrinkle: A new and unexpected development in a situation.
  • Nickel and dime: To nitpick or be overly concerned with small details or expenses.
  • Not give a fig: To not care about something or someone.
  • Neck and neck: A close competition where the participants are nearly equal in ability or performance.
  • Not one’s cup of tea: Something that does not interest or appeal to someone.
  • Not mince words: To speak candidly and directly without using euphemisms or sugar-coating.

Idioms With P

  • Pep talk: Refers to a speech or conversation intended to motivate or encourage.
  • Pushing up daisies: To be dead and buried.
  • Put your foot down: To assert oneself and make a firm decision, often used in reference to taking a strong stance in a conflict or disagreement.
  • Powder keg: Refers to a situation that is dangerous and could erupt into violence or chaos.
  • Pick a fight: Refers to intentionally provoking or starting a conflict.
  • Pissing contest: Refers to a situation in which people compete to show off their power or superiority.
  • Play with fire: Refers to taking unnecessary risks or flirting with danger.
  • Pull the plug on: Refers to stopping something abruptly or completely.
  • Paddle one’s own canoe: To be self-sufficient and independent, often in reference to personal goals or aspirations.
  • Put down roots: To establish oneself or settle down in a particular place, often used in reference to buying a home or starting a family.
  • Pencil something in: Refers to scheduling something tentatively or with the possibility of change.
  • Pop one’s clogs: Refers to dying.
  • Pipe dream: Refers to an unrealistic or impractical idea or goal.
  • Put lipstick on a pig: To attempt to make something unattractive or undesirable appear more appealing or attractive than it really is.
  • Poison pill: Refers to a defense mechanism used by companies to deter hostile takeovers by making their own stock less attractive.
  • Pink-slip: Refers to a notice of termination from a job.
  • Play cat and mouse: Refers to a situation in which one person is trying to outwit or evade another person.
  • Pain in the neck: Refers to someone or something that is annoying or troublesome.
  • Point the finger: Refers to blaming someone for something.
  • Pull yourself together: Refers to getting control of one’s emotions or behavior and becoming calm or composed.
  • Play it by ear: Refers to making decisions or plans as the situation unfolds.
  • Play the ponies: Refers to betting on horse races.
  • Puppies and rainbows: Refers to an excessively optimistic or naive view of the world, often used to criticize someone for being overly idealistic or unrealistic.
  • Pie in the sky: Refers to an unrealistic or improbable idea or goal.
  • Play ball: Refers to cooperating or going along with something.
  • Piping hot: Refers to something that is very hot, often food or drinks.
  • Pick up the slack: Refers to doing the work that others have not done or are not able to do.
  • Puddle jumper: Refers to a small, lightweight airplane used for short flights.
  • Poison pill (n): Refers to a medication or substance that is harmful or lethal if ingested.
  • Powder one’s nose: Refers to using the restroom or freshening up one’s makeup.
  • Pop one’s cork: Refers to losing one’s temper or becoming very angry.
  • Pop the question: Refers to asking someone to marry you.
  • Play the percentages: Refers to making choices based on the likelihood of success.
  • Paint the town red: Refers to going out to celebrate and have a good time.
  • Par for the course: Refers to something that is normal or expected.
  • Perfect storm: Refers to a combination of circumstances that creates a disastrous situation.
  • Put in one’s two cents: To offer one’s opinion or viewpoint on a matter, even if it is unsolicited or unimportant.
  • Preaching to the choir: Refers to persuading people who already agree with you.
  • Pin someone down: Refers to getting a clear and definite answer or commitment from someone.
  • Play hardball: Refers to taking a tough or uncompromising approach in a situation.
  • Put the brakes on: To slow down or stop a process or activity, often used in reference to preventing an impending disaster or negative outcome.
  • Puppy love: Refers to the intense but often short-lived infatuation or romantic attraction felt by young people, especially teenagers.
  • Pecking order: Refers to the hierarchy or ranking system within a group.
  • Put one’s face on: To apply makeup or dress up in a presentable way, often used in reference to preparing for an important event or meeting.
  • Pipped to the post: Refers to being beaten or losing out to someone at the last minute.
  • Pretty penny: Refers to a large or considerable amount of money.
  • Pick up the tab: Refers to paying the bill or expenses for something.
  • Pack heat: To carry a concealed weapon.
  • Pure as the driven snow: Used to describe someone or something that is completely innocent, pure, and free from any wrongdoing.
  • Puppy dog eyes: A pleading or longing look, often used to gain sympathy or favor.
  • Pet peeve: Refers to a minor annoyance that someone finds particularly irritating.
  • Put a thumb on the scale: To cheat or manipulate a situation in one’s favor.
  • Pass the buck: Refers to shifting the responsibility or blame to someone else.
  • Point the finger at: Refers to accusing or blaming someone for something.
  • Put out feelers: To make inquiries or seek information in a subtle or indirect way, often used in reference to exploring potential job opportunities or business deals.
  • Pinch-pennies: Refers to being excessively frugal or cheap.
  • Push the envelope: To extend the limits of what is possible or acceptable, often used in reference to pushing boundaries in art, technology, or social norms.
  • Pull out all the stops: Refers to using every available means to achieve a goal or objective.
  • Page-turner: A book or story that is exciting and engaging, and makes the reader eager to turn the page and continue reading.
  • Piece of cake: Refers to something that is easy to accomplish.
  • Pull strings: Refers to using one’s influence or connections to get something done.
  • Point of no return: Refers to a point in a situation where it is impossible to turn back or change course.
  • Peaches and cream: Refers to something that is pleasant and easy.
  • Play your cards right: Refers to making the right decisions or choices to achieve success.
  • Passing fancy: Refers to a temporary interest or infatuation.
  • Penny-pinching: Refers to being excessively frugal or cheap.
  • Pay through the nose: Refers to paying a high price or overpaying for something.

Idioms With Q

  • Quarter past: Refers to the time 15 minutes after the hour.
  • Queer the pitch: To spoil or ruin a situation or plan, often used in reference to causing disruption or chaos.
  • Quick-and-dirty: Hasty and careless, often used in reference to a hastily assembled or low-quality product or solution.
  • Quarter to/of: Refers to the time 15 minutes before the hour.
  • Quote unquote: Indicates that the preceding word or phrase is being quoted or repeated from another source, often used in verbal communication to indicate sarcasm or irony.
  • Quick as a flash: Very fast, often used in reference to a sudden or unexpected action or event.
  • Quake in one’s boots: To be very afraid or intimidated, often used in reference to a situation or person that is particularly frightening.

Idioms With R

  • Rain cats and dogs: To rain heavily and intensely, often used in reference to a sudden or unexpected downpour.
  • Rake over the ashes: To revisit or discuss past events or issues that have already been resolved, often used in reference to rehashing old arguments or grievances.
  • Raise (someone’s) hackles: To make someone angry or irritated, often used in reference to a comment or action that is perceived as insulting or disrespectful.
  • Red herring: A misleading or distracting clue or piece of information, often used in reference to a deliberate attempt to mislead or divert attention.
  • Raise the bar: To set a higher standard or expectation, often used in reference to improving performance or achievement.
  • Run in the family: A trait or characteristic that is common among members of a family, often used in reference to genetic or inherited traits.
  • Run the table: To win every game or match in a competition, often used in reference to a dominant performance.
  • Raise one’s voice: To speak loudly or shout, often used in reference to expressing anger or frustration.
  • Right under (one’s) nose: In plain sight or very close proximity, often used in reference to something that is hidden or overlooked.
  • Red flag: A warning sign or signal indicating potential danger or risk, often used in reference to identifying potential problems or issues.
  • Read between the lines: To interpret or infer meaning that is not explicitly stated, often used in reference to understanding hidden or implied messages in communication.
  • Run out of steam: To lose energy or momentum, often used in reference to feeling tired or burnt out.
  • Rock the boat: To cause trouble or conflict by challenging the status quo or disrupting established norms, often used in reference to advocating for change or innovation.
  • Rubber-stamp (v.): To approve or authorize something quickly and without much thought, often used in reference to a process that is too bureaucratic or inefficient.
  • Red-light district: An area of a city or town where prostitution or other illicit activities are prevalent, often used in reference to seedy or unsavory neighborhoods.
  • Rotten to the core: Morally corrupt or depraved, often used in reference to a person or organization that is fundamentally flawed.
  • Riding high: To be experiencing success or good fortune, often used in reference to feeling confident or optimistic about the future.
  • Red meat: Controversial or provocative content or material, often used in reference to media or political rhetoric that appeals to strong emotions or beliefs.
  • Read the tea leaves: To predict or analyze future events or outcomes, often used in reference to making predictions based on subtle or indirect clues.
  • Reinvent the wheel: To waste time and effort trying to create something that already exists or has already been done, often used in reference to inefficient or redundant work.
  • Run a tight ship: To manage something effectively and efficiently, often used in reference to being organized and disciplined in one’s approach.
  • Right as rain: To be healthy or feeling well, often used in reference to good health or a speedy recovery.
  • Rule of thumb: A general principle or guideline, often used in reference to a basic or commonly accepted standard.
  • Run on fumes: To continue operating with very little energy or resources left, often used in reference to feeling exhausted or depleted.
  • Rank and file: Refers to ordinary members of a group or organization, often used in reference to members who hold no leadership or executive positions.
  • Race against time: To work urgently and quickly in order to complete a task before a deadline or time limit expires.
  • Run off at the mouth: To talk excessively or without thinking, often used in reference to being overly talkative or verbose.
  • Ring a bell: To sound familiar or evoke a memory, often used in reference to recognizing or remembering something from the past.
  • Rob Peter to pay Paul: To use one source of funds to pay for something else, often used in reference to financial difficulties or budget constraints.
  • Rock bottom: The lowest point or worst possible situation, often used in reference to hitting a personal or professional low.
  • Run into a buzz: To encounter a lot of excitement or attention, often used in reference to being in the spotlight or receiving a lot of media coverage.
  • Rob the cradle: To date or marry someone significantly younger, often used in reference to a significant age gap in a romantic relationship.
  • Rain on someone’s parade: To spoil or ruin someone’s plans or happiness, often used in reference to intentionally or unintentionally causing disappointment or frustration.
  • Rear its ugly head: To appear or become visible, often used in reference to a negative or undesirable situation or outcome.
  • Red tape: Excessive bureaucracy or administrative procedures, often used in reference to bureaucratic obstacles or delays in government or business.
  • Roll with the punches: To adapt and cope with difficult or unexpected situations, often used in reference to being resilient or flexible in the face of adversity.
  • Right-hand man: A trusted or valuable assistant or advisor, often used in reference to someone who provides crucial support or guidance.
  • Roll the dice on: To take a chance or risk, often used in reference to making a gamble or uncertain decision.
  • Rub someone’s nose in: To constantly remind someone of their failures or shortcomings in a way that is humiliating or belittling, often used in reference to shaming or embarrassing someone.
  • Raise the roof: To energize or excite a crowd or group of people, often used in reference to a party or social gathering.
  • Raise red flags: To indicate potential danger or warning signs, often used in reference to identifying potential risks or issues that need to be addressed.
  • Rookie mistake: An error or misstep made by someone who is new or inexperienced, often used in reference to a mistake made by a beginner.
  • Rub it in: To remind someone of their mistakes or shortcomings in a way that is gloating or unkind, often used in reference to taunting or teasing.

Idioms With S

  • Stick-in-the-mud: A person who refuses change/ new ideas
  • Sit on (something): To delay or withhold action or information, often for strategic or manipulative purposes.
  • Simmer down: To calm down; to become less angry or upset.
  • Sticker shock: the feeling of surprise/disbelief at how expensive something is
  • Start with a clean slate: begin again without any preconceptions or prejudices based on past experiences or mistakes.
  • Square the circle: attempt an impossible task; try to find a solution for something that cannot be solved.
  • Sticky wicket: A difficult situation
  • Slip through the cracks: To go unnoticed or unaddressed; to be overlooked or ignored.
  • Spin a yarn: tell a long and elaborate story, often with exaggeration or fabrication.
  • Stiff-necked: a stubborn person who refuses advice/suggestions
  • Sure-fire: Guaranteed to succeed or be effective; certain.
  • See eye to eye: To agree or have a common understanding, often used in reference to shared beliefs or values.
  • Spoiling for a fight: eager and ready to argue or fight with someone.
  • Sick and tired of: To be extremely annoyed or frustrated with something; to have had enough of it.
  • Set something to music: To compose or create a piece of music to accompany a particular text or lyrics.
  • Slow boat to China: A long and tedious journey or process, often with no clear end in sight.
  • Sleep on it: To postpone a decision or action until the following day, often to allow time for further consideration or reflection.
  • Swim with sharks: To participate in risky or dangerous situations, especially involving powerful or unscrupulous people.
  • Straight arrow: An honest/trustworthy person
  • Shipshape and Bristol fashion: Neat, tidy, and well-organized; in good condition and ready for use.
  • Shoot from the hip: To speak or act impulsively or without careful consideration; to react quickly without thinking.
  • Strike a chord: To evoke strong emotions/feelings.
  • Sleep like a baby: To sleep very soundly and peacefully.
  • Show one’s true colors: To reveal one’s true character or intentions, often after pretending to be something else.
  • Sweeten the pot: To add something extra to an offer or proposal to make it more appealing or enticing.
  • Show your cards: To reveal one’s plans, intentions, or secrets; to be transparent or honest.
  • Son of a gun: an expression used to describe someone who is mischievous or tricky.
  • Stab someone in the back: betray someone’s trust by doing something harmful behind their back.
  • Stand one’s ground: refuse to change one’s position, despite opposition or pressure from others.
  • Seize the day: To make the most of the present moment, often used in reference to taking advantage of opportunities.
  • Sick as a dog: To be very sick, often with a stomach or flu virus.
  • Short fuse: A tendency to become angry or irritable quickly and easily; a volatile or explosive temperament.
  • Sick as a parrot: To be extremely disappointed or unhappy with a situation or outcome.
  • Step up one’s game/Step up to the plate: improve one’s performance; take on more responsibility; rise to the challenge when called upon.
  • Steal someone’s thunder: take credit for someone else’s idea, achievement, or success by revealing it before they have the chance to do so themselves.
  • Second wind: A renewed burst of energy or enthusiasm, often used in reference to overcoming fatigue or exhaustion.
  • Sugar daddy: A wealthy, older man who gives financial support to a younger woman in exchange for companionship or other favors.
  • Sing a different tune: To change one’s opinion or position, especially in response to new information or circumstances.
  • Spick and span: a phrase used to describe something that is very clean and tidy.
  • Silver bullet: A simple and effective solution to a difficult problem or situation.
  • Shape up or ship out: To improve one’s behavior or performance or risk being fired or removed from a position or situation.
  • Set the Thames on fire: To accomplish a remarkable or outstanding feat; to create a sensation or excitement.
  • Sweep under the carpet/Sweep under the rug: To conceal or ignore a problem or issue, hoping it will go away without addressing it.
  • Second banana: A person or thing that is subordinate to someone or something else, often used in reference to a supporting role or position.
  • Stick your nose into something: involve yourself in other people’s business without being invited.
  • Saving grace: A redeeming quality or aspect that makes a difficult situation more bearable, often used in reference to finding a positive in a negative situation.
  • Swing for the fences: To aim for a grand or ambitious goal or outcome, often involving risk or uncertainty.
  • Stormy relationship: A relationship full of arguments/disagreements
  • Set the bar (too) high: To establish a high standard or expectation that is difficult to meet or exceed.
  • Stalking horse: something used as a distraction so that one can achieve their true objective unnoticed.
  • Slow and steady wins the race: A proverb that emphasizes the importance of patience and persistence in achieving one’s goals.
  • Slick as a whistle: Very smooth, efficient, or well-organized; without any flaws or problems.
  • Shit a brick: To become extremely anxious, nervous, or frightened; to be very worried or upset.
  • Swan song: A final act, performance, or gesture before retiring or ending something.
  • Shot across the bow: A warning or threat issued to someone as a way of preventing them from taking further action.
  • Set the world on fire: To create a sensation or excitement; to accomplish something significant or remarkable.
  • Small potatoes: Something insignificant or unimportant; something of little value or consequence.
  • Sell like hotcakes: To be very popular or in high demand, often used in reference to a product or service that is selling quickly.
  • Spin one’s wheels: expend effort without making any progress towards achieving a goal.
  • Shell game: A deceptive or fraudulent activity in which a small object is placed under one of several containers or cups, which are then rapidly shuffled or moved around to confuse the observer as to the location of the object.
  • Swim with the fishes: A euphemism for being killed or murdered, often used in organized crime contexts.
  • Swim against the tide: To go against the prevailing opinion or direction, often resulting in difficulty or opposition.
  • Stumbling-block: Something that creates an obstacle or difficulty in achieving a goal or making progress.
  • Stem the tide: make an effort to stop or slow down something negative from happening, such as an increase in crime rates or economic decline.
  • Sore point: a topic or subject that causes discomfort, anger, or embarrassment when discussed.
  • Screw the pooch: To make a serious mistake or error, often used in reference to a significant blunder.
  • Sweeten the deal: To improve the terms of an agreement or offer to make it more attractive or desirable.
  • Sink or swim: To either succeed or fail completely, often with no middle ground or second chances.
  • Spit into the wind: engage in an action that is likely to fail or backfire.
  • Skate on thin ice: To take a risky or dangerous activity that could have serious consequences if it goes wrong.
  • Sweet dreams!: A phrase used to wish someone a peaceful and restful night’s sleep.
  • Spill the beans: reveal information that was supposed to be kept secret.
  • Set in stone: To be fixed or unchangeable, often used in reference to a decision or plan that cannot be altered.
  • Second stringer: A person or thing that is not as good or important as the first choice, often used in reference to a backup or secondary option.
  • Sacred cow: A person or thing that is regarded as above criticism or scrutiny, often used in reference to an idea or concept that is considered untouchable.
  • Sword of Damocles: A symbol of impending danger or threat, often used to describe a situation where someone is in a precarious position.
  • Selling point: A feature or benefit of a product or service that makes it attractive to potential customers, often used in reference to marketing or advertising.
  • Sour grapes: used to describe someone who speaks negatively about something they are unable to obtain, usually out of jealousy or disappointment.
  • Shift gears: To change one’s approach, attitude, or focus; to switch to a different topic or activity.
  • Sharp as a tack: Mentally alert and intelligent; quick-witted.
  • Stick it to the man: rebel against authority figures by challenging their power and control over you.
  • Smell a rat: To suspect that something is not right; to sense that something is amiss or deceptive
  • Shoot off one’s mouth: To talk excessively or boastfully; to reveal secrets or confidential information.
  • School of hard knocks: A difficult or challenging learning experience, often used in reference to a trial-and-error approach to learning.
  • Storm in a teacup: Overreacting about minor things

Idioms With T

  • Take a gander: To take a quick or cursory look at something.
  • Throw elbows: to push aggressively or assertively to get ahead or accomplish a goal.
  • Take it easy: A phrase used to encourage someone to relax, take things slowly, or not worry too much.
  • Throw caution to the wind: take a risk without considering the potential consequences.
  • Teach an old dog new tricks: To teach someone or try to teach someone who is set in their ways or habits something new or different.
  • Test the waters: To try something out or explore a situation to see if it is viable or worthwhile.
  • The whole enchilada: the entirety of something or all the available options.
  • Tie the knot: to get married.
  • Take a rain check: To decline an invitation or offer, but indicate a willingness to accept it at a later time.
  • Take the edge off (of something): To reduce the intensity or severity of something, often a negative or unpleasant situation.
  • Take the cake: To be the most outrageous or exceptional example of something, often used to describe negative behavior.
  • Take your life in your hands: To engage in a dangerous or risky activity, often with the potential for harm or injury.
  • Tighten the screws: to apply pressure or increase restrictions in order to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Ten a penny: A phrase used to describe something that is common or abundant, often with a negative connotation.
  • Throw the match: to intentionally lose a tennis match or other competition.
  • Tight-lipped: unwilling or reluctant to speak or reveal information.
  • Throw the game: to intentionally lose a sports game or other competition.
  • Thin on the ground: scarce or in short supply.
  • That’s music to my ears: A phrase used to express pleasure or satisfaction at hearing good news or positive information.
  • Take your time: A phrase used to encourage someone to not rush or hurry, but to take as much time as they need.
  • The only game in town: the only option or choice available.
  • The world is your oyster: you have many opportunities and options available to you.
  • The time is ripe: the perfect or opportune moment to take action.
  • Think tank: a group or organization dedicated to generating and sharing ideas and expertise on a particular subject.
  • Thumbs-up: a sign of approval or agreement.
  • Tear one’s hair out: To be extremely upset, frustrated, or agitated.
  • The third time’s a charm: the idea that after two failed attempts, the third try will be successful.
  • Time is money: time is a valuable commodity that should not be wasted.
  • Take a deep dive (into): To thoroughly explore or investigate a topic, issue, or situation.
  • Through the grapevine: information that is passed through informal or unofficial channels.
  • The story has legs: the story has staying power or enduring interest.
  • Ten to one: A phrase used to indicate that something is very likely to happen or occur.
  • The walls have ears: be cautious because you never know who might be listening.
  • The whole shebang: everything or all of the related things involved in a situation.
  • That ship has sailed: A phrase used to indicate that an opportunity or chance has been missed or lost.
  • Tear-jerker: A piece of media, such as a book, movie, or song, that is designed to evoke strong emotions, especially sadness or sympathy.
  • Take it or leave it (command): A phrase used to indicate that an offer or proposal is non-negotiable and must be accepted as is, with no changes or modifications.
  • Take it on the chin: To accept a difficult or unpleasant situation or criticism without complaining or resisting.
  • Taste of your own medicine: To experience the same negative treatment or behavior that one has inflicted on others.
  • Take the gloves off: To become aggressive or confrontational, often in response to provocation or conflict.
  • Take five (ten): To take a longer break or rest for ten minutes.
  • Tell it to the marines: A phrase used to express disbelief or skepticism about a claim or story.
  • Take the high road: To take the moral or ethical path in a difficult or challenging situation, often involving forgiveness or restraint.
  • Take (someone) to the cleaners: To take advantage of someone, especially financially, often resulting in significant loss or hardship for the other person.
  • Take a flyer: To take a risk or gamble, often with little information or certainty about the outcome.
  • Take your medicine: To accept the consequences or punishment for one’s actions.
  • Tempest in a teapot: An overblown or exaggerated reaction to a minor or insignificant issue.
  • The deck is (the cards are): A phrase used to describe the current situation or circumstances, especially in relation to an advantage or disadvantage.
  • Take the fifth: To refuse to answer a question or make a statement on the grounds that it might incriminate oneself.
  • Take a hike: A rude way of telling someone to leave or go away.
  • That’s a stretch: A phrase used to express skepticism or doubt about a claim or statement.
  • Throw the fight: to intentionally lose a boxing match or other competition.
  • Think outside the box: to think creatively and unconventionally, beyond traditional or established norms.
  • Take someone to task: To criticize or reprimand someone for their behavior or actions.
  • The coast is clear: A phrase used to indicate that it is safe to proceed, especially after a period of danger or risk.
  • Think big: to have ambitious and visionary goals or plans.
  • Three sheets to the wind: to be extremely drunk or intoxicated.
  • Through thick and thin: to support or remain loyal to someone or something, no matter the difficulties or challenges.
  • Throw in the towel: to give up or surrender.
  • Throw the book at: to impose severe punishment or criticism on someone.
  • Take five: To take a short break or rest for five minutes.
  • The jig is up: the scheme or deception is revealed or foiled.
  • Third rail: a topic that is so sensitive or controversial that it is considered taboo or dangerous to discuss.
  • Throw a wrench into: to disrupt or interfere with a plan or situation.
  • The powers that be: the people who hold the most authority and influence in a particular organization or system.
  • The real McCoy: the genuine or authentic article.
  • Take a powder: To leave quickly or abruptly, often without explanation.
  • That’s all she wrote: A phrase used to indicate the end of something or that there is nothing more to be said or done.

70 Idiomatic Expressions With Meaning

  1. A bead on (something) – Having focus or concentration on something
  2. A piece of cake – Something that is very easy to do
  3. Add insult to injury – To make a bad situation even worse
  4. All ears – Listening carefully to what someone has to say
  5. All in a day’s work – Something that is normal or routine
  6. All bark and no bite – Talkative but harmless
  7. Apple of my eye – Someone who is cherished and loved
  8. Back to the drawing board – Having to start over again from the beginning
  9. Bad news bears – Something that is unfavorable or depressing
  10. Beat around the bush – To avoid talking about something directly
  11. Bite off more than you can chew – To take on more than you can handle
  12. Buy time – To delay something in order to gain an advantage
  13. Call it a day – To stop working or doing something for the day
  14. Cat got your tongue? – Said when someone is unexpectedly silent
  15. Chip on your shoulder – Having a grudge or resentment toward someone
  16. Cry over spilled milk – To worry about something that cannot be changed
  17. Cut corners – To do something in a lower quality or a cheaper way in order to save time or money
  18. Devil’s advocate – Someone who takes the opposing view, usually for the sake of argument
  19. Diehard – Someone who is very loyal or committed, especially to a cause
  20. Dime a dozen – Something that is very common and not special
  21. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch – Don’t make plans based on an uncertain outcome
  22. Draw a blank – To be unable to remember something
  23. Drive someone up the wall – To annoy or bother someone very much
  24. Dumb as a rock – Completely stupid
  25. Easier said than done – Something that is difficult to do, despite being simple to describe
  26. Eleventh-hour – At the last minute
  27. Everything but the kitchen sink – Including everything possible, even things that are not needed
  28. Face the music – To accept and deal with the unpleasant consequences of one’s actions
  29. Fan the flames – To make a situation worse by adding to the problem
  30. Feast your eyes on (something) – To look at something, usually because it is impressive
  31. For all intents and purposes – Effectively, for all practical purposes
  32. Get a leg up – To have an advantage over others
  33. Get your ducks in a row – To get everything organized
  34. Give someone the benefit of the doubt – To believe that someone is telling the truth, even if there is no evidence
  35. Go back to square one – To start over again from the beginning
  36. Hang in there – Keep trying, even when things are difficult
  37. Hard pill to swallow – An unpleasant truth that is difficult to accept
  38. Have an ace up your sleeve – To have a secret plan or advantage that can be used if needed
  39. Hit the nail on the head – To describe something exactly as it is
  40. In a nutshell – In a few words, in a small amount of space
  41. It’s not rocket science – It’s not difficult or complicated
  42. Knee-deep in (something) – Involved in something to a great extent
  43. Last straw – The final event or problem that causes someone to become angry or frustrated
  44. Let the cat out of the bag – To accidentally reveal a secret
  45. Lick your wounds – To rest and recover after a failure or defeat
  46. Once in a blue moon – Very rarely, not often at all
  47. Only time will tell – It’s impossible to know the outcome now, we will have to wait and see
  48. Open Pandora’s box – To do something that will cause many problems
  49. Paint yourself into a corner – To get yourself into a situation from which it is difficult to escape
  50. Pass with flying colors – To succeed or do something very well
  51. Pearls of wisdom – Valuable advice or information
  52. Penny for your thoughts? – What are you thinking about?
  53. Playing with fire – Doing something dangerous that could have bad consequences
  54. Pull out all the stops – To use everything at your disposal, to do everything possible
  55. Put your thinking cap on – To start thinking hard about something
  56. See eye to eye – To agree with someone
  57. Shoot for the starsTo aim high, to try to achieve something great
  58. Skeleton in the closet – A secret that could be damaging if it were revealed
  59. Spill the beans – To accidentally reveal a secret
  60. Stick to your guns – To remain firm in your beliefs or actions, even when others do not agree
  61. Take it with a grain of salt – To not believe something completely, to be skeptical
  62. The proof is in the pudding – The result will show whether something is successful or not
  63. The whole nine yards – Everything, the entire amount
  64. Throw in the towel – To give up, to quit
  65. To err is human, and to forgive is divine – Everyone makes mistakes, and it is good to forgive them
  66. Two heads are better than one – Two people working together can achieve more than one working alone
  67. Under the weather – Feeling ill, not well
  68. Water under the bridge – Something that happened in the past and is not important now
  69. Wear your heart on your sleeve – To show your emotions openly, to not hide how you feel
  70. When push comes to shove – When the time for action comes when it is time to do something about a situation
  71. You can’t judge a book by its cover – You can’t know what something is like just by looking at it, you have to try it or experience it first

20 Commonly Used Idioms and Their Meanings

Below are the 20 most popular idioms in English and their meaning.

1. Break a leg – Good luck!

2. Piece of cake – Very easy!

3. It’s raining cats and dogs – It’s raining heavily!

4. The ball is in your court – It’s your turn to take action or make a decision!

5. Kick the bucket – To die!

6. Barking up the wrong tree – To pursue the wrong course of action or to blame the wrong person!

7. Spill the beans – To reveal a secret!

8. A penny for your thoughts – What are you thinking?

9. Actions speak louder than words – People’s actions are more important than their words!

10. Burn the midnight oil – To work or study late into the night!

11. Hit the books – To study hard!

12. Let the cat out of the bag – To reveal a secret accidentally or intentionally!

13. Two peas in a pod – Two people who are very similar!

14. Cut to the chase – Get to the most important point quickly!

15. At the drop of a hat – Immediately!

16. Off the hook – Free from responsibility or guilt!

17. Pull someone’s leg – To make fun of them in a good-natured way!

18. Catch some z’s – To go to sleep or take a nap!

19. Take with a grain of salt – Not to take something too seriously!

20. On cloud nine – To be extremely happy!

Idioms and Their Meanings – Pictures

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Related Lessons:

  1. Idioms Examples for Students
  2. 80 Idioms in English With Meaning
  3. 100 Idioms and Their Meanings
  4. 50 Popular Idioms in English

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