80 Idioms in English With Meaning and Sentences

80 Idioms in English With Meaning! An idiom is a phrase that has a meaning that is not literal. For example, if you say someone “has big shoes to fill,” it means they have a lot to live up to. Some English idioms are easy to guess the meaning of, but others are more difficult. Here are 80 common English idioms and their meaning:

80 Idioms in English With Meaning

Idioms in English With Meaning

Related: 500 Idioms and Meaning

Below are 80 idioms with meanings:

  1. A Blessing In Disguise: something good that initially seemed bad.
  2. A Chip On Your Shoulder: a grudge or resentful attitude.
  3. A Dime A Dozen: something that is very common and not special.
  4. A Drop In The Bucket: a small amount in relation to what is needed.
  5. All Ears: eagerly listening to someone.
  6. All Bark and No Bite: talking tough but not being willing to act on it.
  7. An Arm And A Leg: a very high price.
  8. Bad Blood: ill feelings or hatred between people or groups.
  9. Beat Around the Bush: to avoid discussing something directly
  10. Bite off More Than You Can Chew: to take on more responsibility than you can handle
  11. Break A Leg: good luck (usually said to actors before a performance)
  12. Call It A Day: to stop working
  13. Cry over Spilt Milk: to lament over something that cannot be changed
  14. Cut Somebody Some Slack: to relax the rules for someone
  15. Get off Somebody’s Back: to stop bothering or pressuring someone
  16. Hang In There: keep trying
  17. Hit The Sack: go to bed
  18. Hold Your Horses: wait
  19. I’m All Ears: I’m listening
  20. Keep Your Chin Up: don’t be discouraged
  21. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: leave something alone
  22. No Pain, No Gain: you have to work hard to succeed
  23. Once In A Blue Moon: rarely
  24. Piece Of Cake: easy
  25. Pull Somebody’s Leg: to tease
  26. Reinvent The Wheel: to try to improve something that’s already working well
  27. Rule Of Thumb: a general guideline
  28. See Eye To Eye: to agree
  29. Shoot the Breeze: to chat
  30. Sink or Swim: to succeed or fail
  31. Sold Down The River: betrayed
  32. Speak Of The Devil: the person you’re talking about arrives
  33. The Bottom Line: the most important part
  34. The Whole Nine Yards: everything
  35. Throw In the Towel: to give up
  36. To Cost an Arm and a Leg: to be very expensive
  37. Under The Weather: not feeling well
  38. Uphill Battle: a difficult challenge
  39. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve: to show your emotions
  40. When Push Comes To Shove: when it’s time to act
  41. You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover: don’t prejudge someone or something
  42. A Drop In The Ocean: a tiny amount in relation to what is needed
  43. Add Fuel to The Fire: to make a bad situation worse
  44. Argue The Toss: to argue about something that is not important
  45. Back To Square One: to have to start all over again
  46. Barking Up the Wrong Tree: to be looking in the wrong place
  47. Bite Your Tongue: to stop yourself from saying something
  48. Bring Home the Bacon: to earn money
  49. Call It A Day: to stop working
  50. Carrying Coals To Newcastle: to do something that is not necessary because it is already available
  51. Cost A Bomb: to be very expensive
  52. Crossing the Rubicon: to take a final step
  53. Do Someone A Favor: to help someone
  54. Down The Pan: to fail completely
  55. Drawing a Blank: when you can’t remember something
  56. Eating Humble Pie: to apologize for something you did wrong
  57. Fallen On Hard Times: to have financial difficulties
  58. Get Your Ducks in A Row: to get everything ready
  59. Give Someone A Hand: to help someone
  60. Good Riddance: used to express happiness when something bad has gone or been eliminated
  61. Hang Fire: to wait
  62. Have The Last Laugh: to be successful after others have laughed at you
  63. Hold Your Horses!: wait!
  64. In A Nutshell: Briefly
  65. In Hot Water: in trouble
  66. It Takes Two To Tango: both people are responsible for a problem
  67. Keep Your Chin Up: don’t be discouraged
  68. Kill the Fatted Calf: to celebrate
  69. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: to leave something alone that might cause problems
  70. Look before You Leap: think before you act
  71. Make A Clean Breast of It: to confess everything
  72. Make A Long Story Short: to tell a story briefly
  73. My Cup of Tea: something I like
  74. On Cloud Nine: very happy
  75. Once In A Blue Moon: rarely
  76. Pull Someone’s Leg: to tease someone
  77. Raining Cats And Dogs: raining very hard
  78. Reap the Whirlwind: to suffer the consequences of your actions
  79. Right as Rain: Perfect
  80. Sell Like Hotcakes: to sell quickly

Related: 100 Idioms and Their Meanings

Idioms in English With Meaning and Sentences

A Blessing In Disguise: something that seems bad or unfortunate at first but ultimately turns out to be good.

Example: Losing my job was a blessing in disguise because it gave me the opportunity to start my own business.

A Chip On Your Shoulder: to be easily offended or always ready for an argument or fight.

Example: John always has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to politics, and he never hesitates to argue with anyone who disagrees with him.

A Dime A Dozen: something that is common and not valuable.

Example: In this age of social media, influencers are a dime a dozen.

A Drop In The Bucket: a small or insignificant amount in comparison to the overall size or need of something.

Example: The money we raised for the charity was just a drop in the bucket compared to what they really need.

All Ears: eager and willing to listen.

Example: I’m all ears if you want to talk about your problems.

All Bark And No Bite: to make threats or act tough but not follow through with any action.

Example: The new boss talked tough during the meeting, but it turned out that he was all bark and no bite.

An Arm And A Leg: something that is very expensive.

Example: The price of the car was so high that it felt like it would cost an arm and a leg to buy it.

Bad Blood: ill-feeling or animosity between people.

Example: There’s bad blood between the two families because of a business dispute that happened years ago.

Beat Around The Bush: to avoid discussing a topic directly or to speak in a vague way.

Example: Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you really think about the project.

Bite off more than you can chew: to take on more than one can handle or manage.

Example: John took on two jobs at the same time and now he’s stressed out; he bit off more than he could chew.

Break a leg: used to wish someone good luck, especially before a performance.

Example: Break a leg! the director said to the cast before the play started.

Call it a day: to decide to stop working or do something for the day.

Example: It’s getting late, I think we should call it a day and continue tomorrow.

Cry over spilt milk: to be upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changed.

Example: There’s no point in crying over spilled milk; let’s move on and find a solution.

Cut somebody some slack: to be more lenient or forgiving towards someone.

Example: Sarah has been going through a tough time, so let’s cut her some slack and not be too hard on her.

Get off somebody’s back: to stop bothering or criticizing someone.

Example: Can you please get off my back and let me do my job?

Hang in there: to persevere through a difficult situation or stay strong during a tough time.

Example: I know you’re going through a rough patch, but hang in there, it will get better.

Hit the sack: to go to bed or go to sleep.

Example: I’m exhausted, it’s time to hit the sack.

Hold your horses: to ask someone to be patient or wait before taking action.

Example: Hold your horses, we need to consider all the options before making a decision.

I’m all ears: to show that you are interested and ready to listen to someone.

Example: Tell me all about your trip, and I’m all ears!

Keep Your Chin Up: To remain optimistic in difficult situations.

Example: Even though he failed the exam, he decided to keep his chin up and try again next time.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: To avoid stirring up old or potentially contentious issues.

Example: We had a disagreement about politics, but we decided to let sleeping dogs lie and enjoy the rest of our evening together.

No Pain, No Gain: To achieve success, one must work hard and make sacrifices.

Example: She knew that training for the marathon would be difficult, but she reminded herself that no pain, no gain.

Once In A Blue Moon: An event that occurs rarely or infrequently.

Example: I only get to see my extended family once in a blue moon because they live so far away.

Piece Of Cake: Something that is very easy to do.

Example: After studying for weeks, the final exam was a piece of cake.

Pull Somebody’s Leg: To tease or play a joke on someone.

Example: She thought he was serious when he said he won the lottery, but he was just pulling her leg.

Reinvent The Wheel: To unnecessarily create or do something that already exists or is already being done.

Example: She spent hours trying to create a new system for organizing her closet, but realized she was just trying to reinvent the wheel.

Rule Of Thumb: A general principle or guideline.

Example: As a rule of thumb, it’s best to arrive at least 15 minutes early for appointments.

See Eye To Eye: To have a shared understanding or agreement.

Example: Although they come from different backgrounds, they were able to see eye to eye on many important issues.

Shoot The Breeze: To engage in casual conversation or chat in a relaxed manner.

Example: After work, I like to sit on the porch with my neighbor and shoot the breeze for a while.

Sink Or Swim: To face a difficult situation and either succeed or fail.

Example: On his first day at the new job, he was given a complex project and told to sink or swim.

Sold Down The River: To betray someone or something for personal gain.

Example: The politician promised to protect the interests of the community, but instead, he sold them down the river to benefit himself.

Speak Of The Devil: Used to indicate that a person has just appeared, especially when you were just talking about them.

Example: Speak of the devil, there’s John. We were just talking about him!

The Bottom Line: The most important or fundamental aspect of a situation or issue.

Example: The bottom line is that we need to increase sales if we want to stay in business.

The Whole Nine Yards: Everything that is needed or possible; the full extent of something.

Example: She went to great lengths to plan the perfect party, with decorations, music, and food: the whole nine yards.

Throw In The Towel: To give up or admit defeat.

Example: After failing the exam for the third time, she decided to throw in the towel and pursue a different career path.

To Cost An Arm And A Leg: To be very expensive.

Example: Buying a house in this area can cost an arm and a leg, due to the high demand.

Under The Weather: To feel unwell or sick.

Example: I won’t be able to come to work today, I’m feeling a bit under the weather.

Uphill Battle: A difficult task that requires a lot of effort to achieve.

Example: Running a marathon is an uphill battle, but the feeling of accomplishment at the finish line is worth it.

Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve: To be very open about one’s emotions or feelings.

Example: She’s always wearing her heart on her sleeve, and sometimes it makes her vulnerable to others’ opinions.

Idioms With Meaning/Sentences – Infographics

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