IDIOMS PHRASES: Idiom refers to an expression whose meaning can not be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up. They are frequently used in both formal and informal conversation. Usage of such idioms and phrases are often observed which makes language impressive. These skills are necessary to be acquired.

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Idioms Phrases
Idioms Phrases

IDIOMS_AND_PHRASES.pdf (1037 downloads)


A big gun A famous personality
A cakewalk An easy task
A cat and dog’s life A useless life
A child’s play An easy task
A close shave A narrow escape
A dog in the manger policy One who neither wants to eat nor let others eat
A dog’s life Life of strife
A fair deal An honest work
A fair weather friend One who does not support in rainy days
A far cry Unreachable thing
A fish out of water Life that is very difficult to live
A foul play Dishonest work
A good turn A good change
A hard nut to crack Difficult work/person
A last resort Last chance
A leap in the dark To guess
A matter of life and death Do or die
A nine days wonder Few days’ richness
A red letter day Important day
A shot in the dark To fluke
A white elephant The costliest thing
A wild goose chase Useless effort
Above board An honest man
Against a rainy day For future
All in all The chief
An axe to grind To make own profit while ignoring others
An eyewash Cheating
Appear out of nowhere Appear suddenly
Apple of discord Reason for quarrel
Apple of one’s eye Loved one
As per According to
At a glance At one sight
At a loss At a loss
At a snail’s pace Very slowly
At a stone throw distance The nearest
At any cost somehow
At large absconding
At sixes and seven scattered
At stake At risk
At the eleventh hour At last moment
At the mercy of Depends on somebody
At the most More and more
Bag and baggage Luggage
Bang one’s head against the wall Fail to make somebody understand
Be afraid of one’s shadow To fear too much
Be at crossroads Try two things at same time
Be at the bottom of Be the reason of
Be in one’s blood To have relationship with
Be poles apart Totally different
Beat about the bush To talk uselessly
Behind bars In lock up
Between the devil and the deep sea Confused
Birds of feather Of same quality
Bit by bit Slowly
Black and white In written
Blow one’s own trumpet To boast of oneself
Bone of contention Reason for fighting
Break into laughter To laugh
Break into tears To weep
Breathe new life into To give somebody a new life
Breathe one’s last To take last breath
Bring to light To bring in front of people
Broad day light publicly
Build castles in the air To boast
Burn the candle at both ends To work hard tirelessly
Burn the midnight oil To work hard
Burning question Common problem
Burst into tears To weep
By and large On the whole
By courtesy of Because of somebody
By dint of Due to
By fair means of foul Anyhow
By fits and starts Irregularly
By hook or crook Anyhow
By leaps and bounds Progress regularly
Cash it on To make the most of
Cast a spell on To do magic
Cast/draw lots To throw chits
Castles in the air To boast
Catch sight of To see somebody suddenly
Chicken hearted Coward
Child’s play An easy task
Cock and bull story A fake story
Come down to earth To behave as common man
Come into effect with To apply
Come off with flying colours To succeed
Come to an end To get finished
Come with flying colours To return confidently
Crocodile tears Pretence
Cross one’s mind to meet with an idea
Cry one’s heart out To cry wholeheartedly
Cut and dried Cooked food
Cut coat according to one’s cloth To spend according to the capacity
Double dealing To cheat
Fancy price Highest price
Far and near From everywhere
Far and wide From everywhere
First and foremost Before everything
Flatter the fool To listen to the fool in urgency
For good Forever
For the time being At present
From hand to mouth Hardly earn two square meal per day
From head to toe Completely
From scratch From the beginning
From the bottom of one’s heart Thank somebody from the heart
Get into one’s head To trouble somebody
Get off a flying start Good start
Get things off one’s chest To lighten the weight off somebody
Get to the bottom of To find out the reason
Give and take policy To receive and pay
Give up To lose
Go without saying Don’t take interest in
Good for nothing Useless
Good offices Recommendation
Grasp at straws To use even the smallest thing
Hang heavily Trouble
Hang in the balance Confused
Hard and fast Not particular
Hard up Short of
Have an eye for Know how to evaluate a thing
Have designs of Have the qualities of
Have the makings of Have the qualities of
Heap coals of fire To do good in return of bad
Heart to heart Open discussion
Henpecked husband One who blindly follows one’s wife
Herculean task Difficult work
High time Right time
Hue and cry Noise
In a nutshell In brief
In addition to Apart from that
In any case Anyhow
In cold blood Angrily
In dirt cheap Things at the cheapest rate
In full swing From every side
In high spirits Full of confidence
In hot water In trouble
In less than no time Quickly
In mint condition Brand new thing
In no case In any case
In opposition to On the contrary
In passing During conversation
In that case In that case
In the dark To make somebody unclear
In the heat of the moment At right time
In the interest of In favour of
In the limelight Famous
In the nick of time At right time
In the nick of time Quickly
In the prime of Good form
Ins and outs Completely
Just round the corner Nearby
Keep an eye on somebody To watch somebody
Keep pace with To walk with somebody
Keep up one’s spirits To encourage
Kith and kin Relatives
Laughing stock A thing/person to laugh at
Lay down one’s arms To surrender
Lay down one’s life To sacrifice life
Learn the hard way To learn from troubles
Leave in the lurch To leave in between
Level with the ground To destroy somebody Or something
Lick one’s boots To flatter somebody
Lion’s share Major share
Look daggers at To look down upon
Lose one’s heart to To love somebody
Lose one’s life To sacrifice life
Make a spectacle To publicize somebody
Make headway To progress
Make or break To do or did
Make out Understand
Make the best of To avail the opportunity
Make up one’s mind To be ready
Make up with To friends with somebody
Man of letters Knowledgeable
Man of straw Useless
Meet somebody halfway To meet somebody on the way
Mess around here and there To roam
Milk and water policy Weak policy
Neck and neck Equally
Nook and corner Everywhere
Not bat an eyelid To get shocked
Off and on Often
Off hand Without preparation
Old head on young shoulders More intelligent than others
On account of Due to something/somebody
On behalf of From somebody or something
On dot On right time
On the contrary Opposite to that
On the first water Sure
On the last legs In last time
On this side of the grave About to die
Once in a blue moon Rarely
Open secret Fact which is known to everybody
Order of the day Common thing
Out and out Completely
Out of order Not working
Out of the questions Impossible thing
Over and above On the whole
Over head and ears Completely
Owing to Due to
Pay homage To honour somebody after death
Play a double game To have dual attitude
Play truant To bunk from school
Play with fire To take risk
Point blank Clearly
Put on the market To bring to sell
Put pen to paper To write
Put someone on a pedestal To boast of somebody
Put to the sword To kill sb.
Put up a fight To fight
Raise the roof To trouble somebody
Ready money Cash
Rise with the lark To get up early
Round the clock Whole day
Rub salt onto wound To add to somebody problem
Run over to be crushed
Run through To waste money
Safe and sound Safe
Save one’s skin To protect oneself
See eye to eye To have same views
See off To say goodbye
Sell like hot cakes To sell quickly
Set by the ears To abet sb.
Set in To begin
Set up house To build
Settle the score To equal the score
Shed light on To put something to light
Shout someone down To shout at somebody
Show a clean pair of heel Not to support in rainy days.
Show one’s teeth To threaten somebody
Show the white feather To show cowardice
Slip of the pen or tongue Mistake in either writing or speaking
Smell a rat To suspect somebody
Sooner or later One of the day
Sow the dragon’s teeth Sow poison
Speak highly of To praise somebody
Spick and span Quick and confident
Stab in the back To deceive somebody
Stand on one’s legs To become independent
Strike the iron while it is hot To make the most of
Sum and substance Conclusion
Take effect To get applied
Take for aside To use as another option
Take ill Mind the things
Take leave of one’s senses To go mad
Take something For granted Take something Non-seriously
Take the bread out of one’s mouth Don’t let anybody eat.
Take the law into one’s hand Not to follow the law and order
Take to To start
Take up arms To raise voice against somebody
The green eyed monster Who is jealous of others
Then and there On the spot
Through and through Completely
Through thick and thin In all the condition
Throughout the day The whole day
Throw dust in one’s eyes To cheat somebody
Throw mud at somebody To blame somebody
Thrust one’s nose into To interfere in others’ life
Time and again Again and again
Tip of an iceberg only Merely beginning
To add fuel to fire To add more trouble
To and fro Here and there
To be dashed to the ground To be destroyed
To begin with To start
To bell the cat To take risk
To bite sb’s bosom To bother somebody
To born with a silver spoon To bear rich
To break the ice To disturb somebody
To burn the candle at both ends To work tirelessly
To bury the hatchet The solve the disputes
To call a spade a spade To speak truth
To call names To  miss name somebody
To carry the day To win something
To catch red handed To catch somebody doing something
To come into force To get applied
To come to a standstill To get stopped
To come to blows To be hit hard
To come to grief To become unhappy
To come to light To come in public
To cry over split milk To weep after everything robbed
To cut no ice Not to put any hard work
To die in harvest To die working hard without being rewarded
To do away with To leave something
To eat one’s words Not to tell complete things
To end in smoke To get spoilt
To face music To face trouble
To fall short of To have deficit of
To feather one’s own nest To make own profit
To feel at home To feel comfortable
To find fault with To hold somebody responsible
To flog a dead horse To waste energy
To follow the footsteps of To follow somebody
To get into hot water To put one into trouble
To get through fire and water To face trouble
To get wind of To get to know
To gird up one’s lions To be ready for the competition
To give oneself airs To put somebody on pedestal
To go to the dogs To go to hell
To go without saying To get disappointed
To grease the palm of To bribe somebody
To have a hand in To become the reason for
To hit below the belt To cheat somebody
To hold good To have command
To hold one’s tongue To control
To keep abreast of To walk along with something
To keep an eye on To watch somebody/something
To keep body and soul together To live
 To keep fingers crossed To expect good
To keep pace with To go along with something
To kick up a row To fight
To leave no stone unturned To do the best
To look down upon To hate somebody
To make both ends meet To earn livelihood
To make mountain of a mole hill To exaggerate the things
To make neither head nor tail Not to take definite stand
To nip in the bud To stop in the beginning
To one’s heart content To do till one wants
To pick a quarrel To fight with somebody
To play in the hands of To learn from somebody
To solve riddle To solve the doubts
To take advantage of To misuse somebody
To take pains To sacrifice
To take to task To take in hands
To tell upon To effect somebody
To the best of one’s ability To try best
To turn the table To change the situation
To worship the rising sun To support the winner
Try one’s best To try up to one’s best extent
Turn a deaf ear Not to pay any heed
Turn over a new leaf To start again
Turn tail Run away cowardly
Turn the other cheek To allow sb to do what he wants
Under lock and key Safe
Under one’s nose In front of somebody
Under to cloud Under suspicion
Underway Work in progress
Up to the mark Almost 100%
Wash one’s dirty clothes in public To publicise the things
Weal and woe Happy and unhappiness
White lie Lie
Wipe off the map To destroy
With bated breath With open eyed
With God grace Blessing of God
With might and main With full power
With open arms With great respect
Without fail Successfully
Without fear or favour Without any discrimination
Wolf in sheep’s clothing A man in disguise
Worthwhile Deserving
Worthy of Deserving
Yes man Who always says “Yes”

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