Idioms and Phrases | SSC CGL | REET | HTET | Competitive Exams |

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Idioms and 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.

 

IDIOMS AND PHRASES MEANING

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

 

You may also read Fixed Prepositions, One Word Substitution, Verbs, Proverbs, Advanced Phrases, General Vocabulary, Words for Description of Personality,  Misspelled Words, Phrases, Phrasal Verbs, Homophones, Wrongly Spelled Words, Food Vocabulary, Vocabulary For Behaviour for enriching your vocabulary and scoring higher in competitive Exams.

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

 

Pretend to be sad

 

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 whole heartedly

 

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 somebody

 

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 somebody

 

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  mis 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 let somebody beat you

 

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 eyes

 

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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