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Idioms and Phrases

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.



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




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




At large




At sixes and seven




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




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




Birds of feather


Of same quality


Bit by bit




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




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




By fits and starts




By hook or crook




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




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




For the time being


At present


From hand to mouth


Hardly earn two square meal per day


From head to toe




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




Good offices




Grasp at straws


To use even the smallest thing


Hang heavily




Hang in the balance




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





In a nutshell


In brief


In addition to


Apart from that


In any case




In cold blood




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




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




In the nick of time


At right time


In the nick of time




In the prime of


Good form


Ins and outs




Just round the corner




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




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




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




Man of straw




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




Nook and corner




Not bat an eyelid


To get shocked


Off and on




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




On the last legs


In last time


On this side of the grave


About to die


Once in a blue moon




Open secret


Fact which is known to everybody


Order of the day


Common thing


Out and out




Out of order


Not working


Out of the questions


Impossible thing


Over and above


On the whole


Over head and ears




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




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




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




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




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




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 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




Under one’s nose


In front of somebody


Under to cloud


Under suspicion




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




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




Without fear or favour


Without any discrimination


Wolf in sheep’s clothing


A man in disguise






Worthy of




Yes man


Who always says “Yes”



Other Vocabulary Notes

#Idioms and Phrases

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