Test Your Knowledge - Idioms Practice Test

Directions: In the questions given below, four alternatives are given for the idiom/phrase underlined in the sentence. Click on the option given under each question which you think best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.


1. To be above board.

  1. To have a good height
  2. To be honest in any business deal
  3. Having no debts.
  4. To try to be beautiful

2. To cry wolf.

  1. To listen eagerly
  2. To give false alarm
  3. To turn pale
  4. To keep off starvation
Have an axe to grind

3. He is on the wrong side of seventy.

  1. more than seventy years old
  2. less than seventy years old
  3. seventy years old
  4. eighty years old

4. She didn’t realize that the clever salesman was taking her for a ride

  1. forcing her to go with him
  2. trying to trick her
  3. taking her in a car
  4. pulling her along

5. To drive home.

  1. To find one’s root
  2. To return to place of rest
  3. Back to original position
  4. To emphasise

6. Over the years, we remained loyal through thick and thin.

  1. in married life
  2. in spite of all the difficulties
  3. to our principles
  4. to employers and subordinates
Apple of one's eye

7. I jumped out of my skin when the explosion happened

  1. was angry
  2. was in panic
  3. was excited
  4. was nervous

8. He had to cool his heels before he could get an appointment with the doctor.

  1. to exercise influence
  2. to lose one’s temper
  3. to be kept waiting
  4. to make publicly known

9. The captains of the rival teams should try to bury the hatchet.

  1. win the game
  2. forget the past
  3. put up a stiff competition
  4. make peace

10. He stopped at the bar to wet his whistle.

  1. have a problem
  2. have a drink
  3. have a nap
  4. be happy
Kill two birds with one stone

11. He went on sowing wild oats; he reaped suffering in his later life.

  1. inviting troubles as a boy
  2. warning others as a young man
  3. irresponsible pleasure seeking in young age
  4. sowing grains called oats when young

12. I don't know why she has become stand-offish recently.

  1. angry
  2. hilarious
  3. indifferent
  4. unmanageable

13. Why don't you put an end to blowing your own trumpet?

  1. playing your own trumpet to produce music
  2. making too much noise
  3. praising your own abilities and achievements
  4. None of these

14. On New Year's eve even the elderly paint the town red.

  1. paint their faces red
  2. have a lively time
  3. drink red wine
  4. get up early

15. The saint's life was an open book.

  1. an uncomplicated one
  2. one that held no secrets
  3. an example to all
  4. an interesting biography

16. Reading between the lines I realized that my friend wanted to keep something from me.

  1. looking for meanings that are not actually expressed
  2. reading carelessly
  3. reading with anxiety
  4. glancing over the lines
Let the cat out of the bag

17. Sometimes, it happens that we have to give the devil his due.

  1. to give credit to even a notorious person
  2. to give encouragement even to the enemy
  3. to invite the devil
  4. to stand in the way of the devil

18. The king had been made to eat humble pie.

  1. to eat slowly
  2. to have an excellent dish
  3. to eat a good pie
  4. to have to apologise


19. He was given Hobson's choice by the employer.

  1. excellent choice
  2. no real choice at all
  3. choice to live or die
  4. first choice

20. He has a very nice manner, but you would better take what he says with a grain of salt.

  1. to listen to something with considerable doubt
  2. to talk sensibly
  3. to criticise
  4. to complement

21. A paper tiger

  1. Person or organisation that appears powerful, but actually is not
  2. Person or organisation that acts like a tiger
  3. People who campaign for the protection of tigers
  4. A daredevil

22. Lily-livered

  1. Brave and courageous
  2. Not brave
  3. Comical
  4. Outrageous

23. Eat like a bird

  1. Eat fast
  2. Eat very little
  3. Eat a lot
  4. Pretending to be eating

24. The dog days

  1. Days celebrating dogs
  2. The bitter days
  3. The hottest days
  4. The coldest days
Elephant in the room

25. A banana republic

  1. A small or poor country with a weak government
  2. A small or poor country which produces banana
  3. A country which has been occupied by a big country
  4. A country without any government

26. The pros and cons

  1. The good and bad parts of a situation
  2. Like and dislike of a situation
  3. A bad experience in an event
  4. A good moment of an event

27. Prime the pump

  1. To do something in order to make something succeed
  2. To do good things to succeed in life
  3. To do something in order to get bad things done
  4. Asking people to do things to make something succeed

28. The green-eyed monster

  1. Feeling of being joyous
  2. Feeling of being jealous
  3. Feeling bad about happenings
  4. Feeling lucky about something

29. Rise to the occasion

  1. To celebrate a success in a difficult situation
  2. To regret a situation which ended in failure
  3. To succeed in dealing with a difficult situation
  4. To motivate people to succeed in a difficult situation

30. Call it a day

  1. End of the day
  2. Completion of work
  3. Stop doing something
  4. A beautiful day
Piece of cake

31. Dirt cheap

  1. Extremely cheap
  2. Extremely costly
  3. Very cheap person
  4. Very cheap item

32. A shrinking violet

  1. A lean person
  2. A shy person
  3. A happy person
  4. A sad person

33. Gordian knot

  1. Undoable job
  2. A difficult problem
  3. A different problem
  4. Doable job

34. Fall in a heap

  1. To be at the mercy of someone else
  2. To be thinking about someone
  3. To lose control of one’s own feelings
  4. To be in control of one’s own feelings

35. Have a conniption fit

  1. To be very angry
  2. To be very happy
  3. To be very sad
  4. To be a jubilant person

36. Be in seventh heaven

  1. To be extremely happy
  2. To be extremely upset
  3. To be extremely adventurous
  4. To be extremely silent

37. Hand in glove

  1. Working separately
  2. Working together
  3. Working for someone
  4. Not willing to work

38. Nip in the bud

  1. Prevent a small problem before it becomes severe
  2. Prevent the big problems
  3. Make it severe
  4. Beating the problem

39. Like a shag on a rock

  1. Completely alone
  2. Completely idle
  3. Complete silence
  4. Complete happy

40. A pearl of wisdom

  1. An important piece of news
  2. An important person
  3. An important thing for life
  4. A important piece of advice

Idioms and Phrases

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