Idioms for Competitions and Tests

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. The failure of crops in successive years put the farmer in a tight corner.

  1. in a closed room
  2. in a small field
  3. in a difficult situation
  4. in a meadow

2. The effort to trace the culprit was a wild goose chase.

  1. fruitful hunting
  2. futile search
  3. ideal seeking
  4. genuine effort

3. The story does not hold water.

  1. does not deserve appreciation
  2. does not fulfil the requirements
  3. cannot be believed
  4. cannot be valued

4. Raj couldn’t pay the bill, so he asked the owner to put it on the cuff.

  1. on credit
  2. against his credit card
  3. in his bank account
  4. in his friend’s account

5. His statement is out and out a lie.

  1. totally
  2. simply
  3. merely
  4. slightly

6. The luxury car that they bought turned out to be a white elephant.

  1. a rare article
  2. useful mode of transport
  3. costly or troublesome possession
  4. a proud possession

7. If you are fair and square in your work you will definitely prosper.

  1. active
  2. honest
  3. business like
  4. authoritative

8. There is no love lost between any two neighbouring countries in the world.

  1. stop loving
  2. not on good terms
  3. forming a group
  4. have good understanding

9. The heavy downpour played havoc in the coastal area.

  1. caused destruction
  2. caused diseases
  3. caused floods
  4. caused hardship

10. To have a green thumb means

  1. one’s nails are painted green
  2. one is artistic
  3. to have a natural interest in gardening
  4. one has a green tattoo on the thumb

11. Your remarks during the discussion added fuel to the fire.

  1. got others angry
  2. ignited the fireplace
  3. worsened matters
  4. created warmth all around

12. Why do you fight shy of me?

  1. fight with
  2. avoid
  3. embarrass
  4. shout at

13. We should give a wide berth to bad characters.

  1. keep away from
  2. publicly condemn
  3. give publicity
  4. not sympathise with

14. When he asked me the way to the cafeteria. I told him to follow his nose.

  1. to find it by himself
  2. to ask someone else
  3. to follow me
  4. to go straight ahead

15. Winning the competition was quite a feather in my cap.

  1. rewaiting
  2. an exciting moment
  3. an achievement
  4. a joy for my parents

16. My father’s dealings are open and above board.

  1. to everyone liking
  2. mandatory
  3. without any secret
  4. very clear

17. After the public meeting, the crowd went haywire.

  1. were in jubilation
  2. protested
  3. became out of control
  4. left the venue

18. He broke off in the middle of the story.

  1. fainted
  2. suddenly stopped
  3. divided his narrative
  4. took time off

19. Some shots were fired at random.

  1. without any aim
  2. for a long time
  3. to end quarrel
  4. thoroughly

20. I can finish the work by myself, but she always tries to be a backseat driver.

  1. person who misjudge others
  2. person who wants to do things by herself
  3. person who falsely accuses others
  4. person who gives unwanted advice


21. A match made in heaven

  1. a marriage that is solemnized formally
  2. a marriage that is unsuccessful
  3. a marriage that is likely to be happy and successful
  4. a marriage of convenience

22. A culture vulture

  1. someone who is very keen to experience art and literature
  2. someone who wants to defend culture
  3. someone who is ashamed of one's own culture
  4. someone who looks at her/his culture critically

23. A death blow

  1. to be nearly dead
  2. to be deeply afraid of death
  3. to beat someone to death
  4. an action or event which causes something to end or fail

24. The jewel in the crown

  1. someone who has many skills
  2. something that one wants
  3. the most valuable thing in a group of things
  4. the jewel in the crown of the king

25. To live in a fool's paradise

  1. to live a life that is dishonest
  2. to be happy because you will not accept how bad a situation really is
  3. to believe that things you want will happen
  4. to enjoy yourself by spending a lot of money

26. A rotten apple

  1. to remove something which is rotten
  2. one bad person in a group of good people
  3. a loving and kind person
  4. a disorganized person with bad habits

27. To vote with your feet

  1. to show that you do not support something
  2. to replace something important
  3. to change something you must do
  4. to express a particular opinion

28. Verbal diarrhoea

  1. to be sick
  2. to talk too much
  3. to be in a difficult situation
  4. to be a good orator

29. To sail close to the wind

  1. to pretend to be something that you are not
  2. to be in some unpleasant situation
  3. to be destroyed by a belief
  4. to do something that is dangerous

30. Eat crow

  1. to taste something bad
  2. to tell a lie
  3. to admit one's mistake
  4. to run away from reality

31. To cut your own throat

  1. to stop doing something
  2. to do something because you are angry
  3. to behave in a relaxed manner
  4. to allow someone to do something

32. Cook the books

  1. to record false information in the accounts of an organization
  2. to do something that spoils someone's plan
  3. to tell a false story
  4. to be very angry

33. Change your tune

  1. to listen to good music
  2. to do things that you are not willing to
  3. to change your opinion completely because it will bring you an advantage
  4. to pretend to be very friendly

34. Blue blood

  1. to swallow poison
  2. to be overly interested in someone
  3. to suddenly become jealous
  4. to belong to a family of the highest social class

35. Cut the crap

  1. an impolite way of telling someone to stop saying things that are not true
  2. to stop needing someone else to look after you
  3. to talk about something important
  4. to upset someone by criticizing them

36. He makes decision on the fly

  1. He decides quickly without any seriousness
  2. He decides with all seriousness
  3. He decides nonchalantly
  4. He is unwilling to decide

37. Follow suit

  1. Following someone's suit
  2. Suiting to someone
  3. Doing the same as someone else has just done
  4. Doing the same kind of mistake

38. Close shave

  1. Shaving very closely
  2. Miraculous escape
  3. Saving someone from danger
  4. Easy escape

39. At the crossroads

  1. At important point of a decision
  2. At an important point of journey
  3. At the important road of a journey
  4. At an important stage or decision

40. A pearl of wisdom

  1. A wise man
  2. An important piece of order
  3. An important piece of pearl
  4. An important piece of advice

Idioms and Phrases

Idioms and Phrases – 1 Idioms and Phrases – 2 Idioms and Phrases – 3 Idioms and Phrases – 4

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