Idioms for Better English

Idioms are expressions or phrases that have a meaning that is different from the literal interpretation of the individual words that make them up. Idioms are often used in everyday language and are an essential part of communication in many languages. They add color, nuance, and figurative language to speech and writing.
Here are a few examples of idioms:
1. "Kick the bucket" - This idiom means to die. It doesn't literally involve kicking a bucket.
2. "Break a leg" - This is an idiom used to wish someone good luck, especially before a performance. It doesn't suggest actual harm.
Idioms can be challenging for non-native speakers to understand because they often don't follow the rules of grammar or logic. Instead, they rely on cultural and linguistic context. Learning idioms is an important aspect of mastering a language and becoming fluent in it.

50+ Object Idioms

1. Hit the sackGo to sleep
2. Back against the wallStuck in a situation with no options
3. Scrape the barrelDo everything you can in a situation
4. Burn the bridgesEliminate any possibility of going back to a previous situation
5. Cry over spilt milkWorry about something that cannot be undone
6. Have an ace up the sleeveHave a hidden advantage or secret plan to gain an upper hand in a situation
7. Fall hook, line and sinkerGet completely deceived or taken by a person or situation
8. Lose your marblesLose one's sanity or mental faculities
9. On thin iceBe in a risky or precarious situation
10. Bite the bulletFace a difficult situation with courage
11. Back to the drawing boardStart over and rework your plans or ideas
12. Ring a bellSound familiar or trigger a memory
13. Jump the gunTo act prematurely or before appropriate time
14. Cut no iceHave no effect or influence on a situation or person
15. Call a spade a spadeSpeak plainly or truthfully
16. Play the cards rightTo make the best decisions
17. Take a back seatHave a less prominent or active role or to allow others to take the lead
18. Not your cup of teaNot to your liking or preference
cup of tea
19. In the same boatBe in a similar situation or face same challenges or difficulties
20. Miss the busMiss an opportunity or chance
21. Die in harnessBe active in duties till the end of life
22. Cook the booksTo manipulate financial records or accounts
23. Lock, stock and barrelEntirety of completeness of something
24. From a frying pan into the fireTo move from a bad or difficult situation to an even worse one
25. Ball in one's courtHave the responsibility to take action or make a decision
26. Bag and baggageWith all one's possessions
27. Below the beltUse unfair or unethical means to achieve an advantage
28. Rock the boatTo cause trouble by challenging existing conditions
29. To kick the bucketTo die or pass away
30. To keep the ball rollingTo continue or maintain progress or activity in a particular situation
31. Step into dead man's shoesTo take over the responsibilities or role after the death of a person
32. Other side of the coinOther point of view or other aspects of a situation
33. Blow your own trumpetTell about yourself in a praiseworthy way
34. Burn the candle at both endsWork very hard in a manner which depletes one's energy very quickly
35. The pot calling the kettle blackA situation in which a person with faults is hypocritically criticising the other for his faults
36. Pay someone back in his/her coinTreat your opponent in the same manner as he or she treats you
37. Handle with kid glovesTreat someone with extreme tact and care
38. Stick to your gunsStand firm in the face of opposition
39. Be hand in gloveWork closely with someone in doing something wrong or dishonest
hand in glove
40. Look for a needle in a haystackAn extremely difficult or near impossible task
41. Hit the bottleTo drink alcohol to excess
42. To get someone off the hookTo help someone get out of trouble
43. Hit the nail on the headBe perfectly right about something
44. Drive a nail in someone's coffinHasten the failure of someone or causes irreversible harm
45. Close the door on someoneIgnore a situation or an act
46. Burn the midnight oilPut in extra hours of effort or lose sleep to complete a task
47. Egg on your faceBe embarrassed or humiliated due to a mistake or blunder one has made
48. To say it in a nutshellTo say it in brief or sum up the points in short
49. Spill the beansTo reveal the secret accidentally or carelessly
50. At the drop of a hatSuddenly or in an unplanned manner
51. Whole new ball gameA completely different situation, one that is difficult or that one knows little about
52. Put on the thinking capTo think seriously about something
53. Spin one's wheelsTo engage in fruitless activity
54. Jump on the bandwagonJoin others in an activity that has become very popular
55. An axe to grindTo have a private agenda for doing or being involved in something
an axe to grind
56. Talk through one's hatTo talk without understanding or to talk foolishly or wildly
57. To bury the hatchetTo agree to end the dispute or disagreement
58. A feather in the capAn achievement to be proud of

hat or cap idioms and their meaning

50+ Animal Idioms

eat like a pig or a horse

1. Every dog has his dayEveryone has a period of success, recognition or good fortune at some point in their life
2. Let sleeping dogs lieNot stir up old or potentially problematic issues
Let sleeping dogs lie
3. Tail wagging the dogA situation in which a minor part controls or influences the larger or more important part.
4. Rain cats and dogsRain very heavily
5. Bell the catTo do something that is very risky or dangerous
6. Cat on a hot tin roofBe restless or agitated
8. Not enough room to swing a catA cramped place
9. Let the cat out of the bagTo reveal a secret carelessly
cat out of bag
10. Eat like a horseTo consume large quantities of food
11. Flog a dead horseDo something without any chance of success
12. Hold your horsesHave patience, or show restraint in a situation
13. From the horse's mouthDirectly from the source
14. Be a dark horseBe a person or competitor whose abilities or intentions are unknown
dark horse
15. To cry wolfTo raise false alarm or give a false warning
16. Have a bigger fish to fryHave more important or pressing matters to attend to
17. Feel like a fish out of waterBe uncomfortable or out of place in a particular environment of situation
18. Wild goose chaseA fruitless or futile pursuit of something that is unlikely to be achieved
19. Kill the goose that lays golden eggsMake a short-sighted decision to destroy a consistent source of income
20. Cash cowA business, product or investment that consistently generates significant profits or cash flow
22. To smell a ratTo suspect that something is wrong in a situation
23. A cock and bull storyA fanciful or unbelievable tale or explanation that is fabricated or exaggerated
24. As the crow fliesThe shortest distance between two points similar to a straight line on a map
25. To eat crowTo admit that one had been wrong or to admit defeat
26. A white elephantSomething that costs a lot to maintain but doesn't serve any useful purpose
27. Elephant in the roomAn obvious problem no one wants to discuss
28. Watch like a hawkObserve very keenly especially to detect any wrong doing
29. Be the black sheepTo behave differently from the rest of the group, often in an unfavourable way
30. Eat like a birdEat too little or have a very low appetite
31. Kill two birds with one stoneAccomplish multiple tasks with the same effort that is required to accomplish a single task
32. Cast pearls before a swineOffer something valuable to someone who does not recognize its value
33. When pigs flyHappening of impossible things
34. Monkey on one's backA problem that cannot be easily got rid of or solved
35. Have ducks in a rowTo have everything properly organised
an axe to grind
36. Play duck and drakesTo handle recklessly, to treat frivolously
37. Stir a hornets' nestInvite unnecessary or avoidable pain and trouble
38. Make an ass of oneselfBehave in a foolish manner resulting in self-humiliation
39. Be an eager beaverBe very enthusiastic or eager to participate in an activity or task
40. Birds of a featherPeople with similar characteristics, interests or behaviour
41. Take the bull by the hornsTo confront or deal with a challenging situation directly and with courage
42. Have butterflies in the stomachFeel nervous, anxious or excited before an event
43. Chicken feedSmall or insignificant amount of money
44. Crocodile tearsInsincere or fake expression of sorrow or remorse
45. A dog's lifeA difficult or miserable life
46. Be a dog in the mangerPrevent others from enjoying or using something which has no use for oneself either
47. Go to the dogsDeteriorate or decline or become less profitable or successful
48. Fish in troubled watersTo seek opportunities of benefits from a chaotic or unstable situation
49. Sound or smell fishySeem suspicious or questionable
50. A lion's shareThe largest portion of something being distributed or allocated

70+ Body Part Idioms

heart idioms

Arm Idioms Video

1. Up in the armsBe upset or angry about something
2. Twist someone's armsTo apply pressure or persuasions to get someone to do something which he or she many not wish to do
3. To take up armsTo prepare or engage in a armed conflict
4. At an arm's lengthNot get too close personally or emotionally.
5. Cost an arm and a legBe very expensive or unaffordable
6. Change handsChange in ownership
7. Have one's hands fullBe too occupied with existing work to take up additional work
8. Throw up one' handsTo express frustration, exasperation or surrender.
9. Get out of handGo out of control
10. A left-handed complimentTo disguise an insult or criticism as a praise
11. To wash one's hands of somethingTo refuse to take responsibility, stop being involved in something
12. To pull someone's legTo make fun of someone
13. Shoot oneself in the footCause harm to one's own interests or goals
14. Drag one's feetGo slow on a task deliberately
15. Get cold feetTo feel scared to do something just before the moment
16. Break a legSay good luck especially before a performance
17. Cool your heelsTo have patience or calm down and not be in a hurry
18. To take to one's heelsTo run away from the situation or place
19. To put one's foot downTo use one's authority to stop something
20. Toe the lineTo behave according to the rules, even if you do not agree to them
21. Have an ear to the groundStay informed or be aware of the latest developments
22. Play by the earTo handle a situation without specific plan, improvising as circumstances develop
23. Turn a deaf earTo ignore or disregard something intentionally
eye idioms
24. Not see eye to eyeHave differing opinions or disagree on a particular matter
25. To catch one's eyeGrab the attention or stand out in some way
26. Shut one's eyes to/ To turn a blind eyeIgnore a situation or an act
27. Apple of one's eyeSomeone very dear or very loved
28. To raise eyebrowsTo cause surprise or shock
29. Stab in the backAn act of betrayal or treachery by someone trustworthy
30. Behind one's backSecretly or without the knowledge of anyone
31. To have no backbone/spineTo lack courage or strength to stand up for one's beliefs
32. To have sticky fingersTo have a tendency to steal or take things that do not belong
33. Keep one's fingers crossedExpress hope for good luck or a positive outcome
34. Point finger atTo blame or accuse someone of an act
35. Under the thumbUnder someone's control or influence
36. Pour out one's heartTo express one's deepest emotions, thoughts or feelings
37. Heart in your mouthBe extremely nervous or anxious about a situation
38. Wear your heart on your sleeveTo openly and visibly display ones' emotions or feelings.
39. Break someone's heartHurt someone or to cause disappointment usually romantically
40. Follow your heartTo do what one believes is right
41. From the bottom of one's heartSay or do something sincerely or whole-heartedly.
42. Get at the heart of the matterTo address the central or most important part of an issue, problem, or situation
43. Have a change of heartChange one's opinion about someone or something
44. Have a heart of goldTo be very kind or generous
45. Have a heart of stoneTo be very unkind or cruel
46. Have heart-to-heart talkHave an open and honest discussion with someone
47. Know something or learn something by heartTo know or learn perfectly so as to be able to reproduce word by word
48. Have the heart in the right placeTo have the right intentions, be kind and generous
49. Take heartHave courage and not be disappointed by failure
50. Miss or skip a heart beatBe completely surprised
51. Half-heartedWithout any interest or enthusiasm
52. Flesh and bloodReferring to someone in the family or human nature
53. To cause bad bloodTo create or exacerbate feelings of animosity, hostility or ill will between people
54. In cold bloodIn a deliberate, premeditated and emotionless manner
55. Make one's blood boilCause someone to get angry
56. By the skin of your teethNarrowly escape a difficult or dangerous situation
57. Armed to the teethFully or overly prepared for a situation
58. To fight tooth and nailTo fight very fiercely or to try hard to accomplish something
59. To cut one's own throatTo cause harm to oneself
60. A slap on the wristA mild or lenient punishment for a wrongdoing
61. Knee jerk reactionImpulsive or immediate response to a situation
62. Shoot from the hipTo act hastily and without much forethought
63. Egg on your faceBe embarrassed or humiliated due to a mistake or blunder one has made
64. A thorn in the fleshA person or thing that constantly irritates or troubles you.
65. Pay through the nosePay excessively or pay too much for something
66. To follow one's noseTo follow one's instincts rather than rules or other people's opinions
67. Come to a headTo reach a point of crisis or a point when it can no longer be ignored
68. Let one's hair downTo be relaxed and behave informally
69. Hold your tongueShow restraint while speaking
70. Say tongue-in-cheekSay something in a jesting or non-serious manner
71. A pain in the neckAn annoying person
72. Word of mouthTo convey something orally
73. To jump out of skinTo be completely surprised or startled
74. Give a cold shoulderBe rude, indifferent or unfriendly to someone

Water, Ocean, Tide Idioms

1. Test the watersto try something our or investigate to see if it is feasible or acceptable before committing fully
2. Pour cold water onTo discourage or dampen the enthusiasm or excitement about an idea or plan
3. Hold waterBe logical, reasonable or valid
4. Water under the bridgePast events or issues that are no longer relevant or significant
5. In hot waterIn trouble or facing difficulties
6. Come hell or high waterNo matter what the obstacles of difficulties are
7. Swim against the tideTo go against the prevailing opinions or trends
8. A sea changeSignificant transformation or positive shift
9. Be oceans apartBe very different from the other
10. Boil the oceanDo something that is overly ambitious, impractical or impossible to accomplish
11. Turn the tideTo reverse a situation, typically a difficult one into a favourable one
12. Cry me a riverComplain excessively, often used sarcastically
13. Come rain or shineNo matter if one has to face a difficult or an easy path
14. As right as the rainTo be Perfectly fine, healthy or in excellent condition
cloud idioms
15. Be on cloud nineBe extremely happy or in a state of great joy
16. Head in the cloudsTo day dream, or not pay attention or be lost in one's thoughts
17. Under a cloudBe in a state of suspicion or disfavour
18. Dark clouds on the horizonPotential problems or challenges that are looming in the future
19. Sell down the riverTo betray or deceive someone by taking advantage of their trust
20. A drop in the oceanA small amount in relation to the total

God, Devil, Heaven, Hell Idioms

1. Heaven on earthA place that is perfect, delightful or idyllic
2. Heaven help (someone)Hope or request for some divine assistance
3. Move heaven and earthTo make an extraordinary effort to achieve a goal
4. A match made in heavenA perfect or harmonious pairing of people
5. To be in the seventh heavenTo be extremely happy
6. Go through hellTo experience extremely difficult or trying times
7. Come hell or high waterNo matter what the obstacles of difficulties are
devil idioms
8. Devil's advocateSomeone who takes a contrary position for the sake of debate and not necessarily because of his or her belief
9. Speak of the devilWhen a person who is being talked about of makes an appearance
10. The devil is in the detailsSomething may seem simple, but in fact the details are complicated and likely to cause problems
11. Between the devil and deep seaBe in a difficult situation with two equally undesirable choices

Idioms and Phrases

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