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List of Idiom Examples

A list of idiom examples. An idiom is a common word or phrase with a culturally understood meaning that differs from what its composite words' denotations would suggest.


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A bitter pill: A situation or information that is unpleasant but must be accepted.
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41 months old
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Ace in the hole: A hidden or secret strength, or unrevealed advantage.
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Barking up the wrong tree: Looking in the wrong place.
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Basket case: One made powerless or ineffective, as by nerves, panic, or stress.
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Beat around the bush: To treat a topic, but omit its main points, often intentionally or to delay or avoid talking about something difficult or unpleasant.
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Bust one's chops: To say things intended to harass.
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Call it a day: To declare the end of a task.
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Clam up: To become silent; to stop talking, to shut up.
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Cut a rug: To dance
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Cut the cheese: To pass gas, fart, break wind
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Pop one's clogs (UK): Euphemism for dying or death.
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Shoot the breeze: To chat idly or generally waste time talking.
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A dime a dozen: Anything that is common, inexpensive, and easy to get or available any where.
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Achilles' heel: A metaphor for a fatal weakness in spite of overall strength.
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Add insult to injury: To further a loss with mockery or indignity; to worsen an unfavorable situation.
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All ears: Listening intently; fully focused or awaiting an explanation.
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All thumbs: Clumsy, awkward.
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At the drop of a hat: Without any hesitation; instantly.
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Bite off more than one can chew: To take on more responsibility than one can manage.
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Bite the bullet: To endure a painful or unpleasant situation that is unavoidable.
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Bite the dust: Euphemism for dying or death.
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Break a leg: A saying from the theatre that means "good luck".
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Burn the midnight oil: To work late into the night, alluding to the time before electric lighting.
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By the seat of one's pants: To achieve through instinct or do something without advance preparation.
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By the skin of one's teeth: Narrowly; barely. Usually used in regard to a narrow escape from a disaster.
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Cat nap: Short sleep.
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Chew the fat: To chat idly or generally waste time talking.
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Chink in one's armor: An area of vulnerability
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Cold shoulder: To display aloofness and disdain.
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Couch potato: A lazy person.
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Cut the mustard: To succeed; to come up to expectations.
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Don't have a cow : Don't overreact.
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Drop a dime : Make a telephone call; to be an informant.
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Fit as a fiddle: In good physical health.
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For a song: Almost free. Very cheap.
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From A to Z: Covering a complete range; comprehensively.
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From scratch / to make from scratch: Make from original ingredients; start from the beginning with no prior preparation
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Get bent out of shape: To take offense; to get worked up, aggravated, or annoyed
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Have a blast: To have a good time or to enjoy oneself.
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Have eyes in the back of one's head : Someone can perceive things and events that are outside of their field of vision.
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Hit the road : To leave.
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Hit the sack /sheets/hay: To go to bed.
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Let the cat out of the bag : To reveal a secret.
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Kick the bucket: Euphemism for dying or death.
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Off one's trolley or Off one's rocker: Crazy, demented, out of one's mind, in a confused or befuddled state of mind, senile.
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41 months old
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Off the hook: To escape a situation of responsibility, obligation, or (less frequently) danger.
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Piece of cake : A job, task or other activity that is pleasant – or, by extension, easy or simple.
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Pull somebody's leg: To tease or to joke by telling a lie.
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Pushing up daisies: Euphemism for dying or death.
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Put the cat among the pigeons: To create a disturbance and cause trouble.
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Right as rain: Needed, appropriate, essential, or hoped-for and has come to mean perfect, well, absolutely right.
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Sleep with the fishes: Euphemism for dying or death.
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Spill the beans: Reveal someone's secret.
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Split the whistle: To arrive just on time.
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Take the biscuit (UK): To be particularly bad, objectionable, or egregious.
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Take the cake (US): To be especially good or outstanding.
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Through thick and thin: In both good and bad times.
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Thumb one's nose: To express scorn or to disregard.
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Under the weather: Feel sick or poorly
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You can say that again: That is very true; expression of wholehearted agreement
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41 months old
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Screw the pooch: To screw up; to fail in dramatic and ignominious fashion.
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