The 100+ most useful Idioms list
most useful Idioms list:
Meaning: Feel Sad
I am feeling blue because I have lost my cell phone.
He feels a little blue because he can’t find his cell phone.
2-Bored to death
Meaning/Usage: Very bored
I am bored to death because I don’t have any friend in this city.
I’m bored to death. Let’s do something.
3-You’ve got to be kidding
Meaning/Usage: This is used when a
true statement sounds silly.
Hey, Jamal Will you buy some balloons to play?
Kamal: You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m 30 years old.
4-Sick and Tired
Meaning/Usage: Used when you are
not interested to do something I’m sick and tired of eating rice every day. You should cook something else for the dinner.
Meaning/Usage: When someone easily
Understands what the other person is thinking.
6-You read my mind.
I read his mind that he is not interested to do this job.
Stay in touch
Meaning/Usage: To stay connected. Keep meeting
I hope you stay in touch with me. I’ll give you my contact information.
You promised that you would stay in touch but you never called me?
7-Rain or Shine
Meaning/Usage: when you don’t care about the weather.
Rain or shine, the postman delivers the letters every day.
I don’t care about the weather. I’m going to fishing rain or shine.
Meaning/Usage: Very tired
I did a pretty hard work today. I’m totally beat.
I’m beat so I’m going to have some rest.
9-Know something inside out
Meaning/Usage: having a detailed knowledge of something.
Ask Mary to help you with your homework. She knows math inside out.
He’s a mechanic. He knows the car engine inside out.
10-Give someone a hand
Meaning/Usage: To help someone
Can you give me a hand cooking the food?
11-Out of this world
The musical show was out of this world. I never saw such a wonderful show.
12-Sooner or later
He’ll realize that he was mistaken sooner or later.
She’ll realize that she’s doing something wrong sooner or later.
13-Play it by ear
Meaning/Usage: wing it
To decide to do something according to time or situation.
We’ll have to play it by ear for next Friday because the weather condition is uncertain.
I don’t have any reservations tonight so let’s just play it by ear.
14-Go with the flow
Meaning/Usage: To do things as other people do.
We should not do everything differently. We have to go with the flow.
If you don’t want to stand out, go with the flow.
15-Under the weather
Meaning/Usage: Feeling sick
I told my boss that I am under the weather but did not except my leave.
My mother is feeling under the weather, so I need to get home early today.
Meaning/Usage: disturbs me
It beats me why people are so liar.
It beats me why he was so dishonest with you.
Meaning/Usage: something is not important or meaningful to you.
Who cares if they win or lose?
If he does not go with me who cares.
17-What a Small World
Meaning/Usage: Used when a person knows someone by chance.
I didn’t know that you knew my friend who lives in America. What a small world.
18-Coming Right Up
Meaning/Usage: to tell customers that something is ready.
Your order is coming right up.
Shoot, I forgot my cell phone at home.
Meaning/Usage: not important.
If she does not join the party Nothing matters.
Meaning/Usage: to encourage someone to do something.
Come on, you can give the presentation.
Meaning/Usage: To tell someone not to be worried.
“Lighten up. We can go to the picnic another week.”
“Lighten up. There will be another chance to get a better opportunity.”
23-Keep me in the Loop
Meaning/Usage: To be properly informed regarding updates.
“I really want to know what happens to keep me in the loop.”
“Thanks for the update. Keep me in the loop.”
24-I’ll be Down
Meaning/Usage: To agree to participate in the plan
If you don’t want to go to the pool, I’ll be down for whatever.”
I’ll be down with whatever you guys want to do tonight.”
25-That’s easier said than done
Meaning/Usage: This is used when something is easy to say but very hard to do.
“I want to quit smoking but that’s easier said than done.”
“She wants me to be more romantic but that’s easier said than done.”
“I wish I could just retire a wealthy man but that’s easier said than done.”
26-Breathe down your neck
Meaning/usage: You don’t have anybody breathing down your neck.
When someone is breathing down your neck, they are watching you carefully and giving you stress. Notice the following:
My boss is always breathing down my neck.
My mom is always breathing down my neck to do well in school.
27-They welcome me with open arms.
Meaning/usage: This means people are always happy to see you. Open arms refer to a big hug. Notice the following:
My family was waiting with open arms.
It was nice to be welcomed with open arms.
Meaning/usage: I fit in more or less.
When you fit in, you feel comfortable and part of a group.
Notice the following:
He did not fit in, so he quit the company.
Some kids do not fit in high school.
Meaning/usage: It took time to readjust?
When you readjust, you change from a previous state to a prior one.
Notice the following:
I had to readjust after moving back in with my parents.
It took time to readjust to life in America after living overseas.
Meaning/usage: Do I eavesdrop?
When you eavesdrop, you listen to a conversation you are not a part of.
Notice the following:
I like to eavesdrop on conversations in the bar.
I think that man is eavesdropping on us.
31-Move on with your life
Meaning/usage: They are moving on with their lives as well.
When you move on with your life, you continue life after a change of some kind. Notice the following:
After the fire, we all moved on with our lives.
After her divorce, she moved on with her life.
32-A beeline for
What is the first thing you immediately make a beeline for?
When you make a beeline, you hurry directly to something,
Notice the following:
After the class bell, the students make a beeline for the exit.
When I got off the bus, I made a beeline for the toilet.
the period of time just before a project has to be completed and everyone has to work hard
I’m not getting enough sleep these days. It’s crunch time at work.
34-GET OUT OF HAND
When you lose control of things, they get out of hand
The party got out of hand and the guests started to throw bottles at each other.
35-GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT
to understand something I just can’t get my head around the fact that Joe is leaving us.
36-DIG IN YOUR HEELS / STICK TO YOUR GUNS
to refuse to compromise or change your mind
My parents wanted me to give up writing, but I dug in my heels and went on to become a famous writer.
My parents wanted me to give up writing, but I stuck to my guns and went on to become a famous writer.
37-POUND THE PAVEMENT
to walk the streets looking for a job
I’d been pounding the pavement for months before I found a job in a fast food restaurant.
38-LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED
to do everything you can to achieve your goal
39-GET IT OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM
To do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’ll leave no stone unturned until I find out who did this.
don’t want to postpone any longer
I wasn’t sure how she was going to react, but I had to get it out of my system, so I told her I had found another woman.
40-STEP UP YOUR GAME
to start performing better
If you want to win this competition, you’ll have to step up your game.
41-PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER
to calm down and behave normally
I understand you’ve had a bad day, but pull yourself together and get on with your job, will you?
42-SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT
Either start performing better or leave
This is the last time I’m telling you to arrive on time. Shape up or ship out.
43-CUT SOMEBODY SOME SLACK
to give somebody a break/ not to judge somebody severely
I was extremely busy last week. Cut me some slack and I’ll finish the report by tomorrow morning.
44-BY THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH
when you do something by the skin of your teeth, you only just succeed/ nearly fail
I hadn’t studied much but passed the test by the skin of my teeth.
45-ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
Meaning/usage: When something rarely ever happens
We used to see him all the time, but now he just visits us once in a blue moon.
46-GO DOWN IN FLAMES
To end or fail suddenly and spectacularly
She’d wanted to become Managing Director, but her career went down in flames when they found out she’d been leaking information to our competitors.
47-TAR SOMEONE WITH THE SAME BRUSH
To believe that someone has the same bad qualities as others in a group
I don’t think much of that band, but the singer shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush. She’s got a fantastic voice.
48-COME OUT SWINGING
To be confrontational and strongly defend yourself at the beginning of a debate
Our local MP came out swinging against the current leadership and demanded that the government resign.
49-HANG IN THERE
wait and be patient
I know you’d really like to call him, but I don’t think that’s the right thing to do now.Just hang in there and he will call you.
50-SHOOT FROM THE HIP
to speak directly
If you want to get on well with your boss, try not to shoot from the hip next time. You don’t want to offend him, do you?
51-GO THE EXTRA MILE
to make a special effort/try very hard to achieve your goal
If you want to become proficient in English, you’ll have to go the extra mile and start learning idioms.
My English class was great, we learned so much because our teacher was the best, she always went the extra mile for us.
52-RUNNING ON FUMES
to continue to stay awake when feeling exhausted
I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go home now. I haven’t slept for twenty hours and I’m running on fumes.
53-SOLD ME OUT
Meaning/ usage: To snitch on someone, or let their secret out
I asked you to keep it to yourself! I can’t believe you sold me out, I trusted you!
54-YOU SOLD ME (ON SOMETHING)
you convinced me of something because you were persuasive
OK, you’ve sold me. I’ll go to the match with you.
55-BLEW ME AWAY
When something blows you away, you’re extremely impressed by it
The exhibition just blew me away. I’d never seen so many beautiful paintings before.
to exaggerate or say things that aren’t true to make you seem better/ more knowledgeable than in reality
I’m not blowing smoke. I have honestly read War and Peace by Tolstoy.
Meaning/usage: to call for help when you don’t need it
Do you think Peter is in trouble or is he just crying wolf?
58-COULDN’T CARE LESS
Meaning/usage: Used to express total lack of interest in something
That man stole a bottle of wine from the shop.
Oh, really? I couldn’t care less.
59-BE CHUFFED TO BITS
Meaning/usage to be pleased and happy
Hey, thanks for the present! I’m chuffed to bits.
FEELING UNDER THE WEATHER
to be ill or unable to do regular activities
I think I’m going to have to take the day off work. I feel quite under the weather today.
60-BE TICKLED PINK
to be excited and happy
She was tickled pink by all the compliments she’d received.
61-A BAKER’S DOZEN
Check out our baker’s dozen language learning tips.
food that makes you feel better because it reminds you of your childhood
After a tiring day, it’s so nice to make some comfort food and settle down with a good book.
The minimum number of people needed to keep a service/office operating
Can you come back after the holidays? We’re operating with a skeleton crew at the moment.
64-LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY
Meaning/ Usage: to let something happen, no matter what happens next
I must tell John how I feel about him, let the chips fall where they may.
Meaning/usage: an easy decision
Do you think I should propose to Judy?
Come on, it’s a no-brainer. She’s such a fantastic woman!
66-A STONE’S THROW
Meaning/ usage: very near
The hotel was a stone’s throw from the beach. I loved it.
67-HEAR ON THE GRAPEVINE
to hear a rumor or unconfirmed story
I heard through the grapevine that Charlie and Sarah are dating at the moment.
6-SIT ON THE FENCE8
to stay neutral and not take sides
Well don’t you think I’m right, he’s been acting differently, hasn’t he?
I’m sitting on the fence with this one, you’re both my good friends.
69-TAKE WHAT SOMEONE SAYS WITH A PINCH OF SALT
Regard something as exaggerated, or only believe a part of something
Did you hear what Tina said happened in the office yesterday?
Oh, I would take anything she says with a pinch of salt.
to become very angry, scared or excited
Mum, don’t freak out! I married a guy in Las Vegas.
71-BE A CATCH
be someone worth marrying/having
John is taking me out tonight. He’s such a catch, I hope he’ll propose.
72-PIECE OF CAKE
when something is extremely easy to do
Do you think you could beat him in a race?
Yeah, a piece of cake. I’m definitely a lot faster than him
73-HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD
used if something someone says is precisely correct
My doctor hit the nail on the head. He knew exactly what was wrong with me!
74-COSTS AN ARM AND A LEG
Meaning/Usage: when something is very expensive
My son wants that mountain bike for his birthday, but it’ll cost an arm and a leg!
75-HIT THE BOOKS: to study very hard
Do you want to go for lunch somewhere nice?
No thanks, I’m going to hit the books. I have an exam coming up soon.
76-BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW:
Meaning/Usage: to take on something that is too much for you to handle
She recently got promoted and took on some new responsibilities, but she’s just too busy. She bit off more than she could chew, and I don’t think she can handle it anymore.
77-WHEN PIGS FLY: this means that something will never happen
Aren’t you going to buy that dream house you told me about?
Ugh, I will when pigs fly. It’s just so expensive, I don’t think it’ll happen.
78-DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER:
This means don’t make a decision based on a brief impression or outward appearance
I don’t like our new neighbors very much, they’re quite strange.
Hey, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Give them a chance, I think they’re just a bit quirky but really nice!
-YOU ROCK: you are great
Thanks for the tickets, Rob. You rock!
79-MISS THE BOAT: when someone has missed their opportunity to do something
Have you applied for that job yet?
No, I think I may have missed the boat. I should’ve done it last week.