List of Idioms with examples

By | February 7, 2018

List of important IDIOMS you should know and learn

Nip in the bud
– If you nip a problem or an unacceptable situation in the bud, you stop it at an early stage, before it develops or becomes worse.

Beat around the bush
– This expression is used to tell someone to say what they have to say, clearly and directly, even if it is unpleasant.

Old chestnut
– A story, joke or an idea that has been repeated so often that it has lost its novelty is referred to as an ‘old chestnut’.

Fresh as a daisy
– Someone who is (as) fresh as a daisy is lively and attractive, in a clean and fresh way

Pushing up the daisies
– To say that someone is pushing up the daisies means that they are dead

Lead up the garden path
– If someone leads you up the garden path, they deceive you by making you believe something which is not true.

Hit the hay
– When you hit the hay (or hit the sack), you go to bed.

Make hay while the sun shines
– This expression is used as an encouragement to take advantage of a good situation which may not last.

Grass roots
– The term grass roots refers to the ordinary people who form the main body of an organization.

(not) Let the grass grow under feet
– If someone does not let the grass grow under their feet, they do not delay in getting something done.

Green fingers
– To have green fingers means to be good at gardening.

Shake like a leaf
– If you shake like a leaf, you tremble with fear or nervousness.

Turn over a new leaf
– If a person turns over a new leaf, they decide to change their behaviour and lead a better life.

Root and branch
– If an action is performed thoroughly or completely, it is done ‘root and branch’.

Come up roses
– If things come up roses, the end result is successful or positive, even if there were difficult times.

Sow seeds of suspicion
– If someone’s behaviour, or something they say, sows the seeds of suspicion, it leads people to suspect that they are guilty.

Sow wild oats
– A person, usually a man, who sows their wild oats goes through a period of carefree pleasure-seeking while they are young.

Grasp at straws
– If you are in a desperate situation and you grasp at straws, you try any method, even if it has little chance of success, in an attempt to find a solution.

Thorn in your side
– If you say that someone is a thorn in your side, you mean that they continually irritate or annoy you.

Barking up the wrong tree
– A person who is barking up the wrong tree is doing the wrong thing, because their beliefs or ideas are incorrect or mistaken.

Can’t see the wood for the trees
– If someone can’t see the wood for the trees, they are so concentrated on the details that they can’t see the situation as a whole.

Shrinking violet
– A person referred to as a shrinking violet is a timid or shy person.

Small dog, tall weeds
– This expression is used to refer to someone who does not have the ability or the resources necessary to perform a task.

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