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Idioms in language are a characteristic means of expression with the help of words which do not convey a literal or deductible meaning, but rather an implied one. They are basically used to adorn a language and make it more interesting to read and speak. Idioms establish their meaning by usage.







A hot potato



A penny for your thoughts




Actions speak louder than words




Add insult to injury




An arm and a leg



At the drop of a hat




Back to the drawing board


Ball is in your court




Barking up the wrong tree



Be glad to see the back of


Beat around the bush




Best of both the worlds





Best thing since sliced bread



Bite off more than you can chew




Blessing in disguise





Burn the midnight oil





Don’t judge a book by its cover



Caught between two stools.



Cross that bridge when you come to it


Cry over spilled milk




Curiosity killed the cat





. Cut corners




Cut the mustard



Devil’s advocate



Don’t count your chickens before the eggs have hatched




Don’t give up the day job



Don’t put all your eggs in one basket




Drastic times call for drastic measures



Elvis has left the building




Every cloud has a silver lining



Far cry from



Feel a bit under the weather



Give the benefit of doubt


Hear through the grapevine



Hit the nail on the head



Hit the sack/sheets/hay



In the heat of the moment



It takes two to tango



Jump on the bandwagon





 Keep something at bay



. Kill two birds with one stone



Last straw



. Let sleeping dogs lie




Let the cat out of the bag



Make a long story short



Method in the madness





Miss the boat




Not a spark of decency



Not playing with the full deck





On the ball Meaning



Off the record





Oldest trick in the book




Off the cuff



Old habits die hard



Once in a blue moon




Open the floodgates



Out of the blue




Out on a limb






Over the top



Pen is mightier than the sword




Push one’s luck





. Raining cats and dogs



Reap the harvest




Roll up one’s sleeves




See eye to eye




Shot in the dark




Sink your teeth into



Skating on thin ice




Stand in a good stead




Strike while the iron is hot



Take a back seat




Take with a grain/pinch of salt




Take a nosedive




Take the plunge




Taste of one’s own medicine



Think the world of



Tight spot



Tongue in cheek




Turn a blind eye



Walk on eggshells





Want someone’s head on a platter



Watch (someone) like a hawk




Water under the bridge




Wave a dead chicken




Weak in the knees



Wear many hats




Weather the storm





Wet behind the ears




Whale of a time



Whistle in the dark




Why keep a dog and bark for yourself




Wide off the mark



Wild goose chase






Wipe the slate clean



Wolf in sheep’s clothing


Something that is difficult or dangerous to deal with.


Way of asking what someone is thinking.




What you do is more significant than what you say




To make a bad situation worse.





A lot of money.



Immediately; without any hesitation



Start something all over again.



It is up to you to take the next step



Looking in the wrong place; accusing the wrong person.




Be glad to see someone leave.


Avoid answering a question; not speaking directly about the issue.


Situation wherein one can enjoy two different opportunities.





A good idea or plan; an excellent new invention



To take on a task that is way too big.




Something good that isn’t recognized at first.




To stay up working, especially studying, late at night.





not judge something primarily by its appearance.



When someone finds it difficult to choose between two alternatives


Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary.


To be unhappy about something that cannot be undone.



Being too curious can get you into trouble.


To take shortcuts; when something is done badly to save money.


Perform satisfactorily; to succeed.


To present a counter argument




Don’t make plans for something that might not happen.




You’re not very good at something



Don’t focus all of your attention on one thing or one area.




When you’re extremely desperate you need to take drastic actions.



The show has come to an end. It’s all over.



Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.



A thing that is very different from something else.



Feeling sick or unhealthy.



Believe someone’s statement without proof.



To hear news from someone who heard that news from someone else


To do or say exactly the right thing.


To go to bed.



Overwhelmed by what’s happening at the moment.



Both people involved in a bad situation are responsible for it.



Join a popular trend or activity.





Keep something away



To solve two problems at a time with just one action


The final problem in a series of problems


Leave something alone if it might cause trouble.




To reveal a secret / To share information that was previously concealed.


Come to the point – leave out the details


A purpose in what one is doing, even though it seems to be crazy.



To miss out on something.




A person who has no manners



Someone who is mentally, psychologically or intellectually deficient.




When someone understands a situation well; attentive


Not made as an official or attributable statement; unofficial; confidential



A well known and much used trick/method



Without preparation; spontaneous


People find it difficult to change their accustomed behavior.



Very rarely



Release something that was previously under control



Happen unexpectedly




Do something risky or something that others do not support (leaving the doer in a difficult situation)




Totally excessive and not suitable for the occasion.


Words and communication have a greater effect than war




Trying to obtain more than what one has (risk spoiling the current situation)




Raining heavily



Benefit or suffer as a direct result of past actions.



Get ready for hard work



To be in agreement with




A complete guess (may or may not be close to the truth)




Do something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.


Do or say something risky or something that could cause trouble.


To be useful or be of good service to someone.




To act at the right time



Choose to be less important in a role




To doubt the accuracy of information




Rapid drop or decrease in value



Venture into something of one’s interest despite the risks involved



Treat people the same (unpleasant) way they treated you


Admire someone very much



A difficult situation



 (of a remark) Supposed to be taken in funny or ironic sense



Pretend not to notice



Be extremely cautious about one's words or actions




Want someone to be punished severely




Keep eyes on or watch carefully


Something bad that happened in the past but is no longer important


Do some useless, unhelpful thing in the hope that it will solve a problem


Barely able to stand because of emotion, fear or illness



Do many different types tasks




Succeed in surviving a difficult period of time




Inexperienced and immature





Enjoy a lot



Pretend to be brave in a scary situation



If someone or something can do a job for you, why do it yourself?



Incorrect; Inadequate; Not what is expected



Waste time looking for something that has little chance of being found




Make a fresh start



Dangerous person pretending to be harmless


Terrorism is a political hot potato in Afghanistan.


After several minutes of silence, he finally looked at her and said, “A penny for your thoughts, Lily.”


If you want to be a good leader, then do something about it as actions speak louder than words.


Their basement was flooded, and then, to add insult to injury, a pipe burst in the kitchen.


It’s the best cruise in the world, but it will cost you an arm and a leg.


Ellie was always ready to go shopping at the drop of a hat.



I failed this semester, but now I am back to the drawing board.


I’ve made my decision, now the ball is in your court.



He did not commit the crime; you’re barking up the wrong tree.



I never liked her. I’ll be glad to see the back of her.

Tell me what the problem is, stop beating around the bush.



She had the privilege of a professor and freedom of a student. She had the best of both worlds.



I love your idea. It’s the best thing since sliced bread.



Our boss bit off more than she could chew when she promised the client, we’d have the project ready by next week.


Ashok’s losing his job was a blessing in disguise; it gave him an opportunity to pursue higher studies.



She’s been burning the midnight oil for the last few months; her hard work will definitely pay off in the coming exams.


I know he does not look intelligent, but you should not judge a book by its cover


He had committed to both and now he’s caught between two stools.


I know you need a new lawyer but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.


It can’t he helped, don’t cry over spilled milk.


Don’t ask about his divorce-curiosity killed the cat!





They always put quality first; they won’t cut corners just to save money.


We need a better catcher; this one just doesn’t cut the mustard.


The teacher always played devil’s advocate to provoke discussion in the classroom.



You might not win the prize and you’ve already spent the money? Don’t count your chickens before the eggs have hatched.


Why did you invest in business even after failing in it in the past? Don’t give up the day job!


I know you love Harvard, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Apply to other colleges too.


Yes we had to let go of five of our workers! Drastic times call for drastic measures.


We waited for another performance by the band but it looked like Elvis had left the building.


I’m sorry your business is going badly, but remember every cloud has a silver lining.


What you did was a far cry from what you said you were going to do.


What you did was a far cry from what you said you were going to do.


I knew him since the past 5 years, so I gave him the benefit of doubt.

I heard through the grapevine that she’s pregnant.



You’ve spotted the flaw, Robert. You’ve hit the nail on the head.


I’m exhausted. I think I’ll just hit the sack.


He doesn’t hate you. He just said that in the heat of the moment.


He blamed her for his lack of attention; well it takes two to tango.


So many people are playing that game that I might as well jump on the bandwagon and check it out.


A good way to keep your anxiety at bay is through meditation.


John practiced his words while peeling the potatoes. He was killing two birds with one stone.


This is the last straw. I’m calling the police.


 I thought I would ask him if he wanted me to pay him back right away, but then I decided to let the sleeping dogs lie.


It’s our secret. Don’t let the cat out of the bag.


And – to make the long story short – I never got back the money I lent him.


What I’m doing might seem strange, but there is method in my madness.

Pay attention, John, or you’ll miss the boat and never learn algebra.


Her brother has not a spark of decency. I don’t like the way he acts in public.


He’s an intelligent guy, but with all that crazy things he does, I wonder if he’s not playing with the full deck.



If you were on the ball, this wouldn’t have happened.


: He accepted his fault off the record and hence it could not be used by the prosecutor in the court.


Oldest trick in the book to treat cold and cough is drinking turmeric milk.


She has a reputation of handling off the cuff interviews very well.


She retired last month, but still gets up at the same time in the morning. Old habits die hard.


Jill has a very rocky relationship with her father. She speaks to him once in a blue moon

Economists fear that relaxing price control will open the floodgates to inflation.


She had given up all hope when out of the blue she got a call from Harvard.


She was out on a limb with her project – nobody supported her idea.





Her sari was way over the top for a somber occasion like this.


A simple handwritten note put an end to their week long cold war – pen is mightier than the sword.


You have my permission to go to your friends’ place but don’t push your luck by planning a night out.



We’ll have to cancel the trip, it’s raining cats and dogs here.


When he cleared IIT-JEE, he reaped the harvest of all his hard work.


My brother said he would roll up his sleeves and do whatever it takes to support the family.


She was glad her roommate saw eye to eye on the choice of the flat.


He didn’t know too much about programming, so answering the interviewer’s question was merely a shot in the dark.


Robin immediately sank his teeth into his new job.


Don’t say anything that hurts her self-esteem or you could be skating on thin ice.


Being fluent in German will stand you in a good stead when applying for an MS in Germany.



The price of gold is at a 10 year low, strike while the iron is hot and invest in it right away.


He finally decided to take a back seat and let his son run the family business.


A lot is said about the celebrities in media, but that information should be taken with a grain of salt.


The share prices took a nosedive when there were rumors of the company’s CEO resigning.



Jack finally took the plunge and opened a restaurant.



People who often disregard others should be given a taste of their own medicine.


Emily is a wonderful teacher – children think the world of her


The recent lawsuit has put the firm in a tight spot.



Her comment was taken more seriously than intended. It was supposed to be tongue in cheek.


People tend to turn a blind eye to crime against women.


Celebrities are scrutinized by the media for all their actions so they’re required to walk on eggshells.


“I want that murderer’s head on a platter!”, said the Chief of police.



The examiner watched the test takers like a hawk.




The couple had a serious fight in the past but that water is under the bridge now.


Restarting the laptop once the motherboard has crashed is like waving a dead chicken.


The shock of being summoned by the Supreme Court made me go weak in the knees.


We have such a small number of employees that one is often supposed to wear many hats.


Given the current global market conditions, the Indian economy is weathering the storm pretty well.


Instead of a full-time job, she should be offered an internship as she is still wet behind the ears.


She had a whale of a time in Goa with her girl gang.


Upon being attacked, she blew a whistle in the dark which surprised her attackers


My sister has a printer, but she continues to write notes manually. Why keep a dog and bark for yourself?


Her answer was wide off the mark; it was impossible for me to give a better rating to it.


She tried to find out who the anonymous caller was, but it turned out to be a wild goose chase.



When Mike was leaving home, he decided to wipe the slate clean with his dad.

He pretended to be my friend but turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.



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