Latest Top 200 Idioms with Meanings and Examples


Top 200 idioms with meanings and examples

  1. Shoot from the hip
    Meaning: To speak bluntly or rashly without thinking carefully
    Example: Don’t feel bad about what he said. He has a habit of shooting from the hip, but he means no harm
  2. Shoot oneself in the foot
    Meaning: To harm one’s own cause inadvertently
    Example: Foolishly harm one’s own cause, as in He really shot himself in the foot, telling the interviewer all about the others who were applying for the job he wanted.
  3. In cold blood
    Meaning: If you do something violent and cruel in cold blood, you do it deliberately and in an unemotional way.
    Example: In a purposely ruthless and unfeeling manner, as in The whole family was murdered in cold blood.
  4. Draw first blood
    Meaning: If you draw first blood, you cause the first damage to an opponent in a conflict or contest.
    Example: To be the first to gain an advantage or score against an opponent. I drew first blood in the tournament and quickly dispatched my opponent.
  5. Ace up one’s sleeve
    Meaning: A secret or hidden advantage that you can use when you need it
    Example: Cheating at a card game by hiding a favourable card up one’s sleeve. I have an ace up my sleeve for this race- my stamina.
  6. A left-handed compliment
    Meaning: Saying something insulting in the form of appreciative words.
    Example: Her words on my blog seem like a left-handed compliment.
  7. Play your cards right
    Meaning: To behave or work in a way that gives you an advantage or improves your odds of success.
    Example: Play your cards right in college and you’ll get a great job after you graduate
  8. Egg on your face
    Meaning: If you’ve egg on your face, you look stupid and face embarrassment because of something you’ve done.
    Example: Terry had an egg on his face after boasting that the examinations were really easy, but ended up failing most of his papers.
  9. Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
    Meaning: To destroy something that gives you a lot of money to get immediate returns
    Example: Tearing down the top attraction in the theme park, “The Haunted House”, would be akin to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
  10. An arm and a leg
    Meaning: If something costs an arm and a leg, it costs a lot.
    Example: I want to buy a house by the beach, but it may cost me an arm and a leg.
  11. Behind one’s back
    Meaning: If you do something behind someone’s back, you do it secretly without their knowledge (used in negative way).
    Example: My colleague is really nice to me but I don’t trust him because I know he talks negatively about me behind my back.
  12. Stab someone in the back
    Meaning: Harm someone who trusts you.
    Example: Don’t trust George; he’s been known to stab his friends in the back
  13. Take a back seat
    Meaning: If you take a back seat, you choose not to be in a position of responsibility or power.
    Example: The founder of the company decided to take a back seat and let the board members run the business.
  14. Back to the drawing board
    Meaning: If you go back to the drawing board, you make a fresh start or try another idea because the earlier one didn’t succeed.
    Example: It looks like my plans to kill the weeds in the garden failed. Back to the drawing board
  15. Right off the bat
    Meaning: If you do something right off the bat, you do it immediately.
    Example: Nathan was in the mood for a cheeseburger, so he hopped into his car and bought some fast food. After unwrapping the burger, he took a bite and right off the bat he knew that something was wrong; it didn’t taste right.
  16. Heart misses (skips) a beat
    Meaning: If your heart misses a beat, you feel excited or nervous.
    Example: Her heart missed a beat when she heard her name called out in the list of finalists, or When the bear appeared in front of us, my heart skipped a beat, or My heart stands still at the very thought of flying through a thunderstorm
  17. Have your heart in your mouth
    Meaning: If you’ve your heart in mouth, you’re feeling extremely nervous.
    Example: You sure don’t seem relaxed—in fact, it seems like your heart is in your mouth.
  18. Not the only fish in the sea
    Meaning: Not the only suitable thing or person one can find
    Example: When Bob walked out on Sally, all we could tell her was that he was not the only fish in the sea , or Bill knew she wasn’t the only pebble on the beach but he was determined to win her over.
  19. Not your cup of tea
    Meaning: If you say that someone or something is not your cup of tea, you mean that they’re not the kind of person or thing you like.
    Example: We couldn’t decide which movie to watch, so we ended up settling on a comedy. Half-way through the movie, I concluded that its humor was not my cup of tea.
  20. A piece of cake
    Meaning: If something is a piece of cake, it’s easy to do.
    Example: The boy found the project to be a piece of cake because it was incredibly easy.
  21. Call it a day
    Meaning: If you call it a day, you stop what you’re doing because you’re tired of it or you’ve not been successful.
    Example: I think we have done enough work today, I am feeling tired now, let’s call it a day.
  22. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush
    Meaning: An opportunity in hand, currently, is better than a prospect in the future, because time never repeats itself.
    Example: The detective apprehended 3 criminals and saw another one running but didn’t chase him, because she knew a bird in one hand is better than two in the bush.
  23. Chip off the old block
    Meaning: A person is similar in behaviour or actions to his parents.
    Example: When grandmother saw her grandson collecting coins like her son used to do, she knew he was a Chip off the old block.
  24. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
    Meaning: Treat people the same way you want to be treated.
    Example: I felt Peter was a little cold today towards that homeless man, he should do unto others as he would have them do unto him, because who knows about time.
  25. Don’t cry over spilt milk
    Meaning: Don’t cry over what has happened as it can not be fixed.
    Example: Walter failed his examination but his dad came and said just one thing, “Son, Don’t cry over spilt milk.”
  26. Every cloud has a silver lining
    Meaning: Bad things one day eventually lead to good things.
    Example: See, yesterday you were so morose as your phone was stolen but look at you today, you got a promotion. Is it rightly said that every cloud has a silver lining.
  27. Beside yourself with joy
    Meaning: To be extremely happy.
    Example: I can see that you are beside yourself with joy on being selected for the job, congratulations.
  28. Fair and square
    Meaning: Being direct or fair.
    Example: To tell you fair and square, I did everything that I was meant to do, but I still feel unfulfilled.
  29. Having an Ace up the sleeve
    Meaning: Have an advantage that is currently being withheld for future purposes.
    Example: Brian kept quiet at the board meeting, who knew he had an Ace hidden up his sleeve the whole time.
  30. A black sheep
    Meaning: Being a disgrace for the family.
    Example: They don’t talk about Olive anymore, turns out he was the Black sheep for the family, he married someone else while he was still arranged to his fiancé.
  31. Hook, line and sinker
    Meaning: Doing something or trying to achieve something with thoroughness and passion.
    Example: I have set my mind to go through the spreadsheets by Monday and I am working for it Hook, line and sinker.
  32. Looking to your laurels
    Meaning: Not be lost in your achievements and losing the sight of what is supposed to happen.
    Example: Look to your laurels but do not rest on it.
  33. Bear a grudge
    Meaning: To continue to feel angry or unfriendly for someone or something because of a particular past incident.
    Example: I Bear a grudge against him for not taking me into confidence.
  34. By the skin of your teeth
    Meaning: To just barely get by or make it.
    Example: Lester made the dance team By the skin of his teeth, you see the audition gates were about to get closed.
  35. Down for the count
    Meaning: Tired; giving up.
    Example: My pet dog is down for the count after playing the whole day with the frisbee.
  36. Draw the line
    Meaning: To stop before a point where something okay gets not okay.
    Example: Hey buddy, that’s enough, Draw the line before someone comes and beats you to a pulp.
  37. Easier said than done
    Meaning: Not as easy as it appears to be.
    Example: Listen, losing weight is easier said than done, many people lack commitment.
  38. Break a leg
    Meaning: Saying good luck to someone.
    Example: Hey Barry, it’s time for you to get on the stage and present your monologue, break a leg.
  39. Up a creek without a paddle
    Meaning: In an unlucky situation.
    Example: Dan tried to dine and dash yesterday at a Chinese place but he was stopped by the waiters, guess he was up a creek without a paddle yesterday.
  40. Give it a whirl
    Meaning: To give something a try.
    Example: I am absolutely terrified of skydiving, but I think once in my life, I will give it a whirl.
  41. Fish out of water
    Meaning: To be out of your comfort zone.
    Example: Tom felt like a fish out of water when his girlfriend took him to a Star Wars convention in LA.
  42. In the fast lane
    Meaning: A life filled with excitement.
    Example: When Chris turned forty, he decided to live his life in the fast lane and quit his job for his hobbies.
  43. Go the extra mile
    Meaning: To make an extra effort.
    Example: He was willing to go the extra mile for the love of his life, Mia.
  44. Snug as a bug in a rug
    Meaning: Warm and cosy.
    Meaning: The baby looks as snug as a bug in a rug next to her mother.
  45. Step up your game
    Meaning: To start performing better
    Example: Jennifer better step up her game if she wants to make big in Basketball.
  46. To not see the wood for the trees
    Meaning: To be so involved in trivial matters that you don’t get the important facts.
    Example: He always argues on the silliest topics, it’s like he can’t see wood for the trees.
  47. Lose your marbles
    Meaning: To go insane.
    Example: Our mailman has lost his marbles, every day he drops Mr. Smith’s mail on our door.
  48. Straight from the Horse’s mouth
    Meaning: Directly from the person involved.
    Example: Listen to the news straight from the horse’s mouth, his factory burned down right in front of his eyes.
  49. Crying Wolf
    Meaning: To ask for help when you don’t need it.
    Example: You have cried Wolf so many times that no one believes you now.
  50. Palm off
    Meaning: Pass off something as genuine when it is spurious.
    Example: This shopkeeper always palms off old stock to the customers.
  51. Has bigger fish to fry
    Meaning: Has more important work to do.
    Example: Please don’t bother me today with any calls, I have bigger fish to fry.
  52. Look before you leap
    Meaning: Calculate the risks before advancing towards a possibility.
    Example: You can’t just sell all of your shares when the market is low, look before you leap, Trump is coming tomorrow, it is possible the shares will grow.
  53. On thin ice
    Meaning: In a precarious or risky situation.
    Example: Andy played hooky from work for a week saying he was sick, now his boss said that he is on very thin ice.
  54. Play devil’s advocate
    Meaning: To argue, just for the sake of it.
    Example: He was not agreeing to back off, as if he was playing devil’s advocate.
  55. Rain on someone’s parade
    Meaning: To spoil a moment.
    Example: He told his wife that he doesn’t want to rain on her parade, but they had to shift their vacation dates.
  56. Take a rain check
    Meaning: Postpone a plan.
    Example: He asked me whether I would like to have dinner with his family, but I had a thing so I said, rain check.
  57. Take it with a grain of salt
    Meaning: Don’t take it too seriously.
    Example: She tells great tales but we take whatever she says with a grain of salt.
  58. Like a cakewalk
    Meaning: So easy task.
    Example: Everyone took hours to write the code but Adam did it like a cakewalk.
  59. Throw caution to the wind
    Meaning: Take a risk.
    Example: The caretaker threw caution to the wind by taking a sick baby outside.
  60. Penny-wise and Pound foolish
    Meaning: Careful in trivial matters but wasteful or extravagant in large matters.
    Example: That man eats Ramen noodles daily for dinner but for his dog, he threw a big party. He is indeed penny-wise and pound-foolish.
  61. The whole nine yards
    Meaning: Everything, all the way.
    Example: I want to know everything there is to know about this merger, the whole nine yards of the deal.
  62. The best thing since sliced bread
    Meaning: A really good invention.
    Example: Bluetooth is officially the best thing since sliced bread.
  63. Bite off more than you can chew
    Meaning: Take on a difficult work that is beyond your capabilities.
    Example: Andrew told his boss that he will triple the sales but in reality, he bit off more than he can chew and now all of us are in trouble.
  64. Play by the ear
    Meaning: To improvise.
    Example: I just went to Canada and did everything by the ear, no itinerary, no schedules.
  65. Ignorance is bliss
    Meaning: You are better off not knowing some things.
    Example: His wife always asked him what it was he did late at night, turned out, he was insider trading. But she knew nothing about this so she won’t be convicted, sometimes ignorance is bliss.
  66. Put something on ice
    Meaning: To put something on hold.
    Example: As per the boss’ order, Michael has put his personal matters on ice.
  67. You can say that again
    Meaning: That’s absolutely true.
    Example: “The Earth is bleeding”, you can say that again, pal.
  68. Bite the bullet
    Meaning: To get something over with because it is inevitable.
    Example: Vik was diagnosed with second stage cancer but he didn’t want to get chemotherapy. By the will of his wife, he bit the bullet.
  69. Go back to the drawing board
    Meaning: Start over.
    Example: It is not too late to go back to the drawing board and assess your mistakes.
  70. Call it a day
    Meaning: Stop working on something.
    Example: Ah! So what we didn’t complete the puzzle today, let’s call it a day and come back again tomorrow.
  71. Beating Around the Bush
    Meaning: To talk about unnecessary things.
    Example: When I asked my secretary about the missing file and documents, she was beating around the bush.
  72. Be in a Tight Corner.
    Meaning: Being in a difficult situation.
    Example: Radha’s low grades despite her constant efforts has put her in a very tight corner.
  73. At the 11th Hour
    Meaning: At the last moment.
    Example: While leaving for Shimla, Harshit kept his mobile phone charger in the bag at the 11th hour.
  74. Swan Song
    Meaning: The last piece of work of an artist before his/her death.
    Example: This painting was M.F Hussain’s swan song.
  75. Wild Goose Chase
    Meaning: Futile Chase
    Example: Catching the two thieves together on a jam-packed road was no less than a wild goose chase for the policeman.
  76. Bury the Hatchet
    Meaning: Ending a quarrel to make peace.
    Example: My father buried the hatchet by equally diving the pasta between me and my sister.
  77. To Bell the Cat
    Meaning: To face a risk.
    Example: He belled the cat when he was trying to escape the prison.
  78. Turn a deaf ear
    Meaning: To ignore what someone is saying.
    Example: Whenever her mother complained of her excessive use of mobile phone, Anu turned a deaf ear.
  79. At Sea
    Meaning: Confused
    Example: I was at sea while choosing a lehenga for my sister’s wedding at Manish Malhotra’s store.
  80. To be in the doldrums
    Meaning: To be in a low spirit
    Example: When I got to know about the increasing cases of COVID 19 in my area, I was in the doldrums.
  81. Hit the books
    Meaning: Going to study
    Example: I won’t be able to come for dinner as I have to hit the books for my half-yearly examinations.
  82. Twist someone’s arm
    Meaning: To convince someone
    Example: I was not planning to come to the party but by remaining me of all the good food you twisted my arm!
  83. Stab someone in the back
    Meaning: To betray a close person
    Example: My uncle trusted his driver so much but he stabbed him at the back when he saw all the money bags.
  84. Go cold turkey
    Meaning: To quit or stop addictive or dangerous behaviour
    Example: No one could believe that my father left eating sweets! He went cold turkey when the doctors told him that he has diabetes.
  85. Ring a bell
    Meaning: Sounds familiar
    Example: Why does this name ring a bell in my head? Was this girl in my school?
  86. Cut to the chase
    Meaning: Getting to the important point
    Example: As the submissions were to be made tonight, boss cut to the chase and asked us to start working.
  87. Blow off steam
    Meaning: Experiencing strong feelings like anger or stress
    Example: Shina went running to blow off steam as she had a huge fight with mother.
  88. Face the music
    Meaning: Face the reality
    Example: Shikha asked her husband to not run away from the problem and just face the music once!
  89. To have sticky fingers
    Meaning: Thief
    Example: The cashier had a sticky finger, he stole around $2000 and ran away from the bank.
  90. Break the bank
    Meaning: To be very expensive
    Example: I had to break the bank to but these shoes!
  91. Face the music
    Meaning: Confront the unpleasant consequences of one’s actions.
    Example: We have done it and now it’s time to face the music!
  92. It is always darkest before the dawn
    Meaning: Things will get better
    Example: I know you have gone through the worst, but remember it is always darkest before the dawn.
  93. Jump the gun
    Meaning: To act on something promptly before the right time
    Example: I think I jumped the gun by sending the e-mail before they tell the time.
  94. Wear your heart on your sleeve
    Meaning: Expressing yourself too openly
    Example: She wears her heart on her sleeve and often gets hurt.
  95. Cut no ice
    Meaning: Fail to make an impact
    Example: Your poetry cuts no ice with me.
  96. Light at the end of tunnel
    Meaning: Seeing signs of improvement in the future
    Example: I see the light at the end of the tunnel for my relationship with her.
  97. Through thick and thin
    Meaning: Through good and bad times
    Example: Books and music stay by your side through thick and thin.
  98. Cry for the moon
    Meaning: To ask for something that is rather difficult
    Example: You are crying for the moon for this concert’s tickets!
  99. Read between the lines
    Meaning: Understanding the real message behind something
    Example: If you try to read between the lines, her song is actually about nizagara.
  100. Break the ice
    Meaning: To get the conversation going. Provide a conversation prompt.
    Example: Starting class with a joke or subjects students like will help to break the ice.
  101. A dime a dozen
    Meaning: Very common: quite ordinary
    Example: I thought it was something special but it turns out they’re a dime a dozen.
  102. Beat around the bush
    Meaning: To avoid saying something
    Example: Don’t beat around the bush. Just tell me what happened.
  103. Back against the wall
    Meaning: Forced to do something that you would rather not.
    Example: I really don’t want to do this but my back is against the wall.
  104. Bite the bullet
    Meaning: Doing something you don’t want to but also expressing that you’re making a proactive choice.
    Example: I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet rather than waiting around.
  105. Wrap one’s head around something
    Meaning: To understand something that may take a bit of time and effort.
    Example: That’s really complicated. It’s going to take a moment to wrap my head around that.
  106. Under the weather
    Meaning: Sick. Typically used to describe minor illnesses like a cold.
    Example: Sorry I’m feeling a bit under the weather and won’t be able to come in today.
  107. Better late than never
    Meaning: Describes things that are better done than not, even if it takes a long time.
    Example: I went back to college at 30 years old and figured better late than never.
  108. Cut corners
    Meaning: To skip steps or not do things completely.
    Example: This is an important project so don’t cut any corners on this one.
  109. Get out of hand
    Meaning: When a situation gets out of control.
    Example: I meant to just have a small party but too many people came and it quickly got out of hand.
  110. A snowball effect
    Meaning: Something that can continue to get more and more out of control
    Example: I just invited a couple of people over but there was a bit of a snowball effect and now there’s a giant party at my house.
  111. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it
    Meaning: Let’s avoid addressing the problem until later on.
    Example: We won’t find out until next month so we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
  112. To cut someone some slack
    Meaning: To not manage someone very strictly or to not be critical.
    Example: Cut me some slack. I’m trying.
  113. To be hard on someone
    Meaning: To criticize or to manage someone very strictly.
    Example: You don’t have to be so hard on your employees to be successful.
  114. Get something out of one’s system
    Meaning: To do something you really want to and have been waiting to.
    Example: I really want to go to karaoke, sing a few songs and just get it out of my system.
  115. Burn bridges
    Meaning: To do something or anger someone to where you cannot go back to how things were and cannot expect help in the future.
    Example: Don’t burn bridges with your employer. You may need their help in the future.
  116. Sell like hotcakes
    Meaning: To sell very quickly or be in high demand.
    Example: I didn’t think my crafts would be that popular but they’re selling like hotcakes.
  117. Fish out of water
    Meaning: To be in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable place.
    Example: I don’t want to change schools and be a fish out of water.
  118. Step up one’s game
    Meaning: To work harder or perform better.
    Example: You need to step up your game if you want a promotion this year.
  119. Your guess is as good as mine
    Meaning: I don’t know either.
    Example: I haven’t found out anything so your guess is as good as mine.
  120. Leave out in the cold
    Meaning: To be ignored or not considered.
    Example: Not being invited to any of the meetings lately has me feeling left out in the cold.
  121. Keep an ear to the ground
    Meaning: To listen for new information.
    Example: I’ll keep an ear to the ground for any updates on the project.
  122. Up in arms
    Meaning: To be angry or overreact.
    Example: Don’t get up in arms. I’m just telling you what happened.
  123. Run around in circles
    Meaning: To put effort into something while making little or no progress.
    Example: My boss has me running around in circles with unnecessary tasks that aren’t getting us anywhere.
  124. Scrape the barrel
    Meaning: To make choices you don’t want to or normally wouldn’t.
    Example: They’re not great but I was really scraping the barrel to find something.
  125. Blessing in disguise
    Meaning: Something that seems bad but provides some benefit.
    Example: I hated that assignment but it was a blessing in disguise since it taught me things that I use for the job I have now.
  126. Having an Ace up the sleeve
    Meaning: To have a hidden or untold advantage.
    Example: I thought he was definitely going to lose but he had an ace up his sleeve and caught up in points.
  127. Buy it
    Meaning: To believe something.
    Example: That guy told me he’s related to the president but I don’t buy it.
  128. Hook line and sinker
    Meaning: To be deceived completely.
    Example: I told him that I would pay him $1,000 and he bought it hook line and sinker.
  129. Piece of cake
    Meaning: Very Easy.
    Example: Winning the game is a piece of cake once you understand how to play.
  130. Once in a blue moon
    Meaning: Very rare.
    Example: She doesn’t like it here and only comes once in a blue moon.
  131. On the line
    Meaning: To risk something or have something at risk.
    Example: I invested my life savings in this business and have everything on the line.
  132. A quick buck
    Meaning: An easy way to make money quickly.
    Example: Translation work is kind of boring for me but it’s a quick buck.
  133. Sights set on | Set sights on
    Meaning: To desire something or to make a goal.
    Example: I have my sights set on going to France next year. I set my sights on going to France next year.
  134. Add fuel to the fire
    Meaning: To make a situation worse.
    Example: You should wait until later to say something. Sometimes arguing just adds fuel to the fire.
  135. Bone to pick
    Meaning: To be angry about something and want to discuss it.
    Example: You might not think you did anything wrong but I have a bone to pick with you about that.
  136. Go the extra mile
    Meaning: To do extra work or put in extra effort.
    Example: She went the extra mile and got our seats upgraded even though she didn’t have to.
  137. Hang in there
    Meaning: To not give up.
    Example: I know things are hard but hang in there.
  138. Down for the count
    Meaning: To give up or not be able to keep going.
    Example: I tried everything and it took so much out of me. I’m down for the count on this one.
  139. Rest on your laurels
    Meaning: To stop trying as hard because of your past achievements.
    Example: The work still isn’t finished and things are just going to get more difficult. This is no time to rest on your laurels.
  140. Give it a whirl
    Meaning: To try something.
    Example: I’m willing to give it a whirl even though I’ve never done it before.
  141. It’s not rocket science
    Meaning: It’s not as difficult as you might think.
    Example: Of course, I figured it out. It’s not rocket science.
  142. Get bent out of shape
    Meaning: To get upset at times when others don’t think you should.
    Example: Hey it’s just a joke. Don’t get bent out of shape.
  143. Spill the beans
    Meaning: To tell a secret.
    Example: I already know you did it. Your best friend spilled the beans.
  144. Sit on the fence
    Meaning: To be undecided.
    Example: I’m still sitting on the fence about whether I’m going to buy that car.
  145. Don’t cry over spilled milk / No use in crying over spilled milk
    Meaning: What has already happened cannot be undone so you shouldn’t cry but you should think of what to do going forward.
    Example: I know it wasn’t your fault but there’s no use in crying over spilled milk. Think of what you’re going to do next.
  146. Fair and square
    Meaning: To do things in a fair way with no advantages given to either side.
    Example: No do-overs. I won fair and square.
  147. Straight from the horse’s mouth
    Meaning: To hear information directly from the person involved.
    Example: I already know the truth. I heard straight from the horse’s mouth.
  148. Bigger fish to fry
    Meaning: There is something more important to take care of.
    Example: I can’t think about that right now. I have bigger fish to fry.
  149. At face value
    Meaning: As something seems or as one claims it to be.
    Example: Don’t take what he says at face value. He’s been known to lie.
  150. Read between the lines
    Meaning: To look for the real meaning when something is said.
    Example: I don’t just listen to what people tell me. I know how to read between the lines.
  151. Wild goose chase
    Meaning: To waste time trying to do something you cannot.
    Example: My mom sent me on a wild goose chase trying to find things that aren’t available anywhere.
  152. Call it a day
    Meaning: To stop working.
    Example: Hey let’s go home. It’s time to call it a day.
  153. Chip off the old block
    Meaning: To be similar to one’s parents in one way or overall.
    Example: She’s a really higher achiever like her mom. A real chip off the old block.
  154. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
    Meaning: Similar to one’s parents. This is used at the time when you observe that someone is doing something their parents would.
    Example: Of course, he got into Harvard. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  155. In for a penny in for a pound
    Meaning: To make sure a task is complete no matter what once someone has spent any effort or money towards the goal.
    Example: I’m in for a penny in for a pound on this one. I’ve already spent seven hours getting this project off the ground.
  156. By the skin of one’s teeth
    Meaning: To barely get something done.
    Example: I passed that test by the skin of my teeth with a 61/100.
  157. Draw the line
    Meaning: To decide on a stopping past which you will not let something continue.
    Example: I’m going to have to draw the line here. I can’t do any more work until you pay your balance.
  158. To not see/to lose the forest for the trees
    Meaning: To fixate on trivial details to the point of ignoring the overall meaning or more important facts.
    Example: Don’t lose the forest for the trees here. The first few questions are only worth one point each so make sure you leave enough time for the open-ended questions.
  159. Penny wise and pound foolish
    Meaning: To worry about or obsess over unimportant details while ignoring the important ones.
    Example: He did every homework assignment but didn’t submit his major project. Absolutely penny wise and pound foolish.
  160. Cry wolf
    Meaning: To ask for help or attention by lying about a situation.
    Example: If you keep crying wolf, nobody is going to help you when you really need it.
  161. Play devil’s advocate
    Meaning: To present the other side or both sides of an argument.
    Example: I just need you to support me, not to keep trying to play devil’s advocate.
  162. On thin ice
    Meaning: In a dangerous or risky situation with much margin for error.
    Example: I used 9 out of my 10 absences so my teacher told me I’m on thin ice.
  163. The best thing since sliced bread
    Meaning: Really, really good.
    Example: The iPhone was the best thing since sliced bread. It really changed the world.
  164. Take it with a pinch of salt
    Meaning: Don’t believe it to be 100% true.
    Example: He lies a lot so take what he says with a pinch of salt.
  165. The whole nine yards
    Meaning: Everything to the greatest extent.
    Example: I want everything on the menu. Appetizers, entrees, desserts, the whole nine yards.
  166. Bite off more than you can chew
    Meaning: To take on a task that is more difficult than you can handle.
    Example: I regret agreeing to cook dinner for 100 people. I really bit off more than I could chew.
  167. A second wind
    Meaning: To have more energy or more appetite after being tired or full.
    Example: I was completely full but once the dessert came, I had a second wind.
  168. Play it by ear
    Meaning: To improvise or wait for more information to come to a decision.
    Example: I can’t decide on what to do until I know what my manager’s decision will be so I have to play it by ear.
  169. Put something on ice
    Meaning: To stop progress on something or put it on hold.
    Example: Hey I need you to work on this project that’s due today so you’re going to have to put what you’re doing on ice.
  170. 24/7
    Meaning: All the time, always. (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
    Example: I didn’t invite him to my party because he’s in medical school and studying 24/7.
  171. Lose one’s touch
    Meaning: To not be as good at something as one used to be.
    Example: It took me 10 tries to get a basket. I’m really losing my touch.
  172. Sit tight
    Meaning: Please wait patiently.
    Example: Hey I still have a few tasks to do before I can head out to dinner so sit tight and I’ll be there soon.
  173. Twist my arm
    Meaning: To convince someone with persistence.
    Example: Alright I wasn’t planning on buying a new car today but you twisted my arm. I’ll take it.
  174. Turn a deaf ear
    Meaning: To ignore someone.
    Example: I could really use some help but everyone around me has turned a deaf ear.
  175. Hit the books
    Meaning: To study (more often used to imply studying hard)
    Example: Final exams are coming up and I need a high score to maintain my A. I’m going to hit the books hard today.
  176. Cold turkey
    Meaning: To quit suddenly rather than gradually.
    Example: If I start playing video games at all, I won’t stop for hours so I had to quit cold turkey.
  177. Go down in flames
    Meaning: To fail suddenly and severely.
    Example: A couple of scandals after her debut caused her career to go down in flames.
  178. Pitch in
    Meaning: To put in effort or to make a contribution.
    Example: It’s a lot of work but if everyone pitches in, we’ll be done in no time.
  179. Cut to the chase
    Meaning: To get directly to the point.
    Example: I’m in a rush so I need you to cut to the chase and just tell me what the problem is.
  180. Off the table
    Meaning: Unavailable, the offer has been revoked.
    Example: If your offer is still on the table, I’d like to accept the job.
  181. Ship has sailed
    Meaning: It is too late for the opportunity. You waited too long for the opportunity and it is no longer available.
    Example: You waited too long and the job isn’t available anymore. That ship has sailed so keep looking.
  182. Blow off steam
    Meaning: To do fun activities to help relieve stress.
    Example: I had a long day at work and went to the batting cages to blow off some steam.
  183. Come rain or shine
    Meaning: No matter what.
    Example: I promise, come rain or shine, I’ll be at your graduation. You can count on it.
  184. See eye to eye
    Meaning: To agree, compromise or understand the other person’s perspective.
    Example: It’s been six weeks and they can’t come to any agreement because they just can’t see eye to eye.
  185. Rings a bell
    Meaning: Sounds familiar or reminds you of something.
    Example: What you just said rings a bell. There’s this thing I forgot to tell you earlier.
  186. A class act
    Meaning: Of great character or able to perform to high standards.
    Example: He puts on a good show every time and then shakes hands and takes pictures with fans. He’s a real class act.
  187. Break the bank
    Meaning: To be very expensive.
    Example: I got the car I wanted but it really broke the bank.
  188. Cost an arm and a leg
    Meaning: To be very expensive. (Typically less used for items less expensive than ones that you would use “break the bank” for).
    Example: Replacing my broken car stereo cost me an arm and leg.
  189. Face the music
    Meaning: To accept reality.
    Example: You failed every audition. It’s time to face the music and accept that you’re not a very good actor.
  190. Darkest before the dawn
    Meaning: Things will get better (Useful for when several bad things happen at once)
    Example: I know that a lot of bad things happened to you this week but it’s darkest before the dawn.
  191. Through thick and thin
    Meaning: Throughout good times and bad times.
    Example: It doesn’t matter if it’s difficult or if bad things happen. I said I would help you through thick and thin.
  192. Fortune favors the bold
    Meaning: Taking a risk can pay off.
    Example: There’s only a 10% chance of success but the payout is 20 times higher if I win. You know what they say, fortune favors the bold.
  193. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
    Meaning: You’re taking too big of a risk or putting too much effort and resources into one risky option.
    Example: I’m really glad that people like my art but I’m not going to make art full time. I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.
  194. Throw caution to the wind
    Meaning: To stop thinking about something and take the risk.
    Example: My parents told me not to put all my eggs in one basket but I decided to throw caution to the wind and be a full-time artist.
  195. Look before you leap
    Meaning: To think before you do something.
    Example: The opportunity to move to another country is really exciting but I want you to look before you leap.
  196. Jump on the bandwagon
    Meaning: To follow a trend or not to do something until it’s popular.
    Example: She didn’t care about K-pop before but now that it’s popular, she’s jumped on the bandwagon.
  197. Pour one’s heart out
    Meaning: To tell or confess something emotional.
    Example: I don’t like soap operas. They’re so unrealistic with the way everyone pours their heart out about everything.
  198. Right as rain
    Meaning: There is nothing that can be improved.
    Example: The dish was right as rain. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
  199. Knee Jerk Reaction
    Meaning: A quick response
    Example: The statement was just a knee jerk reaction.
  200. Once bitten, twice shy
    Meaning: Afraid of doing something again
    Example: Once bitten twice shy, he can’t ski.