200+ Idiomatic Expressions List and Meaning PDF

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Idiomatic Expressions List and Meaning PDF!

Learn the big list of idiomatic expressions with their meaning and example sentences, these idiomatic expressions are for IELTS and also British idiomatic expressions also get a quiz of idiomatic expressions.

Idiomatic Expressions List and Meaning Examples

ExpressionsMeaningsExamples
A bad quarter of an hour uncomfortable timeHe spent a bad quarter of an hour with the board of directors
A blue-eyed- boy  a favoriteBeware of him, he is the blue-eyed-boy of the principal
(To) affect ignorance  to pretend not to knowHe affects the ignorance of any plan to dismantle the house
A Fish out of water  a person who feels uncomfortable in his present surroundingsHe is a fish out of the water  He cannot stay here for long
A Flash in the pan Something that lasts only for a short timeIt proved to be a flash in the pan  All his efforts have ended in smoke
A Freudian slip  unintentional mistake revealing true thoughtsHe made one mistake during his entire speech and it proves to be a Freudian slip
A friend at court  an influential friendThe most important factor of success these days is a friend at court
A going concern  successful businessThis project is a lame-duck  It needs courage and application to make it a going concert
A hot potato  an issue that is embarrassing to deal withDo not bring up this subject for discussion in the meeting  It is a hot potato

Idiomatic Expressions-Video Lesson

Idiomatic Expressions List and Meaning PDF – Image 1

Idiomatic Expressions List and Meaning PDF
A lame-duck  an enterprise that is not a successThis project is a lame-duck  It needs courage and application to make it a going concern
A long way out  InaccurateYour assessment of the situation is a long way out
An eagle-eye  a very quick eyeIt is very difficult to work beneath his eagle-eye
A passing fancy  temporary likingIt was a passing fancy  He does not want to see any longer
Apple pie order in perfect orderShe set everything in the house in apple-pie order within a week of her Arrival
Pretty kettle of fish  state of confusion, a mix-upIt is a pretty kettle of fish you are in  Am sorry I cannot help you out
A pretty penny  quite a lot of moneyThis house must have cost a pretty penny to build
A random shot  a wild guessIt was a random shot but it has come out to be true
A ready pen  someone who can write easily and quicklyA ready pen and will write this article for you within the stipulated period of time
A ruling passion  a passion that dominates a person’s lifeThe desire for popularity is his ruling passion and he will do everything to achieve it

British Idiomatic Expression – Image 2

Idiomatic Expressions List and Meaning PDF
A skeleton in the cupboard  something embarrassing or shamefulThere is a skeleton in every cupboard, we had better not probe into the matter
Snake in the grass  a deceitful personYou should trust your secretory he is a snake in the grass
As good as one’s word  to keep promiseHe promised me to send me a watch and he was as good as his words
A Thumb-nail sketch a brief description or a small scale drawingYou must give me the thumbnail sketch on the man before I go to the meeting
 Tower of strength  a person who can be relied upon for help in time of needHe is a tower of strength for me
At the first blush  at first glanceThe project does not appeal at the first blush
Willing horse  a willing worker  I want only willing horses for my office
(to) be at a loss for words  to be so surprised that one does not know what to say 
(to) be at cross purposes  to misunderstand someone  He is at a cross purpose with his father but I hope that they will soon end their differences
 (to) be at one’s best  to be most able  John is at his best when he is working under pressure
(to) be at one’s ease to feel comfortable  He is at his ease in the absence of his boss
(to) be hard-pressed for something  to be under pressure  I am hard-pressed for time  Please leave me alone for a while
(to) be hard put to do something  to have difficulty in doing something  He was hard put to give a convincing answer to my question
(to) be in a flutter  to be in a state of nervous excitement  He was in a flutter when he saw that the car had a flat tire
(to) be in keeping with something  to correspond  Jealousy is not in keeping with his character
(to) be in one’s elements  to be in agreeable circumstances  He is in his elements  Everything has worked out according to his wishes
(to) be in one’s line  to be in one’s province  Singing is not in my line
(to) be in the bag  to be certain  John is sure that the contract is in the bag already
(to) be in tune  to be in a happy frame of mind, he is in tune.You can talk to him about anything in the world
(to) be of a piece with  in keeping with  The latest letter is of a piece with her usual conduct
(to) be one too many  to be better than  John is one too many for Shaun at chess
(to) butter someone up  to flatter  You will have to butter him up to get something from him

English Idiomatic Expression – Image 3

List of idiom expression
(to) catch someone napping  to discover someone not doing what one should be doing  The manager caught some workers napping when he visited the factory
(to) clip someone’s wings  to slow down someone’s progress  The bank manager clipped his wings when he refused to advance the required loan
(to) cool one’s heels  to wait  I was left in the car to cool my heels for about half an hour
Crossed in love  disappointed in love  He has been crossed in love a number of times
(to) drop a line  to write  She dropped a line to thank me for the birthday gift
Every inch  completely, entirely  Shylock was every Inch a Jew
Eye-wash  deceit  All this sweet talk is eye-wash  In fact he does not like me
(to) feel someone’s pulse  to find out the secret opinion  In his conversation yesterday, he tried to feel my pulse about the new project
Feet of clay  to be weak or cowardly  He has feet of Clay  You cannot depend on him
(to) fight shy of something  to avoid  Why do you fight shy of writing articles for literary magazines? I am you can do it
(to) Fly off the handle  to become furious  He flew handle when she accused him of double
French leave  leave without permission  He goes French leave so often that sometimes it becomes difficult for me to provide him necessary cover
(to) get a word in edgeways  to get a chance to speak  I could hardly get a word in edgeways  It was khan who Spoke all the time
Give a dog a bad name and kill him  to attribute fault and dismiss  He was given a dog name and killed only because he did not carry out the evil wish of the landlord
(to) go flat out  to do with all one’s power  Imran Khan went flat out and captured three wickets in one spell of five overs
(to) go grey  to become grey-haired  He is going grey even at 3
(to) go into black  to mourn  She went into black for her husband
(to) go red  to blush  His unbridled praise for her physical charms made her go red
Good at heart  kind  I could not care less about what He has said  I know he is good at heart
(to) hand a bouquet  to pay compliments  The retiring Principal was handed a bouquet worthy of his services to the College
(to) handle someone with kid gloves  to treat very Carefully  She is a very sensitive lady  You will have to handle her with kid gloves
(to) hang on to something  retain, not to part with  Old Jeopardy should have retired long ago, but he is hanging on to his job

Idiomatic Expressions List and Meaning PDF – Image 4

british idiomatic expressions pdf

Also Check: List of Common Idioms

(to) have a bee in one’s bonnet  to be slightly unbalanced mentally  His actions are erratic because he has a bee in his bonnet
(to) have a bone in the leg  to be tired  I cannot walk in his place  I have a bone in the leg
(to) have a bone to pick  to have a cause of complaintshe has a bone to pick with him about the quarrel they had yesterday
(to) have a way with one  to have some pleasing Characteristic  She is not a charming girl but she has a way with her that is appealing
(to) have the gift of the gab  to have the talent for speaking  The only thing he has is the gift of the gab
(to) hold water  to be sound  This argument does not hold water
In good time  with time to spare  He finished his work in good time
In the pink  good in health  I am very happy to learn that you are in the pink
Iron something out  resolve  You can iron out your differences only if you sit down and talk
(to) join forces with someone  to cooperate  I appealed to him to join forces with me to restore the prestige of the family
To keep one’s fingers crossed  to hope for the best  He is very unpredicted  We can only keep our fingers crossed
To kick up a row  to make fuss  She kicked up such a big row over nothing
To knuckle under  to give way  He knuckled under after putting up some resistance
Let someone off  forgive  The principal let the student off with a warning
To live by one’s wits  to live by deceit or fraud  I suspect your friend lives by his wits
(to) look green  to look sickYou do look green  Is anything the matter?
(to) lose one’s head  to lose the presence of mind  He lost his head as soon as he read the charge-sheet
(to) meet someone halfway  to make a compromise  I am prepared to meet him halfway  You can tell him so on my behalf
(to) mind one’s p’s and q’s  to be very polite  Yesterday you made a very bad impression  You must mind your p’s and q’s in polite society
Neck or nothing  every risk must be taken  There was no choice  It was a case of neck or nothing with us
On the square  above board  I am sure, they will succeed in their business  There dealings are on the square
Other fish to try other business to do  She can’t come to see you daily, she has other fish to try
Out of character not typical  He was not his usual self today  His conversation was completely out of character
(to) pat someone on the back to congratulate someone on somethingYou deserve a pat on the back for the excellent job you have done
Idiomatic Expressions List and Meaning PDF
(to) pay through the nose to pay dearly  She is paying through the nose for her faults
(to) pick holes in something  to find fault with somethingDon’t pick holes in everything that other people do
(to) play fast and loose  to say one thing and do another  He always plays fast and lose it has become his second nature
(to) pluck at someones heart strings  to try to arouse sympathy  Do not pluck at everyone’s heart strings by narrating your tale of woe
(to) plumb the depths of something  to try to find out the truthwish to plumb the depths of the problem she is facing  She is really leading a miserable life
(to) put your best foot forward  to make effort  You won’t be able to complete this work before the end of the month unless you put your best foot forward
(to) run in the blood  characteristic of the members of a family  Gallantry runs in the blood of Indians
(to) set her cap at  to pay attention to  In my opinion, Sana has set her cap at Joe
Settle for something  be prepared to accept  I am not prepared to settle for a second-rate job
Shake someone up  upset  The news of his father’s death has shaken him up badly
(to) sit on the fence  not to take sidesthe policy of sitting on the fence does not always pay
(to) spill the beans  to tell a secret  Why can’t you be careful  You have spilled the beans
(to) stick to one’s colors  to be faithful to the cause  The Principal advised the students to stick to their colors
Stir something up  revokeHe is trying to stir up trouble again, but he would not succeed this time
(to) take a firm line to deal decisivelyyou will have to take a firm line with those employees who do not pull their weight
(to) take with a grain of salt to doubt  I take his Statements with a grain of salt
(to) talk shop to talk exclusively about one’s professional affairs  He always talks shop  That is why so many Persons shun his company
(to) talk through one’s hat to talk nonsense  He is talking through his hat when he says that he is going to help you in time or need
Tell a person straight  to speak frankly  Told her straight that I meant business
The olive branch  offer of peace  America holds out the olive branch to all its neighbors

Idiomatic Expression for Ielts – Image 5

briskish idioms expressions
The backbone  chief support  He is the backbone of the family
The finger of fate  destiny  The finger of fate has always guided him to success
The fourth estate  the pressthe fourth estate plays an important role in a democratic set-up
The pick of the bunch  boss of all  Rose is the pick of the bunch among flowers
The skin of one’s teeth  just manage to escape we escaped from falling into the river by the skin of our teeth
The underdog  a person at a disadvantage  She always sympathizes with the underdog
Till the cows come home  a long time to wait  He is prepared to wait for her till the cows come home
(to) tighten one’s belt  to spend less money  We must tighten our belts to pull through this crisis
Touch bottom  to sink very low  He cannot sink any lower  He has already touched bottom
Tongue in cheek  to say one thing and mean anotherG  B  Shaw often writes with his tongue in his cheek
Up with the lark  to rise very early  You must get up with the lark and go for a walk if you want to improve your health
Walkout on someone abandon  When reconciliation failed she walked out on her husband
(to) wear the breeches  to be the controlling force in the house  He is only a figurehead  It is his wife who wears the breaches
With the tail between the legs  with a beaten look  He retired from the ring with his tail between the legs
Win one’s spurs  to make one’s reputation  He won his spurs as a statesman in the parliament
Win the palm  to win a prizeI hope your daughter wins the palm by topping the 1st of successful candidates this year
Wreathed in smiles  smiling broadly  Her face was wreathed in smiles when she saw her fiancé

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