How Do You Spell AN?

Pronunciation: [ˈɐn] (IPA)

The word "an" is a common English word that is commonly used to indicate a single item. The spelling of this word is quite simple and straightforward, as it is spelled using only two letters - "a" and "n". The pronunciation of this word, and the reason for its spelling, can be explained using IPA phonetic transcription. The first letter, "a", is pronounced as /ə/, which is the schwa sound. The second letter, "n", is pronounced as /n/, which is the normal sound for the letter "n".

AN Meaning and Definition

An is a commonly used indefinite article in the English language, functioning as both a determiner and a modifier. It is used to introduce or modify a singular countable noun, indicating that the noun is nonspecific, unspecific, or refers to one among a group or class.

The primary purpose of "an" is to indicate that the noun it precedes begins with a vowel sound, regardless of whether the actual spelling of the noun begins with a vowel or a consonant. It serves as an alternative to the indefinite article "a" when the following word commences with a vowel sound to avoid phonetic awkwardness. For example, "an apple," "an hour," and "an honest person."

In addition to being used before singular nouns, "an" can also precede certain adjectives and adverbs, followed by a noun modified by those adjectives or adverbs. For instance, "an old man," "an extremely cold day," or "an almost impossible task."

While "an" is indefinite and does not specify a particular noun, it can help narrow down the reference to one of several possibilities. It is commonly paired with nouns indicating professions, nationalities, or roles to denote a general or typical representative of such categories. For instance, "an architect," "an American," or "an actor."

Overall, "an" holds a significant role in English grammar by highlighting the vowel sound at the beginning of a word, maintaining phonetic flow, and indicating the nonspecificity of a noun or adjective.

Top Common Misspellings for AN *

  • anf 7.1028037%
  • aan 6.9158878%
  • ann 5.4205607%
  • adn 4.6728971%
  • asn 1.8691588%
  • abn 1.6822429%
  • oan 1.4953271%
  • amn 1.4953271%
  • ean 1.1214953%
  • anm 0.9345794%
  • anb 0.7476635%
  • anc 0.5607476%
  • anh 0.5607476%
  • ian 0.3738317%
  • dan 0.3738317%
  • aqn 0.3738317%
  • ano 0.3738317%
  • anr 0.3738317%
  • aon 0.1869158%
  • aq 0.1869158%
  • gan 0.1869158%
  • ao 0.1869158%
  • acn 0.1869158%
  • and 0.1869158%
  • nn 0.1869158%

* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on www.spellchecker.net from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.

Other Common Misspellings for AN

Etymology of AN

The word "an" has a very simple etymology. It originated from the Old English word "an", which meant "one". Over time, it underwent phonetic changes and eventually became the word "an" that we use today in modern English. Its meaning also expanded to include the indefinite article "a" or "an" that is used before nouns to indicate non-specificity or singularity.

Idioms with the word AN

  • rule sth with an iron hand/fist To "rule something with an iron hand/fist" means to exercise strict and complete control or authority over a situation, organization, or people, often by using harsh, forceful, and uncompromising methods. It implies a dominant and authoritarian leadership style that brooks no dissent or opposition.
  • settle an (old) score The idiom "settle an (old) score" means to seek revenge or to resolve past conflicts or disputes between individuals or groups. It typically refers to taking action to address a perceived injustice or wrongdoing that has been lingering or unresolved for a long time.
  • drive/send sb to an early grave The idiom "drive/send someone to an early grave" means to cause extreme stress, worry, or torment that could potentially lead to someone's premature death. It implies that the actions, behavior, or circumstances inflicted upon a person are so burdensome that it significantly diminishes their well-being and might ultimately result in their demise.
  • set an example The idiom "set an example" means to behave in a way that serves as a model for others to follow. It refers to someone demonstrating ideal or admirable behavior that influences or inspires others to behave similarly.
  • settle an account The idiom "settle an account" means to resolve or clear any debts, obligations, or disagreements related to a financial transaction, business arrangement, or personal relationship. It refers to reaching a final agreement or making the necessary payment to close or conclude the matter.
  • settle (old) scores, at settle an (old) score The phrase "settle (old) scores" or "settle an (old) score" means to seek revenge or rectify a past wrong or injustice. It refers to resolving a long-standing resentment or grievance by leveling the playing field or getting even with someone who caused harm or treated unfairly in the past.
  • not bat an eyelid The idiom "not bat an eyelid" means to remain calm, composed, or unaffected in response to a surprising, shocking, or unusual situation. It describes someone who doesn't show any visible signs of surprise, disbelief, or emotion on their face or in their actions.
  • an ace up your sleeve The idiom "an ace up your sleeve" means to have a secret advantage or resource that can be used strategically to gain an advantage over others. It refers to the practice of cheating in card games, where a player hides an ace card in the sleeve of their shirt or jacket to use it at an opportune moment. In a broader sense, it can also be used to describe someone who has a hidden talent, information, or solution that can be used to achieve success or overcome challenges.
  • cost an arm and a leg/a small fortune The idiom "cost an arm and a leg" or "cost a small fortune" refers to something that is very expensive, requiring a significant amount of money to obtain or purchase. It implies that the cost is exorbitant or excessively high, often beyond what is considered reasonable or affordable.
  • be an item To "be an item" is an idiomatic expression used to describe two people who are romantically involved or in a romantic relationship. It signifies that they are a couple or are dating each other.
  • give sm an inch and they'll take a mile The idiom "give someone an inch and they'll take a mile" means that when you grant someone a small opportunity or concession, they will use it as an excuse to demand or take much more than what was originally given. It implies that some individuals may exhibit a tendency to exploit a situation to their advantage, even if it was intended to be a small favor or concession.
  • on an empty stomach The idiom "on an empty stomach" refers to doing something or consuming something when one has not eaten anything, usually referring to consuming food or drink without having had a meal beforehand.
  • strike an attitude The idiom "strike an attitude" refers to the act of assuming a particular posture, pose, or pose in a deliberate and dramatic manner. It often connotes a display of confidence, assertiveness, or a desire to draw attention to oneself. The term comes from the world of theater and refers to the exaggerated poses and gestures actors assume to convey emotion or character. In everyday language, "striking an attitude" can imply putting on a show or adopting a theatrical posture for effect.
  • put on an act The idiom "put on an act" means to display emotions, behavior, or characteristics that are not genuine or authentic in order to deceive others or manipulate a situation. It refers to pretending or feigning to be someone or something that one is not.
  • will not take no for an answer The phrase "will not take no for an answer" is an idiomatic expression used to describe someone who is determined and persistent in achieving their goals or desires and refuses to accept a negative response or refusal. It implies that the person is not easily deterred and will continue to pursue what they want despite any obstacles or rejections they may encounter.
  • an acquired taste The idiom "an acquired taste" refers to something, such as food, drink, or an activity, that may not be initially appealing or enjoyable to someone, but becomes more enjoyable over time as they become accustomed or familiar with it.
  • you can't teach an old dog new tricks The idiom "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" refers to the idea that it is often difficult or impossible to get someone to change their ways or learn something new, especially when they have been accustomed to a certain pattern or behavior for a long time. It suggests that older individuals, who are set in their ways, are less inclined to adopt new ideas or adapt to changing circumstances.
  • all good things (must) come to an end The idiom "all good things (must) come to an end" means that positive or enjoyable experiences or situations do not last forever and eventually come to a conclusion. It emphasizes the transient nature of pleasant things in life and acknowledges the inevitability of their end or termination.
  • an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth) The idiom "an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth)" refers to the principle of seeking revenge or retribution by inflicting the same kind of harm upon someone who has caused harm to you or someone you care about. It suggests that the punishment should be proportionate to the offense or harm committed. This idiom is often used to emphasize the concept of justice or to express a desire for fairness and equal treatment.
  • an easy touch The idiom "an easy touch" refers to someone who is easily persuaded, influenced, or taken advantage of due to their weakness, kind-hearted nature, or willingness to help others, often without considering their own interests or personal boundaries.
  • be on an upward/downward trajectory The idiom "be on an upward/downward trajectory" refers to the direction or path that someone or something is taking, typically with regard to progress, success, or improvement. When someone or something is on an upward trajectory, it means they are steadily progressing or improving. Conversely, when someone or something is on a downward trajectory, it means they are deteriorating, declining, or experiencing setbacks.
  • it's an ill wind (that blows nobody any good) The idiom "it's an ill wind (that blows nobody any good)" means that even in a negative or unfortunate situation, there is usually someone who benefits or gains something positive from it. It suggests that it is rare for something bad to happen without any positive consequences for someone involved.
  • an old/a wise head on young shoulders The idiom "an old/a wise head on young shoulders" refers to someone who is young in age, but possesses a level of maturity, intelligence, or wisdom that is typically associated with someone much older. It suggests that the person demonstrates excellent judgment and understanding beyond their years. This phrase is often used to compliment or acknowledge a young individual who possesses exceptional wisdom, intelligence, or maturity in their thoughts, decisions, or actions. It implies that they possess qualities typically found in individuals who have had more life experience or are older.
  • come within an ace of sth The idiom "come within an ace of something" means to come extremely close to achieving or experiencing something, but ultimately falling just short or narrowly missing it. It implies a very close call or near success.
  • come within an inch of sth The idiom "come within an inch of sth" means to come very close to achieving or experiencing something, but ultimately falling just short. It implies being extremely close to a particular outcome or result, often creating a sense of near-miss or narrowly avoiding something.
  • make an honest woman (out) of sb The idiom "make an honest woman (out) of sb" is used to describe the act of marrying or legitimizing a woman, typically after having had a sexual relationship with her or having been in a committed relationship for some time. It suggests that by getting married, the person is becoming honest or morally correct in the eyes of society.
  • an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, at prevention is better than cure The idiom "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" means that it is easier and more effective to prevent a problem or take precautions beforehand rather than trying to fix or solve it after it has occurred. This implies that putting effort and taking preventive measures can save a significant amount of time, money, or trouble in the future. It is often used to emphasize the importance of being proactive and prepared rather than dealing with the consequences of neglect or inaction. Another common and synonymous phrase for this idiom is "prevention is better than cure."
  • in the blink of an eye The idiom "in the blink of an eye" means that something happens or occurs very quickly, almost instantaneously or without any delay.
  • can't boil an egg The idiom "can't boil an egg" is often used to describe someone who is completely inept or lacking basic skills, particularly in reference to cooking or simple tasks. It implies a significant level of incompetence or inability to perform even the simplest tasks successfully.
  • you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs The idiom "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs" means that in order to achieve something positive or beneficial, it is inevitable to go through some difficulties, sacrifices, or negative consequences along the way. It implies that progress or success often requires taking risks, making sacrifices, or causing some form of harm or destruction.
  • cost a bomb/the earth/a packet, at cost an arm and a leg/a small fortune The idioms "cost a bomb" or "cost the earth" or "cost a packet" all mean that something is very expensive. The idiom "cost an arm and a leg" means that something is extremely costly, often to the point of being unaffordable or requiring a significant sacrifice in order to obtain it. Similarly, "cost a small fortune" suggests that something is very expensive, usually beyond what most people would consider reasonable or affordable.
  • hold out/offer an olive branch To "hold out/offer an olive branch" is an idiom that means to extend an invitation for peace, conciliation, or the patching up of a conflict. It symbolizes the act of offering an amicable gesture or making efforts to mend strained relationships.
  • an Englishman's home is his castle The idiom "an Englishman's home is his castle" means that a person's home is their personal sanctuary or refuge, where they have a right to privacy and autonomy. It suggests that individuals have the power and control over their own homes, just as a monarch does within their castle. It emphasizes the importance of one's home as a place of security, comfort, and personal freedom.
  • the law is an ass "The law is an ass" is an idiom that means the legal system or a specific law is unjust, cumbersome, or illogical. It suggests that sometimes laws or legal decisions are irrational, unfair, or do not serve justice. The phrase originated from Charles Dickens' novel "Oliver Twist" and is often used to express frustration or criticism towards the legal system's deficiencies.
  • what an idea! The idiom "what an idea!" is an expression used to convey surprise or admiration towards a particularly clever or inventive suggestion or concept. It typically indicates a positive response to an innovative or imaginative proposal.
  • make an ass of yourself The idiom "make an ass of yourself" refers to behaving or acting foolishly, embarrassing oneself, or displaying a lack of judgment or common sense in a particular situation. It implies engaging in behavior that others may find foolish or ridiculous, leading to feelings of embarrassment or ridicule. The idiom is often used to caution someone against acting in a manner that could lead to negative consequences or public humiliation.
  • do yourself an injury The idiom "do yourself an injury" means to harm or injure oneself physically or metaphorically by engaging in risky or reckless behavior. It can also imply that someone's actions may lead to negative consequences, such as damaging their reputation or well-being.
  • make an exhibition of yourself The idiom "make an exhibition of yourself" means to behave in a way that draws attention or embarrasses oneself, often by acting inappropriately or foolishly in public. It implies that the person's actions result in displaying their inadequacies, lack of self-control, or lack of social awareness.
  • an iron hand/fist in a velvet glove The idiom "an iron hand/fist in a velvet glove" refers to someone who appears gentle and mild on the surface, but in reality, they possess a strong and decisive approach in their actions or decision-making. It suggests that while a person may seem kind and benevolent, they also have the ability and willingness to exercise power and authority when necessary.
  • a means to an end The idiom "a means to an end" refers to a situation where something is done or used as a way to achieve a desired outcome or goal, even if the method or action itself is not particularly enjoyable or important. It suggests that a particular action or process is only valuable because it will lead to a desired result or objective.
  • put an end to sth The idiom "put an end to something" means to stop, finish, or bring something to a conclusion or termination. It implies taking action or measures to bring about the end of a situation, activity, or behavior.
  • kill time, an hour, etc. The idiom "kill time, an hour, etc." means to engage in activities to pass the time when one has nothing else to do or is waiting for something/someone. It refers to the act of filling time with unproductive or enjoyable activities to make the wait seem shorter or more bearable.
  • be an actor, cook, etc. in the making The idiom "be an actor, cook, etc. in the making" refers to someone who has the potential, talent, or qualities to become a successful actor, cook, or any other profession mentioned. It implies that the person is currently on the path of developing their skills and abilities in a particular field, and they have the potential to excel in it in the future.
  • have an eye to/for the main chance The idiom "have an eye to/for the main chance" refers to being focused on or attentive to opportunities for personal gain or advancement. It suggests that someone is constantly aware of potential advantages and is willing to seize them when they arise.
  • an apple a day keeps the doctor away The idiom "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" means that by eating nutritious and healthy foods, like apples, regularly, one can prevent or reduce the risk of illnesses and therefore avoid needing to consult a doctor. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle for overall well-being.
  • have an ear for sth The idiom "have an ear for something" typically means to possess a natural ability to recognize and appreciate sounds or music, or to have a keen sense of understanding or recognizing something specific. It suggests that someone has a knack for perceiving and comprehending sounds or certain aspects of a particular subject.
  • lend an ear The idiom "lend an ear" means to listen attentively and sympathetically to someone, generally offering support, understanding, or advice.
  • an early bath The idiom "an early bath" refers to a situation where someone's participation or involvement in something is cut short or prematurely ended, often due to poor performance, misconduct, or failure. It is commonly used in sports or competitive contexts, suggesting that a player or participant is forced to leave the game or event before its completion.
  • be an easy mark, at be easy game/meat The idiom "be an easy mark" means to be someone who is easily fooled, deceived, or taken advantage of. It refers to individuals who lack awareness or who are easily manipulated, making them vulnerable targets for scams or exploitation. The alternative phrases "be easy game" or "be easy meat" have the same connotation, with "game" and "meat" highlighting the vulnerability and potential victimization of a person.
  • an elephant in the room The idiom "an elephant in the room" refers to a glaring or obvious issue, problem, or topic that everyone is aware of but deliberately avoids discussing. It signifies a sensitive or uncomfortable subject that is being ignored, often due to the discomfort it may cause or the desire to avoid conflict.
  • have a memory like an elephant To have a memory like an elephant means to have an exceptional or remarkable ability to remember things accurately and for a long period of time. This idiom is often used to describe individuals who have an extraordinary capacity to recall details, events, or information.
  • on an even keel The idiom "on an even keel" means to be in a balanced or stable state, particularly in regard to emotions or circumstances. It suggests that a person, situation, or event is stable, steady, or in a state of equilibrium.
  • have an eye for sth The idiom "have an eye for something" refers to someone's ability to recognize, appreciate, or understand certain qualities or aspects of something. It suggests that the person has a keen sense or intuition in perceiving and evaluating certain things, such as art, fashion, design, talent, business opportunities, or details others might overlook.
  • keep your/an eye on sth/sb The idiom "keep your/an eye on something/somebody" means to monitor or watch something/somebody closely and attentively. It implies maintaining careful observation or staying alert to any changes, potential problems, or developments related to the subject at hand.
  • keep your/an eye out for sb/sth The idiom "keep your/an eye out for sb/sth" means to continuously watch or pay attention in order to notice or find someone or something. It implies being vigilant or on alert to spot someone or something that may be of interest or importance.
  • in the twinkling of an eye The idiom "in the twinkling of an eye" means to happen very quickly or instantaneously. It implies an action or event that occurs so rapidly that it can be compared to the speed of an eyelid blinking.
  • get an eyeful The idiom "get an eyeful" means to thoroughly and often unexpectedly see or observe something, usually of visual interest or curiosity. It implies getting a full and often intense visual experience or perception of something that may be intriguing, surprising, or even shocking.
  • have an accident The idiom "have an accident" refers to the occurrence of an unintended and often harmful event that causes damage, injury, or a mishap. It typically refers to an unintentional incident or occurrence, often in the context of vehicular accidents or personal injury incidents.
  • an arm and a leg The idiom "an arm and a leg" is used to describe something that is very expensive or costs a significant amount of money. It implies that the price being paid for something is extremely high, often beyond what is reasonable or expected.
  • an ace in the hole, at an ace up your sleeve The idiom "an ace in the hole" or "an ace up your sleeve" refers to having a secret advantage or resource that can be used to ensure success or gain an advantage in a particular situation, especially when it is unexpected. It originates from the game of poker, where an ace card is a valuable and powerful asset that can turn the tide of the game if kept hidden.
  • have an axe to grind The idiom "have an axe to grind" means to have a selfish or ulterior motive or a personal grievance against someone. It refers to an individual who has a hidden agenda or a particular bias, often seeking to further their own interests or settle a score.
  • make an honest living The idiom "make an honest living" refers to earning money or a living through legitimate and ethical means, typically by engaging in legal and morally upright activities or professions. It signifies the importance of working diligently and with integrity to support oneself or one's family without resorting to dishonest or illegal practices.
  • an embarrassment of riches The idiom "an embarrassment of riches" refers to an abundance or excess of something valuable or desirable to the point where it becomes overwhelming or difficult to manage. It implies that having too much of a good thing can sometimes be problematic or cause discomfort.
  • be an apology for sth The idiom "be an apology for sth" means to be a poor representation or example of something or someone, often indicating low quality or lack of skill. It implies that the thing or person being referred to is not up to the expected or required standard, and may be seen as inadequate or subpar.
  • on the back of an envelope The idiom "on the back of an envelope" refers to a rough and informal calculation or proposal that is improvised or hastily written down without much thought or consideration. It implies that the idea or solution is not well-developed or thoroughly planned. The phrase originated from the practice of quickly jotting down notes or calculations on the back of an envelope due to lack of paper or time.
  • an accident waiting to happen The idiom "an accident waiting to happen" means a situation, action, or behavior that is highly likely to result in an accident or disaster. It suggests that the circumstances are precarious, dangerous, or poorly managed, and it is only a matter of time before something goes wrong. It implies an impending disaster due to negligence, lack of precautions, or a combination of factors that increase the risk of an accident occurring.
  • make an impression on sb The idiom "make an impression on somebody" means to create a memorable or lasting effect on someone's thoughts, feelings, or opinions, usually through one's actions, behavior, or appearance. It implies leaving a significant impact or influencing the person's perception.
  • not give/budge/move an inch The idiom "not give/budge/move an inch" means refusing to change one's stance, opinion, or position even slightly, despite pressure, demands, or attempts to persuade. It implies being stubborn, determined, or uncompromising.
  • be an artist, professional, etc. to your fingertips The idiom "be an artist, professional, etc. to your fingertips" means to possess a highly developed level of skill, expertise, or proficiency in a particular field or area. It implies that an individual is not only knowledgeable and experienced but also demonstrates a natural talent or aptitude that is deeply ingrained and evident in every aspect of their work. It suggests mastery and complete dedication to one's craft, leaving no doubt about their expertise and ability.
  • the idea of it!, at what an idea! The idiom "the idea of it!" or "at what an idea!" is an expression used to convey surprise, disbelief, or astonishment at a specific suggestion or thought. It is typically used in response to an unexpected or unusual idea that is being proposed or discussed. The phrase highlights the speaker's reaction to the notion while emphasizing its unexpected or innovative nature.
  • able to make an event The idiom "able to make an event" generally means possessing the capability or availability to attend or participate in a particular event. It implies having the necessary time, resources, or ability to be present and actively take part in an occasion or gathering.
  • acclimate sm (or an animal) to sth The idiom "acclimate (someone or an animal) to something" means to gradually adapt or become accustomed to a new environment, situation, or conditions. It involves helping someone or an animal adjust to unfamiliar circumstances through a process of becoming more familiar and comfortable with them over time.
  • celebrate sm for an accomplishment The idiom, "celebrate someone for an accomplishment," means to publicly acknowledge and commend someone for their achievement in a joyful and festive manner. It involves recognizing the efforts and success of an individual or a group by expressing happiness, admiration, and respect through various means such as parties, ceremonies, awards, or festivities.
  • reach an accord (with sm) The idiom "reach an accord (with someone)" means to come to a mutual agreement or understanding with someone, often after a negotiation or discussion. It implies both parties involved have reached a compromise or consensus on a particular matter.
  • give an account (of sm or sth) (to sm) The idiom "give an account (of sm or sth) (to sm)" means to provide a detailed explanation, description, or report of something or someone to another person. It involves recounting events, facts, or circumstances in a clear and understandable manner.
  • have an ace up your sleeve The idiom "have an ace up your sleeve" means to have a secret or hidden advantage or resource that can be used to gain an advantage or achieve success. It is often used to describe someone who has a clever or unexpected solution to a problem or a surprise strategy that gives them an edge over others. The phrase originates from the practice of cheating in card games, where having an ace (the highest-ranking card) hidden up one's sleeve would give them an unfair advantage.
  • come within an ace of sth/doing sth The idiom "come within an ace of sth/doing sth" means to come very close to achieving or accomplishing something, but ultimately falling just short of it. It implies a narrow miss or a near success. The term "ace" refers to the playing card with the highest value in many card games, symbolizing a small margin of difference between success and failure.
  • an ace in the hole The idiom "an ace in the hole" refers to having a hidden advantage or resource that can be used strategically, especially in a challenging or critical situation. It originates from the game of poker, where an ace card held in a player's hand can significantly improve their chances of winning.
  • within an ace of (doing) sth The idiom "within an ace of (doing) sth" is used to describe being extremely close to achieving or successfully completing something, usually with just a small margin or obstacle preventing it from happening. It implies being on the verge of accomplishing a goal or fulfilling a desired outcome.
  • an Achilles' heel The idiom "an Achilles' heel" refers to a vulnerable or weak point in someone or something that can lead to their downfall or failure. It originates from Greek mythology, where the warrior Achilles was invulnerable, except for his heel, which eventually led to his death.
  • an acid test The idiom "an acid test" refers to a rigorous or demanding examination or evaluation used to determine the true nature, quality, or effectiveness of something. It originated from the practice of using nitric acid to test the purity of gold, as genuine gold remains unaffected by the acid, while impure gold tarnishes or dissolves. Hence, an acid test symbolizes a critical and definitive assessment.
  • keep up an act The idiom "keep up an act" means to continue pretending or behaving in a certain way, often in order to deceive others or hide one's true feelings or intentions. It refers to the act of maintaining a façade or putting on a performance to create a false impression.
  • keep an act up The idiom "keep an act up" means to maintain or continue a behavior or pretense, usually in a deceptive or insincere manner. It refers to someone consistently performing or portraying a certain character or persona, often for personal gain or to deceive others.
  • It would take an act of Congress to do The idiom "It would take an act of Congress to do" means that a task or action is extremely difficult or requires an excessive amount of effort to accomplish. It suggests that achieving the task would require a complex bureaucratic process or extensive deliberation, similar to the long and complicated process involved in passing an act of Congress in the United States.
  • an act of war The idiom "an act of war" refers to a specific action or event that is considered by a country or nation as a justification or cause for engaging in armed conflict with another country or nation. It typically implies a severe and deliberate provocation that is seen as crossing a boundary or violating a nation's sovereignty or security. An act of war can include acts such as military attacks, invasions, bombings, cyberattacks, or any other significant hostile actions that are deemed grave enough to warrant a military response.
  • an act of God The idiom "an act of God" refers to an event or circumstance that natural forces or elements cause and which humans cannot control or prevent. It often refers to unexpected and catastrophic occurrences such as earthquakes, floods, or extreme weather events. These events are typically beyond human influence or responsibility and are therefore usually exempted from legal or insurance liability.
  • an act of faith An act of faith typically refers to an action or decision made based on belief, trust, or confidence in something without any concrete evidence or proof. It often involves taking a leap of faith or making a commitment despite uncertainties or risks.
  • administer sth to sm (or an animal) The idiom "administer something to someone (or an animal)" means to give or apply something, such as medication or treatment, to someone or an animal in a purposeful and controlled manner. It typically refers to the act of providing care, remedy, or assistance.
  • have an affair (with sm) The idiom "have an affair" refers to being in a romantic or sexual relationship with someone who is not one's spouse or committed partner. It typically implies engaging in secrecy and deception.
  • in an age of years
  • go on for an age The idiom "go on for an age" means to continue or persist for a long period of time, often longer than expected or desired. It implies that something is taking a considerable amount of time to conclude or reach its end.
  • an aidemmoire The idiom "an aidemmoire" refers to a written reminder or memorandum used to help someone remember or recall certain information, tasks, or points. It is commonly used when someone needs to keep important details at hand or refresh their memory.
  • take aim (at sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "take aim (at someone, something, or an animal)" means to carefully point or direct a weapon or projectile towards a specific target before firing or attacking. It typically implies a deliberate and focused preparation to hit the intended target accurately and effectively.
  • an Aladdin's cave The idiom "an Aladdin's cave" refers to a place or room that is full of diverse and valuable treasures or an abundant collection of interesting and exciting things. The phrase is derived from the tale of Aladdin, a character in the Middle Eastern folk tale "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp." In the story, Aladdin discovers a magical cave filled with precious jewels and, as a result, the idiom represents a place of great wealth or variety. Figuratively, it can also describe a place where one can find an astonishing array of objects or a multitude of choices.
  • have an alcohol problem The idiom "have an alcohol problem" refers to a person who struggles with an addiction or dependency on alcohol. It indicates that the individual is unable to control or limit their consumption of alcohol, leading to negative consequences in various aspects of their life, including physical health, relationships, work, and overall well-being.
  • cut an interesting/ridiculous/unusual etc. figure The idiom "cut an interesting/ridiculous/unusual etc. figure" means to have a distinct, noticeable, and often peculiar or eccentric appearance or presentation that attracts attention or stands out from the norm. It implies that the person's appearance or behavior is visually striking, and often inspires curiosity, amusement, or even mockery.
  • lend an ear to The idiom "lend an ear to" means to actively listen to someone, giving them your full attention and support in order to hear and understand what they have to say. It often implies offering empathy, advice, or assistance to someone who needs to express their thoughts, feelings, or concerns.
  • keep an/ ear to the ground The idiom "keep an ear to the ground" means to stay aware and informed about a situation or what is happening around you. It implies being attentive and alert to stay current on the latest news or developments.
  • keep an ear out for The idiom "keep an ear out for" means to be attentive and listen carefully for a specific sound or information, usually in order to respond promptly or take action when necessary. It implies being alert and maintaining continuous awareness of a particular situation or occurrence.
  • have half an ear on The idiom "have half an ear on" means to be partially paying attention or listening to something while also being engaged or occupied with another task or situation. It implies that the person is only giving partial attention to the conversation or activity at hand.
  • have an ear for The idiom "have an ear for" means to have a natural talent or ability to recognize and appreciate sounds, music, tones, or languages. It refers to the ability to discern or understand auditory stimuli more effectively than others.
  • lie alongside (of sm or an animal) The idiom "lie alongside (of someone or an animal)" means to be in close proximity to someone or an animal, typically indicating a harmonious and peaceful coexistence. It suggests a situation where two entities are comfortably situated next to each other without any conflict or disturbance.
  • an amber gambler
  • an ambulance chaser The idiom "an ambulance chaser" refers to a lawyer or attorney who seeks clients by unethically and aggressively soliciting accident victims, especially those who have been involved in car accidents or personal injury cases, often by following ambulances to the scene of an accident. This term is used to describe lawyers who are seen as opportunistic and more focused on coveting potential clients for financial gain rather than providing genuine legal assistance.
  • rope sm or an animal up The idiom "rope someone or an animal up" means to securely restrain or tie someone or an animal using a rope. It implies the act of binding or immobilizing someone or an animal with a rope to prevent them from escaping or causing harm.
  • throw an amount of light on sm or sth The idiom "throw an amount of light on someone or something" means to provide clarification, insight, or understanding about a particular person or thing. It is used when information or details are given to shed light on a topic, making it clearer or more comprehensible.
  • take an amount of money for sth The idiom "take an amount of money for something" means to charge or accept payment for a particular item, service, or transaction. It implies that money is being exchanged in return for a specific product, favor, or action.
  • start sm out at an amount of money The idiom "start someone out at an amount of money" generally means to establish or initiate a person's salary or wage at a specific amount. It refers to the initial compensation that someone receives when they begin a job or venture.
  • put an amount of time in on sth The idiom "put an amount of time in on sth" means to devote or allocate a specific period of time to work on or engage in a particular task, activity, or project. It implies the act of investing or dedicating one's time and effort in order to achieve progress or completion in a specific endeavor.
  • put sth at an amount The idiom "put something at an amount" means to estimate or assess the value or cost of something. It is often used when guessing or approximating the value of something without exact knowledge or certainty.
  • out an amount of money The idiom "out an amount of money" means to spend or lose a specific sum of money. It refers to the act of parting with a certain quantity of funds, whether it is for a purchase, investment, or any other financial transaction.
  • live on an amount of money The idiom "live on an amount of money" typically means to manage or sustain one's daily expenses or lifestyle with a specific sum of money. It implies that an individual is able to meet their financial needs or get by using only the specified amount, without relying on additional income or resources. It encompasses the idea of budgeting, adjusting one's expenses, or making financial choices that align with the available funds.
  • get an amount of money for sth The idiom "get an amount of money for something" means to receive or earn a specific sum of money in exchange for something, such as a product, service, or job. It implies a transaction where money is exchanged for a specific item, effort, or work.
  • draw against an amount of money The idiom "draw against an amount of money" refers to the act of utilizing a portion of a prearranged or credited sum of money in order to cover expenses or make purchases. It typically involves withdrawing or using money that has been set aside or earmarked for a specific purpose. This idiom is commonly associated with financial transactions, such as drawing against a line of credit or drawing against an expense account.
  • come out at an amount The idiom "come out at an amount" means to have a final or resulting value, usually in terms of money or numbers, after calculations or assessments have been made. It implies the determination of a specific quantity or figure.
  • bring an amount of money in The idiom "bring an amount of money in" generally means to earn or generate a specific sum of money. It implies that someone is able to produce or collect a particular amount of cash, typically through their work or business endeavors.
  • rub (sm or an animal) down The idiom "rub (someone or an animal) down" typically refers to the act of massaging or applying ointment or lotion to something or someone's body in order to relieve muscle soreness or provide relaxation.
  • rule with an iron fist The idiom "rule with an iron fist" means to exercise strict control or authority over others, often in a harsh or oppressive manner. It implies governing or leading with a firm, unyielding hand, demonstrating little tolerance or leniency.
  • run an errand The idiom "run an errand" means to perform a small task or complete a short trip for someone, typically involving delivering or collecting something on their behalf. It refers to the act of taking care of a specific errand or duty for another person.
  • throw (sm or an animal) off (of) sth The idiom "throw (someone or an animal) off (of) something" commonly means to forcefully remove or dislodge a person or animal from a specific location or object. It often implies using physical force or causing a sudden and unexpected expulsion.
  • shoot (sm, sth, or an animal) down The idiom "shoot (someone, something, or an animal) down" generally means to forcefully or decisively reject or discredit someone or something, often in an argument or discussion. It implies dismissing their ideas, opinions, or proposals completely or without consideration. The phrase draws its imagery from shooting down a target or shooting a flying object out of the sky, suggesting a swift and definitive rejection.
  • pull (sm or an animal) through (sth) The idiom "pull (someone or an animal) through (something)" means to help someone or something overcome a difficult or challenging situation, typically by providing support, assistance, or encouragement. It implies that the person or animal is struggling or facing adversity and needs assistance in order to successfully navigate or survive the situation.
  • An empty sack cannot stand upright. The idiom "An empty sack cannot stand upright" means that someone who is lacking in essential qualities, resources, or capabilities will not be able to succeed or make a significant impact. It suggests that one must possess sufficient knowledge, skills, or assets in order to achieve goals or be successful in life.
  • saddle an animal up The idiom "saddle an animal up" typically refers to the act of preparing and placing a saddle on an animal's back, particularly horses, for riding or work purposes. It implies the process of tacking up, including the attachment of a saddle and other necessary equipment like reins, stirrups, and a bridle, in order to be able to ride or control the animal.
  • an open marriage The idiom "an open marriage" refers to a marital arrangement in which both partners agree to allow each other to engage in extramarital relationships or have sexual encounters with other individuals while remaining committed to the primary partnership. It typically involves open communication, honesty, and consensual boundaries between the spouses regarding their outside relationships.
  • worry an animal out of The idiom "worry an animal out of" typically refers to a situation where someone becomes extremely anxious or concerned to the point of causing distress to an animal. It implies that the person's excessive worry or stress has a negative impact on the well-being or behavior of the animal involved.
  • terrify or an animal out of The phrase "terrify an animal out of" means to frighten or scare an animal to the extent that it flees or runs away in immediate reaction to the fear. It suggests the animal's instinctive flight response due to being deeply terrified or overwhelmed.
  • take or an animal in The idiom "take after an animal" means to resemble or show characteristics similar to a particular animal, usually in terms of physical appearance or behavior.
  • rope or an animal up
  • put an animal out The idiom "put an animal out" often refers to either euthanizing an animal or removing it from a certain environment or situation, typically in order to alleviate its suffering or protect others from harm.
  • put an animal down The idiom "put an animal down" typically refers to the act of euthanizing or causing the death of a sick, injured, or suffering animal, usually performed by a veterinarian.
  • mate with an animal
  • hound or an animal down The idiom "hound or an animal down" means to relentlessly pursue, chase, or track down someone or something, similar to how a hound dog would pursue its prey. It implies a determined and persistent effort in locating or capturing the target.
  • have a soft spot for or an animal The idiom "have a soft spot for an animal" means to have deep affection, fondness, or empathy for an animal. It implies having a particular inclination or tenderness towards animals, often leading to a strong emotional connection or willingness to care for them.
  • hatch an animal out
  • harness an animal up The idiom "harness an animal up" typically refers to the act of attaching or fastening a harness to an animal, such as a horse or a dog, in order to utilize its power or abilities for a particular purpose. It can also metaphorically imply the act of harnessing or utilizing the potential or skills of a person or a resource for a specific task or goal.
  • force or an animal from
  • fix an animal The idiom "fix an animal" typically refers to the act of sterilizing or neutering a pet, usually performed by a veterinarian, to prevent them from reproducing.
  • fence an animal in The idiom "fence an animal in" means to enclose or confine an animal within a fence or barrier, typically to prevent it from roaming or escaping. This idiom can also be used metaphorically to describe the act of restricting or confining someone or something within certain limits or boundaries.
  • dead in or an animal's tracks The idiom "dead in or an animal's tracks" means to come to an abrupt halt or stop suddenly, similar to how an animal might freeze or stop instantly upon sensing danger or a threat. The phrase implies that something has ended or been halted abruptly and completely without any further progress or movement.
  • confuse or an animal with The idiom "confuse an animal with" means to mistake or mix up one thing or person for another, often due to a lack of knowledge or awareness. It suggests a level of misunderstanding or confusion that leads to incorrect identification or perception.
  • confine or an animal to The idiom "confine or an animal to" means to restrict or limit the movements or freedom of an animal by keeping it in a specific area or within certain boundaries. It implies restraining the animal's ability to roam or explore freely beyond the designated space.
  • boot or an animal out The idiom "boot or an animal out" typically refers to forcefully removing or expelling someone or something from a particular place or situation. It implies using authority or physical force to eject someone or something.
  • not take no for an answer The idiom "not take no for an answer" refers to the refusal to accept or acknowledge a negative response or rejection. It means persistently and assertively pursuing a certain course of action or insisting on a particular outcome, despite facing initial opposition or resistance.
  • sit for an exam The idiom "sit for an exam" means to take or participate in an examination or test, typically in an academic or formal setting, where one's knowledge, skills, or abilities are assessed.
  • satiate (sm or an animal) with sth The idiom "satiate (someone or an animal) with something" means to completely satisfy their hunger or desire by providing them with a substantial amount of food or other desired item. It implies fulfilling a person or animal's need to the point of fullness or contentment.
  • satisfy (sm or an animal) with sth The idiom "satisfy (someone or an animal) with something" means to fulfill or meet someone's or an animal's needs, desires, or expectations by providing them with something they wanted or required. It implies the act of providing contentment, gratification, or a feeling of being fulfilled.
  • put in an appearance (at sth) The idiom "put in an appearance (at sth)" means to attend or make a brief appearance at a particular event, gathering, or place, often to show respect, fulfill an obligation, or simply to be seen. It implies a minimal or symbolic presence rather than active participation or engagement.
  • make an appearance The idiom "make an appearance" means to attend or show up at a particular event, gathering, or place, often for a short period of time. It implies the act of being present or visible in order to fulfill a social or professional obligation, demonstrate support, or be seen by others.
  • have an appetite for sth The idiom "have an appetite for something" means to have a strong desire or keen interest in something. It implies a figurative hunger or craving for a particular thing or activity.
  • get up an appetite The idiom "get up an appetite" means to stimulate or generate a feeling of hunger or desire to eat.
  • make an appointment (with sm) The idiom "make an appointment (with sm)" refers to arranging a specific time and date to meet or see someone, typically related to a professional or business purpose. It implies formalizing plans in advance rather than relying on spontaneous or casual encounters.
  • scare (sm or an animal) off To "scare (someone or an animal) off" means to frighten or intimidate someone or an animal to the point where they quickly move away or retreat. It implies causing fear or alarm to create a distance between the scaree and the person or thing doing the scaring.
  • have an argument (with sm) The idiom "have an argument (with someone)" refers to engaging in a verbal disagreement or dispute with another person, expressing opposing viewpoints and engaging in a heated or passionate discussion. It often involves a back-and-forth exchange of differing opinions or ideas, sometimes resulting in an emotional conflict.
  • get into an argument (with sm) (about sm or sth) The idiom "get into an argument (with someone) (about something or someone)" refers to the act of engaging in a disagreement or a heated debate with another person over a specific topic or issue. It implies that there is a clash of opinions, conflicting viewpoints, or differences of perspective that lead to a verbal dispute between the two individuals involved.
  • pay an arm and a leg The idiom "pay an arm and a leg" means to pay a very high price or cost for something, often implying that the price is excessively expensive or unreasonable.
  • cost an arm and a leg The idiom "cost an arm and a leg" refers to something that is extremely expensive or involves a significant sacrifice or high price. It implies that the cost or price being asked is excessively high and requires the person to give up something valuable or significant.
  • An army marches on its stomach. The idiom "An army marches on its stomach" means that the success and effectiveness of an army are reliant on the provision of adequate food and nourishment. It emphasizes the importance of catering to the basic needs and well-being of the soldiers in order to maintain their physical strength and mental resilience.
  • an article of faith The idiom "an article of faith" refers to a statement or belief that is firmly held or accepted without requiring any evidence or proof. It is based solely on trust, conviction, or religious beliefs.
  • be an artist/patriot/professional/etc. to your fingertips The idiom "be an artist/patriot/professional/etc. to your fingertips" means to possess a strong and complete understanding, skill, or dedication in a particular area of expertise or commitment. It suggests that the person is thoroughly knowledgeable, proficient, and passionate about the subject or role to the highest degree. It indicates a level of mastery and a deep connection to their craft or values.
  • an earth mother The idiom "an earth mother" refers to a woman who is nurturing, caring, and deeply connected to nature, often embodying qualities of fertility, wisdom, and a harmonious way of living. It typically denotes a woman who is in tune with her natural instincts and has a strong bond with the environment, emphasizing sustainability, holistic well-being, and a holistic approach to life.
  • as an aside The idiom "as an aside" refers to a comment or remark thrown in to a conversation or speech, typically not directly related to the main topic being discussed. It serves as additional information, often sharing a personal opinion, a side note, or a digression from the primary subject matter.
  • secure sth against (sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "secure something against (someone, something, or an animal)" means to take measures or actions to protect or prevent something from being accessed, harmed, or taken away by a person, something, or an animal. It implies ensuring the safety or protection of an object or place by making it inaccessible or resistant to potential threats or dangers.
  • segregate (sm, sth, or an animal) into sth To segregate (someone, something, or an animal) into something means to separate or divide them into different groups or categories based on certain criteria or characteristics. This is often done for the purpose of organization, control, or discrimination.
  • labor under an assumption The idiom "labor under an assumption" means to persist in believing or working based on an assumption that may be incorrect, without questioning its validity or seeking further evidence. It refers to the act of continuing a course of action or holding a belief while not realizing or acknowledging the potential flaws or inaccuracies in the initial assumption.
  • Don't get your bowels in an uproar!
  • send on an errand The idiom "send on an errand" refers to assigning someone the task of completing a specific job or delivering a message on behalf of someone else. It implies that the person is entrusted with the responsibility to carry out the task efficiently and promptly.
  • suffer an attack The idiom "suffer an attack" typically refers to the experience of being subjected to something harmful, whether physical, verbal, emotional, or a sudden outbreak of a medical condition. It suggests undergoing an assault, offensive action, or an adverse event.
  • cop an attitude The idiom "cop an attitude" means to adopt a hostile or confrontational attitude, often characterized by defensiveness, rudeness, or disdainful behavior. It refers to someone displaying a negative or disrespectful demeanor towards others.
  • an open sesame The idiom "an open sesame" refers to something, a word, or a key that instantly opens up new opportunities or access to something that was previously unknown or inaccessible. It originates from the story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" in "Arabian Nights," where the phrase "open sesame" is used to open the door to a hidden cave filled with treasures. It is now commonly used to describe a magical or extraordinary solution that allows one to effortlessly access or achieve something.
  • set (sm or an animal) on (sm or an animal) The idiom "set (someone or an animal) on (someone or an animal)" typically means to cause or enable one person or animal to attack or pursue another person or animal. It implies instigating or commanding someone or something to take aggressive or confrontational action against another.
  • an awkward customer The idiom "an awkward customer" refers to a difficult or challenging person to deal with. It typically describes someone who is unpredictable, stubborn, demanding, or generally problematic in their behavior or actions. This phrase is often used in a colloquial or informal manner to express the challenges and complications associated with interacting or working with such an individual.
  • put sm in an awkward position The idiom "put someone in an awkward position" refers to a situation where someone is made to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or unsure of how to respond. It means to place a person in a difficult or challenging circumstance that may compromise their reputation, relationships, or personal integrity. It can be used both literally and figuratively.
  • place sm in an awkward position The idiom "place someone in an awkward position" means to put someone in a difficult or uncomfortable situation where they are unsure how to respond or act. It usually refers to a circumstance that creates social, professional, or personal discomfort for the individual involved.
  • have an ax to grind The idiom "have an ax to grind" means to have a personal motive or ulterior purpose behind one's actions, often driven by a desire for revenge or self-interest. It suggests that someone is pursuing an agenda or holding a grudge that they are attempting to fulfill or achieve.
  • have an ax(e) to grind The idiom "have an ax(e) to grind" refers to having a hidden personal motive or an ulterior motive for doing or saying something. It suggests that the person has a specific agenda or personal interest in a situation, often seeking revenge, self-promotion, or to further their own goals.
  • shell out (an amount of money) The idiom "shell out (an amount of money)" means to pay a significant or sometimes large sum of money for something. It implies spending money reluctantly or under pressure, often for something unexpected or expenses that are seen as excessive.
  • an old head on young shoulders The idiom "an old head on young shoulders" refers to someone who possesses wisdom, maturity, or a level of responsibility beyond their years. It implies that the individual demonstrates qualities typically associated with older, more experienced individuals, despite being relatively young or lacking in experience.
  • not bat an eye The idiom "not bat an eye" means to remain calm and unaffected, typically in a situation that might surprise, shock, or cause concern to most people. It implies that someone shows no visible reaction or emotion to something unexpected or unusual happening.
  • not bat an eye/eyelash/eyelid The idiom "not bat an eye/eyelash/eyelid" is used to describe someone who remains calm or unaffected in a situation that would typically cause surprise, shock, or emotional reaction in others. It implies that the person's facial expression or behavior does not show any sign of astonishment or disturbance.
  • without batting an eye The idiom "without batting an eye" means to not show any sign of surprise, shock, or emotion in response to something unexpected or outrageous. It implies maintaining composure and remaining unaffected in the face of a surprising or challenging situation.
  • an uphill battle/fight/struggle The idiom "an uphill battle/fight/struggle" refers to a difficult or challenging task or situation that requires a lot of effort and determination to overcome. It implies that the situation is particularly arduous, just like trying to climb a steep hill.
  • nurse sm (or an animal) along The idiom "nurse someone or something along" means to care for or attend to someone or something carefully or attentively. It implies providing support, guidance, or assistance to someone or something in order to help them progress or recover. This idiom is often used when describing the process of nurturing or looking after a person, an animal, or a project.
  • beat to within an inch of life The idiom "beat to within an inch of life" means to severely or mercilessly beat someone until they are close to death or near complete physical incapacitation. It emphasizes the intensity and brutality of the physical assault inflicted upon someone.
  • an eager beaver The idiom "an eager beaver" refers to a person who is enthusiastic, proactive, or eager to work or participate in a task or project. It often implies that the person is hardworking, willing to go the extra mile, and shows a high level of motivation and dedication.
  • be as slippery as an eel The idiom "be as slippery as an eel" refers to someone who is extremely evasive, cunning, or difficult to pin down. It likens the person's behavior or actions to the elusive nature of an eel, which is known for its sliminess and ability to escape quickly from capture.
  • pin sm or sth beneath (sm, sth or an animal) The idiom "pin (someone or something) beneath (someone, something, or an animal)" typically means to trap or hold someone or something down with force or pressure. It can refer to physically restraining someone or something beneath an object or being.
  • smell (sm, sth, or an animal) out To "smell (someone or something) out" is an idiomatic expression that means to detect or discover something or someone through a keen sense of smell. It can also refer to using intuition or investigative skills to uncover hidden truths or secrets.
  • smoke (sm, sth, or an animal) out of sth The idiom "smoke (sm, sth, or an animal) out of sth" means to force someone or something out of a hiding place or a difficult situation by using smoke or other means to create discomfort or eliminate cover. It can be both a literal and figurative expression.
  • snarl at (sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "snarl at (someone or something or an animal)" refers to the act of growling or making an aggressive, low, and throaty sound, usually with a display of teeth. It conveys the idea of expressing anger, hostility, or threat towards the mentioned person, thing, or animal.
  • Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave The idiom "Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave" suggests that it is preferable to be favored and cherished by an older person, typically someone more mature and experienced, rather than being subservient and controlled by a younger person. This phrase emphasizes the importance of valuing wisdom, security, and stability over youth and potential exploitation in relationships or partnerships.
  • be an easy/soft touch The idiom "be an easy/soft touch" means to be someone who is easily convinced, persuaded, or manipulated, especially when it comes to giving or lending money or providing help. It refers to someone who is considered gullible or easily taken advantage of in terms of generosity or kindness.
  • have a soft spot (in one's heart) for sm or an animal The idiom "have a soft spot (in one's heart) for someone or an animal" means to have a strong affection, fondness, or a special liking for a person or an animal. It implies feeling a deep emotional connection or empathy towards them, often resulting in a lenient or forgiving attitude towards their flaws or actions.
  • an early bird The idiom "an early bird" refers to a person who wakes up or starts their day early, typically rising before others. It is often used to describe someone who is punctual, proactive, and efficient in completing tasks or taking advantage of opportunities.
  • It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest. The idiom "It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest" refers to someone who brings harm, damage, or shame upon themselves or their own group or community. It highlights the negative consequences of one's actions when they harm or undermine the very people or things they should be protecting or supporting.
  • It's an ill wind that blows nobody good The idiom "It's an ill wind that blows nobody good" means that even in negative or unfortunate situations, there can still be some advantage or benefit for someone. It suggests that every situation, no matter how unfavorable, can have a positive outcome or advantage for at least someone involved.
  • board (sm or an animal) out The idiom "board (someone or an animal) out" refers to finding a temporary residential arrangement for someone or an animal in which they are provided with accommodation and possibly meals in exchange for payment. It commonly involves placing someone or an animal in someone else's home or a specialized facility.
  • be an open book The idiom "be an open book" means to be transparent and honest, revealing one's thoughts, feelings, and intentions without any secrecy or attempts to hide information. It refers to someone who freely shares information or readily expresses themselves, leaving no room for ambiguity or hidden motives.
  • an open book The idiom "an open book" refers to someone or something that is easily understandable, transparent, or easy to know or understand. It means that there are no secrets, hidden motives, or hidden aspects, and that everything is clear and evident.
  • boot sm or an animal out The idiom "boot someone or an animal out" means to forcefully or abruptly expel or remove someone or an animal from a place or situation. It suggests a strong and decisive action taken to get rid of the person or creature in question.
  • spring (up)on (sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "spring (up) on (someone/something/ an animal)" generally means to unexpectedly or suddenly approach or confront someone, something, or an animal, often with aggression or force. It implies surprising or catching the person or entity off-guard.
  • get one's bowels in an uproar The idiom "get one's bowels in an uproar" is an expression that means to become excessively upset, anxious, or agitated about a particular situation or issue. It typically conveys a sense of intense emotional distress or turmoil. This idiom metaphorically refers to the feeling of profound disturbance in one's digestive system, particularly the bowels, which can occur when someone is extremely worried or anxious.
  • start out at an amount of money The idiom "start out at an amount of money" refers to the initial financial value or salary one begins with when undertaking a job, investment, or any financial endeavor. It implies the starting point or initial sum of money one possesses before any additional earnings, profits, or changes occur.
  • an allout effort The idiom "an all-out effort" refers to putting forth maximum or complete effort, exerting oneself to the fullest extent possible, and leaving no reserves or holding back. It implies giving everything one has in terms of energy, resources, or dedication towards achieving a particular goal or completing a task.
  • get an even break The idiom "get an even break" means to receive fair and equal treatment or opportunities. It denotes the idea of being given a chance or situation where there is no bias or advantage/disadvantage towards any side.
  • an even break The idiom "an even break" refers to a fair and equal opportunity or chance given to someone, without any advantages or disadvantages. It implies an equitable or unbiased situation in which everyone involved has an equal chance of success or failure.
  • starve (sm or an animal) out of sm place The idiom "starve (someone or an animal) out of (some place)" means to force someone or something to leave a particular location by depriving them of resources or support necessary for survival. It implies that the individual or animal will have no choice but to flee due to an inability to sustain themselves in that place.
  • starve (sm or an animal) into sth The idiom "starve (someone or an animal) into something" means to intentionally deprive someone or an animal of basic needs, such as food or resources, in order to force them into a certain situation or behavior. It implies using extreme measures or tactics to manipulate or control someone or something.
  • You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs. The idiom "You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs" means that in order to achieve something or bring about a positive change, sacrifices and difficulties are often necessary. It implies that progress or success sometimes requires going through hardships or causing minor negative consequences.
  • stimulate (sm or an animal) into sth The phrase "stimulate (someone or an animal) into something" means to encourage or provoke someone or an animal to engage in a particular behavior, action, or state of being. It indicates the act of inciting or inspiring someone or an animal to enter into a desired state or perform a specified activity.
  • There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle The idiom "There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle" means that even though something or someone may be old or outdated, they can still be useful or productive. It suggests that age or appearance does not necessarily reflect one's abilities or potential.
  • poison (sm or an animal) with sth The idiom "poison (someone or an animal) with something" means to administer a toxic substance to cause harm or death. It implies intentionally introducing a poisonous substance into someone's body or an animal in order to harm or kill them.
  • not budge/give an inch The idiom "not budge/give an inch" means to refuse to change one's stance or opinion, and to strongly resist any attempts to persuade or influence. It suggests an unwavering and stubborn attitude towards compromise or concession.
  • straight as an arrow The idiom "straight as an arrow" means to be extremely accurate, precise, or honest in one's actions, behaviors, or intentions. It implies that the person or thing being referred to is unwavering, reliable, and has a clear and focused path without deviation.
  • strain for an effect The idiom "strain for an effect" means to make an excessive effort or force oneself in order to achieve a desired outcome or create a specific impression, often resulting in a contrived or unnatural result. It refers to attempting to reach a particular effect or outcome in a way that is apparent and lacks authenticity or genuineness.
  • (as) strong as an ox The idiom "(as) strong as an ox" is used to describe someone who is exceptionally physically strong and powerful. It implies that the person possesses great strength and robustness, often surpassing the average level of strength.
  • be as strong as an ox The idiom "be as strong as an ox" means to have an exceptionally powerful or robust physical strength. It refers to someone who possesses great endurance and vigor.
  • call sm (or an animal) off sm or sth The idiom "call someone (or an animal) off someone or something" means to order or request for someone or an animal to stop attacking or pursuing someone or something. It can be used both literally, referring to physical actions, or figuratively, to indicate stopping someone from further criticizing or bothering someone or interfering with something.
  • calm sm (or an animal) down The idiom "calm someone/something down" means to soothe, pacify, or relax someone or an animal who is agitated, excited, or upset. It refers to the act of reducing someone's or something's level of stress, anxiety, or excitement in order to restore a state of tranquility or peace.
  • an Indian summer The idiom "an Indian summer" refers to a period of unseasonably warm weather that occurs in autumn, typically after the first frost or cold spell. It describes a late period of warm and sunny days resembling summer despite the time of the year.
  • Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains. The idiom "Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains" means that true genius and exceptional skills are only achieved through hard work, perseverance, and an unwavering dedication to perfecting one's craft. It suggests that talent alone is not enough to reach the highest level of expertise, but rather it is the willingness to put in the effort and continuously strive for improvement that leads to greatness.
  • use sm or sth as an excuse The idiom "use someone or something as an excuse" refers to the act of attributing blame or justifying one's actions by placing the responsibility on someone or something else. It implies that the person is avoiding taking personal accountability by using another person or thing as a reason or justification for their behavior or choices.
  • an old wives' tale The idiom "an old wives' tale" refers to a traditional belief, superstition, or piece of advice that has been passed down through generations, particularly by older women, but is often considered to be false or without any scientific basis. It usually involves a myth or misconception that is widely believed but lacks credible evidence.
  • can talk the legs off an iron pot The idiom "can talk the legs off an iron pot" is used to describe someone who is excessively talkative or has the ability to engage in lengthy conversations without getting tired or running out of things to say. It emphasizes the idea of someone's persuasive or captivating speaking skills, as if they can keep talking endlessly until even an inanimate object like an iron pot loses its "legs" or ability to stand.
  • reach an understanding with The idiom "reach an understanding with" means to establish a mutual agreement or comprehension with someone, usually after a period of negotiation or communication. It implies that both parties involved have achieved a level of shared understanding, clarity, or compromise.
  • come within an inch of doing The idiom "come within an inch of doing" means to come extremely close to accomplishing or achieving something, but ultimately falling short or narrowly missing the desired outcome. It implies a near success or close call.
  • come within an inch of The idiom "come within an inch of" means to be very close to achieving or experiencing something, often narrowly avoiding a negative outcome or narrowly missing a desired outcome.
  • come within an ace of The phrase "come within an ace of" means to come extremely close to achieving or experiencing something, but ultimately falling just short or narrowly missing it. It suggests being at the brink of success or failure, with only a small or insignificant gap remaining.
  • come to an untimely end The idiom "come to an untimely end" means to meet a premature or unexpected death or to have one's life or existence abruptly terminated in an unforeseen or premature manner. It can also be used figuratively to convey a premature and abrupt conclusion or failure of something, not necessarily related to a person's life.
  • come to an impasse The idiom "come to an impasse" refers to a situation where progress or further action becomes impossible due to a disagreement or lack of agreement between two or more parties. It means that a deadlock or stalemate has been reached, leaving no clear solution or way forward.
  • You cannot teach an old dog new tricks. The idiom "You cannot teach an old dog new tricks" means that it is often difficult or impossible to get someone, especially an older person, to learn or adapt to new ideas, methods, or skills. It suggests that people tend to become set in their ways as they age and are resistant to change.
  • chain sm (or an animal) up The idiom "chain someone (or an animal) up" means to restrain or confine someone or something by using chains. It implies keeping someone or an animal in captivity or preventing their freedom of movement.
  • confine sm or an animal to sth The idiom "confine someone or an animal to something" means to restrict or limit someone or an animal to a specific place or area, preventing them from leaving or roaming freely. It implies the act of confining or keeping under control for various reasons, such as safety, security, or containment.
  • confine (sm or an animal) within sth The idiom "confine (someone or an animal) within something" means to restrict or limit someone or an animal's movement to a specific area or enclosure. It implies trapping or keeping them within the provided boundaries, preventing them from freely wandering or escaping.
  • have an eye for the main chance The idiom "have an eye for the main chance" means to have a keen ability to recognize and pursue opportunities for personal gain or advancement. It refers to a person's tendency to notice and seize advantageous prospects, often focusing on the most significant or lucrative ones. Essentially, it implies a shrewdness or astuteness in identifying and capitalizing on favorable situations to achieve one's goals.
  • chase sm (or an animal) in(to) sm place The idiom "chase someone (or an animal) into some place" means to pursue or force someone or something to enter a specific location or area, typically in a persistent or determined manner.
  • an enfant terrible The idiom "an enfant terrible" refers to a person, typically young and unconventional, who behaves or acts in a way that is shocking, controversial, or outrageous, often challenging social norms or expectations. It is used to describe someone who is seen as a disruptive force or a troublemaker.
  • terrify sm or an animal out of sth The idiom "terrify someone or an animal out of something" means to cause extreme fear or panic in someone or an animal to the extent that they abandon or flee from a particular situation, place, or thing. It describes the act of inducing such strong terror that it compels the person or animal to leave or avoid something.
  • cram for an examination The idiom "cram for an examination" means to study intensively and quickly, usually just before an exam, in order to absorb as much information as possible in a short period of time.
  • an old chestnut The idiom "an old chestnut" refers to a well-worn or overused idea, story, or joke that has lost its originality or freshness due to excessive repetition. It implies that the subject matter is no longer interesting or entertaining, often evoking a sense of weariness or annoyance.
  • murmur at (sm or an animal) The idiom "murmur at (someone or an animal)" typically refers to speaking softly or making quiet, indistinct sounds of disapproval, annoyance, or discontent towards a person or an animal. It implies expressing quiet criticism or expressing negative feelings in a subdued manner.
  • swift as an arrow The idiom "swift as an arrow" means to be very fast or speedy. It refers to the speed and swiftness with which an arrow travels through the air when shot from a bow.
  • create an uproar The idiom "create an uproar" means to cause a loud and chaotic reaction or disturbance. It refers to stirring up strong emotions or protests among a group of people.
  • like turkeys voting for (an early) Christmas The idiom "like turkeys voting for (an early) Christmas" is used to describe a situation where individuals or a group of people unwittingly support or endorse something that will ultimately lead to their own disadvantage or downfall. It implies a lack of foresight or understanding of the negative consequences of their actions, similar to turkeys voluntarily voting for their own slaughter on the occasion of Christmas, a holiday that traditionally involves eating turkey.
  • throw an amount of light on The idiom "throw an amount of light on" means to provide clarification, information, or insight on a particular topic or issue. It refers to shedding light or revealing details that help others better understand or comprehend something.
  • put an amount of time in on The idiom "put an amount of time in on" means to spend a specific duration of time or make an effort to work on or devote to a task, project, or activity. It implies investing time and effort to complete or make progress on something.
  • have an easy time of it The idiom "have an easy time of it" means to experience something without difficulties or challenges. It refers to a situation where someone is not required to put in much effort, encounter obstacles, or face any significant problems in achieving their goal or completing a task.
  • an Uncle Tom The idiom "an Uncle Tom" refers to a person, typically a Black person, who is perceived to be subservient to or overly deferential toward White people or the dominant culture, often at the expense of their own racial or ethnic community. The term derives from the fictional character Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin," who is depicted as obedient and loyal to his White slaveowners. It is commonly used to criticize individuals who are perceived to betray their own culture or community in favor of conforming to or ingratiating themselves with those in power.
  • be an easy touch The idiom "be an easy touch" refers to a person who is easily convinced or persuaded, particularly in financial matters. It implies that the individual is likely to lend money, provide assistance, or be taken advantage of due to their generosity or vulnerability.
  • not a glimmer (of an idea) The idiom "not a glimmer (of an idea)" is used to describe a situation where someone has absolutely no understanding, clue, or notion about a particular topic or question. It signifies a complete lack of knowledge or awareness and emphasizes that the person has no inkling or hint of what is being asked or discussed.
  • tough as an old boot The idiom "tough as an old boot" refers to someone or something that is extremely resilient, strong, or durable. It implies that the person or object can withstand difficult conditions or adversity without being affected.
  • an ivory tower The idiom "an ivory tower" refers to a symbolically isolated and detached place, situation, or perspective, often associated with academia or intellectual pursuits. It denotes a place where individuals are sheltered from the practical realities and concerns of the real world, typically being focused solely on theoretical or abstract ideas. This expression is often used to criticize or mock those who are disconnected from the everyday problems and experiences of ordinary people.
  • coax (sm or an animal) out of sth The idiom "coax (someone or an animal) out of something" means to gently and persuasively convince or entice someone or an animal to leave a place or relinquish something they are hesitant or unwilling to give up. It involves using patience, charm, and sly persuasion to gradually achieve the desired outcome.
  • coax (sm or an animal) in (to sth) The idiom "coax (someone or an animal) in (to something)" means to persuade, convince, or tempt someone or an animal to engage in a particular action or behavior. It often involves using gentle and patient persuasion, often to encourage someone or an animal to do something they may be hesitant or unwilling to do.
  • train sth on (sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "train something on someone/something" means to focus or direct something such as one's attention, aim, or sights on a particular person, thing, or animal. It implies a deliberate act of aiming or pointing something towards a specific target, either literally or metaphorically.
  • train (sm or an animal) for sth The definition of the idiom "train (someone or an animal) for something" means to teach or prepare someone or an animal to perform a specific task or skill. It involves a deliberate process of instruction, practice, and repetition to develop the necessary abilities or behaviors required for a particular goal or activity.
  • train (sm or an animal) as sth The idiom "train (someone or an animal) as something" means to educate, teach, or prepare someone or something to fulfill a specific role, skill, or function. It often implies a deliberate and systematic process of instruction and practice to acquire desired abilities or behavior.
  • coerce (sm or an animal) into sth The idiom "coerce (someone or an animal) into something" means to forcefully persuade or pressure someone or an animal to do something they do not want to do. It involves using authority, threats, manipulation, or other forms of forceful influence to make someone comply with a specific action or behavior.
  • an ego trip The idiom "an ego trip" refers to when someone is excessively preoccupied with boosting or asserting their own ego, often at the expense of others. It implies that the person is seeking to enhance their self-esteem and self-importance, often through attention-seeking behaviors or seeking validation.
  • push at an open door The idiom "push at an open door" means to encounter little or no resistance when trying to achieve something or persuade someone because they are receptive or already inclined towards the idea or action. It refers to a situation where minimal effort or persuasion is required as the door is already open, implying an easy and successful endeavor.
  • not trust sb an inch The idiom "not trust someone an inch" means to have no trust or faith in someone at all. It implies a complete lack of confidence in the person's intentions, reliability, or trustworthiness.
  • confuse sm or an animal with sth The idiom "confuse someone or an animal with something" means to mistake or mix up someone or something with another, often leading to a misunderstanding or error. It refers to the act of wrongly identifying or equating someone or an animal with a different person, thing, or concept.
  • an iron fist/hand in a velvet glove The idiom "an iron fist/hand in a velvet glove" refers to a person or situation that appears soft, gentle, or diplomatic on the outside (like a velvet glove), but underneath, it is firm, controlling, or oppressive (like an iron fist). It implies that someone wields their power or exercises control in a subtle or disguised manner.
  • It would take an act of Congress to do sth. The idiom "It would take an act of Congress to do something" means that the task or action being discussed is extremely difficult or unlikely to happen. It suggests that the process requires a great deal of effort, bureaucracy, or political maneuvering, akin to the formal legislative process required to pass a law in a system like that of the United States Congress.
  • an ugly duckling The idiomatic expression "an ugly duckling" refers to an individual, thing, or entity that initially appears unattractive, unremarkable, or undesirable but later transforms into something beautiful, successful, or impressive. The phrase is derived from Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale "The Ugly Duckling" where the main character, a swan, is initially perceived as an odd-looking duckling but ultimately grows into a majestic swan, symbolizing personal growth, transformation, or potential unrealized at first sight.
  • make an honest woman of sb The idiom "make an honest woman of sb" typically refers to a man marrying or formalizing a committed relationship with a woman, often implying that the woman is currently in a situation that may be perceived as questionable or morally dubious. By "making an honest woman of her," the man is committing to her and ensuring that their relationship is officially recognized and respected by society.
  • make an honest woman of sm The idiom "make an honest woman of someone" is derived from a traditional wedding vow and it refers to a man marrying the woman he is in a romantic relationship with, often after they have engaged in premarital sexual relations or having children together. It implies that by entering into a formal commitment of marriage, the man is expressing his commitment to the woman and taking responsibility for their relationship and any consequences it may have had.
  • cost (sb) an arm and a leg The idiom "cost (sb) an arm and a leg" means that something is extremely expensive or costs a large amount of money. It is used to emphasize that the price of something is very high and can be seen as excessive or unreasonable.
  • an unknown quantity The idiom "an unknown quantity" refers to something or someone that is not familiar or easily understood. It implies that there is uncertainty or lack of knowledge about the entity being mentioned.
  • jerk sth away (from sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "jerk something away from someone, something, or an animal" refers to abruptly pulling or snatching something forcefully and swiftly out of the grasp or reach of someone, something, or an animal.
  • cry (sth) out (to sm or an animal) The idiom "cry (something) out (to someone or an animal)" refers to expressing or vocalizing something in a loud and desperate manner to grab someone's attention or seek help. It implies a sense of urgency or distress in the crying out.
  • use as an excuse The idiom "use as an excuse" means to offer a justification or explanation for one's actions, behavior, or inaction, which may not be entirely truthful or valid. It implies that someone is using a particular reason or pretext as a means to avoid criticism, responsibility, or consequences for their actions.
  • vaccinate (sm or an animal) with sth The idiom "vaccinate (someone or an animal) with something" means to administer a vaccine or immunization to protect against a specific disease or illness. It involves injecting or providing a dose of a vaccine containing a weakened or inactive form of a pathogen to trigger an immune response and establish immunity against the targeted disease.
  • vaccinate (sm or an animal) against sth The idiom "vaccinate (someone or an animal) against something" refers to the act of administering a vaccine to provide protection or immunity against a specific disease or infection. It involves the process of injecting a vaccine into a person or animal, stimulating their immune system to produce antibodies that can fight off the disease if they are ever exposed to it in the future.
  • curl up with (sm or an animal) The idiom "curl up with (someone or an animal)" refers to the act of sitting or lying down in a relaxed position, often with someone or an animal, typically reading, watching television, or simply enjoying each other's company while being physically close.
  • cut an interesting etc. figure The idiom "cut an interesting figure" means to appear or be perceived as someone or something fascinating, unique, or attention-grabbing in terms of appearance, attitude, or behavior. It suggests that the person or thing being described stands out and makes a memorable impression on others.
  • at an early date The idiom "at an early date" refers to a specific point or time in the near future, typically implying that something will happen or be addressed promptly or without delay. It suggests that action or attention will be given within a reasonable amount of time.
  • wake (sm or an animal) up The idiom "wake someone up" or "wake an animal up" means to rouse or stir someone or an animal from sleep or a state of inactivity or unconsciousness. It refers to the act of causing someone or something to become alert or aware again after being asleep or idle.
  • Give sb an inch and they'll take a mile. The idiom "Give someone an inch and they'll take a mile" means that if you give someone a small amount of power, freedom, or leeway, they will take advantage of it and try to get much more than was originally given to them. It suggests that allowing someone a small concession or flexibility might lead them to demand or exploit even more than they initially deserved or were entitled to.
  • Give sm an inch and he'll take a mile. The phrase "Give someone an inch and he'll take a mile" means that if you provide someone with a small opportunity or concession, they will try to exploit it to gain a much larger advantage or benefit for themselves. It suggests that the person is eager to take advantage of any opportunity presented to them, often exceeding the limits of what is reasonable or fair.
  • watch with an eagle eye The idiom "watch with an eagle eye" means to closely and attentively observe or monitor something or someone, paying great attention to detail and being vigilant. It implies maintaining a high level of focus and scrutiny, similar to how an eagle uses its keen eyesight to spot prey from great distances.
  • weep for (sm or an animal) The idiom "weep for (someone or an animal)" means to feel deep sorrow or mourn for someone or an animal. It implies that the situation or circumstances are so tragic or upsetting that it evokes strong emotions of sadness or grief.
  • whale into (sm or an animal) The idiom "whale into (someone or an animal)" typically means to attack or assault someone or something with great force or intensity. It implies a vigorous or aggressive action, as if one is pummeling or beating the target repeatedly. The phrase "whale into" often suggests a physical confrontation involving punching, hitting, or striking.
  • whisk (sm or an animal) off The idiom "whisk (someone or an animal) off" typically means to quickly or abruptly take or remove someone or an animal, often in a swift and efficient manner. It implies a sense of urgency or suddenness in transporting someone/something to another place.
  • hide from sm (or an animal) The idiom "hide from someone (or an animal)" means to make oneself or something else out of sight or unnoticed by that person or animal, often for the purpose of avoiding being seen or caught.
  • It's an ill wind The idiom "It's an ill wind" is used to convey that even a seemingly unfortunate or negative event or situation can have some unexpected positive consequences or outcomes. It suggests that even in the face of adversity, there may be potential benefits or opportunities.
  • withhold sth from (sm or an animal) The idiom "withhold something from someone or an animal" means to deliberately or intentionally keep something from being given, shared, or provided to someone or an animal. It often implies purposely denying access, information, resources, or action that the person or animal may desire or require.
  • within an inch of life The idiom "within an inch of life" refers to causing severe harm or injury to someone, almost to the point of death. It implies a violent or intense action that could potentially have fatal consequences.
  • within an ace of The idiom "within an ace of" means being extremely close to achieving or experiencing something, often referring to success or accomplishment. It implies being just one step or a very small margin away from the desired outcome.
  • in an ivory tower The idiom "in an ivory tower" refers to someone who is secluded or isolated from the realities of everyday life, often due to their high social or intellectual status. It suggests that the person is detached from the concerns and issues of the general population, living in an idealized or intellectualized world.
  • dope sm (or an animal) up The idiom "dope someone or an animal up" refers to administering drugs or medications to them, often to calm or sedate them. It can also imply providing someone or an animal with substances that alter their behavior or mental state.
  • worry an animal out of sth The idiom "worry an animal out of something" refers to the act of persistently bothering or harassing an animal until it is driven away or forced to give up something it possesses, such as food or shelter. It implies continuous agitation or disturbance that ultimately causes the animal to abandon its possession or location.
  • drive sm (or an animal) away The idiom "drive someone (or an animal) away" means to cause someone or an animal to leave or go away by pursuing or chasing them off, usually forcefully or with determination. It can also imply repelling or discouraging someone from staying or engaging with a particular situation or location.
  • drive sm (or an animal) out The idiom "drive someone or something out" means to force someone or something to leave a particular place or area. It usually implies using force, persuasion, or aggressive action to remove the individual or animal from a location, often to eliminate a threat or unwanted presence.
  • quiet (sm or an animal) down The idiom "quiet (someone or an animal) down" means to make someone or an animal calm, peaceful, or less agitated, often by reducing noise, commotion, or excitement. It implies the need for serenity and silence to restore tranquility.
  • drown sm (or an animal) out The idiom "drown someone (or an animal) out" means to make someone or something completely inaudible or overpower a noise by making an even louder noise. It implies that the loudness or intensity of the second sound is sufficient to completely drown out the first sound, making it impossible to hear or notice. It is often used figuratively to describe a situation where someone or something is being ignored or overshadowed by another person or thing.
  • drown (sm or an animal) in sth The idiom "drown (someone or an animal) in something" is a figurative expression that means overwhelming or excessively providing someone or something with an abundance of a particular thing, often to the point of suffocation or exhaustion. It implies giving an excessive amount of something that leads to a negative outcome or makes someone or something feel overwhelmed or burdened.
  • hound sm or an animal down The idiom "hound someone down" or "hound an animal down" means to pursue or chase someone or something relentlessly, persistently, or determinedly until they are caught or found. It implies showing great determination or perseverance in the pursuit, similar to a hunting dog relentlessly pursuing its prey.
  • kill (sm or an animal) off The idiom "kill (someone or an animal) off" means to cause the gradual or sudden extinction of a particular species, group, or individual. It can also be used metaphorically to describe eliminating or eradicating something completely or weakening it significantly.
  • make an ass of The phrase "make an ass of" is an idiomatic expression that means to publicly embarrass or humiliate oneself, often by behaving foolishly or making a mistake. It implies acting in a way that causes others to perceive the person as silly, incompetent, or lacking intelligence.
  • make an exception (for sm) The idiom "make an exception (for someone)" means to allow or grant a special privilege or exemption to someone, even though it is different from the usual rule or practice.
  • watch sb/sth with an eagle eye The idiom "watch someone or something with an eagle eye" means to closely observe or monitor someone or something with great attention to detail and scrutiny. It implies keeping a keen and vigilant watch, similar to the way an eagle intensely focuses on its prey.
  • get an earful The idiom "get an earful" means to receive a lengthy or intense verbal scolding or lecture from someone, typically featuring a considerable amount of information, criticism, or complaints. It implies that someone is subjected to a barrage of words or opinions, often in a forceful or overwhelming manner.
  • give sb an earful The idiom "give someone an earful" means to give someone a strong or lengthy verbal reprimand or complaint. It implies expressing dissatisfaction, anger, or frustration towards another person, often by speaking emphatically or at length.
  • hold up as an example The idiom "hold up as an example" means to present someone or something as a model or standard to be emulated or admired. It involves showcasing a person or thing as a positive example to inspire others or as a warning to discourage certain behavior.
  • hold out an olive branch To "hold out an olive branch" means to make a gesture of peace or reconciliation, typically after a conflict or disagreement, in an attempt to resolve the issue and restore harmony. This idiom comes from the ancient Greek and Roman practice of holding out an olive branch as a symbol of peace during negotiations or to express a willingness to end hostilities.
  • put an end to The idiom "put an end to" means to stop or bring something to a conclusion or finish. It implies terminating or discontinuing an activity, behavior, or situation.
  • at an end The idiom "at an end" means that something has come to a conclusion or is finished. It indicates that a certain period or event has reached its completion or final stage.
  • an end in itself The idiom "an end in itself" refers to something that is pursued or done for its own sake, rather than as a means to achieve something else. It suggests that the thing or action being referred to has intrinsic value and does not need to serve a larger purpose or objective.
  • finish (sm or an animal) off The idiom "finish (someone or an animal) off" means to complete the killing of someone or an animal, usually in a violent or forceful manner, in order to ensure their death. It can also be used metaphorically to indicate concluding or ending something with a decisive or final action.
  • have an effect on sm or sth The idiom "have an effect on someone or something" means to impact or influence someone or something in some way, causing a change or outcome.
  • an educated guess An educated guess refers to a hypothesis or assumption that is made based on limited information or evidence, but is reasoned and guided by knowledge, experience, or education in the subject matter. It indicates an attempt to make a logical estimation or prediction, even if it may not be fully accurate due to the lack of complete information.
  • lay an egg The idiom "lay an egg" generally means to fail or to be unsuccessful in a particular endeavor or performance. It is often used to describe a situation where an expected result or outcome turns out to be disappointing, embarrassing, or subpar. This phrase derives from the literal act of a hen laying an egg, which is a natural, expected occurrence. However, if a hen fails to lay an egg, it would be considered an unusual and unsuccessful event in that usual process, leading to the figurative meaning of the idiom.
  • Go fry an egg! "Go fry an egg!" is an idiomatic expression used as a dismissive or sarcastic retort to tell someone to go away or leave you alone. It implies that the person being addressed should occupy themselves with a menial task or something trivial rather than bothering or irritating you.
  • place in an awkward position The definition of the idiom "place in an awkward position" is to put someone in a situation that is uncomfortable, embarrassing, or difficult to navigate. It refers to making someone feel uneasy or uncertain about what to do or say due to the circumstances they find themselves in.
  • place an order To "place an order" means to make a request or give instruction to purchase goods or services from a supplier or seller. It often involves specifying the desired items, quantity, and any other specific details related to the purchase.
  • draw sm (or an animal) The idiom "draw someone (or an animal)" refers to the act of attracting or luring someone or an animal towards a particular place, person, or situation. It can be used metaphorically to describe the ability to captivate or entice someone's attention or interest.
  • take an interest in sm or sth The idiom "take an interest in sm or sth" means to develop a curiosity, concern, or enthusiasm for something or someone. It implies actively engaging with or becoming involved in a particular topic, activity, or individual.
  • harness sm (or an animal) to sth The idiom "harness someone or something (or an animal) to something" generally means to attach or connect someone or something (especially a person or an animal) to a specific object or task in order to control or direct their energy or abilities towards a specific purpose or goal. It often implies utilizing someone's or something's capabilities efficiently and effectively to achieve desired outcomes.
  • frighten sm (or an animal) into sth The idiom "frighten someone (or an animal) into something" means to cause intense fear or terror in someone or an animal, resulting in a specific action or behavior. It implies that the fear is so compelling that it compels the individual or animal to react in a certain way, often without thinking or considering alternatives.
  • frighten (sm or an animal) to death The idiom "frighten (someone or an animal) to death" means to scare or startle someone or an animal so severely that it causes extreme fear or panic. It implies that the fear is so intense that it feels as though it could potentially cause death.
  • frighten (sm or an animal) into doing sth The idiom "frighten (someone or an animal) into doing something" means to make someone or an animal so scared or intimidated that they are compelled to do a particular action or behave in a certain way. It implies using fear or terror as a means of motivation or influence.
  • make sm an offer The idiom "make someone an offer" means to propose or suggest a deal or proposition to someone, typically in a negotiation context. It implies inviting the person to discuss and potentially accept or reject the presented offer.
  • an uphill battle The idiom "an uphill battle" refers to a challenging or difficult task that requires great effort and persistence to complete. It implies that achieving the desired outcome will be an arduous journey, much like climbing a steep hill.
  • make an impression on sm The idiom "make an impression on someone" means to create a lasting or significant impact on someone's opinion, emotions, or memory. It refers to leaving a strong, memorable, or influential effect on another person.
  • leave an impression (on sm) The idiom "leave an impression (on sm)" means to create a lasting impact or memorable effect on someone. It refers to the ability to influence or make someone remember you or something you have done. It implies that one's actions, words, or presence have left a notable mark on another person's mind or perception.
  • make an entrance The idiom "make an entrance" refers to the act of entering a place in a dramatic or attention-grabbing manner, typically with the intention of impressing or commanding the attention of others.
  • lock (sm or an animal) (up) in (sth) The idiom "lock (someone or an animal) (up) in (something)" means to confine or imprison someone or an animal in a particular place or enclosure, typically by securing the door or entrance. It implies restricting freedom of movement or preventing escape.
  • parade (sm or an animal) out The idiom "parade (someone or an animal) out" refers to the act of displaying or showcasing someone or something in a public manner, often for the purpose of garnering attention, recognition, or approval. It can also imply a lack of authenticity or genuineness, suggesting that the person or animal is being used as a mere spectacle or ploy.
  • lull (sm or an animal) to sleep The idiom "lull (someone or an animal) to sleep" means to calm or soothe a person or animal until they fall asleep. It is usually used to describe a gentle and comforting process of making someone or something feel relaxed and ready for sleep.
  • keep an open mind The idiom "keep an open mind" means to remain receptive to new ideas, opinions, or experiences without judgment or bias. It suggests being open to considering various perspectives and possibilities, being willing to listen and learn, and not being rigid or fixed in one's thinking.
  • have an open mind The idiom "have an open mind" means to be receptive to new ideas, perspectives, or opinions without being biased or judgmental. It emphasizes the willingness to consider different viewpoints and not clinging strictly to one's own beliefs or preconceived notions.
  • form an opinion The idiom "form an opinion" means to develop or create one's own personal belief or judgment about something or someone based on information, experiences, or observations.
  • send sm (out) on an errand The idiom "send someone (out) on an errand" means to assign or dispatch someone to perform a specific task or mission, typically involving going somewhere to accomplish a particular objective. It implies giving someone a clear and specific job to do outside of their usual responsibilities.
  • with an eye to sth The idiom "with an eye to sth" means to have a specific purpose or intention in mind. It implies that someone is considering or planning for something in the future.
  • match for (sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "match for (someone, something, or an animal)" typically means that the person, thing, or animal being referred to is of equal or comparable strength, ability, or quality as the other person, thing, or animal mentioned. It suggests that they are evenly matched in terms of prowess or capability.
  • keep on an even keel To "keep on an even keel" means to maintain a stable and balanced state or condition, particularly in an emotional or psychological sense. It originates from nautical terminology, where a ship that is on an even keel is well-balanced and stable in the water. In a figurative sense, it suggests maintaining a steady and consistent state, often referring to staying calm and composed amid various challenges or fluctuations in life.
  • keep sth on an even keel The idiom "keep something on an even keel" means to maintain a steady or balanced state or condition, especially in situations or relationships where there may be conflicts, tensions, or fluctuations. It implies not letting things veer off course or becoming unstable but rather ensuring that everything remains calm, consistent, and manageable.
  • hazard an opinion The idiom "hazard an opinion" means to express or offer one's viewpoint or judgment even though it may be controversial, risky, or uncertain. It suggests taking a chance or risking potential disagreement or criticism by expressing your personal thoughts or beliefs on a particular matter.
  • make an example of sb The idiom "make an example of sb" means to punish or discipline someone publicly, often in a harsh or severe manner, in order to serve as a warning or deterrent to others. It is done to showcase the consequences of a particular behavior or wrongdoing.
  • make an example of sm The idiom "make an example of someone" means to punish or discipline a person severely in order to deter others from behaving similarly. It is a way to demonstrate the consequences of a specific action by punishing someone publicly or harshly.
  • hold sm or sth up as an example The idiom "hold someone or something up as an example" means to showcase or present someone or something as a model or demonstration of a particular behavior, quality, or achievement. It refers to using someone or something to illustrate an ideal or standard for others to follow or be inspired by.
  • have an eye for sm or sth The idiom "have an eye for something" is used to describe someone who possesses a natural talent or ability to recognize or appreciate a particular quality, skill, or beauty in something or someone. It suggests a keen sense of observation and discernment.
  • exercise (sm or an animal) in The idiom "exercise (someone or an animal) in" means to engage in physical activity or movement in order to maintain fitness, improve health, or increase physical abilities. It involves participating in activities such as walking, running, swimming, or playing sports to keep the body active and maintain a good level of physical fitness.
  • within an inch of your/its life The idiom "within an inch of your/its life" means to an extreme extent, often implying excessive force, pressure, or intensity in doing something, to the point of almost causing severe harm, injury, or destruction.
  • give an inch The idiom "give an inch" means to make a small concession or compromise, often with the understanding that the other party may take advantage and demand more. It refers to giving someone a slight advantage or leeway, which may lead to them demanding even more in return.
  • come within an inch of doing sth The idiom "come within an inch of doing something" means to almost accomplish or achieve something, only to narrowly miss or fail at the last moment. It indicates a close call or near success.
  • beat sb to within an inch of their life The idiom "beat someone to within an inch of their life" means to violently or brutally assault someone to the extent that they are severely injured or close to death. It implies a savage and merciless beating that leaves the person gravely harmed.
  • within an inch of one's life The idiom "within an inch of one's life" means to an extreme degree or to the point of almost causing death or significant harm. It is often used to describe a severe beating or physical assault that leaves someone severely injured or battered.
  • come within an inch of sm or sth The idiom "come within an inch of sm or sth" means to come very close to achieving something or narrowly avoid a particular outcome. It suggests being extremely close to success or failure, often implying that the outcome was unexpected or uncertain.
  • make an exhibition of The idiom "make an exhibition of" means to behave in a way that attracts attention, often negative, in a public or noticeable manner. It refers to being overly dramatic, flamboyant, or attention-seeking.
  • There's no fool like an old fool The idiom "There's no fool like an old fool" means that older individuals are often more prone to making foolish mistakes or decisions due to their experience or lack of awareness. It suggests that older people, who may have lived longer, should have gained wisdom and avoided foolishness, but sometimes fail to do so.
  • take for an idiot and take for a fool The idiom "take for an idiot and take for a fool" means to deceive or manipulate someone, treating them as someone who is easily fooled or gullible. It implies that the person being deceived is being underestimated in their ability to recognize the deceit or see through the manipulative tactics being used against them.
  • an old flame The idiom "an old flame" refers to a former romantic partner or love interest from the past. It suggests that a person had a significant relationship or connection with this individual but has since moved on or grown apart.
  • with an eye to The idiom "with an eye to" often means to do something with a specific objective or intention in mind. It suggests purposeful action or planning towards a particular goal or outcome.
  • keep an eye out for The idiom "keep an eye out for" means to be watchful, alert, and vigilant in order to notice or find something specific. It suggests actively searching for something or being aware of your surroundings to spot or be prepared for a particular person, event, or thing.
  • keep an eye out The idiom "keep an eye out" means to be vigilant, watchful or alert for something or someone. It implies paying close attention and actively looking for a specific thing or person, often in order to spot or notice their presence or arrival.
  • keep an eye on The idiom "keep an eye on" means to watch or monitor something or someone closely, usually to ensure their safety or to prevent any negative or unwanted outcome. It implies being vigilant and attentive in observing a particular situation or person.
  • have half an eye on The phrase "have half an eye on" means to be partially attentive to something, to keep an intermediate level of attention or surveillance towards a particular situation or person.
  • have an eye for The idiom "have an eye for" means to possess a natural ability or talent to judge, appreciate, or notice specific qualities, usually visual or aesthetic in nature. It suggests that someone has a keen perception or discernment for observing and recognizing particular details or characteristics.
  • eye for an eye The idiom "eye for an eye" refers to a principle or customary law in which retaliation or punishment should be equivalent to the harm or injury inflicted upon oneself or others. It denotes the concept of seeking justice or revenge in a manner that mirrors the initial offense or harm.
  • bat an eye The idiom "bat an eye" means to show no emotional reaction, particularly when something surprising, shocking, or unusual occurs. It refers to maintaining a calm and composed demeanor, usually in response to unexpected or bizarre situations.
  • An eye for an eye The idiom "an eye for an eye" means that a punishment or retaliation should be of equal measure or degree as the offense committed. It implies seeking retribution or justice in a manner that mirrors the harm or wrongdoing inflicted upon oneself or others.
  • an aboutface The idiom "an about-face" refers to a complete and sudden change in attitude, opinion, or direction, typically used when someone or something completely reverses their previous stance or course of action. It implies a shift from one extreme to another or a complete reversal of one's position or behavior.
  • reach an impasse The idiom "reach an impasse" refers to a situation where further progress or advancement becomes seemingly impossible due to a deadlock, disagreement, or inability to find a solution or consensus between two or more parties. It denotes a stalemate or a standstill in which no resolution or way forward can be achieved.
  • reach an accord The idiom "reach an accord" means to come to an agreement or a mutual understanding between two or more parties after a period of negotiation or discussion. It implies that all parties involved have found common ground or consensus on a particular matter or issue.
  • float an idea The idiom "float an idea" means to propose or suggest an idea, often to gauge its reception or generate discussion. It refers to the act of introducing an idea into a group or conversation, like releasing it into the air or water to see how it will be received and whether it will stay afloat or sink.
  • lash into (sm or an animal) The idiom "lash into (someone or an animal)" means to physically attack or assault someone or an animal violently and aggressively. It often implies a sudden, uncontrolled outburst of anger or aggression towards the target.
  • have an impact on sm or sth The idiom "have an impact on someone or something" means to create a noticeable and often significant effect or influence on a person, situation, or thing. It implies that an action, event, or decision causes a change or outcome that can be observed or felt.
  • fence (sm or an animal) out The idiom "fence (someone or an animal) out" refers to the act of creating a physical barrier, usually made of a fence, to keep someone or an animal outside or prevent them from entering a specific area. It signifies the action of erecting a boundary to keep something or someone away or at a distance.
  • fatten (sm or an animal) up (with sth) The idiom "fatten (someone or an animal) up (with something)" means to increase the weight or body size of a person or animal, typically by providing them with more food or nourishment than they usually receive. It can also imply that the person or animal is being prepared for a specific purpose, such as a competition or butchering.
  • fortify (sm or an animal) (against sth) (with sth) The idiom "fortify (someone or an animal) (against something) (with something)" means to strengthen or protect a person or animal from harm or danger by providing them with additional support, resources, or defenses. This can involve the use of physical barriers, enhanced security measures, or other means to make someone or something more resistant to potential threats or risks.
  • feed sth to (sm or an animal) The idiom "feed something to someone or an animal" means to give or offer someone or an animal something, often information or an idea, in a way that they easily accept or believe it without questioning or analyzing it.
  • feed (sm, sth, or an animal) with sth The idiom "feed (someone, something, or an animal) with something" means to provide food or nourishment to someone, something, or an animal. It can be used both in a literal sense, referring to providing food to someone or an animal, as well as in a metaphorical sense, indicating the provision of something essential or necessary to fulfill a need or sustain someone or something.
  • an iron man The idiom "an iron man" typically refers to someone who is extremely tough, physically or emotionally resilient, and persevering, often in the face of difficult or challenging situations. This person displays great strength, endurance, and determination.
  • reach an understanding with sm The idiom "reach an understanding with someone" means to come to an agreement or mutual comprehension with another person. It implies that both parties have agreed on a common standpoint or resolved any differences or misunderstandings between them.
  • an old hand The idiom "an old hand" refers to someone who is highly experienced, skilled, or knowledgeable in a particular activity, profession, or field. It is often used to describe a person who has been doing something for a long time and has acquired a great deal of expertise or proficiency in it.
  • an iron fist in a velvet glove The idiom "an iron fist in a velvet glove" refers to someone who appears gentle, kind, or soft on the outside (represented by the velvet glove) but, in reality, exercises authoritarianism, strict control, or firmness (symbolized by the iron fist). It suggests that despite the person's mild demeanor, they possess great power or authority and are not to be underestimated.
  • an own goal The idiom "an own goal" typically refers to a situation where someone unintentionally and unwittingly harms or sabotages their own interests or goals. It originates from the sport of soccer (football), where an own goal occurs when a player inadvertently scores a point for the opponent's team by mistakenly putting the ball into their own net. Consequently, the phrase has been adopted figuratively to describe self-defeating or counterproductive actions in various contexts outside of sports.
  • lam into (sm or an animal) The idiom "lam into" means to attack or assault someone or an animal vigorously and aggressively. It implies the act of physically or verbally confronting someone with great force or intensity.
  • gun sm (or an animal) down The idiom "gun (or an animal) down" means to shoot someone or something with a gun, causing severe injury or death. It is often used metaphorically to describe the act of forcefully and swiftly bringing an end to someone's or something's progress or existence.
  • help sm (or an animal) out (of sth) The idiom "help someone out (of something)" means to assist or aid someone in getting out of a difficult or challenging situation. It can also be used in the context of helping an animal escape from a dangerous or undesirable place.
  • hold (sm, sth, or an animal) back (from sm or sth) The idiom "hold (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something)" means to restrain, restrict, or prevent someone or something from advancing, progressing, or reaching a certain destination or goal. It can refer to physical or metaphorical contexts where someone or something is being stopped or held in check.
  • an minence grise The idiom "an éminence grise" refers to a person who exercises power or influence behind the scenes, often acting as an advisor or confidant to someone of higher authority or prominence. The term is derived from French, where "éminence" means elevated position or prominence, and "grise" refers to the gray hair, symbolizing wisdom, experience, and a discreet presence.
  • an inside job The idiom "an inside job" refers to a situation where a crime or wrongdoing is perpetrated by someone who has insider or privileged access or knowledge of a particular organization, system, or situation. It implies that the person responsible for the act is someone from within the organization or closely associated with it, rather than an external or unrelated individual.
  • hit sm (or an animal) on sth The idiom "hit someone (or an animal) on something" typically refers to accidentally striking or colliding with someone or an animal using a specific object or body part. This action is not intentional and usually occurs due to a lack of awareness or attention.
  • lead (sm or an animal) to sth The idiom "lead (someone or an animal) to something" means to guide, direct, or take someone or something to a particular place or situation. It can refer to physically leading someone by holding their hand or using a leash on an animal, or it can be used metaphorically to indicate guiding or influencing someone's actions or decisions.
  • part (sm or an animal) from (sm or an animal) The idiom "part (someone or an animal) from (someone or an animal)" means to separate or remove one individual or thing from another individual or thing. It implies a disconnection or division between two entities that were previously together or associated.
  • slip up on (sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "slip up on (someone or something)" means to approach someone or something quietly, usually without being noticed or detected. It often implies catching the person or thing off guard or surprising them unintentionally.
  • maroon sm on an island The idiom "maroon someone on an island" refers to leaving someone in a difficult or isolated situation with no means of escape or help. It conveys the idea of being abandoned or stranded in a challenging circumstance, often without any assistance or support.
  • keep an eye on sb/sth The idiom "keep an eye on sb/sth" means to closely monitor or watch someone or something, typically to ensure their safety, well-being, or to prevent any potential harm or damage.
  • keep an eye on sm or sth The idiom "keep an eye on someone or something" means to carefully observe or monitor someone or something, usually to ensure their safety, well-being, or proper functioning. It implies being watchful and attentive to any changes, developments, or potential issues that may arise.
  • keep (sm, sth, or an animal) back (from sm or sth) The idiom "keep (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something)" is a phrase used to describe the act of preventing or restraining someone or something from approaching, reaching, or interacting with another person, thing, or place. It implies holding back or restraining any forward movement or action.
  • keep (sm or an animal) in line The idiom "keep (someone or an animal) in line" means to monitor or control the behavior or actions of a person or an animal to ensure obedience, discipline, or compliance with rules or expectations. It implies exerting authority or supervision to prevent any deviation or misconduct.
  • lend an ear to sb/sth The idiom "lend an ear to sb/sth" means to listen attentively to someone or something, offering an open mind and full attention. It implies being willing to hear someone out, provide support, and give consideration to their thoughts, opinions, or problems.
  • lend an ear to sm or sth The idiom "lend an ear to someone or something" means to listen attentively and empathetically to someone or something, particularly when they have a problem or need to express their thoughts or feelings. It implies being open and ready to offer one's support, advice, or assistance.
  • knock sm back (an amount of money) The idiom "knock sm back (an amount of money)" means to refuse or decline to pay the specified amount of money. It suggests rejecting or resisting a request for payment, usually in a negotiation or a transaction.
  • have an eye for/on the main chance The idiom "have an eye for/on the main chance" means to be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to further one's own interests or gain an advantage. It refers to someone who is skillful at identifying and seizing advantageous situations for personal gain.
  • pen (sm or an animal) in (sm place) The idiom "pen (something or an animal) in (somewhere)" means to confine or restrict someone or something within a specific place or area. It implies the act of keeping something enclosed or limited, as if it were confined within a pen or enclosure.
  • put one's hands on (sm, sth, or an animal) The idiom "put one's hands on (someone, something, or an animal)" means to physically locate, find, or acquire someone or something that may be hard to find or obtain. It implies having control or possession over the mentioned person, object, or animal.
  • leave an impression The idiom "leave an impression" means to have a lasting impact or create a memorable memory upon someone or something. It refers to the ability to influence or be remembered by others through one's actions, words, or demeanor.
  • let (sm or an animal) (get) out (of sth) The idiom "let (someone or an animal) (get) out (of something)" means to allow someone or an animal to leave a place or enclosure, usually in order to provide freedom or release from confinement.
  • take an amount of money for The idiom "take an amount of money for" typically means to accept or receive a specific sum of money in exchange for goods, services, or as payment for a debt or obligation.
  • get an amount of money for The idiom "get an amount of money for" means to receive or obtain a specific sum of money in exchange for something, typically a product, service, or work performed. It implies the act of earning or being compensated financially for one's efforts or possessions.
  • walk away with (sm or an animal) The idiom "walk away with" is typically used to mean: - To win or gain something easily or effortlessly. - To achieve a victory or success with minimal effort or competition. Example: "Despite tough competition, she managed to walk away with the first prize in the competition."
  • take sm for an idiot and take sm for a fool The idiom "take someone for an idiot" or "take someone for a fool" means to deceive or underestimate someone's intellect or intelligence. It suggests that the person being deceived or underestimated is considered gullible, unintelligent, or easily fooled.
  • take an oath The idiom "take an oath" means to make a formal, binding promise or vow, usually done in a legal or solemn context. It is a commitment to telling the truth, fulfilling responsibilities, or upholding a particular belief or cause.
  • an old maid The idiom "an old maid" refers to an unmarried woman who is considered to have passed the age at which it is considered normal or expected for a woman to be married. It is often used to describe a woman who remains single, typically in a derogatory or judgmental manner, suggesting that she might be undesirable or unable to find a partner.
  • pen (sm or an animal) up The idiom "pen (someone or an animal) up" means to confine or restrict someone or an animal within a specific area or enclosure, usually by physically enclosing them with a fence or barrier. It implies the act of confining or containing something to limit its movement or freedom. This expression is often used when referring to keeping animals or livestock in pens or enclosures for various purposes, such as for safety, control, or containment. It can also be used metaphorically to describe the act of confining or constraining someone or something's actions or freedom.
  • take pity (on sm or an animal) The idiom "take pity (on someone or an animal)" means to feel sympathy or compassion towards someone or an animal in a difficult or unfortunate situation and to take action to help or alleviate their suffering. It involves having a kind and empathetic response towards their plight or circumstances.
  • have pity on sm (or an animal) The idiom "have pity on someone (or an animal)" means to feel sympathy or compassion towards that person or animal, usually in a situation where they are suffering or in need. It implies a desire to help or alleviate the distress of the individual.
  • raise (an) objection (to sm or sth) The idiom "raise an objection (to someone or something)" means to express disagreement or disapproval, typically regarding a decision, action, or proposal. It involves voicing a concern or expressing a contrary opinion in order to challenge or oppose a particular person or thing.
  • common as an old shoe The idiom "common as an old shoe" means that something or someone is very familiar or commonplace. It implies that the subject is not unique or extraordinary, but rather ordinary and widely known or encountered. It suggests a lack of novelty or specialness.
  • comfortable as an old shoe The idiom "comfortable as an old shoe" means feeling at ease and content in a familiar and comfortable situation or with someone you know well. It conveys a sense of comfort, familiarity, and relaxation.
  • pull down (an amount of money) The idiom "pull down an amount of money" means to earn or receive a specified amount of money through one's work or occupation. It signifies the act of making a certain sum of money or achieving a particular earnings level.
  • pull (sm or an animal) down The idiom "pull (someone or an animal) down" typically means to hinder, discourage, or undermine someone's progress, success, or morale. It refers to any action or behavior that weakens or attempts to bring someone down from a position of strength or achievement.
  • put (sm or an animal) out of sth The idiom "put (someone or an animal) out of something" typically means to euthanize or kill them, especially to end suffering or misery caused by an illness, injury, or difficult situation.
  • put (sm or an animal) to sleep The idiom "put (someone or an animal) to sleep" generally refers to the act of euthanizing someone or an animal. It means to end the life of a person or animal in a painless and humane manner, usually to alleviate prolonged suffering or a terminal illness. This expression is commonly used in the context of medical or veterinary practices.
  • have an itching palm "Have an itching palm" is an idiom that refers to the desire for dishonest gain or bribery. It implies that someone is seeking to receive money or favors illegally or unethically, often by taking bribes or engaging in corrupt activities. This idiom suggests greed, dishonesty, and a willingness to exploit others for personal gain.
  • within an inch of The idiom "within an inch of" means very close to something, almost reaching a specific point or outcome. It implies that someone or something is extremely close to achieving a certain goal or close to a specific result.
  • turn an honest penny The idiom "turn an honest penny" means to earn money through fair and conscientious work or business activities. It implies making a decent living or income by engaging in honest and legitimate endeavors.
  • have an ear to the ground The idiom "have an ear to the ground" means to be attentive and aware of the latest information or developments in a particular situation or field. It implies staying informed and having a keen sense of observation to accurately sense or anticipate what is happening or about to happen.
  • means to an end The phrase "means to an end" refers to a strategy, action, or method that is used solely as a way to achieve a desired goal or outcome. In other words, it implies that something is done not for its own intrinsic value, but rather as a necessary step or intermediary in order to reach a specific objective.
  • teach an old dog new tricks The idiom "teach an old dog new tricks" means that it is difficult or nearly impossible to change someone's established habits, patterns, or ways of doing things, especially if they have been doing them for a long time. It implies that older individuals are often resistant to learning or adapting to new ideas or methods.
  • make an end of The idiom "make an end of" means to bring something to a decisive or final conclusion, to finish or complete something, or to eliminate or eradicate something completely.
  • have an eye to The idiom "have an eye to" means to be attentive, observant, or vigilant about something. It suggests being aware of or considering a particular matter or situation. It can also imply having a purpose or intention towards achieving a specific goal or outcome.
  • see with half an eye The idiom "see with half an eye" means to perceive or understand something very clearly and easily, often without much effort or attention. It implies that the situation or information is obvious or apparent and can be easily recognized or comprehended even with minimal observation or attention.
  • raise an eyebrow The idiom "raise an eyebrow" means to show surprise, skepticism, or interest by lifting one's eyebrow(s) as a visible sign. It typically implies that something unexpected or peculiar has been said or done, and it can be an expression of doubt or curiosity.
  • on a full (or an empty) stomach The idiom "on a full (or an empty) stomach" typically refers to the state of being physically satisfied or unsatisfied with food. When referring to being "on a full stomach," it means that someone has recently eaten and is feeling satiated and content. This state can often lead to feelings of comfort, relaxation, or even drowsiness. Conversely, being "on an empty stomach" means having not eaten for a while and feeling hungry or physically unsatisfied. This state of hunger can sometimes lead to feelings of irritability or distractibility.
  • put in an appearance The idiom "put in an appearance" means to make a brief visit or attend an event or gathering, usually with the intention of showing support or fulfilling a social obligation. It implies that the visit or attendance is not for an extended period, and often suggests a sense of obligation or formality.
  • an item The idiom "an item" refers to two people who are romantically involved or in a relationship, typically in the early stages or in a manner that is not yet publicly known or confirmed.
  • bat an eye or eyelash or eyelid The idiom "bat an eye or eyelash or eyelid" is used to describe someone's lack of reaction or surprise in a situation that would typically elicit a strong response. It means to remain calm, composed, or unaffected by something unexpected or shocking.
  • make an ass The idiom "make an ass" refers to behaving foolishly or making oneself look foolish. It implies acting in a way that may tarnish one's reputation or cause embarrassment.
  • no man is an island The idiom "no man is an island" means that no person can thrive or live in isolation. It signifies that human beings are interconnected and rely on their relationships and connections with others for support, fulfillment, and understanding. It emphasizes the importance of community, social interaction, and the need for individuals to be involved in the lives of others.
  • you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs The idiom "you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs" means that in order to achieve something positive or constructive, some sacrifices or negative consequences may be unavoidable. It suggests that achieving a desired outcome often involves going through some difficulties, hardships, or losses along the way. Just as an omelette cannot be made without breaking eggs, progress or success sometimes requires enduring challenges or making sacrifices.
  • cost/pay an arm and a leg The idiom "cost/pay an arm and a leg" means that something is very expensive or costs a great deal, often in a figurative sense. It implies that the price or expense is extremely high, to the point of being unreasonable or exorbitant.
  • an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure The idiom "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" means that it is easier and more effective to prevent problems or take precautions beforehand, rather than dealing with the consequences or trying to solve them later. It emphasizes the importance of taking proactive measures to avoid potential issues instead of waiting for them to arise and having to deal with the more challenging task of fixing or dealing with them.
  • with an eye for/on/to the main chance The idiom "with an eye for/on/to the main chance" refers to a person who is constantly looking for opportunities to achieve success, typically by being ambitious, strategic, and self-serving. They have an acute awareness of what is advantageous or beneficial for themselves and are focused on taking advantage of such opportunities.
  • an Englishman’s home is his castle The idiom "an Englishman's home is his castle" means that a person's home is a place where they have complete control, privacy, and authority. It emphasizes the idea that a person's home is a sanctuary, and they should have the freedom to live as they wish within its boundaries, without interference or intrusion from others.
  • be an open secret The idiom "be an open secret" refers to something that is widely known or understood, despite not being officially acknowledged or publicly discussed. It implies that even though information or knowledge is not officially disclosed, it is commonly understood or recognized by most people.
  • (you can’t) teach an old dog new tricks The idiom "(you can't) teach an old dog new tricks" means that it is difficult or impossible to change someone's established habits, behavior, or way of thinking when they are set in their ways or resistant to change. It implies that older individuals, like dogs, tend to be less adaptable and open to learning new things compared to younger ones.
  • have/keep an open mind (about/on something) The idiom "have/keep an open mind (about/on something)" means to be receptive to new ideas, possibilities, or opinions without preconceived notions or biases. It involves being willing to consider different perspectives and withholding judgment until more information or evidence is available.
  • (have) an old head on young shoulders The idiom "(have) an old head on young shoulders" refers to someone who displays wisdom, maturity, or intelligence beyond their years. It suggests that despite being young, they possess a level of wisdom and thoughtfulness typically associated with someone older.
  • have an early/a late night The idiom "have an early/a late night" refers to the time a person goes to bed or stays awake until during the night. "Having an early night" means going to bed relatively early, while "having a late night" implies staying awake or going to bed late.
  • an easy/a soft touch The idiom "an easy/a soft touch" refers to a person who is easily persuaded or manipulated, often due to their gullibility, generosity, or kindness. This phrase is used to describe someone who can be easily convinced, taken advantage of, or exploited by others.
  • you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs The idiom "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs" means that in order to achieve something positive or to make progress, it is often necessary to go through difficulties or face negative consequences. It emphasizes that sometimes sacrifices or negative outcomes are unavoidable when trying to achieve a desired goal.
  • put an end to it all The idiom "put an end to it all" typically means to stop or finish something in a decisive or final manner, often implying a sense of closure or resolution.
  • have an even chance (of doing something) The idiom "have an even chance (of doing something)" means to have an equal or balanced opportunity or likelihood of achieving or accomplishing something. It suggests that there is an equal probability of success or failure, with no significant advantage or disadvantage.
  • split an infinitive The idiom "split an infinitive" refers to the act of placing an adverb or other word or phrase in between the two parts of an infinitive verb form (typically "to" followed by a verb). According to traditional grammar rules, splitting infinitives is considered incorrect or undesirable, and it is often advised to avoid doing so in formal writing.
  • cast/run an eye/your eyes over something The idiom "cast/run an eye/your eyes over something" means to look briefly or quickly at something. It implies a casual and cursory examination, typically without going into depth or analyzing the details.
  • cock an ear/eye at something/somebody The idiom "cock an ear/eye at something/somebody" means to pay attention to or show curiosity or interest in something or someone. It implies listening or looking closely to gather information or gain understanding.
  • have an eye for something The idiom "have an eye for something" means to have a natural or innate ability to recognize, appreciate, or perceive something specific, often in terms of aesthetics or quality. It implies having good taste, discernment, or an exceptional skill in recognizing or selecting something with high value or quality.
  • have one eye/half an eye on something The idiom "have one eye/half an eye on something" means to be partially attentive or aware of something while simultaneously focusing on something else. It implies keeping a minimal level of attention or vigilance towards a particular matter.
  • keep an eye on somebody/something The idiom "keep an eye on somebody/something" means to watch, monitor or observe someone or something closely, usually to ensure their safety, well-being, or to prevent any potential harm or trouble. It implies being vigilant and attentive towards the person or thing being monitored.
  • keep an eye open/out (for somebody/something) The idiom "keep an eye open/out (for somebody/something)" means to watch carefully or to be attentive in order to notice or find someone or something. It implies remaining vigilant or alert in order to observe or be aware of any developments, changes, or occurrences related to the person or thing in question.
  • with an eye to something/to doing something The idiom "with an eye to something/to doing something" means to have a specific intention or purpose in mind. It suggests being attentive or focused on achieving a particular objective or outcome.
  • within an ace of something/of doing something The idiom "within an ace of something" or "within an ace of doing something" means being extremely close to achieving or experiencing something, but narrowly missing it or narrowly avoiding it. It implies coming very close to a desired outcome or action, but falling just short. The phrase "an ace" refers to the playing card with the highest value in many card games, often symbolizing the idea of achieving or winning.
  • an odd/a queer fish The idiom "an odd/queer fish" is used to describe a person who is peculiar, eccentric, or unusual in their behavior, habits, or appearance. This phrase suggests that the individual is different from what is considered normal or conventional.
  • (there’s) no fool like an old fool The idiom "(there's) no fool like an old fool" means that older people, despite their experience and wisdom, are sometimes known to behave foolishly, make naive decisions, or engage in foolish actions. It suggests that age does not guarantee wisdom or sound judgment, and that even experienced individuals can make foolish mistakes or fall victim to their own foolishness.
  • an accident/a disaster waiting to happen The idiom "an accident/a disaster waiting to happen" refers to a condition, situation, or action that is very likely to result in negative consequences or a catastrophe. It implies that the circumstances are precarious and potentially dangerous, with the potential for something harmful or disastrous to occur at any moment.
  • it’s an ill wind (that blows nobody any good) The idiom "it’s an ill wind (that blows nobody any good)" is typically used to convey the idea that even in negative or unpleasant circumstances, there might still be some beneficial aspects or advantages for certain individuals. It implies that while an unfortunate event may affect some people negatively, it can simultaneously bring advantages or opportunities to others.
  • an about-face The idiom "an about-face" refers to a complete and sudden change in opinion, plan, or direction. It often implies a reversal of course or a U-turn in one's actions or beliefs.
  • do an about-face The idiom "do an about-face" refers to a sudden and complete reversal or change in attitude, behavior, or direction. It is often used to describe a situation where someone makes a quick, decisive change in their stance, opinion, or actions.
  • acclimate someone (or an animal) to something The idiom "acclimate someone (or an animal) to something" means to help someone or an animal gradually adjust or adapt to new surroundings, environment, or conditions. It involves familiarizing the individual with the new situation, often over a period of time, in order to minimize discomfort or unease.
  • reach an accord (with someone) The idiom "reach an accord (with someone)" means to come to an agreement or reach a mutually satisfactory resolution with someone. It suggests finding a common ground or settling a dispute or disagreement through negotiation and compromise.
  • give an account The idiom "give an account" means to give a detailed or thorough explanation or description of something, often in response to a request or expectation. It is commonly used when recounting or reporting an event, situation, or experience in a comprehensive manner.
  • come within an ace of (something) The idiom "come within an ace of (something)" means to come extremely close to achieving or experiencing something, but ultimately falling just short. It implies that the outcome was a very near miss or a narrowly avoided failure.
  • have an ace in the hole The idiom "have an ace in the hole" means to have a secret or backup plan that can be used to gain an advantage or secure success, especially in a challenging or competitive situation. It refers to the hidden advantage of holding the best playing card, the ace, which can guarantee a favorable outcome when revealed at the opportune moment.
  • have an ace up one’s sleeve The idiom "have an ace up one’s sleeve" means to have a secret plan or strategy that can be used to gain an advantage or achieve success. It originates from the game of poker, where a player may hide an ace card up their sleeve to use it later as a surprise move. Thus, having an ace up one’s sleeve refers to having a hidden advantage or resource that can be revealed at the right moment to outsmart others.
  • have an ace/a trick up your sleeve The idiom "have an ace up your sleeve" or "have a trick up your sleeve" means to have a secret or hidden advantage or plan that can be used to gain an advantage over others or to achieve success in a situation. It refers to a situation where someone has a surprise strategy or information that can be used to turn the tables in their favor unexpectedly.
  • within an ace of doing something The idiom "within an ace of doing something" means to come extremely close or be on the verge of accomplishing or achieving something. It suggests that the person or situation in question narrowly missed or just fell short of reaching their goal or desired outcome.
  • within an ace of something The idiom "within an ace of something" means to be extremely close to achieving or experiencing something, usually with a narrow margin of success or failure. It suggests being on the verge of accomplishing a goal or reaching a particular outcome.
  • an Achilles heel The idiom "an Achilles heel" refers to a person's vulnerability or weak point. It originates from Greek mythology, where the warrior Achilles was invulnerable, except for his heel, which led to his downfall when it was struck by an arrow. Hence, it commonly represents a person's one area of weakness or susceptibility in an otherwise strong character or situation.
  • scrape up an acquaintance To "scrape up an acquaintance" is an idiomatic expression that means to develop a somewhat superficial or casual relationship with someone, usually out of necessity or convenience, rather than a genuine connection or friendship. It implies making an effort to establish a connection with someone, even if it feels forced or somewhat uncomfortable.
  • deaf as an adder The idiom "deaf as an adder" typically refers to someone who is completely unresponsive or oblivious to what is being said or happening around them. It implies that the person is incredibly stubborn or intentionally choosing not to listen or pay attention.
  • deaf as an adder (or a post) The idiom "deaf as an adder (or a post)" refers to someone who is completely oblivious or unresponsive to what others are saying. It implies that the person is unwilling or unable to listen or pay attention to conversations or suggestions, just like an adder (a venomous snake) or a post (a stationary object) would be unable to hear any sounds.
  • administer something to someone (or an animal) The idiom "administer something to someone (or an animal)" means to give or apply something, such as medication, treatment, or a substance, to someone or an animal in a formal or authoritative manner. It often implies that the administration of whatever is being given requires expertise, responsibility, or careful handling.
  • have an affair (with someone) The idiom "have an affair (with someone)" refers to engaging in a romantic or sexual relationship with someone other than one's spouse or partner, typically in a secretive or illicit manner.
  • be pushing at an open door The idiom "be pushing at an open door" means to expending unnecessary effort trying to achieve something that is already easily attainable or accommodating. It implies that the situation or person in question is already receptive, cooperative, or in agreement, making further persuasion or effort unnecessary.
  • an aide-mémoire The idiom "an aide-mémoire" refers to an object or written note that serves as a reminder or prompt to help recall important information or tasks. It is something that serves as a memory aid or a tool to jog one's memory.
  • take aim (at someone, something, or an animal) The definition for the idiom "take aim (at someone, something, or an animal)" is to carefully aim or focus on someone, something, or an animal in preparation for an action, especially an attack or criticism. It can also refer to preparing to make a decision or take a specific course of action.
  • float an air biscuit The idiom "float an air biscuit" is a humorous way to describe the action of unexpectedly passing gas or farting. It refers to releasing gas from the digestive system, with the word "float" representing the act of the gas being expelled, and "air biscuit" referring to the gas itself.
  • an Aladdin's lamp The idiom "an Aladdin's lamp" refers to a magical or enchanted object that grants wishes or brings about incredible fortune. It derives from the story of Aladdin, a character in "One Thousand and One Nights," who discovers a mystical lamp containing a genie capable of fulfilling his every desire.
  • an albatross around your neck The idiom "an albatross around your neck" refers to a burdensome or troublesome responsibility or problem that weighs someone down or hinders their progress. It is derived from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," in which the sailor is forced to wear the carcass of an albatross around his neck as punishment.
  • an albatross round your neck The idiom "an albatross round your neck" refers to a burdensome or troublesome responsibility, problem, or guilt that weighs heavily on someone, hindering their progress or causing great difficulty. It originates from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," where the protagonist is forced to wear a dead albatross around his neck as punishment for killing the bird.
  • put at an amount The idiom "put at an amount" typically refers to estimating or stating a specific quantity or value of something. It means assigning or attributing a particular numerical figure or measurement to a particular object, situation, or concept.
  • shell an amount of money out To "shell out an amount of money" means to spend or pay a significant or sometimes reluctantly large sum of money. It implies that the money is being handed over or "shelled out" similar to the way one might remove the contents from a shell. It often conveys the notion of an expense that is considered costly or burdensome.
  • (as) comfortable as an old shoe The idiom "(as) comfortable as an old shoe" is used to describe someone or something that feels familiar, cozy, and easy to be around. It implies a sense of comfort, security, and contentment, often referring to long-lasting relationships or situations.
  • (as) common as an old shoe The expression "(as) common as an old shoe" is an idiom used to describe something or someone that is unexceptional, ordinary, or familiar to the point of being unremarkable. It implies that the subject lacks any sense of uniqueness or novelty, akin to an old, worn-out shoe that is readily found and lacks any special characteristic or value.
  • (someone) could sell an icebox to an Eskimo The idiom "(someone) could sell an icebox to an Eskimo" refers to a person's exceptional ability to convince or persuade others to buy something they either do not need or already possess in abundance. It implies that the person in question possesses exceptional sales skills or persuasive abilities, as it suggests that even in a situation where there is no demand for a particular product or when it seems unnecessary, they could still successfully make a sale.
  • (the/an/one's) artistic style The idiom "(the/an/one's) artistic style" refers to the distinctive manner or approach in which an artist expresses their ideas, emotions, and aesthetics through their artwork. It encompasses the unique combination of techniques, themes, subject matter, and visual elements that are characteristic of an individual artist or a specific artistic movement. Artistic style is a reflection of the artist's personality, skills, influences, and creative choices, allowing them to create a recognizable and distinguishable body of work.
  • a bad quarter of an hour The idiom "a bad quarter of an hour" refers to a brief and unpleasant period of time, usually characterized by anxiety, distress, or unpleasantness. It signifies a situation that causes discomfort or difficulty for someone, often related to an encounter, confrontation, or event.
  • a lonely little petunia in an onion patch The definition of the idiom "a lonely little petunia in an onion patch" refers to someone or something feeling out of place or isolated in a particular environment or situation. It implies a sense of being different, misunderstood, or unable to fit in with one's surroundings.
  • a riddle wrapped in an enigma The idiom "a riddle wrapped in an enigma" refers to a person, situation, or thing that is extremely mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand. It implies that the subject is complex and elusive, leaving others unable to decipher its true nature or meaning. The phrase is often used to describe something that is filled with contradictions, secrets, or layers of complexity, making it challenging to unravel or comprehend.
  • a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma The idiom "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" is a phrase coined by Winston Churchill to describe an inexplicable or perplexing situation. It suggests that something is so complex or puzzling that it is difficult to understand or unravel. It signifies layers of secrecy or obscurity that make comprehending the true nature of the subject challenging.
  • a Roland for an Oliver The idiom "a Roland for an Oliver" refers to a situation or exchange in which one person or side is treated or paid back in a similar manner to what they have inflicted on others. It suggests a form of reciprocation or revenge, where deeds or actions are mirrored or returned. The phrase originates from the medieval legends of the knights Roland and Oliver, known for their fierce rivalry and their continuous back-and-forth battles.
  • a soft/an easy touch The idiom "a soft/an easy touch" refers to someone who is easily persuaded, convinced, or manipulated, often out of kindness, sympathy, or naivety. It describes a person who is likely to be generous, lenient, or accommodating, making it effortless for others to take advantage of them.
  • all good things come to an end The idiom "all good things come to an end" means that pleasant, enjoyable, or positive events or experiences cannot last forever, and eventually, they will come to a conclusion or cease to exist.
  • an admirable Crichton "An admirable Crichton" is an idiom that refers to a person who possesses exceptional skills, talents, or qualities in various areas or fields. The phrase originates from the play "The Admirable Crichton" by J.M. Barrie, where the character Crichton is depicted as a competent and resourceful servant who becomes the leader in a survival situation on a deserted island. Thus, the idiom implies someone who is versatile, competent, and capable in any situation.
  • an all-out effort The idiom "an all-out effort" refers to maximum or complete effort exerted by an individual or a group towards achieving a particular goal or completing a task. It implies the use of all available resources, energy, and determination to accomplish something without holding back.
  • an all-rounder The idiom "an all-rounder" refers to a person who is versatile, skilled, or competent in a variety of areas or tasks. It is often used to describe someone who can effectively handle different roles or excel in different fields. An all-rounder is someone who exhibits adaptability and proficiency in multiple domains.
  • an apology for The idiom "an apology for" typically means to be a poor or inadequate representation or example of something. It suggests that something or someone is of low quality or not up to standard.
  • an apology for something The idiom "an apology for something" is typically used to describe something or someone that is a poor or inadequate representation of a particular quality or characteristic. It implies that whatever is being described falls short of what is expected or desired.
  • an armchair critic The idiom "armchair critic" refers to a person who criticizes or offers opinions on various topics, especially from the comfort and safety of their own home, without actually taking any active role or participating in the activities they are criticizing. They typically lack firsthand experience or knowledge about the subject matter and often express their opinions without considering the actual complexities or challenges involved.
  • an armchair critic, traveller, etc. The idiom "an armchair critic, traveller, etc." refers to someone who offers their opinions, judgments, or commentary on a subject without having firsthand experience or practical knowledge. It suggests that the person tends to provide opinions or criticisms without actively participating or engaging in the actual activity or experience. They typically offer their viewpoints from the comfort and safety of their own home or surroundings, rather than actively participating or immersing themselves in the situation.
  • an armchair something The idiom "an armchair something" typically refers to someone who is not actively participating or involved in a particular activity or profession, but instead offers opinions or criticisms from the comfort and safety of their armchair. This phrase is often used to describe people who have theoretical knowledge or strong opinions on a subject, but lack practical experience or hands-on involvement.
  • an arrow in the quiver The idiom "an arrow in the quiver" refers to having an alternative plan, option, or resource available for use when needed. It stems from the literal practice of archery, where archers carry multiple arrows in a quiver to have a backup or additional ammunition in case one arrow misses its target or is insufficient. In a broader sense, this idiom suggests being prepared with extra or alternative solutions or strategies in various situations.
  • an atmosphere that you could cut with a knife The idiom "an atmosphere that you could cut with a knife" is used to describe an extremely tense or suffocating environment. It suggests that there is a heavy, palpable feeling of tension, hostility, or anticipation in the air, as if it was so thick one could physically cut through it.
  • an attack The idiom "an attack" typically refers to a sudden and forceful assault or hostile action towards someone or something. It can also represent a verbal or written criticism directed towards a person or their ideas.
  • an attack of The idiom "an attack of" is used to describe a sudden episode or occurrence of a specific emotion, feeling, illness, or physical ailment that temporarily affects someone. It implies a sudden and often intense onset of the mentioned condition.
  • an auspicious occasion The idiom "an auspicious occasion" refers to a special event or moment that is believed to bring positive or favorable outcomes. It suggests that the occasion is marked by good luck, success, or a promising future.
  • an axe hanging over someone The idiom "an axe hanging over someone" refers to a situation where a person feels constant fear, tension, or impending doom due to a looming threat, consequence, or danger that could fall upon them at any moment. It signifies a state of unease and stress caused by the possibility of negative repercussions or punishment.
  • an axe hanging over something The idiom "an axe hanging over something" refers to a situation where a severe threat or impending danger is present, creating a sense of impending doom or uncertainty about a specific outcome. It suggests the possibility of an unpleasant consequence or outcome that can befall someone or something at any moment.
  • an eagle eye The idiom "an eagle eye" refers to someone who has exceptional visual perception and keen attention to detail. It is used to describe an individual who is observant and vigilant in noticing even the smallest or most hidden details.
  • an earful The idiom "an earful" refers to receiving a lot of information, usually in a detailed or lengthy manner. It can also imply receiving a reprimand, a scolding, or an unpleasant or unwanted lecture.
  • an elder statesman The idiom "an elder statesman" refers to a respected and influential person, typically in politics or a particular field, who has extensive experience and wisdom. They are often regarded as a guide or advisor, contributing their knowledge and insights to the benefit of others.
  • an elephant never forgets The idiom "an elephant never forgets" means that someone or something has a remarkable memory or the ability to remember things for a long time. It implies that like elephants, who are widely believed to possess extraordinary memory capabilities, the person or object in question is unlikely to forget something once it is experienced or known.
  • an eleventh-hour decision The idiom "an eleventh-hour decision" refers to a decision made at the very last possible moment or just before a deadline. It implies that the decision was made after much deliberation and uncertainty, often due to insufficient time or pressure to make a choice.
  • an empty nester The idiom "an empty nester" refers to a parent or a couple whose children have grown up and moved out of the family home, leaving them with an empty house. It describes the stage in life when children have reached adulthood and are no longer living with their parents.
  • an end run The idiom "an end run" refers to a strategic move or action taken to avoid obstacles, bypass resistance, or achieve a goal indirectly instead of facing a direct confrontation or going through the usual channels. It derives from American football, where an end run is a play when the ball carrier runs around the end of the line, avoiding potential tackles and taking a different route to reach the desired destination. In a non-literal context, "an end run" suggests creatively circumventing established procedures, norms, or opposition to achieve success or gain an advantage.
  • an endangered species The idiom "an endangered species" refers to something or someone that is at risk of becoming extinct or no longer existing. It typically implies that the subject is scarce, rare, or in danger of disappearing completely. This idiom is often used metaphorically to describe people, ideas, or objects that are becoming increasingly uncommon or facing potential extinction.
  • an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth The idiom "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" is an ancient principle of justice and morality, often associated with retaliation or revenge. It means that punishment or retribution should be proportional to the harm or offense committed. In other words, if someone causes harm or injury to another person, they should receive a punishment or consequence equivalent to the damage they inflicted. This idiom emphasizes the concept of fairness and the idea that the punishment should fit the crime.
  • an eye for the main chance The idiom "an eye for the main chance" means to have a keen instinct or ability to recognize and seize opportunities for personal gain or advancement. It refers to someone who is ambitious, focused on their own success, and constantly on the lookout for advantageous situations to further their own interests.
  • an honest broker An honest broker refers to a person or entity that impartially and objectively mediates or negotiates between two or more conflicting parties, ensuring fairness and integrity throughout the process. This term suggests someone who is trusted and unbiased, helping to find a mutually acceptable solution or agreement.
  • an honest buck The idiom "an honest buck" refers to earning a living through legitimate and ethical means. It implies making money in a fair and honorable way, without engaging in deceitful or illegal practices.
  • an honest mistake The idiom "an honest mistake" refers to a mistake or error that is made without the intention to deceive or harm others. It implies that the error was unintentional and done without any malicious intent.
  • an Indian giver The idiom "an Indian giver" is a derogatory term used to describe a person who gives a gift or does a favor for someone but later wants it back or expects something in return. It implies that the person is being unfair or ungrateful by taking back what they have given. The phrase is considered offensive as it perpetuates stereotypes and is based on a misunderstanding of Indigenous American cultural practices.
  • an iron curtain The idiom "an iron curtain" refers to a physical or metaphorical barrier that separates or isolates one group or region from another, typically associated with totalitarian rule, political ideologies, or information control. It originated from Winston Churchill's 1946 speech, where he used the term to describe the division between Western Europe and the Soviet Union during the Cold War era.
  • an iron fist The idiom "an iron fist" refers to someone exerting strict, firm, and often authoritarian control over a situation or group of people. It suggests strong and unwavering authority or a rigid and uncompromising approach.
  • an iron fist in the velvet glove The idiom "an iron fist in the velvet glove" refers to someone who appears gentle, kind, or gentle on the exterior (like a velvet glove), but who is actually assertive, authoritative, or resolute (like an iron fist) when dealing with others or managing a situation. It suggests that the person has a hidden strength or firmness behind their seemingly soft exterior.
  • an iron fist/hand The idiom "an iron fist/hand" refers to someone who exercises strict control and power, often involving forceful or authoritarian methods. It implies ruling or governing with a firm and uncompromising approach, showing little tolerance for dissent or opposition. It describes a person or authority figure who maintains strict discipline and enforces their will through intimidation or coercion.
  • an iron hand in a velvet glove The definition of the idiom "an iron hand in a velvet glove" refers to someone who appears gentle and kind on the surface (like a velvet glove) but exercises strong or firm control and authority (like an iron hand) underneath. It implies that there is strength, determination, or harshness hidden behind a soft or polite exterior.
  • an itching palm The idiom "an itching palm" refers to someone who is greedy or dishonest and constantly seeks monetary gain or bribes. It suggests a person who is easily tempted by financial rewards and is willing to compromise their integrity for personal gain.
  • an itchy palm The idiom "an itchy palm" refers to a superstitious belief that if someone's palm is itching, it is interpreted as a sign of impending financial gain or receiving money in the near future.
  • an itchy trigger finger The idiom "an itchy trigger finger" refers to someone who is eager, impulsive, or quick to react, especially in a violent or aggressive manner. It originated from the literal meaning of a trigger finger being restless or twitchy, ready to pull the trigger of a gun. This idiom implies that someone is too quick to act without thinking through the consequences, often in a confrontational or aggressive way.
  • an object lesson The idiom "an object lesson" refers to a practical and tangible example or demonstration that serves as a warning, illustration, or moral teaching about a particular concept, behavior, or situation. It involves using a physical object, event, or anecdote to emphasize a lesson or to teach through real-life experience or observation.
  • an ocean of something The idiom "an ocean of something" is used to describe a very large or abundant quantity or amount of something, often emphasizing its vastness or overwhelming nature. It portrays the idea of having a tremendous quantity or an overwhelming expanse of a particular thing.
  • an offer one can't refuse The idiom "an offer one can't refuse" typically means an invitation or proposition that is so appealing, advantageous, or compelling that it would be nearly impossible or unwise to decline or reject it. It implies that accepting the offer is the most logical or beneficial decision to make.
  • an old bag The idiom "an old bag" is a derogatory term used to refer to an unpleasant, often unattractive or uninteresting older woman. It is a disrespectful way of describing someone who is perceived as boring, out-of-date, or past their prime. It can also have connotations of being bothersome or annoying.
  • an old bat The idiom "an old bat" typically refers to an elderly woman who is perceived as eccentric, odd, or difficult to deal with. It often implies that the person is outdated or out of touch with contemporary times.
  • an old dear The idiom "an old dear" is used to refer to an elderly person, typically a woman, who is affectionately regarded and esteemed by others due to her age, perceived wisdom, or warm personality. It implies a sense of endearment and respect for their long-standing presence in the community or social circle.
  • an old fogey/fogy The idiom "an old fogey/fogy" refers to a person who is regarded as old-fashioned, conservative, or resistant to change. It is usually used to describe someone who holds traditional or outdated views and is not willing to adapt to new ideas or trends.
  • an old one The idiom "an old one" typically refers to a joke, story, or statement that has been widely known or used for a long time. It often implies that the idea or remark is unoriginal, predictable, or stale.
  • an old shoe The idiom "an old shoe" typically refers to someone who is familiar, comfortable, or trustworthy. It is often used to describe a person who is reliable, dependable, and can be counted on in various situations.
  • an open invitation An open invitation is an idiomatic expression used to convey that an offer or opportunity is available to anyone without any restrictions or limitations. It suggests that people are welcome to participate or take advantage of something freely and without inhibition.
  • an open letter The idiom "an open letter" refers to a piece of writing, typically in the form of a letter, which is addressed to a particular person or group but is intended for public consumption rather than being privately sent. It is a means of sharing opinions, thoughts, or criticisms openly and directly with a wider audience, often focusing on a specific issue or problem.
  • an open question The idiom "an open question" refers to a query or issue that has not yet been resolved or decided. It involves a matter that is still uncertain, debatable, or awaiting further discussion, investigation, or exploration.
  • an open secret The idiom "an open secret" refers to a fact or information that is widely known or understood by many people, even though it is not publicly acknowledged or discussed. It implies that although the information is not explicitly stated or declared openly, it is still commonly known or accepted by a large number of individuals.
  • an open-and-shut case The idiom "an open-and-shut case" refers to a situation or legal matter that is clear, simple, and easily resolved due to overwhelming evidence or lack of complication. It implies that the outcome or decision is obvious and requires no further debate or investigation.
  • an uphill fight The idiom "an uphill fight" refers to a challenging or difficult struggle or endeavor. It implies that the task or objective is arduous, demanding significant effort and perseverance to achieve success. Similar to climbing a steep hill, it denotes an uphill battle that requires determination, resilience, and overcoming obstacles along the way.
  • an uphill job The idiom "an uphill job" refers to a task or undertaking that is difficult, challenging, and requires great effort and determination to achieve success. It implies that the job is comparable to climbing a steep hill, where progress is slow, obstacles are numerous, and success is not easily attained.
  • an uphill struggle/battle/task The idiom "an uphill struggle/battle/task" refers to a difficult or challenging endeavor that requires great effort and persistence to accomplish. It implies that the task is comparable to climbing a steep hill, which requires extra energy and determination to overcome obstacles and reach the goal.
  • an uphill task The idiom "an uphill task" refers to a challenging or difficult endeavor that requires a great deal of effort and determination to accomplish. It implies that the task is comparable to climbing a steep hill, where progress may be slow, tiring, and require a significant amount of struggle.
  • an/(one's) ivory tower The idiom "an/(one's) ivory tower" refers to a situation where someone is secluded or isolated from the realities and problems of everyday life, often due to their privileged or sheltered position. It suggests that the person is detached from the concerns of ordinary people or the practicalities of the real world. The term originates from the image of an ivory tower as a symbol of luxury and solace, separated from the struggles and challenges faced by the majority of society.
  • an/(one's) old flame The idiom "an/(one's) old flame" refers to a person with whom someone had a romantic or passionate relationship in the past, but is no longer involved with. It signifies a former lover or partner from one's youthful or previous experiences.
  • an/somebody's Achilles' heel The idiom "someone's Achilles' heel" refers to a vulnerable or weak point in someone's character or personality. It represents a flaw or susceptibility that can be exploited or used against a person. The phrase alludes to the mythological Greek hero Achilles, who was invulnerable in every part of his body except for his heel, which ultimately led to his downfall.
  • an/somebody's eagle eye The idiom "an/somebody's eagle eye" refers to someone who has exceptionally keen or sharp eyesight, allowing them to notice even the smallest details or flaws that others might easily miss. It implies a great attention to detail and the ability to observe or perceive things with exceptional accuracy.
  • an/that old chestnut The idiom "an/that old chestnut" is used to refer to a story, joke, or idea that has been repeated so often, it has become stale, tiresome, or predictable. It implies that the subject being referred to is overused or lacks originality.
  • an/the olive branch The idiom "an/the olive branch" is a symbol of peace or reconciliation offered by one person or party to another, especially after a disagreement or conflict. It refers to an act or gesture intended to resolve tensions and promote harmony. The term originates from the biblical story of Noah's Ark when a dove returned to the ark carrying an olive leaf, indicating that the floodwaters were receding and peace was restored. Hence, offering or extending an olive branch implies a willingness to mend relationships and find common ground.
  • at an impasse The idiom "at an impasse" refers to a situation where progress or resolution becomes impossible due to a deadlock or lack of agreement between parties involved. It indicates a state of being stuck or unable to move forward, often resulting from conflicting opinions, opposing interests, or an inability to reach a compromise. In such cases, there is a standstill or stalemate, and no immediate resolution seems feasible.
  • at an unearthly/ungodly hour The idiom "at an unearthly/ungodly hour" refers to a time that is extremely early, typically considered impractical or inconvenient for most people. It implies that the mentioned hour is so early that it seems beyond normal human activity or outside the usual hours of operation.
  • bat an eyelash The idiom "bat an eyelash" means to react with surprise, concern, or worry. It is used to describe someone's lack of reaction or their indifference to a situation that would normally elicit a response. For example, if someone remains calm and unaffected when hearing shocking news, they are said to "not bat an eyelash."
  • bat an eyelid The idiom "bat an eyelid" means to show no emotional reaction or surprise to a situation, event, or shocking news. It is often used to describe someone who remains calm and composed in difficult or unexpected circumstances.
  • be an apology for The idiom "be an apology for" means to be a poor or inadequate representation or version of something. It implies that the thing being referenced is of low quality, unsatisfactory, or lacking in value or merit.
  • be at an end The idiom "be at an end" means that something has finished or reached its conclusion.
  • beat (one) to within an inch of (one's) life The idiom "beat (one) to within an inch of (one's) life" means to severely and brutally assault someone, causing them extreme physical harm to the point where they are nearly dead. It suggests a violent and merciless attack that leaves the victim severely injured or close to death.
  • blanch with (an emotion) The idiom "blanch with (an emotion)" refers to a strong emotional reaction in which one's face becomes pale or turns white due to fear, shock, astonishment, or any other intense feeling. It signifies an extreme response to an overwhelming or unexpected event or situation.
  • blink of an eye The idiom "blink of an eye" is defined as an extremely brief or almost instantaneous period of time. It refers to something happening or occurring so quickly that it is comparable to the action of blinking, which occurs within a fraction of a second.
  • blush with (an emotion) The idiom "blush with (an emotion)" refers to experiencing or displaying a subtle or delicate expression or feeling of a specific emotion, typically one that causes embarrassment, shyness, or modesty. It implies that the person's reaction or response to the emotion is visible, often resulting in a slight reddening of their face or cheeks, resembling a blush.
  • boil with (an emotion) The idiom "boil with (an emotion)" refers to feeling an intense and often uncontrollable amount of a particular emotion, such as anger, excitement, or frustration. It signifies being deeply consumed or overwhelmed by a particular feeling, which may result in visible or explosive behavior.
  • bounce an idea off someone The idiom "bounce an idea off someone" refers to the act of sharing or discussing an idea with someone in order to receive their feedback or thoughts on it. It typically involves asking for their opinion, perspective, or advice before making a decision or taking further action.
  • bring (one's) arse to an anchor
  • bring (one's) ass to an anchor
  • burst with (an emotion) The idiom "burst with (an emotion)" means to be overwhelmed or filled with a particular intense emotion, such as happiness, joy, pride, or anger, which becomes almost uncontrollable or physically evident. It implies that the person is experiencing such a strong emotion that it feels as if they might burst or explode.
  • by an eyelash The idiom "by an eyelash" is used to describe a situation in which something narrowly avoids happening or turning out differently. It implies that there was only a very small margin between success and failure.
  • cast an eye on something The idiom "cast an eye on something" typically means to take a quick look or glance at something. It implies a brief observation or assessment of the subject or object in question.
  • cast an/(one's) eye over (something) The idiom "cast an/(one's) eye over (something)" means to quickly and casually examine or glance at something. It refers to taking a brief look or making a cursory observation of a particular object, situation, or information without engaging in detailed analysis or prolonged study.
  • celebrate for an accomplishment The idiom "celebrate for an accomplishment" refers to the act of marking or acknowledging a notable achievement or success. It typically involves expressing joy, satisfaction, recognition, or jubilation for reaching a desired outcome or milestone.
  • cock an ear/eye at somebody/something To "cock an ear/eye at somebody/something" is an idiom that means to give someone or something a sudden or brief attentive look or listen. It implies directing one's focus or attention towards a particular person or thing for a moment.
  • come to an end The idiom "come to an end" means that something has reached its conclusion or finished. It implies that a particular situation, event, or period of time is over or no longer continuing.
  • come to an understanding The idiom "come to an understanding" refers to the act of reaching an agreement or mutual comprehension with another person or group, usually after a period of negotiation, discussion, or conflict. It implies a resolution of differences or the establishment of common ground between parties involved.
  • come within an inch of (something) The idiom "come within an inch of (something)" means to narrowly avoid or nearly experience a particular outcome or situation, often implying a close call or near miss. It suggests being extremely close to achieving or encountering something but ultimately falling just short.
  • come within an inch of doing something The idiom "come within an inch of doing something" means to almost, but not quite, achieve or complete something. It suggests being extremely close to accomplishing a task or reaching a goal, but ultimately falling short. It implies narrowly missing the desired outcome.
  • comfortable as an old shoe, as The idiom "comfortable as an old shoe" means feeling relaxed, at ease, or familiar in a particular situation or with a certain person/group. It implies a sense of comfort and contentment, similar to the feeling of wearing an old shoe that perfectly fits and has been worn in over time, ensuring maximum comfort.
  • declare an interest The idiom "declare an interest" means to openly disclose or acknowledge personal or financial involvement or bias in a particular matter or situation. It often refers to individuals in professional or decision-making roles, who are expected to reveal any potential conflict of interest that may affect their objectivity or fairness.
  • dig (oneself) an early grave The idiom "dig (oneself) an early grave" is used to describe a situation in which someone is engaging in self-destructive behavior that will likely lead to their own downfall, ruin, or demise. It suggests that the individual's actions or choices are harmful, detrimental, or dangerous, and may result in severe consequences or even premature death.
  • dig (someone) an early grave The idiom "dig (someone) an early grave" means to contribute to or hasten someone's downfall, ruin, or demise through one's actions, words, or behavior. It implies that someone is actively or unintentionally causing harm or problems that may result in a negative outcome or consequences for another person.
  • do somebody an honour The idiom "do somebody an honor" means to bestow or grant someone a special privilege or recognition as a sign of respect, admiration, or appreciation. It can also refer to performing a specific action or taking on a responsibility that signifies importance or prestige for someone.
  • do somebody/yourself an injury The idiom "do somebody/yourself an injury" means to harm or hurt someone, typically unintentionally, through one's actions or behavior. It implies that someone's actions might lead to physical or emotional harm.
  • do yourself/somebody an injustice The definition of the idiom "do yourself/somebody an injustice" means to underestimate or undervalue oneself or another person. It refers to the act of not fully acknowledging or recognizing one's abilities, skills, or qualities, or those of the other person, thus hindering their potential or worth.
  • Don’t get your bowels in an uproar! The idiom "Don't get your bowels in an uproar!" is a humorous way of advising someone not to overreact, become excessively anxious, or upset over a minor or trivial matter. It is often used to encourage calmness, patience, and level-headedness when facing a situation that does not warrant an intense or exaggerated emotional response. The phrase uses the metaphor of the bowels (referring to the intestines or digestive system) being in a state of upheaval or disturbance to emphasize the need for emotional composure.
  • down with (an illness) The idiom "down with (an illness)" is used to describe someone who is currently suffering from or experiencing a particular illness or disease. It implies that the person has been physically affected by the illness and is currently in a state of feeling unwell or being incapacitated due to the illness.
  • draw an inference To "draw an inference" means to make a logical conclusion or deduction based on the information or evidence presented. It involves using existing facts or observations to come to a reasonable assumption or understanding about something that is not explicitly stated.
  • drive (oneself) to an early grave The idiom "drive (oneself) to an early grave" means to work or push oneself excessively hard or stress oneself to the point of physical or mental exhaustion, potentially leading to an early death. It implies being highly dedicated or committed to an activity or goal, but doing so at the cost of one's well-being and ultimately shortening one's lifespan.
  • drive (someone) to an early grave The idiom "drive (someone) to an early grave" means to cause extreme stress, worry, or suffering to another person that it significantly affects their health and ultimately leads to their premature death. It suggests that the actions or behavior of someone is exerting so much pressure on another person that it becomes a major contributing factor in their untimely demise.
  • earn an honest buck To "earn an honest buck" means to make money through legitimate and ethical means, typically by engaging in hard work or by being employed in an honest profession or trade. It implies that the person is not resorting to any illegal or unethical practices to make a living and is deserving and respectable in their pursuit of financial gain.
  • earn an honest penny To "earn an honest penny" means to make a living or earn money through honest and legitimate work. It implies working diligently, putting in effort and skill, and receiving fair compensation for one's labor or services.
  • educated guess, an "An educated guess" is an idiomatic expression that refers to a hypothesis or an estimation that is based on a combination of knowledge, experience, reasoning, and logical deductions. It implies making an inference or prediction when there is incomplete or limited information available. An educated guess is a thoughtful and informed speculation that involves drawing logical conclusions using available data or expertise. It is a calculated and reasoned guess that is more likely to be accurate than a random or uninformed guess.
  • eye for an eye, an The idiom "an eye for an eye" is derived from the principle of retaliation or retributive justice, originating from the Old Testament of the Bible. It implies that punishment should be proportionate and equal to the harm or offense that was committed. It emphasizes the concept of reciprocal justice, where the severity of punishment should match the severity of the wrongdoing or injury inflicted on someone.
  • eye opener, an The idiom "eye opener" refers to something that is surprising or enlightening, often causing a person to gain a new perspective or understanding of a situation. It can be an experience, event, or information that challenges one's preconceived notions or reveals previously unknown facts or truths. In essence, an "eye opener" is something that opens or broadens a person's eyes metaphorically, helping them to see things in a different way.
  • eye to the main chance, have an To "have an eye to the main chance" means to be primarily focused on one's own interests and advantages, especially in a competitive or opportunistic manner. It suggests that someone is constantly seeking out and seizing advantageous opportunities for personal gain while being attentive to their own objectives and ambitions. This idiom relates to being ambitious, calculating, and strategic in pursuing success or advantage.
  • eye to, with an
  • get an eyeball on someone/something The idiom "get an eyeball on someone/something" is an informal expression that means to visually observe or see someone or something firsthand. It suggests the act of physically or directly looking at a person or object to gather information or make an informed judgment.
  • get an in with The idiom "get an in with" means to establish a favorable connection or relationship with someone, typically for personal or professional gain. It implies getting access, acceptance, or influence with a particular individual or group of people. It often involves making a good impression or finding a way to foster a positive rapport with someone in order to benefit from their support, assistance, or connections.
  • get bowels in an uproar
  • get into an argument The idiomatic expression "get into an argument" means to engage in a verbal dispute or disagreement with another person, often resulting in a heated exchange of differing opinions or viewpoints.
  • get one’s bowels in an uproar The idiom "get one's bowels in an uproar" is an informal expression used to describe a state of extreme agitation, anxiety, or distress. It suggests that someone's internal organs, specifically the bowels, are in a state of turmoil, reflecting a person's emotional or mental turmoil.
  • give (one) an earful To "give (one) an earful" means to vehemently criticize, reprimand, or scold someone, often by expressing one's grievances or discontent at length. It implies delivering a forceful and prolonged verbal admonishment.
  • give (one) an inch and (one) will take a mile The idiom "give (one) an inch and (one) will take a mile" is used to describe someone who takes advantage of a small concession or opportunity and then tries to exploit it further, pushing the limits or taking more than what was initially offered or intended. It suggests that once someone is given a little leeway or freedom, they will try to seize even greater advantages or benefits.
  • give (someone) an out The idiomatic expression "give (someone) an out" refers to providing someone with an opportunity or excuse to avoid a situation or take a different course of action without facing any consequences or embarrassment. It typically involves offering the person a graceful or non-confrontational way to exit or withdraw from a particular circumstance.
  • give an arm and a leg (for something) The idiom "give an arm and a leg (for something)" means to be willing to sacrifice a significant or extreme amount, often referring to a high monetary price or a great personal effort, for the desired thing or outcome. It implies willingness to give up something very valuable or make a substantial sacrifice in order to obtain or achieve something desired.
  • give an arm and a leg for The idiom "give an arm and a leg for" means to be willing to give up something of great value, often used to emphasize how much someone desires or is willing to sacrifice for something or someone.
  • Give an inch and he'll take a mile The idiom "Give an inch and he'll take a mile" means that if someone is given a small amount of freedom or leeway, they will exploit it and take advantage to the fullest extent possible. It implies that this person has a tendency to push boundaries or exceed the limits set for them.
  • give an inch and they'll take a mile The idiom "give an inch and they'll take a mile" means that if you offer someone a small concession or compromise, they will likely try to exploit or take advantage of it by demanding more than what was initially given or agreed upon. It implies that granting a small amount can lead to others taking excessive amounts or pushing boundaries.
  • give somebody an inch The idiom "give somebody an inch" means to give someone a small amount of freedom or leniency, but they will take advantage of it and try to get more. It implies that granting a minor concession or permission can lead to further demands or exploitation.
  • give someone an earful The idiom "give someone an earful" means to speak angrily, forcefully, or at length to someone, usually expressing dissatisfaction, complaints, or criticisms. It implies providing a strong and detailed verbal reprimand or admonishment.
  • give someone an even break The idiom "give someone an even break" means to treat someone fairly and without bias, providing them with equal opportunities and advantages. It implies giving someone a fair chance or an equal shot at success, without any disadvantages or unfairness.
  • give someone an inch The idiom "give someone an inch" means to give someone a small amount of freedom, power, or opportunity, with the implication that they will take advantage of it and try to take more than what was initially given. It signifies a warning about allowing someone to take advantage of a small concession or leniency, which may result in them demanding or expecting even more.
  • give someone an inch and they'll take a mile The idiom "give someone an inch and they'll take a mile" refers to someone who, after receiving a small amount or concession, will try to take advantage of the situation and demand or take a lot more than was originally offered. It implies that if you give someone a small opportunity or favor, they will exploit it to its fullest extent.
  • go suck an egg The idiom "go suck an egg" is a derogatory phrase used to dismiss or insult someone, implying that they should go away or leave you alone. It is a rude way of expressing annoyance or telling someone to go bother someone else.
  • half an eye The idiom "half an eye" typically means to be aware of something or to pay limited attention to it. It suggests that while one may not be fully focused or engaged, they still have a vague or partial awareness or observation of the situation or events.
  • hang an arse
  • have (got) an/(one's) eye on (something) The idiom "have (got) an/(one's) eye on (something)" means to be observing or closely monitoring something, often with the intention of acquiring or obtaining it. It refers to having a strong interest or desire for a particular object, achievement, or opportunity and keeping it in one's focus as a goal or target.
  • have an affair The idiom "have an affair" refers to engaging in a romantic or sexual relationship, usually secret or outside of one's committed relationship or marriage.
  • have an appetite for The idiom "have an appetite for" means to have a strong desire or liking for something, usually used metaphorically to describe an intense interest or enjoyment in specific activities, experiences, or subjects. It implies a figurative hunger or craving for a particular thing.
  • have an argument The idiom "have an argument" refers to engaging in a verbal or sometimes a heated disagreement or debate with someone, usually with differing opinions or viewpoints. It implies expressing conflicting ideas, perspectives, or feelings in a confrontational or argumentative manner.
  • have an ear for (something) The idiom "have an ear for (something)" means to have a natural talent or ability to recognize, understand, or appreciate a particular aspect or quality of something, especially in relation to music, sound, language, or art. It implies possessing a keen sense of perception and discernment in that specific area.
  • have an edge on The idiom "have an edge on" means to have a slight advantage or superiority over someone or something. It suggests possessing a strategic or competitive advantage that increases the chances of success or favorable outcome in a particular situation. It implies being ahead or in a better position compared to others involved in a specific task or competition.
  • have an effect on The idiom "have an effect on" means to influence or cause a change in a particular situation, person, or thing. It refers to the impact or outcome resulting from someone or something's actions or presence.
  • have an even chance The idiom "have an even chance" means having an equal probability or likelihood of success or failure in a particular situation. It implies that there is a fair and balanced opportunity for both positive and negative outcomes.
  • have an eye on/for/to the main chance The idiom "have an eye on/for/to the main chance" means to be opportunistic or constantly seeking the best opportunity for personal gain or success. It implies being vigilant and focused on seizing advantageous situations or taking advantage of circumstances to further one's own interests.
  • have an impact on The idiom "have an impact on" means to have a significant effect or influence on someone or something. It suggests that something or someone has the power to make a lasting impression or create a noticeable change.
  • have an itch for something The idiom "have an itch for something" means to have a strong or persistent desire or craving for something. It suggests an intense longing or eagerness to obtain or experience a specific thing or activity.
  • have an out The idiom "have an out" typically means having a ready excuse or a way to avoid a difficult situation or commitment. It implies possessing an escape plan or a justification to exit a problematic scenario without facing negative consequences.
  • have an ox on the tongue
  • have an/(one's) ear to the ground The idiom "have an/(one's) ear to the ground" means to be attentive and aware of the current trends, opinions, or attitudes of a particular group or situation. It suggests that someone is paying close attention and staying well-informed about the happenings around them.
  • have half an ear on (someone or something) The idiom "have half an ear on (someone or something)" means to give partial attention or to be somewhat attentive to someone or something while also focusing on or being occupied with other matters or distractions. It implies not fully engaging or fully listening to the person or subject but being minimally aware or giving a fraction of attention.
  • have half an eye on (someone or something) The idiom "have half an eye on (someone or something)" means to be keeping a casual or partial watch or attention on someone or something, often with some suspicion or caution. It implies that the person is not fully focused or completely attentive but still has some awareness or observation.
  • have the constitution of an ox The idiom "have the constitution of an ox" means to have exceptional physical strength, endurance, and resilience. It refers to someone who is incredibly robust and possesses great or even extraordinary vitality and stamina. It implies that the individual is not easily affected by illness or fatigue, and is able to endure extreme conditions or hardships without significant setbacks.
  • have, etc. an/the edge on/over somebody/something The idiom "have, etc. an/the edge on/over somebody/something" means to have an advantage or superior position over someone or something in terms of skill, ability, knowledge, or resources. It suggests that one party has a slight but significant advantage that gives them the upper hand in a particular situation or competition.
  • have/get an eyeful The idiom "have/get an eyeful" refers to observing or seeing something, usually surprising, shocking, or visually striking, often in a deliberate or intense manner. It implies experiencing a significant or unexpected sight that captures one's attention or leaves a lasting impression.
  • have/give somebody a rough/an easy ride The idiom "have/give somebody a rough/an easy ride" means to make someone's experience difficult or easy, respectively. It refers to the challenges or lack thereof that a person may face in achieving their goals or completing a task. It can be used to describe someone who is facing obstacles, opposition, criticism, or difficult circumstances (a rough ride). Conversely, it can also describe a situation where someone is experiencing smooth progress, little resistance, or favorable circumstances (an easy ride).
  • have/keep an open mind The idiom "have/keep an open mind" means to be receptive to new ideas, opinions, or possibilities without bias or preconceived notions, and to be willing to consider different viewpoints or information rather than being rigid or closed-minded.
  • hold an eel by the tail The idiom "hold an eel by the tail" means to be engaged in a difficult or precarious situation that is challenging to control. It implies trying to handle something slippery and elusive, like an eel, which can easily slip out of your grip and cause turmoil.
  • hold out an olive branch (to someone) The idiom "hold out an olive branch (to someone)" means to make a peaceful or conciliatory gesture, often with the intention of resolving a conflict or mending a relationship. It implies extending an offer of reconciliation or willingness to negotiate with someone, usually after a period of disagreement or hostility. The phrase originates from ancient Greek and Roman traditions where an olive branch symbolized peace, harmony, and a truce.
  • hold out an/the olive branch The idiom "hold out an/the olive branch" means to make a gesture of peace or reconciliation, typically towards someone with whom there is a conflict or disagreement. It refers to the ancient Greek and Roman practice of extending an olive branch as a symbol of peace and goodwill. By offering the olive branch, one demonstrates a desire to resolve differences and foster a harmonious relationship.
  • ill wind that blows no one any good, it's an The definition of the idiom "ill wind that blows no one any good" is that even a misfortune or unfortunate event can have a positive impact on someone or something.
  • in a/the flash of an/the eye The idiom "in a/the flash of an/the eye" means to happen very rapidly or quickly, usually referring to something that occurs within a very short period of time or instantaneously.
  • in an ideal/a perfect world In an ideal/a perfect world means in a hypothetical or imagined situation where everything goes exactly as desired or planned, without any difficulties, flaws, or imperfections. It is often used to contrast with the reality or current situation, highlighting an unrealistic and wishful scenario.
  • in an interesting condition The idiom "in an interesting condition" is a euphemistic way of saying that someone is pregnant.
  • in an undertone The idiom "in an undertone" refers to speaking or expressing oneself quietly or softly, typically implying secrecy, confidentiality, or the desire not to be overheard.
  • in the space of a minute, an hour, a morning, etc. The idiom "in the space of a minute, an hour, a morning, etc." refers to a metaphorical representation of a short period of time in which something happens very quickly or unexpectedly. It highlights the swift passing of time and the speed at which an event or change occurs.
  • in the twinkle of an eye The idiom "in the twinkle of an eye" refers to something that happens very quickly or instantaneously, in the blink of an eye. It emphasizes the swift and immediate nature of an action or occurrence.
  • in the wink of an eye The idiom "in the wink of an eye" means to happen extremely quickly or in an instant. It implies that something happens so swiftly that it is comparable to the speed of closing and reopening one's eye.
  • itch for, have an The idiom "itch for, have an" means to feel a strong desire or urge to do something. It implies a persistent longing or craving for a particular activity or experience.
  • it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye The expression "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" is used to caution or remind people that activities or situations initially considered harmless or enjoyable can quickly turn dangerous or serious, often resulting in unforeseen consequences or harm. It serves as a warning to exercise caution and not overlook the potential risks involved even in seemingly innocent situations.
  • it's an ill wind that blows no good The idiom "it's an ill wind that blows no good" means that even in a negative or unfortunate situation, there can still be some positive outcome or benefit. It suggests that even though something may initially seem bad, there may be unexpected advantages or opportunities that arise from it.
  • it's an old story The idiom "it's an old story" refers to a situation, event, or statement that has been repeatedly told or heard before. It implies that the matter under discussion is no longer of interest or relevance because it has already been extensively discussed or explained in the past. It can also imply that the topic has become overused or clichéd.
  • keep (one's)/an eye on (someone or something) The idiom "keep (one's)/an eye on (someone or something)" means to watch, monitor, or be attentive to someone or something, often to ensure their safety, security or well-being, or to prevent any misbehavior or harm. It implies being vigilant, observant, and maintaining constant awareness of the person or thing being referred to.
  • keep an ear out (for something or someone) The idiom "keep an ear out (for something or someone)" means to pay close attention or be vigilant in listening or watchful for any signs, information, or alerts about something or someone. It suggests being alert and attentive in order to detect and respond to any relevant or important updates or changes.
  • keep an eye open The idiom "keep an eye open" means to be alert and watchful for something or someone. It implies attentiveness and diligence in observing one's surroundings or monitoring a situation.
  • keep an eye out for (something or someone) The idiom "keep an eye out for (something or someone)" means to be watchful, alert, or vigilant in order to notice or find something or someone. It implies actively paying attention and being on the lookout for specific things or individuals.
  • keep an eye peeled (for something or someone) The idiom "keep an eye peeled (for something or someone)" means to remain watchful and vigilant, often with focused attention, for any occurrence, object, or person that is important or might be easily missed. It suggests maintaining a state of alertness and being observant in order to notice or be aware of something.
  • keep an/(one's) ear to the ground The idiom "keep an/(one's) ear to the ground" means to stay alert and aware of what is happening or being said around you; to be attentive and gather information through careful listening and observation. It suggests staying informed about a particular situation or staying in touch with the current state of affairs. This idiom often implies being aware of any potential changes, developments, or rumors in order to be prepared or take advantage of the situation.
  • keep an/your eye on somebody/something The idiom "keep an/your eye on somebody/something" means to watch or monitor someone or something closely and attentively. It implies being vigilant, observant, and maintaining constant awareness of their actions or developments.
  • keep half an eye on (someone or something) The idiom "keep half an eye on (someone or something)" means to loosely monitor or watch someone or something, giving only partial attention or focus. It implies keeping a minimal level of awareness or observation without fully committing or being fully engaged.
  • keep/have an/your ear to the ground The idiom "keep/have an/your ear to the ground" refers to being vigilant and aware of what is happening around you, especially regarding any rumors, news, or changes in a certain situation or community. It implies staying connected and informed, often by paying attention to the opinions, concerns, or comments of others.
  • like an owl in an ivy bush The idiom "like an owl in an ivy bush" typically refers to someone who is hard to find or locate due to their ability to blend in with their surroundings. It implies that the person is elusive, mysterious, or hidden, just like an owl camouflaged in the foliage of an ivy bush.
  • listen with half an ear The idiom "listen with half an ear" means to pay only partial attention to someone or something. It suggests that the listener is not fully engaged or focused, and is only giving minimal or intermittent attention to what is being said.
  • live in an/(one's) ivory tower The idiom "live in an/(one's) ivory tower" refers to the act of being isolated or detached from the realities, problems, or concerns of everyday life. It typically signifies a state of privilege, intellectual seclusion, or a lack of awareness about the difficulties faced by ordinary people. The term often implies that someone is out of touch with the practical aspects of life and is instead living in a world of theory, idealism, or impracticality.
  • live off smell of an oily rag The idiom "live off the smell of an oily rag" refers to living in a frugal or austere manner, with the bare minimum resources or income. It suggests surviving on very little, often with a tight budget or limited means of sustenance.
  • live on the smell of an oil rag The idiom "live on the smell of an oil rag" refers to living in extremely poor conditions or with limited resources. It implies barely scraping by or surviving on very little.
  • live on the smell of an oily rag The idiom "live on the smell of an oily rag" refers to living on a very tight or minimal budget, usually with very little money, resources, or material comfort. It implies the ability to survive or subsist with extremely limited means.
  • make an appointment The idiom "make an appointment" refers to the act of scheduling a specific time and date for a meeting or event. It typically involves contacting someone, such as a professional, and arranging a designated time to conduct business, have a consultation, visit, or engage in a planned activity.
  • make an end of (something) The idiom "make an end of (something)" means to complete or finish something, often with a sense of finality or conclusiveness. It implies bringing an activity, task, or situation to a definitive conclusion or resolution.
  • make an example of The idiom "make an example of" means to punish or discipline someone in a severe or public manner in order to serve as a warning or deterrent to others who may engage in similar actions or behavior. It involves subjecting someone to harsh consequences to demonstrate the consequences of their actions.
  • make an example of somebody To "make an example of somebody" means to punish someone severely in order to serve as a warning or deterrent to others. It involves using someone as a public demonstration or illustration to teach others a lesson.
  • make an exception The idiom "make an exception" means to allow or agree to do something that is not typically allowed or accepted. It implies deviating from a rule, policy, or usual behavior in order to accommodate a special circumstance or request.
  • make an exhibition of (oneself) The idiom "make an exhibition of (oneself)" means to behave or act in a way that draws excessive attention to oneself, often in a foolish or embarrassing manner. It refers to the act of displaying one's behavior or actions in a manner that is seen as inappropriate or out of place.
  • make an honest buck The idiom "make an honest buck" is an expression that refers to earning money through honest and hard work, usually without engaging in any unethical or illegal activities. It implies a sense of integrity, emphasizing the value of earning a living in a fair and upright manner.
  • make an honest woman (out) of (someone) The idiom "make an honest woman (out) of (someone)" is a somewhat outdated expression that refers to a man marrying a woman with whom he has had a sexual relationship or is expecting a child. It implies that by marrying the woman, the man is taking responsibility and ensuring her respectability in society.
  • make an honest woman of The idiom "make an honest woman of" typically refers to a man marrying his long-term girlfriend or partner, usually after a period of cohabitation or engagement, thereby giving her a legitimate and respected status within society.
  • make an honest woman of somebody The idiom "make an honest woman of somebody" is typically used to describe the act of marrying a woman, often in reference to a man who has impregnated her or engaged in a long-term relationship with her without being married. The phrase suggests that by getting married, the couple becomes morally and socially respectable in the eyes of society.
  • make an honest woman of someone The idiom "make an honest woman of someone" typically refers to a man marrying a woman with whom he has engaged in premarital or extramarital relations. It implies that by marrying her, he is rectifying any perceived moral or societal wrongdoing and providing her with a legitimate, honorable status.
  • make an impression The idiom "make an impression" means to have a strong impact or influence on someone, typically by leaving a lasting memory or creating a favorable perception.
  • make an impression on The idiom "make an impression on" means to have a significant or lasting impact on someone or something. It refers to making oneself memorable or leaving a strong influence through one's actions, behavior, or characteristics.
  • make an issue of The idiom "make an issue of" means to unnecessarily focus on or cause a dispute or argument about a particular matter, often making it seem more important or problematic than it actually is. It involves exaggerating or overreacting to a situation, causing unnecessary conflict or disagreement.
  • make an issue of/out of something The idiom "make an issue of/out of something" means to exaggerate or focus on a particular matter, often unnecessarily or excessively, typically in order to cause conflict, express dissatisfaction, or create a controversy or disagreement. It refers to blowing a situation out of proportion or making a big deal out of something that may not warrant significant attention or concern.
  • make an offer The idiom "make an offer" refers to the act of offering something, usually goods or services, for sale or exchange. It conveys the idea of proposing or presenting an offer or proposition to someone in a business transaction or negotiation.
  • maroon on an island The idiom "maroon on an island" typically refers to a situation where someone is isolated or stranded, usually against their will, with little or no means of escape or assistance. It originates from the practice of marooning, which involved leaving a person on a deserted island as a form of punishment or abandonment. In a more figurative sense, being "marooned on an island" suggests feeling trapped, helpless, and disconnected from the outside world.
  • never give a sucker an even break The idiom "never give a sucker an even break" means to never provide an ignorant or gullible person with a fair or equal opportunity. It implies exploiting someone who is easily fooled or taken advantage of, by denying them a fair chance or giving them unfair treatment.
  • no fool like an old fool The idiom "no fool like an old fool" means that older individuals are particularly prone to making unwise decisions or behaving foolishly, often due to their naivety, stubbornness, or failure to learn from previous experiences. It suggests that wisdom should come with age, but in some cases, older individuals may continue to make foolish choices.
  • no fool like an old fool, there's The idiom "no fool like an old fool" means that older people sometimes make foolish or naïve decisions, often due to their experience or wisdom being outweighed by their stubbornness or lack of adaptability. It suggests that age does not necessarily guarantee wisdom or good judgment.
  • not an earthly "Not an earthly" is an idiomatic expression used to describe something that seems impossible or unlikely to happen under any circumstances. It suggests that the mentioned event or situation is completely unrealistic or beyond the realm of possibility.
  • not bat an eyelash The idiom "not bat an eyelash" means to remain calm or unemotional in response to a surprising or shocking situation. It implies that the person does not show any outward signs of surprise or concern, maintaining a cool and composed demeanor.
  • not budge/give/move an inch The idiom "not budge/give/move an inch" means to stubbornly refuse to change one's opinion, position, or stance on something, even in the face of pressure or persuasion. It implies that someone is resolute and unwilling to compromise or yield.
  • not have an earthly chance The idiom "not have an earthly chance" means having no possibility or chance of success or achievement. It emphasizes the lack of any conceivable opportunity or hope in a given situation.
  • not stand an earthly The idiom "not stand an earthly" means having little or no chance of success or survival. It implies that the situation or outcome is highly unlikely or impossible to achieve or endure.
  • not trust (one) an inch The idiom "not trust (one) an inch" means to have no trust or faith in someone. It conveys a complete lack of confidence in someone's honesty, reliability, or intentions.
  • not trust somebody an inch The idiom "not trust somebody an inch" means to have a complete lack of trust or confidence in someone. It suggests that the speaker has no faith in the sincerity or reliability of the person in question and is unwilling to place even the smallest amount of trust in them.
  • offer an olive branch (to someone) The idiom "offer an olive branch (to someone)" means to make a gesture of peace or reconciliation to someone, usually after a period of conflict or disagreement. It refers to extending an offer or making an attempt to mend or improve a relationship. The phrase derives from ancient Greek and Roman customs, where an olive branch symbolized peace and was offered as a sign of goodwill or truce.
  • old story, an The idiom "old story" is used to describe something that is well-known and familiar to the point of being boring or repetitive. It implies that the information or situation being discussed is not new or interesting anymore.
  • on an average The idiom "on an average" is used to indicate an approximate or typical value or statistic. It refers to the average or mean of a set of data points, providing a general estimation of what is typically expected or considered normal.
  • on an irregular basis The idiom "on an irregular basis" refers to doing something sporadically or not following a fixed or regular schedule. It means that the activity or occurrence happens inconsistently, without a specific pattern or routine.
  • ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, an The idiom "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" means that taking precautionary measures and preventing a problem from occurring is easier and more effective than trying to fix the issue after it has already happened. It emphasizes the importance of taking small preventive actions to avoid larger and more difficult consequences later on.
  • you're an angel The idiom "you're an angel" is a phrase used to express deep appreciation, gratitude, or admiration towards someone for their kind or helpful actions. It is typically used as a way to thank someone for their selfless and supportive behavior, implying that they are like a guardian angel.
  • take no for an answer The idiom "take no for an answer" means to refuse to accept or respect someone's refusal or rejection. It implies persistence or insistence despite being told otherwise.
  • take no for an answer, not The idiom "take no for an answer, not" is not a standard idiom or phrase in English. It seems to be a modification of the common idiom "take no for an answer." The idiom "take no for an answer" means to refuse to accept an initial rejection or negative response. It suggests persistence and determination in pursuing a desired outcome despite initial opposition or refusal. However, when the phrase is modified to "take no for an answer, not," it becomes a contradiction or an ironic twist. It implies that the person actually refuses to accept a negative response and persists even further, contrary to the conventional understanding of the idiom.
  • won't take no for an answer The idiom "won't take no for an answer" means that someone is persistent in their request or demand and refuses to accept rejection or refusal.
  • talk like an apothecary The idiom "talk like an apothecary" refers to using complex or obscure language, often characterized by technical or specialized terminology, similar to the way an apothecary or pharmacist might speak. It implies using words and expressions that may be difficult for others to understand or that are specific to a particular field or profession.
  • put in an appearance (at something) The idiom "put in an appearance (at something)" means to attend or be present at a social event or gathering, often for a short period of time and without active participation or much interest. It can also imply a sense of obligation or formality in attending an event.
  • have an appetite for something The idiom "have an appetite for something" means to have a strong desire or liking for something, often referring to a particular activity, experience, or indulgence. It implies having a keen interest or craving for something.
  • get into an argument (with someone) (about someone or something) The idiom "get into an argument (with someone) (about someone or something)" means to become involved in a contentious or heated disagreement or debate with someone about a specific person or topic. It implies a conflict of opinions or viewpoints that can often result in a heated exchange of words or intense disagreement.
  • have an argument (with someone) The idiom "have an argument (with someone)" means to engage in a verbal disagreement, exchange differing viewpoints, or express conflicting opinions, typically resulting in a dispute or conflict between two or more individuals.
  • produce an attack To "produce an attack" refers to provoking or inciting hostility or aggression from someone. It usually implies intentionally saying or doing something to elicit a negative response or to ignite a conflict.
  • pull an attitude The idiom "pull an attitude" refers to exhibiting a negative or confrontational behavior, often characterized by arrogance, insolence, or disrespect. It implies that an individual is intentionally adopting a challenging or defensive demeanor.
  • place someone in an awkward position The idiom "place someone in an awkward position" refers to a situation in which someone is put in a difficult, uncomfortable, or embarrassing circumstance. It often involves placing someone in a dilemma or compromising situation where they may be unsure how to act or respond appropriately.
  • put someone in an awkward position The idiom "put someone in an awkward position" means to place someone in a difficult or uncomfortable situation, often due to their actions or decisions. It suggests that the person is faced with a dilemma or conflict that may be embarrassing, challenging, or inconvenient.
  • take an axe to The idiom "take an axe to" means to approach a situation or problem with a aggressive intent to eliminate or destroy. It usually implies a forceful and decisive action to completely remove or dismantle something.
  • take an early bath To "take an early bath" is an idiomatic expression that means to suffer a significant setback or failure, usually in a competitive situation or endeavor. It implies that a person or team is eliminated or defeated early on or prematurely.
  • lie alongside (of someone or an animal) The idiom "lie alongside (of someone or an animal)" means to be in close proximity or in close contact with someone or an animal, often referring to sleeping or resting beside them. It implies physical closeness and a sense of companionship or affection.
  • pin someone or something beneath (someone, something or an animal) The idiom "pin someone or something beneath (someone, something, or an animal)" refers to the act of physically trapping or restraining someone or something under the weight or pressure of someone, something, or an animal. It implies complete immobilization, often suggesting a sense of powerlessness or overwhelming force.
  • board (someone or an animal) out The idiom "board (someone or an animal) out" refers to the act of providing temporary accommodation or care for someone or an animal in exchange for payment or other compensation. It commonly refers to individuals staying or animals being housed in someone else's home or facility, typically for a specific period of time. It involves the lodging and provision of basic needs, such as food and shelter, in return for a fee.
  • offer an olive branch To "offer an olive branch" means to extend a gesture or make an attempt to reconcile or make peace with someone. It refers to the traditional practice of offering an olive branch as a symbol of peace and goodwill. When someone offers an olive branch, it indicates a willingness to resolve conflicts, mend relationships, or find a compromise.
  • hold out (or offer) an olive branch The idiom "hold out (or offer) an olive branch" means to make a gesture or offer of peace, reconciliation, or goodwill toward someone with whom you have had a disagreement or conflict. It implies extending an invitation to end the conflict, mend relationships, or find a compromise. The phrase originates from ancient Greek and Roman customs, where offering an olive branch symbolized a willingness to make peace.
  • you can't make an omelet without breaking (a few) eggs The idiom "you can't make an omelet without breaking (a few) eggs" means that in order to achieve something positive or create something desirable, some negative or undesirable things may have to happen or sacrifices may need to be made along the way. It emphasizes the idea that progress or success often comes with inevitable setbacks or sacrifices.
  • bring someone (or an animal) back to life The idiom "bring someone (or an animal) back to life" refers to the act of resurrecting or reviving someone or something that was previously dead or lifeless. It is often used metaphorically to describe a situation where someone or something experiences a significant positive change or resurgence after a period of decline or inactivity.
  • won't budge an inch The idiom "won't budge an inch" means to refuse to change one's position or opinion, showing no willingness to compromise or be persuaded. It implies extreme stubbornness and inflexibility.
  • call someone (or an animal) off someone or something The idiom "call someone off someone or something" means to instruct or order someone or an animal to stop attacking, pursuing, or bothering another person or thing. It typically refers to a situation in which someone must intervene or command their pet or subordinate to cease the aggressive or unwanted action.
  • calm someone (or an animal) down The idiom "calm someone (or an animal) down" means to alleviate or reduce a person's or an animal's emotional or physical agitation, stress, or excitement. It involves helping someone or an animal find a state of tranquility and composure.
  • you can't put an old head on young shoulders The idiom "you can't put an old head on young shoulders" means that it is impossible for a person to possess the experience, wisdom, and maturity that comes with age when they are still young. It emphasizes that some lessons can only be learned through time and life experiences, and that expecting someone to have the perspective of an older, wiser person when they are young is unrealistic.
  • celebrate someone for an accomplishment The idiom "celebrate someone for an accomplishment" means to recognize and commemorate someone's successful achievement or great accomplishment, usually by expressing joy, admiration, or appreciation for their efforts or the outcome. It involves acknowledging their hard work, skills, or talents and showing joy or support through various forms of recognition, such as applauding, congratulating, hosting a gathering, presenting awards, throwing a party, or giving them praise and accolades.
  • without blinking an eye The idiom "without blinking an eye" means to react or respond with no hesitation or visible emotional expression, often in situations that are surprising, shocking, or difficult. It signifies being calm, composed, and unaffected by unexpected circumstances.
  • chain someone (or an animal) up The idiom "chain someone (or an animal) up" refers to the act of securing a person or an animal with a chain or similar restraints, typically to limit their movement or prevent them from causing harm or escaping.
  • coax (someone or an animal) in (to something) The idiom "coax (someone or an animal) in (to something)" means to gently persuade, convince, or urge someone or an animal to participate or enter into a specific situation, event, or place. It often involves using gentle and persistent methods to encourage cooperation or compliance.
  • coax (someone or an animal) out of something The idiom "coax (someone or an animal) out of something" means to persuade or gently convince someone or an animal to relinquish or release something that they are holding, guarding, or reluctant to part with, typically by using kind words, encouragement, or gentle behaviors.
  • coerce (someone or an animal) into something The idiom "coerce (someone or an animal) into something" means to use force or pressure to make someone or an animal do something they do not want to do or are hesitant about doing. It implies compelling or manipulating them through persuasion, threats, or other means to achieve a desired outcome.
  • confine someone or an animal to something The idiom "confine someone or an animal to something" means to restrict or limit their movement or freedom within a certain space or place. It implies keeping them confined or isolated to a specific area, preventing them from going elsewhere.
  • confine (someone or an animal) within something The idiom "confine (someone or an animal) within something" means to restrict or limit someone's freedom by keeping them or an animal inside a particular place, such as a room, enclosure, or boundary. It implies preventing them from moving or straying beyond that confined space.
  • confuse someone or an animal with something The idiom "confuse someone or an animal with something" means to cause someone or an animal to become perplexed, disoriented, or uncertain about a situation or information. It involves creating a state of mental or emotional confusion by presenting contradictory or complex ideas, instructions, or stimuli.
  • It would take an act of Congress to do something. The idiom "It would take an act of Congress to do something" is typically used to express that completing a task or achieving a result is extremely difficult or requires a great amount of effort. It implies that the process is bureaucratic, complex, and time-consuming, often likening it to the need for a law or legislation to be passed by the United States Congress, which is known for its lengthy procedures and decision-making.
  • you've got to crack a few eggs to make an omelette The idiom "you've got to crack a few eggs to make an omelette" means that in order to achieve something desirable or significant, one must endure some form of hardship or sacrifice. It suggests that achieving success often involves accepting and dealing with some negative aspects or consequences along the way. Just as cracking eggs is an essential step in making an omelette, facing challenges or making sacrifices is often necessary to accomplish a goal.
  • cry (something) out (to someone or an animal) The idiom "cry (something) out (to someone or an animal)" means to express or communicate one's emotions or feelings intensely and openly to a person or an animal. It suggests that someone is seeking comfort, solace, or understanding by sharing their feelings, often through shedding tears. It can also imply a desperate need for empathy, support, or reassurance from the listener.
  • curl up with (someone or an animal) The idiom "curl up with (someone or an animal)" means to snuggle or cuddle with another person or animal in a comfortable and cozy position. It often implies a sense of intimacy, relaxation, and contentment.
  • declare an (or your) interest The idiom "declare an (or your) interest" refers to openly stating or acknowledging one's personal stake, bias, or involvement in a particular matter or situation. It is often used in situations where someone needs to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to ensure transparency and fairness.
  • within an inch of something/of doing something The idiom "within an inch of something/of doing something" means very close to doing or achieving something or being on the brink of a certain outcome. It implies that the person or thing in question narrowly escaped or narrowly missed the intended action or result.
  • dope someone (or an animal) up The idiom "dope someone (or an animal) up" is used to mean giving someone or an animal drugs or medication, usually to sedate, calm, or relieve pain or discomfort. It can also refer to administering drugs or substances that enhance performance or alter behavior, particularly in the context of sports or illicit activities. The idiom is often used in a colloquial or informal manner.
  • draw someone (or an animal) The idiom "draw someone (or an animal)" typically means to attract or lure someone towards a particular thing, place, or situation. It suggests that the person or animal being drawn is being enticed or pulled in by some irresistible force or appeal.
  • drive someone (or an animal) away The idiom "drive someone (or an animal) away" means to cause or force someone or an animal to leave or go away, typically by using force, persuasion, or intimidation. It involves making someone or an animal feel unwelcome or uncomfortable, ultimately leading them to depart.
  • drive someone (or an animal) out The idiom "drive someone (or an animal) out" means to force or compel someone or something to leave or go away from a particular place or situation through persuasion, coercion, or relentless pressure.
  • drown (someone or an animal) in something The idiom "drown (someone or an animal) in something" means to overwhelm or inundate someone with an excessive amount of something, often figuratively. It implies the act of drowning someone in a specific substance, idea, information, or emotions, to the point where it becomes overwhelming or suffocating.
  • drown someone (or an animal) out The idiom "drown someone (or an animal) out" means to use a louder or more overwhelming noise or sound in order to prevent someone from being heard or to overpower their voice. It is often used figuratively to describe covering up or silencing someone's words or opinions by being more vociferous or influential.
  • watch (someone or something) with an eagle eye The idiom "watch (someone or something) with an eagle eye" means to observe or monitor someone or something extremely closely and attentively, typically in a vigilant or vigilant manner. It implies keeping a highly focused and intense level of scrutiny, often to prevent or detect any mistakes, errors, or misbehavior.
  • send (someone) to an early grave The idiom "send (someone) to an early grave" is an expression used to indicate that something or someone is causing significant stress, harm, or worsening a person's health, potentially leading to their premature death. It implies that the situation or individual is causing so much distress or suffering that it might ultimately result in the person's demise.
  • not stand (or have) an earthly The idiom "not stand (or have) an earthly" is an informal expression used to convey that something or someone does not have any chance or possibility of success, understanding, or acceptance in a particular situation. It suggests a total lack of feasibility or probability.
  • skin an eel by the tail The idiom "skin an eel by the tail" means to handle a difficult or delicate situation in a skillful or cautious manner, often involving complex or intricate tasks. It implies navigating through challenges with caution, patience, and expertise, much like the delicate process of skinning an eel while holding onto its slippery tail.
  • put an end The idiom "put an end" means to bring something to a stop or to bring something to a conclusion or resolution. It suggests taking action to terminate or finish a particular situation or activity.
  • put an end to (something) The idiom "put an end to (something)" means to bring something to a conclusion or to stop or eliminate it completely. It implies the act of stopping a particular action, activity, or situation with finality.
  • the opening of an envelope "The opening of an envelope" is an expression used to describe someone who attends or participates in a wide range of events or activities, often without much selectiveness or discernment. It implies that the person is eager to be included or to make appearances, even if the event or activity is considered insignificant or mundane. It can also be used to criticize individuals who seek attention or recognition by being involved in every opportunity that comes their way, without considering the quality or relevance of the event.
  • send someone (out) on an errand The idiom "send someone (out) on an errand" refers to asking or instructing someone to go on a specific task or mission for a particular purpose. It typically involves assigning someone a duty or asking them to accomplish a task outside of their usual responsibilities or location.
  • there is an exception to every rule The idiom "there is an exception to every rule" means that in most cases or situations where a certain principle or general statement applies, there will always be at least one unique case that doesn't follow or abide by the rule. In other words, no rule or generalization is universally applicable without exceptions.
  • hold someone or something up as an example The definition of the idiom "hold someone or something up as an example" is to use or reference someone or something as a model or exemplar, typically to demonstrate a desired behavior, quality, or standard. It means to showcase a person or thing as a shining example that others should follow or emulate.
  • make an example of someone The definition of the idiom "make an example of someone" is to punish or reprimand someone publicly or harshly in order to serve as a warning or deterrent to others.
  • make an exception (for someone) The idiom "make an exception (for someone)" means to allow someone to do something or exempt them from a rule or requirement that would typically apply to others. It suggests deviating from a usual or general standard in order to accommodate a specific individual or situation.
  • use someone or something as an excuse The idiom "use someone or something as an excuse" means to employ someone or something as a justification or explanation for one's actions, often in order to avoid taking responsibility or facing consequences.
  • to an extent The idiom "to an extent" means partially or to a certain degree, suggesting that something is true or valid to some extent but not completely.
  • take an eye for an eye The idiom "take an eye for an eye" is a reference to the principle of retaliation or revenge, where one seeks to exact punishment or harm on someone who has previously wronged them in a similar manner. It is derived from the concept of retributive justice, whereby the punishment or harm inflicted should match or mirror the original offense.
  • throw an eye over (something) The idiom "throw an eye over (something)" refers to quickly glancing or taking a brief look at something. It implies a casual or hasty manner of observation, often used when reviewing or examining something briefly.
  • with an eye on The idiom "with an eye on" means having a purposeful or vigilant focus on something, typically with the intention of closely monitoring, observing, or pursuing it. It suggests paying attention to a particular issue, person, or situation, often in anticipation of potential opportunities or challenges.
  • with an eye towards The idiom "with an eye towards" means to consider or plan for something in the future. It implies making decisions or taking actions while keeping a specific goal or objective in mind. It suggests having a forward-thinking approach, focused on achieving a desired outcome or result.
  • eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth). The idiom "an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth)" is a principle or concept derived from ancient legal codes and biblical teachings. It means seeking retaliation or justice in such a way that punishment is equal to the harm or offense committed. Essentially, it implies that the punishment should be proportionate to the crime or wrongdoing.
  • raise your eyebrows (or an eyebrow) To "raise your eyebrows (or an eyebrow)" means to express surprise, disbelief, or disapproval through a nonverbal gesture of lifting one or both eyebrows upward. It is often used figuratively to denote a reaction of skepticism or astonishment towards a statement, action, or situation.
  • not bat an eyelid (or eye) The idiom "not bat an eyelid" (or "not bat an eye") means to remain calm and unaffected, showing no visible reaction or surprise in a situation that would typically provoke a response from others. It implies being composed and maintaining composure, often in the face of unexpected or shocking events or information.
  • success has many fathers, failure is an orphan The idiom "success has many fathers, failure is an orphan" generally means that when something is successful, many people are eager to take credit or associate themselves with it. However, when something fails, nobody wants to acknowledge any responsibility or be associated with it.
  • fatten (someone or an animal) up (with something) The idiom "fatten (someone or an animal) up (with something)" means to feed or provide excessive amounts of food to someone or an animal in order to make them gain weight or become plumper. It is often used figuratively to describe overfeeding or excessively indulging someone or something.
  • exercise (someone or an animal) in The idiom "exercise (someone or an animal) in" means to engage in physical activity in order to improve or maintain the health, fitness, or well-being of that person or animal. It involves performing various forms of physical exercise, such as walking, running, swimming, or playing sports, with the purpose of promoting physical fitness, endurance, and overall health.
  • fence (someone or an animal) out The idiom "fence (someone or an animal) out" refers to the act of using a physical barrier, typically a fence, to keep someone or an animal away or prevent them from entering a specific area or property. It implies creating a boundary or separation by installing a fence to restrict access or deter unwanted individuals or animals from entering a particular space.
  • finish (someone or an animal) off The idiom "finish someone or an animal off" means to complete the act of killing, defeating, or destroying someone or something, often to end their suffering or put an end to a particular situation. It can refer to physically ending someone's life or figuratively defeating or overpowering someone in a contest, argument, or competition.
  • an iron hand The idiom "an iron hand" typically refers to someone who exercises strict control, authority, or discipline over others. It suggests that the person in question is firm, unyielding, and unwavering in their approach to managing or ruling.
  • fortify (someone or an animal) (against something) (with something) The idiom "fortify (someone or an animal) (against something) (with something)" means to strengthen or protect someone or an animal against something by providing them with additional support, resources, or defenses.
  • frighten (someone or an animal) into doing something The idiom "frighten (someone or an animal) into doing something" means to use fear or intimidation tactics to compel someone or an animal to take a particular action or behave in a certain way. It involves instilling a sense of terror or apprehension in order to coerce compliance.
  • frighten someone (or an animal) into something The idiom "frighten someone (or an animal) into something" means to deliberately make someone scared or nervous in order to pressure or persuade them to do something. It involves using fear or intimidation as a means of coercion or motivation to achieve a desired action or outcome.
  • frighten (someone or an animal) to death The idiom "frighten (someone or an animal) to death" means to terrify or scare someone or an animal so severely that it causes extreme fear or distress. It implies that the fear instilled is so intense that it may feel as if it could cause death or greatly harm someone's well-being.
  • get something (for an amount of money) The idiom "get something (for an amount of money)" refers to the act of purchasing or acquiring something in exchange for a specific sum of money. It implies that a transaction was made or an agreement was reached in which the desired item or service was obtained at a particular price.
  • get at (someone or an animal) The idiom "get at (someone or an animal)" means to annoy, irritate, or provoke someone or an animal intentionally in order to elicit a reaction or response from them. It can also refer to persistent nagging or bothersome behavior towards someone or an animal.
  • give (one) an even break The idiom "give (one) an even break" means to provide someone with a fair and equal opportunity or chance, without any advantage or disadvantage. It suggests being just and unbiased in treating someone, allowing them the same level playing field and not favoring or hindering them in any way.
  • give (someone) an easy ride The idiom "give (someone) an easy ride" means to treat someone leniently or with little resistance. It refers to not challenging or pushing someone too hard, allowing them to proceed or achieve something without much difficulty or opposition.
  • give an account (of someone or something) (to someone) The idiom "give an account (of someone or something) (to someone)" means to provide a detailed report or explanation about a particular person or thing to someone. It involves providing specific details, observations, or information in order to give a comprehensive understanding or description. This could be done in a formal or informal setting, depending on the context.
  • score an own goal The definition for the idiom "score an own goal" is when someone unintentionally or inadvertently does something that harms their own interests or goals. This phrase often originates from the sport of football (soccer), referring to a player unintentionally kicking the ball into their own team's goal, consequently giving the opposing team a point. The idiom is now commonly used in a broader context beyond sports, to describe self-sabotaging or detrimental actions.
  • gun someone (or an animal) down The idiom "gun someone (or an animal) down" means to shoot or kill someone or something with a gun, usually without warning or mercy. It implies a sudden, aggressive, and often deliberate act of using a firearm to cause harm or death.
  • have an early night The idiom "have an early night" means to go to bed or sleep earlier than usual or one's usual bedtime. It implies the intention or desire to get more rest and sleep.
  • have an easy ride The idiom "have an easy ride" means to have a situation or experience that is effortless, uncomplicated, or without difficulties. It implies that someone is facing little to no obstacles or challenges in a particular endeavor.
  • listen (to someone or something) with half an ear The idiom "listen (to someone or something) with half an ear" means to listen inattentively or with only partial attention. It implies that the listener is not fully engaged or focused on what they are hearing. They might be distracted or not giving the speaker their full attention.
  • rule with a rod of iron/with an iron hand The idiom "rule with a rod of iron" or "rule with an iron hand" means to govern or lead with strictness, discipline, and controlling authority. It implies exercising absolute power and maintaining a firm grip over a situation or people, often with little tolerance for disobedience or dissent.
  • harness someone (or an animal) to something The idiom "harness someone (or an animal) to something" means to attach or connect someone or an animal to a vehicle, device, or machinery using a harness, typically in order to control their movement or to make them useful for a particular purpose. It can also be used metaphorically to describe gaining control or directing someone's abilities or potential towards a specific goal or objective.
  • have an effect on someone or something The idiom "have an effect on someone or something" means to influence or impact someone or something. It refers to the ability to bring about a change, result, or consequences in a person or a situation.
  • have an eye for someone or something The idiom "have an eye for someone or something" typically means to have good taste, judgment, or a natural ability to recognize or appreciate someone or something's qualities, beauty, or potential. It often implies having a keen sense of observation and discernment.
  • put an idea in(to) (someone's) head The idiom "put an idea in(to) (someone's) head" means to suggest or introduce an idea to someone, often with the intention of influencing their thoughts, beliefs, or behavior. It implies that the idea may not have previously been considered by the person, but after it is suggested, they start contemplating it or giving it serious thought.
  • help someone (or an animal) out (of something) The idiom "help someone (or an animal) out (of something)" means to provide assistance or support to someone or an animal in order to free them from a difficult or problematic situation or condition, both physically and emotionally. It often involves rescuing, freeing, or aiding someone or an animal who is trapped, stuck, or facing adversity.
  • do (oneself or someone) an injury The idiom "do (oneself or someone) an injury" means to harm oneself or someone else physically, mentally, or emotionally. It refers to causing damage or harm to oneself or others through intentional or unintentional actions.
  • do (oneself or someone) an injustice The idiom "do (oneself or someone) an injustice" means to unfairly assess or represent oneself or someone else, often by underestimating their abilities, accomplishments, or qualities. It refers to not giving proper credit or recognition and failing to accurately acknowledge someone's true worth or potential.
  • put an end to (oneself) The idiom "put an end to oneself" typically refers to the act of committing suicide or intentionally ending one's own life.
  • bounce an idea off (of) (someone) The idiom "bounce an idea off (of) (someone)" means to share a thought, suggestion, or concept with someone in order to gauge their reaction, obtain their opinion, or get their feedback. It involves discussing an idea or proposal with another person to seek their input or perspective. The term "bounce" suggests the image of quickly throwing an idea towards someone and seeing how they respond or interact with it.
  • hit someone (or an animal) on something The idiom "hit someone (or an animal) on something" typically means to strike or collide with someone or an animal forcefully against an object or surface. It implies a physical impact, often leading to injury or harm.
  • hold (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something) The idiom "hold (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something)" means to restrain or prevent someone or something from making progress, achieving success, or advancing. It can also refer to restraining or controlling someone or something in order to prevent them from causing harm or causing a disturbance.
  • do (someone) an honor To "do (someone) an honor" means to bestow a special privilege or recognition upon someone. It implies showing respect or admiration towards the person, typically by offering them a distinction or opportunity that is considered prestigious or esteemed.
  • hound someone or an animal down The idiom "hound someone or an animal down" means to pursue or chase someone or an animal persistently, usually in order to capture, find, or get information from them. It implies a relentless or determined effort to track down and locate the person or animal being pursued.
  • at an unearthly hour The idiom "at an unearthly hour" refers to a time that is extremely early or late, often beyond what is considered normal or reasonable. It implies that the hour is so unusual or inconvenient that it may disrupt one's sleep or daily routine.
  • at an ungodly hour The idiom "at an ungodly hour" refers to doing something or taking place at a very early or inconvenient time, usually outside of normal business hours or when people are typically sleeping. It emphasizes the perceived extreme or unreasonable nature of the timing.
  • the tip of an iceberg The definition of the idiom "the tip of an iceberg" is a small, observable part or aspect of a larger, more complex, or hidden problem, situation, or issue. It suggests that what is visible or known is just a fraction of the full extent or deeper nature of something.
  • the tip of an (or the) iceberg The idiom "the tip of an (or the) iceberg" is used to describe a situation where only a small, visible portion of a much larger problem or issue is being observed or considered. It signifies that there is much more beneath the surface or behind what is currently evident.
  • that's an idea The idiom "that's an idea" is an expression used to indicate agreement or approval of a suggestion or proposal made by someone else. It signifies that the suggestion provided is interesting, innovative, or worthy of consideration.
  • in an perfect world The idiom "in a perfect world" refers to a hypothetical situation or scenario where everything is ideal, flawless, or behaves according to one's desires or expectations. It implies a contrast between an imaginary, idealized reality and the imperfect nature of the actual world we live in.
  • in an ideal world The idiom "in an ideal world" means a hypothetical situation or imagined circumstance that is perfect, flawless, or near-perfect, but unlikely or unrealistic in reality. It implies an acknowledgment of imperfections, limitations, or compromises in the actual world we live in.
  • take (someone) for an idiot The idiom "take (someone) for an idiot" means to deceive or manipulate someone by assuming that they are gullible, naive, or unintelligent. It implies that the person being deceived is not aware of the true intentions or motives of the person manipulating them.
  • take someone for an idiot and take someone for a fool The idiom "take someone for an idiot" or "take someone for a fool" means to underestimate or consider someone to be unintelligent, gullible, or easily deceived. It implies that the person being referred to is not wise or intelligent enough to see through the deception or manipulation.
  • have an impact on someone or something The idiom "have an impact on someone or something" means to affect or influence someone or something in a significant way. It implies that there is a noticeable and meaningful effect or consequence as a result of a particular action, event, or circumstance.
  • leave an impression (on someone) The idiom "leave an impression (on someone)" means to make a lasting impact or influence someone through one's actions, behavior, or words so that they remember or are affected by the experience. It refers to the ability to create a strong and long-lasting memory or effect on another person.
  • make an impression on someone The idiom "make an impression on someone" means to cause someone to form a strong or lasting memory, opinion, or influence about you or something you have done. It refers to when someone's actions or behavior impact others significantly, leaving a memorable mark on their perception or memory.
  • in a twinkling (or the twinkling of an eye) The idiom "in a twinkling (or the twinkling of an eye)" means to happen or occur very quickly or instantaneously; to happen in a brief moment or without any delay. It refers to something happening so fast that it feels like it occurred almost immediately.
  • in the wink of an eye (or in a wink) The idiom "in the wink of an eye (or in a wink)" means to happen very quickly or instantaneously, taking only a brief moment or a fraction of a second. It refers to something occurring in such a short amount of time that it is almost imperceptible or happens before one can even blink.
  • not budge an inch The definition for the idiom "not budge an inch" is to refuse to move or change one's position, opinion, or decision, even under pressure or persuasion.
  • not give an inch The idiom "not give an inch" means to refuse to make any concessions or compromises; to be extremely stubborn and unwilling to yield or give any ground in a disagreement or negotiation. It essentially implies a determined and unyielding resistance or defiance.
  • not move an inch The idiom "not move an inch" means to remain completely still or to refuse to change one's position, stance, or opinion, even in the face of pressure or criticism. It implies extreme stubbornness or determination to maintain one's current state or position.
  • to within an inch of your life The idiom "to within an inch of your life" means to beat or attack someone severely, causing great physical harm or almost causing death. It implies an extremely brutal or intense manner of attacking or punishing someone.
  • within an inch of your life The idiom "within an inch of your life" means to beat, hit, or attack someone so severely that they are almost on the verge of death or serious injury. It is often used figuratively to describe an intense or severe action or event.
  • take an interest The idiom "take an interest" means to actively engage in or show curiosity, concern, or enthusiasm for something or someone. It implies being involved or invested in a particular subject, activity, or person, often by putting effort into understanding and supporting them.
  • take an interest in The idiom "take an interest in" means to show curiosity or concern about something, engage with it actively, and make an effort to understand, follow, or support it. It denotes a genuine enthusiasm or desire to be involved and invested in a particular subject, activity, or person.
  • maroon someone on an island The idiom "maroon someone on an island" refers to the act of deliberately leaving someone stranded or isolated on an island, typically without any means of escape or assistance. It implies a situation where someone is abandoned or trapped, often as a form of punishment or as a result of deceit or betrayal.
  • make an issue (out) of The idiom "make an issue (out) of" means to excessively or unnecessarily focus on or highlight a certain matter or problem, often causing it to become more significant or complicated than it actually is. It refers to someone deliberately making a big deal out of something that may not warrant such attention or concern.
  • jerk something away (from someone, something, or an animal) The idiom "jerk something away" refers to forcefully or abruptly removing or taking something away from someone, something, or even an animal. It implies a sudden, quick, or aggressive action in which the person or thing forcibly disassociates themselves from the object or individual in question.
  • keep something on an even keel The idiom "keep something on an even keel" means to maintain balance, stability, or control over a situation or​ problem. It refers to keeping things steady, consistent, and in harmony, especially during challenging times or when facing potential disruptions or fluctuations.
  • keep an ear out (for someone or something) The idiom "keep an ear out (for someone or something)" means to be attentive or alert, paying close attention to the surroundings in order to notice or hear any specific person or thing. It implies staying alert and ready to listen or look for someone or something that is expected or desired.
  • keep an eye out for (someone or something) The idiom "keep an eye out for (someone or something)" means to remain watchful or vigilant in order to locate, find, or notice a particular person or thing. It implies being observant and actively looking for someone or something, often in order to offer assistance, identify a desired outcome, or avoid potential danger.
  • keep an eye on someone or something The idiom "keep an eye on someone or something" means to carefully watch or monitor someone or something, usually to ensure their safety, well-being, or to prevent any undesirable actions or outcomes.
  • keep (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something) The idiom "keep (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something)" means to prevent or restrain someone or something from reaching or approaching someone or something else. It often implies controlling or holding back an individual or entity to maintain a safe distance or to avoid interference or harm.
  • keep (someone or an animal) in The idiom "keep (someone or an animal) in" means to confine or restrict the movement or freedom of a person or animal. It suggests keeping someone or something inside a particular place, typically for their own safety, containment, or control.
  • keep (someone or an animal) in line The idiom "keep (someone or an animal) in line" means to maintain control or discipline over someone or an animal to ensure that they behave properly or do not stray from desired behavior. It implies the act of exerting authority or enforcing rules to ensure compliance or good behavior.
  • kill (someone or an animal) off The idiom "kill (someone or an animal) off" typically refers to causing the death or extinction of a person or animal. Figuratively, it can also mean eliminating or removing a character, idea, or concept from a story, show, or discussion.
  • lam into (someone or an animal) The idiom "lam into (someone or an animal)" means to fiercely or vigorously attack, confront, criticize, or assault someone or something. It implies taking aggressive action or speaking harshly towards the person or animal in question.
  • lash into (someone or an animal) The idiom "lash into (someone or an animal)" means to fiercely attack or criticize someone or an animal, usually with angry words or physical force. It implies a vehement or intense expression of disapproval or aggression towards the target.
  • lead (someone or an animal) to something The idiom "lead (someone or an animal) to something" means to guide or direct someone or an animal towards a specific destination, objective, or outcome. It implies taking responsibility for showing the way or encouraging someone to pursue a particular course of action.
  • shake like an aspen leaf The idiom "shake like an aspen leaf" means to tremble or shake uncontrollably due to fear, nervousness, or anxiety. It is derived from the trembling leaves of the aspen tree, which are known to quiver even in the slightest breeze.
  • leave something for (someone or an animal) The idiom "leave something for (someone or an animal)" means to save or reserve something for someone or an animal to use or consume later. It implies not using or taking all of something oneself, but ensuring that someone else also gets a fair share or opportunity.
  • lend an ear (to one) The idiom "lend an ear (to one)" means to listen attentively or to give someone your full attention while they speak. It implies being open, receptive, and prepared to hear someone's thoughts, feelings, or concerns.
  • lend an ear (or your ears) The idiom "lend an ear (or your ears)" refers to the act of listening or giving someone your attention, usually when they need to talk or express their thoughts, feelings, or concerns. It implies being attentive and providing support or understanding to someone who wishes to share or discuss something with you.
  • let (someone or an animal) (get) out (of something) The idiom "let (someone or an animal) out (of something)" refers to allowing someone or an animal to exit or be released from a restricted or confined space. It can be used both literally, where someone physically opens a door or gate to let someone or an animal out, and figuratively, where someone is given freedom or relief from a difficult or challenging situation.

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