61 Idioms with Meaning and Example Sentences (2022)

Table of Contents
1. A Bed of Roses 2. A Blessing in Disguise 3. A Dime a Dozen 4. A Hot Potato 5. A Penny for Your Thoughts 6. Add Insult to Injury 7. Apple of Eye 8. At the Drop of a Hat 9. Back to the Drawing Board 10. Ball is in Your Court 11. Barking Up the Wrong Tree 12. Beat Around the Bush 13. Best of Both Worlds 14. Bite the Bullet 15. Break a Leg 16. Call it a Night 17. Costs an Arm and a Leg 18. Curiosity Killed the Cat 19. Cut Corners 20. Cut Somebody Some Slack 21. Devil’s Advocate 22. Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures 23. Easy Does It 24. Feel a Bit Under the Weather 25. Get Out of Hand 26. Get Something Out of Your System 27. Get Your Act Together 28. Give Someone the Benefit of the Doubt 29. Hang in There 30. Hit the Books 31. Hit the Nail on the Head 32. Hit the Sack 33. In the Heat of the Moment 34. It Takes Two to Tango 35. It’s Not Rocket Science 36. Jump on the Bandwagon 37. Keep Something at Bay 38. Kill Two Birds With One Stone 39. Let Someone Off the Hook 40. Let the Cat Out of the Bag 41. Make a Long Story Short 42. Miss the Boat 43. Off One’s Rocker 44. On the Ball 45. Once in a Blue Moon 46. Piece of Cake 47. Pull Someone’s Leg 48. Raining Cats and Dogs 49. See Eye to Eye 50. Sit on the Fence 51. So Far So Good 52. Steal Someone’s Thunder 53. Take With a Grain of Salt 54. Taste of Your Own Medicine 55. To Get Bent Out of Shape 56. To Hear Something Straight From the Horse’s Mouth 57. To Make Matters Worse 58. Twist Someone’s Arm 59. Wrap Your Head Around Something 60. You Can Say That Again 61. Your Guess Is as Good as Mine FAQs Videos

An idiom is a group of words that have a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of those of the individual words. Therefore, Idioms should not be taken literally. Idioms won’t make any sense unless you have learned about them before.

Here’s a list of the most commonly used idioms with meaning and example sentences:

1. A Bed of Roses

Meaning: A situation or activity that is comfortable or easy

Example: Making money is no bed of roses.

2. A Blessing in Disguise

Meaning: An apparent misfortune that eventually has good results.

Example: Losing the job was a blessing in disguise for her as she started her own clothing business.

3. A Dime a Dozen

Meaning: Very common and of no particular value.

Example: Those antiques are a dime a dozen.

4. A Hot Potato

Meaning: A problem or situation that is difficult to deal with and causes a lot of disagreement.

Example: The migration issue has become a political hot potato.

5. A Penny for Your Thoughts

Meaning: A way of asking what another person is thinking.

Example: A penny for your thoughts, Stephan.

6. Add Insult to Injury

Meaning: To make a bad situation even worse.

Example: I was already late for work and, to add insult to injury, I spilt coffee all over my boss.

7. Apple of Eye

Meaning: Someone’s favourite person.

Example: Her grandson is the apple of her eye.

8. At the Drop of a Hat

Meaning: To do something immediately without stopping to think about it.

Example: Your job can go at the drop of a hat.

9. Back to the Drawing Board

Meaning: To start planning something again because the first plan failed.

Example: The board must go back to the drawing board and review the whole issue.

10. Ball is in Your Court

Meaning: It is now your turn to make the decision.

Example: I’ve done all I can; now the ball’s in your court.

11. Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Meaning: Doing something that will not get you the desired results

(Video) Learn English - Everyday Idioms #61. Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Example: If you think he will help you get the job, you’re definitely barking up the wrong tree!

12. Beat Around the Bush

Meaning: To avoid talking about what is important.

Example: Don’t beat around the bush—just tell me the truth.

13. Best of Both Worlds

Meaning: A situation wherein one can enjoy two different opportunities.

Example: She works in the city and lives in the country, so she gets to enjoy the best of both worlds.

14. Bite the Bullet

Meaning: Decide to do something that one has been putting off.

Example: I hate going to the doctor, but I’ll just have to bite the bullet.

15. Break a Leg

Meaning: Wishing someone good luck.

Example: You look great in your costume! Break a leg!

16. Call it a Night

Meaning: To stop what you have been doing in the night and go to bed.

Example: Stephan was exhausted, so he called it a night.

17. Costs an Arm and a Leg

Meaning: Costs a lot of money.

Example: Dental fees cost an arm and leg nowadays.

18. Curiosity Killed the Cat

Meaning: Being curious can get you into trouble.

Example: I know curiosity killed the cat, but where did you get all that money?

19. Cut Corners

Meaning: To do something to save time or money.

Example: Stephan is always tempted to cut corners when time is short.

20. Cut Somebody Some Slack

Meaning: To be lenient with someone.

Example: You need to cut her some slack—she’s is already working overtime to get the work finished.

21. Devil’s Advocate

Meaning: One who argues against a cause either for the sake of argument or to help determine its validity.

Example: He was just playing devil’s advocate.

22. Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Meaning: Extreme situations can only be resolved by taking equally extreme actions.

Example: I really don’t want to fire an employee, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

23. Easy Does It

Meaning: To do something slowly and carefully.

Example: Easy does it! We don’t want to break the glass.

(Video) Idioms and Phrases 61 | Left handed compliment | Idioms and Phrases with meanings |

24. Feel a Bit Under the Weather

Meaning: To feel ill.

Example: I’m feeling a bit under the weather.

25. Get Out of Hand

Meaning: If a situation gets out of hand, it becomes unmanageable.

Example: His drinking had got out of hand.

26. Get Something Out of Your System

Meaning: To say or do something that you have been wanting to for a long time.

Example: You will feel much better if you get it out of your system.

27. Get Your Act Together

Meaning: To organize one’s affairs so that you do things in an effective way.

Example: Stephan needs to get his act together if he does not want to lose the job.

28. Give Someone the Benefit of the Doubt

Meaning: To believe someone, even though you are not sure that what the person is saying is true.

Example: The boss gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed that she’s right.

29. Hang in There

Meaning: To not give up, despite difficulties.

Example: Hang in there and you never know what you might achieve in future.

30. Hit the Books

Meaning: To study.

Example: You better hit the books if you want to pass your exam.

31. Hit the Nail on the Head

Meaning: To say something that is exactly right or completely true

Example: I think he really hit the nail on the head with that answer.

32. Hit the Sack

Meaning: To go to bed in order to sleep.

Example: You have to get up early tomorrow, so I think you should better hit the sack.

33. In the Heat of the Moment

Meaning: To say or do something without thinking due to anger or excitement.

Example: He said things he didn’t mean in the heat of the moment.

34. It Takes Two to Tango

Meaning: It means that a situation or argument involves two people and they are both therefore responsible for it.

Example: Responsibility for good governance and effective aid is shared by the donor community and the developing countries themselves; it takes two to tango.

35. It’s Not Rocket Science

Meaning: It is not very difficult to do or to understand.

Example: Football is not rocket science. Anyone can learn to play it.

36. Jump on the Bandwagon

Meaning: To join others in doing or supporting something popular.

(Video) AMERICAN IDIOMS | LESSON PART 13 | #61 - #65 | All American English

Example: If this was a famine flood or other tragedy, they would all be jumping on the bandwagon to help the victims.

37. Keep Something at Bay

Meaning: To keep something at a distance and prevent it from causing you problems.

Example: What is the best way to keep insects at bay?

38. Kill Two Birds With One Stone

Meaning: To achieve two things at once.

Example: I could kill two birds with one stone by going to New York tomorrow: get my yearly health checkup in the morning and watch the baseball game in the evening.

39. Let Someone Off the Hook

Meaning: To let someone go without being punished.

Example: They let the thief off the hook too easily.

40. Let the Cat Out of the Bag

Meaning: To reveal a secret, usually without intending to.

Example: I was trying to keep the party a secret, but she let the cat out of the bag.

41. Make a Long Story Short

Meaning: To skip directly to the point.

Example: To make a long story short, they are finally buying the house.

42. Miss the Boat

Meaning: To lose an opportunity to do something.

Example: Stephan missed the boat to buy the share at lower prices.

43. Off One’s Rocker

Meaning: Mad

Example: Evelyn is a little off her rocker these days.

44. On the Ball

Meaning: Quick and alert.

Example: Stephan is not really on the ball today.

45. Once in a Blue Moon

Meaning: Very rarely.

Example: Stephan comes round once in a blue moon.

46. Piece of Cake

Meaning: Very Easy.

Example: It was a piece of cake.

47. Pull Someone’s Leg

Meaning: Tease someone.

Example: Stephan wasn’t serious, he was just pulling his leg.

48. Raining Cats and Dogs

Meaning: You say it when it is raining heavily.

Example: It’s raining gets and dogs today.

(Video) English Language // IDIOMS & PHRASES // Questions (61 to 70)

49. See Eye to Eye

Meaning: To agree with each other.

Example: They do not always see eye to eye

50. Sit on the Fence

Meaning: Delay or avoid making a decision.

Example: You can’t sit on the fence any longer, you need to make up your mind.

51. So Far So Good

Meaning: Satisfaction with the way that a situation is happening.

Example: India has reached the quarter-finals. So far so good.

52. Steal Someone’s Thunder

Meaning: To get attention and praise for doing something that someone else had planned to do.

Example: Stephan stole my thunder when he said he’d done all the work.

53. Take With a Grain of Salt

Meaning: To view something with scepticism.

Example: You should take his advice with a grain of salt.

54. Taste of Your Own Medicine

Meaning: To suffer the same thing that one has inflicted on others.

Example: Stephan likes to play rough, so let’s give him a taste of their own medicine!

55. To Get Bent Out of Shape

Meaning: To become very angry or upset.

Example: These days Stephan lets himself get bent out of shape a lot.

56. To Hear Something Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

Meaning: To hear it from the person who has direct personal knowledge on the spoken matter.

Example: Stephan heard the news straight from the horse’s mouth, so it’s true.

57. To Make Matters Worse

Meaning: To make a bad situation worse.

Example: Stephan was already late for the meeting but to make matters worse, the car broke down.

58. Twist Someone’s Arm

Meaning: Pressurize someone into doing something

Example: Stephan had to twist his arm to get the information out of him.

59. Wrap Your Head Around Something

Meaning: Try to understand something that one considers confusing.

Example: I just couldn’t wrap my mind around what had happened at the award ceremony.

60. You Can Say That Again

Meaning: To show that you completely agree with what someone has said.

Example: Stephan: “That was a weird movie.” Evelyn: “You can say that again!

61. Your Guess Is as Good as Mine

Meaning: It is said in response to a question when one doesn’t know the answer.

(Video) Learn the 100 Most Common Idioms in 30 Minutes (with examples)

Example: Stephan: “How much time will it take?” Evelyn: “Your guess is as good as mine.”

FAQs

What is idiom and example with their meaning? ›

An idiom is a widely used saying or expression that contains a figurative meaning that is different from the phrase's literal meaning. For example, if you say you're feeling “under the weather,” you don't literally mean that you're standing underneath the rain.

What are the 20 examples of idiom? ›

Here are 20 English idioms that everyone should know:
  • Under the weather. What does it mean? ...
  • The ball is in your court. What does it mean? ...
  • Spill the beans. What does it mean? ...
  • Break a leg. What does it mean? ...
  • Pull someone's leg. What does it mean? ...
  • Sat on the fence. What does it mean? ...
  • Through thick and thin. ...
  • Once in a blue moon.
23 Feb 2022

What are the 50 idiomatic expressions and their meaning? ›

50 popular idioms to sound like a native speaker
IDIOMMEANING
Be a good catchBe someone worth marrying/having
Beat around the bushAvoid the main topic or not speak directly about the issue
Bend over backwardsDo whatever it takes to help. Willing to do anything
Bite off more than you can chewTake on a task that is too big
46 more rows
20 Mar 2017

What are the 30 examples of idioms? ›

The most common English idioms
IdiomMeaning
Beat around the bushAvoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable
Better late than neverBetter to arrive late than not to come at all
Bite the bulletTo get something over with because it is inevitable
Break a legGood luck
33 more rows

What are 10 examples of idiomatic expressions with sentences? ›

These phrases are called “idioms”.
...
10 Idioms You Can Use Today
  • “Hit the hay.” “Sorry, guys, I have to hit the hay now!” ...
  • “Up in the air” “Hey, did you ever figure out those plans?” ...
  • “Stabbed in the back” ...
  • “Takes two to tango” ...
  • “Kill two birds with one stone.” ...
  • “Piece of cake” ...
  • “Costs an arm and a leg” ...
  • “Break a leg”
29 Sept 2017

What are some good examples of idioms? ›

Common Idioms in English
  • Getting fired turned out to be a blessing in disguise. ...
  • These red poppies are a dime a dozen. ...
  • Don't beat around the bush. ...
  • After some reflection, he decided to bite the bullet. ...
  • I'm going to call it a night. ...
  • He's got a chip on his shoulder. ...
  • Would you cut me some slack? - Don't be so hard on me.

What are 5 examples of idiom? ›

The most common English idioms
IdiomMeaningUsage
Better late than neverBetter to arrive late than not to come at allby itself
Bite the bulletTo get something over with because it is inevitableas part of a sentence
Break a legGood luckby itself
Call it a dayStop working on somethingas part of a sentence
33 more rows

What is an idiom for kids? ›

Idioms are phrases that have a meaning that is very different from its individual parts. Unlike most sentences that have a literal meaning, idioms have figurative meaning. A literal meaning is when each word in a sentence stays true to its actual meaning.

Do your best idiom? ›

do (one's) best. To do as well as one possibly can at something. I'm just not good at math, so, believe me, a B- in Algebra means that I've done my best. No, you're not the star player on the team, but you always do your best, which encourages the rest of us to do the same.

How many idioms are in English? ›

How many idioms are there? Wikipedia suggests that there are over 25,000 idiomatic expressions in the English language.

What are the 25 idioms? ›

Let us now learn about the 25 most common and useful Idioms in the English language:
  • Under the weather. Meaning - To feel sick. ...
  • The ball is in your court. ...
  • Spill the beans. ...
  • Pull someone's leg. ...
  • Sit on the fence. ...
  • Through thick and thin. ...
  • Once in a blue moon. ...
  • The best of both worlds.
26 Jun 2021

What are idioms in English grammar? ›

What's an Idiom? Broadly speaking, an idiom is a widely used phrase that, when taken as a whole, has a particular meaning that you would not be able to deduce from the meanings of the individual words. The ubiquitous greeting “How are you doing today?” is an example of an idiom.

How can I learn idioms? ›

  1. Try to devise its visual meaning by putting it in a sentence. Eg. ...
  2. Read the idiom again and again and try to draw a connection between the words used. ...
  3. While reading the idioms try to understand the context for which they are used, this will help you in memorizing them.
1 Dec 2020

How do you explain idioms to students? ›

Award Winning Teaching Video | What Is An Idiom? | Figurative Language

What is an idiom for summer? ›

Like water off a duck's back. Like a fish out of water. Indian summer. The dog days of summer. Rain or shine.

Can you give me a list of idioms? ›

Common English Proverbs
  • Better late than never – It is better to be late than never to arrive or complete a task.
  • Time flies when you're having fun – Time seems to move faster when you're enjoying something.
  • Actions speak louder than words – What someone does means more than what they say they will do.
23 Jun 2021

How do you write idioms and phrases? ›

So these words can't be taken at their literal meanings since they would sound farcical. Idioms, at times, seem grammatically unusual as well. Idioms are a useful tool in linguistics.
...
Idioms.
IdiomMeaning
A dime a dozenVery common/commonplace
Bite off more than you can chewTry to take on a task too big for oneself
12 more rows

What is the meaning of the idiom when pigs fly? ›

Definition of when pigs fly

used to say that one thinks that something will never happen The train station will be renovated when pigs fly.

What is easy idiom? ›

It's a doddle. Easy peasy. It's a cinch. There's nothing to it. Anyone can do it.

How do you use idiomatic in a sentence? ›

Idiomatic in a Sentence 🔉
  1. My grandmother loves idiomatic phrases like the pot calling the kettle black.
  2. The idiomatic expression was lost in translation from Spanish to English.
  3. English employs many idiomatic expressions that are not understood by immigrants just learning the language.

What are the 30 examples of idioms? ›

The most common English idioms
IdiomMeaning
Beat around the bushAvoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable
Better late than neverBetter to arrive late than not to come at all
Bite the bulletTo get something over with because it is inevitable
Break a legGood luck
33 more rows

What are the 25 idioms? ›

Let us now learn about the 25 most common and useful Idioms in the English language:
  • Under the weather. Meaning - To feel sick. ...
  • The ball is in your court. ...
  • Spill the beans. ...
  • Pull someone's leg. ...
  • Sit on the fence. ...
  • Through thick and thin. ...
  • Once in a blue moon. ...
  • The best of both worlds.
26 Jun 2021

What are the 10 examples of idiomatic expressions with meaning? ›

10 idiomatic expressions with meaning and examples
  • Barrel of laugh: someone who is very funny.
  • Old as the hills: some who is very old.
  • In the doghouse: To have some unhappy with you.
  • Up for grabs: Available for anyone.
  • Split hairs: Argue or worry about small details.
  • Round the bend: Crazy, insane.
20 Jan 2022

Can you give me a list of idioms? ›

Common English Proverbs
  • Better late than never – It is better to be late than never to arrive or complete a task.
  • Time flies when you're having fun – Time seems to move faster when you're enjoying something.
  • Actions speak louder than words – What someone does means more than what they say they will do.
23 Jun 2021

How idioms are used in sentences? ›

Idioms are words, phrases or expressions and each of them carries figurative meaning which is quite different from the literal meaning. It adds a value to a sentence and it always refers to something else, rather than each word signifies. It is generally used by the native speakers.

Do your best idiom? ›

do (one's) best. To do as well as one possibly can at something. I'm just not good at math, so, believe me, a B- in Algebra means that I've done my best. No, you're not the star player on the team, but you always do your best, which encourages the rest of us to do the same.

What is the most common idioms in English? ›

The most common English idioms
IdiomMeaningUsage
Bite the bulletTo get something over with because it is inevitableas part of a sentence
Break a legGood luckby itself
Call it a dayStop working on somethingas part of a sentence
Cut somebody some slackDon't be so criticalas part of a sentence
33 more rows

What is easy idiom? ›

It's a doddle. Easy peasy. It's a cinch. There's nothing to it. Anyone can do it.

How many idioms are in English? ›

How many idioms are there? Wikipedia suggests that there are over 25,000 idiomatic expressions in the English language.

What are idioms in English grammar? ›

What's an Idiom? Broadly speaking, an idiom is a widely used phrase that, when taken as a whole, has a particular meaning that you would not be able to deduce from the meanings of the individual words. The ubiquitous greeting “How are you doing today?” is an example of an idiom.

What is an idiom for kids? ›

Idioms are phrases that have a meaning that is very different from its individual parts. Unlike most sentences that have a literal meaning, idioms have figurative meaning. A literal meaning is when each word in a sentence stays true to its actual meaning.

What is the meaning of the idiom when pigs fly? ›

Definition of when pigs fly

used to say that one thinks that something will never happen The train station will be renovated when pigs fly.

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