In this lesson you can learn a list of idioms examples with their meanings. Also, learn how to put these idioms in sentences.
Idioms are expressions used in common conversation. An idiom is a combination of words or phrase that is not formal and has a metaphorical meaning than the literal meaning. You can express yourself in an interesting way by using idioms in your day-to-day ordinary conversation. Idioms are also known as colloquialisms.
Learn the following idioms examples with meanings and in sentences.
The apple of one’s eye
somebody or something specially dear above all others, favourite thing or person
His only daughter is the apple of his eye.
Armed to the teeth
Be careful. He’s armed to the teeth.
A wet blanket
A discouraging person who always disapproves other’s fun activities
Why does he always spoil our fun? He’s a wet blanket.
Dead beat (adj.)
You look dead beat. You need a rest.
Dead beat (noun)
An incompetent, sluggish, disreputable person
We cannot count on him. He is a dead-beat.
In the same boat
Be in the same difficult circumstances
Every citizen is in the same boat with a corrupted government.
Highly excited or involved, take things too far
She was extremely carried away by her son’s first birthday party.
A chip off the old block
Very like or resembles one’s father or mother in appearance or behaviour
David is just a chip off the old block.
Under a cloud
In trouble or disgrace
Someone broke into the jewellery shop, and Jack is under a cloud of suspicion.
Down in the mouth
in low spirits, dejected (sad and depressed), unhappy
Amelia has been down in the mouth since last Sunday.
Down on one’s luck
Experiencing ill or bad luck
Tim’s mother is in hospital and his house was robbed last night. He’s really down on his luck these days.
Eagerly waiting to listen to someone, paying close attention
Tell us about your first day of school. We’re all ears.
At a loose end
Having nothing to do and bored
She just called me last weekend, because she was at a loose end.
Out of form, not so capable as usual
Henry is off form now and won’t play for the next game.
Good for nothing
Useless, lazy and feckless
Wake up and do something. Don’t be a good for nothing man.
A son of a gun
A humorous and affectionate way to address a likable rogue
You son of a gun. How did you do it?
Hard of hearing
Almost deaf, unable to hear properly
My grandpa is hard of hearing now.
Short of money
I can’t buy that dress. It’s too expensive. I’m too hard up to buy it.
Seriously troubled, badly affected
First home buyers are hard hit by the rising house prices.
Ariana felt ill-used by her friends.
Brave and of great courage
He was the lionhearted man who saved many lives during flash floods occurred lately.
Quarrelling, in dispute
Vanessa is always at loggerheads with the other team members.
The man in the street
An ordinary man
Stop being arrogant. You’re just a man in the street.
Up to the mark
Good enough, well enough, up to the usual standards or performance
I’m not happy about your performance. You haven’t been up to the mark this semester.
An old salt
An experienced sailor
Don’t worry. He definitely will succeed it. He’s an old salt.
A peppery individual
A cranky, hot or bad tempered person, sharp or stinging
What sort of a peppery speech did Sue give at the meeting today?
A pocket Hercules
A small but strong man
Never underestimate him by his size. He’s a pocket Hercules.
Both Julian’s parents are at rest.
A rough diamond / diamond in the rough
A person of real worth but rough manners
Virginia is a gifted pianist, but I hate her mouth. She’s a diamond in the rough.
Plausible, eloquent, persuasive in speaking
Being a silver-tongued is an advantage in marketing.
Pleasing to hear, good at singing
My best friend has a golden voice. I’m proud of her.
Out of sorts
I’ve been out of sorts since this morning.
On the level
It is really hard to find a politician who’s on the level.
Don’t worry. Nobody cares what she says. She’s a stuck-up snob.
Thick in the head
I shouldn’t have done it. How thick in the head I was?
Out of the one’s mind with worry, anger or grief, distraught
Claudia was beside herself when she found out she’d been rejected from the final audition.
Tired and sleepy
You look heavy-eyed. I think you need a break.
Lift the anchor
Weigh anchor guys. We’re heading home.
Keep up appearances
Maintain an outward show of wealth or well-being
It’s very hard to make ends meet. I’m trying my best to keep up appearances.
Have a bee in one’s bonnet
Be preoccupied or obsessed with an idea (enthusiastic or worried about)
Amy’s not rude. I don’t know why Sally has got a bee in her bonnet about Amy.
Put one’s best foot forward
Do best possible
Just put your best foot forward. You’ll surely get the job.
Sweep the board
Natalia nearly swept the board at the beauty pageant. She won almost ten titles.
Make no bones about it
Be plain and outspoken, saying clearly what you think or feel about something
Her review makes no bones about its service.
Burn the candle at both ends
Overdo work and play, go to bed late and get up early
Lily and her husband have been burning the candle at both ends trying to finish the renovation of their house.
Have one’s heart in one’s boots
Be very despondent or depressed
Jim’s dad’s health condition is deteriorating day by day, and Jim’s heart is in his boots.
Have one’s heart in one’s mouth
I had my heart in my mouth as I waited for the call from the hospital.
Bury the hatchet
Sometimes it is very difficult to bury the hatchet when teaching to your own kids.
Make a clean breast of
To confess one’s wrongdoings
I knew those boys did it before they made a clean breast of it to the teacher-in-charge.
Have a feather in one’s cap
Have something (like an achievement, accomplishment) to be proud of
I did the exam really well. I can’t wait to see my results. It’s such a feather in my cap.
Set one’s cap at
Try to captivate or attract as a suitor
Jenny looks ravishes today. Looks like she is going to set her cap at Raven tonight.
Throw in the towel / Throw in the cards
Give up the struggle, to admit failure or defeat
I’ve been trying to persuade him to do this exam for ages now. I think now it’s time to throw in the towel.
To calculate something
James casts up the daily accounts of his bakery before he goes to bed every day.
To toss something ashore
A lot of plastic debris has been cast up by the waves and now the beach looks very hideous.
Show a clean pair of heels
Escape by running at a great speed
It was fantastic to see how Bryce showed the dinosaur a clean pair of heels with her high-heel running in Jurassic World.
Pull up short
I had to suddenly stop my bike when a pedestrian pulled up short in the middle of the walkway.
Wait till the clouds roll by
Await more favourable circumstances
I will have to wait till the clouds roll by until I get the next increment.
Turn one’s coat
Change one’s principles or allegiance
I decided to turn my coat to my best friend as she unfriended me on snapchat.
Give the cold shoulder
Show difference or ignore
I thought to give her the cold shoulder when she yelled at me for nothing.
Throw cold water on
She cannot throw cold water on us just because she doesn’t like soccer.
Cut a dash
Be very showy
My grandma was a beauty queen in late ’50s. My mom said that she used to cut a dash in beauty pageants.
Lead one on a merry dance
To cause someone continued worry or waste one’s time through deceitful and manipulative behavior, play up
Smith would be in trouble very soon if he doesn’t stop leading his clients on a merry dance.
Hope you’ve learned many idioms examples and get ready to read the 2nd article of idioms examples soon.
Also, click the following links to learn about analogies, similes and proverbs.