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Idioms Examples – Colloqiuallisms

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In this lesson you can learn a list of idioms examples with their meanings. Also, learn how to put these idioms in sentences.


What are idioms?

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.

Idioms Examples Colloqiuallisms


Learn the following idioms examples with meanings and in sentences.


List of idioms examples


Idioms Examples


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

Completely armed

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.)

Completely exhausted

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.

Carried away

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.

All ears

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.

Off form

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.

Hard up

Short of money

I can’t buy that dress. It’s too expensive. I’m too hard up to buy it.

Hard hit

Seriously troubled, badly affected

First home buyers are hard hit by the rising house prices.


Badly treated

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.

At loggerheads

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.

At rest


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

Not well

I’ve been out of sorts since this morning.

On the level

honest, truthful

It is really hard to find a politician who’s on the level.

Stuck up

Snooty, conceited

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?

Beside oneself

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.

Weigh anchor

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

Take all

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

Be frightened

I had my heart in my mouth as I waited for the call from the hospital.

Bury the hatchet

Make peace

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.

Cast up

To calculate something

James casts up the daily accounts of his bakery before he goes to bed every day.

Cast up

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

Stop suddenly

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.