Phrase and Idiom Dictionary

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These are various English phrases and idioms.


A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

A Burnt Child Dreads the Fire

A Bushel and a Peck

A Card Up Your Sleeve

A Case of Mistaken Identity

A Cat Has Nine Lives

A Cat May Look at a King

A Cat in Gloves Catches No Mice

A Chain Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link

A Checkered Career

A Far Cry From

A Hard Pill to Swallow

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

A Man After My Own Heart

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

Abide by Something

Able to Take a Joke

About to

Above and Beyond

Above the Law

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Stronger

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Ace in the Hole

Ace It

Achilles’ Heel

An Acid Test

Across the Board

An Acquired Taste

Act High-and-Mighty

Act of Faith

Act of God

To Act Something Out

To Act Your Age

Acting Up

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Active Duty

Ad Hoc

Ad Nauseam

Add Fuel to the Fire

Add Insult to Injury

To Add Up

Afraid of Your Shadow

After All is Said and Done

After Hours

After the Fact

Against My Better Judgment

Against My Will

Against the Clock

Against the Grain

Ahead of Time

To Air Your Grievances

Alas Poor Yorick

Albatross Around One’s Neck

Alive and Kicking

Along for the Ride

Along in Years

All Better

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

All Ears

All for the Best

All Good Things Must Come to An End

All Gone

All Hell Breaks Loose

All in a Day’s Work

All Jokes Aside

All of a Sudden

All of the Above

All Over But the Shouting

All Present and Accounted For

All Roads Lead to Rome

All Shook Up

All Spruced Up

All Systems Go

All Talk and No Action

All That Glitters is Not Gold

All the Rage

All Things to All People

All’s Well That Ends Well

All Wool and a Yard Wide

All Year Round

Along the Lines Of

Alpha and Omega

Ambulance Chaser

Amount to the Same Thing

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

An Eye for an Eye

And All That Jazz

And How!

And Then Some

Ante Up

As Awkward as a Bull in a China Shop

As the Crow Flies

At First Blush


Back to Square One

Back to the Drawing Board

Bad Money Drives Out Good Money

Bar None

Be That As It May

Be There or Be Square

Beating a Dead Horse

Beating Around the Bush

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Best Case Scenario

The Best Things in Life Are Free

Bet Your Bottom Dollar

Bête Noire

Better Keep Quiet About It

Better Late Than Never

Better Left Unsaid

Better Luck Next Time

Better the Devil You Know Than the Devil You Don’t

Better to Be the Head of a Dog than the Tail of a Lion

Better Safe Than Sorry

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between Jobs

Between Life and Death

Between You, Me, and the Bedpost

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts

Beyond One’s Means

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Beyond Words

Beyond Your Depth

Bid You Adieu

Bide One’s Time

The Big Apple

Big Bucks

Big Cheese

Big Fish in a Small Pond

Big Frog in a Small Pond

Big Man on Campus

Big Mouth

The Big Picture

Big Shot

The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall

Binge and Purge

Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

Birds and the Bees

Bird’s Eye View

Birds in Their Little Nest Agree

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Birthday Suit

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Bite One’s Nails

Bite the Big One

Bite the Bullet

Bite the Dust

Bite the Hand That Feeds

Bite Your Tongue

Bitten by the Same Bug

A Bitter Pill to Swallow

Black and Blue

Black and White

Black as Night

Black as a Skillet

Black Sheep of the Family

To Blackmail Someone into Something

Blank Check

Blaze a Trail

Bleed Someone Dry

Bleeding Heart

Bless Your Lucky Star

Blessed is He Who Expects Nothing

A Blessing in Disguise

Blind as a Bat

Blind Leading the Blind

Blind Luck

Blood Runs Thicker Than Water

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat

Blood Will Have Blood

A Blot on the Landscape

Blow Someone a Kiss

Blow Someone Off

Blow Someone Out of the Water

Blow the Whistle on Someone

Blow-by-Blow Account

Blue Around the Gills

Blue Collar

Bluff Your Way Out

To Boggle My Mind

Bog Something Down

To Boil Something Down

Bold as Brass

Bolster Something Up

Bolt Out of Somewhere

Bombard Someone With Questions

Bone of Contention

Bone Up On Something

Boo Someone Off the Stage

Boogie Down to Somewhere

Book on Out of Somewhere

Boost of Someone Up

Boot Someone Out

Booze It Up

Bore You to Death

Born Out of Wedlock

Boss Someone Around

Bottle Something Up

Bottom Out

Bottoms Up!

Bounce Back From Something

Bounce Something Around

Bound and Determined

Bread-and-Butter Letter

Break a Code

Break a Habit

Break a Leg

Break a Record

Break a Story

Break Away From Something

Break Bread with Someone

To Break Down

To Break Someone of Something

To Break the Ice

Breaking News

Breaking Ranks

Breaking Wind

Breath of Fresh Air

Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Breathe One’s Last Breath

Breeding Will Tell

To Breeze Along

Brevity is the Soul of Wit

To Brew a Plot

Bribe Someone into Doing Something

Brick and Mortar

To Bridge the Gap

Bright and Early

Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed

To Bring Back to Life

To Bring Crashing Down

To Bring Home the Bacon

To Bring Into Question

To Bring Someone Down

To Bring Someone Down to Earth

To Bring Something Into Focus

To Bring Something Into Play

To Bring Something Out of the Woodwork

To Bring Something to a Standstill

To Bring the Best Out of Someone

To Bring the House Down

To Bring Them to Their Senses

To Bring to a Boil

To Bring to a Halt

To Bring to a Head

To Bring to a Heel

To Bring to Justice

To Bring to Trial

To Bring to the Fore

To Bring Up to Date

Bringing Up the Rear

Broken Heart

To Brood About Something

To Browbeat Someone into Something

Brown Noser

To Brush Aside

To Brush it Off

To Brush Over Something

To Bubble Over

The Buck Stops Here

Buck Up!

Buckle Up

To Buddy Up to Someone

Build a Better Mousetrap

Built Like a Brick Outhouse

Bully For You!

A Bully is Always a Coward

To Bum Around With


Bun in the Oven

Bust Out Laughing

To Burn Rubber

A Burnt Child Dread the Fire

Burst Into Flames

Burst Into Tears

Burst Onto the Scene

Burst Out Laughing

Burst Your Bubble

Bursting at the Seams

Bury the Hatchet

To Bury Your Head in the Sand

To Bury Yourself in Something

A Bushel and a Peck

The Busiest Men Find the Most Time

Business as Usual

Business Before Pleasure

The Business End of Something

A Busman’s Holiday

To Bust a Bronco

To Bust a Gut

To Bust a Move

To Bust Ass Out Of Somewhere

Butterflies in My Stomach

Buy Back

To Buy Into Something

To Buy Some Time

Buy Something Out

To Buy Something Up

Buy the Next Round

Buying on Credit

To Buzz Along

Buzz Off

By a Hair’s Breadth

By a Show of Hands

By All Appearances

By and Large

By Any Stretch of the Imagination

By Chance

By Hook or By Crook

By Leaps and Bounds

By Mistake

By the Book

By the By

By the Skin of Your Teeth

By the Sweat of Your Brow

By Virtue of

By Word of Mouth


Cabin Fever

Caesar’s Wife Must Be Above Suspicion

Cajole Someone into Something

Calculated Risk

Call a Meeting to Order

Call a Spade a Spade

The Cards are Stacked Against You

To Care for Someone

To Carp About Something

To Carry A lot of Weight With Someone

Carbo Loading

Carbon Copy

A Card Carrying Member

A Card Up Your Sleeve

Careful Not to Do Something

To Carry a Secret to Your Grave

To Carry a Torch for Someone

Carry Coals to Newcastle

To Carry On

Carry Out

Carry the Day

To Carry the Weight of the World on Your Shoulders

To Carry Your Cross

To Carry Your Own Weight

Cart Before the Horse

Carte Blanche

To Carve Someone Up

Carved in Stone

Cash Cow

Cash Flow Problem

To Cash in on Something

Case in Point

Case of Mistaken Identity

Case the Joint

Cash is King

Cash Money

Cash One’s Chips In

Cash and Carry

Cash or Credit

Cast a Spell on Someone

Cast Aside

Cast Aspersions

Cast Doubt on Someone

Cast in the Same Mold

Cast Iron Stomach

Cast Off

To Cast One’s Eyes Down

To Cast One’s Lot With

Cast Pearls Before Swine

Cast Someone As

Cast the First Stone

Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters

Cast Your Vote

Cat Got Your Tongue

A Cat Has Nine Lives

A Cat in Gloves Catches No Mice

A Cat May Look at a King

Cat Out of the Bag

To Catapult Someone Into Something

To Catch a Cold

To Catch a Glimpse

Catch as Catch Can

To Catch Forty Winks

To Catch Hell About Something

Catch Me Later

To Catch On To Something

To Catch Some Rays

To Catch Some Z’s

To Catch Someone at a Bad Time

To Catch Someone by Surprise

To Catch Someone With One’s Pants Down

To Catch Someone’s Eye

Catch the Next Wave

Catch Up

To Catch Your Breath

Caught in the Act

Caught in the Crossfire

Caught in the Middle

Caught Off Guard

Caught Up in Something

Cause Raised Eyebrows

Causing a Commotion

To Caution Someone

To Cave in

To Cave in to Someone

Cease and Desist

Cement Something Together

Censure Someone

Center of Attention

Center on Something

Certainly Not!

Channel Surfing

Charley Horse

Charm the Pants Off

To Chase Around

Chat About Something



Chief Cook and Bottle Washer

Chink in the Armor

Cheat at Something

Cheat on Something

Cheaters Never Prosper

Check Back on Something

Check Back with Someone

Check Luggage

Check Out of Somewhere

Check, Please!

Check That

Check up on Someone

To Check with Someone


Cheek by Jowl

Cheese Off

Checkered Career

Checks and Balances

Chicken Feed

Children and Fools Tell the Truth

Children Should be Seen and Not Heard

Chill Out

Chilled to the Bone

Chip Off the Old Block

Chip on your Shoulder

Chock Full of Something

Christmas Comes But Once a Year

Chump Change

Church Ain’t Over ‘Til They Quit Singing

Circumstances Alter Cases

City Slicker

Civility Costs Nothing

Clean as a Hound’s Tooth

To Clean Your Clock

Clear Something for Publication

Clear the Air

Clear the Table

Clear the Way

Click With Someone

The Clock is Ticking

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Close But No Cigar

Close Ranks

To Coldcock Someone

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Cold Hard Cash

Cold Shoulder

Cold Turkey

Collaborate With

To Collect One’s Thoughts

Collude With Someone

To Come to Grips

To Come to Terms

Comedy of Errors

Comes With the Territory

Company Man

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War

Cry Over Spilt Milk

Crying Wolf

Cup of Joe

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Cut the Mustard

Cut to the Chase


Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk

Don’t Have a Cow Over It


To Everything There is Season

Eye for an Eye


Familiarity Breeds Contempt

A Far Cry From

Fight the Good Fight

Fight Tooth and Nail

Fish Out of Water

Fit as a Fiddle

Flea Market

Fly By the Seat of Your Pants

Foaming at the Mouth

Fool’s Gold

For Pete’s Sake

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears


To Get Caught Up in Something

Getting Cold Feet

Give a Man a Fish, Feed Him for a Day

Go For Broke

Go Out on a Limb

Go Pound Sand

Goody Two Shoes

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side

Greased Lightning

To Grow Accustomed To


Hands Down

Happy As a Clam

Hard Pill to Swallow

Have a Cow

Head Over Heels

Heads Up

Heard it Through the Grapevine

Heavens to Betsy

Hindsight is 20/20

High and Dry

Hit Below the Belt

How Now Brown Cow


I Smell a Rat

If You Can’t Take the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen

I’m a Goner

In a Pickle

In Between Jobs

In the Black

In the Red

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

It’s About Time

It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

It’s Not Brain Surgery


Jack of Trades, Master of None

Jaws of Death

Jaws of Life

The Jig is Up

Johnny on the Spot

Jump the Gun


Keep on Truckin’

Kick the Bucket

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Keep Your Shirt On

Knock Your Socks Off

Know the Ropes

Knuckle Down


Let Her Rip


Like a Bull in a China Shop

Like Father Like Son

Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Little Black Book

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

Long in the Tooth




Making a Scene

Making the Big Bucks

A Man After My Own Heart

A Man of Few Words

The Moment Everyone Has Been Waiting For

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Mountain Out of a Molehill


Navel Gazing

Necessity is the Mother of All Invention

Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be


On a Wild Goose Chase


The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Pete’s Sake

Playing for Keeps

Playing Opossum

The Plot Thickens

To Poke Fun At

To Put a Sock in It

Put the Cart Before the Horse


Quality Time

Quick and Dirty

Quick on the Draw


Rain on Your Parade

Raining Cats and Dogs

Reached the Breaking Point

Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold


Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Spill the Beans

Spruced Up

Stick in the Mud

Stitch in Time Saves Nine


There But for the Grace of God Go I

Tie the Knot

Toe the Line

Two Down, One to Go

Two Lovebirds


Ugly Duckling

Under the Weather

Under Your Nose

Up in Arms



Wake Up Call

Wet Behind the Ears

What Goes Up Must Come Down

The Whole Nine Yards

Wild Goose Chase

Would Not Harm a Fly


Yada Yada

You Better Keep Quiet About It