Phrase and Idiom Dictionary

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These are various English phrases and idioms.

(1, 2, 3)

To 86 Something


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 Fool’s Paradise

A Hard Pill to Swallow

A Leopard Cannot Change its Spots

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

A Man After My Own Heart

A Method to the Madness

A Plague on Both of Your Houses

A Pound of Flesh

A Rolling Stone Gathers no Moss

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

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

Aiding and Abetting

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 Hands on Deck

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

Ars Longa Vita Brevis

As Awkward as a Bull in a China Shop

As the Crow Flies

At First Blush

At Loggerheads


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

Bean Counter

Bear Down

Beating a Dead Horse

Beating Around the Bush

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Behind Every Great Man is a Great Woman

Best Bang for Your Buck

Best Case Scenario

The Best Things in Life Are Free

Bet Your Bottom Dollar

Bet Your Sweet Bippy

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 the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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

Bigger Fish to Fry


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

Blast from the Past

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

Bob’s Your Uncle

Bodice Ripper

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!

Bought the Farm

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

Bush League

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 All Means

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

Candy is Dandy but Liquor is Quicker

Can’t Win for Losing

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

Card Shark

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 Down Your Bucket

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

The Cat is in the Cradle

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

Cautiously Optimistic

To Cave in

To Cave in to Someone

Cease and Desist

Cement Something Together

Censure Someone

Center of Attention

Center on Something

Certainly Not!

Chalk and Cheese

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

The Cheese Stands Alone

Chicken Feed

Children and Fools Tell the Truth

Children Should be Seen and Not Heard

Chill Out

Chilled to the Bone

Chinese Whispers

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

Cool Your Jets


Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War

Cry Over Spilt Milk

Crying Wolf

The Customer is Always Right

Cup of Joe

A Curate’s Egg

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Cut the Mustard

Cut to the Chase


Darling Buds of May

Dead to the World

The Devil is in the Details

The Die is Cast

To Die With Your Boots On

A Dish Fit For the Gods

To Dock Your Pay

Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Don’t Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk

Don’t Have a Cow Over It

Doom and Gloom

Down to a T

To Duck and Weave


The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Egg on Your Face

The End All Be All

To the Ends of the Earth

Et Tu Brute

Every Dog Has Its Day

To Everything There is Season

Eye for an Eye

The Eyes are the Window to the Soul


Face the Music

Faffing About

Fair to Middling

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

A Far Cry From

Fight the Good Fight

Fight Tooth and Nail

Finger in the Dike

Finger on the Pulse

Fish of Cut Bait

Fish Out of Water

A Fish Rots from the Head Down

Fit as a Fiddle

The Fix is in

Flea Market

Flush with Cash

Fly By the Seat of Your Pants

Fly Off the Handle

Foaming at the Mouth

Fool’s Errand

Fool’s Gold

A Fool’s Paradise

For Pete’s Sake

Forgive Them, Father, for They Know Not What They Do

Forlorn Hope

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

Forewarned is Forearmed

French Leave

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears

Frog Strangler

From the Bottom of My Heart

Fuddy Duddy

Full of Hot Air

Full Tilt


The Game is Afoot

Genius is One Percent Inspiration

To Get Caught Up in Something

Get Off My Back

Get Off Your High Horse

To Get Shafted

Getting Cold Feet

Get Your Goat

Give the Devil his Due

Give the Green Light

Give a Man a Fish, Feed Him for a Day

Give No Quarter

Glass Half Empty

Go For Broke

Go Out on a Limb

Go Over Like a Lead Balloon

Go Pound Sand

Goat Rope

Gone to Pot

Goody Two Shoes

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side

The Great Unwashed

Grist for the Mill

Greased Lightning

To Grow Accustomed To


Halcyon Days

Hand to Mouth

Hands Down

Hanky Panky

Hanging Out

Happy As a Clam

As Happy as Larry

Harbinger of Doom

Hard and Fast

Hard Pill to Swallow

Have a Cow

He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best

Head Over Heels

To Head Up Something

Heads Up

Heard it Through the Grapevine

Heavens to Betsy

To Hedge Your Bets

To Hem and Haw

Here’s Mud in Your Eye

Hindsight is 20/20

High and Dry

Hissy Fit

Hit Below the Belt

Hit the Bottle

Hit the Ground Running

To Hit it Off

Hit the Skids

Hoisted by Your Petard

Honest to a Fault

Honesty is the Best Policy

Honor Among Thieves

Hot Off the Press

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

A House of Ill Repute

How Now Brown Cow

Hung Out to Dry


I Figured as Much

I Should Be So Lucky

I Smell a Rat

If I do Say so Myself

If I Had My Druthers

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

I’m a Goner

In a Pickle

In a Timely Fashion

In Between Jobs

In for a Penny, In for a Pound

In my Mind’s Eye

In the Black

In the Buff

In the Pink

In the Red

In the Twinkling of an Eye

In Your Face

Indian Giver

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze

It Could be Worse; It Could be Raining

It’s About Time

It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

It’s Not Brain Surgery

It’s Not Rocket Science


Jack of Trades, Master of None

Jaws of Death

Jaws of Life

The Jig is Up

Jimmy Riddle

Johnny on the Spot

Joined at the Hip

Jump the Gun

The Jury is Still Out


Keep at Bay

Keep on Truckin’

Keep Your Nose Clean

Kick the Bucket

Kiss and Tell

Keep the Ball Rolling

Keep Your Chin Up

Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Keep Your Shirt On

Knee-Jerk Reaction

Knock Your Socks Off

Know the Ropes

Knuckle Down


Labor of Love

Last But Not Least

The Last Straw

Left in the Lurch

Left to My Own Devices

To Lead Someone On

Leap of Faith

A Leopard Cannot Change Its Spots

Less is More

Let Her Rip


Like a Bull in a China Shop

Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

Like Chalk and Cheese

Like Father Like Son

Like It or Lump It

Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Like the Dickens

Little Black Book

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

Living on Borrowed Time

At Loggerheads

Long in the Tooth

Long Pole in the Tent

Look What The Cat Dragged In

Love is Blind




Made Out Like a Bandit

Make a Run For It

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Making a Scene

Making the Big Bucks

A Man After My Own Heart

Man Alive!

Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone

A Man of Few Words

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

May You Live in Interesting Times

A Method to the Madness

Mickey Finn

Milk of Human Kindness

The Moment Everyone Has Been Waiting For

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Monkey in the Middle

More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

Mountain Out of a Molehill

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

My Better Half

My Kingdom for a Horse


Namby Pamby

Nasty, Brutish, and Short

Navel Gazing

Necessity is the Mother of All Invention

Never Never Land

Night Owl

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

No Bones About It

No News is Good News

No Spring Chicken

No Way Jose

Not a Dicky Bird


Off the Hook

Off Your Rocker

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated

Oh My Stars and Garters

Oh the Humanity

On the Ball

On Tenterhooks

On that Note

On the Up and Up

On a Wing and a Prayer

On a Wild Goose Chase

One Foot in the Grave

One for the Money, Two for the Show

One (More) for the Road

Oops a Daisy

Out of Sorts

Out of the Question

Over and Out


Paddle Your Own Canoe

Paint the Town Red

Patience is a Virtue

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

Pennies from Heaven

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Pete’s Sake

To Peter Out

A Plague on Both of Your Houses

Play Ducks and Drakes

Playing for Keeps

Playing Opossum

The Plot Thickens

To Poke Fun At

To Poke the Bear

A Pound of Flesh

The Proof is in the Pudding

Pull Yourself Together

To Put a Sock in It

Put the Cart Before the Horse

Put Two and Put Two Together

Put Your Best Foot Forward


Quality Time

Quick and Dirty

Quick on the Draw

Quiet as a Mouse


Rain on Your Parade

Raining Cats and Dogs

Raising Cain

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Reached the Breaking Point

Red-Letter Day

Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight

Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Reputation Precedes You

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

Rise and Shine

A Rolling Stone Gathers no Moss

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

Round and Round it Goes

Rubbing Elbows With

Running a Fever


Scratch Paper

Separate the Wheat from the Chaff

Serious as a Heart Attack

Set the Bar

Shaking Like a Leaf

Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Short Shrift

Shut Your Pie Hole

Skeletons in the Closet

Skid Row

The Sky is the Limit

To Sleep, Perhaps to Dream

Sleep Tight

Slow on the Uptake

Smoke and a Pancake

Sold a Bill of Goods

Some People are Born Great

Snake Eyes

Spare no Expense

Spill the Beans

Spring Ahead, Fall Back

Spruced Up

Spur of the Moment

Standing on Ceremony

Step on Your Toes

Stick in the Mud

Stick it in Your Ear

Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Storm the Castle

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth


To Suck Up to Someone


Tail Wagging the Dog

Take a Breather

Take the Cake

Tell it to the Marines

That Ship Has Sailed

There But for the Grace of God Go I

This Mortal Coil

Through Thick and Thin

Throw the Book at Someone

Thumb Your Nose

Tickling the Ivories

Tide You Over

Tie the Knot

Time and Tide Wait for No Man

In a Timely Fashion

A Tinker’s Dam

Tinkled Pink

‘Tis the Season

Toe the Line

Toodle Loo

Too Much of Good Thing

Tuckered Out

To Turn a Blind Eye to

In the Twinkling of an Eye

Two Down, One to Go

Two Lovebirds

Tying Up Loose Ends


Ugly Duckling

Under the Weather

Under Your Nose

Up the Ante

Up in Arms

Up to Par


To the Victor Goes the Spoils


Wake Up Call

Walk it Off

We Few, We Happy Few

Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

Wet Behind the Ears

What a Piece of Work is Man

What God Has Put Together Let No Man Put Asunder

What Goes Up Must Come Down

What’s Not to Like?

What’s up, Doc?

White Lie

White-Show Law Firm

The Whole Nine Yards

Wild Goose Chase

A Wing and a Prayer

The Winter of Our Discontent

Worse for the Wear

Worth Their Salt

Would Not Harm a Fly


Yada Yada

Yellow Belly

Yes Siree Bob

You Better Keep Quiet About It

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Make It Drink

You’re My Rock

Your Name is Mud

Your Reputation Precedes You