Idiom Examples: The English language is composed of various parts of speech, which we students learn throughout our school life. It has the interesting subject of idioms that are a group of non-literal words or phrases used to describe something literal. Most other languages have idioms and so does English. We have collected a list of examples of Idioms for your benefit and increased convenience in learning.
This article provides a list of Examples of Idioms from a to z and defines various American idioms and meaning in detail for your increased convenience.
Name of Idiom Examples
List of Idiom Examples
- Beat around the bush
- Get your act together
- Hit the sack
- Your guess is as good as mine
- Good things come to those who wait
- In mint condition
- Where the rubber meets the road
- Happy go lucky
- Rip off
- Second wind
- On board
- Dog’s life
- Bull’s eye
- Put your cards on the table
- Keep your cards close to your chest
- Love rat
- Back to the wall
- Leaps and bounds
- Sweep under the rug
- Play cat and mouse
- Big mouth
- By hook or by crook
- Call the shots
- Green thumb
- Hit the roof
- Lone it
- Burst the bubble
- Close call
- Cat among the pigeons
- Go out on a limb
- All hell will let loose
- In cold blood
- Know on which side the bread is buttered
- Recharge one’s batteries
- Pass the buck
- Make all the difference
- Under the auspices
- Look on the bright side
- Big brother
- In broad daylight
- The buck stops here
- Cut the cord
- Call the bluff
- Hit the rods
- Zero hour
- Dab hand
- Bright spark
- Bare bones
- Put your foot in it
- Waiting time
- Up in arms
- Scrape the barrel
Meaning: This idiom is used to express avoid taking about the important matters and delay the conversation
Example: There is no point in beating around the bush. You have to tell her what you did one time or another.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to tell someone to get organised and do this quickly and effectively; pull yourself together
Example: If you don’t get your act together, not only will you fail the test but you will also have to repeat an entire year in college.
Meaning: This idiom is used to say that an individual desperately wants to go to sleep or retire to bed.
Example: I have worked hard the entire day without any rest. I am ready to hit the sack after dinner.
Meaning: It is used to say that you have no idea about the subject
Example: How can I know when we will reach the destination? I have not been here before and your guess is as good as mine.
Meaning: This idiom is expresses that patience is always or often rewarded
Example: When she asked for her present, her mom said that good things come to those who wait.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to express that something looks new or is new
Example: He was cautious about buying the vintage t-shirt but when the seller assured him that it was in mint condition, he bought it.
Meaning: It is used when someone has to face the challenges
Example: She had an amazing idea for the project but her colleagues were not sure what would happen when the rubber meets the road.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to express that someone is cheerful
Example: We got through the boring meeting due to his happy go lucky disposition.
Meaning: steal something physically or otherwise
Example: That store is a total rip off and they sell their outfits for unbelievably large prices.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express getting another burst of energy when you were too tired to finish something in one go
Example: I think we should get on with the work since I’m getting a second wind after the rest.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to express being physically on a plane, ship, etc. vehicles; to agree to do something
Example: She is on board with the new project in the next state and is willing to work from tomorrow.
Meaning: The idiom describes a miserable or unpleasant way of living
Example: My grandfather has been leading a dog’s life ever since my grandmother died last year.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express hitting the centre of a target or get something right
Example: There is nothing wrong with getting things right on the first attempt and hit the bull’s eye.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to ask someone to show their true self or to be open or honest regarding something
Example: When my husband met up with Jane in the office, he laid his cards on the table and told her directly what changes he wanted.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to express being cautious or secretive to protect something
Example: The children did not know where their family was taking them for their holiday trip since their dad kept his cards close to his chest.
Meaning: This idiom is used to define someone who has a secret affair while being in a relationship; an affair
Example: I heard that he had an affair with his friend’s wife. He must be a love rat!
Meaning: The idiom is used to express finding oneself in a difficult situation.
Example: The group has him with his back to the wall and now he has no more options left than to confess the truth and go to jail for fraud.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express progressing quickly.
Example: My niece’s reading skills are coming on in leaps and bounds with her new teacher.
Meaning: try to hide a problem by covering it up instead of dealing with it
Example: My therapist helps me to confront with the difficulties instead of sweeping them under the rug.
Meaning: to tease someone or pull their leg
Example: The police do not like to play cat and mouse before catching the culprits.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to describe someone who talks too much
Example: My friend’s big mouth is what gets her in trouble at school with the teachers.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express achieving something by any means possible
Example: They have to manage collecting the funds within the deadline by hook or by crook.
Meaning: This idiom is used to identify someone who is in charge of something and has the power to decide what should happen.
Example: Our leader is the one who is calling the shots in this art gathering.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to express that someone has good gardening skills
Example: My father has a green thumb since he has managed to grow plenty of vegetables in our backyard.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express experiencing sudden anger
Example: His parents hit the roof when they say the damage he had done to their new car.
Meaning: It is used to describe someone doing something alone
Example: We wanted to go to the movies with him but he decided to lone it.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express revealing the details to something that will mark the end of a happy or successful time
Example: She looked so happy that I could not burst the bubble about her husband’s past.
Meaning: This idiom is utilized to describe a narrow escape from a disastrous situation.
Example: It was a close call but I managed to avoid hitting the animal that ran across the highway.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express doing or saying something that can cause trouble or make a lot of people angry
Example: The exchange student put the cat among the pigeons when he made some sensitive comments about the other’s religion.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express doing or saying something different from most others.
Example: I will go out on a limb and say that I am opposed to the secretary general’s opinion
Meaning: This idiom is used to express a situation that has become suddenly noisy or violent and usually with a lot of argument and fighting.
Example: All hell will let loose if they come to know about the pay cut.
Meaning: The idiom is used to describe something that occurred in a cruel manner without pity or emotion
Example: The police found a young lady shot dead in cold blood inside the premises of the shopping complex.
Meaning: It means that one should know what can be used to one’s advantage.
Example: She is far too clever to irritate the professor since she knows which side her bread is buttered on.
Meaning: This idiom is used to express taking a break or a holiday to relax and regain strength.
Example: After all the work we have put in, we deserve to recharge our batteries with a small trip.
Meaning: pass the blame to someone else
Example: The teacher tends to pass the buck of all light duties to the students.
Meaning: influence someone in a positive way to yield results
Example: It made all the difference when he got the recommendation from his former employer
Meaning: under the protection or sponsorship of someone
Example: We could restore the home under the auspices of the society.
Meaning: try to notice the positive side of things even when the situation seems dire
Example: Though you got an average score in your exam, look on the bright side since you have passed even without studying.
Meaning: a large company or organisation that tries to control all aspects of human life and the society
Example: Big brother watches over everything in our little town.
Meaning: during the daytime in front of others in an obvious way
Example: Politicians speak about anti-corruption measures during their rallies but they go ahead and misuse the public resources in broad daylight
Meaning: it refers to the responsibility for a situation or a trouble with somebody
Example: When my sister lent me her car, she said that the buck stops here.
Meaning: to end a connection or relationship with someone
Example: Developing countries must cut the cord with others and stop asking for financial aids to achieve true independence.
Meaning: to challenge someone to prove one’s claim when they are attempting to deceive someone
Example: When the employees threatened to leave if they did not get a pay raise, the boss called their bluff.
Meaning: leave a place, depart
Example: It would be best if we hit the road now before it gets dark.
Meaning: a critical time when a decision or an essential action has to be taken; a vital time
Example: Right before the sun rose, the British military had been waiting for zero hour to begin their operations against the terrorists.
Meaning: an expert or a skilled person in a field
Example: She is a dab hand at coding.
Meaning: an intelligent or lively person said humorously
Example: Emma is the popular bright spark of the family since she is the only person who has graduated from college.
Meaning: the most basic or essential facts or elements about a subject
Example: Boss told us a bare bones version of what happened in the meeting.
Meaning: say something by mistake such that upsets, humiliates or embarrasses others around you
Example: She put her foot in her mouth when she congratulated her colleague of being pregnant when she had just put on some weight.
Meaning: a period of time from when an action is requested to the time when it happens
Example: The waiting time for an appointment seems to have increase over the last five years.
Meaning: being angry and grumpy about something
Example: The child was up in arms when his father said that he did not have any time to take him to the park.
Meaning: make the most out of the worst situations since you cannot do anything else about it
Example: It is best to scrape the barrel from the loss since there is no use arguing about whose fault it was.