100 idiomatic expressions

A Comprehensive List of 100 Idioms and Their Meanings with Examples

In this lesson, we will provide you with 100 idioms and their meanings with examples to help you make English conversations smoothly. Idiomatic Expressions play a vital role in our everyday life especially when we make a conversation in English. Further, it is also important in spoken and written English. Let us know the definition of English Idioms and Phrases.

Idioms and phrases are a group of words whose meanings are not as predictable as the usual meaning of those words. Let’s see some idiomatic expressions in English. Idioms are marked as bold for easy identification:

  • He is a black sheep in our society.
  • I will accept it by no means.
  • He goes to school on time.
  • Please do the work by heart and soul.
  • I get rid of the disease.

Top 100 Idioms and Their Meanings with Examples

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A Comprehensive List of 100 Idioms with their meanings and examples are given below:

100 idioms and their meanings

1. After all

Meaning: In spite of everything
Example: After all, he will be considered a good human being.

2. Above all

Meaning: More than anything else
Example: Above all, you should be attentive to your study.

3. All in all

Meaning: Supreme
Example: She obeys her duty all in all.

4. As usual

Meaning: Habitually
Example: Mr. Zamal is getting money as usual.

5. Apple of discord

Meaning: A matter of dispute
Example: This identified land is an apple of discord.

6. As if

Meaning: As it would be
Example: He speaks loudly as if he has done everything.

7. At a loss

Meaning: Puzzled
Example: She has become at a loss after seeing this incident.

8. At all 

Meaning: Primarily
Example: Mr. Jacob doesn’t care about his job at all.

9. At a stretch

Meaning: Without a break
Example: I will do this task at a stretch.

10. At home

Meaning: Skilled, comfortable
Example: He is enough at home in English.

11. At large

Meaning: Free
Example: Currently, Mr. Jishan is at large from everything.

12. At last 

Meaning: In the long run
ExampleAt last, I resolved the issue.

13. At least

Meaning: At the lowest
Example: At least you can pick the book.

14. At random

Meaning: Without any aim
ExampleHe is driving the car at random.

15. At sixes and sevens

Meaning: Scattered
ExampleThe situation is really at sixes and sevens.

16. At stake 

Meaning: In danger
ExampleHe has fallen in at stake.

17. At the eleventh hour

Meaning: At the last moment
ExampleThe doctor has come at the eleventh hour.

18. Bad blood 

Meaning: Ill feeling
ExampleI feel bad blood for your misdeed.

19. Beat about the bush

Meaning: Talking irrelevantly
ExamplePlease stop your beating about the bush.

20. Bed of roses

Meaning: Comfortable condition
ExampleThe action is not a bed of roses.

21. Black sheep 

Meaning: A person of bad character
ExampleThis is a black sheep of our society.

22. Beggar description

Meaning: Can’t be described
ExampleHis present suffering can be considered as a beggar description.

23. By all means

Meaning: In all possible ways
ExampleYou have to do it by all means.

24. By the bye

Meaning: In the course of talking
ExampleHe follows all the rules by the bye.

25. By chance

Meaning: By accident
ExampleHe has got the job by chance.

26. By fits and starts

Meaning: Irregularly
ExampleHe comes here by fits and starts.

27. By no means

Meaning: In no way
ExampleI can’t accept it by no means.

28. By hook or by crook

Meaning: By fear means or foul
ExampleShe will get it by hook or by crook.

29. By leaps and bound

Meaning: Very rapidly
ExampleThe disease is spreading by leaps and bound.

30. Big gun

Meaning: A leading man
ExampleAt last, I got a big gun.

31. Bone of contention

Meaning: A matter of dispute
ExampleIt’s a bone of contention.

32. Bosom friend 

Meaning: Close friend
ExampleI have a bosom friend.

33. Bring to light

Meaning: To make something widely known or reveal
ExampleUltimately, the law enforcer agency brings to light the incident.

34. Build castles in the air

Meaning: Indulge in idle vision
ExamplePlease don’t think about building castles in the air.

35. Call to mind

Meaning: Remember
ExampleDo you call to mind me?

36. Cats and dogs

Meaning: Heavily
ExampleIt’s raining cats and dogs.

37. Cock and bull story

Meaning: Absurd story
ExampleYour story is a cock and bull story.

38. Crying need

Meaning: Urgent need
Example: Food is a crying need in Syria.

39. Crocodile tears

Meaning: Pretended cry
ExamplePlease stop your crocodile tears.

40. Dead language

Meaning: A language that is no longer used

ExampleThe ancient language is the dead language.

41. Dead of night

Meaning: Midnight
ExampleIt’s dead of night.

42. End in smoke

Meaning: Fail
ExampleAll of my values end in smoke.

43. Far and wide

Meaning: Everywhere
ExampleI see the person far and wide.

44. From A to Z 

Meaning: From the beginning to the end
Example: Please fix the issue from A to Z.

45. Gala day

Meaning: Holiday
ExampleFriday is our gala day.

46. Get rid of

Meaning: To be free from
ExampleHe will get rid of suffering soon.

47. Heart and soul

Meaning: With all energy
ExampleLet’s do the work with heart and soul.

48. Hold water

Meaning: Be effective
Example: These criteria will not hold water in the issue.

49. Hush money

Meaning: Bribe money
ExampleHe always takes hush money.

50. In fine

Meaning: In conclusion
ExampleIn fine, we can say it’s a good story.

51. In time

Meaning: In the proper time
ExampleShe has attended the class on time.

52. In order to 

Meaning: With the object of
ExampleI start my journey in order to meet my friends.

53. In lieu of

Meaning: Instead of
ExampleThe company delivered a fake product in lieu of the original.

54. In black and white

Meaning: In writing
ExamplePlease show your documents in black and white.

55. In cold blood

Meaning: Without provocation
Example: He has done the misdeed in cold blood.

56. In no time

Meaning: Soon
ExampleYou have to come in no time.

57. Ins and outs

Meaning: Full details
Example: Mr. Kadee writes a note ins and outs.

58. In forc

Meaning: Inactivity
Example: He still remains in force.

59. In a nutshell 

Meaning: Very briefly
ExampleShow your statement in a nutshell.

60. In the meantime 

Meaning: In the time between
ExampleIn the meantime, they have come here.

61. In the long run

Meaning: Ultimately
ExampleThe boy will receive the trophy in the long run.

62. In vain

Meaning: Fruitless
ExampleAll his hopes are going to be in vain.

63. Lion’s share

Meaning: Major part
ExamplePlease give my lion’s share.

64. Kith and kin

Meaning: Relative
ExampleThey are our close kith and kin.

65. Maiden speech

Meaning: First speech
ExampleThe girl is delivering her maiden speech.

66. Man of letters

Meaning: A scholar
ExampleHe is a man of letters.

67. Man of straw 

Meaning: Worthless man
ExampleWe should avoid the man of straw.

68. Make both ends meet 

Meaning: Live within means
ExampleThe man can’t make both ends meet.

69. Moot point

Meaning: An undecided matter
ExampleIt’s not a moot point.

70. Null and void

Meaning: Invalid
Example: I have to nip in the bud during the trip.

71. Nip in the bud

Meaning: Destroy in the initial
ExampleAll of his plans nips in the bud.

72. Now and then

Meaning: Occasionally
ExampleHe comes to the place now and then.

73. Of course

Meaning: Certainly
ExampleOf course, I have done it.

74. On the contrary 

Meaning: Just opposite
ExampleThey are staying on the contrary.

75. On the wine

Meaning: Declining
ExampleHer weight is on the wine.

76. Out of date

Meaning: Out of fashion
ExampleYour product is now out of date.

77. Out of the wood

Meaning: Free from danger
ExampleThe patient is out of the wood right now.

78. Out of doors 

Meaning: Outside
ExamplePlease follow the out-of-doors.

79. Out of sorts

Meaning: Not well
Example: He is now out of sorts.

80. Out of order

Meaning: Defective
ExampleThe engine is out of order.

81. Out of temper

Meaning: Angry
ExampleHe is out of his temper right now.

82. Part and parcel

Meaning: An integral part
ExampleFood is the part and parcel of human life.

83. Pros and cons

Meaning: Details
ExamplePlease tell me all the pros and cons of that product.

84. Rank and file

Meaning: Common men
ExampleHe is a rank and file in our society.

85. Red-letter day

Meaning: Memorable day
Example20th August is my red-letter day.

86. Red tape

Meaning: Official formalities
ExampleWe have to follow the red tape.

87. Read between the line

Meaning: Understand the significance
ExampleYou should have to read between the line.

88. Round the clock

Meaning: Twenty-four hours
ExampleWe should obey our duties round the clock.

89. Set free

Meaning: Liberate
ExampleShe is now set free of all charges.

90. Slowcoach

Meaning: Lazy One
ExampleHe is a slow coach man.

91. Slip of the tongue

Meaning: Slight mistake in speaking
ExampleIt was a slip of the tongue mine.

92. Square meal 

Meaning: Full meal
ExampleI want to eat a square meal.

93. Take to heart

Meaning: Cut to the quick
ExampleI take to heart when I heard the story.

94. Take one to task

Meaning: Rebuke
ExampleHe always takes one to the task.

95. Tooth and nail 

Meaning: Strongly
ExampleI condemn the matter tooth and nail.

96. Through thick and thin

Meaning: Through all difficulties
ExampleHe came back strongly through thick and thin.

97. To the backbone

Meaning: To the core
ExampleI know the incident to the backbone.

98. To the contrary

Meaning: Against
ExampleIt’s nothing but to the contrary thing.

99. Up and downs 

Meaning: Rise and fail
ExampleMy income is up and downs suddenly.

100. White elephant

Meaning: A costly unprofitable undertaking
ExampleIt’s really a white elephant matter for no doubt.

We may say these 100 idiomatic expressions in English (with meanings and examples) will help us make new sentences and conversations very smoothly. Especially when we start a new conversation with someone else.

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2 years ago

Wow! These idioms are so cool! I like It!

2 years ago

happy to be here

2 years ago
Reply to  Azizul Hakim


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