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
A Comprehensive List of 100 Idioms with their meanings and examples are given below:
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
Example: She obeys her duty all in all.
4. As usual
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
Example: She has become at a loss after seeing this incident.
8. At all
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
Example: Currently, Mr. Jishan is at large from everything.
12. At last
Meaning: In the long run
Example: At 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
Example: He is driving the car at random.
15. At sixes and sevens
Example: The situation is really at sixes and sevens.
16. At stake
Meaning: In danger
Example: He has fallen in at stake.
17. At the eleventh hour
Meaning: At the last moment
Example: The doctor has come at the eleventh hour.
18. Bad blood
Meaning: Ill feeling
Example: I feel bad blood for your misdeed.
19. Beat about the bush
Meaning: Talking irrelevantly
Example: Please stop your beating about the bush.
20. Bed of roses
Meaning: Comfortable condition
Example: The action is not a bed of roses.
21. Black sheep
Meaning: A person of bad character
Example: This is a black sheep of our society.
22. Beggar description
Meaning: Can’t be described
Example: His present suffering can be considered as a beggar description.
23. By all means
Meaning: In all possible ways
Example: You have to do it by all means.
24. By the bye
Meaning: In the course of talking
Example: He follows all the rules by the bye.
25. By chance
Meaning: By accident
Example: He has got the job by chance.
26. By fits and starts
Example: He comes here by fits and starts.
27. By no means
Meaning: In no way
Example: I can’t accept it by no means.
28. By hook or by crook
Meaning: By fear means or foul
Example: She will get it by hook or by crook.
29. By leaps and bound
Meaning: Very rapidly
Example: The disease is spreading by leaps and bound.
30. Big gun
Meaning: A leading man
Example: At last, I got a big gun.
31. Bone of contention
Meaning: A matter of dispute
Example: It’s a bone of contention.
32. Bosom friend
Meaning: Close friend
Example: I have a bosom friend.
33. Bring to light
Meaning: To make something widely known or reveal
Example: Ultimately, the law enforcer agency brings to light the incident.
34. Build castles in the air
Meaning: Indulge in idle vision
Example: Please don’t think about building castles in the air.
35. Call to mind
Example: Do you call to mind me?
36. Cats and dogs
Example: It’s raining cats and dogs.
37. Cock and bull story
Meaning: Absurd story
Example: Your 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
Example: Please stop your crocodile tears.
40. Dead language
Meaning: A language that is no longer used
Example: The ancient language is the dead language.
41. Dead of night
Example: It’s dead of night.
42. End in smoke
Example: All of my values end in smoke.
43. Far and wide
Example: I 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
Example: Friday is our gala day.
46. Get rid of
Meaning: To be free from
Example: He will get rid of suffering soon.
47. Heart and soul
Meaning: With all energy
Example: Let’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
Example: He always takes hush money.
50. In fine
Meaning: In conclusion
Example: In fine, we can say it’s a good story.
51. In time
Meaning: In the proper time
Example: She has attended the class on time.
52. In order to
Meaning: With the object of
Example: I start my journey in order to meet my friends.
53. In lieu of
Meaning: Instead of
Example: The company delivered a fake product in lieu of the original.
54. In black and white
Meaning: In writing
Example: Please 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
Example: You have to come in no time.
57. Ins and outs
Meaning: Full details
Example: Mr. Kadee writes a note ins and outs.
58. In force
Example: He still remains in force.
59. In a nutshell
Meaning: Very briefly
Example: Show your statement in a nutshell.
60. In the meantime
Meaning: In the time between
Example: In the meantime, they have come here.
61. In the long run
Example: The boy will receive the trophy in the long run.
62. In vain
Example: All his hopes are going to be in vain.
63. Lion’s share
Meaning: Major part
Example: Please give my lion’s share.
64. Kith and kin
Example: They are our close kith and kin.
65. Maiden speech
Meaning: First speech
Example: The girl is delivering her maiden speech.
66. Man of letters
Meaning: A scholar
Example: He is a man of letters.
67. Man of straw
Meaning: Worthless man
Example: We should avoid the man of straw.
68. Make both ends meet
Meaning: Live within means
Example: The man can’t make both ends meet.
69. Moot point
Meaning: An undecided matter
Example: It’s not a moot point.
70. Null and void
Example: I have to nip in the bud during the trip.
71. Nip in the bud
Meaning: Destroy in the initial
Example: All of his plans nips in the bud.
72. Now and then
Example: He comes to the place now and then.
73. Of course
Example: Of course, I have done it.
74. On the contrary
Meaning: Just opposite
Example: They are staying on the contrary.
75. On the wine
Example: Her weight is on the wine.
76. Out of date
Meaning: Out of fashion
Example: Your product is now out of date.
77. Out of the wood
Meaning: Free from danger
Example: The patient is out of the wood right now.
78. Out of doors
Example: Please follow the out-of-doors.
79. Out of sorts
Meaning: Not well
Example: He is now out of sorts.
80. Out of order
Example: The engine is out of order.
81. Out of temper
Example: He is out of his temper right now.
82. Part and parcel
Meaning: An integral part
Example: Food is the part and parcel of human life.
83. Pros and cons
Example: Please tell me all the pros and cons of that product.
84. Rank and file
Meaning: Common men
Example: He is a rank and file in our society.
85. Red-letter day
Meaning: Memorable day
Example: 20th August is my red-letter day.
86. Red tape
Meaning: Official formalities
Example: We have to follow the red tape.
87. Read between the line
Meaning: Understand the significance
Example: You should have to read between the line.
88. Round the clock
Meaning: Twenty-four hours
Example: We should obey our duties round the clock.
89. Set free
Example: She is now set free of all charges.
Meaning: Lazy One
Example: He is a slow coach man.
91. Slip of the tongue
Meaning: Slight mistake in speaking
Example: It was a slip of the tongue mine.
92. Square meal
Meaning: Full meal
Example: I want to eat a square meal.
93. Take to heart
Meaning: Cut to the quick
Example: I take to heart when I heard the story.
94. Take one to task
Example: He always takes one to the task.
95. Tooth and nail
Example: I condemn the matter tooth and nail.
96. Through thick and thin
Meaning: Through all difficulties
Example: He came back strongly through thick and thin.
97. To the backbone
Meaning: To the core
Example: I know the incident to the backbone.
98. To the contrary
Example: It’s nothing but to the contrary thing.
99. Up and downs
Meaning: Rise and fail
Example: My income is up and downs suddenly.
100. White elephant
Meaning: A costly unprofitable undertaking
Example: It’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.
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.