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Top 500 Idioms

These are the 500 most commonly used English idioms and their meanings. While learning idioms might seem difficult and time-consuming, it’ll help you to speak in more interesting ways and sound more natural among native English speakers.

Siddharth Raayan
Siddharth RaayanImproving English

a fish out of water

  • phrase:a fish out of water

1)a person in a completely unsuitable environment or situation.

"senior bankers are fish out of water when it comes to international lending"

a hard nut to crack

  • phrase:a tough nut to crack
  • phrase:a hard nut to crack

1)a difficult problem or an opponent that is hard to beat.

a quick buck

  • phrase:a quick buck

1)easily and quickly earned money.

"they were seen as more eager to make a quick buck"

a sight for sore eyes

  • phrase:a sight for sore eyes

1)a person or thing that one is extremely pleased or relieved to see.

"the mighty Cairngorms are a sight for sore eyes in any rambler's book"

  • phrase:a sight to behold
  • phrase:a sight for sore eyes

1)a person or thing that is particularly impressive or worth seeing.

"Selwyn's garden was a sight to behold"

a stitch in time saves nine

  • phrase:a stitch in time saves nine

1)if you sort out a problem immediately it may save a lot of extra work later.

a tall order

  • phrase:a tall order

1)an unreasonable or difficult demand.

"they thought that the deadline was a tall order"

absence makes the heart grow fonder

  • phrase:absence makes the heart grow fonder

1)you feel more affection for those you love when parted from them.

act of god

  • phrase:act of God
  • phrase:act of god

1)an instance of uncontrollable natural forces in operation (often used in insurance claims).

"the flooding was surely an act of God"


  • noun:aftermath
  • plural noun:aftermaths

1)the consequences or aftereffects of a significant unpleasant event.

"food prices soared in the aftermath of the drought"

2)new grass growing after mowing or harvest.

against the grain

  • phrase:against the grain

1)contrary to the natural inclination or feeling of someone or something.

"it goes against the grain to tell outright lies"

ahead of the curve

  • phrase:ahead of the curve

1)(especially of a business or politician) ahead of current thinking or trends.

"we are continually looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve and provide added value to our consumers"

  • phrase:behind the curve
  • phrase:ahead of the curve

1)(especially of a business or politician) lagging behind current thinking or trends.

"the industry has been behind the curve on the technology front"

all that glitters is not gold

  • phrase:all that glitters is not gold

1)the attractive external appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature.

all the best

  • phrase:all the best

1)said or written to wish a person well on ending a letter or parting.

all the way up

  • phrase:all the way
  • phrase:all the way up

1)without limit or reservation.

"I'm with you all the way"

alma mater

  • noun:alma mater
  • plural noun:alma maters

1)the school, college, or university that one once attended.

"he started teaching at his alma mater"

and so on

  • phrase:and so on

1)and similar things; et cetera.

"these snacks include cheeses, cold meats, and so on"

anything but

  • phrase:anything but

1)not at all (used for emphasis).

"this grisly ending is anything but sentimental"

  • phrase:nothing but
  • phrase:anything but


"nothing but the best will do"

apple pie order

  • noun:apple-pie order

1)perfect order or neatness.

"everything was in apple-pie order"

apple polisher

  • noun:apple-polisher
  • plural noun:apple-polishers

1)a person who behaves obsequiously to someone important.

apples to apples

  • phrase:apples to apples

1)used with reference to a comparison regarded as valid because it concerns two things that are fundamentally the same.

"there is no apples-to-apples comparison when comparing a foreign currency to USD"

Showing 1 - 20 of 500 items
Showing 1 - 20 of 500 items