Idioms examples

English idioms – the main ingredient of advanced English

Idioms are informal phrases where the meaning of the whole phrase cannot be understood from individual words. By another definition, idioms are phrases or expressions that usually have a figurative meaning.

Idioms with examples

You should always learn English idioms in examples from real-life sentences and situations.
Beacuse this way you will learn them faster and you will remember them better.

In every language, there are thousands of idioms and idiomatic expressions. In English, we have approximately twenty-five thousand (25,000) idioms.

Yes, that’s a huge number – therefore you will probably never learn them all.

But don’t get frustrated!
Several hundred of the most common and frequently used English idioms with examples are covered and explained on these pages 🙂

Our extensive list of idioms and phrases (scroll down) is extracted from English and American movies. So you can click on each phrase or idiom and see the whole sentence.

Some examples of commonly used idioms
This is a quick list with examples of my favorite English idioms and their meaning:

ring a bell when somebody looks familiar or something sounds familiar
catch some rays spending time sunbathing
no brainer situation when a decision is absolutely clear and doesn’t require any thinking
cut corners doing something easier way in order to save time, money or effort
bite the bullet to face a difficult situation with courage
to have a beef with somebody to have a personal problem with somebody
cut the crap frequently used phrase if you want to stop somebody who is talking complete nonsense
blow out of the water completely defeat or destroy somebody or win in certain situation
keep in the dark to be secretive and keep somebody uninformed about some facts
high roller person who earns and spends a lot of money
to be on cloud nine when somebody is extremely happy and satisfied

Why should you learn English idioms?

I love English idiomsLearning idioms can be fun – especially when you compare the meaning of an English idiom to a similar phrase in your native language.

Understanding and using English idioms is a sign of your proficiency and advanced knowledge of English. In addition to sounding “more native”, you will also have better understanding of your favorite movies and TV shows.

However, be careful and take your time to learn English idioms properly! Most importantly, you should learn them in the correct context.

For example, if you use some explicit (= vulgar, inappropriate) idioms in a formal conversation (like with your employer), that would probably not be a good idea! The same applies in the opposite situation. Using too formal and polite idioms in an informal environment would also be rather inappropriate.

So in order to learn English idioms correctly, our website offers a lot of context. As a result, you will gain confidence to use them properly.

Our 2-step method:

In order to help you to understand correctly when somebody uses an idiom in a speech or conversation, we have created a concept based on examples from movies.

As you probably know, you can hear lots of idioms in American movies and TV shows.

The method is very simple, yet very effective.

STEP 1. Listen to idioms in short video samples in real-life situations
ahead of the curve
hit the spot

These are the examples of idioms that you will certainly hear in many conversations with English speakers on a daily basis.
So the best way to master them is to learn them in context in real sentences. And I am pretty sure that the best context is your favorite movie or TV show 🙂

STEP 2. Practice them in short exercises
Matt is often talking about running his own business, but it's just ______, because he is very lazy.
Idioms sample
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Collocations | Idioms | Phrasal verbs | Words

(110 terms)
keep pluggingto keep trying and making effort
up to parstandard quality
to get laidto have sex, copulation
dirty-talkvulgar talk, especially about sex
big rolla lot of money
free ridesomething that is free
lose (one’s) mindgo crazy, to lose control of emotions
feel boobstouching female breasts
buy more timeto make more time available
to be put togetherelegant
there/here’s the rubthere is the problem
big fishimportant person
press the buttonto make woman excited (slang)
hood ratpromiscuous woman from a poor neighborhood
eat (somebody’s) head offto attack verbally (slang)
seeing somebodyto date somebody
child’s playeasy situation
say the wordask for something (favor)
cerebral studhighly intelligent man
live out of a suitcaseto live only temporarily in many different locations
three sheets to the winddrunk
get back on one’s feetregain control of one's life
be on (something)working on something
Don’t get flip with me!Don't be insolent!
be fine and dandyto be OK and well
cheeseball linesrather stupid or corny talk
jump off the pageto be significantly different from others
Goody Two-Shoesextremely decent young girl
rumor has itstory or information that people are talking about
for keeppermanently
dissecting the eyeto watch something with an extreme interest (slang)
crock of shitcomplete nonsense
hell of a lothuge amount of something
hop in the sackto start having a sexual pleasure
to have second thoughtsto be uncertain and undecided
to scare the shit out of (somebody)to make someone to be really frightened
to be cool (with somebody)not having any problem (with somebody)
be off somethingto be out of some activity
make itto survive
sea legsability to keep balance on a ship
to suck at somethingto have very poor knowledge of something
get in the sackto have a sexual affair
final scorethe last successful robbery
give a goto try something
wish on a starto make a wish when a star is falling
before the year’s upbefore the year ends
do the mathto calculate information in order to understand the situation
blow out of the waterto be much better in something than anybody else
pop the questionwhen a man asks a woman to marry him
pick up where we left offto continue where the previous activity was stopped
make a killingto have a huge success
to be sick and tiredto be completely dissatisfied with some situation
to be cool (with somebody)not having any problem (with somebody)
watch your languagebe careful what you say
to have ballsto have courage
to have gutsto have a courage for some task
kill the vibeto destroy a good atmosphere
run like the wind blowsto run very fast
be crazy about (someone)to be strongly in love
take a dumpto defecate (slang)
in a good shapein good physical condition
put on holdto pause the communication
way tootoo much
hot girlpretty and sexy girl
set up on my ownto start own business, to become independent
no strings attachedsome activity (usually relationship) where nothing is expected in return or no official attachment
to crush examsto do very well on exams
let (somebody) off the hookto forgive, relieve or to free somebody from the responsibility
in one’s powerwhen someone has the ability to do something, in one’s hands
slip one’s mindto forget about something
big timewhen emphasizing a level of a situation
one-night standsexual relationship for one night
out of left fieldunexpectedly and surprisingly
cover the shiftwhen somebody works instead of other employee
doom and gloomvery negative outlook, end of the world
make an ass out of yourselfto make a fool out of yourself
let the good times rollto have a good time (usually sex)
drive crazy to irritate somebody or make him/her angry
no rushno need to hurry
grasp for anythingtrying every possible option
put your hands together for (someone)to clap hands, to applause
high-rolling personperson with high income
Life is a bitchLife is unfair and bad
be in businesswhen something is operating OK
in a rowconstantly without interruption
old baggrumpy old woman
sausage festparty with the majority of male participants
off the beaten track/pathaway from typical tourist areas
hit the headto go to the toilet to pee (slang)
roll over in gravewhen someone who has already died would be strongly disappointed about what is happening
force (someone’s) handto push somebody to do something he/she wouldn't normally do
make a standto express a strong opinion and make an effort to achieve a desired outcome
go nutsto go crazy
keep in darkto keep secret, not to tell
be on the tableanother alternative that may be considered
keep on leashto control someone strictly
set for lifeto have enough money for the rest of life
to fit like a round pegto fit perfectly
shit the bedto fail at something
give a shotto try something again (one more time)
leave to deadto abandon somebody
don’t count your chickensdon't make planes before all circumstances are figured out
way to goused when something is the way it should be, expressing approval
shut one’s mouthstop talking
long shotsomething that has only small chance of success
high-roller (slang)somebody who earns and spends a lot of money
whole wayeverything
at own perilat own risk
hanky-pankyimmoral, indecent and dishonest behavior
keep your chin upto remain in good spirit in difficult situation