25 English Idioms With Their Meanings

english idioms
(Last Updated On: November 23, 2023)

The most exciting thing about the internet is reading slang and phrases common in a foreign country but sound like gibberish to you. If you have ever been on Scottish Twitter, you know exactly what we are discussing. But this is the thing with languages: each has phrases unique to it that may not make much sense in the literal sense. Such terms have been assigned special meanings by their speakers. Sometimes, there is a whole story behind such phrases. In any case, they make languages a lot more interesting. Adding them to a conversation can improve the quality of speech by manifolds. In English, we use idioms for the same purpose. They may not make sense when you try to understand each word, but together, they have come to mean something for all the speakers of English.

Common idioms are a fascinating aspect of the English language that often perplex non-native speakers due to the vast disparity between their literal and figurative meanings. For instance, when native speakers mention a “silver lining” in a difficult situation, they are not referring to a metallic edge but rather to an optimistic aspect amid adversity. The challenge for non-native English speakers lies in deciphering these figurative meanings, as attempting a literal translation can often make a bad situation worse. The literal meaning refers to its straightforward interpretation based on the actual words used, devoid of any metaphorical or figurative connotations. Learning the subtleties of English expressions involves more than just understanding words; it requires unraveling the cultural and contextual nuances that give these idioms their unique charm.

25 English Idioms with Their Meanings:

You would impress everyone if you suddenly started quoting poetry in daily conversations. Things that have deeper meanings can always improve the quality of conversations. But you don’t always have to learn poetry for that when idioms can serve the same purpose. And they are easier to learn because of their interesting meanings. Here are twenty-five English idioms with their meanings that you should learn today:

meanings english idioms
  • What are the 20 idiomatic expressions?

    1. Better late than never
    2. Break a leg
    3. Once in a blue moon
    4. Call it a day
    5. Piece of cake
    6. Hit the hay
    7. Up in the air
    8. Lose your touch
    9. Sit tight
    10. Ring a bell
    11. Face the music
    12. Pitch in
    13. Cut to the chase
    14. Break-even
    15. Midas Touch
    16. Make ends meet
    17. To be loaded
    18. Rule of thumb
    19. In hot water
    20. A couch potato
  • What are the 10 examples of idioms?

    1. A dime a dozen
    2. Bite the bullet
    3. Cutting corners
    4. Devil’s Advocate
    5. Fit as a fiddle
    6. No pain, no gain
    7. Speak of the devil
    8. The last straw
    9. A snowball effect
    10. Burning bridges
  • What are the examples of idioms and their meanings?

    • Every dog has his day. (everyone gets a chance in life to do something big.)
    • Go down in flames. (to fail spectacularly)
    • Two peas in a pod. (used for people who are always together)
    • The elephant in the room. (an issue or topic everyone is trying to avoid)
  • What are some popular idioms?

    • Time is money
    • Having your head in the clouds
    • Like riding a bike
    • Weather the storm
    • You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink
    • A blessing in disguise
    • Adding insult to injury
    • Beat around the bush
    • Break a leg
    • Biting off more than you can chew
english idioms with their meanings
  1. Bite off more than one can chew:

It means to take on more responsibilities than you can handle. It can be used when talking about a colleague who said yes to overtime but is struggling now to complete all their tasks.

  1. Give someone a hand:

If you ever need help from someone, ask them to give you a hand. It translates as asking them to assist you in your task. It could be as simple as moving the couch to the other side of the room.

  1. Know something like the back of your hand:

Is there a part of your town that you know very well? Then you can say you know it like the back of your hand. The idiom means knowing something very well.

  1. Sleep on it:

There is a custom in some parts of the world that warns people against making decisions at night. In English, you can say I would like to sleep on it before I make a decision. That would mean you would like to think about it in detail before making your call, or you would go to bed with the idea and decide in the morning.

  1. To feel under the weather:

This can be used to tell people that you are not feeling good. For instance, when you are sick, you can call your boss and say I am under the weather, so I won’t be able to come in today.

  1. To cut corners:

This means taking shortcuts. When you see a government project completed so quickly, you can be confident that someone cut some corners.

  1. Leave no stone unturned:

It means doing every possible thing to achieve your goal. For instance, I left no stone unturned and got my desired job.

  1. Wrap your head around it:

You can use this to say that you were able to understand something. For instance, after studying for an hour, I could finally wrap my head around the concepts in the physics book.

  1. Hang in there:

This is the idiom everyone uses to calm their friends and family members down in times of distress. It is also used to tell people that they should be brave in the face of adversity.

  1. Ring a bell:

It is used when people remember something after observing visual cues. For instance, saying that a painting rings a bell, but I can’t remember who the artist was is one example.

  1. Learn the ropes:

This can be used to talk about someone who is new at work and has to learn the basics.

  1. By the book:

This was created for those who do things strictly by the book. These people follow the rules and regulations and don’t like engaging in lawless activities.

  1. In a nutshell:

This is a fancy way of saying, in short. It is used to summarize conversations or documents.

  1. Back to square one:

This means starting from the beginning. When nothing works out, people must return to square one.

  1. Call it a day:

You can call it a day if you don’t want to work on more projects.

  1. See eye to eye:

If two people agree on a topic, they see eye to eye.

  1. Once in a blue moon:

If you drink coffee rarely, you can say you enjoy it once in a blue moon.

  1. To cost an arm and a leg:

This can be used to refer to unbelievably expensive things.

  1. A piece of cake:

If your test was super easy, then you can say it was a piece of cake.

  1. Giving someone the cold shoulder:

It means ignoring someone.

  1. The elephant in the room:

This idiom is for the critical problem that no one discusses.

  1. Stealing someone’s thunder:

This refers to people who take credit for other people’s work.

  1. Vanish into thin air:

When something disappears, this is the idiom you can use to talk about it.

  1. Cut it out:

This can be used when someone is doing something annoying, and you want them to stop.

  1. Shoot yourself in the foot:

This idiom describes when you do or say something that can create problems for you.

Learn these interesting idioms today and start making your conversations unique.

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