English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 101-150 of 197 results for letter 'A'
All roads lead to Rome
This means that there can be many different ways of doing something.
All set
If you're all set, you are ready for something.
All sixes
If something is all sixes, it doesn't matter how it's done; it's the same as 'six of one and half a dozen of the other'.
All skin and bone
If a person is very underweight, they are all skin and bone, or bones.
All square
If something is all square, nobody has an advantage or is ahead of the others.
All talk and no trousers
(UK) Someone who is all talk and no trousers, talks about doing big, important things, but doesn't take any action.
All that glitters is not gold
This means that appearances can be deceptive and things that look or sound valuable can be worthless. ('All that glistens is not gold' is an alternative.)
All the rage
If something's all the rage, it is very popular or fashionable at the moment.
All the tea in China
If someone won't do something for all the tea in China, they won't do it no matter how much money they are offered.
All things to all people
When we try to be all things to all people, we try to satifsy everyone, and often end up satisfying no one.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
This expression means that people need time off from working and if they don't get it, they will become bored and lack interest and enthusiasm.(It is often shortened to All work and no play.)
All your eggs in one basket
If you put all your eggs in one basket, you risk everything at once, instead of trying to spread the risk. (This is often used as a negative imperative- 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket'. 'Have your eggs in one basket' is also used.)
All's fair in love and war
This idiom is used to say that where there is conflict, people can be expected to behave in a more vicious way.
All's well that ends well
If the end result is good, then everything is good.
All-singing, all-dancing
If something's all-singing, all-dancing, it is the latest version with the most up-to-date features.
Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades
(USA) Used in response to someone saying "almost" in a win/lose situation. The full expression is "Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." An alternate form puts "and flinging shit from a shovel" at the end.
Alter ego
An alter ego is a very close and intimate friend. It is a Latin phrase that literally means 'other self'.
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride
If someone is always a bridesmaid, never a bride, they never manage to fulfill their ambition- they get close, but never manage the recognition, etc, they crave.
Ambulance chaser
A lawyer who encourages people who have been in accidents or become ill to sue for compensation is an ambulance chaser.
Amen
Some use 'Amen' or 'Amen to that' as a way of agreeing with something that has just been said.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Eating healthy food keeps you healthy.
An Englishman's home is his castle
(UK) This means that what happens in a person's home or  private life is their business and should not be subject to outside interference.
An old flame
An old flame is a person that somebody has had an emotional, usually passionate, relationship with, who is still looked on fondly and with affection.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
This expression means that is is better to try to avoid problems in the first place, rather than trying to fix them once they arise.
And all that jazz
This idiom means that everything related or similar is included.
Angry as a bear
If someone is as angry as a bear, they are very angry.('Angry as a bear with a sore foot' is also used.)
Angry as a bull
If someone is as angry as a bull, they are very angry.
Answers on a postcard
This idiom can be used to suggest that the answer to something is very obvious or that the person would really like to hear what people think.
Ants in your pants
If someone has ants in their pants, they are agitated or excited about something and can't keep still.
Any port in a storm
This means that in an emergency any solution will do, even one that would normally be unacceptable.
Any Tom, Dick or Harry
If something could be done by any Tom, Dick or Harry, it could be done by absolutely anyone.
Apple of your eye
Something or, more often, someone that is very special to you is the 'apple of your' eye.
Apple pie order
Everything is in perfect order and tidy if it is in apple pie order.
Apples and oranges
'Apples and oranges' used when people compare or describe two totally different things. ('Apples to oranges' is also used.)
Apples for apples
An apples for apples comparison is a comparison between related or similar things. ('Apples to apples' is also used.)
Apron strings
A man who is tied to a woman's apron strings is excessively dependent on her, especially when it is his mother's apron strings.
Argue the toss
(UK) If you argue the toss, you refuse to accept a decision and argue about it.
Arm and a leg
If something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive.
Armchair critic
An armchair critic is someone who offers advice but never shows that they could actually do any better.
Armchair quarterback
(USA) An armchair quarterback is someone who offers advice, especially about football, but never shows that they could actually do any better.
Armed to the teeth
If people are armed to the teeth, they have lots of weapons.
Around the clock
If something is open around the clock, it is open 24 hours a day. For example, an airport is open around the clock.
Arrow in the quiver
An arrow in the quiver is a strategy or option that could be used to achieve your objective.
As a rule
If you do something as a rule, then you usually do it.
As cold as ice
This idiom can be used to describe a person who does not show any emotion.
As cold as stone
If something is as cold as stone, it is very cold. If a person is as cold as stone, they are unemotional.
As cool as a cucumber
If someone is as cool as a cucumber, they don't get worried by anything.
As good as new
If something has been used but is still in extremely good condition, it is as good as new.
As mad as a hatter
This simile means that someone is crazy or behaves very strangely. In the past many people who made hats went insane because they had a lot of contact with mercury.
As mad as a wrongly shot hog
(USA) If someone is as mad as a wrongly shot hog, they are very angry. (Same as, Angry as a bear or Angry as a bull).

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