English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 151-197 of 197 results for letter 'A'
As much use as a chocolate fire-guard
A fire-guard is used in front of a fireplace for safety. A chocolate fire-guard is of no use. An alternative to 'As much use as a chocolate teapot'.
As much use as a chocolate teapot
Something that is as much use as a chocolate teapot is not useful at all.
As much use as a handbrake on a canoe
This idiom is used to describe someone or something as worthless or pointless.
As neat as a new pin
This idiom means tidy and clean.
As one man
If people do something as one man, then they do it at exactly the same time or in complete agreement.
As rare as hen's teeth
(USA) Something that is rare as hen's teeth is very rare or non-existent.
As the actress said to the bishop
(UK) This idiom is used to highlight a sexual reference, deliberate or accidental.
As the crow flies
This idiom is used to describe the shortest possible distance between two places.
As you sow, so shall you reap
This means that if you do bad things to people, bad things will happen to you, or good things if you do good things.
Asleep at the switch
If someone is asleep at the switch, they are not doing their job or taking their responsibilities very carefully. 'Asleep at the wheel' is an alternative.
Asleep at the wheel
If someone is asleep at the wheel, they are not doing their job or taking their responsibilities very carefully. 'Asleep at the switch' is an alternative.
At a drop of a dime
(USA) If someone will do something at the drop of a dime, they will do it instantly, without hesitation.
At a loose end
(UK) If you are at a loose end, you have spare time but don't know what to do with it.
At a loss
If you are at a loss, you are unable to understand or comply.
At a snail's pace
If something moves at a snail's pace, it moves very slowly.
At arm's length
If something is at arm's length, it is a safe distance waway from you.
At cross purposes
When people are at cross purposes, they misunderstand each other or have different or opposing objectives.
At daggers drawn
If people are at daggers drawn, they are very angry and close to violence.
At death's door
If someone looks as if they are at death's door, they look seriously unwell and might actually be dying.
At death's door
If someone is at death's door, they are very ill and close to death.
At each other's throats
If people are at each other's throats, they are fighting, arguing or competing ruthlessly.
At full tilt
If something is at full tilt, it is going or happening as fast or as hard as possible.
At large
If a criminal is at large, they have not been found or caught.
At loggerheads
If people are at loggerheads, they are arguing and can't agree on anything.
At loose ends
(USA) If you are at a loose end, you have spare time but don't know what to do with it.
At odds
If you are at odds with someone, you cannot agree with them and argue.
At sea
If things are at sea, or all at sea, they are disorganized and chaotic.
At the bottom of the totem pole
(USA) If someone is at the bottom of the totem pole, they are unimportant. Opposite is at the top of the totem pole.
At the coalface
If you work at the coalface, you deal with the real problems and issues, rather than sitting in a office discussing things in a detached way.
At the crossroads
If you're at a crossroads, you are a point where an important decision or choice has to be made.
At the drop of a hat
If you would do something at the drop of a hat, you'd do it immediately.
At the end of the day
This is used to mean 'in conclusion' or 'when all is said and done'.
At the end of your rope
(USA) If you are at the end of your rope, you are at the limit of your patience or endurance.
At the end of your tether
(UK) If you are at the end of your tether, you are at the limit of your patience or endurance.
At the fore
In a leading position
At the top of my lungs
If you shout at the top of your lungs, you shout as loudly as you possibly can.
At the top of the list
If something is at the top of the list, it is of highest priority, most important, most urgent, or the next in one's line of attention.
At the top of your lungs
If you shout at the top of your lungs, you shout as loudly as you possibly can.
At the top of your voice
If you talk, shout or sing at the top of your voice, you do it as loudly as you can.
At your fingertips
When something is at your fingertips, it is readily available and accessible.
At your wits' end
If you are at your wits' end, you have no idea what to do next and are very frustrated.
Average Joe
An average Joe is an ordinary person without anything exceptional about them.
Avowed intent
If someone makes a solemn or serious promise publicly to attempt to reach a certain goal, this is their avowed intent.
Away with the fairies
If someone is away with the fairies, they don't face reality and have unrealistic expectations of life.
Awe inspiring
Something or someone that is awe inspiring amazes people in a slightly frightening but positive way.
AWOL
AWOL stands for "Absent Without Leave", or "Absent Without Official Leave". Orignially a military term, it is used when someone has gone missing without telling anyone or asking for permission.
Axe to grind
If you have an axe to grind with someone or about something, you have a grievance, a resentment and you want to get revenge or sort it out. In American English, it is 'ax'.

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