English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
results for letter 'M
- Mind your P's and Q's
- This is used as a way of telling someone to be polite and behave well.
- Mint condition
- If something is in mint condition, it is in perfect condition.
- Misery guts
- A misery guts is a person who's always unhappy and tries to make others feel negative.
- Miss is as good as a mile
- A miss is as good as a mile means that if you fail, even by the smallest margin, it is still a failure.
- Miss the boat
- If you miss the boat, you are too late to take advantage of an opportunity.
- Mom and pop
- (USA) A mom and pop business is a small business, especially if it is run by members of a family. It can used in a wider sense to mean that something is small scale.
- Monday morning quarterback
- (USA) A Monday morning quarterback is someone who, with the benefit of hindsight, knows what should have been done in a situation.
- Money burns a hole in your pocket
- If someone has money burning a hole in their pocket, they are eager to spend it, normally in a wasteful manner.
- Money doesn`t grow on trees
- This means that you have to work to earn money; it doesn't come easily or without effort.
- Money for jam
- If something's money for jam, it's a very easy way of making money.
- Money for old rope
- (UK) If something's money for old rope, it's a very easy way of making money.
- Money laundering
- If people launder money, they get money made illegally into the mainstream so that it is believed to be legitimate and clean.
- Money makes many things
- This means that money is important.
- Money pit
- A business or venture that costs a lot of money, especially when it costs more than expected, is a money pit.
- Money talks
- This means that people can convey many messages with money, and many things can be discovered about people by observing the way they use their money.
- Money to burn
- If someone is very rich, they have money to burn.
- Monkey business
- If children get up to monkey business, they are behaving naughtily or mischievously. This is the same as 'monkeying around'.
- Monkey see, monkey do
- This idiom means that children will learn their behaviour by copying what they see happening around them.
- Moot point
- If something's a moot point, there's some disagreement about it: a debatable point.
In the U.S., this expression usually means that there is no point in debating something, because it just doesn't matter.
An example: If you are arguing over whether to go the beach or to the park, but you find out the car won't start and you can't go anywhere, then the destination is said to be a moot point.
- Moral fibre
- Moral fibre is the inner strength to do what you believe to be right in difficult situations
Example: He lacked the moral fibre to be leader
(In American English the correct spelling is 'fiber'.)
- Moral high ground
- If people have/take/claim/seize, etc, the moral high ground, they claim that their arguments, beliefs, etc, are morally superior to those being put forward by other people.
- More bang for your buck
- (USA) Something that will give you more bang for your buck will deliver more value than any other option.
- More front than Brighton
- (UK) If you have more front than Brighton, you are very self-confident, possibly excessively so.
- More haste, less speed
- The faster you try to do something, the more likely you are to make mistakes that make you take longer than it would had you planned it.
- More heat than light
- If a discussion generates more heat than light, it doesn't provide answers, but does make people angry.
- More holes than Swiss cheese
- If something has more holes than a Swiss cheese, it is incomplete,and lacks many parts.
- More than meets the eye
- If there is more than meets the eye to something, it is more complex or difficult than it appears.
- More than one string to their bow
- A person who has more than one string to their bow has different talents or skills to fall back on.
- More than one way to skin a cat
- When people say that there is more than one way to skin a cat, they mean that there are different ways of achieving the same thing.
- More than you can shake a stick at
- If you have more of something than you can shake a stick at, then you have a lot.
- Mother wit
- Native intelligence; common sense
- Mountain to climb
- If you have a mountain to climb, you have to work hard or make a lot of progress to achieve something.
- Move heaven and earth
- This expression indicates a person's determined intention of getting a work done in spite of all odds he may face. He will use all and every means to accomplish the target. Example: He moved heaven and earth to get his literary work recognised by the committee of experts.
- Move mountains
- If you would move mountains to do something, you would make any effort to achieve your aim. When people say that faith can move mountains, they mean that it can achieve a lot.
- Move the chains
- (USA) Derived from the act of moving the chains in an American football game when a team gets a first down, this expression describes taking a project to the next step, especially one that has lost its momentum for one reason or another. Example: Frustrated with our lack of progress, our boss finally shouted, "Make a decision today about which one to use, and let's move the chains on this."
- Move the goalposts
- When people move the goalposts, they change the standards required for something to their advantage.
- Move up a gear
- If you move up a gear, you start to perform in a clearly better way, especially in sport.
- Mover and shaker
- A person who is a mover and shaker is a highly respected, key figure in their particular area with a lot of influence and importance.
- Movers and shakers
- Dynamic, important people who can get things done quickly and are influential are the movers and shakers.
- Much ado about nothing
- If there's a lot of fuss about something trivial, there's much ado about nothing.
- Much of a muchness
- Things are much of a muchness when there is very little difference between them.
- Muck or nettles
- 'Muck or nettles' means 'all or nothing'.
- Mud in the fire
- The things that cannot be changed in the past that we usually forget about are mud in the fire.
- Mud in your eye
- This is a way of saying 'cheers' when you are about to drink something, normally alcohol.
- If someone is mud-slinging, they are insulting someone and trying to damage that person's reputation.
- Muddy the waters
- If somebody muddies the waters, he or she makes the situation more complex or less clear.
- Mum's the word
- When people use this idiom, they mean that you should keep quiet about something and not tell other people.
- Mummy's boy
- A man who is still very dependent on his mother is a mummy's boy.
- Murder will out
- This idiom means that bad deeds can't be kept secret forever.
- Murky waters
- Where people are behaving in morally and ethically questionable ways, they are in murky waters.
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