English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 51-100 of 352 results for letter 'S'
See which way the cat jumps
(AU) If you see which way the cat jumps, you postpone making a decision or acting until you have seen how things are developing.
See you anon
(UK) If somebody says this when leaving, they expect to see you again soon.
See you later
A casual way of saying to friends I'll see you again, sometime, (without a definite date or time having been set) - this is often abbreviated to 'Later' or 'Laters' as an alternative way of saying goodbye.
See you on the big drum
A good night phrase to children.
Seed money
Seed money is money that is used to start a small business.
Seeing is believing
This idiom means that people can only really believe what they experience personally.
Seen better days
If something's seen better days, it has aged badly and visibly compared to when it was new. The phrase can also be used to describe people.
Sell down the river
If you sell someone down the river, you betray their trust.
Sell like hot cakes
If a product is selling very well, it is selling like hot cakes.
Sell like hotcakes
If something is selling like hotcakes, it is very popular and selling very well.
Sell your birthright for a mess of pottage
If a person sells their birthright for a mess of pottage, they accept some trivial financial or other gain, but lose something much more important. 'Sell your soul for a mess of pottage' is an alternative form.
Sell your soul
If someone sells their soul, their betray the most precious beliefs.
Send someone packing
If you send someone packing, you send them away, normally when they want something from you.
Send someone to Coventry
(UK) If you send someone to Coventry, you refuse to talk to them or co-operate with them.
Senior moment
A memory lapse or a momentary confusion in someone who is no longer young is a senior moment.
Separate the sheep from the goats
If you separate the sheep from the goats, you sort out the good from the bad.
Separate the wheat from the chaff
When you separate the wheat from the chaff, you select what is useful or valuable and reject what is useless or worthless.
Serve time
When someone is serving time, they are in prison.
Serve your country
When someone is serving their country, they have enrolled in the military.
Set a thief to catch a thief
The best person to catch a criminal is another criminal  as they understand how criminals work.
Set in stone
If something is set in stone, it cannot be changed or altered.
Set the stage
If you create the conditions for something to happen or take place, you set the stage for it.
Set the Thames on fire
If you do something remarkable, you set the Thames on fire, though this expression is used in the negative; someone who is dull or undistiguished will never set the Thames on fire.
Set the wheels in motion
When you set the wheels in motion, you get something started.
Set your sights on
If you set your sights on someone or something, it is your ambition to beat them or to achieve that goal.
Set your teeth on edge
If something, especially sounds, sets your teeth on edge, you react very negatively to it.
Settled on your lees
This is an old biblical idiom but still used. It refers to the lees (dregs, sediments) of wine or other liquids that settle in the bottom of the containing vessel if it is not disturbed. Hence, the idiom refers to someone or something that is at ease, not disturbed, or worried. Sometimes this also has reference to a false assurance.
Seven sheets to the wind
If someone is seven sheets to the wind, they are very drunk.
Seventh heaven
If you are in seventh heaven, you are extremely happy.
Shades of meaning
Shades of meaning is a phrase used to describe the small, subtle differences in meaning between similar words or phrases; 'kid' and 'youth' both refer to young people, but carry differing views and ideas about young people.
Shaggy dog story
A shaggy dog story is a joke which is a long story with a silly end.
Shake a leg
If you shake a leg, you are out of bed and active.  It can be used to tell someone to hurry up.
Shanks's pony
(UK) If you go somewhere by Shanks's pony, you walk there.
Shape up or ship out
If someone has to shape up or ship out, they have to improve or leave their job, organisation, etc.
Sharks are circling
If the sharks are circling, then something is in danger and its enemies are getting ready for the kill.
Sharp as a tack
(USA) If someone is as sharp as a tack, they are very clever indeed.
Sharp cookie
Someone who isn't easily deceived or fooled is a sharp cookie.
Sharpen your pencil
(USA) If someone says this when negotiating, they want the other person to make a better offer, a lower price.
She'll be apples
(AU) A very popular old Australian saying meaning everything will be all right, often used when there is some doubt.
Shed light
If you shed light on something, you make it clearer and easier to understand.
Shifting sands
If the sands are shifting, circumstances are changing.
Shilly-shally
If people shilly-shally, they can't make up their minds about something and put off the decision.
Ship came in
If your ship has come in, something very good has happened to you.
Shipshape and Bristol fashion
If things are shipshape and Bristol fashion, they are in perfect working order.
Shoe is on the other foot
If the shoe is on the other foot, someone is experiencing what they used to make others experience, normally negative things.
Shoestring
If you do something on a shoestring, you try to spend the absolute minimum amount of money possible on it.
Shoot down in flames
If someone demolishes your argument, it (and you) have been shot down in flames.
Shoot from the hip
Someone who shoots from the hip talks very directly or insensitively without thinking beforehand.
Shoot the breeze
When you shoot the breeze, you chat in a relaxed way.
Shoot your wad
When you have shot your wad, you have expended everything and have no more to say or do about a matter.

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