Idioms Beginning With: 'A'
An idiom is a phrase where the
words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words,
which can make idioms hard for ESL students and learners to understand. Here, we provide a dictionary of
3,862 English idiomatic expressions with
you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our Idioms Discussion Forum. If you know
of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to suggest an idiom.
results for letter 'A
- A barking dog seldom bites
- A person who readily threatens other people does not often take action.
- A bit much
- If something is excessive or annoying, it is a bit much.
- A bridge too far
- A bridge too far is an act of overreaching- going too far and getting into trouble or failing.
- A chain is no stronger than its weakest link
- This means that processes, organisations, etc, are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them.
- A day late and a dollar short
- (USA) If something is a day late and a dollar short, it is too little, too late.
- A fool and his money are soon parted
- This idiom means that people who aren't careful with their money spend it quickly.
'A fool and his money are easily parted' is an alternative form of the idiom.
- A fool at 40 is a fool forever
- If someone hasn't matured by the time they reach forty, they never will.
- A fresh pair of eyes
- A person who is brought in to examine something carefully is a fresh pair of eyes.
- A hitch in your giddy-up
- If you have a hitch in your giddy-up, you're not feeling well. ('A hitch in your gittie-up' is also used.)
- A lick and a promise
- If you give something a lick and a promise, you do it hurriedly, most often incompletely, intending to return to it later.
- A light purse is a heavy curse
- Life is difficult when you don't have much money.
- A List
- Prominent and influential people who comprise the most desirable guests at a social function or gathering.
- A little bird told me
- If someone doesn't want to say where they got some information from, they can say that a little bird told them.
- A little learning is a dangerous thing
- A small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really are.eg. he said he'd done a course on home electrics, but when he tried to mend my table lamp, he fused all the lights! I think a little learning is a dangerous thing
- A long row to hoe
- Something that is a long row to hoe is a difficult task that takes a long time.
- A lost ball in the high weeds
- A lost ball in the high weeds is someone who does not know what they are doing, where they are or how to do something.
- A lot on my plate
- If you have got a lot on your plate, you are very busy and have commitments.
- A month of Sundays
- A month of Sundays is a long period of time: I haven't seen her in a month of Sundays.
- A OK
- If things are A OK, they are absolutely fine.
- A penny for your thoughts
- This idiom is used as a way of asking someone what they are thinking about.
- A penny saved is a penny earned
- Saving money is just as important as earning money- we shouldn't spend it foolishly.
- A penny saved is a penny earned
- This means that we shouldn't spend or waste money, but try to save it.
- A picture is worth a thousand words
- A picture can often get a message across much better than the best verbal description.
- A poor man's something
- Something or someone that can be compared to something or someone else, but is not as good is a poor man's version; a writer who uses lots of puns but isn't very funny would be a poor man's Oscar Wilde.
- A pretty penny
- If something costs a pretty penny, it is very expensive.
- A problem shared is a problem halved
- If you talk about your problems, it will make you feel better.
- A rising tide lifts all boats
- This idiom, coined by John F Kennedy, describes the idea that when an economy is performing well, all people will benefit from it.
- A rolling stone gathers no moss
- People say this to mean that an ambitious person is more successful than a person not trying to achieve anything. Originally it meant the opposite and was critical of people trying to get ahead.
- A shallow brook babbles the loudest
- People who are loud and talk a lot usually have nothing of substance to say. This contrasts with "Still waters run deep." Other versions are "Shallow brooks babble loudest" and "Shallow brooks are noisy."
- A slice off a cut loaf is never missed
- Used colloquially to describe having sexual intercourse with someone who is not a virgin, especially when they are in a relationship. The analogy refers to a loaf of bread; it is not readily apparent, once the end has been removed, exactly how many slices have been taken.('You never miss a slice from a cut
loaf' is also used.)
- A steal
- If something is a steal, it costs much less than it is really worth.
- A still tongue keeps a wise head
- Wise people don't talk much.
- A textbook case
- A textbook case, it is a classic or common example of something.
- A watched pot never boils
- Some things work out in their own time, so being impatient and constantly checking will just make things seem longer.
- If something is A1, it is the very best or finest.
- ABC means the basics of something- knowing the ABC of science, etc.
- Meaning:basic terms or basic steps example:she don't know even ABC steps in dance.
- Abide by a decision
- If you abide by a decision, you accept it and comply with it, even though you might disagree with it.
- Abject lesson
- (India) An abject lesson serves as a warning to others.
(In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)
- About as useful as a chocolate teapot
- Someone or something that is of no practical use is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
- About face
- If someone changes their mind completely, this is an about face. It can be used when companies, governments, etc, change their position on an issue.
- Above and beyond
- This means more than what is expected or required.
- Above board
- If things are done above board, they are carried out in a legal and proper manner.
- Above par
- Better than average or normal
- Above the fold
- If a news story is important, it will be above the fold- in the top half of the page of a newspaper.
- Above the salt
- This means that something or someone has a high position.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder
- This idiom means that when people are apart, their love grows stronger.
- Accident waiting to happen
- If something is an accident waiting to happen, there's definitely going to be an accident or it's bound to go wrong.
('Disaster waiting to happen' is also used.)
- Ace in the hole
- An ace in the hole is something other people are not aware of that can be used to your advantage when the time is right.
- Ace up your sleeve
- If you have an ace up your sleeve, you have something that will give you an advantage that other people don't know about.
have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our Idioms
Discussion Forum. If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please
use our online form to suggest an idiom.
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