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Dictionary of American idioms
- A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
a little bird told mea little bird told me
a bita bit
a fewa few
A for efforta friend in need is a friend indeed
a friend in need is a friend indeeda hell of
a hell ofa la
a laa little
a littlea little knowledge is a dangerous thing
a little knowledge is a dangerous thinga lot
a lotA man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
a musta must
a numbera number
a pretty passa pretty pass
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.abandon oneself to something
abandon shipabandon someone or something to someone or something
abbreviate something as somethingabbreviate something to something
ABCs of somethingabduct someone from someone or something
abet someone in somethingabide by
abide byabide by something
abide with someoneable to breathe (easily) again
able to breathe (freely) againable to cut something
able to do somethingable to do something blindfolded
able to do something standing on one's headable to do something with one's eyes closed
able to fog a mirrorable to make an event
able to take a jokeable to take just so much
able to take only so muchabound in something
abound with someone or somethingabout face
about faceabout one's business
about one's earsabout one's ears
about timeabout time
about toabout to
about to do somethingabout-face (on someone or something)
above (doing) somethingabove all
above allabove and beyond (something)
above averageabove one's bend
above one's huckleberryabove par
above reproachabove someone
above someone or somethingabove suspicion
above suspicionabove the law
aboveboardabreast of someone or something
abscond with someone or somethingAbsence makes the heart grow fonder.
absent oneself from someone or somethingabsent without leave
absent without leave (AWOL)absent without leave (AWOL)
absent-minded professorabsentia
absentiaAbsolute power corrupts absolutely.
Absolutely not!absolve someone from something
absolve someone of somethingabsorb oneself in someone or something
absorb someone in(to) somethingabsorb something in(to) something
absorb something with somethingabstain from something
abstain from votingabstract something from someone or something
abstract something from somethingabut (up) against something
abut on somethingAcapulco gold
Acapulco goldaccede to something
accept someone as somethingaccept something as something
acceptable damageacceptable losses
access to someone or somethingaccidentally-on-purpose
Accidents will happen.acclimate someone or an animal to something
acclimatizesomeone or an animal to somethingaccommodate oneself to something
accommodate someone with somethingaccompanied by something
accompany someone on a journeyaccompany someone on a musical instrument
accompany someone with somethingaccord
accordaccord with something
according asaccording as
according toaccording to
according to all accountsaccording to Hoyle
according to one's own lightsaccording to one's own lights
according to someone or somethingaccording to something
accountaccount
account for someone or somethingaccount for something
accredit something to someoneaccrue to someone or something
accuse someone of somethingaccustom someone to someone or something
accustomed to doing somethingaccustomed to someone or something
aceace
ace in the holeace in the hole
ace in(to something)ace out
ace out (of something)ace someone out
ache for someone or somethingAchilles' heel
Achilles' heelaching heart
acid headacid head
acid rockacid rock
acid testacknowledge (the) receipt of something
acknowledge someone as somethingacknowledge someone to be right
acknowledge something as somethingacorn
acornacoustic perfume
acoustic perfumeacquaint someone with something
acquainted with someoneacquainted with something
acquiesce to someone or somethingacquire a taste for
acquire a taste foracquit someone of something
across the boardacross the board
across the tracksacross the tracks
actact
act (up)on somethingact as someone
act for someoneact high and mighty
act high and mightyact of faith
act of faithact of God
act of Godact of war
act one's ageact one's age
act outact out
act something outact up
act upAct your age!
actions speak louder than wordsactions speak louder than words
Actions speak louder than words.actor
actorad lib
ad libadapt someone or something to something
adapt something for somethingadapt something from something
adapt something to somethingadapt to something
add (something) onadd (something) on(to) something
add (something) to somethingadd fuel to the fire
add fuel to the flameadd fuel to the flame
add insult to injuryadd insult to injury
add something inadd something into something
add something togetheradd something up
add the finishing touchesadd the finishing touches
add upadd up
add up (to something)add up to
add up toadd up to the same thing
addict someone to somethingaddition
additionaddress
addressaddress comments or remarks to someone
address oneself to someoneaddress oneself to something
address someone as a specific title or attributeaddress something to someone
adhere to somethingadjourn for a time
adjourn to some placeadjust (oneself) to someone or something
adjust something to somethingadminister something to someone or an animal
admire someone for somethingadmire to do something
admit someone (in)to some placeadmit something into something
admit something to someoneadmit to something
admonish someone for somethingadopt someone as something
adopt something as somethingadore someone for doing something
adore someone for having somethingadorn someone or something with something
adulterate something with somethingadvance
advanceadvance (up)on someone or something
advance something to someone or something (againstsomething)advance to(ward) someone or something
advanced in yearsadvantage
advantageadvantage of someone
advantage over someoneadvertise for someone or something
advertise something for a priceadvertise something for something
advise against somethingadvise someone about someone or something
advise someone against doing somethingadvise someone of something
advise someone on someone or somethingaffair
affairaffiliate (someone or something) to someone or something
affiliate (someone or something) with someone or somethingaffinity for someone or something
affix one's signature to somethingaffix something to someone or something
afflict someone with someoneafflict someone with something
afoul ofafoul of
afraid of one's own shadowafraid of one's shadow
afraid of one's shadowafter a fashion
after a fashionAfter a storm comes a calm.
after a whileafter a while
after allafter all
after all is said and doneafter hours
after hoursafter one's own heart
after one's own heartafter someone or something
after the dust clearsafter the dust clears
after the factafter the fashion of someone or something
After the storm comes a calm.after the style of someone or something
After while(, crocodile).After you.
againagain
again and againAgain(, please).
against all oddsagainst it
against itagainst someone or something
against someone's willagainst the clock
against the clockagainst the current
against the currentagainst the grain
against the grainagainst time
against timeage
ageAge before beauty.
age of miracles is past.age out (of something)
agentagent
Agent OrangeAgent Orange
agitate against someone or somethingagitate for something
agoago
agonize (oneself) over someone or somethingagree (up)on someone or something
agree (with someone) ((up)on someone or something)agree (with someone) (about someone or something)
agree (with something) (in something)agree to disagree
agree to somethingagree with
agree withagree with someone
agree with somethingahead
aheadahead (of someone or something)
ahead ofahead of
ahead of one's timeahead of schedule
ahead of somethingahead of the game
ahead of the gameahead of time
ahead of timeaid and abet someone
aid someone in doing somethingaid someone in something
aimaim
aim at somethingaim for something
Aim for the stars!aim something at someone or something
aim to do somethingain't fittin' to roll with a pig
ain't got a grain of senseain't got a lick of sense
ain't got the brains God gave a squirrelain't got the sense God gave geese
Ain't it the truth?ain't particular
airair
air one's bellyair one's dirty linen in public
air one's dirty linen in publicair one's grievances
air one's lungsair one's paunch
air one's poresair out
air shuttleair shuttle
air something outairbus
airbusairquake
airquakealbatross around one's neck
albatross around one's neckalert
alertalert someone to something
alienate someone from someone or somethingalight (up)on someone or something
alight from somethingalign oneself with someone or something
align something with somethingalike as (two) peas in a pod
alivealive
alive and kickingalive and kicking
alive and wellalive with
alive withalive with people or things
allall
all toldall told
all wool and a yard wideall wool and a yard wide
all agogall along
all alongall and sundry
all around Robin Hood's barnall at once
all at onceall better
all betterall better (now)
all butall but
all by one's lonesomeAll cats are gray in the dark.
all day longall dressed up and nowhere to go
all dressed up with nowhere to goall ears
all earsall eyes
all eyesall eyes and ears
all goneall gone
All good things must (come to an) end.all hell broke loose
all hereall here
all hoursall hours
all hours (of the day and night)all in
all inall in a day's work
all in a day's workall in all
all in all(1)all in all(1)
all in all(2)all in all(2)
all in good timeall in good time
all in one pieceall in one piece
all kinds ofall kinds of
all kinds of someone or somethingall manner of
all manner ofall manner of someone or something
all my eye (and Betty Martin)all night long
all oak and iron boundall of
all ofall of a size
all of a suddenall of a sudden
all or nothingall out
all outall over
all overall over (some place)
all over but the shoutingall over but the shouting
all over creationall over hell and gone
all over hell and half of Georgiaall over someone
all over someoneall over the earth
all over the worldall over town
all rightall right for you
all right for youAll right for you!
all right with someoneall right(1)
all right(1)all right(2)
all right(2)All right(y) already!
All righty.all roads lead to Rome
all roads lead to RomeAll roads lead to Rome.
all setall set
all shook upall shook up
all show and no goall spruced up
all sweetness and lightall systems go
all systems goAll systems (are) go.
all talk (and no action)All that glistens is not gold.
All that glitters is not gold.all the ---er
all the ---erAll the best to someone.
all the betterall the better
all the livelong dayall the marbles
all the more reason for doing somethingall the more reason to do something
all the rageall the same
all the same (to someone)all the same(1)
all the same(1)all the same(2)
all the same(2)all the thing
all the thingall the time
all the timeall the way
all the wayall the way live
all the worseall the worse
all the(1)all the(1)
all the(2)all the(2)
all thereall there
all things being equalAll things must pass.
all things to all menall things to all people
All things will pass.all thumbs
all thumbsall to the good
all to the goodall told
all tore up (about something)all up
all upall very well
all very wellall vine and no taters
all walks of lifeall walks of life
all walks of lifeall wet
all wetall wool and a yard wide
all wool and no shoddyall work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
all work and no play makes Jack a dull boyAll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
all year roundall year round
All's fair in love and war.all's right with the world.
All's well that ends well.all-out effort
all-out effortall-out war
all-out waralley
alleyalley cat
alley catallocate something to someone or something
allocatesomething among someone or somethingallocatesomething between someone or something
allot something to someone or somethingallow for
allow forallow for someone or something
Allow me.allow someone or something in
allow someone or something into a placeallow someone up (from something)
allow something for somethingallowance
allowancealloy something with something
allude to someone or somethingally (oneself) (with someone) (against someone or something)
ally oneself to someone or somethingalmighty dollar
almost lost italone
alonealong
alongalong for the ride
along for the ridealong in years
along in yearsalong similar lines
along these linesalong those lines
along with someone or somethingalongside (of) someone or something
alongside ofalongside of
aloof from someone or somethingaloud
aloudalpha and omega
alpha wavealpha wave
alphabet soupalso-ran
alteralter
alternate between someone and someone elsealternate between something and something else
alternate with somethingalways
alwaysalways chasing rainbows
Am I glad to see you!Am I my brother's keeper?
Am I right?amalgamate something with something
amalgamate with somethingamble along (something)
ambulance chaserambulance chaser
American as apple pieAmerican plan
American planamount (up) to something
amount toamount to
amount to muchamount to something
amount to the same thingamuse someone with something
anchoranchor
ancient historyand all
and alland all that jazz
and changeand for want of a horse the man was lost.
and how!and how!
and so forthand so forth
and so onand something to spare
and that's a factAnd that's that.
and the likeand the like
and themand then some
and then someand this and that
and thoseand what have you
and what notand what not
And you?angel dust
angel dustangle for something
angle off (to(ward) something)angry enough to chew nails
annex something to somethingannex to something
announce (one's support) for someone or somethingannounce something to someone
anoint someone with somethinganother
anotheranother country heard from
another pair of eyesanswer back
answer backanswer back (to someone)
answer foranswer for
answer for someoneanswer for someone or something
answer one's callinganswer one's calling
answer someone backanswer someone's purpose
answer the callanswer the call of nature
answer the call of natureanswer the door
answer toanswer to
answer to someoneanswer to the description of someone
answer to the name (of) somethingante up
ante upants in one's pants
ants in one's pantsany
anyany fool thing
Any friend of someone('s) (is a friend of mine).any number
any numberany number of someone or something
any old howany old how
any old thingany port in a storm
any port in a stormany Tom, Dick, and Harry
any which wayany which way
Anybody I know?Anyone I know?
anythinganything
anything butanything but
anything likeanything like
Anything new down your way?Anything you say.
Anytime you are ready.Anytime you're ready.
anywhere nearanywhere near
apartapart
apart fromapart from
apeape
apologize (to someone) (for someone)appeal (to a court) (for something)
appeal against somethingappeal to someone
appearappear
appear (up)on somethingappear as something
appear at some placeappear at some time
appear before someoneappear before something
appear for someoneappear in court
appear in somethingappear to someone
appear to someone that...appear under the name of some name
appearanceappearance
Appearances can be deceiving.append something (on)to something
appertain to somethingapple
appleapple a day keeps the doctor away.
apple of one's eyeapple of one's eye
apple of someone's eyeapple polisher
apple polisherapple-pie order
apple-pie orderapple-polisher
applecartapplecart
apples and orangesapply (to someone or something) (for something)
apply oneself to somethingapply something to something
apply to someone or somethingapply within
appoint someone to somethingapportion something out (among some people)
appraise something at somethingapprentice someone to someone
apprise someone of somethingapproach someone about someone or something
appropriate something for somethingapproval
approvalapprove of someone or something
April showers bring May flowers.apron
apronapropos of
apropos ofarbitrate between someone and someone else
arbitrate in a disputearch (oneself) over
arch over someone or somethingarch something over someone or something
argue (with someone) (about someone or something)argue (with someone) (over someone or something)
argue against someone or somethingargue back
argue for someone or somethingargue one's way out
argue one's way out of somethingargue someone down
argue someone into doing somethingargue something down
argue something outargue with something
arguing for the sake of arguingarguing for the sake of argument
arise from somethingarise out of something
armarm
arm (someone against someone or something) (with something)arm and a leg
arm and a legarm in arm
arm in armarmed and dangerous
armed to the teetharmed to the teeth
army marches on its stomach.around one's ears
around one's earsaround someone or something
around the clockaround the clock
around the corneraround the corner
arouse someone from somethingarrange for someone to do something
arrange for somethingarrange some music for something
arrange something for some timearrange something for someone or something
arrange something with someone or somethingarrest
arrestarrive (some place) at some time
arrive (some place) from some other placearrive (some place) in something
arrive (somewhere) (up)on the stroke of some timearrive (somewhere) at the stroke of some time
arrive (up)on the scene (of something)arrive at a decision
arrive at the scene (of something)arrive on the scene
Art is long and life is short.as
asas hard as nails
as hard as nailsas --- as ---
as --- as ---as a (general) rule
as a duck takes to wateras a last resort
as a last resortAs a man sows, so shall he reap.
as a matter of courseas a matter of fact
as a matter of factas a result (of something)
as a ruleas a rule
as a token (of something)as all get out
as an asideas an aside
as an old shoeas an old shoe
as bad as all thatas best one can
as best one canas catch can
as catch canas easy as shooting fish in a barrel
as easy as taking candy from a babyas far as
as far asas far as anyone knows
as far as it goesas far as possible
as far as someone is concernedas far as something is concerned
as far as that goesas far as that goes
as followsas follows
as foras for
as for someone or somethingas good as
as good asas good as a mile
as good as a mileas good as one gets
as good as one getsas good as one's word
as good as one's wordas good as one's promise
as good as one's promiseas good as one's word
As I live and breathe!as I see it
as I was sayingas if
as ifas if one has come out of a bandbox
as if one has come out of a bandboxas is
as isas it is
as it wereas it were
as likely as notas likely as not
as long asas long as
as luck would have itas luck would have it
as muchas much
as much asas much as
as much fun as a barrel of monkeysas of
as ofas one
as one goesas one goes
as one manas one man
as regardsas regards
as soon asas soon as
as suchas the crow flies
as the crow fliesas the story goes
as the story goesAs the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.
as thoughas though
as toas to
as to someone or somethingas usual
as usualas we speak
as wellas well
as well asas well as
as well as someone or somethingas yet
as yetAs you make your bed, so must you lie in it.
As you make your bed, so you must lie (up)on it.As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
as you pleaseas you please
As you sow, so shall you reap.ascertain something from someone or something
ascribe something to someone or somethingaside
asideaside from
aside fromaside from someone or something
aside ofaside of
askask
ask about someone or somethingask after someone
ask around (about someone or something)ask for
ask forask for one's hand
ask for one's handask for someone or something
ask for something bad or direask for the moon
ask for the moonask for trouble
Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.Ask no questions and hear no lies.
ask someone backask someone down
ask someone for somethingask someone in
ask someone in(to) some placeask someone out (for something)
ask someone out (to something)ask someone over
ask someone to somethingask someone up
ask something of someone or somethingasking price
asleep at the switchasleep at the switch
aspire to somethingassail someone with something
assault and batteryassault the ear
assent to somethingassess something at something
assign someone or something to someone or somethingassign something to someone
assimilate someone or something into somethingassimilate with some people
assist (someone) at somethingassist in something
assist someone in somethingassist someone with someone or something
associate oneself with someone or somethingassociate someone or something with someone or something
associate with someoneassume liability for something
assure someone of somethingastound someone with something
at bestat best
at each other's throatsat each other's throats
at (long) lastat (the) most
at (the) worstat --- stage of the game
at --- stage of the gameat a premium
at a premiumat a blow
at a blowat a dead end
at a fast clipat a good clip
at a lossat a loss
at a loss (for words)at a moment's notice
at a premiumat a set time
at a set timeat a sitting
at a snail's gallopat a snail's pace
at a snail's paceat a straw
at a strawat a stretch
at a strokeat a stroke
at a timeat a time
at allat all
at all costsat all costs
at all eventsat all events
at all hazardsat all hazards
at all hoursat all hours
at all timesat an early date
at an endat anchor
at anchorat any cost
at any rateat any rate
at arm's lengthat arm's length
at bayat bay
at bestat both ends
at both endsat call
at callat close range
at close rangeat cross purposes
at cross purposesat cross-purposes
at death's doorat death's door
at easeat ease
at every turnat every turn
at face valueat face value
at faultat fault
at firstat first
at first blushat first blush
at first glanceat first glance
at first lightat full blast
at full speedat full strength
at full throttleat full tilt
at great lengthat great length
at half mastat half mast
at half-mastat half-staff
at handat hand
at hazardat heart
at heartat home
at homeat home with someone or something
at issueat issue
at itat it
at it againat large
at largeat last
at lastat least
at leastat least so many
at leisureat leisure
at lengthat length
at libertyat liberty
at loggerheadsat loggerheads
at loggerheads (with someone)at loggerheads over something
at long lastat long last
at loose endsat loose ends
at mostat most
at nightat odds
at oddsat odds (with someone)
at odds over somethingat once
at onceat one
at oneat one fell swoop
at one fell swoopat one stroke
at one strokeat one time
at one timeat one's beck and call
at one's beck and callat one's best
at one's bestat one's door
at one's doorat one's ease
at one's easeat one's elbow
at one's elbowat one's feet
at one's feetat one's fingertips
at one's fingertipsat one's heels
at one's heelsat one's leisure
at one's leisureat one's service
at one's serviceat one's wit 's end
at one's wit's endat one's wit's end
at one's wordat one's word
at painsat pains
at peaceat play
at presentat present
at randomat random
at regular intervalsat rest
at riskat sea
at sea levelat sea(1)
at sea(1)at sea(2)
at sea(2)at sight
at sightat sixes and sevens
at sixes and sevensat some time sharp
at someoneat someone's beck and call
at someone's doorstepat someone's earliest convenience
at someone's mercyat someone's request
at someone's serviceat stake
at stakeat straws
at strawsat swords' points
at swords' pointsat table
at tableat that
at thatat that rate
at the (very) outsideat the appointed time
at the bestat the best
at the bitat the bit
at the bottom of the hourat the bottom of the ladder
at the break of dawnat the crack of dawn
at the drop of a hatat the drop of a hat
at the eleventh hourat the eleventh hour
at the end of nowhereat the end of one's rope
at the end of one's ropeat the end of one's tether
at the end of the dayat the expense of someone or something
at the forefront (of something)at the height of something
at the helm (of something)at the kill
at the killat the last gasp
at the last minuteat the latest
at the leastat the least
at the mercy ofat the mercy of
at the mercy of someoneat the most
at the mostat the outset
at the outsetat the outside
at the outsideat the point of
at the point ofat the point ofdoing something
at the present timeat the ready
at the readyat the rear of something
at the same timeat the same time
at the seamsat the seams
at the tableat the table
at the tip of one's tongueat the tip of one's tongue
at the top of one's gameat the top of one's lungs
at the top of one's voiceat the top of one's voice
at the top of the hourat the wheel
at the zenith of somethingat this juncture
at this point (in time)at this rate
at this rateat this stage (of the game)
at timesat times
at willat will
at wits endat wits end
at workat work
at worstat worst
atone for somethingattach oneself to someone
attach oneself to somethingattach to someone
attach to somethingattached to someone or something
attack (of an illness)attend to someone
attend to someone or somethingattest to something
attire someone in somethingattract someone or something to someone or something else
attribute something to someone or somethingattune someone or something to someone or something else
auction something offaudition for something
audition someone for somethingaught
aughtaugur well for someone or something
Aunt TomAunt Tom
availavail
avail oneself of somethingavenge oneself (against someone or something) (for something)
avenge oneself (on someone or something) (for something)avenue of escape
averageaverage
average out (at something)average out (to something)
average something upavert something (away) from someone or something
avoid someone or something like the plagueawake(n) from something
awake(n) someone from somethingawake(n) someone to something
awake(n) to somethingaward (someone) something (for something)
award something (to someone) (for something)award something to someone or something
away (from someone or something)away from it all
away from one's deskawe
aweawkward age
awkward ageawkward as a cow on a crutch
awkward as a cow on roller skatesAWOL
AWOLax
ax to grindax to grind