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Top 120 Interesting Idioms Examples for ESL Learners

Top 120 Interesting Idioms Examples for ESL Learners

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Idioms Examples! Idioms for Kids! How do you often use English idioms in daily life? Learning to use common idioms and expressions will make your English sound more native, so it’s a good idea to master some of these expressions. Following is a list of commonly used English idioms examples for you to get started.

Idioms Examples & their Meaning

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., rain cats and dogs, see the light ).

Idioms Examples (A-G)

  • A little bird told me

Meaning: receive the information from a source not to be overtly exposed

  • An arm and a leg

Meaning: a lot of money

  • A blessing in disguise

Meaning: a good thing that seemed bad at first

  • A dime a dozen

Meaning: Something common

  • Add insult to injury

Meaning: worsen an unfavorable situation

  • Against The Clock

Meaning: Rushed and short on time.

  • A stone’s throw

Meaning: a short distance

  • A short fuse

Meaning: the personality trait of being quick to anger

  • A penny for your thoughts

Meaning: used to inquire into the thoughts

  • A thumbs up

Meaning: that’s good

  • Be all ears

Meaning: carefully listen, eager

  • Blow smoke

Meaning: speak with a lack of credibility, sense

  • Bite the bullet

Meaning: force yourself to do something difficult or unpleasant

  • Beat around the bush

Meaning: Avoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable

  • Better late than never

Meaning: Better to arrive late than not to come at all

  • Bite the bullet

Meaning: To get something over with because it is inevitable

  • Break a leg

Meaning: Good luck

  • Call it a day

Meaning: Stop working on something

  • Chip on his shoulder

Meaning: Angry today about something that occured in the past.

  • Cut somebody some slack

Meaning: Don’t be so critical

  • Cutting corners

Meaning: Doing something poorly in order to save time or money

  • Down in the dumps

Meaning: very sad and without much interest in life

  • Easy does it

Meaning: Slow down

  • Far cry from

Meaning: Very different from.

  • Get out of hand 

Meaning: Get out of control

  • Get something out of your system

Meaning: Do the thing you’ve been wanting to do so you can move on

  • Get your act together

Meaning: Work better or leave

  • Give someone the benefit of the doubt

Meaning: Trust what someone says

  • Go bananas

Meaning: to become extremely angry

  • Go back to the drawing board

Meaning: Start over

Idioms Examples (H-P)

  • Have a bone to pick with someone

Meaning: to want to talk to someone about something annoying they have done

  • Hang in there

Meaning: Don’t give up

  • Hit the sack

Meaning: Go to sleep

  • In touch

Meaning: in contact, or in communication

  • It’s not rocket science

Meaning: It’s not complicated

  • It’s not rocket

Meaning: science something is not difficult

  • Let the cat out of the bag

Meaning: To share information that was previously concealed

  • Let your hair down

Meaning: to enjoy yourself and start to relax

  • Let someone off the hook

Meaning: To not hold someone responsible for something

  • Make a long story short

Meaning: Tell something briefly

  • Miss the boat

Meaning: It’s too late

  • No pain, no gain

Meaning: You have to work for what you want

  • Not playing with a full deck

Meaning: Someone who lacks intelligence.

Meaning: be alert, active

  • Once in a blue moon

Meaning: very rarely, unusual or very infrequently

  • Piece of cake

Meaning: a job, task or other activity that is easy or simple

  • Pull someone’s leg

Meaning: To joke with someone

  • Pull yourself together

Meaning: Calm down

Idioms Examples (Q-Y)

  • Ring a bell

Meaning: seem familiar

  • Run on fumes

Meaning: operate with few resources

  • Sit tight

Meaning: wait patiently

  • Sit on the fence

Meaning: to delay making a decision

  • So far so good

Meaning: Things are going well so far

  • Speak of the devil

Meaning: The person we were just talking about showed up!

  • Take it easy

Meaning: relax, rest

  • That’s the last straw

Meaning: My patience has run out

  • The best thing since sliced bread

Meaning: a new invention that is likely to improve people’s lives importantly

  • The best of both worlds

Meaning: An ideal situation

  • Time flies when you’re having fun

Meaning: You don’t notice how long something lasts when it’s fun

  • To get bent out of shape

Meaning: To get upset

  • To make matters worse

Meaning: Make a problem worse

  • Twist someone’s arm

Meaning: to persuade someone to do something that they do not want to do

  • Up in the air

Meaning: not yet finished

  • Under the water

Meaning: somewhat ill or gloomy

  • We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it

Meaning: Let’s not talk about that problem right now

  • Whole nine yards

Meaning: Everythings

  • Wrap your head around something

Meaning: Understand something complicated

  • You can say that again

Meaning: That’s true, I agree

  • Your guess is as good as mine

Meaning: I have no idea

Idioms Examples| Idioms for Kids

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Saturday 9th of March 2024

Thank you I need more idioms expressions


Monday 1st of May 2023

I like it. 120 all in one.

Nolan Luu

Monday 27th of June 2022

This is awesome all 120 is good:)


Tuesday 21st of June 2022

this is better


Friday 19th of November 2021

I love it!!!