Important English Idioms
An Idiom or idiomatic expression is a phrase that can not be understood by a simple meaning. It beautifies the English language and to express anything through idiomatic expression makes it an atypical expression like the Above board, A bed of roses, A cat’s paw, etc.
Here is given a list of idioms, their meanings, and their sentences for college students to learn properly and focus on the hidden meaning of the given words or phrases.
1. ABC ( The simple and the most basic knowledge)
Sentence: This book gives the ABC of music.
2. Above All ( Most important of all)
Sentence: Salim is wise, hardworking, and above all honest.
3. Above Board ( honest and open)
Sentence: All his dealings are above board.
4. Add fuel to fire/ flames ( To make something worse than it was previously)
Sentence: He is already angry; do not add fuel to fire by calling him a liar.
5. Add Insult to injury( Do somebody even more harms)
Sentence: You have already made Aslam angry but do not add insult to injury by calling him corrupt.
6. After all ( in spite of what has been said/ done)
Sentence: You should help Naseem, after all, he is your friend.
7. Again and again( very often)
Sentence: I told him again and again not to waste time.
8. Aladin’s lamp (An object helping its holder to fulfill any desire)
Sentence: You need an Aladin’s lamp to build a house in a night.
9. All and sundry(everyone, not the chosen ones only)
Sentence: He invited all and sundry at the party so there could not be a class difference.
10. Be all Greek to someone ( Beyond someone’s understanding)
Sentence: I could not understand your speech, it was all Greek to me.
11. All in all ( On a whole)
Sentence: All in all, the function on Kashmir day had been a great success.
12. All the same( Inspite of something that you have just said)
Sentence: Naveed is against me in this matter, all the same, I respect him.
13. Animal spirits( Natural enjoyment of life)
Sentence: A man with animal spirits enjoys his life fully.
14. Apple of discord( The cause of quarrel)
Sentence: This piece of land is an apple of discord between Aslam and Ali.
15. Be the apple of someone’s eyes ( To be very dear)
Sentence: My son Ayyan is the apple of my eyes.
16. At any rate ( Whatever may happen)
Sentence: we will defend our beloved country at any rate.
17. Be all ears ( To pay attention to, to listen to)
Sentence: Keep on speaking, I am all ears.
18. Of no avail ( of no use)
Sentence: He tried hard to win the race but of no avail.
19. Bad blood ( Bitter feeling among people)
Sentence: There is no bad blood between the two brothers on the matter of property.
20. Bad debt ( A debt that is unlikely to be paid)
Sentence: He is not a trustworthy man and will not pay you back, it is bad debt.
21. A bad egg( A complete worthless person)
Sentence: I do not like Smith as he is a bad egg.
22. Bag and baggage (With all one’s belongings)
Sentence: He threw her out of the house with a bag and baggage.
23. To the backbone(Completely)
Sentence: He is a liar to the backbone.
24. Be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth ( Be born into a rich family)
Sentence: You will have to earn money yourself as you are not born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
25. Be beside oneself with something ( Almost out of one’s senses from a strong emotion as from joy, anger, fear, or grief)
Sentence: The teacher was beside himself with anger when Akram told a lie.
26. Bear fruit ( have the desired results)
Sentence: His efforts brought fruit and he passed the examination at last.
27. Bear the brunt of something (Recieve the main shock/ force of something unpleasant)
Sentence: His wife has to bear the brunt of his anger
28. Beard the lion in his den (To challenge a formidable enemy on hs own ground)
Sentence: Do not disagree withyour boss, it is like to beard the lion in his den.
29. Beat about the bush (To talk about something upsetting or unpleasant)
Sentence: Sto beating about the bush andget to the point.
30. Beat somebody black and blue( Hit someone until it makes marks on their body)
Sentence: Thepolice beat the criminal black and blue
31. A bed of roses( Pleasant carefree)
Sentence: Life is not a bed of roses.Everyone has to spend it carefully.
32. A bed of thorns/ A bed of nails( A very painful situation)
Sentence: There are many hardships in life, It is a bed of thorns/ nails.
33. Before long ( soon)
Sentence: I hope that the result will be announced before long.
34. Behind the scene( Sectretly)
Sentence: Decisions about the defence of a country are made behind the scene.
35. Bell the cat (To endanger oneself for others)
Sentence: Who will bell the cat by reporting against his dishonesty?
36. Below the belt ( Unfair, cruel)
Sentence: You know, it is below the belt to cheat a friend.
37. Beneath one’ dignity ( Below one’s worth)
Sentence: It is below your dignity to disobey your teacher.
38. Better half ( Husband or wife)
Sentence: His better half is a good housekeeper.
39. Between the devil and the deep blue sea ( To have choices but both of them are equally unpleasant )
Sentence: The master said that Ali should either marry his lame girl or leave the job, so Ali was between the devil and the deep blue sea.
40. Between two fires ( Being shot at from two direction)
Sentence: The judge found himself between two fires when both the disputing parties criticized him bitterly.
41. A bird’s eye view ( A view seen from above)
Sentence: We got a bird’s view of the city from the top of the tower.
42. Birds of a feather ( People with similar taste, interest, etc)
Sentence: The two friends are birds of a feather in every matter.
43. To the bitter end ( Continuing until the end even though this is difficult)
Sentence: The workers vowed to fight the bitter end for their rights.
44. Black sheep ( A person who is considered a disgrace)
Sentence: As his mother is a gambler, he is considered the black sheep of the family.
45. A blessing in disguise ( An unpleasant thing/ event that later proves o be a blessing)
Sentence: He could not get a seat in the plane, but it was simply a blessing in disguise as the plane crashed in its flight.
46. Blind alley ( A course of action that does not succeed)
Sentence: Their talk for peace did not prove to be a blind alley.
47. Blow hot and cold ( About something) ( Keep changing one’s opinion)
Sentence: He blows hot and cold about going abroad.
48. Below one’s own trumpet/horn ( Praise one’s own abilities)
Sentence: Great men do not blow their own trumpet.
49. Blue blood ( Aristocratic ancestry)
Sentence: Though Ali is poor, he has blue blood in his family.
50. Bluestocking ( An intellectual and literary woman)
Sentence: Haseens Moin is a bluestocking, she often writes new dramas and novels.
51- A bolt from the blue (an unexpected and unwelcome event)
Sentence: The news of his son’s accident was a bolt from the blue for him.
52- A bone of contention (a cause of dispute)
Sentence: Kashmir is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.
53- Bosom friend (a very close friend)
Sentence: I can discuss my personal affairs with Naseem as he is my bosom friend.
54- Bread and butter (main source of income)
Sentence: Teaching is his bread and butter.
55- Break now/ fresh ground (to do something new)
Sentence: This government will break new ground if they stand against America.
56- Break the news to somebody (to be the first to tell somebody some bad news)
Sentence: He broke the news of his father’s death to her
57- Break the ice (to say something to reduce/ remove the tension at the start of a party)
Sentence: All were silent, Saleem broke the ice by suggesting that they should play cards.
58- Briefly speaking (In short)
Sentence: Salma is kind, intelligent, and beautiful; briefly speaking, she is an ideal lady.
59- Bring something home to somebody (make somebody realize something fully)
Sentence: The documentary film brought home to us all the troubles of the poor.
60- Bring something to light (make something known)
Sentence: New facts about the war have been brought to light.
61- Bring somebody to book for something (to ask somebody to give an explanation of his behavior)
Sentence: He brought the servant to book for his carelessness.
62- Bring something to light (make something known)
Sentence: New facts about the war have been brought to light.
63- Broken health ( an unsound health)
Sentence: The prime cause of his failure is his broken health.
64- Broken reed (a person who has become untrustworthy)
Sentence: I can not trust him as he is a broken reed.
65- Build castles in the air (day-dreams)
Sentence: To pass the examination without hard work is like to build castles in the air.
66- Burn one’s boats/bridges (to do something that makes it impossible to go back to a previous situation)
Sentence: Do not resign; it is like to burn your boats.
67- Burn one’s candle at both ends (to work too hard for)
Sentence: You will fall ill if you keep on burning your candle at both ends.
68- To burn one’s fingers/ Get one’s fingers burnt (suffer as a result of foolish behavior
Sentence: Pay heed to your business, otherwise you will surely burn your fingers.
69- Burn the midnight (study or work till late at night)
Sentence: He burnt the midnight oil to pass the examination.
70- A burning question (a matter in dispute that needs to be settled urgently)
Sentence: Unemployment is a burning question of today.