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Important English Idioms For Class XI & XI

Important English IDIOMS For ClassXI & XI

A DARK HORSE

A person who hides facts about life, esp. special personal qualities

Saleem is a dark horse; I did not know that he had written a novel.

A RAINY DAYS

To save sth, specially money, for a time when you will really need it

We should save our money for rainy days.

A MAN OF LETTERS

 A man, usually a writer, who knows a lot about literature

Ahmed Faraz was a man of letters.

A BURNING QUESTION

An urgent or crucial issue under heated discussion

Unemployment is a burning question of today.

THE LION’S SHARE

The largest or best part of sth when it is divided

As usual, the lion’s share of the budget is for defence.

A BED OF ROSES

(Not) an easy or a pleasant situation

Their life together has not exactly been a bed of roses.

A BONE OF CONTENTION

Subject which causes disagreement and arguments among people, group etc.

Kashmir is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.

FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS

A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable

Fair weather friends leave in difficulties.

A HARD NUT TO CRACK

A difficult problem or situation to deal with

To check Terrorism has proved to be a hard nut to crack for the government

ABIDE BY

To accept or act according to law

You should abide by your promise.

AT ARM’S LENGTH

To avoid having close relationship with sb

Keep him at arm's length because he is a gambler.

A BLACK SHEEP

a person who is different from the rest of their family or another group, and who is considered bad or embarrassing

As his brother is a gambler, he is considered the black sheep of the famliy.

AN APPLE OF DISCORD

Anything causing trouble, discord, or jealousy

This piece of land is an apple of discord between Saleem and Ali.

A SNACK IN THE GRASS

a person who pretends to be your friend but who cannot be trusted

Beware of him; he is a snack in the grass.

LIVE IN A FOOL PARADISE

Those who believe that India and Pakistan will be friends, are living in a fool Paradise.

A CHILD’S PLAY

To be very easy to do, so not even a child would find it difficult

It is not a child's play to write a good book in a month.

AT ELEVENTH HOUR

At the last possible moment; just in time

He called of his plan at the eleventh hour.

BREAK THE ICE

To say or do sth that makes people feel more relaxed, especially at the beginning of a meeting, party, etc.

All were silent; Saleem broke the ice by suggesting that they should play card.

BREAK DOWN

To become very bad, To fail, to stop working because of a fault

Because of over-work my health broke down.

TO BLOW ONE’S OWN TRUMPET

To praise your own abilities and achievements

Great men do not blow their own trumpet.

A MAN OF STRAW

a person or an idea that is weak and easy to defeat

A MAIDEN SPEECH

First speech made made by an M.P. in the parliament

She impressed all the parliamentarians with her maiden speech.

BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH

To talk about sth for a long time without coming to the main point

Stop beating about the bush and get to the point.

BAD AND BAGGAGE

with all your possessions, especially secretly or suddenly

He threw her out onto the street, bag and baggage.

BY FITS AND START

frequently starting and stopping again; not continuously

Because of other commitments I can only write my book in fits and starts.

BY/ IN LEAPS AND BOUNDS

Very quickly; in large amounts

Yameen is improving his English by leaps and bounds.

BURN CANDLE AT BOTH SIDE

To become very tired by trying to do many things and going to bed late and getting up early

You will fall ill if you keep on burning your candle at both ends.

CALL OFF

To cancel sth; to decide that sth will not happen

The students called off the strike.

CALL NAMES

To use insulting words about sb

It is shameful to call other names.

CALL SPADE A SPADE

To say exactly what you think without trying to hide your opinion

It is hard to call a spade a spade before a cruel master.

TO COME GRIEF IN THE END

To end in total failure

All his schemes for making money seem to come to grief.

CARRY OUT

takeaway

I will not carry out his orders.

END IN SMOKE

To come to nothing

When he crashed his car, all his travel planes ended in smoke.

LIVE (FROM)HAND TO MOUTH

To spend all the money you earn on the basic needs such as food without being able to save any money.

Many people in this country live from hand to month.

GIVE UP THE GHOST

To die; To stop working

My car gave up the ghost last night.

GIVE IN

To admit that you have been defeated by sb or sth

The Indians were forced to give in.

HARD AND FAST

(especially after a negative) that cannot be changed in any circumstances

There is no hard and fast rules about this.

KEEP AN EYE ON

To take care of sb/ sth and make sure that they are not harmed or damaged etc.

We have asked the neighbours to keep an eye on the house for us while we are away.

LOOK DOWN UPON

Do not look down upon the poor.

Make (BOTH) ENDS MEET

To earn just enough money to be able to buy the things you need

It is very difficult for the poor to make both ends meet.

TO NIP IN THE BUD

To stop sth when it has just begun because you can see that problems will come from it.

Nip every evil in the bud.

PUT OFF

To change sth to a later time or date

The meeting was put off till tomorrow.

READ BETWEEN THE LINES

To look for or discover a meaning in sth that is not openly stated.

Reading between the lines, I think Ali wants to borrow money.

TAKE AFTER

To look or behave like an elder member of your family, especially your mother or father

Children take after their parents.

TAKE STH TO HEART

To be upset by sth that sb says or does

You should not take everything he says to heart.

TURN OVER A NEW LEAF

To change you way of life to become a better or more responsible person

After his failure, he turned over a new leaf and began to work hard.

This book is really up to the mark.

A RED LETTER DAY

A very important day

The day I was awarded the medal is a red-letter day for me.

A WET BLANKET

a person who is not enthusiastic about anything and who stops other people from enjoying

As he is wet blanket, he is not invited to the parties.

A WHITE ELEPHANT

a thing that is useless and no longer needed, although it may have cost a lot of money

The new office block has become an expensive white elephant.

Telephone costs much; it is just a white elephant for common people.

ALL IN ALL

When everything is considered

All in all, the party had been a great success.

KITH AND KIN

Friends and relatives

We should love our kith and kin.

FROM SCRATCH

Without any previous preparation or knowledge

She learned English from scratch in six months.

PART AND PARCEL

An essential part of sth

To work in the field is part and parcel of a farmer's life.

IN FULL SWING

Having recharged a very lively level

When Mr.Ali reached there, the match was in full swing.

RED HENDED

The Police caught him red-handed when he was trying to steal a car.

BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL

To study or work late night

He burnt the midnight oil to pass the examination.

FRENCH LEAVE

To leave work without asking permission first

He ever enjoyed French leave.

HOOK OR CROOK

Using any method you can, even a dishonest one

He wants to pass the exam by hook or by crook.

A FISH OUT OF WATER

A person who feels uncomfortable or awkward because he or she is in the surroundings that are not familiar

I felt like a fish out of water in my new school.

BREAD AND BUTTER

Basic; very important

Employment and taxation are the bread and butter issues of politics.

A LAUGHING STOCK

A person that everyone laughs at because they have done sth important

I can’t wear it! I would be a laughing stock.

AT DAGGERS DRAWN

Very angry

She is at daggers drawn with her husband.

There no bad blood between the two brothers.

LOOK INTO

To examine sth.

A working party has been set up to look into the problem

TURN THE TABLE

He will turn the table on you one day, and he will be the boss.

SMELL A RET

To suspect that sth is wrong about a situation.

The thief smelled a rat and ran away.

BAD BLOOD

Feeling of hatred or strong dislike.

There is no bad blood between the two brothers.

NULL AND VOID

This contract is null and void.

RED TAPE

official rules that seem more complicated than necessary and prevent things from being done quickly

bureaucratic red tape

You have to go through endless red tape to get a residence permit.

He could not get his new passport in time because of red tape.

FALL PREY

To be harmed or tricked by sb especially for dishonest purposes.

The innocent boy fell prey to smoking.

TO BURY THE HATCHET

to stop being unfriendly and become friends again

After not speaking to each other for years, the two brothers decided to bury the hatchet.

The two enemies buried their hatchet and became friends.

BLUE BLOOD

From a royal or noble family

Though Ali is poor, he has blue blood in his family.

AT ONE’S BECK AND CALL

Always willing and able to do whatever someone asks:,

AT SIXES AND SEVENS

In a confused, badly organized, or difficult situation

TO TAKE TO HEELS

To run away from sb or sth

TO DIE IN HARNESS

Die before retirement or expire while working, keep working to the end.

She doesn't want to retire - she'd rather die in harness.

TO GET AWAY WITH

Escape blame, punishment, or undesirable consequences for (an act that is wrong or mistaken).

If he thinks he can get away with cheating me, he's very much mistaken.

A CLOSE SHAVE

A narrow escape.

Wow! That was a close shave. I thought the guard would spot us

A BOLT FROM THE BLUE

 A sudden and unexpected event.

The job came like a bolt from the blue

A FEATHER IN CAP

An accomplishment a person can be proud of.

The negotiator’s success in getting the terrorists to release their hostages was a real feather in his cap.

IDIOMS

A DARK HORSE

A person who hides facts about life, esp. special personal qualities

Saleem is a dark horse; I did not know that he had written a novel.

A RAINY DAYS

To save sth, specially money, for a time when you will really need it

We should save our money for rainy days.

A MAN OF LETTERS

 A man, usually a writer, who knows a lot about literature

Ahmed Faraz was a man of letters.

A BURNING QUESTION

An urgent or crucial issue under heated discussion

Unemployment is a burning question of today.

THE LION’S SHARE

The largest or best part of sth when it is divided

As usual, the lion’s share of the budget is for defence.

A BED OF ROSES

(Not) an easy or a pleasant situation

Their life together has not exactly been a bed of roses.

A BONE OF CONTENTION

Subject which causes disagreement and arguments among people, group etc.

Kashmir is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.

FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS

A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable

Fair weather friends leave in difficulties.

A HARD NUT TO CRACK

A difficult problem or situation to deal with

To check Terrorism has proved to be a hard nut to crack for the government

ABIDE BY

To accept or act according to law

You should abide by your promise.

AT ARM’S LENGTH

To avoid having close relationship with sb

Keep him at arm's length because he is a gambler.

A BLACK SHEEP

a person who is different from the rest of their family or another group, and who is considered bad or embarrassing

As his brother is a gambler, he is considered the black sheep of the famliy.

AN APPLE OF DISCORD

Anything causing trouble, discord, or jealousy

This piece of land is an apple of discord between Saleem and Ali.

A SNACK IN THE GRASS

a person who pretends to be your friend but who cannot be trusted

Beware of him; he is a snack in the grass.

LIVE IN A FOOL PARADISE

Those who believe that India and Pakistan will be friends, are living in a fool Paradise.

A CHILD’S PLAY

To be very easy to do, so not even a child would find it difficult

It is not a child's play to write a good book in a month.

AT ELEVENTH HOUR

At the last possible moment; just in time

He called of his plan at the eleventh hour.

BREAK THE ICE

To say or do sth that makes people feel more relaxed, especially at the beginning of a meeting, party, etc.

All were silent; Saleem broke the ice by suggesting that they should play card.

BREAK DOWN

To become very bad, To fail, to stop working because of a fault

Because of over-work my health broke down.

TO BLOW ONE’S OWN TRUMPET

To praise your own abilities and achievements

Great men do not blow their own trumpet.

A MAN OF STRAW

a person or an idea that is weak and easy to defeat

A MAIDEN SPEECH

First speech made made by an M.P. in the parliament

She impressed all the parliamentarians with her maiden speech.

BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH

To talk about sth for a long time without coming to the main point

Stop beating about the bush and get to the point.

BAD AND BAGGAGE

with all your possessions, especially secretly or suddenly

He threw her out onto the street, bag and baggage.

BY FITS AND START

frequently starting and stopping again; not continuously

Because of other commitments I can only write my book in fits and starts.

BY/ IN LEAPS AND BOUNDS

Very quickly; in large amounts

Yameen is improving his English by leaps and bounds.

BURN CANDLE AT BOTH SIDE

To become very tired by trying to do many things and going to bed late and getting up early

You will fall ill if you keep on burning your candle at both ends.

CALL OFF

To cancel sth; to decide that sth will not happen

The students called off the strike.

CALL NAMES

To use insulting words about sb

It is shameful to call other names.

CALL SPADE A SPADE

To say exactly what you think without trying to hide your opinion

It is hard to call a spade a spade before a cruel master.

TO COME GRIEF IN THE END

To end in total failure

All his schemes for making money seem to come to grief.

CARRY OUT

takeaway

I will not carry out his orders.

END IN SMOKE

To come to nothing

When he crashed his car, all his travel planes ended in smoke.

LIVE (FROM)HAND TO MOUTH

To spend all the money you earn on the basic needs such as food without being able to save any money.

Many people in this country live from hand to month.

GIVE UP THE GHOST

To die; To stop working

My car gave up the ghost last night.

GIVE IN

To admit that you have been defeated by sb or sth

The Indians were forced to give in.

HARD AND FAST

(especially after a negative) that cannot be changed in any circumstances

There is no hard and fast rules about this.

KEEP AN EYE ON

To take care of sb/ sth and make sure that they are not harmed or damaged etc.

We have asked the neighbours to keep an eye on the house for us while we are away.

LOOK DOWN UPON

Do not look down upon the poor.

Make (BOTH) ENDS MEET

To earn just enough money to be able to buy the things you need

It is very difficult for the poor to make both ends meet.

TO NIP IN THE BUD

To stop sth when it has just begun because you can see that problems will come from it.

Nip every evil in the bud.

PUT OFF

To change sth to a later time or date

The meeting was put off till tomorrow.

READ BETWEEN THE LINES

To look for or discover a meaning in sth that is not openly stated.

Reading between the lines, I think Ali wants to borrow money.

TAKE AFTER

To look or behave like an elder member of your family, especially your mother or father

Children take after their parents.

TAKE STH TO HEART

To be upset by sth that sb says or does

You should not take everything he says to heart.

TURN OVER A NEW LEAF

To change you way of life to become a better or more responsible person

After his failure, he turned over a new leaf and began to work hard.

This book is really up to the mark.

A RED LETTER DAY

A very important day

The day I was awarded the medal is a red-letter day for me.

A WET BLANKET

a person who is not enthusiastic about anything and who stops other people from enjoying

As he is wet blanket, he is not invited to the parties.

A WHITE ELEPHANT

a thing that is useless and no longer needed, although it may have cost a lot of money

The new office block has become an expensive white elephant.

Telephone costs much; it is just a white elephant for common people.

ALL IN ALL

When everything is considered

All in all, the party had been a great success.

KITH AND KIN

Friends and relatives

We should love our kith and kin.

FROM SCRATCH

Without any previous preparation or knowledge

She learned English from scratch in six months.

PART AND PARCEL

An essential part of sth

To work in the field is part and parcel of a farmer's life.

IN FULL SWING

Having recharged a very lively level

When Mr.Ali reached there, the match was in full swing.

RED HENDED

The Police caught him red-handed when he was trying to steal a car.

BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL

To study or work late night

He burnt the midnight oil to pass the examination.

FRENCH LEAVE

To leave work without asking permission first

He ever enjoyed French leave.

HOOK OR CROOK

Using any method you can, even a dishonest one

He wants to pass the exam by hook or by crook.

A FISH OUT OF WATER

A person who feels uncomfortable or awkward because he or she is in the surroundings that are not familiar

I felt like a fish out of water in my new school.

BREAD AND BUTTER

Basic; very important

Employment and taxation are the bread and butter issues of politics.

A LAUGHING STOCK

A person that everyone laughs at because they have done sth important

I can’t wear it! I would be a laughing stock.

AT DAGGERS DRAWN

Very angry

She is at daggers drawn with her husband.

There no bad blood between the two brothers.

LOOK INTO

To examine sth.

A working party has been set up to look into the problem

TURN THE TABLE

He will turn the table on you one day, and he will be the boss.

SMELL A RET

To suspect that sth is wrong about a situation.

The thief smelled a rat and ran away.

BAD BLOOD

Feeling of hatred or strong dislike.

There is no bad blood between the two brothers.

NULL AND VOID

This contract is null and void.

RED TAPE

official rules that seem more complicated than necessary and prevent things from being done quickly

bureaucratic red tape

You have to go through endless red tape to get a residence permit.

He could not get his new passport in time because of red tape.

FALL PREY

To be harmed or tricked by sb especially for dishonest purposes.

The innocent boy fell prey to smoking.

TO BURY THE HATCHET

to stop being unfriendly and become friends again

After not speaking to each other for years, the two brothers decided to bury the hatchet.

The two enemies buried their hatchet and became friends.

BLUE BLOOD

From a royal or noble family

Though Ali is poor, he has blue blood in his family.

AT ONE’S BECK AND CALL

Always willing and able to do whatever someone asks:,

AT SIXES AND SEVENS

In a confused, badly organized, or difficult situation

TO TAKE TO HEELS

To run away from sb or sth

TO DIE IN HARNESS

Die before retirement or expire while working, keep working to the end.

She doesn't want to retire - she'd rather die in harness.

TO GET AWAY WITH

Escape blame, punishment, or undesirable consequences for (an act that is wrong or mistaken).

If he thinks he can get away with cheating me, he's very much mistaken.

A CLOSE SHAVE

A narrow escape.

Wow! That was a close shave. I thought the guard would spot us

A BOLT FROM THE BLUE

 A sudden and unexpected event.

The job came like a bolt from the blue

A FEATHER IN CAP

An accomplishment a person can be proud of.

The negotiator’s success in getting the terrorists to release their hostages was a real feather in his cap.

 

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