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Tamilnadu Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Vocabulary Idioms
An idiom is an expression in English with a special meaning of its own. Idioms do not give the literal meaning of the individual words used in them.
Here are a few sentences with idioms (meanings are given in brackets):
- Business is going from bad to worse, (deteriorate further)
- They always do things in a big way, (on a large scale)
- The government has taken a very hard line (not giving in) against illegal quarrying.
- Orders for the new product are coming in thick and fast, (in large numbers)
- How can any one make ends meet (manage with the money) with just ? 2000/- a month?
- Your son’s behavior is a matter of concern, (something to worry about)
- The name sounds familiar but I can’t call her face to mind, (recall something from memory; recognise)
- My uncle loves to tell us how to play cricket. He is an armchair expert.
(one who gives advice in an area in which he was not actively involved)
- Ravi is our sincere employee. He has had a clean slate (a past record without discredit) for over twenty years.
- The policeman went near the damaged car to have a look at close quarters, (very near)
- Dr. Jacob is at the helm (in charge) of affairs in this hospital.
- No one can make a break even (make no profit or loss) in the first year of business.
- Because of the steep rice in prices, people living on pension feel the pinch, (feeling unpleasant change in one’s standard of living)
- Let us settle the bill for the damage fair and square, (in a fair way)
- I can hear you over phone loud and clear, (very clearly)
- By and by (as time goes by) he will realise that my going to Delhi was the right decision.
Idioms from the Textual Exercises
Idiom – Meaning
1. alarm bells ringing – a sign of something going wrong
2. back to the wall – in serious difficulty
3. below the belt – unfair or unsporting behavior
4. by the skin of one’s teeth – a narrow escape.
5. drive one up the wall – to annoy or irritate someone
6. asp / clutch at straws – try any method to overcome a crisis
7. hang out to dry – abandoning one who is in difficulty
8. have cold feet – feel nervousness and anxiety
9. hit the road – to begin one’s journey
10. in a nice pickle – in a troublesome or difficult situation
11. in our corner – on your side in an argument or dispute
12. in panic mode – in a frightening state
13. on the ropes – state of near collapse or defeat
14. right up to one’s alley – ideally suited to one’s interest
15. saved by the bell – help at the last moment rescuing one from a difficult situation
16. shot his bolt – to exhaust one’s effort
17. square off – prepare for a conflict
18. take (one) for a ride – to deceive someone
19. throw in the towel – to give up
20. tight corners – difficult situations
Some more idioms and meanings :
|1||a bolt from the blue||unexpected event; complete surprise (usually unwelcome)|
|2||a drop in the ocean||a very small amount compared with what is needed or expected|
|3||a great deal||plenty of|
|4||a penny for your thoughts||a way of asking what someone is thinking.|
|5||a stone’s throw||a very short distance|
|6||a storm in a teacup||a big fuss about a small problem|
|7||a wild goose chase||a worthless hunt or chase|
|8||a yellow streak||cowardice in one’s character|
|9||above board||honest, not a secret|
|10||add insult to injury||to worsen an unfavorable situation|
|11||armchair expert||one who gives advice in an area in which he was not actively involved|
|12||at close quarters||very near|
|13||at hand||very near|
|14||at loggerheads||to disagree strongly|
|15||at snail’s pace||very slowly|
|16||at the drop of the hat||without any hesitation|
|17||at the eleventh hour||at the last moment|
|18||at the end of one’s tether||to have no power, patience or endurance left|
|19||at the helm||in charge|
|20||at the mercy of||under the control of|
|21||barking up the wrong tree||accusing the wrong person|
|22||be armed with||be equipped with|
|23||be fit for||suitable|
|24||be part of||belong to|
|25||beat around the bush||avoiding the main topic|
|26||bed of roses||comfortable position|
|27||best of both worlds||all the advantages|
|28||big way||on a large scale|
|29||bite the bullet||to get something over with because it is inevitable|
|30||blessing in disguise||something good that isn’t recognized at first.|
|31||bolt from the blue||something that happened without warning|
|32||break even||make no profit or loss|
|33||break the ice||make people feel more comfortable|
|36||burst into||enter suddenly|
|37||by and by||as time goes by|
|38||by nature||because of natural habits|
|39||call it a day||stop working on something|
|40||can’t judge a book by its cover||cannot judge something primarily on appearance.|
|41||clean slate||a past record without discredit|
|42||comparing apples to oranges||comparing two things that cannot be compared|
|43||costs an arm and a leg||very expensive|
|44||curiosity killed the cat||being inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation.|
|45||devil’s advocate||to present a counter argument|
|46||draw a blank||unable to get information|
|47||every cloud has a silver lining||good-things come after bad things|
|49||eyewash||something to deceive|
|50||fair and square||in a fair way|
|51||fall a prey to||become a victim|
|52||far cry from||very different from|
|54||feel the pinch||feeling unpleasant change in one’s standard of living|
|55||fit as a fiddle||in good health|
|56||fortune favours the bold||take risks
|57||give (someone) a piece of one’s mind||to tell someone frankly what one thinks especially when one disapproves of the other’s behaviour|
|58||give someone the cold shoulder||ignore someone|
|59||go down in flames||fail spectacularly|
|60||go on a wild goose chase||to do something pointless|
|61||going from bad to worse||deteriorate further|
|63||hang around||someone strongly to loiter|
|64||hang in there||don’t give up|
|65||hard to come by||difficult to find|
|66||have a hand||to get involved|
|67||have no hand in||does not take part in an activity|
|69||herculean task||difficult task|
|70||hit the nail on the head||do or say something exactly right|
|71||hit the sack||go to sleep|
|72||holds good||valid at the time of discussion|
|73 ,||honour bound (to do something)||required to do something as a moral duty but not by law|
|74||in a nutshell||briefly|
|75||in all walks of life||all social groups|
|76||in deep waters||in trouble|
|77||in hot pursuit||following closely|
|78||in short supply||Not enough / scarce|
|79||in the hands of||in the care of|
|80||in the service of||available for|
|81||it is a piece of cake||it is easy|
|82||it’s Taining cats and dogs||it’s raining hard|
|83||keep pace with||to move with same speed|
|84||keep something at bay||keep something away|
|85||kicked the bucket||passed away|
|86||leave no stone unturned||look everywhere|
|87||let the cat out of the bag||give away a secret|
|88||lion’s share||major share|
|89||look down upon||treat with contempt .|
|90||loud and clear||very clearly|
|91||make both ends meet||live within means|
|92||make fun of||ridicule|
|93||make up one’s mind||decide, determine|
|94||matter of concern||something to worry about|
|95||miss the boat||it’s too late|
|96||muffle up||to cover
|97||not playing with a full deck||someone who lacks intelligence|
|98||note of hand||promissory note|
|99||null and void||invalid|
|100||on cloud nine||to be extremely happy|
|101||once and for all||completely and finally|
|102||once in a blue moon||vary rarely|
|103||one thing leads to another||series of events in which each event was caused by the previous one.|
|104||out of place||unsuitable|
|105||pink of health||extremely healthy, in perfect condition|
|106||play an important role||to have a significant position|
|107||pull yourself together||calm down|
|108||put on airs||behave in an unnatural way to impress others|
|109||shadow of one’s self||not having the strength, former self influence, etc., that one once had|
|110||side by side||along with|
|111||speak volumes||to express something very clearly and completely|
|112||spill the beans||give away a secret|
|113||take to one’s heels||to run away|
|114||taken a very hard line||not giving in|
|115||the ball is in your court||it’s your decision|
|116||the burning question||a crucial issue|
|117||the whys and wherefores||the reasons for something|
|118||thick and fast||in large numbers|
|119||tit for tat||revenge|
|120||told him flat||expressed opinion directly|
|121||tread on||walk with difficulty|
|122||trial and error||to try many times to succeed|
|123||tricks of the trade||the expertise of doing business|
|125||whole nine yards||everything, all of it|
|126||wouldn’t be caught dead||would never like to do something|
|127||with a bang||in a very exciting way|
(i) Choose the correct option to complete the given idioms.
1. A bolt from _________.
(a) the white (b) the sky (c) the green (d) the blue
(d) the blue
2. A storm _________.
(a) at sea (b) in the ocean (c) in a coffee cup (d) in a tea cup
(d) in a tea cup
3. Can’t judge a book, _________.
(a) by the colour (b) by its cover (c) by its pages (d) by its author
(db) by its cover
4. Every cloud _________.
(a) is dark (b) hides the sun (c) has a silver lining (d) brings rain
(c) has a silver lining
5. Casts an arm _________.
(a) and a face (b) and a finger (c) and a leg (d) and some money
(c) and a leg
6. Add insult to _________.
(a) friend (b) enemy (c) neighbor (d) injury
7. A penny for _________.
(a) a picture (b) honesty (c) hard work (d) your thoughts
(d) your thoughts
8. Fortune favors
(a) the hardworking (b) the poor (c) the rich (d) the bold
(d) the bold
9. Hit the nail _________.
(a) on the wall (b) on the door (c) in the bench (d) on the head
(d) on the head
10. Once in a _________.
(a) blue moon (b) in a tea cup (c) new moon (d) full moon
(a) blue moon
(ii) Give a suitable idiom for the given meanings.
1. Say something exactly right.
To hit the nail on the head.
2. All social groups.
All walks of life.
3. It’s raining hard.
Its raining cats and dogs.
4. Passed away.
Kicked the bucket.
5. Live within means.
To make both ends meet.
Null and void.
7. Extremely healthy.
Pink of health.
8. Give away a secret.
To let the cat out of the bag.
Tit for that.
10. In trouble.
In deep waters.