Idioms List

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blow (something) out of proportion
To overreact or exaggerate something.

Let?s not blow the problem out of proportion. If we break it down, we?ll see that it is really not that complicated.

buy it
To believe something.

Max told Mary that he was sorry, but she didn't buy it.

call it a day
To stop an activity for the day.

We?ve done enough work today. Let?s call it a day.

call it a night
To go to bed to sleep.

I?m tired. I?m going to have to call it a night.

call it even
To declare debts paid.

You save my life five years ago, and I saved your life just now. Let?s call it even.

call it quits
To conclude; to quit or stop an activity.

I think everyone is very tired right now; let?s call it quits for now. Let?s try again tomorrow.

can of worms
A difficult problem which produces additional problems.

Max couldn?t tell Mary the truth. He knew it would open a can of worms.

carry on
To continue or proceed.

I?ll be gone for a couple weeks. I?m sure you can carry on without me.

catch on
To understand; to realize.

Max took a little extra time to catch on, but eventually he understood the situation.

change one's mind
To decide differently or have a different opinion than before.

I know I said that I wanted vanilla, but I changed my mind; I want chocolate.

cheat on
To be sexually unfaithful to.

John asked for a divorce when he found out that Mary was cheating on him.

close but no cigar
A narrowly missed attempt or guess.

Nice try. Close but no cigar. Guess again.

cold turkey
To stop an addiction all at once, not gradually.

Max quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey.

cross the line
To go too far; to violate accepted boundaries or rules.

Max really crossed the line when he ate Mary?s last donut.

cut (somebody) some slack
To be flexible or lenient with somebody.

Cut Max some slack. He didn?t mean to be rude. He just had a very difficult day.

cut to the chase
To get to the main point; to state something directly.

Let me cut to the chase. I quit. As of tomorrow, I no longer work here.

daily grind
The monotonous tasks of everyday work.

I?ve had enough of the daily grind. I hope I win the lottery soon.

dead end
A path or situation that leads nowhere or offers no prospects.

My job seems to be at a dead end.

deep down
Basically; in essence; at the core.

Max?s boss seems to be a very evil person, but deep down he?s not that bad.

die down
To fade; to gradually come to an end.

The storm seems to be dying down. Maybe we?ll be able to play tennis tomorrow after all.

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