Clues To Use

Please read this section "Clues To Use" at least once before you start using the list of English idioms and expressions on this site. It includes pointers on how to get the best out of this website.

Means the following idiom or expression has the same meaning, or is very similar, BUT is not necessarily included on this site.

Also see:
Means the following idiom or expression has the same meaning, or is very similar, AND is listed on this site.

Compare to:
Means the following idiom or expression has a somewhat different meaning, AND is listed on this site.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The hidden meanings of English idioms and expressions or phrases are provided, but the more obvious (literal) meanings are not.

Example 1:
In defining Coming from behind, we don’t mention Approaching from behind, which is the obvious meaning.

Example 2:
In defining Hot potato, we don’t say A potato that is hot.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The entries in The List have been tabulated alphabetically in their most common form.

If you’re looking for the meaning of: It was raining cats and dogs, you should look under "R" for: Raining cats and dogs.
Or, you could use the "Find" feature of the PDF file to look for one of these keywords: Rain, Raining, Cat, or Dog.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

And finally:

Single words that are defined in dictionaries are not included here, unless they have unique applications.

An actual example from the list of idioms follows. In this example, the expression is: By a long shot, which is then described, and then used in examples.

By a long shot

By a large margin.
By a large amount.

When you say: Our team won the game by a long shot, you mean something like: When we won, our team was ahead by many points.

When you say: We’re not out of trouble by a long shot, you mean something like: We’re not out of trouble at all. We have a long way to go.


It’s a long shot, means: It’s unlikely, as in:
Q. Do you think they can win?
A. No, it’s a long shot.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Well, that's it. We hope you will enjoy using our list!

Return from this page "Clues To Use" to the Home Page
Go from this page "Clues To Use" to "English Idioms"

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Enter this Book Giveaway to win a FREE copy

Goodreads Book Giveaway

From Iran to America by Reza Mashayekhi

From Iran to America

by Reza Mashayekhi

Giveaway ends June 20, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Click Image to Receive a Free Sample of This Book!

English Idioms

Also by the same author:

English Idioms

Have you written an article?

Or, thinking of writing one?
If so, and if it is about one of the topics on this site, then

Please share it with us!

We'd love to have it, and we'll put it on a separate page so that others could comment on it, too.

Tell us your embarrassing one!

Did you ever get embarrassed because you misunderstood an expression, or because you used it inappropriately?

Come on, tell us about it!

Tell us your favorite one!

Among all the English idioms and expressions that you have heard, which one is your favorite?
Is there a story behind it?

Please let us know!

Tell us your funny one!

What is the funniest English idiom or expression you know?

Please tell us about it!

Do you know an expression?

In English or in another language?
And you think we should have it on this site?

Well, go ahead and let us know about it!

Got an idea for an illustration?

You've seen the illustrations on this site, and suddenly you feel like doing one yourself?
Well, you could, you know!
Even if you don't know how to draw.

Let us know, and we will do it together!

We will work with you to bring your idea to life.

Got a folklore short story?

We're putting together a section for folklore type short stories.
Do you know one that you heard when you were growing up in your part of the world?

We'd like to hear it.

Today In History!!!

Read about some important, and some not-so-important, things that have happened on this day.

Read about it here!