(Last Updated On: November 27, 2022)

Phrases and idioms with examples and meanings : What is idiom? Idioms are phrases used to express a point in the sense that they make the point precise and effective, not related to the literal meaning of its words. In other words “the meaning of an idiom can be somewhat different from that of different words.” Students often confuse idioms with idioms. However, these are two different things. Idioms are known to convey advice or a general fact.

They make the point precise and effective. The Cambridge Dictionary defines idioms as a group of words in a certain order that have a special meaning that is different from the meaning of each word.

Definition of idiom

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Idioms are combinations of words that convey a different meaning altogether. Idiom is an expression or way of speaking that is used in common vocabulary. For example,

Phrases and Idioms with Examples and Meanings

Therefore, although they may seem confusing to a beginner-level English student, they are very commonly used. Thus, it is imperative that learners be aware of some but not all of the common English idioms that native speakers use regularly.

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Idiom examples

Let us understand the idioms with some examples-

  1. A picture paints a thousand words : An image of a subject conveys its meaning or essence more effectively than a description.
  2. Sixth sense : The alleged power to know or feel things incomprehensible to the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
  3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket : One piece of advice which means not to concentrate all the efforts and resources in any one area.
  4. Rome was not built in a day : Important work takes time
  5. Turn a blind eye : pretend not to notice.


Idioms and Phrases Examples

In the following table, we have listed some idioms and phrases along with the meaning of the idioms/phrases.

Idioms & Phrases Questions

Practice Idioms and Phrases with some questions asked in previous year competitive exams.

Q1. wet behind the ears

(a) efficient
(b) young and rich with experience
(c) young and without much experience
(d) hearing impaired

Answer. (c) Wet behind the ears means young and without much experience

Q2. blood is thicker than water

(A) Relationships are more important than merit
(B) All crimes are not equal so the punishment for murder is not the same as for theft
(c) family ties and loyalty are the strongest and most important
(D) Cheating by a family member hurts more than being cheated by strangers

Answer. blood is thicker than water it means that family ties and loyalty are the strongest and most important

Q3. to bite your tongue

(a) due to self harm
(b) to make a desperate attempt to avoid saying something
(c) Bitter words once spoken never come back
(d) to be surprised

Answer. To bite your tongue: To keep yourself from saying something you really want to say

Q4. barking up the wrong tree

(A) should ignore those people who keep troubling him
(b) saying something wrong to someone who has always been kind to you
(c) Scolding the thick skinned person will not lead to any improvement
(d) pursuing a misguided line of action

Answer. Barking up the wrong tree means trying or following a futile action, often by making some kind of suggestion or request.

Q5. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

(a) who at times fight eventually become best friends
(b) If one has to give up fighting with a group because it cannot win, then band together with them
(c) not to cause trouble to others. Rather befriend them.
(d) to fight until you are accepted into a group that does not initially accept you as a member

Answer. If you can’t beat them, join them, that means if you have to quit fighting a group because you can’t win, then team up with them.

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Q6. once in a blue moon

(A) a hypothetical situation
(b) feeling sad
(c) a beautiful view
(d) to be very short

Answer. Once in a blue moon means very little.

Q7. water under the bridge

(A) To make a solution to overcome any problem
(b) past events are no longer important
(c) The days of youth can never be brought back again
(d) time keeps on flowing endlessly

Answer. Water under the bridge means an old problem that has now been resolved or is believed to be resolved.

Q8. What is an idiom?

Answer. Idiom is defined as an expression that has a meaning different from the meaning of the individual words in it.


Q9. What is a phrase?

Answer. Phrases can be defined as a collection of words that stand together as a unit in a sentence, usually as a clause or part of a sentence.


Q10. Are Idioms and Idioms Important for Competitive Exams?

Answer. Yes, One Word Substitution Important Topics for Competitive Exams SBI PO, SSC etc.


Q11. What does the idiom mean – wet behind the ears?

Answer. Wet behind the ears is an idiom used to describe someone who is young and without much experience.


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