Phrases and Idioms

Meaning

201.

critical – the critical list

A list of hospital patients who are extremely ill or seriously injured and at risk of death

202.

cross - at cross purposes

Mutual misunderstanding due to each side referring to a different matter

203.

cross – cross a cheque

To draw or print two parallel lines across a cheque so that it can only be paid into a bank account.

204.

cross - cross one’s fingers

Cross one finger with another as a sign of hope that a good or the wished-for thing will happen.

205.

cross - cross one’s heart

Make a sign of the cross over one’s heart to emphasize what one is saying is true.

206.

cross – cross one’s mind

Occur in one’s thought.

207.

cross - cross swords with

To have an argument or dispute with someone.

208.

cross - cross the floor

Walk over to join the opposing side in Parliament.

209.

cruel - a cruel blow

A tragic event that is so unfair and occurs so suddenly.

210.

cry - in full cry

In hot pursuit

211.

cudgel – cudgel one’s brain

To think very hard about something.

212.

cudgel - take up cudgels

To start to fight for or defend something one strongly believes in.

213.

curry - curry favour with

To bring oneself into favour with someone by flattering or pleasing them.

214.

cut - a cut above

Noticeably better than others.

215.

cut - cut a dash

To appear attractive when one puts on particular clothes.

216.

cut - cut and dried

(agreement, decision, etc.) reached and cannot be changed.

217.

cut - cut and paste

In computing, remove text from one location to place it on another.

218.

cut - cut and run

Withdraw from a situation that becomes difficult rather than attempt to cope with it.

219.

cut - cut and thrust

Uncontrolled and rough environment.

220.

cut - cut both ways

Have both good and bad sides

221.

cut - cut in line

To jump queue.

222.

cut - cut it out

Used to tell someone to stop saying or doing something.

223.

cut - cut no ice

Will not be able to bring about change in someone.

224.

cut - cut somebody free/loose

To set someone free by cutting the rope that binds them.

225.

cut - cut somebody short

To stop someone from finishing what they are saying.

226.

cut - cut someone dead

To deliberately ignore someone.

227.

cut - cut the cord

To not continue depending on someone.

228.

cut - cut the crap

Used to tell someone to stop wasting time on minor details and concentrate on the important ones.

229.

cut - cut the mustard

To be good enough to reach certain standard.

230.

cute - get cute with

To be mischievous.

231.

dagger – at daggers drawn

With mutual hatred.

232.

damnedest - do one’s damnedest

To try extremely hard to succeed or obtain something.

233.

damsel – damsel in distress

A young woman who needs to be rescued.

234.

dark – in the  dark

In a state of ignorance.

235.

day – day of reckoning

The time when someone has to face up to the consequences of their actions.

236.

dead - be dead meat

To be in serious trouble.

237.

dead – dead and buried

Over and finished, no longer worth considering.

238.

dead – dead man’s shoes

Succeeding someone or inheriting his property is only possible on his death.

239.

dead – dead on time

At the stated or agreed time.

240.

deal - it’s a deal

Used to express one’s agreement to something.

241.

deal - strike a deal

Mutually agree to do something for each other.

242.

death – at death’s door

So ill that one may die soon.

243.

death - on death row

To be kept in the area of a prison where prisoners awaiting execution are confined.

244.

declare – declare an interest

To make known publicly that one holds an interest in something.

245.

decline – someone’s declining years

Last years of one’s life when one experiences diminishing physical strength and good health.

246.

delusion – delusions of grandeur

Possessing a very strong sense of self-importance.

247.

dice – dice with death

To place oneself in a rather risky position.

248.

dish – dish the dirt

To engage in casual conversation or idle gossip about other people.

249.

divide – divide and rule

To maintain control over people, and provoke dissent between them to ensure they do not rise in opposition.

250.

do – do or die

To persist in a course of action even if the outcome is death.

251.

do - dos and don’ts

The things that one must and must not do in a given situation.

252.

do – that does it!

Used to show that one can tolerate no more.

253.

dog - a dog’s age

A very long time.

254.

dog - dog eat dog

A situation in which people compete ruthlessly.

255.

dog – going to the dogs

Deteriorating with no possibility of improving.

256.

doing – take some doing

Involving hard work or much effort.

257.

domino - the domino effect

A situation in which one event triggers similar events around it to happen successively.

258.

done - a done deal

An agreed proposal or a completed business deal.

259.

done - the done thing

To be socially acceptable.

260.

dot – on the dot

Punctually.

261.

dot – to a dot

Exactly; precisely.

262.

dotage –  in one’s dotage

In one’s old age.

263.

double - at/on the double

Very quickly.

264.

drag – drag one’s feet

To be deliberately slow to do something.

265.

drain - down the drain

Entirely wasted.

266.

draw - draw a blank

To be unsuccessful, especially after searching for something such as evidence, etc.

267.

draw – draw someone’s eye

To make someone notice something.

268.

dress – dress a salad

Add a mixture of additional ingredients onto a salad.

269.

dress – dressed to kill

Quality clothes worn to make a striking impression.

270.

drop – drop a bombshell

To suddenly reveal a shocking piece of news.

271.

drop – drop a clanger/brick

To pass an embarrassing remark in a social environment.

272.

drop – drop a hint

To convey something in an indirect way by what one says or does.

273.

drop – drop one’s guard

To cease keeping careful watch for possible danger.

274.

drown – drown one’s sorrows

To forget one’s problems by drinking a lot of alcohol.

275.

drum – drum one’s fingers

To unconsciously display one’s anxiety.

276.

due – in due course

At the appropriate time in the future.

277.

due – pay one’s dues

Make regular payments to; fulfil one’s obligations.

278.

duff - up the duff

Pregnant.

279.

dust – dust and ashes

Something that causes great disappointment.

280.

early - an early grave

Dying too soon.

281.

early – it’s early days

Early in time for something to happen, etc.

282.

earn – earn one’s keep

To do enough work to justify what one receives in return.

283.

earth – go to earth

Go into hiding.

284.

eat – eat humble pie

Admit one’s mistake and offer an apology.

285.

eat - eat one’s words

Retract one’s statement, usually under pressure.

286.

economy – economies of scale

To economic benefit of production of an item in large quantities.

287.

effect - to that effect

Getting the desired outcome or meaning.

288.

empty – empty your bowels

To defecate.

289.

end – be the end

Be the limit of what one can tolerate.

290.

end - days on end

Lasting many days.

291.

end – end in itself (an)

Something that one really wants to do, and not for other reasons.

292.

end – end it all

To kill own self; commit suicide.

293.

end – end to end

Arrange things in a row with ends touching

294.

end – in the end

Eventually; ultimately.

295.

end – make ends meet

To live within one’s means.

296.

end - to that end

To aim at or achieve something.

297.

end – to this end

For this purpose.

298.

even - get even with

To inflict harm or insult on someone just as much as they have harmed or insulted you.

299.

event - in any event

Used to emphasize that an event will happen besides others that may happen.

300.

event - in the event

Used to emphasize what actually happened or might happen in a given situation.