Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

make sense

make sense

Meaning

  • to be able to reason something out
  • to make someone understand something through reasoning

Example Sentences

  1. The presentation did not make sense at all. It was way off the topic.
  2. She has started making sense about her career now and I would like to let her try things out.
  3. He does not make sense when he speaks about starting such a kind of venture. He does not have a plan and you better not invest in something so haphazard.
  4. Can you please start making some sense? We are not following what you are trying to say.
  5. Every word she says makes sense to my daughter. I am glad that she has chosen such a good role model.
  6. The story only makes sense when my father narrates it. When I tried it just sounded like some jibber jabber.
  7. You cannot make sense to him right now. Give him some time to come out of the shock of it all at least.
  8. Can you come along to speak to the principal? I am not going to be able to make sense to him after such a disaster.

Origin

The phrase originates from rational thoughts that is considered by reasonable people as valid.

building blocks

building blocks

Meaning

  • something that is a basic element (of the subject)
  • could literally be pointing at blocks that are used to build
  • kid’s toy house bricks

Example Sentences

  1. The building blocks of success, in my view, come from perseverance and hard work.
  2. I have seen him smoke and bully people right from the time he was in high school. With such building blocks, what else were you expecting of his future?
  3. The building blocks for my children’s future will be hope and faith.
  4. I have used the building blocks to construct a new bathroom for the school.
  5. The building blocks for this hospital will be the talent and ability of the doctors here.
  6. The building blocks for my cousin’s life have been carefully carved by my uncle and aunt.
  7. When the building blocks are weak then you cannot expect amazing results.

Origin

The origin obvious refers to blocks that are used for building buildings. The blocks are placed as the foundation stones which have to be sturdy in order to be able to carry the weight of an entire building. The foundation, as a simile has been used in the phrase as the foundation of a person’s life.

brought forward

brought forward

Meaning

  • to bring forth
  • to carry forward
  • to bring something in front (could be facts or figures too)

Example Sentences

  1. The meeting has been brought forward by the board and we have to start preparing for it right away.
  2. I have brought forward a proposal for you to consider. I’ve emailed the details to you and would appreciate a prompt response.
  3. She brings forward these crazy ideas which actually see to work in the advertising world.
  4. My bother has brought forward the truth about that guy’s character. I never want to meet him again.
  5. I cannot bring forward what has happened that day, it is all too embarrassing.
  6. The teacher brought forward a perfect example of how the homework was to be done.
  7. Can you bring forward the poster which you spoke about? It is supposed to be an evidence in the case, isn’t it?

Origin

The phrase comes from the legal world where evidence is “brought forward” in order to come to a better understanding of the case and eventually come to a conclusion. It is used in parlance in all parts of the world and is in fact sometimes not seen as a phrase but just as a way of speaking.

kill time

kill time

Meaning

  • to wait for something by doing something or nothing
  • to use time
  • pass the time

Example Sentences

  1. The team was killing time at the stadium before it was their turn to play.
  2. She intends to kill as much time as possible before her parents get serious and start finding a groom for her.
  3. I am not going to kill time while he is out there getting all the real contracts and work assignments.
  4. He loves to kill time in the afternoon while his parents are at work. He completes all the homework only when they are back.
  5. You cannot just kill time here in the office.
  6. How am I to kill time in this awfully boring place?
  7. The kids are killing time in order to earn the prize of a chocolate.
  8. Can I kill time at your place while my wife is away?
  9. The boys meet over the weekend to kill time.

Origin

The origin comes from the history of America where people who were suffering through time, women were getting burnt because they were termed as witches, children had to obey their parents to no end, and black people were slaves and treated less than dirt. The salvation to achieve God’s light was through killing time.

There is a biblical history of time having a form of its own and being friends with God, the almighty. God built the Garden of Eden to get away from spending time with Time. But time snuck in and made friends with the humans. When God found out he put the humans with Time where they age and kill time until their deaths.

surgical strike

surgical strike

Meaning

  • to cause injury or damage to the intended targets
  • it is a military attack that takes place with surgical precision and is extremely target oriented to cause harm to the enemy line
  • to hurt the enemy in such a way that there is no collateral damage but the target is achieved

Example Sentences

  1. The surgical strikes that the Indian army carried out in the year 2016 were an example of the strength that they hold. The enemy better not mess around here.
  2. I am starting a surgical strike against my socks and vow to find the pair for each one of them in this messy drawer.

Origin

The origin comes from the military but because of the words it is focussed on the operations that are performed in hospitals. The strikes are surgically precise which just hurt the intended enemy and all organs around it are safe and secure. Often carried out covertly the military operations started using surgical precision after targeting the enemy camp in such a way that there would be no damage to anyone or anything else in the fight. The enemy is unprepared and hence the strikes are quick to destroy what is intended.

If not used in the military sense, this phrase can be used sarcastically to cause humour.

take breath away

take breath away

Meaning

  • astonish; surprise; amaze or astound somebody
  • to cause someone to be out of breath because of shock or surprise
  • to be breathless because of doing heavy exercise
  • to cause an overwhelming feeling in someone due to something (grandeur, beauty, etc.)

Example Sentences

  1. The ring literally took my breath away. There was a monster of a diamond on it.
  2. The view took my breath away. Top of the mountains have always been my favourite places ever since.
  3. The hotel interior will take your breath away. It is everything that a castle should be actually.
  4. The beauty of the Swedish princess takes people’s breath away.
  5. Every time my wife walks into the room she takes my breath away. I keep falling in love with her over and over again.
  6. The moon is taking my breath away, it has never looked so big in my life!
  7. The painting is so beautiful that it took my breath away.
  8. The beauty of the princess Diana of Great Britain took my breath away.
  9. My wife looked so pretty on our wedding day that she took my breath away. She has been keeping it up ever since.

Origin

The phrase originates from the literal panting of a person when they show breathlessness due to the surprise of seeing something magnificent. Usually used when there is a surprise about the magnificence being expressed.

made it

you made it
or I made it
or we made it

Meaning

  • used to indicated the completion of a task
  • used to indicate someone’s victory
  • used to indicate someone’s arrival

Example Sentences

  1. “It is so amazing that you made it because we heard that it was a very difficult task.”
  2. “Hey, you made it! I thought you were out of town all summer?”
  3. “I heard that you made a whole week without a single drop of alcohol. Isn’t that great?”
  4. “I’m so glad that you made it! I really didn’t think you would come.”
  5. “Hey Dan, you made it! That is such an incredible news.”
  6. “I spent the entire day wondering if you would make it and then suddenly I realized that he would be busy as it was a working day.”
  7. “Jason looked forward to spending time with his dad after a year but he didn’t seem quite sure if his dad would make it.
  8. “I still look at my parents after 25 years of marriage and wonder how they made it so far.”
  9. “I knew you would make it and I believed in you since the very first day we met.”
  10. “It makes me proud to say that you made it into the university on your first attempt.”
  11. That was a real tough work but together we made it now.
  12. Oh, man I didn’t want to cross the river, but finally I made it.

Origin

The idiom ‘you made it’ has no known origin.

you bet

you bet

Meaning

  • for sure
  • most certainly
  • without any doubt
  • to agree completely
  • to express agreement
  • yes, of course

Example Sentences

  1. The manager will pull this deal off. You bet on something else about him because this is definitely happening.
  2. You bet that you will cross the finish line first. It isn’t happening with me participating in this race.
  3. Am I going to the party? You bet!
  4. Can I get another one of this? You bet!
  5. The people that live in this society are among the kindest that I know of. You bet they will go for a charity drive with you.
  6. You bet that I can get into and out of that house without anyone noticing me.
  7. You bet I will be going abroad next month to participate in social works.

Origin

The phrase is a slang which originated in the Native American way of speaking but is now popular throughout the world. It is a new phrase and has been in existence since a few decades only.

The slang came about when ‘betting’ on things to prove themselves was common and the answer to a bet would always be yes. ‘Would you take the bet?’ and ‘yes’ hence became synonyms in this phrase because no young person could say no to a bet and still be able to be a respectable member of the group.

come what may

come what may

Meaning

  • anything happens; whatever come about
  • to resolve on doing (something)
  • to be sure of going ahead in a particular situation even if all the odds are not in favour
  • to ignore the circumstances in order to get something done
  • no matter what may happen

Example Sentences

  1. The girl has decided to marry him come what may. She will proceed even if her entire family is against her decision.
  2. I have decided to go to London to complete my higher education come what may.
  3. She has promised her mother that she will pass the exam come what may this year.
  4. We will be vacationing outside the country this year come what may.
  5. My cousin is going to go to the party come what may.
  6. She got the assignment and will not finish it come what may.
  7. I am going to board that train come what may.
  8. It’s good to know that, come what may, our job is safe.

Origin

The phrase was used in the French language in the early 1300’s as “avalze que valze” which means “let it avail what it may, come what may”. Shakespeare made it popular by using it in his work ‘Macbeth’ in the year 1605. By the 1800’s it was a popular US phrase just as much as it belonged to the European English.

you’ve got to be kidding

you’ve got to be kidding

Meaning

  • implies that something that someone said is a joke
  • used when you are very surprised by what someone has said and that you disagree with them
  • used to imply that something that someone has said cannot be true

Example Sentences

  1. Dan said. “I got a job as an associate professor in the university! Wow!” Tina replied. “You’ve got to be kidding!”
  2. Samuel said. “I think I broke my permanent teeth!” His Mother replied, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
  3. You want me to drive to Chicago at this time? You’ve got to be kidding me!
  4. “Are you having breakfast at this hour of the day? You’ve got to be kidding me!”
  5. Jonathan said, “Hey do you have an extra pair of socks? I for got mine at home.” Jim replied, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
  6. “60 dollars for a plain white top? : You’ve got to be kidding me!
  7. Leah asked her husband, “Do you think I should invite the Simpsons from across the streets for dinner?” He replied with frustration, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
  8. “You still believe that Santa Claus exists somewhere on North pole of earth? You’ve got to be kidding me.
  9. “Is this really what they want from us? You’ve got to be kidding me!

Origin

The origin of this proverb is not known.

Next Idioms ❯ ❮ Previous Idioms