Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


Idioms beginning with R

a rough diamond

a rough diamond or a diamond in the rough

– a person of exceptional character
– a person with great potential but lacking polish and refinement
– a person who does not seem very polite or well educated at first, although they have a good character
– a person who has good qualities despite a rough exterior
– someone or something whose good qualities are hidden
– a person who is kinder and more amusing than they seem to be from their appearance and behavior

1. Bob is intelligent and trustworthy but lacks sophistication, he is a rough diamond.
2. Mitchell may have been a rough diamond, but he was absolutely loyal to his employer.
3. Rickey looks a little messy, but he’s a diamond in the rough.
4. She’s a diamond in the rough – a little hard to take at times, but very elegant and cooperative.
5. This show is one of those diamonds in the rough, a wonderful gem that almost no one has noticed.
6. Her singing voice is beautiful, but she needs help with her gestures; she’s a rough diamond.
7. Jack is intelligent and loyal but lacks manners – he’s a rough diamond.

This idiomatic expression is obviously a metaphor for the original unpolished state of diamond gemstones. It comes from the fact that when diamonds are newly mined – that is, before they have been cut and polished – they don’t shine, in fact they look quite a lot like pebbles and are easily overlooked in their “rough” state.

From this comes the idea that a person can also be like a diamond in the rough or, in the more common idiom, “a rough diamond.” This means a person who has rough, uncultivated or even impolite manners, but at heart is a very good person with excellent qualities. It is more commonly expressed in the form ‘rough diamond’. The first recorded use in print is in John Fletcher’s ‘A Wife for a Month, 1624’ – “She is very honest, and will be as hard to cut as a rough diamond.”

rain cats and dogs

rain cats and dogs
Meaning: rain very heavily.
Example: It was raining cats and dogs so all flights were cancelled and I could not reach in time to my native town to join the marriage ceremony of my brother.

round the clock

round the clock meaning

  • continuously or interrupted
  • lasting through the day
  • all day and night
  • all hours of the day
  • usually used as a reference of something being done monotonously and continuously by someone which is seen as tiresome

Example Sentences

  1. The counselor has been working round the clock with patients. His dedication has been acknowledged by the hospital through this award.
  2. The prisoners are monitored round the clock by the officers. There is no way to escape.
  3. A mother works round the clock without any form of appreciation from anyone. But when she sees her baby smiling it is all worth it at the end.
  4. The new restaurant is said to be open round the clock. Let’s go there after work today to check how good it really is.
  5. The nanny has been working round the clock. She totally deserves this break.
  6. Although the work is round the clock, the payment for the same is quite meager.
  7. The bank provides round the clock services to the clients.
  8. His contract includes round the clock monitoring of the software to ensure that there is no malfunction.
  9. The new McDonald Drive-Through store on National Highway will remain open round the clock.


Although speculated to have been originated in the early 1900’s, the literary origin of this phrase cannot be traced accurately.

rock the boat

rock the boat
Meaning: do or say something causes problem.
Example: The government asked the Prime Minister not to take firm action on protesters as it certainly doesn’t want anything to rock the boat just before the election.

run amok (amuck)

run amok

also run amuck


  • act in a wild or dangerous manner
  • go in a frenzy
  • be out of control
  • behave in an unrestrained or unruly manner
  • go crazy

Example Sentences

  1. When the police arrived, they were confronted with a group of protesters running amuck in the lanes of the old town.
  2. With the teacher absent, the children were running amok in their class, upsetting the furniture and creating a mess.
  3. The mob entered the building and ran amok, disrupting everything and leaving behind chaos in their wake.
  4. With no clear directions in place, the crowd ran amok at the show.
  5. While having a class party, the students ran amok at the club.
  6. Armed with a knife, the deranged man ran amok at the generally peaceful neighbourhood.
  7. Presented with irresistible deals, the shoppers were running amuck at the store.
  8. The terrified crowd ran amok all the over the place when they the sound of an explosion nearby.
  9. They totured that huge bull so bad and finally he ran amuck.

The phrase originated from the Southeast Asian term amok (spelled amuk, amuck, amuco), which meant a murderous frenzy or rage. It referred to the Amuco warriors of Malaysia and Java, who were fierce in their battles and preferred death over surrender. “Amuck” is an older spelling and less used now, “amok” being the more modern spelling.

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