Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

Idioms related to Success

cut the mustard

cut the mustard

Meaning:

  • to succeed
  • to come up to expectations
  • to be competent enough
  • to be adequate enough to participate or compete
  • to be up to the standard

Example:

  1. My neighbor had applied for the post of architect in a big project, but did not cut the mustard.
  2. That boy wants to be the captain of the team, but does he cut the mustard?
  3. I need a bigger knife for these large fruits; this one doesn’t cut the mustard.
  4. His friends and siblings helped him through this studies, but when it came to working, he couldn’t cut the mustard.
  5. He was a great player, but he retired sometime ago. We’ll have to see if he still cuts the mustard.
  6. Though he had practiced hard, on the day of the trials, he was not at his best, so could not cut the mustard.
  7. When he started his career, he was shy and reserved – no one thought he would cut the mustard; but now, his achievements speaks for themselves.
  8. I have made this flyer for the event. Do you think it would cut the mustard?

Origin:
The phrase originated in America in the late 1800s. However, why mustard is used as a reference to high quality is unclear.

yesterday’s man

yesterday’s man

Meaning:

  • someone especially a politician whose career is finished
  • someone who has passed the peak of his or her career

Example:

  1. The officer is retiring from his job next month, soon he will be a yesterday’s man.
  2. It had only been a week when Ria’s saloon kick-started and now due to financial crisis she’ll be closing her shop. She’s a yesterday’s man now.
  3. No sooner had the actor done a blockbuster, he was accused of his involvement in a scam & prisoned. He is a yesterday’s man now.
  4. Only after an hour of his being elected as home minister, the media dismissed him as a yesterday’s man due to wrong means of buying votes.
  5. You have to be cautious & not make any mistake at this point of your career else you will be a yesterday’s man.
  6. After being involved in drug addiction & gambling, the singer became a yesterday’s man.
  7. If you do not want to be a yesterday’s man, keep learning & improving yourself so that you keep evolving.
  8. It is essential to be up to date with the ongoing trend in your field of work else you’ll be a yesterday’s man.

Origin:
Any information about the origin of this idiom is currently unavailable with us.

make it big

make it big

Meaning

  • become very successful or famous
  • to be extremely successful financially
  • to flourish in life and become prominent
  • used to express admiration for other’s success

Example Sentences

  1. I always knew that someday my life would flip and I would make it big.
  2. My brother made it big, but then he got addicted to drugs and lost it all.
  3. After 20 years of trying his luck, he finally won a lottery and made it big.
  4. Helen said,”You made it big! I am really happy for you and your kids.”
  5. Look at that necklace Rebecca! I always knew you would make it big.
  6. It is almost impossible to make it big in a country like America without contacts.
  7. Commitment is all you will ever need if you really want to make it big in this industry. You have a lot of competition here.
  8. It depends on you if you really want to make it big. You just need to work for it man!
  9. I just met Tony today at the mall. He made it big, man. He owns the Latest software company.
  10. Regardless of being very skilled it took him numerous years before he made it big in the New Your city

Origin

The origin of this idiomatic expression is not known to us. If you know more details about the origin of the idiom, please write it in the comments.

burst the bubble

burst the bubble or bubble burst
Meaning: sudden end of a very happy or successful period.
Example 1: The economic strength of India was booming and then the bubble burst with the crash of stock market in last decade.
Example 2: My life was very happily going alone, then I met that girl and she burst the bubble, she ruined my life.

in the ascendant

in the ascendant

Meaning

  • to become more powerful
  • on the rise to becoming more influential or more successful
  • to steadily increase
  • usually used positively to denote growth of a person or thing

Example Sentences

  1. The Jones’ have been in the ascendant ever since the 1800’s. They are now the most influential family in the United Kingdom, after the Queen’s own of course.
  2. The price of buying this horse are in the ascendant ever since he has been winning races for his owners.
  3. The price of gold has been in the ascendant since the time that I have been able to save enough money to be able to buy some.
  4. She is doing quite well in her organisation and is very much in the ascendant to getting the promotion.
  5. He is in the ascendant in the glamour world. He has got 4 assignments in this month and will be seen in advertisements.
  6. By arguing with the elders she thinks she is in the ascendant but it is actually her downfall since her children are learning from how she behaves.
  7. My career was in the ascendant when work was all that I had. But now that I am married and picked up more of home responsibilities, I have slowed it down by quite a bit.
  8. Tom Hanks is very much in the ascendant in the film world, I’ve been also fan of his acting since I saw his movie “Cast Away”.

Origin

The literary origin of this phrase cannot be traced accurately.

alive and kicking

alive and kicking

Meaning

  • lively and active
  • continue to live or exist and be full of energy
  • well and healthy
  • vigorously active and doing well
  • to continue to be popular or successful

Example Sentences

  1. She hadn’t met her younger sister after her marriage and was delighted to see her alive and kicking at a social event last weekend.
  2. I met my old school teacher yesterday and I was pleased to see that he was alive and kicking.
  3. He had been down with an illness for sometime, but now he has recovered and is alive and kicking.
  4. That form of music may not be very popular with the masses any more, but it is certainly alive and kicking in some parts of the world.
  5. Even at the ripe old age of 83, he is alive and kicking and is actively pursuing his interests.
  6. This traditional form of dance is still alive and kicking among the youth of today.
  7. Although older and much mellowed down, the outspoken former sportsman is alive and kicking.
  8. A fresh round of funds from the investors kept the company’s business alive and kicking.

Origin
The phrase originated in the late 18th to early 19th century and is believed to have been used by fishmongers to convince customers of the freshness of their fish. The earliest print citation is from an anonymous travelogue “Farther excursions of the observant pedestrian” in 1801.

Next Idioms ❯