Idioms and Phrases

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

Idioms beginning with T

take the edge off

take the edge off

Meaning:

  • blunt the effect of
  • reduce the impact of
  • make less severe

Examples:

  1. Have a painkiller – it’ll take the edge off the pain your in hand.
  2. Her apology took the edge of his anger.
  3. After a strong hard work, I need to eat something to take the edge off fatigue and hunger.
  4. The coconuts took the edge off the dehydration and hunger when I was lost on an isolated island.
  5. I don’t know how to take the edge off the fear from heights.
  6. Do some meditation and yoga this will take the edge off the stress.

Origin:
This idiomatic expression dates from the first half of the 1900s.

toll or sound the death knell

toll or sound the death knell

Meaning:
Cause an organization, system or activity to fail or end

Examples:
1. The shutdown of the local iron industry tolled the death knell for the village.
2. Recent changes of software in cell phones sound the death knell for several popular models.
3. Resign of such a loyal manager might sound the death knell for that store.

Origin:
The noun knell, used for the ringing of a bell since at least A.D. 1000, is rarely heard today except in this figurative phrase.

turn a deaf ear

turn a deaf ear

Meaning:
- choose not to hear
- refuse to listen
- to ignore what someone says

Examples:
1. Please do not just turn a deaf ear to their cries for help.
2. This was too cheap when Sarah turned a deaf ear to our insistent.
3. The Bank tended to turn a deaf ear to ATM card lost complaints.
4. When I asked Michael to go with me for help he just turned a deaf ear.
5. How can you turned a deaf ear to the crying victims of accident.

Origin:
This idiomatic expression dates from the first half of the 1400s and was in most proverb collections from 1546 on.

throw dust in eyes

throw dust in eyes

Meaning:
- to confuse or mislead somebody to deceive
- make a fool of

Examples:
1. She threw dust in the eyes of the jeweler by pretending to be a well-to-do lady, and then stole the jewellery.
2. The taxi drivers in Shimla throws dust in tourist’s eyes and take too much money for a small distance.
3. Give my whole money back; you cannot throw dust in my eyes.
4. The thug threw dust in her eyes and exchanged her real diamonds with fake stones.
5. The secretary of the film actress threw dust in the fan’s eyes, talking about a show at the airport when she was heading for the expressway.
6. Don’t ever earn money by throwing dust in customer’s eyes or soon you will lost your business.

Origin:
This idiomatic expression alludes to throwing dust or sand in the eyes to confuse a pursuing enemy. [Mid-1700s]

Throw dust in eyes Synonyms:
- Befool

till doomsday

till doomsday

Meaning:
- for a very long time
- for all time,
- forever

Examples:
1. You could try to convince her till doomsday, but she will not drop her demands.
2. This business is going to take me till doomsday.
3. We’ll be here till doomsday if you go blathering on.

throw to the wolves

feed, leave or throw to the wolves, dogs or lions

Meanings:
- allow somebody else to be criticized or attacked, often in order to protect one
- to sacrifice someone to save the rest
- to abandon someone to harm
- sacrifice someone, especially so as to save oneself

Examples:
1. Don’t try to throw my brother to the wolves. I’ll tell the fact about the entire issue.
2. When I got to know that they he is very dangerous person to whom I was dealing with, I felt I’d been thrown to the wolves.
3. If Jessica doesn’t achieve as they expect, they’ll throw her to the dogs.

Origin:
The first term comes from Aesop’s fable about a nurse who threatens to throw her charge to the wolves if the child does not behave. [First half of 1900s]

treat like dirt

treat like dirt

Meanings:
- behave someone very badly without respect
- show disdain toward
- to have no respect or consideration for someone
- to deal with someone in a manner that shows no respect for them

Examples:
1. My boss treats all his employees like dirt.
2. I don’t know why she stays with him. He treats her like dirt.
3. For years I allowed him to treat me like dirt.
4. If you treat your customers like dirt, they won’t come back to your shop again.

Origin:
This idiom uses dirt in the sense of “something worthless” a usage dating from the mid-1300s in English language.

the die is cast

the die is cast
Meaning: an unalterable decision has been reached, or step taken.
Example: Worried about the misuse of chemical weapons, the United State now confirms the attack on Syria the die is cast to stop and destroy the mass destruction weapons.

to the core

to the core
Meaning: completely, utterly.
Example: It is beyond doubt that company management is rotten to the core, involved in numerous extortion schemes.

the chattering classes

the chattering classes
Meaning: educated people who like to discuss and give their opinions about political and social matters.
Example: The royal baby’s birth was a historic event and has recently become a trendy topic among the chattering classes.

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