The Idiom Connection Eye Ear Nose Idioms and Quizzes






Ear, Eye and Nose Idioms






Ear, Eye and Nose Idioms

able to (do something) with one's eyes closed/shut

- to be able to do something very easily

The car mechanic was able to fix my car with his eyes closed.

all ears

- eager to hear something, very attentive

My friend was all ears when I began to talk about starting a home business.

all eyes

- watching very closely, wide-eyed with surprise

My friend is all eyes when he goes to a basketball game.

all eyes are on (someone or something)

- everybody is waiting eagerly for someone to appear or something to happen

All eyes were on the singer when he walked onto the stage.

apple of (someone`s) eye

- someone's favorite person or thing

The young girl is the apple of her father`s eye.

as blind as a bat

- very blind, unable to see

The man is as blind as a bat and he cannot see anything.

as plain as the nose on one's face

- clearly evident, obvious

The explanation for the problem is as plain as the nose on my face.

assault the ears

- to be very loud or persistent

The music was very loud and it assaulted my ears.

(not) bat an eye/eyelid

- to show no surprise or reaction even when something bad happens

My boss did not bat an eye when I told him that I was going home early today.

believe one`s ears

- to believe what one is hearing, to become sure of something

I could not believe my ears when I heard that I had won a holiday to the beach resort.
I will believe my ears when my boss tells me the news.

believe one`s eyes

- to believe what one is seeing

We could not believe our eyes when we saw the terrible car accident.
I will believe my eyes when I see the new product.

bend (someone's) ear

- to talk to someone (usually in an annoying or persistent manner)

I met my friend this morning and she bent my ear about her problems at work.

blind leading the blind

- someone who does not know how to do something himself or herself but tries to explain it to another person

It was like the blind leading the blind when I tried to help my friend fix his car because I do not know anything about cars.

blow one's nose

- to use the air from one's lungs to clear one's nose

I took some tissue from my pocket so I could blow my nose.

cannot see beyond the end of one's nose

-to not be able to see beyond what concerns one at the present time

My friend cannot see beyond the end of his nose and he has no idea about things around him.

cast a (critical/expert/professional) eye over (someone or something)

- to look at someone or something in a critical or expert or professional way

The movie director cast a critical eye over the movie script from the writer.

cast an eye over (something)

- to read or look at something quickly

I cast an eye over the report before I went to the meeting.

catch (someone`s) eye

- to attract someone`s attention

I tried to catch my friend`s eye at the movie theater but he did not see me.

close one's eyes to (something)

- to ignore something, to pretend that something is not really happening

The man closed his eyes to the problems that were happening in his company.

count noses

- to count people

The teacher stopped to count noses before the students entered the classroom.

cry one's eyes out

- to cry very hard

The little girl cried her eyes out when she lost her favorite doll.

cut off one`s nose to spite one`s face

- to make things worse for yourself by trying to harm someone or something else

The man cut off his nose to spite his face when he became angry and quit his job.

deaf and dumb

- unable to hear or speak

The young man is deaf and dumb and he has trouble understanding what is happening around him.

eagle eye

- a very careful watchful eye (like the eye of an eagle)

The woman has an eagle eye and she never misses anything.

ears are burning

- someone is talking about you when you are not there

My ears are burning and I think that someone is talking about me.

ears are ringing

- one hears a ringing sound because of a very loud sound

My ears were ringing after the fire truck passed.

ears become red

- one's ears become red from embarrassment

My ears became red when our teacher asked me a question.

evil eye

- the power to harm people just by looking at them (as some people believe)

The man gave me the evil eye when I met him at the store.

eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

- a system of punishment where you punish someone in a similar way to how they hurt you

Some people call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth when they learn of a terrible murder.

eye of the storm

- the center of a storm or controversy

The company scandal is stressful for everybody and we are now in the eye of the storm.

eyeball to eyeball

- face to face

I had an eyeball-to-eyeball encounter with an angry dog at the park.

eyes are bigger than one`s stomach

- someone takes more food than he or she can eat

My eyes were bigger than my stomach when I went to the buffet restaurant and took too much food.

eyes pop out (of one's head)

- one is very surprised

My eyes popped out of my head when I saw my birthday present.

fall on deaf ears

- to have one's words or ideas ignored by the person that they are intended for

Our complaints to the apartment manager usually fall on deaf ears and nothing is done about the complaints.

feast one's eyes on (someone or something)

- to look at someone or something with pleasure or enjoyment

We stopped at the top of the hill to feast our eyes on the beautiful scenery.

flea in (someone`s) ear

- an idea or answer that is not welcome

We put a flea in the supervisor's ear with our criticism of the new schedule.

follow one's nose

- to go straight ahead, to follow a smell to its source

I followed my nose to the store where they were baking the bread.

four eyes

- someone who is wearing glasses (an expression sometimes used by children)

The children called their friend with the glasses four eyes.

get a black eye

- to get a bruise near one's eye from being hit, to have one's reputation harmed

The little boy got a black eye when he bumped into the door.
The company has a black eye because of the scandal.

get an eyeful of (someone or something)

- to see everything, to see a shocking or surprising sight

We got an eyeful when we saw the accident on the highway.

get one`s nose out of (something)

- to become uninvolved in something, to become uninvolved in someone else's business

I wish that our secretary would get her nose out of my business.

get the eye from (someone)

- to be looked at by someone in a hostile or unfriendly or critical way

We got the eye from the manager of the restaurant when we entered in our old clothes.

give one's eye teeth (to do something or for something)

- to want to do something very much, to want something very much

I would give my eye teeth to go to London with my cousin.
I would give my eye teeth for a new computer.

give (someone) a black eye

- to hit someone near his or her eye so that it becomes dark, to hurt someone's reputation

The boy gave his friend a black eye.
The scandal gave the company a black eye.

give (someone) an earful

- to talk to someone in order to criticize or complain about something

I met my supervisor and I decided to give her an earful about my job.

give (someone) the eye

- to look at someone in a hostile or unfriendly way

I gave the woman in the restaurant the eye but she ignored me.

go into (something) with one's eyes (wide) open

- to do something or make a choice about something while knowing the problems that are involved and while having all of the necessary information

The couple went into the construction contract with their eyes wide open.

go into (something) with one's eyes closed/shut

- to do something or make a choice about something not knowing the problems that are involved and not having all of the necessary information

The young man went into the job with his eyes closed but he was very successful.

grin from ear to ear

- to have a big grin/smile on one's face

The man was grinning from ear to ear after he found the money.

hard-nosed

- not weak or soft, stubborn

The union took a hard-nosed position in the contract negotiations.

hard of hearing

- unable to hear well, partially deaf

My grandfather is hard of hearing.

have a good eye for (something)

- to be able to judge something correctly, to have good taste in something

The woman has a good eye for color and her apartment is very beautiful.

have a nose for (something)

- to have the talent for finding something

My friend has a nose for finding cheap items at flea markets.

have an ear for (something)

- to have the ability to learn music or languages

The girl has an ear for languages and she can learn them very fast.

have an ear out for (something)

- to listen carefully for something

The man always has an ear out for business opportunities that may appear.

have an eye for (something)

- to be able to judge something correctly, to have good taste in something

My father has an eye for ceramic plates and he has a large collection of them.

have eyes in the back of one`s head

- to have the ability to know what is happening behind one's back

Our teacher has eyes in the back of her head and she always knows what is happening in the classroom.

have nothing between the ears

- to be stupid, to have no brains or intelligence

The young man has nothing between the ears and he is always making stupid mistakes.

have one's ear to the ground

- to listen carefully because you want to get advance warning of something

I have my ear to the ground to see if any changes are planned for my company.

have one's eye on (someone or something)

- to want someone or something and hope that you will be able to get it or him or her

The woman has her eye on a new job in her company and she is working very hard to get it.
The company has its eye on the famous researcher.

have one's eye on (someone or something)

- to watch someone or something carefully, to take care of someone or something

The woman had her eye on her baby as she talked on the telephone.

have one's eyes glued to (something)

- to watch something very carefully and not look away from it

Everybody in the airport lobby had their eyes glued to the television screen.

have one's nose in a book

- to be reading a book

The girl had her nose in a book during the bus ride.

have one's nose in (something)

- to have unwelcome interest in something, to have impolite curiosity about something

My boss always has his nose in the business of other people and nobody likes him.

have one's nose in the air

- to be conceited or aloof

The girl has had her nose in the air since she won the speech contest.

have one`s nose to the grindstone

- to work hard or keep busy at something

My friend has his nose to the grindstone and he is studying hard at school.

have (someone's) ear

- to be able to get someone to listen to you (usually someone who has the power or ability to help you)

Our supervisor has the company president's ear and he can talk to him anytime.

have (something) coming out of one's ears

- to have much of something

We have bath towels coming out of our ears and we do not need any more.

have stars in one`s eyes

- to have an appearance or feeling of very great happiness, to be obsessed with show business

The girl has stars in her eyes now that she has won the spelling contest.

Here's mud in your eye.

- Drink up! (used as a toast)

"Here's mud in your eye," I said as my friend began to drink.

hit (someone) right between the eyes

- to make a strong impression on someone, to surprise someone greatly

The news about the accident hit us right between the eyes and shocked us.

hold one's nose

- to accept that you have to do something that you do not want to do

I had to hold my nose and sign the legal contract which I did not want to sign.

in a pig's eye

- never

I will never, in a pig's eye, go with my friend to visit her family.

in one ear and out the other

- a piece of information is heard and then quickly forgotten

Everything that the teacher said went in one ear and out the other and I did not remember anything.

in one`s mind`s eye

- in one`s imagination

I tried to relax and in my mind`s eye, I pretended that I was on a beautiful island.

in the public eye

- visible to everybody, in public

The politician's wife does not like to be in the public eye.

in the twinkling of an eye

- very quickly

I went into the store and in the twinkling of an eye I lost my wallet.

keep an ear out for (something)

- to listen carefully for something

I plan to keep an ear out for any information about a new job.

keep an eye on (someone or something)

- to watch someone or something carefully, to take care of someone or something

I asked my aunt to keep an eye on our apartment when we went for our holiday.

keep an eye out for (someone or something)

- to watch carefully for someone or something

I am keeping my eye out for my grandparents. They will arrive soon.
My friend is keeping his eye out for a new car.

keep one's ear to the ground

- to continue to listen carefully in order to get advance warning of something

I am keeping my ear to the ground in order to see what the new owner of my company plans to do.

keep one's eye on the ball

- to remain alert to what is happening around you, to watch or follow the ball carefully while playing a game

The project is very difficult and the man is trying hard to keep his eye on the ball.

keep one's eyes open

- to remain alert and watchful, to notice what is happening around you

I try to keep my eyes open when I am walking downtown at night.

keep one's eyes peeled for (someone or something)

- to remain alert and watchful for someone or something

I waited on the street and kept my eyes peeled for my friend and his car.

keep one`s nose clean

- to stay away from trouble

The judge told the young man to keep his nose clean so that he would not go to jail in the future.

keep one`s nose out of (something)

- to not become involved in something or in someone else's business

I wish that our secretary would keep her nose out of my personal affairs.

keep one`s nose to the grindstone

- to continue to work hard at something, to continue to keep busy at something

My friend is keeping his nose to the grindstone in order to save enough money to buy a new car.

knit one's brow

- to wrinkle one's brow (by frowning)

The ticket agent knit his brow when I began to ask questions about the airline routes.

lay one's eyes on (someone or something)

- to see or find someone or something

"If you lay your eyes on my house keys, please tell me."

lead (someone) around by the nose

- to make someone do what you want

The woman has been leading her husband around by the nose since they got married.

lend (someone) an ear

- to listen to what someone is saying

I asked my friend to lend me an ear and listen to my problem.

listen to (someone) with half an ear

- to not listen carefully to someone

I listened to my friend with half an ear while I was listening to the radio.

look at (someone) cross-eyed

- to do something or look at someone in a way that may make him or her angry

If you look at the man cross-eyed, he will probably become angry.

look down one`s nose at (someone)

- to look at someone with contempt or dislike, to feel that you are better than someone else

The girl looks down her nose at some of the people in her class.

look (someone) (right/straight) in the eye

- to face and look at someone directly

I looked the salesman right in the eye and asked for a lower price.
My friend looked me straight in the eye and asked for some money.

make a silk purse out of a sow's ear

- to create something of value out of something of no value

The girl will never be a good singer. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

make eyes at (someone)

- to try to attract someone, to flirt with someone

The woman in the restaurant likes to make eyes at the customers.

make oneself heard

- to speak loudly so that you can be heard

The speaker tried very hard to make himself heard.

more to (someone or something) than meets the eye

- someone is more interesting or intelligent or complicated than he or she seems, something is more interesting or complicated than it seems

The problem appeared to be simple but there was more to it than meets the eye.

naked eye

- the human eye (not using a microscope or binoculars or a telescope etc.)

It was difficult to see the star with the naked eye.

nose about/around (something)

- to look for something private or secret, to investigate something

The man was nosing about the office looking for something.
Many reporters spend a lot of time nosing around the business of famous people.

nose (someone) out or nose out (someone)

- to push someone away, to exclude someone

The older boy nosed the younger boy out of the line.
The little girl was nosed out of the singing contest.

not a dry eye in the house

- everybody in an audience feels sad and begins to cry

There was not a dry eye in the house when the manager gave the farewell speech.

not see farther than the end of one's nose

- to not care about anything that is happening to other people or around you

The man only thinks about himself and cannot see farther than the end of his nose.

not see past the end of one's nose

- to not care about anything that is happening to other people or around you

My friend cannot see past the end of her nose and she does not know about anything that is happening around her.

on the nose

- in exactly the right place or amount, at exactly the right time

I arrived at 3:00 PM on the nose.
The amount of money that I received from my friend was right on the nose.

only have eyes for (someone)

- to be loyal or interested in only one person

The man only has eyes for the woman who works in his office.

open (someone's) eyes to (something)

- to become aware of something

The documentary on television opened our eyes to the problems of the homeless people in our city.

out of earshot

- too far from a sound or voice to hear it

I was out of earshot when my friend began to talk about me.

out of the corner of one's eye

- with a quick glance at something

I saw the big truck out of the corner of my eye.

out on one's ear

- to be forced to (unwillingly) leave one's job or organization or home

The man did not pay his apartment rent for two months and he was quickly out on his ear.
The woman was very lazy at work and was soon out on her ear.

pay through the nose for (something)

- to pay too much for something

My mother paid through the nose for her new dress.

play by ear

- to play a musical instrument by remembering the tune and not by reading the music

The girl learned to play the piano by ear when she was a child.

play it by ear

- to decide what to do in a certain situation when you are already involved in the situation, to not plan in advance for something, to improvise

We can play it by ear and decide what to do after we meet.

poke one's nose into (something)

- to interfere with something, to try to discover things that do not involve you

My aunt always pokes her nose into the business of other people.

powder one's nose

- to put powder on one's nose (usually a woman goes to the restroom to do this)

The singer went to the dressing room to powder her nose before the performance.

prick up one's ears

- to listen more carefully to something (an animal moves its ears up in order to hear better)

When I heard my friends talking about me I pricked up my ears.

pull the wool over (someone`s) eyes

- to deceive someone, to fool someone, to trick someone

The girl tried to pull the wool over her mother`s eyes when she said that she had been studying all weekend.

put a bug in (someone`s) ear

- to give someone an idea

I put a bug in my friend's ear when I suggested that we go on a holiday together.

put a flea in (someone`s) ear

- to give someone a severe scolding, to give someone an idea or answer that is not welcome

I put a flea in my friend's ear when I began to criticize him.

put one's nose to the grindstone

- to do one's work

I put my nose to the grindstone and began to work on my essay for my history class.

put (someone's) eye out

- to puncture or harm someone's eye and therefore cause blindness

The man put his eye out when he had the accident with the metal rod.

put (someone's) nose out of joint

- to offend someone, to cause someone to feel insulted

I put my friend's nose out of joint when I asked him to return the money that he had borrowed from me.

raise eyebrows

- to cause surprise or disapproval, to shock people

I raised eyebrows when I arrived at work late this morning.

rub (someone's) nose in (something)

- to remind someone of something that he or she has done wrong

The girl's supervisor always rubs the girl's nose in it when she makes a mistake.

see eye to eye (with someone)

- to agree with someone, to have the same opinion as someone else

I never see eye to eye with my friend about which television program to watch.

set one's eyes on (someone or something)

- to see someone or something for the first time

The boy has not set eyes on his new school yet.

set (something) on its ear

- to cause a group or organization to be excited and interested in something

The new plan set most of the company on its ear and everybody is very excited about the plan.

a sight for sore eyes

- a welcome sight

Our friend was a sight for sore eyes when he came home from his holiday. We were happy to see him.

(no) skin off (someone`s) nose/teeth

- of no interest or concern or trouble to someone

It is no skin off my nose if I go to the party or not.

smile from ear to ear

- to have a big smile on one's face

The little boy was smiling from ear to ear after his team won the game.

spit in (someone's) eye

- to insult or annoy someone

The comments by my supervisor were as if he spit in my eye.

stick one's nose into (something)

- to interfere with something, to be nosey about something

I wish that my neighbor would stop sticking his nose into my business.

talk (someone's) ear off

- to talk to someone and bore him or her

The man next to me on the train talked my ear off during the journey.

thumb one`s nose at (someone or something)

- to look with disfavor or dislike at someone or something, to refuse to obey someone

The man thumbed his nose at me when I asked him to stop talking so loud.

a tin ear for (something)

- the inability to judge the value of music, an insensitivity to music

The woman has a tin ear for music and she is not a good singer at all.

to the naked eye

- as something is seen exactly as you look at it

To the naked eye, it looked like there was little damage to the car after the accident, but actually there was much damage.

turn a blind eye to (someone or something)

- to ignore someone or something that is troublesome and pretend not to see it

Our teacher often turns a blind eye to the bad behavior of the students in her class.

turn a deaf ear to (someone)

- to pretend not to hear someone, to not pay attention to someone

The supervisor turned a deaf ear to our complaints about the heat.

turn one`s nose up at (someone or something) or turn up one's nose at (someone or something)

- to reject someone or something, to express scorn for someone or something

The girl turned up her nose at the chance to go to nursing school.

under (someone`s) nose

- easily found by someone, right in front of someone

I thought that I had lost my house keys but they were right under my nose.

up to one's ears in (something)

- to have a lot of something, to be much involved or busy with something

I have been up to my ears in work for several weeks now.

up to one's eyeballs in (something)

- to have a lot of something, to be much involved or busy with something

We are cleaning our house and we are up to our eyeballs in things at the moment.

walls have ears

- someone may be listening so you should be careful what you say

Walls have ears and you should be careful when you are talking about your co-workers.

wet behind the ears

- to be young and inexperienced, to be new in a job or place

The man is wet behind the ears and does not know very much about his company.

win by a nose

- to win by a very small amount

The horse won by a nose in the horse race.

with a jaundiced eye

- with a prejudiced or distorted way of seeing something

My friend is very smart although he always looks at things with a jaundiced eye.

with an eye to (doing something)

- with the intention of doing something

The community center built their new building with an eye to renting part of it to other organizations.

without batting an eye

- casually, without showing alarm or response or thought

The wealthy man gives much money to charity without batting an eye.





Blind and Deaf Idioms


as blind as a bat

- very blind, unable to see

The man is as blind as a bat and he cannot see anything.

blind leading the blind

- someone who does not know how to do something himself or herself but tries to explain it to another person

It was like the blind leading the blind when I tried to help my friend fix his car because I do not know anything about cars.

deaf and dumb

- unable to hear or speak

The young man is deaf and dumb and he has trouble understanding what is happening around him.

fall on deaf ears

- to have one's words or ideas ignored by the person that they are intended for

Our complaints to the apartment manager usually fall on deaf ears and nothing is done about the complaints.

hard of hearing

- unable to hear well, partially deaf

My grandfather is hard of hearing.





Ear Idioms


all ears

- eager to hear something, very attentive

My friend was all ears when I began to talk about starting a home business.

assault the ears

- to be very loud or persistent

The music was very loud and it assaulted my ears.

believe one`s ears

- to believe what one is hearing, to become sure of something

I could not believe my ears when I heard that I had won a holiday to the beach resort.
I will believe my ears when my boss tells me the news.

bend (someone's) ear

- to talk to someone (usually in an annoying or persistent manner)

I met my friend this morning and she bent my ear about her problems at work.

ears are burning

- someone is talking about you when you are not there

My ears are burning and I think that someone is talking about me.

ears are ringing

- one hears a ringing sound because of a very loud sound

My ears were ringing after the fire truck passed.

ears become red

- one's ears become red from embarrassment

My ears became red when our teacher asked me a question.

fall on deaf ears

- to have one's words or ideas ignored by the person that they are intended for

Our complaints to the apartment manager usually fall on deaf ears and nothing is done about the complaints.

flea in (someone`s) ear

- an idea or answer that is not welcome

We put a flea in the supervisor's ear with our criticism of the new schedule.

give (someone) an earful

- to talk to someone in order to criticize or complain about something

I met my supervisor and I decided to give her an earful about my job.

grin from ear to ear

- to have a big grin/smile on one's face

The man was grinning from ear to ear after he found the money.

have an ear for (something)

- to have the ability to learn music or languages

The girl has an ear for languages and she can learn them very fast.

have an ear out for (something)

- to listen carefully for something

The man always has an ear out for business opportunities that may appear.

have nothing between the ears

- to be stupid, to have no brains or intelligence

The young man has nothing between the ears and he is always making stupid mistakes.

have one's ear to the ground

- to listen carefully because you want to get advance warning of something

I have my ear to the ground to see if any changes are planned for my company.

have (someone's) ear

- to be able to get someone to listen to you (usually someone who has the power or ability to help you)

Our supervisor has the company president's ear and he can talk to him anytime.

have (something) coming out of one's ears

- to have much of something

We have bath towels coming out of our ears and we do not need any more.

in one ear and out the other

- a piece of information is heard and then quickly forgotten

Everything that the teacher said went in one ear and out the other and I did not remember anything.

keep an ear out for (something)

- to listen carefully for something

I plan to keep an ear out for any information about a new job.

keep one's ear to the ground

- to continue to listen carefully in order to get advance warning of something

I am keeping my ear to the ground in order to see what the new owner of my company plans to do.

lend (someone) an ear

- to listen to what someone is saying

I asked my friend to lend me an ear and listen to my problem.

listen to (someone) with half an ear

- to not listen carefully to someone

I listened to my friend with half an ear while I was listening to the radio.

make a silk purse out of a sow's ear

- to create something of value out of something of no value

The girl will never be a good singer. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

make oneself heard

- to speak loudly so that you can be heard

The speaker tried very hard to make himself heard.

out of earshot

- too far from a sound or voice to hear it

I was out of earshot when my friend began to talk about me.

out on one's ear

- to be forced to (unwillingly) leave one's job or organization or home

The man did not pay his apartment rent for two months and he was quickly out on his ear.
The woman was very lazy at work and was soon out on her ear.

play by ear

- to play a musical instrument by remembering the tune and not by reading the music

The girl learned to play the piano by ear when she was a child.

play it by ear

- to decide what to do in a certain situation when you are already involved in the situation, to not plan in advance for something, to improvise

We can play it by ear and decide what to do after we meet.

prick up one's ears

- to listen more carefully to something (an animal moves its ears up in order to hear better)

When I heard my friends talking about me I pricked up my ears.

put a bug in (someone`s) ear

- to give someone an idea

I put a bug in my friend's ear when I suggested that we go on a holiday together.

put a flea in (someone`s) ear

- to give someone a severe scolding, to give someone an idea or answer that is not welcome

I put a flea in my friend's ear when I began to criticize him.

set (something) on its ear

- to cause a group or organization to be excited and interested in something

The new plan set most of the company on its ear and everybody is very excited about the plan.

smile from ear to ear

- to have a big smile on one's face

The little boy was smiling from ear to ear after his team won the game.

talk (someone's) ear off

- to talk to someone and bore him or her

The man next to me on the train talked my ear off during the journey.

a tin ear for (something)

- the inability to judge the value of music, an insensitivity to music

The woman has a tin ear for music and she is not a good singer at all.

turn a deaf ear to (someone)

- to pretend not to hear someone, to not pay attention to someone

The supervisor turned a deaf ear to our complaints about the heat.

up to one's ears in (something)

- to have a lot of something, to be much involved or busy with something

I have been up to my ears in work for several weeks now.

walls have ears

- someone may be listening so you should be careful what you say

Walls have ears and you should be careful when you are talking about your co-workers.

wet behind the ears

- to be young and inexperienced, to be new in a job or place

The man is wet behind the ears and does not know very much about his company.




Eye Idioms


able to (do something) with one's eyes closed/shut

- to be able to do something very easily

The car mechanic was able to fix my car with his eyes closed.

all eyes

- watching very closely, wide-eyed with surprise

My friend is all eyes when he goes to a basketball game.

all eyes are on (someone or something)

- everybody is waiting eagerly for someone to appear or something to happen

All eyes were on the singer when he walked onto the stage.

apple of (someone`s) eye

- someone's favorite person or thing

The young girl is the apple of her father`s eye.

(not) bat an eye/eyelid

- to show no surprise or reaction even when something bad happens

My boss did not bat an eye when I told him that I was going home early today.

believe one`s eyes

- to believe what one is seeing

We could not believe our eyes when we saw the terrible car accident.
I will believe my eyes when I see the new product.

cast a (critical/expert/professional) eye over (someone or something)

- to look at someone or something in a critical or expert or professional way

The movie director cast a critical eye over the movie script from the writer.

cast an eye over (something)

- to read or look at something quickly

I cast an eye over the report before I went to the meeting.

catch (someone`s) eye

- to attract someone`s attention

I tried to catch my friend`s eye at the movie theater but he did not see me.

close one's eyes to (something)

- to ignore something, to pretend that something is not really happening

The man closed his eyes to the problems that were happening in his company.

cry one's eyes out

- to cry very hard

The little girl cried her eyes out when she lost her favorite doll.

eagle eye

- a very careful watchful eye (like the eye of an eagle)

The woman has an eagle eye and she never misses anything.

evil eye

- the power to harm people just by looking at them (as some people believe)

The man gave me the evil eye when I met him at the store.

eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

- a system of punishment where you punish someone in a similar way to how they hurt you

Some people call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth when they learn of a terrible murder.

eye of the storm

- the center of a storm or controversy

The company scandal is stressful for everybody and we are now in the eye of the storm.

eyeball to eyeball

- face to face

I had an eyeball-to-eyeball encounter with an angry dog at the park.

eyes are bigger than one`s stomach

- someone takes more food than he or she can eat

My eyes were bigger than my stomach when I went to the buffet restaurant and took too much food.

eyes pop out (of one's head)

- one is very surprised

My eyes popped out of my head when I saw my birthday present.

feast one's eyes on (someone or something)

- to look at someone or something with pleasure or enjoyment

We stopped at the top of the hill to feast our eyes on the beautiful scenery.

four eyes

- someone who is wearing glasses (an expression sometimes used by children)

The children called their friend with the glasses four eyes.

get a black eye

- to get a bruise near one's eye from being hit, to have one's reputation harmed

The little boy got a black eye when he bumped into the door.
The company has a black eye because of the scandal.

get an eyeful of (someone or something)

- to see everything, to see a shocking or surprising sight

We got an eyeful when we saw the accident on the highway.

get the eye from (someone)

- to be looked at by someone in a hostile or unfriendly or critical way

We got the eye from the manager of the restaurant when we entered in our old clothes.

give one's eye teeth (to do something or for something)

- to want to do something very much, to want something very much

I would give my eye teeth to go to London with my cousin.
I would give my eye teeth for a new computer.

give (someone) a black eye

- to hit someone near his or her eye so that it becomes dark, to hurt someone's reputation

The boy gave his friend a black eye.
The scandal gave the company a black eye.

give (someone) the eye

- to look at someone in a hostile or unfriendly way

I gave the woman in the restaurant the eye but she ignored me.

go into (something) with one's eyes (wide) open

- to do something or make a choice about something while knowing the problems that are involved and while having all of the necessary information

The couple went into the construction contract with their eyes wide open.

go into (something) with one's eyes closed/shut

- to do something or make a choice about something not knowing the problems that are involved and not having all of the necessary information

The young man went into the job with his eyes closed but he was very successful.

have a good eye for (something)

- to be able to judge something correctly, to have good taste in something

The woman has a good eye for color and her apartment is very beautiful.

have an eye for (something)

- to be able to judge something correctly, to have good taste in something

My father has an eye for ceramic plates and he has a large collection of them.

have eyes in the back of one`s head

- to have the ability to know what is happening behind one's back

Our teacher has eyes in the back of her head and she always knows what is happening in the classroom.

have one's eye on (someone or something)

- to want someone or something and hope that you will be able to get it or him or her

The woman has her eye on a new job in her company and she is working very hard to get it.
The company has its eye on the famous researcher.

have one's eye on (someone or something)

- to watch someone or something carefully, to take care of someone or something

The woman had her eye on her baby as she talked on the telephone.

have one's eyes glued to (something)

- to watch something very carefully and not look away from it

Everybody in the airport lobby had their eyes glued to the television screen.

have stars in one`s eyes

- to have an appearance or feeling of very great happiness, to be obsessed with show business

The girl has stars in her eyes now that she has won the spelling contest.

Here's mud in your eye.

- Drink up! (used as a toast)

"Here's mud in your eye," I said as my friend began to drink.

hit (someone) right between the eyes

- to make a strong impression on someone, to surprise someone greatly

The news about the accident hit us right between the eyes and shocked us.

in a pig's eye

- never

I will never, in a pig's eye, go with my friend to visit her family.

in one`s mind`s eye

- in one`s imagination

I tried to relax and in my mind`s eye, I pretended that I was on a beautiful island.

in the public eye

- visible to everybody, in public

The politician's wife does not like to be in the public eye.

in the twinkling of an eye

- very quickly

I went into the store and in the twinkling of an eye I lost my wallet.

keep an eye on (someone or something)

- to watch someone or something carefully, to take care of someone or something

I asked my aunt to keep an eye on our apartment when we went for our holiday.

keep an eye out for (someone or something)

- to watch carefully for someone or something

I am keeping my eye out for my grandparents. They will arrive soon.
My friend is keeping his eye out for a new car.

keep one's eye on the ball

- to remain alert to what is happening around you, to watch or follow the ball carefully while playing a game

The project is very difficult and the man is trying hard to keep his eye on the ball.

keep one's eyes open

- to remain alert and watchful, to notice what is happening around you

I try to keep my eyes open when I am walking downtown at night.

keep one's eyes peeled for (someone or something)

- to remain alert and watchful for someone or something

I waited on the street and kept my eyes peeled for my friend and his car.

lay one's eyes on (someone or something)

- to see or find someone or something

"If you lay your eyes on my house keys, please tell me."

look at (someone) cross-eyed

- to do something or look at someone in a way that may make him or her angry

If you look at the man cross-eyed, he will probably become angry.

look (someone) (right/straight) in the eye

- to face and look at someone directly

I looked the salesman right in the eye and asked for a lower price.
My friend looked me straight in the eye and asked for some money.

make eyes at (someone)

- to try to attract someone, to flirt with someone

The woman in the restaurant likes to make eyes at the customers.

more to (someone or something) than meets the eye

- someone is more interesting or intelligent or complicated than he or she seems, something is more interesting or complicated than it seems

The problem appeared to be simple but there was more to it than meets the eye.

naked eye

- the human eye (not using a microscope or binoculars or a telescope etc.)

It was difficult to see the star with the naked eye.

not a dry eye in the house

- everybody in an audience feels sad and begins to cry

There was not a dry eye in the house when the manager gave the farewell speech.

only have eyes for (someone)

- to be loyal or interested in only one person

The man only has eyes for the woman who works in his office.

open (someone's) eyes to (something)

- to become aware of something

The documentary on television opened our eyes to the problems of the homeless people in our city.

out of the corner of one's eye

- with a quick glance at something

I saw the big truck out of the corner of my eye.

pull the wool over (someone`s) eyes

- to deceive someone, to fool someone, to trick someone

The girl tried to pull the wool over her mother`s eyes when she said that she had been studying all weekend.

put (someone's) eye out

- to puncture or harm someone's eye and therefore cause blindness

The man put his eye out when he had the accident with the metal rod.

raise eyebrows

- to cause surprise or disapproval, to shock people

I raised eyebrows when I arrived at work late this morning.

see eye to eye (with someone)

- to agree with someone, to have the same opinion as someone else

I never see eye to eye with my friend about which television program to watch.

set one's eyes on (someone or something)

- to see someone or something for the first time

The boy has not set eyes on his new school yet.

a sight for sore eyes

- a welcome sight

Our friend was a sight for sore eyes when he came home from his holiday. We were happy to see him.

spit in (someone's) eye

- to insult or annoy someone

The comments by my supervisor were as if he spit in my eye.

to the naked eye

- as something is seen exactly as you look at it

To the naked eye, it looked like there was little damage to the car after the accident, but actually there was much damage.

turn a blind eye to (someone or something)

- to ignore someone or something that is troublesome and pretend not to see it

Our teacher often turns a blind eye to the bad behavior of the students in her class.

up to one's eyeballs in (something)

- to have a lot of something, to be much involved or busy with something

We are cleaning our house and we are up to our eyeballs in things at the moment.

with a jaundiced eye

- with a prejudiced or distorted way of seeing something

My friend is very smart although he always looks at things with a jaundiced eye.

with an eye to (doing something)

- with the intention of doing something

The community center built their new building with an eye to renting part of it to other organizations.

without batting an eye

- casually, without showing alarm or response or thought

The wealthy man gives much money to charity without batting an eye.




Nose Idioms


as plain as the nose on one's face

- clearly evident, obvious

The explanation for the problem is as plain as the nose on my face.

blow one's nose

- to use the air from one's lungs to clear one's nose

I took some tissue from my pocket so I could blow my nose.

cannot see beyond the end of one's nose

-to not be able to see beyond what concerns one at the present time

My friend cannot see beyond the end of his nose and he has no idea about things around him.

count noses

- to count people

The teacher stopped to count noses before the students entered the classroom.

cut off one`s nose to spite one`s face

- to make things worse for yourself by trying to harm someone or something else

The man cut off his nose to spite his face when he became angry and quit his job.

follow one's nose

- to go straight ahead, to follow a smell to its source

I followed my nose to the store where they were baking the bread.

get one`s nose out of (something)

- to become uninvolved in something, to become uninvolved in someone else's business

I wish that our secretary would get her nose out of my business.

hard-nosed

- not weak or soft, stubborn

The union took a hard-nosed position in the contract negotiations.

have a nose for (something)

- to have the talent for finding something

My friend has a nose for finding cheap items at flea markets.

have one's nose in a book

- to be reading a book

The girl had her nose in a book during the bus ride.

have one's nose in (something)

- to have unwelcome interest in something, to have impolite curiosity about something

My boss always has his nose in the business of other people and nobody likes him.

have one's nose in the air

- to be conceited or aloof

The girl has had her nose in the air since she won the speech contest.

have one`s nose to the grindstone

- to work hard or keep busy at something

My friend has his nose to the grindstone and he is studying hard at school.

hold one's nose

- to accept that you have to do something that you do not want to do

I had to hold my nose and sign the legal contract which I did not want to sign.

keep one`s nose clean

- to stay away from trouble

The judge told the young man to keep his nose clean so that he would not go to jail in the future.

keep one`s nose out of (something)

- to not become involved in something or in someone else's business

I wish that our secretary would keep her nose out of my personal affairs.

keep one`s nose to the grindstone

- to continue to work hard at something, to continue to keep busy at something

My friend is keeping his nose to the grindstone in order to save enough money to buy a new car.

lead (someone) around by the nose

- to make someone do what you want

The woman has been leading her husband around by the nose since they got married.

look down one`s nose at (someone)

- to look at someone with contempt or dislike, to feel that you are better than someone else

The girl looks down her nose at some of the people in her class.

nose about/around (something)

- to look for something private or secret, to investigate something

The man was nosing about the office looking for something.
Many reporters spend a lot of time nosing around the business of famous people.

nose (someone) out or nose out (someone)

- to push someone away, to exclude someone

The older boy nosed the younger boy out of the line.
The little girl was nosed out of the singing contest.

not see farther than the end of one's nose

- to not care about anything that is happening to other people or around you

The man only thinks about himself and cannot see farther than the end of his nose.

not see past the end of one's nose

- to not care about anything that is happening to other people or around you

My friend cannot see past the end of her nose and she does not know about anything that is happening around her.

on the nose

- in exactly the right place or amount, at exactly the right time

I arrived at 3:00 PM on the nose.
The amount of money that I received from my friend was right on the nose.

pay through the nose for (something)

- to pay too much for something

My mother paid through the nose for her new dress.

poke one's nose into (something)

- to interfere with something, to try to discover things that do not involve you

My aunt always pokes her nose into the business of other people.

powder one's nose

- to put powder on one's nose (usually a woman goes to the restroom to do this)

The singer went to the dressing room to powder her nose before the performance.

put one's nose to the grindstone

- to do one's work

I put my nose to the grindstone and began to work on my essay for my history class.

put (someone's) nose out of joint

- to offend someone, to cause someone to feel insulted

I put my friend's nose out of joint when I asked him to return the money that he had borrowed from me.

rub (someone's) nose in (something)

- to remind someone of something that he or she has done wrong

The girl's supervisor always rubs the girl's nose in it when she makes a mistake.

(no) skin off (someone`s) nose/teeth

- of no interest or concern or trouble to someone

It is no skin off my nose if I go to the party or not.

stick one's nose into (something)

- to interfere with something, to be nosey about something

I wish that my neighbor would stop sticking his nose into my business.

thumb one`s nose at (someone or something)

- to look with disfavor or dislike at someone or something, to refuse to obey someone

The man thumbed his nose at me when I asked him to stop talking so loud.

turn one`s nose up at (someone or something) or turn up one's nose at (someone or something)

- to reject someone or something, to express scorn for someone or something

The girl turned up her nose at the chance to go to nursing school.

under (someone`s) nose

- easily found by someone, right in front of someone

I thought that I had lost my house keys but they were right under my nose.

win by a nose

- to win by a very small amount

The horse won by a nose in the horse race.





Idiom Quizzes - Ear, Eye and Nose

    Choose an idiom to replace the expression in the brackets:

  1. My mother was (very eager to listen) when I began to talk about my holiday in England.

    (a) wet behind the ears (b) in her mind`s eye (c) turning a deaf ear (d) all ears



  2. The policeman warned the boy to (stay out of trouble) in the future.

    (a) bat an eyelash (b) pay through the nose (c) keep his nose clean (d) see eye to eye



  3. The girl (pretended not to hear) her brother's calls.

    (a) turned a deaf ear to (b) gave an ear to (c) kept her nose out of (d) set eyes on



  4. My father paid (too much) for his new car.

    (a) all ears (b) through the nose (c) deaf and dumb (d) under his nose



  5. "It is no (concern of mine) if you go to the movie or not."

    (a) skin off my nose (b) flea in my ear (c) eagle eye (d) bug in my ear



  6. The woman has (good taste in) beautiful art.

    (a) eyes in the back of her head for (b) eyes only for (c) an eye for (d) set eyes on



  7. I spent the morning (listening to) my friend and his problems.

    (a) making eyes at (b) seeing eye to eye with (c) turning a blind eye to (d) lending an ear to



  8. The girl had (a look of great happiness) when she won the music competition.

    (a) the apple of her eye (b) stars in her eyes (c) her ear to the ground (d) a tin ear



  9. The boy`s (surprise was great) when he saw the elephant at the circus.

    (a) ear was to the ground (b) eyes were bigger than his stomach (c) nose was in the air (d) eyes popped out



  10. The girl at the restaurant was (trying to attract) the boy at the counter.

    (a) making eyes at (b) thumbing her nose at (c) lending an ear to (d) turning up her nose at




  11. My wallet was (in front of me) and just where I had left it.

    (a) under my nose (b) in my mind`s eye (c) out of earshot (d) wet behind the ears




  12. I asked my friend to (watch the baby carefully) while I went to the store.

    (a) pull the wool over the baby`s eyes (b) lay eyes on the baby (c) turn a deaf ear to the baby (d) keep an eye on the baby




  13. I told my friend to (not become involved in) other people`s business.

    (a) open his eyes to (b) keep his nose out of (c) turn up his nose at (d) have an eye for




  14. The man (refused to obey) the policeman who told him not to walk across the street.

    (a) looked down his nose at (b) feasted his eyes on (c) caught the eye of (d) thumbed his nose at



  15. I did not (show any surprise) when I heard that my friend had quit his job again.

    (a) get an earful (b) cry my eyes out (c) bat an eyelash (d) believe my ears




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