A Idioms and Quizzes

A Idiom Quiz #1

Letter A

Quiz 1 - Choose the correct idiom to replace the expression in the brackets. Check your score and the correct answers at the bottom. Click on the idiom for the definition.

1. The man is (not very good) when he tries to repair something in his house.
a)   all thumbs
b)   about time
c)   all ears
d)   an arm and a leg

2. The boy was (all ready to) leave the house when his friend arrived.
a)   at ease to
b)   about to
c)   at heart to
d)   at loggerheads to

3. The teacher said the little boy was (her favorite).
a)   the apple of her eye
b)   above suspicion
c)   at sixes and sevens
d)   as good as his word

4. (Without warning,) it began to rain.
a)   All day long,
b)   All of a sudden,
c)   At every turn,
d)   At the crack of dawn,

5. The car cost the woman (a very large amount of money).
a)   arm in arm
b)   across the board
c)   the apple of her eye
d)   an arm and a leg

Your score is: ___  out of 5

A Idiom Quiz #2

Letter A

Quiz 2 - Choose the correct idiom to replace the expression in the brackets. Check your score and the correct answers at the bottom. Click on the idiom for the definition.

6. The boy's mother is always (available to him).
a)   at the top of the hour for him
b)   at large for him
c)   at the end of her rope for him
d)   at his beck and call

7. "Okay, I`m (listening). Please continue with your story."
a)   all ears
b)   at hand
c)   at the top of my lungs
d)   at loose ends

8. I do not think that the girl is (to blame) for breaking the computer.
a)   at risk
b)   at fault
c)   at peace
d)   ahead of the game

9. My grandfather is (very forgetful) and often loses his glasses.
a)   absent-minded
b)   alive and kicking
c)   all in
d)   ahead of his time

10. The man is often (fighting) with his boss about something.
a)   at sea
b)   asleep at the switch
c)   at odds
d)   at heart

Your score is: ___  out of 5

A Idiom Quiz #3

Letter A

Quiz 3 - Choose the correct idiom to replace the expression in the brackets. Check your score and the correct answers at the bottom. Click on the idiom for the definition.

11. (Usually,) I go jogging before breakfast every Sunday.
a)   At random,
b)   As a last resort,
c)   At the appointed time,
d)   As a rule,

12. We (followed) the rules when we applied for the housing loan.
a)   added up
b)   allowed for
c)   acquired a taste for
d)   abided by

13. The painter completed the job (in a barely adequate manner).
a)   all in a days work
b)   after a fashion
c)   after the fact
d)   after hours

14. I made (a big effort) to finish the science project on time.
a)   an all-out effort
b)   an avenue of escape
c)   an all-right effort
d)   an acid test

15. The family was (ready) to begin their holiday when their car had a problem.
a)   all the rage
b)   all over the place
c)   all set
d)   all sweetness and light

Your score is: ___  out of 5

A Idiom Quiz #4

Letter A

Quiz 4 - Choose the correct idiom to replace the expression in the brackets. Check your score and the correct answers at the bottom. Click on the idiom for the definition.

16. (By chance,) I met my friend just after I lost my wallet and my money.
a)   As a matter of fact,
b)   As far as possible,
c)   Around the clock,
d)   As luck would have it,

17. (At the last possible moment,) the woman was able to get enough money to go on the trip.
a)   At the eleventh hour,
b)   At the present time,
c)   At the bottom of the hour,
d)   At this stage of the game,

18. We go to an Italian restaurant (occasionally) but not very often.
a)   at the end of the day
b)   at times
c)   at length
d)   at will

19. The computer programmer sometimes works for twenty hours (continuously) to finish a job.
a)   at once
b)   at least
c)   at a stretch
d)   at one sitting

20. The furniture arrived (without damage) after moving across the country.
a)   all systems go
b)   against the clock
c)   after all was said and done
d)   all in one piece

Your score is: ___  out of 5

A Idiom Quiz #5

Letter A

Quiz 5 - Choose the correct idiom to replace the expression in the brackets. Check your score and the correct answers at the bottom. Click on the idiom for the definition.

21. We arrived at the concert (early) so that we could get good seats.
a)   as usual
b)   ahead of time
c)   at first
d)   all at once

22. The students began to (misbehave) when the teacher left the room.
a)   act up
b)   act their ages
c)   act high and mighty
d)   add fuel to the fire

23. When the meeting started everybody began to (complain).
a)   appear out of nowhere
b)   ask for the moon
c)   air their grievances
d)   add insult to injury

24. We decided to continue with our plans (no matter what).
a)   according to Hoyle
b)   at all costs
c)   at cross-purposes
d)   at any rate

25. The workers made an effort that was (more than required) to finish the project.
a)   all to the good
b)   at last
c)   at their earliest convenience
d)   above and beyond what was required

Your score is: ___  out of 5

A Idiom Quiz #6

Letter A

Quiz 6 - Choose the correct idiom to replace the expression in the brackets. Check your score and the correct answers at the bottom. Click on the idiom for the definition.

26. There were (all types of people) at the concert.
a)   any number of people
b)   all manner of people
c)   at this juncture many people
d)   at face value many people

27. The man was arrested by the police for (violently attacking someone).
a)   assault and battery
b)   being armed and dangerous
c)   being armed to the teeth
d)   being afraid of his own shadow

28. (Including everyone,) there were one hundred people at the meeting.
a)   All along,
b)   All the time,
c)   All told,
d)   As the crow flies,

29. We spent much time (taking care of) the children whose parents were working.
a)   advising against
b)   along with
c)   attending to
d)   answering to

30. There was much money (at risk) when the company bid on the new contract.
a)   at the drop of a hat
b)   at stake
c)   able to breathe easily again
d)   at the latest

Your score is: ___  out of 5

A Idioms

Letter A

abide by (something)

- to follow and obey the rules of something

The cleaning staff must abide by the rules of the school.

The children always abide by the school rules.

able to breathe easily again

- to be able to relax and recover from a stressful time or event

My friend was able to breathe easily again when his company did not go bankrupt.

able to do (something) blindfolded

- to be able to do something easily and quickly

The car was easy to fix and we were able to do it blindfolded.

able to do (something) standing on one's head

- to be able to do something easily and quickly

The boy is good at fixing his bicycle. He can do it standing on his head.

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.

able to take a joke

- to be able to let others laugh and joke about you

Our boss is not able to take a joke. We must be careful what we say to him.

about time

- to be something that should have happened earlier

"It is about time that you returned that book to me."

about to (do something)

- to be on the point of doing something

I was about to leave my house when the phone rang.

above all

- mainly, especially

I like adventure movies but above all I love horror movies.

above all else

- most importantly of all

Above all else, I plan to go to the Natural History Museum when I visit the city.

above and beyond

- to be more than is required

The work that the man did on our house was above and beyond what was required.

above reproach

- to be not deserving of blame or criticism

The actions of the police officer were above reproach.

above suspicion

- to be very honest so that nobody will suspect you of doing something wrong

The man's actions are always above suspicion.


- to be forgetful

My grandfather is very absent-minded and he often forgets his keys.

accept an offer

- to agree to an offer or proposal

I accepted the offer to buy my car.

an accident waiting to happen

- a dangerous situation in which an accident will probably happen

The expensive dish on the table with the small child is an accident waiting to happen.

The childrens' play area is very unsafe. It is an accident waiting to happen.

according to Hoyle

- doing something strictly by the rules, doing something the usual and correct way (Hoyle was a writer who was an expert on the rules of card games)

"According to Hoyle, we should not use this room but probably nobody will complain if we do use it."

according to (someone or something)

- as said or told by someone, in agreement with something, in the order of something, in proportion to something

According to our teacher, there will be no class next week.

We did everything according to the terms of the agreement.

account for (something)

- to provide an answer/explanation for something

The bad weather accounts for the fact that only a few people came to the meeting.

ace (something)

- to do exceptionally well in an exam or other serious situation

The exam was very easy and I am sure that I aced it.

The young man aced the job interview.

Achilles' heel (of someone or something)

- the weak part of a person/place/system/argument which can easily be attacked or criticized

The lack of a new stadium was the Achilles' heel of the government's plans to host the Olympics.

acid test

- a test where the conclusions are beyond doubt

The problem was an acid test of our faith in the new manager.

acquire a taste for (something)

- to learn to like something

We acquired a taste for classical music during our trip to Europe.

across the board

- equally for everyone or everything

The taxes have increased across the board and everyone must pay more.

act as a guinea pig

- to allow some kind of test to be performed on someone

I was not happy to act as a guinea pig on the new training material.

act high and mighty

- to act proud and powerful

The woman always acts high and mighty and nobody likes her.

an act of God

- something (an accident) for which no human is responsible, an act of nature such as a storm/earthquake/hurricane

The accident was an act of God when the rocks came onto the highway.

act one's age

- to behave as a mature person, to behave equal to one's age

My friend never acts her age in public.

act up

- to misbehave

The children began to act up during the field trip.

add fuel to the fire

- to make a problem worse, to make an angry person more angry

The company added fuel to the fire when they criticized the workers.

add insult to injury

- to make a person who already feels bad to feel worse, to make a bad situation worse

Our boss added insult to injury when she refused to let us use the Internet during lunch.

add up

- to total up to a certain amount

I will add up the money that I owe to my father and give it to him.

add up (to something)

- to mean something, to result in something

The things that my friend said about his boss do not add up to anything.

advise (someone) against (something)

- to suggest that something should not be done

I advised my friend not to swim in the river.

afraid of one's own shadow

- to be easily frightened

The small dog is afraid of his own shadow.

After Idioms

after a fashion

- poorly, barely adequate

The cleaning staff cleaned the lunchroom after a fashion but not very well.

after all

- in spite of what was expected

I have decided not to take swimming lessons after all.

It did not rain today after all.

after all

- emphasizes something that should be considered

"You don't need to phone him. After all, he never phones you."

after all is said and done

- finally, when everything is settled

After all is said and done the mayor of our city is doing a very good job.

after hours

- after the regular closing or finishing time

Our library has a place to return books after hours.

after the fact

- after something has happened

The man said that he was sorry but it was after the fact. He had already caused many problems.

again and again

- repeatedly

I told my friend again and again not to phone late at night.

against one's will

- to be without a person's consent or agreement

The police took the man to jail against his will.

against the clock

- before a particular time

We worked against the clock to finish the project.

ahead of one's time

- ideas or attitudes that are more advanced than those of other people

The ideas of the politician were ahead of his time.

ahead of schedule

- before the time on a schedule that has been decided

We finished our work ahead of schedule.

ahead of the game

- to have done more than necessary

We worked hard all week in order to be ahead of the game on Monday morning.

ahead of time

- earlier than arranged or planned

We started the meeting ahead of time so that we could go home early.

aim at (something)

- to plan or try to reach a target

We are aiming at a big increase in sales next year.

air one`s dirty laundry/linen in public

- to make public something embarrassing that should be a secret

The dinner party became uncomfortable when the host began to air his colleague's dirty laundry in public.

air one's grievances

- to complain (often publicly)

We aired our grievances during the monthly meeting.

air (something)

- to broadcast something on television or radio

They will air the game tomorrow.

air (something) out

- to freshen something by putting it in the open air

We put the blankets outside in order to air them out.

an albatross around someone's neck

- a problem that prevents someone from succeeding or making progress

The man's lack of a university degree is an albatross around his neck and it prevents him from being promoted.

alive and kicking

- to be well and healthy

My aunt is ninety years old and she is very much alive and kicking.

alive and well

- to be well and healthy

The worker was alive and well after the accident.

All Idioms

all along

- all the time, throughout

I knew all along that my friend would not get the promotion.

all at once

- suddenly, without warning

All at once, the fire alarm rang and we had to leave the building.

all day long

- the whole day

The girl is happy to wait all day long for the mail to arrive.

all dressed up

- dressed in one's best clothes

The girls were all dressed up for the evening.

all ears

- to listen eagerly and carefully

The boy was all ears when the teacher began to talk about the circus.

all fired up (about something)

- to feel very strong emotions about something

My friend is all fired up about something but I do not know what it is.

Our teacher was all fired up about something this morning.

all for (someone or something)

- to be very much in favor of someone or something

The woman is all for the manager and she never criticizes her.


- extremely important, urgent, necessary

The meeting is all-important and I plan to attend it.

The university has an all-important announcement for the students.

I made an all-important decision to look for a new job.

all in

- to be tired, to be exhausted

I am all in and will go to bed early tonight.

all in a day's work

- to be part of what is expected of you

It was all in a day's work when the firefighters rescued the cat.

all in all

- in summary, after considering everything

We had a few problems but all in all the meeting was successful.

all in one piece

- safely, without damage

Our furniture arrived all in one piece after we moved.

all manner of (someone or something)

- all types of people or things

There were all manner of people at the party.

all night long

- throughout the whole night

We could hear the people next door talking all night long.

all of a sudden

- suddenly, without advance warning

All of a sudden, it became cloudy and began to rain.

all or nothing

- everything, one hundred percent of something

It is all or nothing. If I cannot fully participate in the meeting I will not attend.

all-out effort

- a very good and thorough effort

We are making an all-out effort to finish our work.

all over but the shouting

- to be decided and finished

It was all over but the shouting for the football fans after their team lost the game.

all over the place

- everywhere

We traveled all over the place on our holiday.

all right

- okay, satisfactory

It should be all right for me to bring my friend to the party.

all set

- to be ready to begin, to be okay

We were all set so we began the meeting.

all sweetness and light

- to be very sweet, to be innocent and helpful

The girl is all sweetness and light after she does something bad.

all systems go

- everything is ready (often used when a rocket is launched)

It was all systems go and we began the installation of the new computer system.

all talk (and no action)

- to talk about doing something but never really doing it

Our boss is all talk and no action and nothing new is ever done in our department.

all the livelong day

- throughout the whole day

I know the words to the song, "I've been working on the railroad, all the livelong day."

all the rage

- to be in current fashion

The new sneakers were all the rage during the summer.

all the time

- always, continually, often

My sister asks for money all the time but I never give it to her.

all things to all people

- to be everything that is wanted by all people

The politician tries to be all things to all people and it is difficult to know what he really believes.

all thumbs

- to have difficulty fixing things or working with one`s hands, to be clumsy

My friend is all thumbs when he fixes things around his house.

all to the good

- beneficial or positive for someone, for one's benefit

It was all to the good that my sister quit her job.

all told

- including everything or everyone, counting everything

All told, there were at least twelve candidates for the job.

all walks of life

- all social, economic and ethnic groups

People from all walks of life came to the festival.

allow for (someone or something)

- to plan to have enough of something, to plan on the possibility of something

We must allow for enough time to go to the stadium.

along with (someone or something)

- in addition to someone or something

I went to the concert along with my friend.

amount to (something)

- to total something, to result in something

The small amounts of time later amounted to much time.

amount to (something)

- to become successful

The boy will never amount to anything if he does not change his behavior.

amount to the same thing

- to be the same or have the same effect as something

Going by taxi or by bus amounts to the same thing. We will still be late for the concert.

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

- it is easier to prevent something bad than to deal with the results

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and I decided to stay home and rest rather than go out in the cold with my sore throat.

and so on

- and other similar details, et cetera

I was hot and I was tired and I did not have any water and so on. It was terrible.

answer to (someone)

- to explain or justify one's actions to someone

The manager had to answer to the company president about the financial problems.

any number of (someone or something)

- a large number of people or something

I have any number of reasons not to buy a new computer.

appear out of nowhere

- to appear suddenly, to appear without warning

The dog appeared out of nowhere during our walk on the beach.

apple of (someone`s) eye

- someone or something that is very precious or important to you

The man's youngest daughter is the apple of his eye.

argue for the sake of arguing/argument

- to argue only to be different

My brother always argues for the sake of arguing.

arise from

- to originate from, to be caused by

Fires often arise from people not being careful.

arm and a leg

- a large amount of money

The man's new car cost him an arm and a leg.

arm in arm

- to be joined together by the arms

The young girls walked to school arm in arm.

armed and dangerous

- to have a weapon that may be used (usually used for a criminal)

The criminal was armed and dangerous when the police arrested him.

armed to the teeth

- to be armed with many weapons

The police were armed to the teeth during the raid.

around the clock

- all day and all night

We worked around the clock to prepare the store to open.

arrange for (someone or something)

- to make practical plans for something to happen or someone to do something

We arranged for someone to come and fix our broken shower.

arrive on the scene

- to appear in a certain place

When the fire department arrived on the scene the fire was very large.

arrow in one's quiver

- an option that you have to do something, one of a number of resources or strategies that one can follow

The man's ability with languages was another arrow in his quiver and helped him in his business life.

As Idioms

as a duck takes to water

- easily and naturally

When the boy learned to swim it was just as a duck takes to water. It was very easy.

as a last resort

- if everything else fails

As a last resort we decided to borrow some money to buy the car.

as a matter of fact

- actually, in fact

"As a matter of fact, we have been to the art gallery many times."

as a result of (something)

- because of something that has happened

As a result of a car accident my friend could not work for several months.

as a rule

- usually, as a habit

As a rule, I get up at 7:00 every morning.

as an aside

- as a comment, as a comment that is not supposed to be heard by anyone

As an aside, the man made a bad comment about the musical performance.

as a whole

- taken or considered all together

As a whole our boss is very good although some people do not like him.

as awkward as a cow on roller skates

- very awkward

The little girl was as awkward as a cow on roller skates when she first began riding her bicycle.

as bad as all that

- as bad as it seems, as bad as reported (usually used in the negative)

The mother told her crying child that it could not be as bad as all that.

"Don't worry. It can't be as bad as all that."

as bald as a coot

- completely bald

The man in the gas station is as bald as a coot.

as black as a skillet

- very black

The little boy's feet were as black as a skillet.

as blind as a bat

- blind

The man is as blind as a bat and cannot see more than a small distance ahead.

as busy as a beaver

- very busy

I have been as busy as a beaver all morning.

as busy as a bee

- very busy

The woman is as busy as a bee trying to prepare for her exams.

as busy as Grand Central Station

- very busy and crowded with customers or other people (Grand Central Station is a big train station in New York City)

The store was a busy as Grand Central Station as people prepared for the holiday.

as busy as popcorn on a skillet

- very active

The children were as busy as popcorn on a skillet when the teacher entered the classroom.

as clean as a hound's tooth

- very clean

The classroom was as clean as a hound's tooth when the students finished cleaning it.

as comfortable as an old shoe

- very comfortable, very familiar

I felt as comfortable as an old shoe when I entered my aunt's house.

as common as an old shoe

- low class, badly mannered

The young woman is as common as an old shoe.

as conceited as a barber's cat

- very conceited, vain

My friend became as conceited as a barber's cat after she won the award at school.

as cool as a cucumber

- to be calm, to be not nervous or anxious

The man is as cool as a cucumber and never worries about anything.

as crazy as a loon

- crazy

Our neighbor is as crazy as a loon.

as crooked as a dog's hind leg

- dishonest

The politician is as crooked as a dog's hind leg and nobody trusts him.

as dead as a dodo

- dead, no longer in existence

The dog was as dead as a dodo after the accident.

as drunk as a skunk

- very drunk

The man was as drunk as a skunk when he walked into the restaurant.

as dull as dishwater

- very uninteresting

The speaker at the conference was as dull as dishwater.

as easy as apple pie

- very easy

The test that I wrote yesterday was as easy as apple pie.

as easy as duck soup

- very easy, requiring no effort

Convincing the man to buy the car was as easy as duck soup.

as far as

- to the extent or degree of something

As far as I know the movie will start next week.

as far as possible

- as much as possible

We went as far as possible with the project before we had to stop.

We plan to drive as far as possible tomorrow.

as fat as a pig

- very fat

The woman in the supermarket was as fat as a pig.

as fit as a fiddle

- to be healthy and physically fit

My grandfather is ninety years old but he is as fit as a fiddle.

as flat as a pancake

- very flat

The child's toy was as flat as a pancake after the car drove over it.

as for (someone or something)

- with regard to, concerning

"As for me, I think that I will go home now."

as free as a bird

- completely free, carefree

I was as free as a bird when I finished my final school exam.

as gentle as a lamb

- very gentle

The girl is as gentle as a lamb when she is with her little sister.

as good as one's word

- to be dependable if one promises something

My friend is as good as his word. You can always trust him.

as graceful as a swan

- very graceful

The figure skater is as graceful as a swan.

as gruff as a bear

- gruff, unsociable

Our neighbor is as gruff as a bear when we meet him in the morning.

as happy as a lark

- very happy and cheerful

The boy was as happy as a lark when he received his birthday present.

as hoarse as a crow

- very hoarse

The professor was as hoarse as a crow during the lecture.

as hungry as a bear

- very hungry

I was as hungry as a bear when I arrived home from work.

as if

- in the same way that something would be, that

The drink tastes as if it were made with orange juice.

It seemed as if the whole town came to the concert.

as innocent as a lamb

- having no guilt, naive

The little girl is as innocent as a lamb and everybody loves her.

as is

- in whatever condition something happens to be

We bought the old sofa as is. It was very cheap.

as long as

- provided that, on condition that

"As long as you promise to be very careful you can borrow my car."

as luck would have it

- by chance

As luck would have it, I was able to borrow some clothes for the party.

as mad as a wet hen

- angry

The nurse was as mad as a wet hen when the patient tried to bite her.

as meek as a lamb

- quiet, docile, meek

The secretary was as meek as a lamb when she went to ask her boss for a salary increase.

as naked as a jaybird

- naked

The little boy was as naked as a jaybird when he finished his bath.

as nervous as a cat

- very nervous

The man was as nervous as a cat when he talked to the woman.

as nutty as a fruitcake

- silly, crazy

The man in the supermarket was as nutty as a fruitcake.

as one

- as if a group were one person

The crowd stood up as one and began to cheer.

as pale as a ghost

- extremely pale

My grandfather was as pale as a ghost when he entered the hospital.

as pale as death

- extremely pale

The woman in the hospital waiting room was as pale as death.

as plain as the nose on one's face

- obvious

It is as the plain as the nose on our face who broke the computer.

as poor as a church mouse

- very poor

My cousin is as poor as a church mouse and never has any money to spend.

as proud as a peacock

- very proud, haughty

The man is as proud as a peacock of his young son.

as quiet as a mouse

- very quiet, shy

I was as quiet as a mouse when I left my house early this morning.

as red as a cherry

- bright red

My new sweater is as red as a cherry.

as scarce as hen's teeth

- very scarce or nonexistent

Cheap hotels in this city are as scarce as hen's teeth.

as scared as a rabbit

- very scared

I was as scared as a rabbit when I entered the empty room.

as sick as a dog

- very sick

My friend was as sick as a dog when he left the restaurant last night.

as silly as a goose

- very foolish, very silly

My aunt acted as silly as a goose last evening.

as slow as molasses in January

- very slow

The little boy is as slow as molasses in January and he never gets his work finished on time.

as sly as a fox

- smart and clever

The manager of our apartment is as sly as a fox.

as soft as down

- very soft to the touch (down is the soft and fine feathers from a goose or duck)

The fur on the little dog is as soft as down.

as soon as

- just after something, when

I phoned my friend as soon as I finished dinner.

as sour as vinegar

- sour and disagreeable

The old man next door is as sour as vinegar.

as strong as a horse/ox

- very strong

The man was as strong as an ox and easily helped us move the sofa.

as stubborn as a mule

- very stubborn

My friend is as stubborn as a mule and you can never make her change her mind.

as such

- the way something is

"As such, I will not be able to approve your application for a loan."

as sweet as honey/sugar

- very sweet

The librarian is as sweet as honey and everybody loves her.

as the crow flies

- by the most direct way, along a straight line between two places

As the crow flies, it is not very far between my house and my office.

as thick as pea soup

- very thick (can be used with fog as well as with liquids)

The fog was as thick as pea soup along the beach.

as to

- with regard to, concerning, according to

We have some questions as to how the accident happened.

The players were put into groups as to their ability.

as tough as an old boot

- very tough, not easily moved by feelings such as pity

The old lady is as tough as an old boot and never shoes her feelings at all.

as usual

- most of the time, following the usual pattern

As usual, the girl forgot to bring her book to class.

as warm as toast

- very warm and cozy

Our house was as warm as toast when we came in from the rain.

as weak as a kitten

- weak, sickly

The girl is as weak as a kitten and cannot carry the books.

as well

- in addition, also, too

I plan to take a computer course this summer as well.

as well as (someone or something)

- in addition to someone or something

"Please bring your swimming suit as well as your towel."

as wild as a tiger

- very wild

The little boy was as wild as a tiger when we were trying to look after him.

as wise as an owl

- very wise

My grandfather is as wise as an owl and he seems to know everything.

as yet

- until now, up to the present

As yet, our secretary has not talked about her plans to leave the company.

ask for (someone's) hand in marriage

- to ask someone to marry you

After dating his girlfriend for several years, the man finally asked for her hand in marriage.

ask for (something)

- to deserve something, to receive just punishment for something

The boy is asking for some kind of punishment for what he is doing.

ask for the moon

- to ask for too much

The woman is asking for the moon. She will never get what she wants.

ask for trouble

- to behave in a way that will likely cause trouble

The boy is asking for trouble if he misses another class.

ask (someone) out or ask out (someone)

- to ask a person for a date

My friend finally asked the woman at the bank out.

asleep at the switch

- to not be alert to an opportunity

I was asleep at the switch. I did not know about the job so I did not apply for it.

assault and battery

- a criminal charge where one violently attacks and beats someone

The man was arrested for assault and battery after the fight.

At Idioms

at a loss

- in a state of uncertainty or bewilderment

We were at a loss about what to do with the broken computer.

at a loss for words

- speechless, unable to spea

I was at a loss for words when I met my friend after many years.

at a standstill

- in a situation where no progress can be made, at an impasse

The traffic on the road was at a standstill because of the accident.

at a stretch

- continuously

My friend sometimes works for three weeks at a stretch.

at all costs

- regardless of the cost or difficulty, no matter what

The company wants to protect their product design at all costs.

at any rate

- anyway

"At any rate, I am not going to a movie tonight."

at bay

- at a distance

We tried to keep the dog at bay when we entered the building.

at best

- under the most favorable circumstances

The doctors said that the man had ten months at best to live.

at cross-purposes

- to have opposite ways of doing something, to have opposing goals

The two men are at cross purposes. They cannot agree about anything.

at death's door

- to be near death

The young woman was at death's door after the accident.

at ease

- to be relaxed and comfortable

The players felt at ease after the coach talked to them.

at every turn

- everywhere that one looks

When we visited Rome, there was a group of tourists at every turn.

at face value

- the apparent value of something, the value that is printed on a stamp or a bond

At face value the old stamp was worth almost nothing.

at fault

- to be responsible for something, to be to blame for something

The truck driver was at fault for the terrible accident.

at first

- at the beginning

At first, I did not want to go to the movie but I later changed my mind.

at first blush

- when first seen, without careful study, with your first impression

At first blush, the man seemed like a good worker but later he was not good at all.

at hand

- within reach, nearby

I stopped working because I did not have any tools at hand.

at heart

- basically, fundamentally

The woman is a nice person at heart although many people dislike her.

at home

- in one`s house

I left my money at home so I had to borrow some.

at it again

- to be doing something again

The two boys were at it again. We could hear them fighting.

at large

- to be free, to not be captured

The criminal was at large for many months.

at last

- finally, after a long time

I waited all morning for my friend's call until at last it came.

at least

- no less than

There were at least 60,000 people in the stadium.

at length

- in detail, finally

The speaker talked at length about the new product.

at loggerheads (with someone)

- to be having a quarrel or disagreement with someone, to oppose someone

We are at loggerheads with the company over their plans to build a new factory.

at long last

- after a long and troublesome wait or delay

At long last, the young woman received a letter from her university.

At long last, the small business will be able to expand.

at loose ends

- restless and unsettled

My friend's mother was at loose ends after her husband died.

at odds (with someone)

- in disagreement with someone

The man has been at odds with his boss over his new sales territory.

at once

- immediately

The police came at once after we called them.

at one sitting

- at one time

We finished the food at one sitting.

at peace

- peaceful, happy

The woman was relaxed and at peace after her friend's funeral.

at random

- without sequence or order

The members of the team were chosen at random from among the regular players.

at risk

- in danger

The children were at risk of getting sick when the disease spread in the school.

at sea

- to be on the sea, to be away on a voyage on the ocean

My grandfather was at sea for several months when he was a young man.

at sea (about something)

- to be confused about something, to be lost

Most members of the class were at sea when the teacher tried to explain the difficult theory.

at sixes and sevens

- to be lost and bewildered

We were at sixes and sevens when the local grocery store closed.

at (someone`s) beck and call

- to be always ready to serve someone or do something for someone

The woman is always at her husband's beck and call.

at (someone's) earliest convenience

- when something is convenient for someone

I plan to speak to the bank manager at his earliest convenience.

at (someone`s) heels

- close behind someone

The large car was at my heels while I was driving through the park.

at (someone's) service

- ready to help someone in any way possible

A member of the hotel staff was at our service during our visit.

at stake

- to be able to be won or lost, to be at risk

Much money was at stake during the negotiations for the new stadium.

at the appointed hour

- at the time that has been decided

At the appointed hour, the team arrived at the stadium.

at the appointed time

- at the time that has been decided

We went to meet our lawyer at the appointed time.

at the bottom of the hour

- at the half hour - 10:30, 11:30 etc. (at the bottom of a clock)

The weather forecast is on the radio at the bottom of the hour.

at the bottom of the ladder

- at the lowest level of pay and status in a company or organization

I will start at the bottom of the ladder at my new job.

at the crack of dawn

- when the first light of the day appears, very early in the morning

We left for our holiday at the crack of dawn.

at the drop of a hat

- immediately and without any pressure

My friend will always help me at the drop of a hat.

at the eleventh hour

- at the last possible moment

The company and the union settled the strike at the eleventh hour.

at the end of one`s rope

- at the limit of one`s ability to cope or deal with something

I am at the end of my rope about what to do about my problems at work.

at the end of the day

- when everything else has been taken into consideration

At the end of the day, it was impossible to get the money to build the house.

at the expense of (someone or something)

- to be to the harm of (someone or something)

The man was very successful but it was at the expense of his family and health.

at the latest

- no later than

The tour will start at noon at the latest.

at the outset (of something)

- from the first or early stage of something

At the outset of the meeting there were problems between some members of the group.

at the outside

- as the highest estimate

We can feed one hundred people at the outside during the seminar.

at the present time

- now, at present

At the present time there are no extra helpers available.

at the top of one's lungs

- with a very loud voice

I cried out for my friend at the top of my lungs.

at the top of the hour

- at the beginning of the hour which is at the top of a clock (12:00, 1:00, 2:00)

The radio news always starts at the top of the hour.

at this juncture

- at the present time

At this juncture, there is no point to have a meeting.

at this stage of the game

- currently, at the current point in an activity

At this stage of the game, we cannot change the plans for the class trip.

at times

- sometimes, occasionally

At times, our teacher is very nice but at other times she is not nice.

at will

- whenever one wants, freely

The little boy was able to do what he wanted at will.

at wit's end

- to be in a worrying or stressful situation where you have no idea about what to do next

I was at wit's end about what to do for my sister's wedding.

attend to (someone or something)

- to take care or deal with someone or something

The doctor attended to the patient.

attract (someone's) attention

- to cause someone to notice you

The strange behavior of the man attracted the policeman's attention.

attracted to (someone)

- to feel a physical or emotional attraction to someone, to be interested in someone in a romantic way

I was attracted to the woman at the party from the moment that I first met her.

augur well for (someone or something)

- to predict good things for someone or something

The poor business conditions do not augur well for the workers.

avail oneself of (something)

- to use something that is available

We availed ourselves of the office space to prepare for the school festival.

avenue of escape

- the route along which someone or something escapes

There was no avenue of escape for the bank robbers.

average out at

- to calculate something as an average

The cost of our hotels averaged out at much more than we expected.

avoid (someone or something) like the plague

- to avoid someone or something totally

The girls avoided the new student like the plague.