D Idioms and Quizzes
D Idiom Quiz #1
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.
Your score is: ___ out of 5
D Idiom Quiz #2
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.
Your score is: ___ out of 5
D Idiom Quiz #3
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.
Your score is: ___ out of 5
D Idiom Quiz #4
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.
Your score is: ___ out of 5
D Idiom Quiz #5
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.
Your score is: ___ out of 5
- the everyday work routine
dance to a different tune
- to change one's behavior or attitude
dance with death
- to do something that is very risky
The teenagers were dancing with death when they began to race their cars.
dare (someone) to do (something)
- to challenge someone to do something
The little boy dared his friend to throw a rock at the window.
- a political candidate who is little known to the general public
darken (someone's) door
- to visit someone or somewhere
- to leave quickly
We dashed off as soon as the concert ended.
dash off (something) or dash (something) off
- to write or finish something quickly
I plan to dash off a letter before I go to work.
date back to (a previous time)
- to be made or begun at a particular time in the past
The old building dates back to 1850.
- to go on a date with someone, to have a date with someone
Davy Jone's locker
- the bottom of the sea (as a grave)
dawn on (someone)
- to become clear or known to someone (often suddenly), to become obvious to someone
It finally dawned on me why my friend was angry.
After using the computer for several hours, it suddenly dawned on me the reason that it was very slow.
day after day
Day after day, the woman goes to the school to meet her child.
day and night
- all of the time
day in and day out
- regularly, all of the time
My father goes to a small restaurant for lunch day in and day out and he never gets tired of it.
- daily, everyday
The president was not involved in the day-to-day running of the university.
- the extreme overcharging of money for something
The amount of money which the gas station charged for the gasoline was daylight robbery.
- several days in a row
- to be directly ahead
dead as a doornail
- to be very dead
- the exact middle
- a person or a thing in a hopeless situation
- the end of a road, an impasse
dead in one's tracks
- to be stopped exactly where someone or something is at the moment
The police stopped the robber dead in his tracks.
- a piece of mail that cannot be delivered or returned to the sender
The letter with no return address went back to the post office as a dead letter.
- a total loss
dead on one's feet
- to be exhausted
I was dead on my feet after working all day in my garden.
dead set against (something)
- to be determined not to do something
The parents are dead set against their son going to Europe for a year.
- to be very tired, to be exhausted
dead to the world
- to be sleeping soundly
The little boy was dead to the world when his father looked into the bedroom.
- to be totally wrong
I was dead wrong in my calculations to build the table.
- a person who never pays his debts
There is a new government policy to penalize deadbeat fathers.
- an expressionless or emotionless face
My friend had a deadpan expression when he told us the story.
deaf and dumb
- to be unable to hear or speak
deal in (something)
- to buy and sell something
The man has been dealing in antiques for many years.
deal with (someone)
- to act in a specific way toward someone, to do business with someone
The company is planning to deal with the late employee soon.
deal with (something)
- to be concerned with something, to take action about something
We will deal with the boxes tomorrow.
decide in favor of (someone or something)
- to determine the winner of something, to decide who is right
- to be dressed in fancy clothes
My sister was decked out in her best clothes for the party.
deem it to be necessary
- to believe that something is necessary
- to throw away something, to dispose of something
- serious trouble or difficulty
The boy will be in deep water if he does not tell us where he spent the money.
deliver the goods
- to do a good or successful job of something
desert a sinking ship
- to leave a situation or place when things become difficult or unpleasant
Many employees decided to desert a sinking ship when their company began to have problems.
devil of a job
- a very difficult job
Everybody thought that unloading the truck was a devil of a job.
- an unworried attitude, an attitude where one does not care what happens
The man has a devil-may-care attitude to his job and nothing bothers him.
devote (something) to (something)
- to make much effort for something, to dedicate oneself to something
diamond in the rough
- a good person or thing that is hidden by a rough exterior
The man is a diamond in the rough and a very gentle person.
die a natural death
- to die by disease or of old age and not by an accident or by violence
My grandfather was very old and he died a natural death.
- to gradually get lower and then disappear (often said about noise)
- to come slowly to an end, to grow weaker
die in one's boots
- to die fighting
The soldiers died in their boots after fighting very hard.
the die is cast
- something has been decided and you cannot change the decision
- to laugh very loud and hard
We almost died laughing when we saw the movie.
- to die one after another until the number is small
The house plants began to die off soon after we moved to a new apartment.
- to die or disappear slowly until gone, to not exist anymore
The campfire slowly died out and we went to bed.
Dinosaurs died out many years ago.
- to begin eating
dig in one's heels or dig one's heels in
- to refuse to change one's course of action or opinion
dig one's own grave
- to be responsible for one's own problems
The woman dug her own grave when she fought with her boss. Now she is having many problems at work.
dig (someone or something) up or dig up (someone or something)
- to make an effort to find someone or something
I had to dig up some blankets for my friend when he stayed at our house.
dig (something) out or dig out (something)
- to locate something
I must dig out last year's income tax forms to look at.
I will dig out some clothes for the summer weather.
dig up some dirt on (someone) or dig some dirt up on (someone)
- to look for unpleasant or embarrassing information about someone
a dime a dozen
- common, easy to get and of little value
Used books are a dime a dozen and it is difficult to sell them.
dip into (something)
- to borrow from a supply of something
We had to dip into our savings to get enough money for a holiday.
dip one's toe in the water
- to slowly start to do something new in order to see if you like it or if other people will approve of it
- to be extremely cheap
The denim jackets were dirt cheap so I decided to buy one.
a dirty look
- a look that shows dislike or disapproval
The boy's mother gave the boy a dirty look when he entered the kitchen.
- unpleasant or uninteresting work
dish out (criticism)
- to criticize someone roughly, to treat someone roughly
Our supervisor likes to dish out criticism to others but he does not like to hear criticism about himself.
dish out (food)
- to serve food from a large bowl or plate
I began to dish out the food when the guests arrived.
dispose of (something)
- to discard something, to destroy something, to get rid of something
We must dispose of our old sofa before we buy a new one.
dive in headfirst
- to do something impulsively without thinking about the consequences
The man likes to dive in headfirst with anything that he does.
dive right into (something)
- to begin to do something without hesitating (some swimmers like to dive right in without checking the temperature of the water)
divide and conquer
- to split an opposing side into two groups so that you can win against them
The government was trying to divide and conquer the opposition parties.
divide (something) fifty-fifty
- to divide something into two equal parts
do a double take
- to look again in surprise at someone or something
do a job on (someone or something)
- to harm or damage someone or something
do a land-office business
- to do much business in a short time
do a number on (someone or something)
- to hurt or damage someone or something
do a snow job on (someone)
- to deceive or confuse someone
do an about-face
- to suddenly reverse one's opinion
do away with (something)
- to stop something, to get rid of something
do credit to (someone)
- to add to someone's reputation
The woman's graduation thesis did credit to her hard work and patience.
do in (someone) or do (someone) in
- to make someone tired, to exhaust someone
I was done in after I finished the marathon.
do in (something) or do (something) in
- to ruin or destroy something
do justice to (something)
- to do something well, to represent something accurately
The painting of my grandfather does not do justice to his extremely good looks.
- to meet someone for lunch
do one`s best
- to try to do something as well as one can
do one`s bit
- to make a useful contribution to something
do one's duty
- to do one's job or what is expected of one
The guard was doing his duty when he began to ask the customer questions.
do one's level best
- to make one's best effort
The girl is doing her level best to get high grades at high school.
The company did their level best to fix the bad product.
do one`s part
- to make a useful contribution to something
do one`s thing
- to do what one wants to do and enjoys doing
My friend enjoys doing his thing when and where he chooses.
do or die
- to make a great effort
It was do or die for the man when he started his new job.
do over (something) or do (something) over
- to repeat something, to do something again
do (someone) good
- to be good or beneficial for someone
It will do my friend good to go on a holiday.
do (someone) out of (something)
- to cheat someone out of something
The man was worried that the company would do him out of the bonus that he was expecting.
do (someone's) bidding
- to do what someone else wants
do something rash
- to take drastic action (usually without thinking)
My friend is extremely angry and she may do something rash.
do (something) by the book
- to follow the rules of something exactly
Our boss likes to do everything by the book.
do (something) like it is going out of fashion/style
- to use/buy/eat much or too much of something
My friend is spending money like it is going out of fashion.
do the dishes
- to wash and dry some dishes
do the honors
- to perform the duty of a host (when serving a drink etc.)
do the trick
- to work well, to achieve a good or desired result
- to spend time in prison
The man was doing time when we first heard about him.
do with (someone or something)
- to be acquainted or involved or associated with someone or something
"I do not know what that incident was to do with."
(can/could) do with (something)
- to benefit from (something)
do without (something)
- to manage without something
- to produce excellent results
Doing some exercise will do wonders for your health.
dog and pony show
- a display or demonstration used to gain approval for something
The politician put on a dog and pony show to make people forget about the scandal.
dog days of summer
- the hot period of summer when people and things slow down, a period of inactivity
It was during the dog days of summer and nobody at our office wanted to work hard.
- to be ready or willing to fight and hurt others to get what you want
dog in the manger
- one who prevents others from enjoying what one has no use for oneself (from Aesops Fables)
The girl was a dog in the manger. She cancelled the dinner because she could not attend.
doll (oneself) up or doll up (oneself)
- to dress in fancy clothes
The woman was all dolled up for the party at the downtown hotel.
dollar for dollar
- considering the cost
Dollar for dollar, going to the resort for a holiday is a good deal.
don sackcloth and ashes
- to behave in a way that shows that you are very sorry for something that you have done wrong - in ancient Biblical times people wore very uncomfortable sackcloth (cloth for sacks) for mourning and also to repent for something that they did wrong
- to be ruined or defeated or dying
I think that our team is done for this season.
- to be tired, to be exhausted
done to a T
- to be cooked just right
The steaks were done to a T and everybody was very happy with them.
done to a turn
- to be cooked just right
done with (something)
- to be finished using something
I was done with the computer so I let my sister use it.
don't saw sawdust
- do not worry about the past because the past is finished
My friend always worries about things that happened in the past so I have to remind her not to saw sawdust.
doomed to failure
- to be certain to fail
a dose of one's own medicine
- the same kind of treatment that one gives to other people
- to turn back from where you are going or where you have been
- to check something again to be sure that it is correct
I double-checked the price of the airplane ticket.
- to deceive someone, to promise one thing and then do another
The man tried to double-cross his partner.
- a date where two couples go on a date and do something together
It was fun to go on the double date even though
everybody wanted to do something different.
- two games (usually baseball) that are played one after the other and are played in front of the same crowd
We were tired after watching a double-header last night.
- talk or words that appear to mean something but do not
The speaker gave the audience much double-talk and nobody knew what he wanted to say.
- two times one's regular wages for working beyond one's normal hours
- to share a room with someone
Everybody had to double up when they went to the convention.
a doubting Thomas
- someone who needs strong proof to believe something
down and dirty
- unfair or nasty or sneaky
The team decided to get down and dirty in order to try and win the tournament.
down and out
- to have no money
- to be shabby, to be poorly dressed
down for the count
- to be finished for now
down in the dumps
- to be unhappy
The girl has been down in the dumps since her boyfriend moved away.
down in the mouth
- depressed and unhappy
My friend looked down in the mouth after he finished work today.
down on one's luck
- to be unlucky, to have no money
down on (someone)
- to be critical of someone, to be angry at someone
down one`s alley
- to be the type of thing that you are interested in or that you enjoy doing or that you are good at doing
Computers are down his alley so I am sure that he will be interested in the job.
Tennis is down his alley so I am sure that he will play with you.
down the drain
- to be wasted or lost
down the hatch
- swallowed, down one's throat
The cough medicine went down the hatch of the little boy.
down the line
- straight ahead, in the future
There will be many changes in our company down the line.
down the tubes
- to be ruined or wasted
down to earth
- to be sensible and practical
down to the last detail
- considering all of the details
down to the wire
- at the very last moment, very close to the time when something is due (from the wire at the end of a horse race)
The election went down to the wire but the candidate was re-elected to another term in office.
down with (an illness)
- to be ill, to be sick at home
My sister was down with a cold so she could not go out for a few days.
drag in (someone or something) or drag (someone or something) in
- to insist on bringing someone or something into a discussion
- to pass very slowly, to make something longer
The speech was dragging on so we decided to leave early.
a drag on (someone)
- a burden to someone
drag one`s feet/heels
- to act slowly or reluctantly
draw a blank
- to get no response to something, to get a negative result
The manager drew a blank when he went to the head office to get information about the merger.
draw a line betwen two things
- to separate two things
We must draw a line between using the Internet for work and using it for personal use.
- to make a wound that bleeds, to anger someone
- to receive criticism for something
The government began to draw fire when they announced changes to the health care system.
- to be a target, to attract or provoke shooting
draw in one`s horns
- to spend less money
- to appear interesting and attract someone's attention
The singers drew much interest when they performed at the festival.
- to earn interest when money is deposited in a bank
- to choose from a group of straws or things to decide who will do something
We decided to draw lots to see who would wash the dishes.
draw (someone) out or draw out (someone)
- to make a person talk or tell something
The girl was very quiet but we were able to draw her out and she began talking.
draw (something) from (something)
- to obtain something from something, to get something from something
draw the line (at something)
- to set a limit for something, to refuse to consider something
draw to a close
- to end
The tournament was drawing to a close and everybody was going back home.
draw up (something) or draw (something) up
- to put something in writing, to prepare documents or legal papers
They were able to draw up the contract while we were waiting.
dredge up (something) or dredge (something) up
- to uncover something unpleasant and remind people about it
dress (someone) down or dress down (someone)
- to scold someone
- to put on one`s best clothes
I decided to dress up for dinner at the restaurant.
dressed to kill
- to wear one`s finest clothes
The woman was dressed to kill when I saw her at the concert last week.
dressed to the nines/teeth
- to be dressed elegantly
drive a hard bargain
- to conclude a bargain without making any concessions
drive at (something)
- to intend or mean to say something
drive (someone) up a wall
- to irritate or annoy someone greatly
My neighbor's constant complaining is driving me up a wall.
drive (something) home or drive home (something)
- to make something clearly understood
The high price of gasoline drove home the necessity of driving less.
drive up (a price)
- to make the price of something increase
The cold weather is driving up the price of heating oil.
drive up to (someone or something)
- to approach someone or something
The car drove up to the bank.
driving force behind (someone or something)
- the motivating force behind someone or something
drop a bombshell
- to announce some shocking news
drop a hint
- to casually make a hint or suggestion about something
- to come for a visit
My friend plans to drop around for a visit tomorrow.
- to move or step backwards, to retreat
- to visit someone
My uncle dropped by after work for a visit.
drop by the wayside
- to give up or fail before the finish of something
Many runners dropped by the wayside during the marathon.
- to die suddenly
The bus driver dropped dead while driving the bus.
- Go away!, to stop bothering someone
- to stop doing what you are doing
drop in (on someone)
- to make a short or unplanned visit to someone
drop in one's tracks
- to collapse from exhaustion
drop in the bucket
- a small amount
The money that my friend repaid me was a drop in the bucket compared to what he owes me.
- to mention the names of famous people as if they were your friends
Nobody likes the girl because she is always dropping names when she meets her friends.
drop off (to sleep)
- to fall asleep
I dropped off to sleep while I was watching television.
drop off (someone or something) or drop (someone or something) off
- to take someone or something to a certain location
I dropped off my friend at the airport.
drop out of (something)
- to quit school or a course of some kind
The boy dropped out of the class after three months.
drop (someone) a line
- to write or mail a note or letter to someone
My friend promised that she will drop me a line when she gets to Singapore.
drop the ball
- to make an error or mistake, to handle things badly
The government dropped the ball with its decision to expand the airport runway
without consulting the local residents.
drop the price (of something)
- to lower the price of something
drop the subject
- to stop talking about something
My friend was getting angry while we were talking about money so I decided to drop the subject.
drown one`s sorrows
- to drink alcohol or do something to forget one`s problems
The man is drowning his sorrows with a drink.
drown (someone) out or drown out (someone)
- to make so much noise that it is impossible to hear someone
The cheering fans drowned out the team captain.
drowning in (something)
- to be submerged in something, to be overwhelmed with something
The man is drowning in debt and has no money.
drum up (something) or drum (something) up
- to encourage something by making an effort
The company was able to drum up a lot of business during the summer.
drum (something) into (someone's) head
- to make someone learn something by force
The teacher worked hard to drum the formulas into the heads of the students.
- to lose moisture gradually
The beach towel dried out quickly.
- a rehearsal for something, a practice session
- to become dry, to be depleted
The river began to dry up early in the summer.
The money for the project has dried up.
- easy, effortless
a) "How was the test last week?"
b) "It was duck soup - no problem at all."
- a stupid gullible person
He is a dumb bunny and you never know what he will do next.
- to end a relationship by telling someone that you do not want to see him or her again
The woman dumped her boyfriend after they had a big fight.
dump (something) on (someone)
- to give a large or excessive amount of something to someone
Our teacher dumped much homework on us yesterday.
- an auction where you start off with a high price and then reduce it
They always sell the flowers at a Dutch auction at the downtown market.
- unusual or artificial courage (often because of alcohol)
The man was full of Dutch courage when he began to criticize his boss.
- a meal or movie etc. where each person pays his or her own way, to contribute equally to something
When the boy goes out with his girlfriend it is always a Dutch treat as he does not have much money.
- someone who gives you advice like a parent or relative would
My friend is like a Dutch uncle and he is always giving me advice about how I should act.
duty bound (to do something)
- to be forced by duty or honor to do something
dwell on (something)
- to think or talk about something all the time
I wish that my friend would not dwell on his personal problems.
- permanent, stubborn
The man is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and will never change.
dying to (do something or go somewhere)
- to be very anxious to do something or go somewhere
I am dying to go and visit my friend in the country.