F Idioms and Quizzes
F 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
F 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
F 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
F 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
F 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
F Idiom Quiz #6
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.
Your score is: ___ out of 5
F Idiom Quiz #7
Quiz 7 - 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
F Idiom Quiz #8
Quiz 8 - 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
face down (someone)
- to confront someone boldly, to defy someone
face the music
- to accept the consequences of something
face to face
- in person
face up to (something)
- to accept something that is not easy to accept
My friend must face up to the fact that he will never have enough money to buy a car.
The student must face up to the fact that he may fail his university classes.
- the value or price printed on a stamp/bond/paper money etc.
I sold the postage stamps at their face value.
- the truth of something on the surface
The woman is a very nice person but you must take what she says at face value.
fact of the matter
- the truth is, the most important thing is
facts of life
- the facts about sex or marriage or birth that one should know
The boy is too young to know about the facts of life.
facts speak for themselves
- the known facts about something clearly show the answers to any questions about it
The facts speak for themselves and there is no reason to ask any questions about the problem.
- to gradually diminish in time or distance or color
fair and impartial
- fair and unbiased
fair and square
- completely fair, honestly
The British team won the game fair and square.
- someone or something that you feel you can easily attack
- justice, equal and fair action
a fair shake
- honest treatment
fair to middling
- a little better than acceptable, so-so
- a person who is a friend only during good times
- to break into pieces, to be destroyed mentally and physically, to begin to stop working well
The chair fell apart soon after we bought it.
The woman fell apart after a year at her very stressful job.
fall apart at the seams
- to separate at the seams (for material that is sewn together), to fall apart
My backpack was falling apart at the seams so I bought a new one.
- to go to sleep
I fell asleep as soon as I went to bed.
- to move back, to go back
fall back on (someone or something)
- to seek help when other things have failed
- to fail to keep up with work/studies/payments etc.
fall by the wayside
- to give up or fail before the end of something
fall down on the job
- to fail to do something properly
The man fell down on the job so they replaced him with another worker.
fall flat (on one's face)
- to be unsuccessful, to fail
My attempt at humor fell flat and now the girl does not like me.
I fell flat on my face when I tried to impress the girl with my story.
fall for (someone or something)
- to begin to like or love someone or something
The man fell for the woman at the bank but was afraid to ask her for a date.
We fell for the new apartment when we first saw it.
fall for (something)
- to believe something without checking to see if it is true, to be tricked into believing something that is not true
The tourists sometimes fall for the tricks of the criminals on the street.
The email message was not true but many people fell for it.
fall for (something) hook, line and sinker
- to completely believe something that is not true, to be tricked into believing something that is not true
fall from grace
- to lose approval
The politician fell from grace with the public during the money scandal.
fall head over heels
- to fall down
The little boy fell head over heels down the hillside.
fall head over heels in love with (someone)
- to fall deeply in love with someone
My sister fell head over heels in love with a boy in her English class.
- to become ill
My father fell ill with a cold last week.
fall in love with (someone or something)
- to begin to experience feelings of love for someone or something
I fell in love with the girl the first time that I saw her at the restaurant.
fall in with (a group of people)
- to become associated with a group of people (usually used when you fall in with a bad group of people)
fall into a trap
- to become caught in someone's scheme
fall into line
- to stand properly in a row (like soldiers)
The soldiers fell into line as they waited for the inspection.
fall into line
- to conform to a certain course of action
fall into place
- to fit together, to become organized
- to decrease
fall off the wagon
- to return to use alcohol or drugs after stopping for awhile
fall on deaf ears
- to ignore something that is intended for you
My complaints to my boss always fall on deaf ears.
fall on hard times
- to meet many troubles
fall out of use
- to be no longer used
CD players have fallen out of use recently.
fall out with (someone) over (something)
- to disagree or quarrel with someone about something
fall over backwards (to do something)
- to do everything possible to do something or please someone
The teacher fell over backwards to help his students.
fall over oneself to (do something)
- to be extremely eager to do something or please someone
fall short of (one`s expectations)
- to be not as good as one expected
fall short of (something)
- to not have enough of something
- to fail, to not happen
fall to (someone) to do (something)
- to become the responsibility of someone to do something
It usually falls to me to tell my roommates to be quiet.
fall upon/on (someone or something)
- to attack someone or something
The wolves fell upon the deer and quickly killed it.
a falling-out (with someone)
- a disagreement or quarrel with someone
We had a falling-out during our holiday and we have not spoken since.
- a movement that someone may see as threatening, a move that can cause trouble or damage
If the driver had made one false move there would have been an accident.
familiar with (someone or something)
- to have knowledge of someone or something
fan the flames of (something)
- to make a situation worse
The speech by the labor leader fanned the flames of the angry workers.
far and away the best
- without doubt the best
far and wide
- everywhere, in all directions
We looked far and wide for the book but we could not find it.
far be it from (someone) to do (something)
- it is not really someone's place to do something, it is not appropriate for someone to do something
Far be it from me to tell the cleaning lady how to do her job.
a far cry from (something)
- something very different from something
The man's statement today is a far cry from what he told me yesterday.
far from it
- not at all
far into the night
- late into the night
- to be strange
farm (something) out or farm out (something)
- to have someone else do something, to send something away to have it done
We farmed out the printing to another company in order to save money.
fast and furious
- very rapidly
- money earned quickly and easily
The man is always trying to make a fast buck without working hard.
- a con artist, a clever talker who convinces others easily
The man is a fast talker and you should be careful not to believe everything that he says.
- little or no possibility, almost no chance
Fat chance that my friend will let me borrow his car. He never lets me borrow anything.
fat of the land
- the best of everything (without having to work for it)
My friend wants to move to the country and live off the fat of the land.
favor (someone) with (something)
- to provide someone with something good
- a political candidate supported by his home area
We voted for the candidate because he is the favorite son of our state.
fawn over (someone)
- to flatter someone too much, to praise someone too much
The grandmother always fawns over her grandchildren.
The waiter in the restaurant tried to fawn over us all evening.
feast one's eyes on (someone or something)
- to look at someone or something with pleasure
a feather in one`s cap
- something that you achieve and are proud of
Winning the spelling contest was a feather in the boy's cap.
feather one`s nest
- to enrich oneself (while holding public office or a trusted job etc.)
fed up with (someone or something)
- to be disgusted or bored with someone or something
feed one's face
- to eat
We stopped at the small restaurant to feed our face.
feed (someone) a line
- to deceive someone
feed the kitty
- to contribute money to a special collection
feel at home
- to feel comfortable and relaxed (as if you were at your home)
feel dragged out
- to feel exhausted
I was feeling dragged out so I went home and went to bed.
- to feel well and healthy
I feel fit so I plan to go for a long walk this weekend.
feel free to do (something)
- to feel like you are permitted to do something
Everybody felt free to walk around the restaurant after the party began.
feel it beneath oneself to do (something)
- to feel that one would be lowering oneself to do something
feel like a million dollars
- to feel wonderful
I feel like a million dollars today so I think that I will go for a long walk.
feel like a new person
- to feel refreshed and renewed
I felt like a new person after I had a shower.
feel like doing (something)
- to be in the mood to do something, to want to do something
I do not feel like doing the dishes now.
feel like going (somewhere)
- to be in the mood to go somewhere, to want to go somewhere
I did not feel like going to a movie so I stayed home.
feel like having (something)
- to want to have something
feel on top of the world
- to feel very good, to feel wonderful
feel out of place
- to feel that one does not belong in a place or situation
I sometimes feel out of place when I go to an expensive restaurant.
feel out (someone) or feel (someone) out
- to talk or act carefully with someone in order to find out what he or she thinks
feel put upon
- to feel that someone is taking unfair advantage of you
My sister always feels put upon when the relatives of her husband come to visit.
feel (something) in one's bones
- to sense something
feel sorry for (someone)
- to pity someone, to feel compassion for someone
feel the pinch
- to have problems caused by not having enough money
The family is beginning to feel the pinch after the husband lost his job.
Prices are increasing and families are feeling the pinch.
If business does not improve, we will soon feel the pinch.
feel up to (do something)
- to feel healthy enough or rested enough to do something
I do not feel up to going to the game.
one's feet are on the ground
- one has sensible ideas
My father is a good man and always has his feet on the ground.
feet of clay
- a hidden or unexpected fault or weakness that a respected or powerful person has
The new manager has feet of clay and may not last very long in his new position.
fence (someone) in or fence in (someone)
- to restrict someone in some way
I always feel fenced in when I visit my friend on the small island.
ferret out (something) from (someone) or ferret (information or something) out of (someone)
- to get something from someone by being persistent
few and far between
- not many, rare, unusual
The gas stations were few and far between on the mountain highway.
Mistakes in the report are few and far between.
- to tinker with something, to do something in an unplanned way
I tried fiddling around with the computer printer but it still will not work.
fiddle while Rome burns
- to do nothing while a disaster is happening
The economy is becoming worse while the government does nothing. They want to fiddle while Rome burns.
field a call
- to pick up a telephone call
- to answer questions
The speaker began to field questions after he finished speaking.
The president of the company will not field questions after he speaks today.
- equally, evenly
We divided the cost of the trip fifty-fifty.
fight a rearguard action
- to try very hard to prevent something from happening when it is probably too late to prevent it
fight against time
- to hurry to do something quickly, a fight to do something quickly
The rescue party was fighting against time to save the men who were trapped in the coal mine.
fight like cats and dogs
- to argue and fight with someone (usually used for people who know each other)
fight (someone or something) tooth and nail
- to fight against someone or something with great energy
The citizens fought the government tooth and nail over the government plans to build the new highway.
- a good possibility of success if you try hard
I do not have a fighting chance to finish my essay on time.
The woman believes that she has a fighting chance to get the job that she wants.
Our team is very weak and we do not have a fighting chance to win the championship.
figure on (something)
- to depend on something, to be sure about something
figure out (someone or something) or figure (someone or something) out
- to try to understand someone or something, to solve something
I finally figured out how to use the new DVD recorder.
fill a prescription
- to get some medicine from a pharmacy (drug store) with the orders from a doctor
The man went to the drug store to fill a prescription.
fill in for (someone)
- to replace someone temporarily
My friend is filling in for the librarian this week.
fill in (something) or fill (something) in
- to write words in blank spaces
"Please fill in this form and give it to the receptionist."
fill (someone`s) shoes
- to substitute for someone and be able to do a satisfactory job
Although he is a good supervisor, he is unable to fill the shoes of those who came before him.
fill out (something) or fill (something) out
- to write down the facts that are required (in a report or form etc.)
fill (someone) in or fill in (someone)
- to tell someone the details about something
fill the bill
- to be suitable for what is required
filled to the brim
- to be filled up to the top edge (brim) of something
The coffee cup was filled to the brim.
- to remove something or someone that you do not want from something
The curtains help to filter out the bright sunshine.
The new earphones filter out the background noise.
The new equipment helps to filter out the dust.
find fault with (someone or something)
- to criticize someone or something, to complain about something
My boss finds fault with everything that I do.
find it in one's heart to (do something)
- to have the compassion or courage to do something
I could not find it in my heart to tell the little boy about his dead dog.
find Mr. Right
- to find the right person or the perfect person to marry
find one's feet
- to become used to a new situation or experience
find one's own level
- to find the position to which one is best suited
find one's tongue
- to be able to begin to talk
I could not find my tongue when I stood in front of the group of people.
It was difficult for the man to find his tongue at the meeting.
find one's way
- to discover the route to a place
We were lost for over an hour but we finally found our way.
- to discover what one's talents and preferences are, to find one's purpose in life
The woman went to Europe to try and find herself.
find out (something) or find (something) out
- to learn or discover something
The boy's mother is angry at him because she found out that he had quit his French class.
find the right girl/guy
- to find the right partner, to find the person you want to marry
The woman would like to find the right guy.
fine and dandy
- all right, okay
It is fine and dandy that the event will be held next Saturday.
a fine how-do-you-do
- a predicament
fine kettle of fish
- an unsatisfactory situation
It was a fine kettle of fish when my friend said that he could not come to the wedding.
- the part of a document that you cannot easily notice because of the small size of the print but which often contains very important information
I read the fine print on the contract before I signed it.
fine state of affairs
- an unpleasant situation
The mess in the bathroom was a fine state of affairs and I had to deal with it quickly.
a fine-toothed/tooth comb
- a very careful check of something
finger in the pie
- a part ownership of something or responsibility for something
My uncle has his finger in the pie of many small companies in our town.
fire a gun
- to shoot a gun
fire away at (someone or something)
- to shoot at someone or something, to ask many questions
The students began to fire away at the speaker after he finished his speech.
fire up (someone or something) or fire (someone or something) up
- to make someone more excited or passionate about something, to motivate someone, to start a machine
The teacher works hard to fire up the students at the beginning of the year.
Our coach knows how to fire up the players before an important game.
It is sometimes difficult to fire up the old machine.
There was no electricity so the hospital fired up the emergency generator.
(be) fired up about (something)
- to feel a very strong emotion about something
The employees were fired up when they heard that they would have a decrease in their salary.
The man was fired up during the discussion at the meeting.
firing on all cylinders
- to be working and making every possible effort
first and foremost
- the first and most important
First and foremost, we need a new computer for our office.
first come, first served
- the person who comes first will have his turn first, the person who comes to the food first will get served food first
"First come, first served" my aunt called as she put the food on the table.
- the first person that one falls in love with
The girl's first love was with a boy in her high school.
first of all
- the very first thing
- the first thing
First off, the policeman told us that we had been driving too fast.
first out of the gate
- at the very beginning, from the very beginning (the starting gate is the set of doors that open so that the horses can begin a race)
My favorite horse was the first out of the gate when the race began.
The businessman was the first out of the gate in the effort to collect money for the new concert hall.
- excellent, superior, of the best quality
- new, shown for the first time
There are many first-run movies that I have not seen.
- the best group of players on a team
Our team will use their first-string players for the game today.
first things first
- the most important things must be taken care of first
fish for a compliment
- to try and get someone to give you a compliment
The girl was fishing for a compliment when she asked her friend about her new dress.
fish for (something)
- to try to find information etc. about something
fish in troubled waters
- to involve oneself in a difficult or dangerous situation in order to gain an advantage
fish or cut bait
- to do something yourself or quit and let someone else do it, to either do something or stop trying to do it
a fish out of water
- someone who is uncomfortable in some situation, someone who is not suited for something
The man was like a fish out of water at the expensive restaurant.
The woman is not suited for her job and is like a fish out of water there.
- to be strange and suspicious
fit and trim
- to be slim and in good physical shape
fit as a fiddle
- to be healthy and physically fit
My grandfather is ninety years old but he is as fit as a fiddle.
fit for a king
- to be totally suitable (just like for a king)
The food at the wedding was fit for a king.
fit in with (someone or something)
- to be comfortable or in harmony with someone or something
The new boy fits in with the other children very well.
fit like a glove
- to fit perfectly
My new pair of jeans fit like a glove.
fit (someone or something) in
- to make time for someone or something
I try hard to fit some exercise in every morning.
fit (someone) into a schedule
- to be able to enter someone into a schedule and have the time to see him or her
fit (someone) out with (something)
- to provide someone with something
fit (someone) to a T
- to suit a person very well
My cousin's new job fits her to a T.
fit the mold
- to do what you expect, to do what is considered usual (usually used in the negative - does not fit the mold)
fit to be tied
- to be very angry or upset
fit to kill
- to be wearing very fancy clothes
The woman looked fit to kill when she went to the restaurant.
fix (someone) up with (someone)
- to help someone get a date by arranging a meeting between the two people
fix (someone's) wagon
- to punish or get even with someone
I decided to fix the woman's wagon after she complained to my boss about me.
fix up (something) or fix (something) up
- to repair something, to put something back in good condition
- to fail after a good start, to end in failure
The party began to fizzle out at midnight after many people went home.
- to become suddenly angry, to begin again suddenly
flash in the pan
- someone or something that makes a flashy start and then fails
The man's sports career was a flash in the pan. Recently, I have not heard anything about him.
- to have no money
I am flat broke now that I stopped working last month.
- without hiding anything, openly
flea in one`s ear
- an annoying hint, an idea or answer that is not welcome
- a place where antiques or secondhand goods are sold
one's flesh and blood
- a close relative
flesh (something) out or flesh out (something)
- to make something more detailed or bigger
We worked hard during the weekend to flesh out our agreement.
a flight of fancy
- an idea that is out of touch with reality or possibility
flip one`s lid
- to become very excited, to lose one`s temper
- to go crazy, to become very angry
flirt with the idea of (doing something)
- to think about doing something
float (someone) a loan
- to loan someone money
I asked the bank to float me a loan so that I could buy a new car.
flora and fauna
- plants and animals
We want to learn about the flora and fauna of this area.
We enjoyed the flora and fauna during our recent holiday.
The weather affects the flora and fauna of our region.
- to fail a course, to fail school
flush with (something)
- to be even with something
The two pieces of wood were flush with each other so we glued them together.
flush with (something)
- to have lots of something
- an unreliable business or person
The new company is a fly-by-night operation.
fly by the seat of one`s pants
- to do a job instinctively rather than by using formal guidelines or experience, to pilot a plane without instruments
fly in the face of (someone or something)
- to disregard or defy someone or something
a fly in the ointment
- a small thing that spoils one's enjoyment of something
The problem with the music was a fly in the ointment during the wedding ceremony.
fly into the face of danger
- to take great risks
fly off the handle
- to become angry
fly the coop
- to escape
- to be very happy, to be joyful
My neighbor has been flying high since she won a car.
foam at the mouth
- to be very angry (a sick dog foams at the mouth)
My father was foaming at the mouth when I told him that I had damaged his car.
- to have so much fog that traffic (often airplanes) cannot move
The airport was fogged in and we could not leave on our flight .
foist (something) off on (someone) or foist off (something) on (someone)
- to force someone to take something that they do not want
I tried to foist my old bicycle off on my friend but he would not take it.
fold (something) up or fold up (something)
- to put an end to something (a business etc.)
follow in (someone`s) footsteps/tracks
- to follow someone`s example, to follow someone exactly
The boy is following in his father`s footsteps and has decided to work for a bank.
follow one's heart
- to act according to one's feelings
follow one's nose
- to go straight ahead, to be guided by instinct
We followed our nose until we found the train station.
- to do as one has been instructed
follow (someone's) lead
- to do as someone else does
Everybody followed my lead and came to work early.
follow (something) to the letter
- to follow rules or the law exactly or precisely
Our teacher always follows the school rules to the letter.
The police officer usually follows the law to the letter.
- to do as someone else has done, to follow someone`s example, to play a card of the same suit that someone else has put down
follow the crowd
- to do what everyone else is doing
follow through with (something)
- to continue or finish an action that one has started
My neighbor said that he would help me paint my house but he did not follow through with his offer.
- a meeting where you discuss previous business
follow up (something) or follow (something) up
- to make (one action) more successful by doing something more
The doctor followed up his phone call in the morning with a visit in the afternoon.
fond of (someone or something)
- to like someone or something
food for thought
- something worth thinking about, something that provides mental stimulation
I do not agree with the proposal but it does give me food for thought.
- to spend time playing rather than working, to waste time
a foot in the door
- an opening or opportunity to do something
foot the bill
- to pay for something
footloose and fancy-free
- to be without responsibilities or commitments
for a song
- for very little money, very cheaply
I was able to buy my new car for a song.
for all (something)
- in spite of something, even with something
for all I care
- I do not care if something happens
for all I know
- according to the information that I have
for all intents and purposes
- practically speaking
For all intents and purposes, the meeting was finished and everybody went home.
for all one is worth
- as hard as one can
"I will try, for all I am worth, to help you get the job at the supermarket."
for all practical purposes
- for what might be reasonably expected
for all the world
- for anything, for any price
for better or worse
- depending on how one looks at a matter, including both the good or bad effects of something
For better or worse, I have decided to quit my job and move to Brazil.
- without doubt, certainly, surely
for crying out loud
- used to show that you are surprised or angry
"For crying out loud, please turn your radio down a little."
for days on end
- for many days
for dear life
- as though afraid of losing one`s life
The mountain climber held on to the rock for dear life as he waited for someone to rescue him.
for fear of (something)
- because of the fear of something
We stayed home all weekend for fear of getting hit by the big storm.
- for no payment or cost
We were able to get a television from our friend for free.
We are lucky. We got tickets to the game for free.
for good measure
- as a little extra, as a little more
The recipe called for one piece of garlic but for good measure we put in four pieces.
for hours on end
- for many hours
The boy often plays video games for hours on end.
- for example
a) "What kind of food do they serve there"
b) "They have everything. Pasta, for instance and sushi and hamburgers."
- always, forever
- for fun
We decided to go to the airport to watch the airplanes for kicks.
- for the remainder of one's life
for love or money
- by any means available
We were not able to get our boss to agree to the proposal for love or money.
I do not plan to buy a new computer for now.
- only one time
For once, my friend listened to what I was saying. Usually he ignores me.
for one's (own) part
- from one's point of view
For my part, I do not plan to help with the staff dinner.
for one's (own) sake
- for one's benefit
- to start with
- to be genuine, to be real
The attitude of the woman was not for real and nobody believed her.
- in order to keep something safe
I put the valuable coins in the bank for safekeeping.
The hotel has a place where we can put our passports for safekeeping.
The woman gave her friend some gold bracelets for safekeeping while she was away.
- to be available to buy
There was a sign in front of the house that said it was for sale.
- in a short form
The man always uses his nickname for short.
- without doubt, certainly, surely
I will go to the movie with you for sure next week.
for that matter
- about something, with regard to something
for the asking
- on request, by asking
We can get a free ticket to the concert for the asking.
for the better
- an improvement
It was for the better that the old hospital was closed down.
for the birds
- something that you do not like, something that is not to be taken seriously
Getting up early every morning is for the birds.
for the duration (of something)
- for the whole time that something continues
We had to use the outside classroom for the duration of the semester.
for the good of (someone or something)
- for the benefit of someone or something
for the heck/hell of it
- just for fun
We went to the river to throw stones, just for the heck of it.
for the life of me
- however hard I try to do something I cannot do it, even if my life depended on something (usually used in the negative)
For the life of me, I could not remember where I put my house keys.
for the most part
- mostly, in general
for the record
- a record of a particular fact is made
For the record, I told the police officer about the events of the previous year.
for the sake of (someone or something)
- for the good of someone or something
for the time being
- temporarily, for now, for awhile
We really need a new car but for the time being we will continue to use our old one.
for the world
- under any conditions
I would not sell my car for the world.
force (someone`s) hand
- to make someone do something sooner than planned
I forced the manager's hand and made him tell me about his plans for our company.
force (someone) to the wall
- to push someone to an extreme position
The company forced the union to the wall during the negotiations for the new contract.
force (something) down (someone's) throat
- to force someone to do or agree to something
a force to be reckoned with
- someone or something that is important and should not be ignored
The young man is a force to be reckoned with in the wrestling world.
a foregone conclusion
- a conclusion that is already decided
forever and a day
- a very long time, forever, always
It took forever and a day to get the book that we ordered from the bookstore.
forever and ever
The little boy promised that he would be a good boy forever and ever.
forge ahead (with something)
- to make strong steady progress with something (usually against some difficulties)
There are many problems with the project at work but we will forge ahead with it.
fork out money for (something) or fork money out for (something)
- to pay money for something
I had to fork out much money to have my car fixed.
fork over (something) or fork (something) over
- to hand over something, to give something
form an opinion
- to make an opinion
- a short nap, a short sleep
I grabbed forty winks when I got home from work.
foul one's own nest
- to harm one's own interests
The union fouled their own nest with their dishonest behavior.
foul up (something) or foul (something) up
- to do badly, to mess something up
one's frame of mind
- one`s mental state - either good or bad
I made sure that my boss was in a good frame of mind before I asked him for a holiday.
fraught with danger
- to be full of something dangerous and unpleasant
The mountain adventure was fraught with danger.
- to become angry or lose control of oneself
I freaked out when I discovered that my reservation had not been made.
free and clear
- without owing any money
free and easy
- carefree, informal
The man's attitude toward his work is free and easy.
free as a bird
- completely free
- a disorganized fight or contest involving everyone
a free hand
- much freedom to do something
We had a free hand to design the sports program for the university.
a free translation
- a translation that is not totally accurate
The newspaper printed a free translation of what the diplomat said.
free up (someone or something) or free (someone or something) up
- to cause someone or something to become available or free
I need to delete some pictures on my phone so that I can free up some space.
The class was cancelled which frees up some time for me to do other things.
They changed my schedule which frees me up to do something else.
- to accept food and housing at the expense of another
The boy was angry at his brother for freeloading and never trying to find a job.
freeze (someone) out or freeze out (someone)
- to prevent someone from getting a share in something by unfriendly or dishonest treatment
The man froze his partner out of the profits from the sale of the land.
fresh out of (something)
- to have used up all of something, to have sold the last of something
The bakery was fresh out of brown bread so we had to go to the supermarket.
frighten (someone) out of his or her wits
- to frighten someone severely
The little boy was frightened out of his wits by the big dog.
frighten (someone) to death
- to frighten someone severely
I almost frightened the woman to death when I met her on the dark stairs.
frighten the living daylights out of (someone)
- to frighten someone very much
The horror movie frightened the living daylights out of the young girl.
fritter (something) away or fritter away (something)
- to waste something little by little
from A to Z
- everything about something
from cradle to grave
- from birth to death
The government looks after its citizens with good medical care from cradle to grave.
from dawn to dusk
- from early morning until night
The farmers worked from dawn to dusk in order to finish the harvest.
The factory works from dawn to dusk every day.
Boats are only permitted to be on the river from dawn to dusk.
from day to day
- one day at a time
We did not know from day to day if the weather would be good for the birthday picnic.
from door to door
- moving from one door to another
from hand to hand
- from one person to another person and then to another
from head to toe
- from the top of one's head to one's feet
The boy was covered in mud from head to toe.
from near and far
- from all around
The people came from near and far to see the new stadium.
from now on
- from this moment forward
from rags to riches
- from poverty to wealth
- from the very beginning
We decided to build the house from scratch.
from side to side
- moving from one side to the other again and again
from start to finish
- from the beginning to the end
The dinner was a great success from start to finish .
from stem to stern
- from one end to the other, from the front to the back of a ship
from the bottom of one`s heart
- with great feeling, sincerely
from the ground up
- from the beginning (as in building a house or other building or a business)
My uncle built his business from the ground up.
from the heart
- sincerely, honestly
The boy gave his girlfriend some flowers with a message from the heart.
from the outset
- from the beginning
I knew from the outset that the recipe would be very good.
from the top
- from the beginning
"Let's take it from the top and begin again."
from the word go
- from the beginning
from time to time
We go to the new restaurant from time to time.
from tip to toe
- from the top to the bottom
from way back
- since a long time ago, for a long time
I know my friend from way back. In fact, we went to elementary school together.
frown on (someone or something)
- to disapprove of someone or something
The teacher frowns on students who do not do their homework.
fruits of one's labor
- the results of one's work
We decided to enjoy the fruits of our labor so we went on a long holiday.
fuel the flames
- to make a problem or situation worse
The statement by the manager helped to fuel the flames of the situation.
Everything that the man said fueled the flames of the controversy.
The supervisor will often fuel the flames of a small problem.
- a total effort or offensive, an all-out effort to put pressure on someone, a basketball tactic in which the defenders put pressure on the opposing team over the entire court and try to disrupt the other team
The company used a full-court-press in order to pressure the manager to resign.
- complete, having everything that is needed to be something
full of beans
- to be in high spirits, to be energetic
full of hot air
- to be full of nonsense, to be talking nonsense
I knew that the man was full of hot air when he began to tell us how to make lots of money.
full of it
- to be full of nonsense
full of oneself
- to be conceited, to be self-important
full steam ahead
- with as much energy and enthusiasm as possible
fun and games
- a very difficult task (often used ironically)
It was fun and games today when I wrote my two final exams.
- the place at the back of the elbow that tingles when hit
I hit my funny bone today and it still hurts.
- illegal activity
The truck driver was involved in some funny business that was illegal.
- amusing, comical
It was not funny ha-ha but it was still rather amusing.