M Idioms and Quizzes

M Idiom Quiz #1

letter m

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

1. The couple spend too much money so it is very difficult to (keep within their budget) on one salary.
a)   make a bundle
b)   make ends meet
c)   make themselves at home
d)   make waves

2. Our boss (is very serious) when he says that he will do something about the problem.
a)   means business
b)   makes a difference
c)   makes waves
d)   misses the boat

3. The man is very happy because he (made a lot of money on) the stock market.
a)   made a killing on
b)   made a beeline for
c)   made a point of
d)   made fun of

4. I must hurry or I will (not be able to go to) the party.
a)   not make a dent in
b)   not make a go of
c)   miss out on
d)   not make sense of

5. We had to move the television out of the living room in order to (have a place for) the new sofa.
a)   make a go of
b)   make a living for
c)   make room for
d)   miss out on

Your score is: ___  out of 5

M Idiom Quiz #2

letter m

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

6. It will only (make things less clear) if I ask our teacher for more information.
a)   make a comeback
b)   mark time
c)   make a long story short
d)   muddy the water

7. The picture of the restaurant`s main dish (makes me very hungry).
a)   makes a difference
b)   makes a mountain out of a molehole
c)   makes my mouth water
d)   makes my hair stand on end

8. I do not want to (cause any problems) in my new company.
a)   make a name for myself
b)   make waves
c)   make my own way
d)   make sense

9. Sometimes my friend says things that do not (seem reasonable).
a)   make sense
b)   make a bundle
c)   make a hit
d)   make out

10. The man tried hard to make his business a success but he was unable to (succeed).
a)   make a dent in it
b)   make a go of it
c)   miss the boat
d)   mend his ways

Your score is: ___  out of 5

M Idiom Quiz #3

letter m

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

11. My uncle (made a lot of money) on the stock market.
a)   made a living
b)   made a bundle
c)   made his mouth water
d)   met himself half-way

12. "Please (relax and don`t worry about anything) when you are here."
a)   make a difference
b)   make a name for yourself
c)   make yourself felt
d)   make yourself at home

13. I tried to (create a good relationship) with my neighbors but it was impossible.
a)   make a difference
b)   make friends
c)   make a living
d)   make ends meet

14. The teacher's directions were not clear and I became (confused).
a)   made out
b)   mixed up
c)   man-to-man
d)   mum`s the word

15. The presentation at the meeting (was very successful).
a)   made a hit
b)   met someone half-way
c)   made up their mind
d)   made ends meet

Your score is: ___  out of 5

M Idiom Quiz #4

letter m

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

16. The man (missed an opportunity) when he refused the assignment.
a)   made a killing
b)   mended his ways
c)   missed the boat
d)   made short work of it

17. It (is not important) if I go to the game or not.
a)   makes out
b)   does not matter
c)   means business
d)   might as well

18. We have no truck to move the boxes so we must (substitute) our car.
a)   make a living with
b)   make ends meet with
c)   make waves with
d)   make do with

19. I cannot (decide) if I will go on a holiday in December or not.
a)   make up my mind
b)   mend my ways
c)   make a hit
d)   mean business

20. It was (something that I was happy to hear) when our company decided to give everyone a bonus.
a)   musical chairs
b)   music to my ears
c)   a matter of course
d)   a means to an end

Your score is: ___  out of 5

M Idioms

letter m

mad as a hatter

- crazy

My neighbor is as mad as a hatter and we never know what she will do next.

mad as a hornet

- very angry

Our boss was as mad as a hornet when we saw him yesterday.

made for each other

- to get along extremely well with another person

The man and woman have a good relationship and are made for each other.

made to measure

- clothing that is made especially to fit the measurements of someone

When I was working in Hong Kong I purchased several suits that were made to measure.

made to order

- to be made or put together on request

My father decided to buy a new computer desk that was made to order.

maiden voyage

- the first voyage of a ship or boat

The maiden voyage of the new cruise ship was very popular.

main drag

- the most important street in a town

We spent Saturday evening driving up and down the main drag of the town.

Make Idioms

make a bed

- to arrange the sheets and blankets of a bed neatly

My mother always told me to make my bed when I was a child.

make a beeline for (someone or something)

- to hurry directly toward someone or something

When I enter the cafeteria I always make a beeline for the dessert section.

make a big deal about (something)

- to exaggerate the seriousness of something

I wish that my friend would not make a big deal about every small problem.

make a break for (something/somewhere)

- to move or run quickly to something or somewhere

The audience made a break for the doors when the concert was over.

make a buck

- to make money

I am working hard trying to make a buck.

make a bundle/pile

- to make a lot of money

My father made a bundle on the stock market several years ago.

make a check out (to someone)

- to write a check to give to someone with his or her name on it

I made a check out to the animal hospital after they cared for our dog.

make a clean breast of (something)

- to confess something bad that you have done in order not to feel guilty or bad

The woman made a clean breast of things and tried to start over.

make a clean sweep of (something)

- to do or win something completely or thoroughly

The new political party made a clean sweep of the large cities during the election.

make a comeback

- to return to one's former (successful) career or situation

The boxer has been training very hard in his attempt to make a comeback.

make a concession

- to change your position in favor of the other person/side when you are negotiating

The union made a big concession in their negotiations with their company.

make a day of it

- to do something all day

We decided to make a day of it and spend the day at the beach.

make a dent in (something)

- to make progress doing something

We worked hard all day but we did not make a dent in the work that we have to do.

Buying the new phone made a dent in the boy's savings.

I need to start my essay today so that I can make a dent in it before tomorrow.

make a difference

- to cause a change in a situation, to change the nature of something

It does not make a difference whether our boss comes to the meeting or not.

If I study hard this weekend, it should make a difference in my test results next week.

make a face (at someone)

- to make a strange face to ridicule someone

The little girl made a face at the boy in her class.

make a fashion statement

- to wear clothes or accessories that attract attention and show other people the type of person you are

The girl is trying to make a fashion statement with her new clothes.

make a fast/quick buck

- to make money with little effort

The two men tried to make a fast buck during the construction boom.

make a fool out of (someone)

- to make someone look foolish

The secretary made a fool out of her boss when she criticized him at the meeting.

make a fuss (over someone or something)

- to worry about or make a bother about someone or something

My grandmother always makes a fuss over me when I visit her.

make a go of (something)

- to succeed at something, to produce good results

The man was never able to make a go of his business.

make a great show of (something)

- to do something in a showy way

The woman made a great show of telling everybody about her rich boyfriend.

make a hit

- to be successful

The chocolate cake made a hit at the party.

make a killing

- to make a large amount of money

The woman made a killing on the real estate market before she retired.

make a laughingstock of (someone)

- to do something that makes people laugh at someone

I made a laughingstock of myself when I dropped the plate of crackers at the party.

make a living

- to earn enough money to live

The man cannot make a living by only doing a part-time job.

make a long story short

- to bring a story to an end by omitting some details

I made a long story short and quickly finished my story about my holiday.

make a meal of (something)

- to eat one main dish or food as an entire meal

We were able to make a meal of the chicken that my mother gave us.

make a mistake

- to make an error

I made a mistake on the math test.

make a mountain out of a molehill

- to make a big problem out of a small problem

The man is making a mountain out of a molehill by worrying about his son`s problem.

make a name for oneself

- to become well-known or famous

The man has made a name for himself in the field of computers.

make a night/evening of (doing something)

- to do something for the entire night or evening

We decided to stay home and make an evening of playing cards.

make a note of (something)

- to write something on a piece of paper

I made a note of the people that I will phone on the weekend.

make a nuisance of oneself

- to be a constant bother

I did not phone the apartment manager about the sink because I did not want to make a nuisance of myself.

make a pass at (someone)

- to make romantic advances to someone

The man was fired because he made a pass at one of the women who he works with.

make a pitch (for someone or something)

- to attempt to promote or sell or advance someone or something

The city made a pitch for more money to help build a new sports stadium.

make a play for (someone)

- to try to make someone romantically interested in you

I tried to make a play for a woman in my computer class.

make a point

- to state something important

The speaker used some examples to make a point during his speech.

make a point of (doing or saying something)

- to do or say something with a definite intention, to be sure to do something

I make a point of visiting my grandmother often.

make a practice of (something)

- to do something regularly, to turn something into a habit

I make a practice of going to bed at 11:00 PM every evening.

make a reservation

- to reserve a seat in an airplane or restaurant etc.

I phoned the airline last night so that I could make a reservation.

make a run for it

- to dash for safety, to make a quick escape

I made a run for it when the class finished.

make a scene

- to make a public display or disturbance

The woman made a scene in the supermarket when she saw the liquid soap on the floor.

make a silk purse out of a sow's ear

- to create something valuable out of something of no value

You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and the woman is not a good singer and will probably never sing in the choir.

make a splash

- to be very successful and get much attention

The new movie should make a splash when it is released.

The young woman made a big splash when she wrote her first book.

The new player is making a splash after his trade. The fans love him.

make a stink (about something)

- to make a major issue about something

The woman decided to make a stink about the broken DVD player that she had bought.

make an all-out effort

- to make a big effort

The police made an all-out effort to discover who had robbed the bank.

make an appearance

- to appear somewhere, to appear in a performance

The famous actor made an appearance at the party.

make an appointment (with someone)

- to schedule a meeting with someone

I made an appointment with my dentist to have my teeth checked.

make an entrance

- to arrive at a party just after it has begun in order to attract attention

The important guest made an entrance soon after the party had begun.

make an example of (someone)

- to punish someone as a warning to others

The teacher punished the student in order to make an example of him for the other students.

make an exception (for someone)

- to suspend a rule for someone in one particular instance

The security guard made an exception for me and allowed me to enter the parking lot after it was closed.

make an honest buck

- to make an honest living

The man has always made an honest buck with his work.

make an impression (on someone)

- to produce a strong or memorable effect on someone

The elderly man made an impression on me and I was sad when I heard that he had died.

make an issue of (something)

- to make something into an important matter

Our supervisor often tries to make an issue of something that is not important at all.

make allowances for (someone or something)

- to allow extra time for someone or something, to make excuses for someone or something

We must make allowances for the fact that the new employee is very slow.

make amends for (something)

- to do something to compensate for an error or injury or loss

I had to do some extra work to make amends for my mistake of last week.

make arrangements for (someone or something)

- to make plans for someone or something

We made arrangements for a small wedding for my cousin.

make as if (to do something)

- to act as if one were about to do something

The driver made as if he was going to turn right but he actually turned left.

make away with (something)

- to take or carry away something

The cat made away with the frozen fish that was on the kitchen counter.

make believe

- to act as if something is true although one knows that it is not true, to pretend

The children were playing make believe and pretended that they lived in a castle.

make big bucks

- to make a lot of money

My friend is making big bucks at his company.

make book on (something)

- to make or accept bets on something

The gamblers were planning to make book on the coming election.

make clear or make (something) clear

- to clarify something, to explain something

The teacher made clear to the children the rules of the class.

make cracks (about someone or something)

- to ridicule or make jokes about someone or something

The radio announcer made cracks about the famous athlete during the interview.

make do with (something)

- to substitute one thing for another thing, to manage, to cope

If there is no cream for the coffee then we will have to make do with milk.

make ends meet

- to be able to live on the money that one has

It is hard to make ends meet on the man's salary.

make eyes at (someone)

- to flirt with someone, to look at someone to try and attract him or her

The boy was making eyes at the girl in his history class.

make for (someone or somewhere)

- to go or start toward someone or somewhere

When it began to get dark we decided to make for a quiet place to camp.

make free with (someone or something)

- to take advantage or use something as if it were one's own

My roommate always makes free with my clothes.

make friends

- to form friendships with people or animals

The girl is shy and is not able to make friends easily.

make fun of (someone or something)

- to ridicule or make jokes about someone or something

The students like to make fun of the girl with the short hair.

make good

- to succeed

The man is working very hard to make good.

make good money

- to earn a large amount of money

My friend is able to make good money selling computer equipment in the evenings.

make good on (something)

- to fulfill a promise, to make something come true, to repay a debt

Our boss made good on his promise to give everyone a raise last year.

make good time

- to arrive at a destination in a short time or quicker than you expected

We made good time yesterday and arrived home before it became dark.

make hay while the sun shines

- to do something at the right time, to take advantage of an opportunity

We will make hay while the sun shines and paint the house while the weather is good.

(not) make head nor tail of (something)

- to not be able to understand something

We could not make head nor tail of what the man was saying during his speech.

make headway

- to make progress

We were not able to make any headway with the project.

The company is beginning to make headway in the negotiations.

The student is not able to make headway with the essay.

make it

- to succeed

The woman worked hard and was able to make it in the publishing industry.

make it as far as

- to travel as far as somewhere, to endure something until you must stop

We made it as far as the city limits before our car began to have problems.

The book was very difficult to read. However, I made it as far as the third chapter.

make it big

- to become very successful - especially financially

The singer hopes to make it big with his new recording.

The man made it big with his new business.

make it hot for (someone)

- to make things difficult for someone

The questions from the reporter were making it hot for the city council member.

make it in (to work)

- to arrive at work

I was able to make it in early for work today.

make it one's business to (do something)

- to do something even if you may interfere in something that does not directly concern you

The mother always makes it her business to know exactly what her children are doing.

make it to first base

- to successfully take the first step with someone or when doing something (in baseball the first step around the bases to score is to get to first base)

I could not make it to first base in my attempt to have my boss change my work schedule.

make it up to (someone)

- to do something for someone in order to compensate for an unfulfilled promise or debt

I cannot help you tonight but I will make it up to you later.

make it worth (someone's) while to do (something)

- to make something profitable enough or beneficial enough for someone to do

Our company always makes it worth our while to work on Saturdays.

make life miserable for (someone)

- to make someone unhappy over a long period of time

The manager of the apartment building made life miserable for the young couple with the baby.

make light of (something)

- to treat something as not being important, to minimize something

My friend made light of my efforts to learn how to speak and write Chinese.

make little of (someone or something)

- to minimize someone or something, to belittle someone or something

My friend makes little of the fact that he often borrows money and then does not pay it back quickly.

make merry

- to have fun, to laugh and celebrate

We decided to go to a nice restaurant and make merry for the evening.

make mincemeat out of (someone)

- to beat someone up, to fight and hurt someone

The boxer made mincemeat out of his opponent during the boxing match.

make mischief

- to cause trouble

The young boy enjoyed the fact that he could make mischief whenever he wanted.

make money hand over fist

- to make money fast and in large amounts

My friend is making money hand over fist in his business.

make no apologies for (something)

- to strongly believe that you are correct

I will make no apologies for my decision to quit my job.

The university will make no apologies for increasing their tuition fees.

The new parking fees are not popular but the city will make no apologies for them.

make no bones about (something)

- to make no secret of something, to have no doubts about something

I made no bones about the fact that I am not interested in applying for the supervisor`s job.

make no difference to (someone)

- to not matter to someone, to not care (about something)

It makes no difference to me if we go to the movie on Friday or on Saturday.

make no mistake (about something)

- to have no doubt about something, to be certain about something

I told the man to make no mistake about the fact that he is not permitted to park his car in our parking area.

make nothing of (something)

- to ignore something as if it had not happened

The woman made nothing of the fact that she almost hit a woman in the parking lot.

make of (someone or something)

- to think or have an opinion about someone or something

"What do you make of the new accounting manager?"

make off with (someone or something)

- to take someone or something away

The thief made off with a new television set from the store.

make one`s bed and lie in it

- to be responsible for what you have done and accept the results of your actions

"You quit your job and now you have no money. You made your bed and now you must lie in it."

make one`s blood boil

- to cause someone to become very angry

Every time that I see that man he makes my blood boil.

make one`s day

- to make someone happy, to be the best part of your day

It made my day when I met my old friend from high school.

It will make our friend's day when we bring the cake for her birthday.

The compliment from my boss made my day.

make one`s feelings known

- to reveal one's feelings about something

My friend made her feelings known about her desire to not attend the dinner.

make one`s hair stand on end

- to frighten or horrify someone

The horror movie made my hair stand on end.

make one`s mouth water

- to make someone want to eat or drink something because of the thought or the smell of the food

The smell of the food cooking in the restaurant made my mouth water.

make one`s own way

- to rely on one`s own abilities

The father wants his son to join the family business but the son wants to make his own way and do something different.

make one's toes curl

- to make one feel uncomfortable

The story about the horrible accident made my toes curl.

make oneself at home

- to relax and act as if you are at home

The woman always makes herself at home when she visits her friends.

make oneself conspicuous

- to attract attention to oneself

The man made himself conspicuous by wearing the colorful sports jacket.

make oneself felt

- to use one`s authority

The supervisor was able to make himself felt when he helped to resolve the conflict.

make oneself heard

- to speak loudly so that people will hear you or understand your opinion

I had to speak loudly to make myself heard while the loud music was playing.

Everybody was talking at the same time so it was difficult to make myself heard.

The university students want to make themselves heard by the university.

make oneself scarce

- to leave quickly, to go away

I think that I will make myself scarce and go to the beach for the day.

make or break (someone or something)

- to cause someone or something to either succeed or fail

The new business will probably make or break my uncle.

The game tomorrow will either make or break our team.

It is a make-or-break decision for the company.

make out

- to progress, to do well or not do well

"How did you make out at your job interview yesterday?"

make out (a report/application)

- to fill out a report or application

I worked late last night in order to make out a report for work.

make out (something)

- to understand something by making an effort

I can never make out what my friend wants to say when he phones me.

make out (something)

- to make someone believe something, to prove something

The man made out that he was at the library last night but I know that he was not.

make out (something) or make (something) out

- to distinguish or identify something, to manage to see or read something

The ship captain could not make out the name of the other boat because of the fog.

I was unable to make out the sign because I did not have my glasses.

make over (something) or make (something) over

- to make something look different, to change the style of something

We decided to make over our living room because we were tired of the old style.

make overtures to (someone)

- to approach someone in a friendly way in order to talk about something or deal with something, to make a formal proposal or offer

The woman made overtures to her friend to try and solve their recent problems.

make peace with (someone)

- to end a quarrel with someone

The two sisters were finally able to make peace with each other.

make points with (someone)

- to gain favor with someone

The woman is more interested in making points with her boss than doing a good job.

make room for (someone or something)

- to arrange space for someone or something

We made room for the new computer in the spare room.

make sense

- to seem reasonable, to be comprehensible, to be explained in a way that you understand

The new proposal really does make sense.

make sense of (something)

- to understand something, to interpret something successfully

I could not make sense of what the man was saying.

make sense out of (someone or something)

- to understand or interpret someone or something

We tried hard to make sense out of the tragedy at the hotel.

make short work of (something)

- to finish something quickly

I made short work of the first report and started to work on the other report.

make (someone or something) available to (someone)

- to supply someone with someone or something

The company made a car available to the salesman.

The company made a tour guide available to our group.

make (someone) eat crow

- to cause someone to admit an error or retract a statement

I want the supervisor to eat crow and admit that she made a mistake.

make (someone) look good

- to cause someone to appear successful or competent

The new sales contract that I got made me look very good in my company.

The woman always tries to make her boss look good.

The man is a terrible worker and he makes the other employees look good.

make (someone) look ridiculous

- to make someone look foolish

The complaint from my coworker made me look ridiculous.

make (someone) sick

- to disgust someone

The attitude of the woman next door makes me sick.

make (someone) tick

- to act or behave in a certain way, to motivate someone to behave or act in a certain way

It is difficult to know what makes our boss tick.

The man is very strange and it is difficult to know what makes him tick.

make (someone's) blood run cold

- to shock or horrify someone

The sight of the injured family in the car accident made my blood run cold.

make (someone's) flesh crawl

- to cause someone's skin to feel funny

The movie was very violent and it made my flesh crawl.

make (someone's) hair stand on end

- to cause someone to be very frightened

The sound of the screaming woman made my hair stand on end.

make (someone's) head spin

- to make someone confused or overwhelmed, to make someone dizzy

The information in the class made my head spin.

The instruction manual for the new device made my head spin.

Listening to my friend talk about his problems usually makes my head spin.

The ride at the children's playground made the child's head spin.

make (someone`s) mouth water

- to make someone want to eat something because of the thought or smell of the food

It made my mouth water when I looked at the menu.

make (someone's) position clear

- to clarify where someone stands on an issue

The politician made his position clear on the issue of taxes.

make (something - an event or meeting)

- to attend an event

I was feeling sick so I was not able to make the monthly meeting of our club.

I cannot make it tonight and will not be able to meet my friends.

make (something) by hand

- to make something with one's hands rather than with a machine

The people in the small village make most of their clothes by hand.

The woman likes to buy clothes that are made by hand.

make (something) from scratch

- to make something by starting with the basic ingredients

We made the soup from scratch.

make (something) out of nothing

- to make an issue out of something of little importance

My friend always wants to make something out of nothing and he fights with everyone.

make (something) right/good

- to replace or restore something

I worked hard to make my relationship with my friend right.

make (something) tick

- to operate or function in a certain way (often a clock ticks)

We decided to look inside the radio to see what makes it tick.

make (something) to order

- to make something only when someone requests it

The construction company makes many parts for their equipment to order.

make (something) up to (someone)

- to repay someone for something, to make amends to someone

I was late for work so I had to make it up to my boss by working late.

make (something) worth (someone's) while

- to make something profitable enough for someone to do

My friend helped me move. I made it worth his while by buying him dinner.

make sure

- to make certain, to establish something without a doubt

I want to make sure that my friend is going to meet me tomorrow.

make the best of (something)

- to do as well as possible in a bad situation

The man tried to make the best of the job that he hated.

make the grade

- to succeed, to qualify for something

The player was not able to make the grade and he could not join the football team.

make the most of (something)

- to use something to one's greatest advantage

The woman made the most of her time in Europe and visited many art galleries.

make the rounds

- to go from place to place or from person to person

The news quickly made the rounds in the office.

The nurse makes the rounds in the hospital every night.

It was a big holiday so we made the rounds and visited all of our friends and family.

make the scene

- to be present, to go to a certain place or event

We decided to make the scene and go to the club for the evening.

make time for (someone or something)

- to schedule time to see someone or do something

The man makes time for his son every weekend so that they can play sports together.

make time with (someone)

- to flirt with someone

The man tried to make time with the waitress in the restaurant.

make up

- to resolve a quarrel, to forgive someone after an argument

The couple had a big fight at the restaurant but they made up and things quickly got back to normal.

The boy and girl separated but they later made up and began seeing each other again.

make up for lost time

- to do something quickly (because you wasted time before)

We had to make up for lost time after wasting several days before starting the project.

make up for (something)

- to compensate for a loss or mistake

We must work hard to make up for last year's poor sales.

make up one's face

- to put on cosmetics or makeup

The woman likes to make up her face before she goes to the store.

make up one`s mind

- to decide something

I have not made up my mind about whether or not I will accept the new job.

make up (something)

- to form something, to compose something, to constitute something

The singing group is made up of five singers.

make up (something) or make (something) up

- to make something by putting things or parts together

We made up a nice lunch for the picnic.

A car is made up of many different parts.

make up (something - a story or an excuse)

- to invent a story, to think and say something that is not true

The girl made up a story about how she got lost in the mountains.

make up (something/money/time)

- to do or supply something that is lacking, to regain or repay something

I had to make up the time that I was sick by working on Saturday.

make up (with someone)

- to become friends again after a quarrel

The girl made up with her friend after they had a fight last week.

make use of (someone or something)

- to use someone or something

I made use of my friend's garage to keep some of my tools.

We made use of the carpenter to do some other work.

make waves

- to create a big or significant impression, to create a disturbance or trouble

The young woman is beginning to make waves as a writer.

The man is very quiet and does not like to make waves at his workplace.

make way for (someone or something)

- to stand aside, to move so that someone or something can pass by

The truck moved to the side of the road to make way for the ambulance.


- a fashionable man who leads a sophisticated life

My friend is a man-about-town and goes out almost every evening.

man in the street

- an average or ordinary person

According to the man in the street the city government is not very popular.


- frank or honest, direct

I had a man-to-man talk with my friend about his recent problem.

many is the time

- on many occasions

Many is the time that I have sat at home waiting for a phone call that never came.

march to (the beat of) a different drummer

- to believe in a different set of principles than most other people

My friend marches to the beat of a different drummer although he does what he thinks is the right thing to do.

marching orders

- orders to move on or depart, orders for soldiers to march someplace

We had our marching orders and had to prepare to leave.

The soldiers had their marching orders and had to leave quickly.

Mark Idioms

mark down (a price) or mark (a price) down

- to lower the price of something

The store decided to mark down the prices of their winter coats.

mark down (something) or mark (something) down

- to make a note about something

The traffic policeman marked down all of the cars that were parked illegally.

mark my words

- remember what I am telling you

"Mark my words, if you do not finish your homework you are not going to go out this weekend."

mark time

- to wait for something to happen

My friend has been marking time for over a month now as he waits to hear about the new job.

mark time (to music)

- to move one`s feet up and down to music

The man was marking time to the music as he was driving his car.

mark up (a price) or mark (a price) up

- to raise the price of something

The store marked up the price of the camping equipment at the beginning of the summer.

mark up (something) or mark (something) up

- to mess something up with marks

The child marked up the new table that her parents had just bought.

a marvel to behold

- someone or something that is quite wonderful or exciting to see

The new bridge is a marvel to behold and many tourists want to see it.

a match for (someone)

- equal to someone in a contest

The German football team was a match for the Brazilian team.

a match made in heaven

- a couple who get along perfectly

When the two people finally met each other, it was a match made in heaven.


- to be important

It does not matter if I come to work late tomorrow.

a matter of course

- the usual way or habit or rule

Everything was done as a matter of course and nobody thought about the results.

a matter of fact

- something that can be proved and is true

It was a matter of fact that no taxes were paid by the company last year.

a matter-of-fact manner/way

- a way of simply telling or showing the truth, a way that makes one seem not to care much

The witness described the murder in a matter-of-fact way.

a matter of life and death

- an issue of great urgency

It was a matter of life and death to rescue the young boy from the water quickly.

a matter of opinion

- a question about which there are different opinions

It was a matter of opinion as to what design would be best for the new art gallery.

as a matter of fact

- used to emphasize that something is true or actually happened

"As a matter of fact, I saw my friend last night and he asked me how you were."

mean business

- to be serious, to be ready to take action

Our boss is working very hard and means business when he says that he is going to get the office organized.

mean for (someone) to (do something)

- to intend for someone to do something

I mean for my friend to get the free ticket and not someone else.

mean nothing to (someone)

- to have no effect or feeling for someone

My uncle is very wealthy and to lose money in a business transaction means nothing to him.

mean (something) to (someone)

- to have an effect or feeling for someone

I always tell my mother about my job situation because it means a lot to her.

mean to (do something)

- to plan or intend to do something

I always mean to go to a movie but I never have enough time.

mean well

- to have good intentions, to try to be kind and helpful

Although the woman means well, she always seems to cause herself many problems.

a means to an end

- something that must or should be done in order to achieve something else

The design project was a means to an end for my friend. It would give him experience to apply for a different position in his company.

meant to be

- destined to exist or happen

It was not meant to be that I would win some money in the lottery.

measure out (something) or measure (something) out

- to measure a specific amount of something from a larger amount in order to use it for something

We must measure out some flour to make the bread.

The students measured out the chemicals for their chemistry experiment.

measure up to (someone or something)

- to be equal to someone or something, to be of the same quality as someone or something

The new accounting manager does not measure up to the previous accounting manager.

meat and potatoes

- simple tastes in food and other things, basic and strong

My friend has a basic meat-and-potatoes approach to everything in life.

a Mecca for (something)

- a place that is popular with people for some reason (from the city of Mecca which is the religious center of Islam)

The area with many lakes is a Mecca for people who like to fish.

Meet Idioms

meet one's end/death

- to die

The elderly man met his death in an accident while walking across the street.

meet one's match

- to meet one's equal

Our team met their match when they had to play the best team in the city.

meet one's Waterloo

- to meet one's final and most difficult or impossible challenge (Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo)

The team met their Waterloo when they went to the tournament to meet the best team in the country.

meet (someone) half-way

- to make a compromise with someone

The boy is very stubborn and is never willing to meet his friends half-way.

meet the requirements (for something)

- to fulfill the requirements for something

The new nurse does not meet the requirements to be a nurse in our hospital.

meet the right girl or guy

- to meet the right partner, to meet the person that you want to marry

The woman always said that she would like to meet the right guy.

meet up with (someone or something)

- to meet someone or something by accident or without expecting to

The young man met up with a nice group of people while he was traveling in Australia.

a meeting of minds

- complete agreement

The members of our group had a meeting of minds and we all decided to go to a movie.

melt in one`s mouth

- to taste very good, to be very tender (used for meat)

The pasta served at the new restaurant melted in our mouths.

mend fences with (someone)

- to do something to repair a relationship after a fight or other problem

I made an effort to mend fences with my friend after our recent fight.

mend one`s ways

- to improve or change one`s habits

The woman was forced to mend her ways in order to do better at work.

mention (someone or something) in passing

- to mention someone or something casually

I mentioned my friend in passing when I was talking to my father.

mess around/about

- to play around or engage in idle activity

The children were messing around in the school yard before school began.

mess up

- to cause trouble, to spoil something, to perform badly, to make a mistake

The employee messed up his chance to get a promotion by not making any effort during the year.

The girl messed up her piano piece.

middle of the road

- halfway between two different ideas, seeing good on both sides of an issue

The mayor was elected because his ideas were middle of the road.

might as well

- would prefer to do something, should maybe do something

"We might as well go home now. I don`t think our friend will come."

a milestone in someone's life

- a very important event or point in one's life

The high school graduation ceremony was a milestone in the young woman's life.

milk of human kindness

- natural kindness and sympathy shown to others

The woman who volunteered at the hospital was full of the milk of human kindness.

milk (someone) for (something)

- to pressure someone into giving information or money

The boy was milking his friend for as much money as he could.

a millstone around (someone's) neck

- a continual burden or handicap for someone

The empty store was a millstone around the neck of the small businessman.

mince (one's) words

- to make one's statement weaker by choosing weak or polite words

I tried not to mince my words when I asked my neighbor to keep quiet.

mind one's manners

- to be careful to use good manners

The parents told their child to mind his manners.

mind one's own business

- to attend only to the things that concern one, to keep to one's own business and not be concerned about the business of others

I asked my friend to mind his own business when he asked me about my problems with my father.

mind one`s p`s and q`s

- to be very careful about what one does or says

I must mind my p`s and q`s and not say anything to offend my aunt.

mind the store

- to be responsible for an office or house while others are gone

My sister stayed home to mind the store when the rest of the family went away for the weekend.

Mind you

- I want you to notice and understand something

I do not want to work any more extra hours. Mind you, if there is an emergency, I will be happy to work extra hours.

a mine of information

- a person or something that is full of information

The old man was a mine of information when we were writing about the history of the town.

a miscarriage of justice

- a wrong or mistaken decision (in a court of law)

Everybody thought that the light sentence that the murderer received was a miscarriage of justice.

misplace one's trust in (someone)

- to put trust in someone who does not deserve it

The company misplaced their trust in the manager who caused them many legal problems.

miss by a mile

- fail to do something by a great amount, to fail to hit something by a great distance

The football player seemed almost certain to score but actually he missed by a mile.

a miss is as good as a mile

- to miss success by a small amount is the same as missing it by a large amount

A miss is as good as a mile and although I almost passed the course, my marks were not good enough to get a diploma.

miss out on (something)

- to lose an opportunity

The man missed out on the new job because he was late for the interview.

miss the boat

- to lose an opportunity

I must hurry and get my application in or I will miss the boat and not get the job.

miss the point

- to fail to understand the important part of something

My friend is missing the point when we try to explain why he should not do what he is doing.

mistake (someone or something) for (someone or something) else

- to think that someone or something is someone or something else

I mistook my friend's sister for someone else when I went to the airport.

I often mistake one car for another car when I see them on the street.

mix and match

- to assemble a limited number of items (often clothing) in a number of different ways

There was a sale at the department store where we could mix and match the various summer outfits.

mix it up

- to argue or fight

The two groups of young men were mixing it up outside the school yard.

mix up (something) or mix (something) up

- to confuse things, to make a mistake about something

The teacher mixed up the DVDs and played the wrong one for the class.

a mix-up

- an error, confusion

There was a mix-up at the airline ticket counter and I was given the wrong ticket.

a mixed bag

- a variety of people or things

There was a mixed bag of musical styles at the concert.

There is a mixed bag of people in the science class.

The medical study gave the researchers a mixed bag of results.

mixed up

- to be confused

The boy gets mixed up when he tries to speak French.

moment of truth

- the time when a decision must be made or you must face a serious situation

The moment of truth for the team came when the season was almost over.

The moment of truth has arrived and we need to make a decision.

Now, is the moment of truth. I will look at my phone and check the score of the game.

Money is no object

- the cost of something is not important

Money is no object and we have decided to go on a luxury cruise this summer.

Money is the root of all evil

- money is the basic cause of all wrongdoing

Many people believe that money is the root of all evil and causes most problems in the world.

Money talks

- money gives one power and influence

Money talks and whenever the wealthy banker goes to his favorite restaurant, he gets the best table available.

money to burn

- much money, more money than is needed

My friend has money to burn and never has to worry about working.

monkey around (with someone or something)

- to play with or waste time with someone or something

I spent the morning monkeying around with my new computer.

monkey business

- mischief

The kids were involved in some monkey business when the window broke.

monkey business

- unethical or illegal activity, cheating

The company was involved in some monkey business with the tax department.

mop the floor with (someone)

- to beat up someone

The large man mopped the floor with the young man.

mope around

- to move around in a sad or depressed state

The boy was forced to stay home so he spent the morning moping around the house.

More Idioms

more and more

- increasingly, an increasing number

More and more people are buying laptop computers.

more dead than alive

- exhausted, near death

I felt more dead than alive when I returned from the hiking trip.

more fun than a barrel of monkeys

- very funny, much fun

My uncle is more fun than a barrel of monkeys and we love to visit him.

more often than not

- usually

More often than not, we eat at home rather than go out.

more or less

- approximately, almost, somewhat, to some extent

I have more or less decided to study business next year.

more (something) than one can shake a stick at

- a lot, too many to count

There are more ants than you can shake a stick at in the kitchen.

more than one can bear/stand/take

- more trouble or other misfortune than one can endure

The constant barking of the dog is more than I can bear and I cannot sleep.

more than (someone) bargained for

- more than someone thought that he or she would get

The problems caused by the dishonest employee were more than the company bargained for.

more the merrier

- the more people who join in the fun the better it will be

The more the merrier I thought as everyone went to the beach.

more to (something) than meets the eye

- something is more complex or difficult than it appears

There is more to the new contract than meets the eye and everyone is pleased with it.

morning after (the night before)

- a hangover

The man is not feeling well. It is the morning after the night before.

move a product

- to sell a product

We should have no trouble to move the new product.

(not) move a muscle

- to not move even a small amount

The doctor told me not to move a muscle when he was fixing my leg.

move heaven and earth to (do something)

- to try every way to do something, to do everything one can to do something

I will move heaven and earth to help my friend get a job with our company.

move in on (someone or something)

- to try to take over something that belongs to another

The man was angry because another salesman was moving in on his sales territory.

move into (something)

- to get started in a new job or business

Our company has decided to move into computer sales.

move to (do something)

- to propose to do something (usually at a meeting)

I will move to have another meeting next week so we can discuss the problem.

move up (in the world)

- to advance and become successful

The young man is working hard and is moving up in the world.

movers and shakers

- important people who are able to get things done

The movers and shakers of the city went to the opening of the new art gallery.

much ado about nothing

- much excitement about nothing

There was much ado about nothing over the small scandal in the city government.

much in evidence

- very visible or evident

The symphony was much in evidence at the opening of the cultural center.

much sought after

- wanted or desired very much

Old fishing equipment is much sought after by collectors around the world.

muddy the water

- to make matters confusing, to make something less clear

The questions from the audience helped to muddy the water during the debate.

mull over (something) or mull (something) over

- to think about something carefully

I took much time to mull over the job offer from our competitor.

mum`s the word

- I will not say anything about a secret that I know

"Mum`s the word about the party. I won`t tell anybody."

murder on (something)

- to be very destructive or harmful to something

My new shoes are murder on my feet.

Murphy's Law

- anything that can go wrong will go wrong

"First my flight was canceled. Then my next flight was late. Finally they lost my luggage. It must be Murphy's Law."

muscle in on (someone or something)

- to forcefully try to discipline someone or take over someone's property or business

The large supermarket was trying to muscle in on the business of the small shops.

music to one`s ears

- something that one is happy to hear

When I heard that I could go to the sales convention, it was music to my ears.

musical chairs

- the transfer of people in an organization into different jobs (especially each other`s jobs)

They are playing musical chairs at our company as people move from one position to another position.

a must-have

- something that you must have

The new computer is a must-have for computer users.

The new store has many things that are a must-have for people who like to cook.

It is a must-have device for music lovers.

muster up the courage

- to build up one's courage to do something

I plan to muster up the courage and ask the woman for a date.

My foot!

- not possible, no way (used to say that you do not believe something)

"The secretary is absent from work because she is sick."

"Sick, my foot! She is probably just lazy and wants a holiday."

my God

- used to express surprise or shock

"My God, we are going to hit the other car!"

my goodness

- used to express surprise or shock

"My goodness," the woman said when she saw the small dog jump into the swimming pool.

my gut tells me

- my instincts tell me that something is as it is

My gut tells me that I am not going to get a new job soon.

my one and only

- one's spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend

My one and only will be home before dinner.