R Idioms and Quizzes

R Idiom Quiz #1

letter r

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 man is (taking a chance) that he will become sick.
a)   rubbing it in
b)   running a risk
c)   raising eyebrows
d)   racking his brains

2. The antique phonograph that I found is the (genuine thing).
a)   rough guess
b)   real McCoy
c)   rat race
d)   raw deal

3. Our sales manager (scolded me) for my poor sales record.
a)   raked me over the coals
b)   read between the lines
c)   ran around in circles
d)   rubbed me the wrong way

4. I was (tricked into) helping my friend fix his car.
a)   raked over the coals
b)   ruled out
c)   roped into
d)   run ragged

5. The man has been (exhausted) all week from looking after his children.
a)   raising eyebrows
b)   running a risk
c)   racking his brains
d)   run ragged

Your score is: ___  out of 5

R Idiom Quiz #2

letter r

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. The man's name does not (remind me of anything) so maybe I have never met him.
a)   raise Cain
b)   ring a bell
c)   rub anything in
d)   raise eyebrows

7. The boys have been (causing trouble) in the classroom.
a)   ruling the roost
b)   ringing a bell
c)   right off the bat
d)   raising Cain

8. I told the new employee (immediately) that he must come to work every day.
a)   right off the bat
b)   rough-and-ready
c)   right under his nose
d)   a rough guess

9. The recent announcement (caused much surprise) at the meeting.
a)   rubbed something in
b)   raised eyebrows
c)   ran ragged
d)   ruled the roost

10. By (searching for the hidden meaning) during the speech, I knew what the speaker wanted to say.
a)   rubbing something in
b)   reading between the lines
c)   racking my brains
d)   ruling things out

Your score is: ___  out of 5

R Idiom Quiz #3

letter r

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. The woman believes that she received (unfair treatment) at her last job.
a)   a rat race
b)   a rough guess
c)   the real McCoy
d)   a raw deal

12. The man has been (acting confused) all day as he prepares for his presentation.
a)   running around in circles
b)   rocking the boat
c)   ruling the roost
d)   raking in the money

13. I (tried hard) to remember the man's name.
a)   raked in the money
b)   racked my brains
c)   ran out of something
d)   ripped someone off

14. I (met the woman) last week for the first time in four years.
a)   raked in the money for the woman
b)   ripped the woman off
c)   ran into the woman
d)   rang a bell for the woman

15. I was downtown on Saturday when I (crashed into) another car.
a)   ran ragged
b)   ran into
c)   roped into
d)   ruled out

Your score is: ___  out of 5

R Idiom Quiz #4

letter r

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. You can (eliminate) the possibility of a pay increase this year because of the bad economy.
a)   roll in
b)   rip off
c)   rule out
d)   rope into

17. We decided to move to the country because we did not like the (endless busy days) in the city.
a)   red herring
b)   rat race
c)   real McCoy
d)   raw deal

18. I thought that I had lost my wallet but I later found it (right beside me).
a)   raising Cain
b)   raking in the money
c)   right under my nose
d)   ruling the roost

19. The man is very rude and his actions always (irritate me).
a)   rub me the wrong way
b)   run around in circles
c)   run ragged
d)   rule the roost

20. It was (raining very hard) so we did not leave the house all day.
a)   raising Cain
b)   raining cats and dogs
c)   raising eyebrows
d)   a raw deal

Your score is: ___  out of 5

R Idiom Quiz #5

letter r

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

21. I never go to that store because the owner always tries to (cheat me).
a)   raise eyebrows
b)   rip me off
c)   ring a bell
d)   read between the lines

22. The man has been (making a lot of money) since he bought the hamburger franchise.
a)   rocking the boat
b)   ruling the roost
c)   right under my nose
d)   raking in the money

23. I made (an approximate guess) as to how many people would come to the party.
a)   a red-letter day
b)   a rough guess
c)   a raw deal
d)   a real McCoy

24. We have (used up all the) paper so we must buy some more.
a)   roped into the
b)   run into
c)   ruled out the
d)   run out of

25. I will go and get the book for you (immediately).
a)   rough-and-ready
b)   run ragged
c)   right away
d)   right under my nose

Your score is: ___  out of 5

R Idioms

letter r

a race against time

- a rush to beat a deadline

It was a race against time to rescue the miners who were trapped in the mine.

rack one`s brains

- to try hard to think of something or remember something

I have been racking my brains all day trying to remember the man's name.

to be racked with pain

- to be suffering from severe pain

The man was racked with pain after he fell from the ladder.

rail at (someone)

- to complain loudly to someone, to criticize someone

The customer was railing at the clerk about the bad service.

The manager is always railing at someone for something.

I started railing at my friend for being late.

rain cats and dogs

- to rain very hard

It has been raining cats and dogs all morning.

a rain check

- a free ticket to an event that replaces a ticket that has been cancelled because of rain or for some other reason

We received a rain check for the concert that was suddenly cancelled.

a rain check

- a promise to repeat an invitation at a later date

I did not have time to go to the restaurant with my friend so I decided to take a rain check.

rain on (someone's) parade

- to spoil someone's plans, to prevent someone from enjoying something

I tried not to let my friend's bad mood rain on my parade during the concert.

rain or shine

- no matter whether it rains or the sun shines

We plan to go to the beach tomorrow rain or shine.

rain (something) out or rain out (something)

- to spoil something by raining

The music festival was rained out yesterday evening.

Raise Idioms

raise a fuss

- to make trouble, to cause a disturbance

The woman at the restaurant raised a fuss when her meal arrived late.

raise a hand against (someone or something)

- to hit or threaten to hit someone or something

If the man raises a hand against his supervisor the police will be called.

raise a stink about (something)

- to make a major issue out of something

The small business owners began to raise a stink about the new parking tax.

raise an objection to (someone or something)

- to object to someone or something

My friend raised an objection to my plan to include my parents in our travel plans.

raise Cain

- to create a disturbance, to cause trouble

The boys began to raise Cain at the dance and were asked to leave.

raise eyebrows

- to cause surprise or disapproval

It raised eyebrows when the woman appeared at the party with no invitation.

raise havoc with (someone or something)

- to create confusion or disruption for or against someone or something

The bad weather raised havoc with our plans to clean up the area around our house.

raise hell with (someone or something)

- to make trouble, to behave wildly

The woman began to raise hell with her supervisor after she learned about the new policy.

raise one's sights

- to set higher goals for oneself, to increase one's expectations or goals

Our team is doing very well and we will raise our sights for this season.

The woman will raise her sights and look for a better job.

Business is great and our company will raise its sights for this year.

raise one's voice to (someone)

- to speak loudly or shout at someone in anger

The teacher asked the child not to raise his voice.

raise the stakes

- to increase the risks or the importance of something, to increase the money that you want to bet in a game

The company will raise the stakes for successs or failure with the release of the new product.

The possibility of a strike raised the stakes in the negotiations.

The man was happy to raise the stakes at the casino.

to be raised in a barn

- to behave crudely like a barnyard animal

When the boy did not shut the door his mother asked him if he had been raised in a barn.

rake in the money

- to make a lot of money

My cousin's new restaurant is raking in the money.

The man is working a lot and he is raking in the money.

It took the business a long time before it began to rake in the money.

rake (someone) over the coals

- to scold or reprimand someone

My boss raked me over the coals when he heard about the lost sales report.

rake (something) off or rake off (something)

- to take money from something illegally

The sales clerk was accused of raking money off the daily cash sales.

rally around (someone or something)

- to come together to support someone or something

Everybody in the small town began to rally around the mayor when he was accused of wrongdoing.

ram (something) down (someone`s) throat

- to force someone to do or agree to something that is not wanted

Our teacher always tries to ram her ideas down our throats which makes us angry.

ramble on about (someone or something)

- to talk aimlessly and endlessly about someone or something

My friend spent the evening rambling on about his problems at work.

rank among

- to be part of a group of people or things (usually the best/worst/oldest/biggest or some other superlative)

The young player ranks among the best players in the world.

The new building ranks among the tallest buildings in the world.

The new phone ranks among the most advanced phones being sold now.

rank and file

- the members of a group and not the leaders, regular soldiers and not the officers

The rank and file of the large union were happy with their new contract.

rant and rave about (someone or something)

- to shout angrily and wildly about someone or something

The man was ranting and raving about the bad service at the restaurant.

rant (at someone) about (someone or something)

- to talk in a loud and violent way about someone or something

The customer began ranting at her friend while they were shopping for shoes.

rap (someone's) knuckles

- to punish someone slightly

The company rapped the man's knuckles for taking a long coffee break.

rap with (someone)

- to talk or chat with someone

I passed the morning rapping with my friend at the park.

raring/rarin' to go

- to be extremely eager to do something

Everybody was rarin' to go after the speech by our company president.

rat on (someone)

- to betray someone by telling someone else about illegal or wrong activities

The boy ratted on his friend who broke the store window.

rat out on (someone)

- to desert or betray someone, to leave someone at a critical time

The boy's friend ratted out on him and refused to support him in his fight with the neighborhood bully.

rat race

- an endless hurried existence, a fierce struggle for success

The man finds it too much of a rat race to live and work in a big city.

rate with (someone)

- to be in someone's favor

My friend does not rate with some of the students at my school.

rattle (something) off or rattle off (something)

- to recite something quickly and accurately

The little boy was able to rattle off most countries in the world.

ravished with delight

- to be overcome with happiness or delight

I was ravished with delight when my friend decided to get married.

a raw deal

- unfair treatment

The man got a raw deal when he was forced to resign from his company.

reach a compromise

- to achieve a compromise with someone

The company tried very hard to reach a compromise with the workers.

reach a deal

- to complete or make a deal

The company reached a deal with their supplier.

reach a stalemate

- to arrive at a position where no progress is being made

The talks to buy the new computers have reached a stalemate and it will be difficult to start them again.

reach an agreement

- to complete or make an agreement

The city was not able to reach an agreement on where to build the new subway line.

reach an impasse

- to get to a point where progress is impossible

The negotiations on where to build the new bridge have reached an impasse.

reach first base with (someone or something)

- to make a major advance with someone or something

The salesperson was unable to reach first base with the buyer.

reach for the sky

- to set one's goals high

The young woman was reaching for the sky when she began to look for her first job.

reach one's stride

- to do something at one's best level of ability

The woman has finally reached her stride as a very good sales representative.

Read Idioms

read between the lines

- to find a hidden meaning in something

I can read between the lines and I know what my friend is trying to say.

read my lips

- used to tell someone strongly that you have decided something and you will not change your mind

"Read my lips. I am not going to the meeting."

read (someone) his or her rights

- to make or read the required statement of legal rights to a person who has been arrested

The police officer read the bank robber his rights when he was arrested.

read (someone) like an open book

- to understand someone very well

The girl can read her boyfriend like an open book.

read (someone's) lips

- to look at the movements of someone's lips in order to understand what he or she is saying

The woman could not hear but she was able to read other people's lips.

read (someone's) mind

- to guess what someone is thinking

It is very difficult to read the mind of my boss and know what she wants me to do.

read (something) into (something)

- to find a new or different meaning in something

We must not read anything into the recent company announcement.

We should not read anything into what the coach said yesterday.

The woman will often read a different meaning into what her friend says.

read (something) over or read over (something)

- to read something (usually a second time)

I read my presentation over before I delivered it to the class.

I read over my email before I sent it.

read (something) through or read through (something)

- to read all of something

I read the report through before I returned it to my supervisor.

read the handwriting on the wall

- to anticipate what is going to happen by observing small hints and clues

Everybody in our department could read the handwriting on the wall and they knew that the company would soon close our department.

read the riot act (to someone)

- to give someone a strong warning or scolding

The teacher read the riot act to her students when they began to misbehave in class.

read up on (someone or something)

- to research and read about someone or something

I have been reading up on Egyptian history before our trip to Egypt this summer.

ready for the scrap heap

- ready to be discarded or thrown away

I think that our old car is ready for the scrap heap.

ready, willing, and able

- to be eager or willing to do something

Everybody in the small town is ready, willing, and able to help the family who lost their house in the fire.

real McCoy

- the genuine thing

My new camera is the real McCoy and it will let me take any kind of picture that I want.

the real thing

- something that is genuine and not an imitation

The small vase is the real thing and it is very valuable.

the reality of the situation

- the way that a situation really is

The reality of the situation is that it is very difficult to enter that university.

reap what you sow

- someday face the consequences of your actions

You reap what you sow so it is always good to be kind and generous to other people.

The man was cheating his customers for many years. Now, his business is very bad because people always reap what they sow.

rear its ugly head

- something unpleasant appears or becomes obvious after being hidden

The problem of mold has reared its ugly head in our house again.

receive a frosty reception

- to receive an unfriendly reception

The speaker received a frosty reception from the audience.

The manager will probably receive a frosty reception when he goes to the meeting.

receive (someone) with open arms

- to greet someone eagerly

The citizens received the Olympic athletes with open arms.

a recipe for disaster

- something that will probably have a very negative result

Studying and getting no sleep can be a recipe for disaster before an important test.

It will be a recipe for disaster if the man tries to fix his cell phone by himself.

reckon with (someone or something)

- to confront and deal with someone or something

I do not know how I will reckon with any more problems with my car.

recognize (someone or something) for what it/he/she is

- to see and understand exactly what someone or something is or represents

Everyone was able to recognize our new principal for what he is. He is a very difficult person to work with.

reconcile oneself to (something)

- to begin to feel comfortable with a bad or challenging situation

We have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that our school will close next year.

a red flag

- a warning or a signal that something is wrong

The man was cheated and lost much money. He did not notice the red flag that was in front of him.

There are some red flags in the relationship that the couple should think about.

The safety inspection indicated some red flags for the train inspectors.

red herring

- something that draws attention away from the matter that is under consideration

The issue of salary is a red herring and is not related to the main issues of the negotiations.

red in the face

- to be embarrassed

The woman was red in the face after she dropped her keys down the elevator shaft.

red-letter day

- a day that is memorable because of some important event

Saturday was a red-letter day when we finally won the school championship.

red tape

- excessive formalities in official transactions

There was much red tape when we went to the city to get a business license.

reduced to (something)

- to be brought into a humble condition or state

The building was reduced to ashes after the terrible fire.

reel off (something) or reel (something) off

- to recite something quickly and accurately

I tried hard to reel off all of the events of the past week.

refer to (someone or something)

- to direct attention to someone or something

The man referred to a letter that he had previously written.

refill a prescription

- to sell a second set of medicine on a doctor's orders

I went to the pharmacy to refill a prescription for my mother.

reflect on (something)

- to think deeply and carefully about something

The employee must reflect on his recent problems at work.

The woman needs to reflect on the meaning of her decision.

After reflecting on my job interview, I believe that it went very well.

regain one's composure

- to become calm and composed after a stressful event

The woman took several hours to regain her composure after the fight with her husband.

regain one's feet

- to stand again after falling or almost falling, to become independent after financial difficulties

I quickly regained my feet after almost falling on the street.

The man has finally regained his feet after losing his job.

My friend has many financial problems. Hopefully, he will regain his feet soon.

regardless of (something)

- without considering or thinking about something, without regard to something, in spite of something

Regardless of the weather, we will go fishing tomorrow.

regular as clockwork

- to be very dependable and regular

The bus comes by our house as regular as clockwork every morning.

a regular guy

- a friendly person who everyone gets along with

The mayor of the city is a regular guy and is well-liked by most people.

reinvent the wheel

- to recreate something that already exists

Our supervisor always wants to reinvent the wheel and do many things two times even when it is not necessary.

reject (something) out of hand

- to reject something without thinking much about it

The mayor of the city rejected the idea out of hand.

relative to (someone or something)

- in proportion to someone or something

The house was not very large relative to the amount of money that it cost.

reliance on (someone or something)

- trust and dependence on someone or something

I think that my father has too much reliance on his business partner and it is causing him problems.

religious about (doing something)

- to be strict about doing something

My father is religious about brushing his teeth before he goes to bed at night.

reluctant to (do something)

- to not want to do something

The surgeon was reluctant to operate on the young boy.

remains to be seen

- it is not yet known or decided

It remains to be seen who will come to the party this evening.

reminiscent of (someone or something)

- to remind someone of someone or something, to seem like someone or something

The music festival is reminiscent of the large music festivals of fifty years ago.

reputed to be/do something

- to be thought to do or be or have something

The new police chief is reputed to be the best police chief in the country.

resign oneself to (something)

- to accept something that may be unpleasant but which cannot be changed

I must resign myself to the fact that I will probably not get the job that I want.

The student must resign herself to not being able to take the classes that she wants.

The young man resigned himself to the fact that he will never find his lost phone.

resonate with (someone)

- to appeal to someone or cause someone to like something

The idea of a film festival resonated with most members of the community.

the responsible party

- the person or organization responsible or liable for something

The responsible party for the accident was taken away by the police for questioning.

rest assured

- to be certain that something will happen

"You can rest assured that I will be able to help you this week."

The employees can rest assured that the problems in the company will soon be solved.

My friend can rest assured that I will meet him at the correct time.

rest in peace

- to lie dead peacefully for eternity

We prayed that my aunt would rest in peace after she passed away.

rest on one`s laurels

- to be satisfied with the success that one has already achieved

My boss is always willing to work hard and does not try to rest on his laurels.

result in (something)

- to cause something to happen

The bad road conditions resulted in many accidents this morning.

return empty-handed

- without bringing or taking or receiving anything

The man returned from the store empty-handed.

The woman went to her friend for some advice but she returned empty-handed.

return the compliment

- to pay a compliment to someone who has paid you a compliment

I returned the compliment to my colleague when he began to praise my work.

return the favor

- to do a good deed for someone who has done a good deed for you

I returned the favor to my friend who had helped me move to my new apartment.

rev (something) up or rev up (something)

- to make an engine run very fast

The young man began to rev the motor of his car up while he was waiting for his friend.

rhyme or reason

- a good plan or reason, a reasonable purpose or explanation (usually used in negative or interrogative or conditional sentences)

There was no rhyme or reason as to why my friend suddenly quit his job.

rich in (something)

- to have valuable resources or characteristics or traditions or history

Many vegetables are rich in important vitamins.

ride herd on (someone)

- to watch closely and control someone

The new supervisor likes to ride herd on the people who work for him.

ride off in all directions

- to try to do everything at once, to behave in a totally confused manner

After the meeting everyone seemed to ride off in all directions and we did not know where anyone was going.

ride on (someone's) coattails

- to have one's fortune or success depend on another person

The sales manager was riding on the coattails of his boss and hoped to achieve success in the company.

ride roughshod over (someone or something)

- to treat someone or something with disdain or scorn

The new teacher is riding roughshod over the needs of the students.

ride shotgun

- to travel in the front seat of a car or truck, to protect or guard something when it is being transported

I rode shotgun with the farmer as he looked at his fields.

ride (something) out or ride out (something)

- to endure something unpleasant, to survive something safely

We were able to ride out the storm by staying in a small restaurant.

ride the gravy train

- to exploit something for easy profit or advantage, to experience excessive success or profit without deserving it

We have been able to ride the gravy train and make much money at our job recently.

riding for a fall

- to be risking failure or an accident due to overconfidence

My friend is riding for a fall if he continues his present attitude at his job.

riding high

- to be enjoying great popularity, to be attracting attention

The new government has been riding high in the opinion polls for several months now.

Right Idioms

right and left

- on both sides, on all sides, everywhere

The child looked right and left before he crossed the road.

right as rain

- to be correct, to be genuine

The figures that I gave to my supervisor are as right as rain.

right at (a specific time/place)

- to be exactly at a specific time or place

The concert started right at 9:00 PM.

right away

- immediately

"I forgot to bring my book but I will go home and get it right away."

right down (someone's) alley

- to be ideally suited to someone's interests or abilities

The webpage development project was right down my alley and I was very happy to do it.

right off the bat

- immediately, from the beginning

I told my boss right off the bat that we did not need a new computer for the office.

right on

- that`s right, yes (indicates approval for something)

The man yelled "right on" every time the politician promised to lower taxes.

right on time

- to be exactly at the correct time

The train arrived at the station right on time.

right out

- to say or tell something plainly or in a way that hides nothing

I told the new supervisor right out that I did not like him.

right side up

- with the top side or correct side facing up

The car drove off the highway and rolled over but it was right side up when it stopped.

The bottles will break easily so we must keep them right side up in the box.

The man put his playing cards right side up so everyone could see them.

right under one`s nose

- to be in an obvious or nearby place

I found the calculator right under my nose after searching for it for an hour.

right up (someone's) alley

- to be ideally suited to someone's interests or abilities

Working with numbers is right up my alley.

ring a bell

- to remind someone of something

The name does not ring a bell and I am sure that I have never heard of the man.

ring down the curtain on (something)

- to bring something to an end

The famous singer rang down the curtain on an evening of wonderful music.

ring hollow

- to seem false or not sincere

Many things that the manager says ring hollow with the employees.

My friend promised to help me but her promises usually ring hollow.

The man tried to apologize but his apology rang hollow.

ring in the New Year

- to celebrate the beginning of the new year

We decided to ring in the New Year at my parent's house.

ring true

- to sound or seem true or likely

The predictions by the scientists are beginning to ring true.

ring up (someone) or ring (someone) up

- to telephone someone

You should ring up the police if you see a strange person around your house.

ring up (something) or ring (something) up

- to add and record a sale on a cash register

I went to the cash register so the clerk could ring up the items that I had bought.

rip into (someone or something)

- to attack someone or something physically or verbally

My mother ripped into me when I came home late from the party.

rip off (someone or something) or rip (someone or something) off

- to cheat or rob someone or something

The mechanic at the gas station ripped me off.

ripe old age

- a very old age

My uncle lived to a ripe old age.

a ripple of excitement

- a series of quiet but excited whispers

There was a ripple of excitement in the concert hall when the singer walked onto the stage.

a ripple of protest

- a small amount of quiet protest

There was only a ripple of protest when the government raised the gasoline tax.

Rise and shine!

- Get out of bed and begin the day!

"Rise and shine!" my father called to me in the morning.

rise to the bait

- to be lured by some kind of bait or enticement

My friend rose to the bait when I offered to help him if he would help me.

rise to the challenge

- to show that you can deal with a difficult situation successfully

I am sure that my uncle will rise to the challenge and make a good speech at the wedding.

rise to the occasion

- to perform very well in a special situation or event

The teacher rose to the occasion and managed the meeting very well.

The new player was able to rise to the occasion and help win the game.

Our manager rose to the occasion and made a great presentation of our product.

a risk of rain/showers/thunderstorms

- a chance of rain or showers or thunderstorms

There was a risk of showers so we decided not to go on a picnic today.

There is a risk of showers today so I will bring my umbrella.

It can be dangerous in a boat if there is a risk of thunderstorms.

risk one's neck to (do something)

- to risk physical harm in order to do something

I risked my neck in order to rescue the cat from the roof.

rivet (someone's) attention

- to keep someone's attention fixed on something

The man riveted our attention as he continued to climb up the side of the tall building.

a road-hog

- a driver who uses more than his share of the road

My father became angry at the road-hog who was in front of our car.

rob Peter to pay Paul

- to take something from one person or thing to pay another

When the government began to take money from the education system to pay for the medical system it was like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

rob the cradle

- to marry a person much younger than oneself

Everybody said that my boss was robbing the cradle when he married the young woman at our company.

rock the boat

- to upset the way things are

The woman is a very quiet worker and never likes to rock the boat.

roll around

- to return at a regular or usual time, to come back

Every time that my birthday rolls around I have a big party.

roll back (a price)

- to reduce a price to a previous amount

The prices at the computer store were rolled back during the big sale.

roll in

- to arrive in great numbers or quantity

The money has been rolling in since we started the new business.

roll out a product

- to release a product for sale

The company will roll out their new computers soon.

roll out the red carpet

- to welcome an important guest by putting a red carpet down for him or her to walk on

They rolled out the red carpet when the Queen came for a visit.

roll out the red carpet

- to make a big effort to greet and entertain someone

Whenever I visit my aunt she rolls out the red carpet for me.

roll up one`s sleeves

- to prepare to work hard or seriously at something

Everybody in our club rolled up their sleeves to help prepare for the party.

to be rolling in (something)

- to have large amounts of something (usually money)

My friend is rolling in money and never has to work.

a rolling stone

- a person who does not live or work in one place

The man is a rolling stone and I never know where to find him.

room and board

- food to eat and a place to live

The young man received room and board as part of his salary.

root for (someone or something)

- to cheer and encourage someone or something

I have been rooting for our hometown team since I was a child.

root (something) out or root out (something)

- to get rid of something completely

The new city government is trying to root out the wasteful practices of the previous government.

rooted in (something)

- to be based on something

The popularity of the politician is rooted in his strong moral values and honesty.

rooted to the spot

- to be unable to move because of fear or surprise

The boy was rooted to the spot as he watched the dog attack the rabbit.

rope (someone) into (doing something)

- to persuade or pressure someone to do something

I roped my friend into helping me wash my car.

rotten to the core

- to be completely no good and worthless

The local government was rotten to the core and everyone was happy when they were voted out of office.


- to be rough or crude but to be ready for something

The boat was rough-and-ready so we decided to take it for a ride.


- to be rough, a hard fighting or arguing style that does not follow any rules or laws

It was a rough-and-tumble meeting at the city planning office last night.

a rough guess

- an approximate estimate or guess

I made a rough guess about how many people would come to the party.

rough it

- to live in uncomfortable conditions without the usual comforts (such as on a camping trip)

We were forced to rough it for a few days when the storm knocked out the electricity supply.

rough seas ahead

- many difficulties and challenges are coming in the near future

It appears that there will be rough seas ahead in the economy.

rough up (someone) or rough (someone) up

- to attack or hurt someone physically

The three men roughed up the waiter at the hotel and were arrested by the police.

Round Idioms

round off (something) or round (something) off

- to change a number to the next higher or lower whole number

We rounded off the figure as it was much too big.

round out (something) or round (something) out

- to finish something by doing something special

We rounded out the celebration with a meal in a restaurant.

round-robin letter

- a letter written by a group of people with each person writing part of the letter

We sent a round-robin letter to the other members of the staff to try and get help for the annual flea market.

round-robin meeting/discussion/debate

- a meeting or discussion in which each person in a group takes part

We had a round-robin panel discussion on what we could do to help protect the environment.

round-robin tournament/contest

- a game or contest in which each player or team plays every other player or team in turn

A round-robin tournament was held in order to choose the best team in the city.

round-trip ticket

- a train or bus or plane ticket that allows one to go to the destination and then later return home

We purchased a round-trip ticket because it was cheaper than a one-way ticket.

round up (someone or something) or round (someone or something) up

- to bring together or collect someone or something

We were able to round up enough people to play a game of soccer last night.

royal treatment

- very good treatment

My parents receive the royal treatment when they go to visit their relatives.

Rub Idioms

rub elbows/shoulders with (someone)

- to be in the same place as other people, to meet and mix with other people

At the party we were able to rub shoulders with many important people.

rub in (something) or rub (something) in

- to move over something using some pressure in order to put some cream or ointment or oil onto something

I rubbed in the ointment onto my skin.

rub in (something) or rub (something) in

- to talk or joke about something that someone said or did

"I know that I made a mistake but you should not rub it in."

rub off on (someone)

- to transmit a characteristic of one person to someone else

The woman's habit of talking all the time has rubbed off on her daughter.

rub out (someone or something) or rub (someone or something) out

- to destroy something completely, to kill or eliminate someone

The government troops rubbed out the entire village.

rub salt in (someone's) wound

- to deliberately make someone's unhappiness or shame or misfortune worse

My supervisor rubbed salt in my wound when he continued to criticize me for my mistake.

rub (someone) the wrong way

- to irritate others with something that one says or does, to make someone dislike you

The woman's rude behavior always rubs me the wrong way.

rub (someone's) nose in it

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

Our supervisor always likes to rub our nose in it if we make a mistake.

rub (something) off or rub off (something)

- to remove something by rubbing, to erase something

The teacher rubbed off the writing on the whiteboard.

ruffle feathers

- to point feathers outward (used for a bird)

The bird ruffled its feathers as the cat approached the cage.

ruffle (someone's) feathers

- to upset or annoy someone

I do not want to ruffle my friend's feathers as he is in a bad mood today.

ruin of (someone or something)

- the cause of someone's destruction or failure

I think that the poor business skills of my uncle will be the ruin of him.

a rule of thumb

- a basic or accepted pattern or rule

It is a rule of thumb in the fire department that nobody goes into a burning building by themselves.

rule out (someone or something) or rule (someone or something) out

- to decide against or eliminate someone or something

The police ruled out the man as a possible bank robber.

We decided to rule Monday out as the day to have our meeting.

rule the roost

- to be the dominant figure in a family

The woman seems rather quiet but she rules the roost in her family.

rump session

- a meeting held after a larger meeting

After the convention, I attended a rump session which was very interesting.

Run Idioms

run a fever/temperature

- to have a body temperature higher than normal

The little boy was running a fever so his parents decided to call the doctor.

run a risk of (something)

- to be open to danger or loss

You run a risk of going to jail if you drive after drinking.

run a tight ship

- to be very strict and organized when managing an organization or your life

My friend runs a tight ship and makes few mistakes in his life.

The company manager runs a very tight ship.

run across (someone or something)

- to meet someone unexpectedly, to find something unexpectedly

I ran across an old friend in the library.

I ran across an interesting story in today's newspaper.

run afoul of (someone or something)

- to do something that you should not do

The young man ran afoul of the law.

The small business ran afoul of the tax rules.

We were very careful not to run afoul of the laws in the foreign country.

run after (someone) or (something)

- to chase someone

The young boys ran after the small dog.

run an ad

- to place or put an advertisement in a publication

The government will run an ad to tell the public about the new gas tax.

run an errand

- to go out to buy or do something

I was late for work because I had to run an errand in the morning.

run around

- to go to various places to do things

We ran around all day and now we are very tired.

run around in circles

- to act confused, to do a lot but accomplish little

I have been running around in circles all day but I cannot seem to get anything done.

run around like a chicken with its head cut off

- to be in a state of chaos, to run around with what seems to be no purpose

I spent the morning running around like a chicken with its head cut off when I heard that my mother was in the hospital.

run around (something)

- to run in circles around something

The little boy ran around the table.

run around with (someone)

- to be friends and do things with someone or with a group

My cousin's son is running around with a bad group of people.

run away

- to leave without permission, to escape

The cat ran away when I opened the door.

The little boy ran away when the store manager began to talk to him.

run away with (someone)

- to go away with someone, to elope (run away and get married) with someone

The girl ran away with her boyfriend and got married.

run away with (someone)

- to take hold of someone

Their imagination ran away with them when the boys decided that they wanted to join the circus.

run away with (something)

- to take something quickly and secretly without permission or by stealing it

Someone ran away with the new computer so now we do not have one.

run away with (something)

- to be much better than others, to win easily

Our hometown team ran away with the football championship.

run circles/rings around (someone)

- to outrun or outdo someone

The young boy can run circles around the others in his school.

run counter to (something)

- to be in opposition to something

The actions of the manager run counter to what he says that he believes.

run down (someone or something) or run (someone or something) down

- to crash against and knock down someone or something

A car ran down my dog last week.

run down (someone) or run (someone) down

- to say bad things about someone, to criticize someone

The girl is always running down her friends. That is why nobody likes her.

to be run down

- to get into poor health or condition, to look bad

My friend has become run down since she started working at night.

run for it

- to dash for safety, to make a speedy escape

When it started raining we ran for it and tried to get to the bus shelter.

run for one's life

- to run away to save one's life

I ran for my life when I met the bear on my camping trip.

run hot and cold

- to be sometimes good or useful or effective or positive and sometimes the opposite

The reviews of the new movie are running hot and cold and I do not know if I will go and see it.

run in (somewhere)

- to make a brief visit or stop somewhere

I ran in to see my sister at her office before I left for the weekend.

run in the family

- to be a common family characteristic

Being a left-handed golfer runs in our family.

run interference

- to intervene on behalf of someone in order to protect him or her from something (from American football)

The company ran interference on their top salesman to protect him from the scandal.

run into a brick wall

- to come to a barrier against further progress

I always run into a brick wall when I try to talk to my boss about a work problem.

run into (an amount of money or something)

- to add up to something, to total something, to amount to something

The damage from the storm will run into much money.

run into (someone)

- to meet someone by chance

I ran into my cousin when I was at the supermarket.

run into (someone or something)

- to hit someone or something, to crash into someone or something

The car ran into the truck on the highway.

run into (something)

- to mix with something, to join with something

During the hot weather the red paint ran into the white paint.

run into (something - a fact or trouble or problems or difficulty)

- to experience something, to encounter something

The mechanic ran into trouble when he was fixing my car.

I ran into some interesting facts while I was researching my essay.

run like clockwork

- to run or progress very well

The new production system runs like clockwork.

run low on (something)

- to near the end of a supply of something

We are running low on rice so I must buy some more.


- ordinary, usual

The restaurant was in a run-of-the-mill building but the food was superb.

run off at the mouth

- to talk excessively

My classmate is always running off at the mouth about something.

run off copies of (something)

- to produce copies with a printing press or a copy machine

We ran off many copies of the poster for the festival.

run off with (someone)

- to go away with someone, to elope (run away and get married) with someone

My sister ran off with her boyfriend and got married when she was quite young.

run out of patience

- to become annoyed after being patient for a period of time

The mother has run out of patience with her son.

run out of (something)

- to use all of something, to have no more of something

The car ran out of gas in the countryside.

The speaker ran out of things to say during his speech.

run out of time

- to use up all the available time

We ran out of time at the meeting so we could not discuss the staffing issue.

We often run out of time during our class.

run over (someone or something)

- to drive on top of someone or something

We ran over a rabbit on the way to the meeting.

run over (something)

- to be too full and flow over the edge

The water ran over the edge of the bathtub and made everything in the room wet.

run over (something)

- to read or go over something quickly, to practice something briefly

We will run over the material before the meeting.

run ragged

- to be tired or exhausted because of too much work

The woman is being run ragged by her three children.

The man is being run ragged by his boss.

The woman is being run ragged trying to prepare for her mother's visit.

run rampant

- to be or grow out of control

The use of illegal taxis is running rampant in our city.

run riot/wild

- to be out of control

The soccer fans ran riot after the game.

run scared

- to behave as if one were going to fail or lose

The politician has been running scared in his attempt to win re-election.

run short of (something)

- to not have enough of something

We ran short of money during our trip to Europe.

run (someone) in or run in (someone)

- to take someone to jail, to arrest someone

The police ran the man in for questioning about the robbery.

run (someone) out or run out (someone)

- to force someone to leave, to expel someone

The police ran the drug dealers out of town.

run (something) by (someone)

- to tell someone an idea or plan in order to get his or her opinion

I plan to run my idea by my friend this evening.

We usually try and run our plans by our manager.

run (something) by (someone) again

- to say something again, to repeat something

I asked my colleague to run his idea by me again.

run (something) into the ground

- to use something more than is wanted or needed, to neglect something

The man ran his car into the ground and had to buy another one.

run the gauntlet

- to face a hard test or painful experience

I had to run the gauntlet of many interviews before I got the job.

run the good race

- to do the best that one can

The politician ran the good race but in the end he lost the election.

run the show

- to be in charge of an organization or activity

My uncle runs the show at his company.

The woman likes to run the show when she works on a project.

run through (money or something)

- to spend money recklessly, to use up something wastefully

We ran through a lot of money when we bought furniture for our new apartment.

run through (something)

- to read or practice something from the beginning to the end without stopping

I usually try to run through my speech a couple of times before I have to give it.

run to (an amount of money)

- to amount to a certain amount of money

The cost of repairing my car may run to more money than I can pay.

run to seed

- to become worn-out and uncared for

The small store has run to seed and few people like to go there now.

run up

- to add to the amount of something

We ran up a large bill at the department store before we went home.

run up against (something)

- to encounter something

The city ran up against many problems when they were building the highway.

run up (something) or run (something) up

- to pull something up on a rope

We ran up the flag early this morning before the parade began.

run up to (someone or something)

- to approach someone or something by running

The dog ran up to the little boy.

run wild

- to be or go out of control

The crowd ran wild after the soccer game.

run with (something)

- to implement something (to take a ball in a football game and run with it)

My boss took my idea and ran with it.

to be running high

- to have one's feelings in a state of excitement or anger

Feelings about the train accident are running high and the government must explain what happened.

a rush on (something)

- a large demand for something

There was a rush on candles when the electricity was off for three days.

Russian roulette

- a game of chance in which one bullet is placed in a revolver and the cartridge is spun and the player aims the gun at his head and pulls the trigger

The men in the movie played Russian roulette until one of them finally died.

Russian roulette

- a potentially dangerous situation

Putting the dangerous chemicals on the old ship was like playing a game of Russian roulette.

rustle (something) up or rustle up (something)

- to find and prepare some food or something

We went home after the game and began to rustle up some dinner.