In traditional analysis, words in figurative expressions connote additional layers of meaning, while words in literal expressions denote what they mean according to common or dictionary usage. When the human ear or eye receives the message, the mind must interpret the data to convert it into meaning.
What are Figuratives? On many occassions, the words may not convey the literal meaning of them. They may convey the indirect meanings which may be just the opposite to their literal meanings. Such symbolical and metaphorical meanings are called Figuratives. They contain the figure of speech.
Let us see few hundreds of such Figuratives here.The Figuratives have been arranged in the alphabetical order. Go to the list by clicking that particular page.
Let us see few examples of Figurative Expression to make the point clear.
The Phrase Yellow Press does not give the literal meaning that the press which is in Yellow color.On the contrary, it conveys the meaning of The News Papers which publish sensational and unscrupulous stories about crime, sex etc...
The Phrase In the same boat does not convey the literal meaning. It has the figurative meaning that in the same misfortune or circumstances.
Here is the list of Figurative Expressions beginning with D.
To be at daggers drawn – to be deadly enemies
To have the sword of Damocles hanging over one’s head – to be in imminent danger of losing one’s life; to live in constant fear of some impending danger
A Daniel – an imperial judge (Shakespeare, “Merchant of Venice": Daniel I-VI.)
A dare-devil – a fearless, reckless man
Up to date – recent, modern
Out of date – obsolete
In Davy Jones’s locker – drowned, at the bottom of the sea
He has seen better days – He was once prosperous
Evil days – a period of misfortune
To gain or win the day – to be victorious
Halcyon days – a time when there is peace and happiness in the land
Dead beat – quite exhausted
Dead broke – penniless
To run dead heat – a race in which the contestants came in together
A dead letter – something which no longer exists
To step into dead men’s shoes – to come into an inheritance, to succeed someone who died?
To give the devil his due – give a person credit for his good qualities however worthless he may be
Go to the devil – Be off
Devil’s playthings – playing cards
Devil’s bones – dice
To be between the devil and the deep sea – to be faced with two dangerous situations, each of which is to be dreaded as much as the other
To be on the horns of a dilemma – to be in such a position that it is difficult to decide what to do
Give a dog a bad name and hang him – Once a person loses his reputation, he is likely to be blamed for the misdeeds f others
To be a dog in the manger – to prevent others from using what one cannot use oneself, to be selfish
Every dog has his day – Sooner or later, everyone has his share of good fortune
To be in the doldrums – to be in low spirits to be out of sorts
The Dole – money given in charity, and also allowances to the unemployed
To dole out – to give out in small quantities
To darken one’s door – to pay a visit to one’s house
Ups and downs – varying fortunes; changes and chances of life
Down and out – penniless, ruined
Draconian legislation – very severe laws
(From Draco, an Athenian legislator, whose laws were extremely severe.)
To draw the long bow – to relate fantastic stories
To draw the line at – to refuse to go beyond a certain limit
To throw dust in one’s eyes – to try to deceive someone
Dutch courage – bravery induced by alcoholic liquors
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