Idioms and Phrases

These idioms are compiled from the Cambridge International Dictionary.The Cambridge International Dictionary explains over 7,000 idioms current in British, American and other English speaking countries, helping learners to understand them and use them with confidence. The Cambridge Dictionary, based on the 200 million words of English text in the Cambridge International Corpus, unlocks the meaning of more than 5,000 idiomatic phrases used in contemporary English. Full-sentence examples show how idioms are really used.

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Here is the list of idioms beginning with

  1. an eager beaver
  2. be all ears
  3. bring something about your ears
  4. bring something down about your ears
  5. dry behind the ears
  6. fall on deaf ears
  7. have his ear
  8. have something by the ears
  9. have something coming out of your ears
  10. have an ear to the ground
  11. keep an ear to the ground
  12. in one ear and out the other
  13. lend an ear
  14. lend your ears
  15. listen with half an ear
  16. make a pigs ear of
  17. make a silk purse out of a sows ear
  18. out on your ear
  19. set by the ears
  20. his ears are flapping
  21. turn a deaf ear
  22. up to your ears in
  23. wet behind the ears
  24. his ears are burning
  25. early bird
  26. early doors
  27. it is early days
  28. take an early bath
  29. earn your corn
  30. earn your keep
  31. a nice little earner
  32. come back to earth
  33. come back down to earth
  34. bring someone back to earth
  35. bring someone back down to earth
  36. cost the earth
  37. charge the earth
  38. pay the earth
  39. the earth moved
  40. did the earth move for you
  41. go to earth
  42. like nothing on earth
  43. promise someone the earth
  44. promise someone the moon
  45. run someone to earth
  46. run something to earth
  47. not stand an earthly
  48. not have an earthly
  49. an easy touch
  50. come easy to
  51. easy as ABC
  52. easy as falling off a log
  53. easy as pie
  54. easy come easy go
  55. easy does it
  56. easy meat
  57. easy on the eye
  58. easy on the ear
  59. go easy on someone
  60. be easy on someone
  61. go easy on something
  62. go easy with something
  63. have it easy
  64. I am easy.
  65. of easy virtue
  66. take the easy way out
  67. take it easy
  68. eat someone alive
  69. eat crow
  70. eat dirt
  71. eat his dust
  72. eat your heart out
  73. eat someone out of house and home
  74. eat humble pie
  75. eat salt with
  76. eat your words
  77. have someone eating out of your hand
  78. what is eating you?
  79. what is eating him?
  80. what is eating her?
  81. at a low ebb
  82. ebb and flow
  83. applaud someone to the echo
  84. cheer someone to the echo
  85. in eclipse
  86. economical with the truth
  87. on the edge of your seat
  88. on the edge of your chair
  89. set his teeth on edge
  90. take the edge off something
  91. get a word in edgeways
  92. effing and blinding
  93. a curates egg
  94. do not put all your eggs in one basket
  95. go suck an egg
  96. kill the goose that lays the golden egg
  97. lay an egg
  98. sure as eggs is eggs
  99. with egg on your face
  100. behind the eight ball
  101. one over the eight
  102. give someone the elbow
  103. lift your elbow
  104. up to your elbows in
  105. in your element
  106. out of your element
  107. see the elephant
  108. a white elephant
  109. at the eleventh hour
  110. the Elysian Fields
  111. be running on empty
  112. empty nester
  113. empty vessels make most noise
  114. empty vessels make most sound
  115. the big enchilada
  116. the whole enchilada
  117. all ends up
  118. at the end of the day
  119. at the end of your tether
  120. at a loose end
  121. be at your wits end
  122. the beginning of the end
  123. be on the receiving end
  124. be at the receiving end
  125. be thrown in at the deep end
  126. burn the candle at both ends
  127. the dirty end of the stick
  128. end in tears
  129. end it all
  130. the end justifies the means
  131. the end of civilization as we know it
  132. the end of the road
  133. the end of the road line
  134. end of story
  135. the end of the world
  136. get your end away
  137. have your end away
  138. get the wrong end of the stick
  139. go off the deep end
  140. keep your end up
  141. keep hold your end up
  142. make ends meet
  143. make both ends meet
  144. make his hair stand on end
  145. a means to an end
  146. never hear the end of something
  147. not hear the end of something
  148. no end
  149. no end of something
  150. the sharp end
  151. the thin end of the wedge
  152. to the bitter end
  153. as the war to end all wars
  154. be your own worst enemy
  155. public enemy number one
  156. an Englishman’s home is his castle
  157. enough is as good as a feast
  158. enough is enough
  159. enough said
  160. enough to make a cat laugh
  161. push the envelope
  162. push the edge of the envelope
  163. epater les bourgeois
  164. epater les bourgeois
  165. first among equals
  166. first among equals
  167. first among equals
  168. other things being equal
  169. other all things being equal
  170. err on the right side
  171. err on the side of
  172. to err is human to forgive divine
  173. a blot on your escutcheon
  174. of the essence
  175. the Eternal City
  176. eternal triangle
  177. an even break
  178. even Stephens
  179. even Stevens
  180. get even with
  181. be even with
  182. on an even keel
  183. it was ever thus so
  184. every last
  185. every single
  186. every man for himself
  187. every which way
  188. the evil eye
  189. put off the evil day
  190. put off the evil hour
  191. the exception that proves the rule
  192. exeunt omnes
  193. make an exhibition of yourself
  194. what can you expect?
  195. what do you expect?
  196. an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
  197. the eye of a needle
  198. the eye of the storm
  199. be all eyes
  200. clap eyes on
  201. lay eyes on
  202. set eyes on
  203. get your eye in
  204. keep your eye in
  205. close your eyes to
  206. shut your eyes to
  207. do a person in the eye
  208. eyes out on stalks
  209. give someone the glad eye
  210. give someone the eye
  211. a gleam in his eye
  212. a twinkle in his eye
  213. go eyes out
  214. half an eye
  215. have an eye for
  216. have an eye for the main chance
  217. have an eye on the main chance
  218. have an eye to the main chance
  219. with an eye on the main chance
  220. with an eye for the main chance
  221. with an eye to the main chance
  222. have eyes bigger than your stomach
  223. have eyes in the back of your head
  224. have square eyes
  225. hit him in the eye
  226. hit him in between the eyes
  227. keep an eye out for
  228. keep an eye open for
  229. keep your eye on the ball
  230. keep your eyes open
  231. keep your eyes peeled
  232. keep your eyes skinned
  233. make eyes at someone
  234. there is more to him than meets the eye
  235. there is more to it than meets the eye
  236. all my eye and betty martin
  237. one in the eye for
  238. open his eyes
  239. pull the wool over his eyes
  240. see eye to eye
  241. his eye view
  242. shut your eyes to
  243. turn a blind eye
  244. up to your eyes in
  245. what the eye does not see the heart does not grieve over
  246. with one eye on
  247. with your eyes open
  248. with your eyes shut
  249. with your eyes closed
  250. eyeball to eyeball
  251. give someone the hairy eyeball
  252. up to the eyeballs
  253. up to your eyeballs
  254. raise your eyebrows
  255. raise an eyebrow
  256. by an eyelash
  257. cut your eye teeth
  258. give your eye teeth for

Each to their own: Different people have different preferences. In American English, 'Each to his own' is more common.

Eager beaver: A person who is extremely keen is an eager beaver.

Eagle eyes: Someone who has eagle eyes sees everything; no detail is too small.

Early bath: (UK) If someone has or goes for an early bath, they quit or lose their job or position earlier than expected because things have gone wrong.

Early bird catches the worm: The early bird catches the worm means that if you start something early, you stand a better chance of success.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise: It means that sleeping well and not staying up late will help you out physically and financially.

Earn a living: To make money Ex: We need to get a good job to earn a decent living.

Easier said than done: If something is easier said than done, it is much more difficult than it sounds. It is often used when someone advises you to do something difficult and tries to make it sound easy.

Easy as ABC: Something that is as easy as ABC is very easy or simple.

Easy as beans: Something that is so easy that anyone can do it is easy as beans.

Easy as pie: If something is easy as pie, it is very easy indeed.

Easy come, easy go: This idiom means that money or other material gains that come without much effort tend to get spent or consumed as easily.

Easy peasy: (UK) If something is easy peasy, it is very easy indeed. ('Easy peasy, lemon squeezy' is also used.)

Eat crow: (USA) If you eat crow, you have to admit that you were wrong about something.

Eat humble pie: If someone apologises and shows a lot of contrition for something they have done, they eat humble pie.

Eat like a bird: If someone eats like a bird, they eat very little.

Eat like a horse: Someone who eats like a horse eats a lot.

Eat like a pig: If some eats like a pig, they either eat too much or they have bad table manners.

Eat my hat: People say this when they don't believe that something is going to happen e.g. 'If he passes that exam, I'll eat my hat!'

Eat someone alive: If you eat someone alive, you defeat or beat them comprehensively.

Eat your heart out: If someone tells you to eat your heart out, they are saying they are better than you at something.

Eat your words: If you eat your words, you accept publicly that you were wrong about something you said.

Economical with the truth: (UK) If someone, especially a politician, is economical with the truth, they leave out information in order to create a false picture of a situation, without actually lying.

Egg on your face: If someone has egg on their face, they are made to look foolish or embarrassed.

Elbow grease: If something requires elbow grease, it involves a lot of hard physical work.

Elbow room: If you haven't got enough elbow room, you haven't got enough space.

Elephant in the room: An elephant in the room is a problem that everyone knows very well but no one talks about because it is taboo, embarrassing, etc.

Eleventh hour: If something happens at the eleventh hour, it happens right at the last minute.

Empty vessels make the most noise: The thoughtless often speak the most.

End in smoke: If something ends in smoke, it produces no concrete or positive result. This expression refers to the boasting by a person, of having put in a lot of efforts by him, for a particular cause or to attain a result which is very difficult to be done by any person. (This mainly refers to an investigation of a crime or solving a serious offence or a mystery). But at the end, when the desired result is not obtained, his claims are found to be false and not worth mentioning. So, he looses his credibility.

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while: This expression means that even if people are ineffective or misguided, sometimes they can still be correct just by being lucky.

Even keel: If something is on an even keel, it is balanced.

Even Stevens: If everything is equal between people, they are even Stevens.

Even the dogs in the street know: (Irish) This idiom is used frequently in Ireland, and means something is so obvious that even the dogs in the street know it.

Every ass likes to hear himself bray: This means that people like the sound of their own voice.

Every cloud has a silver lining: People sometimes say that every cloud has a silver lining to comfort somebody who's having problems. They mean that it is always possible to get something positive out of a situation, no matter how unpleasant, difficult or even painful it might seem.

Every dog has its day: This idiom means that everyone gets their moment to shine.

Every man and his dog: A lot of people - as in sending out invitations to a large number of people

Every man for himself: If it's every man for himself, then people are trying to save themselves from a difficult situation without trying to help anyone else.

Every man has his price: Anyone's opinion or support can be bought; everyone's principles have a limit.

Every man jack: If every man jack was involved in something, it is an emphatic way of saying that absolutely everybody was involved.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry: If every Tom, Dick and Harry knows about something, then it is common knowledge.

Every trick in the book: If you try every trick in the book, you try every possible way, including dishonesty and deceit, to get what you want.

Everybody and their uncle: This basically means a lot of people or too many people; everybody and their uncle was there.

Everything but the kitchen sink: If people include everything but the kitchen sink, they include every possibility, regardless of whether they are useful.

Exception that proves the rule: This expression is used by many to indicate that an exception in some way confirms a rule. Others say that the exception tests the rule. In its original legal sense, it meant that a rule could sometimes be inferred from an exemption or exception. In general use, the first meaning predominates nowadays, much to the annoyance of some pedants.

Explore all avenues: If all avenues are being explored, then every conceivable approach is being tried that could possibly get the desired result.

Eye candy: When a person is very attractive, they can be described as eye candy - sweet to look at!

Eye for an eye: This is an expression for retributive justice, where the punishment equals the crime.

Eye- wash: This expression 'eye-wash' is generally used to cover up the anxiety of a person who is seeking a concrete reply or justification for an act or an event that had affected his personal image or caused him a loss. The affected person usually represents his case to the higher-ups and puts forth his demands for redressal. But the authority, in order to avoid embarrassment to his organization or to himself, is not in a position to expose the entire material or evidence which in turn tell upon the credibility of the organization. In such circumstances, he will usually call for an investigation to satisfy the complainant, but will not be keen in disposing the case. The authority will drag on the issue, (at the same time pretending to be serious) until the seriousness of the issue dies down and no finality is reached. So, ' The investigation on the issue by the authority is an eye-wash'.

Eyes are bigger than one's stomach: If someone's eyes are bigger than their stomach, they are greedy and take on more than they can consume or manage.

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