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Idioms, Slang, Phrasal Verbs, Colloquialisms, Cliches, and Proverbs, with Context Examples

by Sally Jennings

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

a hell-hole
      The hottest area of the combat zone was a real hell-hole.
a hidden agenda
      The union is accusing the management of having a hidden agenda, something they aren't willing to admit.
a hit and run accident
      The car struck the pedestrian and left. It was a hit and run accident.
a hope and a prayer
      He is an incompetent pilot. He flies on a hope and a prayer.
a key witness
      The success of the case rests on the testimony of the prosecution's key witness.
a level playing field
      Business is unfair to newcomers, who naively expect a level playing field, where everyone is treated equally.
a major threat
      Airport security considers passengers armed with weapons a major threat.
a make-up examination
      Since you were away for the test, you will have to write a make-up examination.
a manila envelope
      He carried the important papers in a plain brown manila envelope.
a marked improvement
      He is out of bed after the operation, and has made a marked improvement.

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

a matter of time
      They kept borrowing heavily, so it was just a matter of time before they ran out of credit.
a merciful solution
      Some Europeans feel euthanasia is a merciful solution to shorten the suffering of terminally ill patients.
a mission of mercy
      The aid workers flew in food and supplies to the war-torn country on a mission of mercy.
a near miss
      The planes came within 20 meters of each other, so it was a near miss.
a new kid on the block
      Since the boss has only been here one week, he doesn't know how things work. He's the new kid on the block.
a newcomer to the list
      As one of the nouveau riche, she was a newcomer to the elite list.
a niche market
      The successful company manufactured and sold scooters for seniors and captured a niche market.
a once in a lifetime opportunity
      Their participation in the Olympics was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the team members.
a parking garage
      The car was broken into when it was parked on level four of the parking garage.
a passion for living /life
      Her obituary mentioned her great passion for life.

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

a person of interest
      The police are looking for him in connection with the beating death. He is a person of interest.
a pick-me-up
      A café latte is a great pick-me-up. It gives me so much energy when I am tired.
(a picture is worth a thousand words)
      A picture is worth a thousand words.
a point-by-point breakdown
      The sportscaster gave a point-by-point breakdown of the game.
a pretty picture
      All this mud on the floor, clothes everywhere, empty chip bags and pop cans; such a pretty picture!
a priority list
      The provincial government took the women's centre off the spending priority list.
a public eyesore
      The rusted bench was ugly; it was a public eyesore.
a runaway success
      The movie sold out. The packed house proved it was a runaway success.
a scare tactic /scare tactics
      The older child bullied her younger sister. She used every scare tactic she could think of.
a scattergun approach
      The company mismanaged the affair by using a scattergun approach. It was all hit and miss.


This Idiom Guide has 23 pages, in alphabetical order. This is page 2. Click below to go to a different page.

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