VIDEO FOR IDIOM
WATCH NOW: Can You Correct These Idioms?
Have you ever heard the idiom it’s a doggie-dog world? Well that’s not the correct phrase. It’s actually dog-eat-dog world. Can you correct these other common idioms?
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Origin of idiom
synonym study for idiom
Words nearby idiom
What does idiom mean?
An idiom is a term whose meaning cannot be determined from the literal meanings of the words it is made of.
Many idioms are figurative—they’re intended to create an image, association, or other effect in the mind of the listener or reader that goes beyond the literal meaning or expected use of the words involved.
It is raining cats and dogs is a common English idiom. Literally, that sentence would mean animals are falling from the clouds. What the idiom actually means is that it is raining very heavily.
Here are some more examples of common English idioms:
- Hit the sack means to go to sleep.
- Under the weather means sick.
- You can say that again means a person has said something true and you agree.
Many phrasal verbs are idioms since they include a word (often a preposition) whose literal meaning doesn’t apply. Some examples are take off (like an airplane), give out (meaning to distribute), and open up (which means the same thing as open). Sometimes, two different phrasal verbs can mean the same thing even when their prepositions are usually opposites. For example, lock up and lock down can both mean to secure a place by locking the doors and similar actions.
Idioms are common in most languages. Over time, native speakers of a language learn many idioms that they use without thinking about them. Because their meanings can’t be figured out from their parts, idioms can be very difficult for nonnative speakers to understand.
Why is idiom important?
The first records of the term idiom come from the 1560s. It ultimately comes from the Greek idíōma, meaning “peculiarity” or “specific property.” Idioms exist in even the most ancient languages.
Idioms are a type of figure of speech. Metaphors and similes are also figures of speech. We use figures of speech all the time, even if we don’t even realize it, and for good reason. They allow us to express ideas in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
Idioms make language more colorful and interesting, but they can also make it harder to understand.
Did you know ... ?
The word idiom can also be used in a more general way to refer to a language, dialect, or style of speaking that’s specific to a particular group of people.
What are real-life examples of idioms?
Here are some examples of common English idioms and their meanings:
- Bite the bullet: complete an undesirable task
- Blessing in disguise: a good thing that seemed bad at first
- To make a long story short: to summarize
- Get bent out of shape: to become upset
- Cross that bridge when we come to it: handle a problem when it arises
- Your guess is as good as mine: I don’t know
- Costs an arm and a leg: costs a lot of money
People use idioms every day and often enjoy learning new ones.
Today I learned the Eastern European translation of the English idiom, “Kill two birds with one stone”:
“Shoot two rabbits with the same bullet”.
Theirs is way cooler than ours, gonna start using that.
— Andrew Choi (@ChoiVGK) August 18, 2020
Me: *uses an idiom*
Brain: let’s spend the next hour thinking of where that phrase came from
— Emet Selch’s gay little wave (@EmetSelchSimp) August 19, 2020
What other words are related to idiom?
True or False?
An idiom is an expression that literally says what it means.
Example sentences from the Web for idiom
First of all, remember that idioms or colloquialisms may make sense in one place but not in another, even if the same language is spoken.Six must-know international SEO tips to expand business|Edward Coram James|June 3, 2020|Search Engine Watch
Later she observed that one of the most skilled in this idiom was the journalist Dorothy Parker.Tallulah Bankhead: Gay, Drunk and Liberated in an Era of Excess Art|Judith Mackrell|January 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Is ‘idiom’ enough to defend to the modern reader sentences like this?
Additionally impressive is that an Australian can write so convincingly in the idiom of a country so different from her own.
Yet he seemed interested only in recasting GOP concepts in his own idiom.Obama’s Speech Took Ideas From the GOP and Rhetoric From Madison Avenue|Lee Siegel|January 28, 2012|DAILY BEAST
What people are really afraid of is something that has its own vocabulary and idiom because it strikes them dumb.
To reproduce the Great Style of the original in a Western idiom, the happiest combination of circumstances was necessary.Theodore Watts-Dunton|James Douglas
This is an allusion to the idiom of the French language, and is inapplicable in English.
He was the last judge on the Scotch bench to employ the pure Scotch idiom.Virginibus Puerisque|Robert Louis Stevenson
The crusaders carried the prestige of the French name and diffused the French idiom over Europe.The Story of Paris|Thomas Okey
This idiom, borrowed from the Irish, is very common in Anglo-Irish.Legends of Saints & Sinners|Douglas Hyde
British Dictionary definitions for idiom
Derived forms of idiomidiomatic (ˌɪdɪəˈmætɪk) or idiomatical, adjectiveidiomatically, adverbidiomaticalness, noun
Word Origin for idiom
Cultural definitions for idiom
A traditional way of saying something. Often an idiom, such as “under the weather,” does not seem to make sense if taken literally. Someone unfamiliar with English idioms would probably not understand that to be “under the weather” is to be sick. (See examples under “Idioms.”)