List of  Idioms & Phrases (Most Repeated in Exams)

Top 300+ Idioms & Phrases for Quick Revision

Hello Friends, This is Siddharth, As you know Idioms & Phrases are the most essential part of any exam. Here we are providing the List of Top Most Repeated Idioms & Phrases, that are mostly and repeatedly asked in exams like Bank PO, SSC CGL, SSC CPO, Railways RRB and many more.

Top Idioms & Phrases for Competitive Exams [Complete List]

   Top 325 Idioms & Phrases with Meaning

  1. Rank and File : Ordinary People

  2. By fits and starts : In short periods, not regularly

  3. A wee bit : A little

  4. Out of the wood : Free from difficulties and dangers

  5. Under his thumb :  Under his control

  6. At one’s wits end : In a state where one does not know what to do

  7. Between the devil and the deep sea : Between two dangers

  8. Burn the midnight oil : Work or study hard

  9. Call a spade a spade : Speak frankly and directly

  10. Come off with flying colors : Be highly successful

  11. Hoping against hope : Without hope

  12. Hit the nail on the head : Do or say the exact thing

  13. An axe to grind : A personal interest in the matter

  14. To get rid of : Dispose of

  15. At daggers drawn : Bitterly hostile

  16. To play ducks and drakes : To act foolishly or inconsistently

  17. To take the bull by the horns : To tackle a problem in a bold and direct fashion

  18. Rain cats and dogs : Rain heavily

  19. To move heaven and earth : To make a supreme effort

  20. No avail Without :  any result

  21. Bark up the wrong tree : Accuse or denounce the wrong person

  22. Keep one at bay : Keep one at a distance

  23. Make a clean breast of it : Confess especially when a person has done a wrong thing

  24. Have a card up one’s sleeve : Have a secret plan in reserve

  25. Like a cat on hot bricks : Very nervous

  26. Cat and dog life : Life full of quarrels

  27. Cock and bull story : Made up story that one should not believe

  28. Cry for the moon : Ask for the impossible

  29. The pros and cons : The various aspects of a matter in detail

  30. Be in a tight corner : In a very difficult situation

  31. Cross one’s t’s and dot : Be precise, careful and one’s i’s exact

  32. At arm’s length : To keep at a distance

  33. Out of the question : Impossible

  34. Out of the way : Strange

  35. Show a clean pair of heals : Run away

  36. Keep one’s fingers crossed : The anxiety in which you hope that nothing will upset your plans

  37. In the nick of time : Just at the last moment

  38. Sitting on the fence : Hesitate between two decisions

  39. Spread like wild fire : Spread quickly

  40. The gift of the gab : Talent for speaking

  41. By hook or by crook : By fair or foul means

  42. Feather one’s own nest : Make money unfairly

  43. Throw out of gear :  Disturb the work

  44. Take to one’s heels : Run away

  45. Tooth and nail : With all one’s power

  46. Die in harness : Die while in service

  47. Take a leaf out of one’s book : Imitate one

  48. Leave no stone unturned : Use all available means

  49. A man of straw : A man of no substance

  50. Read between the lines : Understand the hidden meaning

  51. In cold blood : Deliberately and without emotion

  52. A thorn in the flesh : A constant source of annoyance

  53. Smell a rat : Suspect something foul

  54. Harp on the same string : Dwell on the same subject

  55. Bury the hatchet : End the quarrel and make peace

  56. Leave one in the lurch : Desert one in difficulties; leave one in a helpless condition

  57. Like a fish out of water :  In a strange situation

  58. At one’s beck and call :  Under his control

  59. To make both ends meet : To live within one’s income

  60. In hot water : In trouble

  61. Nip in the bud : Destroy in the early stage

  62. Stick to one’s guns : Remain faithful to the cause

  63. To eat humble pie : To apologize humbly and to yield under humiliating circumstances

  64. In high spirits : Very happy

  65. Put the cart before the horse : Put or do things in the wrong order

  66. To all names : To abuse

  67. On tenterhooks : In a state of suspense and anxiety

  68. Wash one’s dirty linen : Discuss unpleasant in public-private matters before strangers

  69. To bell the cat : To face the risk

  70. A hard nut to crack : A difficult problem

  71. Let the cat out of the bag : Reveal a secret

  72. A big gun : An important person

  73. Kill two birds with one stone : To achieve two results with one effort

  74. Take one to task : Rebuke

  75. Gain ground : Become Popular

  76. To blow one’s own : To praise one’s own trumpet achievement

  77. A bosom friend : A very close friend

  78. A brown study : Dreaming

  79. Turn a deaf ear : Disregard / ignore what one says

  80. A close shave : Narrow escape

  81. Turn over a new leaf : Change for the better

  82. Make up one’s mind : Decide

  83. In the long run Eventually; ultimately

  84. Bring to light : Disclose

  85. Pay off old scores : Take revenge

  86. Hard and fast rules : Strict rules

  87. At the eleventh hour : At the last moment

  88. A close shave : Narrow escape

  89. To cut a sorry figure : To make a poor show

  90. With a high hand : Oppressively

  91. Burn one’s fingers : Get into trouble by interfering in other’s affairs

  92. Laugh one’s head off : Laugh heartily

  93. Chew the cud : Ponder over something

  94. Play second fiddle : Take an unimportant part

  95. Above board : Honest and open

  96. Through thick and thin : Under all conditions

  97. Put a spoke in one’s wheel : To upset one’s plans

  98. At sixes and sevens : In a disordered/disorganized manner, chaotic

  99. At home : Comfortable

  100. Alpha and omega : The beginning and the end

  101. At sea : Confused and lost

  102. A bosom friend : A very close friend

  103. At one’s beck and call : At one’s service

  104. By leaps and bounds : Rapidly

  105. To burn one’s boats : Go back on a decision

  106. To beat about the bush : Talk irrelevantly

  107. To burn candle at both ends : To waste lavishly

  108. Take one to task : Rebuke

  109. A bone of contention : A source of quarrel

  110. Add fuel to the fire : To aggravate the situation

  111. An acid test : A critical test

  112. At a snail’s pace : Very slowly

  113. A bolt from the blue : Something unexpected

  114. To build castles in the air :- Make imaginary schemes

  115. Once in a blue moon :- Something that happens very rarely

  116. Beating around the bush :- Avoiding the main topic

  117. Cry over spilled milk :- Complaining about a loss or failure from the past

  118. Chip on your shoulder : When someone is upset about something that happened a while ago

  119. Piece of cake : Something that is easy to understand or do

  120. Golden handshake : A big sum of money given to a person when he/she leaves a company or retires

  121. Spill the beans : To disclose a secret

  122. Blessing in disguise : Something good and useful that did not initially seem that way

  123. Mean business : Being Serious or Dedicated

  124. Come hell or high water : Possible obstacles in your path

  125. Apple of one’s eye : Being cherished

  126. Bite off more than you can chew : Not able to complete a task due to lack of ability

  127. The best of both worlds : The benefits of widely differing situations, enjoyed at the same time

  128. Feeling a bit under the weather : Feeling slightly ill

  129. Icing on the cake : Something that turns good into great

  130. Cost an arm and a leg : Be very expensive

  131. Jump the bandwagon : To join a popular activity or trend

  132. Ball is in your court : When it is up to you to make the next decision or step

  133. To be in the doldrums : To be in low spirits

  134. To sit on the fence : To remain neutral

  135. Break the ice : To initiate a social conversation or interaction

  136. Hear it on grapevine : To hear rumors about something or someone

  137. Can’t judge a book by its cover : Cannot judge something primarily on appearance

  138. It takes two to tango : Actions or communications need more than one person

  139. Let the cat out of the bag : To reveal the secret carelessly or by mistake

  140. Black and blue : Full of Bruises

  141. Be on cloud nine : Be very happy

  142. Last straw : The final problem in a series of problems

  143. A bird’s eye view : A view from a very high place that allows you to see a very large area

  144. A litmus Test : A method that helps to know if something is correct

  145. At the drop of a hat  : Willingness to do something instantly

  146. Afraid of one’s own shadow :  To become easily frightened

  147. A house of cards : A poor plan

  148. Fool’s paradise  : False sense of happiness

  149. Get a raw deal  : To not be treated as well as other people

  150. Give cold shoulder :  To ignore

  151. Hand to mouth :  Live on only basic necessities

  152. Make a face :  To show dislike or disappointment through facial expressions

  153. It’s Greek to me :  Something that is not understandable

  154. To pour oil on troubled waters  : To make peace

  155. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket  : Do not put all your resources in one basket (in one place or thing)

  156. To put in a nutshell :  To say in a few words or to make something concise

  157. Back out :  To withdraw from a promise or contract

  158. Blow up :  To explode

  159. Back Up :  To support and sustain

  160. Back Upon :  To be relevant

  161. Break Down :  Failure in something

  162. Break off :  To end or discontinue

  163. Break Up :  To disperse / dissolve

  164. Bring up :  To rear

  165. Call forth :  To provoke

  166. Call out : To shout

  167. Call upon :  To order

  168. Carry on :  To continue

  169. Cast away :  To throw aside

  170. Catch up with :  To overtake

  171. Come off :  To take place

  172. Cry Down :  To make little of

  173. Catch up with :  To overtake

  174. Cry out against :  To complain loudly against

  175. Cut out :  Designed for

  176. Drop in :   To Visit Casually

  177. Drop out :  To fall

  178. Fall back :  To Recede; To Retreat

  179. Fall down  : From a higher position to a lower one

  180. Fall off To Withdraw; To Drop Off

  181. Fall under :  To come under

  182. Get along :  To Prosper; To Progress; To Proceed

  183. Get on with :  To Live Pleasantly Together; To Progress

  184. Get into  : To be involved in

  185. Give in :  To Surrender; To Yield

  186. Give over :  Not to do any longer

  187. Go after :  To Follow; To Pursue

  188. Go Down To be accepted

  189. Go without :  To remain without

  190. Go by :  To follow

  191. Hang about :  To Loiter near a place

  192. Hang upon :  To depend upon

  193. Hold out :  To Endure; To Refuse to yield; To continue; To offer

  194. Hold to  : Abide By

  195. Keep off :  To ward off

  196. Keep up with  :  To keep pace with

  197. Knock out :   To win by hitting another one

  198. It takes two to tango :   Both people involved in a bad situation are responsible for it

  199. Last straw :   The final problem in a series of problems

  200. Keep something at bay :   Keep something away

  201. Kill two birds with one stone  :  To solve two problems at a time with just one action

  202. Let sleeping dogs lie :   Leave something alone if it might cause trouble

  203. Open the floodgates :   Release something that was previously under control

  204. Out of the blue :   Happen unexpectedly

  205. Out on a limb :   Do something  risky

  206. Over the Top :   Totally excessive and not suitable for the occasion

  207. Pen is mightier than the sword :   Words and communication have a greater effect than war

  208. Push one’s luck :   Trying to obtain more than what one has

  209. Reap the harvest :   Benefit or suffer as a direct result of past actions

  210. Roll up sleeves :   To get yourself prepared

  211. See eye to eye  :  To be in agreement with

  212. Shot in the dark :   A complete guess

  213. Sink your teeth into  :  Do something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm

  214. Take with a grain/pinch of salt  ;  To doubt theaccuracy of information

  215. Skating on thin ice ;  Do or say something risky

  216. Tight spot ;   A difficult situation

  217. Strike while the iron is hot ;;  To act at the right time

  218. Take the plunge ;;  Venture into something of one’s interest despite the risks involved

  219. Take a nosedive ;  Rapid drop or decrease in value

  220. Think the world of ;   Admire someone very much

  221. Stand in a good stead ;  To be useful or be of good service to someone

  222. Take a back seat ;  Choose to be less important in a role

  223. Wave a dead chicken ;  Do something useless

  224. Whale of a time ;  Enjoy a lot

  225. Wrap one’s brain around ;  Concentrate on something to understand

  226. Zero in on something  ;   Focus all attention on one thing

  227. Above all ;  Chiefly, Mainly

  228. On Account of  ;  Due to

  229. On no account ;  Not for Any Reason

  230. A Fidus Achates ;  A faithful friend or a devoted follower

  231. The Heel of Achilles ;  A Weak Point

  232. An Adonis ;   A very handsome man

  233. To assume airs ;   To affect superiority

  234. To stand aloof ;  To keep to oneself and not mix with others

  235. To lead to the altar ;  To marry

  236. An Ananias  ;  A Liar

  237. An Apollo ;  A Man with Perfect Physique

  238. To Upset the Apple Cart ;  To disturb the peace

  239. Apple Pie Order ;   In perfect order

  240. Arcadian Life ;   A blissful, happy, rural and simple life

  241. To take up arms ;   To fight or go to the war

  242. To Grind ;   To have some selfish objective in view

  243. To break the back of anything ;  To perform the most difficult part

  244. To backbite a person ;   To speak disguise about someone

  245. He has no backbone ;   He has no will of his own

  246. To cause bad blood ;   To Cause Enmity

  247. Bag and Baggage ;   With all one’s belongings

  248. To keep the ball rolling ;   To keep things going

  249. Barmecide feast ;   Imaginary Benefits

  250. Bee-line :   The shortest distance between two places

  251. Behind one’s back :  Without one’s Knowledge

  252. Behind the scenes  :   In Private

  253. To hit below the belt :  To act unfairly in a contest

  254. To bite the dust :   To be Defeated in Battle

  255. A Wet Blanket :   A person who discourages enjoyment or enthusiasm

  256. In Cold Blood :   Deliberately

  257. A blue Stocking :   A learned/educated or intellectual woman

  258. At First Blush :   At first sight

  259. A Bolt from the Blue :   Something completely unexpected that surprises you

  260. One’s bread and butter :   One’s means of livelihood

  261. To breadth one’s last :  To Die

  262. To make bricks without straw :  To attempt to do something without proper materials

  263. To kick the bucket :  To die

  264. Good wine needs no bush :  There is no need to advertise something good

  265. To burn the candle at both ends :  To expend energy in two directions at the same time

  266. If the cap fits, wear it :  If you think the remarks refer to you, then accept the criticism

  267. Care killed the cat :   Don’t fret and worry yourself to death

  268. To Catch one’s eye :   To attract attention

  269. To take the chair :   To preside a meeting

  270. She is no chicken :   She is older than she says

  271. To pick and choose :  To make a careful selection

  272. To square the circle :   To attempt something impossible

  273. Every cloud has a silver lining :   Adverse conditions do not last forever

  274. Close fisted :   Mean

  275. Cut your cloth according to your cloth :   Live within your income

  276. A cock and bull story :   A foolishly incredible story

  277. To be cock sure :   To be perfectly sure or certain

  278. To throw cold water upon anything :   To discourage efforts

  279. Off color :   Not in the usual form

  280. To commit to memory :   To learn by heart

  281. Too many cooks spoil the broth :   Where there are more workers than necessary

  282. Crocodile tears :   Hypocritical Tears

  283. By hook or by crook :   By fair or foul means

  284. Cut and dried :   Ready made

  285. Up to date :   Recent

  286. Evil days :   A period of misfortune

  287. Halcyon Days :   A time when there are peace and happiness in the land

  288. To step into dead man’s shoes :  To come into an inheritance

  289. Go to the devil :   Be off

  290. Devil’s bones :   Dice

  291. Devil’s Playthings :   Playing Cards

  292. Give a dog a bad name and hang him :  Once a person loses his reputation

  293. Every dog has his day :  Sooner or later, everyone has his share of good fortune

  294. To throw dust in one’s eyes :   To try to deceive someone or mislead someone

  295. A white elephant :   A useless possession which is extremely expensive to keep

  296. To set the Thames on fire :   To do something sensational or remarkable

  297. A burnt child dreads the fire :   One who has had a previous unpleasant experience is always scared of situations where such experiences are likely to be repeated

  298. A fish out of water :   Anyone in an awkward

  299. Foul play :   Cheating

  300. To jump from a frying pan into fire :   To come out of one trouble and get into a worse

  301. All that glitters are not gold :   Things are not always as attractive as they appear

  302. To die in harness :   To continue at one’s occupation until death

  303. Make hay while the sun shines :   Take advantage of all opportunities

  304. Lock, stock and barrel :   The whole of everything

  305. A miss is as good as a mile :   Comes nowhere near it. If someone narrowly misses the target it still is treated as a missed one or failure.

  306. To move heaven and earth :   To exert all efforts

  307. One swallow does not make a summer :   It is unreliable to base one’s conclusions on only a single test or incident

  308. If wishes were horses, beggars might ride : If wishing could make things happen, then even the most destitute people would have everything they wanted

  309. A nine days’ wonder :   An event which relates a sensation for a time but is soon forgotten

  310. Yellow press :   Newspapers which publish sensational and unscrupulous stories and exaggerates the news to attract readers.

  311. A ball park figure :    A general financial figure

  312. To balance the books :    To make certain that the amount of money spent is not more than the amount of money received.

  313. A cash cow :   A product or service that makes a lot of money for a company

  314. Devil’s Advocate :   To present a counter argument

  315. Don’t give up the day job :   You are not very good at something. You could not do it professionally.

  316. To cook the books :    To modify financial statements

  317. To get the sack :   To be dismissed from your job

  318. To be snowed under :   To be very busy

  319. To work your fingers to the bone Or To sweat blood :    To work really hard

  320. Hear it on the grapevine :    To hear rumors

  321. In the heat of the moment :    Overwhelmed by what is happening in the moment

  322. Not a spark of decency :    No Manners

  323. Speak of the devil! :     This expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives

  324. Whole nine yards :    Everything All of it

  325. Your guess is as good as mine :    To have no idea about anything