Insurance Exams

350 Useful Idioms and Phrases for SSC CGL and Bank Exams

50 Useful Idioms and Phrases for SSC CGL and Bank Exams
 

350 Important Idioms and Phrases

 

  • Belle – It means Pretty Woman.
  • Belles Letter – Beautiful Literature
  • Bon Jour – Good Morning
  • Bon Voyage – A pleasant Journey.
  • Bon Ton – Stylish
  • Boutique – A shop selling trendy garments  for ladies.
  • Bourgeois – Middle Class.
  • Buffet – Self Service Meal
  • Carte Blanche – Full Freedom to take action
  • Chutzpah – Arrogance
  • Communique – An official Statement.
  • Demode – Out of fashion
  • Concierge – Caretaker of a building
  • Coiffeur – Hair Dresser.
  • De Profundis – An Expression of Deep Sorrow.
  • Diaspora – Scattering
  • Dramatis Personae – Characters in a play
  • Eureka – Discovery of found something.
  • Entente – Undertsnading between two nations, places, etc.
  • Genre – Class , Group, Classification.
  • Habeas Corpus – Produce the person in the Court.
  • In Loco Parentis – In place of Guardian, Parents
  • Ignoramus – We Don’t know, An ignorant Person.
  • Omega – The End
  • Alpha – The begening
  • In Situ – In its original situation or place
  • Interim – Temporary, Mean while (Example Interim Budget it means temporary budget)
  • Lapsus Lingua – Manner of Operating
  • Alpha – The begenning
  • No Plus – Puzzled
  • Outre – Fantastic, Awesome, Mindblowing
  • Perestroika – Rebuilt, Reconstruct
  • Post Prandial – After dinner
  • Safari – An adventurous Journey
  • Suite – A set of rooms as one unit.
  • Yakuza – Gangster.
  • To Act smart – Behave in an arrogant or unfair manners.
  • To act for moon – T5o expect something impossible.
  • To cry over spilled milk – To grieve over the loss that cannot be recovered.
  • To get into hot water – To get into serious problems
  • To burns someones boat – To destroy all means of going back.
  • To burn the midnight Oil – To work or study till night (Example – Like You are studying very hard to get a Job)
  • A far Cry – Quite Different
  • Cry out for – Demand Something
  • Cry Wolf – To raise a false alarm.
  • To full foul of – To run against.
  • A Wolf in sheeps Clothing – An apparently harmless person who is dangerously.
  • Above Board – Fair and Honest
  • Mealy Mothed – Soft spoken but insincere.
  • From Pillar to Post – From one place to another.

 

300+ Useful Idioms & Phrases to Crack SSC & IBPS English Exams

 

S.No.

Idioms & Phrases

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

Readymade

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 boneOrTo 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

 

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