English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - A
If something has existed or been somewhere
all along, it has been there all the
time, from the beginning.
I had been looking for my keys for some time before I realized they had been in my pocket all along.
|all the better for (something)||
If you are all the better for something,
you benefit from it or feel much better as a
result of it.
You'll be all the better for a good night's rest.
|all brawn and no brain||
Someone who is physically very strong but
not very intelligent is said to be
all brawn and no brain.
He's an impressive player to watch, but he's all brawn and no brain.
|all clear||If you are allowed
to do something after a check-up to make
sure that everything is all right, you get
the all clear.
Dad says he's going to play golf again as soon as he gets the all clear from his doctor.
|all ears||To say that you are
means that you are listening very
Of course I want to know - I'm all ears!
|all hands on deck||When there is a
need for all hands on deck,
everyone must help, especially when there is
a lot of work to be done in a short amount
As the opening day approached, it was all hands on deck to have everything ready in time.
|all in your head||If something is
all in your head, it is not real. It
is in your imagination.
Don't be silly. Nobody is trying to harm you. It's all in your head!
|all hell broke loose||If you say that
all hell broke loose, you mean that
there was a sudden angry or noisy reaction
All hell broke loose when it was announced that the plant was going to close down.
|all that jazz||This expression
means 'all that stuff', 'other similar
things', or 'everything of that kind'.
Let's get out the tinsel, the fairy lights and all that jazz to decorate the Christmas tree.
|of all people||To use the term
'of all people' emphasizes that the
person you mention, more than anyone else,
is the one you would expect to do something.
As an artist, you, of all people, should support the new art gallery.
|all systems go||When everything is
ready for an activity or event to begin, you
can say that all systems go.
We've got an office, a telephone and the internet, so on Monday it's all systems go!
|all things to all people||If you are all
things to all people, you please or
She's exhausted trying to be a good wife, a good mother and a good teacher, but she can't be all things to all people.
|all things being equal||This expression
refers to a probable situation if, in all
other ways, the conditions remain unchanged
All (other) things being equal, a reduction in the cost of transport should enable us to lower our prices.
|all the rage||When something is
all the rage, it has become very
popular or trendy.
Twittering text messages is all the rage these days, both among individuals and companies.
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