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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - A 

(Idioms A page 5 :  upset the applecart → at all costs)

upset the applecart If you upset (or overturn) the applecart, you spoil a satisfactory plan or situation.
I hope Julie doesn't attend the meeting; she could upset the applecart. 
apple-pie order If something is in apple-pie order, it is well organised or in perfect order.
They made sure the house was in apple-pie order before their parents arrived back home. 
apron strings If one person is tied to another's apron strings, they remain dependent at an age when they should be independent.
All his decisions are influenced by his mother. He's still tied to her apron strings. 
argue the toss If you argue the toss, you dispute a decision or choice which has already been made.
The final choice was made yesterday, so don't argue the toss now! 
arm of the law This expression refers to the extent to which the authority or power of the law extends.
He fled to South America hoping to escape the arm of the law. 
give your right arm If you say "Id give my right arm for that", you mean that you want it a lot and would do almost anything to obtain it.
 I'd give my right arm to have an apartment on Central Park. 
cost an arm and a leg If something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive.
The house cost us an arm and a leg, but we have no regrets. 
be up in arms If you are up in arms , you are very angry about something and protest very strongly.
The population was up in arms over the demolition of the old theatre. 
keep someone at arm's length If you keep someone at arm's length, you do not allow yourself to become friendly with them.
It's not easy to become friends with Sophie;  she tends to keep everyone at arm's length. 
armchair critic An armchair critic is someone who gives advice based on theory rather than practice.
That guy is such an armchair critic - no experience but plenty of advice. 
armchair traveller Someone who reads books or watches TV programmes about other places and countries, but doesn't actually travel anywhere, is called an armchair traveller.
 A surprising number of adventure books are bought by armchair travellers. 
asking for trouble Someone who is asking for trouble is behaving so stupidly that he/she is likely to have problems.
Driving fast on these roads is really asking for trouble! 
asleep at the wheel If you say that someone is asleep at the wheel, you mean that they are not sufficiently attentive, especially at a critical moment when vigilance is required.
When the firemen arrived too late at the scene, the night watchman was accused of being asleep at the wheel. 
at all costs If you are determined to obtain or achieve something at all costs, you want it regardless of the expense, effort or sacrifice involved.
The journalist was determined at all costs to get a report from the war zone. 
    
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 alphabetical lists A ... 

A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6

 more alphabetical lists ... 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z