English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - B
|battle of wills||A conflict,
argument or struggle where both sides are
determined to win is described as a
battle of wills.
When they separated, neither party would make concessions - it was a battle of wills.
|be full of beans||A person who is
full of beans is lively, healthy and
He may be getting old but he's still full of beans.
|be my guest||This expression is
used to give someone permission to do
If you'd like to use the phone, be my guest.
|be-all and end-all||To say that
something is not the be-all and end-all
means that it is not what matters most or
what is most essential.
Good schools are not the be-all and end-all of educating a child.
|be that as it may||This expression
means that what the speaker says may be true
but it will not change the situation.
OK. Fewer people may come because of the bad weather, but be that as it may, it's too late to cancel the show.
|bear the brunt||A person who
bears the brunt of something is the one
who suffers the most when something bad or
When things go wrong, his assistant always has to bear the brunt of his anger.
|bear fruit||If something
bears fruit, it produces positive or
After years of hard work, his research finally began to bear fruit.
|bear in mind||If a person asks
bear something in mind, they are
asking you to remember it because it is
You must bear in mind that the cost of living is higher in New York.
|bear with a sore head||If someone is
behaving like a
bear with a sore head, they are
very irritable and bad-tempered.
When his team lost the match, Brad was like a bear with a sore head.
|beard the lion in his den||If you visit
someone important in the place where they
work, in order to challenge him/her or
you beard the lion in his den.
If he continues to refuse my calls, I'll have to beard the lion in his den.
|beat one's brain out||If someone
beats their brains out, they try very
hard to understand something or solve a
My grandmother beats her brains out every evening trying to do the crossword puzzle in the newspaper.
|beat around the bush||This expression is
used to tell someone to say what they have
to say, clearly and directly, even if it is
Stop beating around the bush. Just tell me what has been decided!
|beat/flog a dead horse||To say that someone
is beating a dead horse means that
they are wasting time and effort trying to
do or achieve something that is impossible.
Mark is beating a dead horse trying to get his money reimbursed.
The company has gone bankrupt!
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