English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - C
|cold turkey||This term means to
immediately and completely stop an addictive
substance, a regular activity or a
behavioural pattern, instead of ending it
When Dave decided to stop smoking, he did it cold turkey on January 1st
|collect dust||If something is
collecting dust, it hasn't been touched
or used for a long period of time.
My dad doesn't play golf any more. His clubs are collecting dust now.
|collect one's thoughts||If you collect
your thoughts, you try to think calmly
and clearly in order to prepare yourself
mentally for something.
Anne stopped to collect her thoughts before calling back the customer.
|off colour||If you are off
colour, you look or feel ill.
What's the matter with Tom? He looks a bit off colour today.
|come apart at the seams||To say that someone
is coming apart at the seams means
that they are extremely upset or under
severe mental stress.
Bob has had so many problems lately, he's coming apart at the seams.
|come clean||To come clean
about something means to tell the truth.
The boy was encouraged to come clean and tell the authorities what happened.
|come hell or high water||If you say that you
will do something come hell or high water,
you mean that you will do it in spite of the
Come hell or high water, I've got to be on time for the interview.
|come in all shapes and sizes||Something that can
be found in many different forms, types or
varieties, comes in all shapes and sizes.
Computers come in all shapes and sizes these days.
|come in handy||To say that
something may come in handy means
that it may be useful some time or other.
Don't throw away those old shelves; they may come in handy one day.
|come into one's own||When you come
into your own, you finally obtain
rightful recognition of your ability or
talent and begin to have success.
He's a talented violinist who has at last come into his own.
|come to a bad end||If someone
comes to a bad end, their actions lead
to disastrous consequences which are
sometimes deserved or predictable.
If that boy doesn't change his ways, he'll come to a bad end.
|come to blows||If two or more
people come to blows, they start to
The debate was so intense that the participants almost came to blows.
|come to the crunch||To talk about what
to do if or when a situation comes to
the crunch means when it becomes
critical and a decision has to be made.
I'm running out of money. If it comes to the crunch, I'll sell my car.
|come to grief||If someone or
something comes to grief, they
either have an accident, are destroyed or
end in failure.
Their plans for a golf course came to grief when it was decided to build a motorway.
|come to grips||If you come to
grips with a problem or situation, you
start to understand or deal with it
After the initial shock, the patient began to come to grips with his disability.
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