English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - D
|dab hand at something||If you're a dab
hand at something, you're very good at
Why don't you call Suzy? She's a dab hand at organizing barbecues.
|put a damper on||
If someone or something puts a damper
on a situation or event, they make it
less successful or enjoyable.
The party was going great until the neighbour's complaints put a damper on it.
If you dance attendance on
somebody, you are constantly available for
that person and attend to their wishes.
She's rich and famous and expects everyone to dance attendance on her.
|dance to someone's tune||If you dance to someone's tune,
you do whatever that person tells you to do.
He is the company's major shareholder so the management has to dance to his tune.
|in the dark||If someone is kept or left in the
dark about something, they are not
informed about it.
The personnel was kept in the dark about the merger until the last minute.
|darken someone's door||If you darken somebody's door,
you come as an unwanted or unwelcome
Just get out of here and never darken my door again!
|call it a day||To sey 'let's call it a day' is
a way of suggesting that it is time to stop
doing something, usually because of
After one last phone call, I decided to call it a day.
|day late and a dollar short||If something is a day late and a
dollar short, it comes too late and
is not good enough.
They offered me an internship when I had already found a job - a day late and a dollar short!
|daylight robbery||The term daylight robbery is
used when the price of something is thought
to be much too high.
$10 for an orange juice? That's daylight robbery!
|dead as a dodo||To say that something is (as) dead
as a dodo means that it is
unquestionably dead or obsolete, or has gone
out of fashion.
(A dodo is a bird that is now extinct.)
The floppy disk is an invention that is now (as) dead as a dodo.
|dead as a doornail||This expression is used to stress that a
person or thing is very definitely dead.
They've started fighting again, so the peace agreement is now as dead as
|dead cert||Something that is certain to happen or
be achieved is a dead cert.
After such praise, his appointment as captain of the team is a dead cert.
|dead duck||This expression refers to a project or
scheme which has been abandoned or is
certain to fail.
The new cinema is going to be a dead duck because it's too far away from the town centre.
|dead in the water||A plan or project that is dead in
the water is at a standstill or has
ceased to function and is unlikely to be
reactivated in the future.
Because of the crisis, the planned housing development is now dead in the water.
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