English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - D
|sitting duck||A sitting duck
is an easy target, a person who is easy to
The young girl was a sitting duck for the photographer.
dull at ditchwater
dull as dishwater
dull as ditchwater is very boring.
The film was as dull as ditchwater. I nearly fell asleep.
|dumb as an oyster||Someone who is as
dumb as an oyster will never reveal
something told in confidence or betray a
Sophie will never repeat what you tell her. She's as dumb as an oyster.
|dumbing down||If something, such
as a television programme or a film
production, is dumbed down, it is
deliberately made less intelligent or less
demanding in order to attract a larger
Some TV channels are dumbing down their programmes in an attempt to increase their audience ratings.
|bite the dust||This expression is
used to talk about death in a light-hearted
It's a story about a cowboy who hits the dust during a train robbery.
|dry as dust||Something that is
as dry as dust is very dry indeed.
This expression can also refer to something dull and uninteresting.
The ground was as dry as dust. / His speech was as dry as dust.
Dust bunnies are clumps of dust,
usually found on the floor, in corners or
under furniture, in places where the
housework is not done regularly.
The house hadn't been cleaned in weeks. There were dust bunnies everywhere.
|dust has settled||To say that the
dust has settled means that the
situation has become calmer after a series
of unpleasant or chaotic events.
After her difficult divorce, she waited until the dust had settled before making any plans.
|throw dust in eyes||If you throw
dust in someone's eyes, you prevent
them from seeing the truth by misleading
He threw dust in the old lady's eyes by pretending to be a police officer, then stole her jewellery.
|go Dutch||To go Dutch
with somebody means to share the cost
of something such as a meal or a concert.
Young people today tend to go Dutch when they go out together.
|above and beyond the call of duty||If a person does
something which is over and above the
call of duty, they show a greater
degree of courage or effort than is usually
required or expected in their job.
The fire-fighter received a medal for his action which went above and beyond the call of duty.
|duty bound||If you are duty
bound to do something, you are required
to do it
as part of your obligations.
Teachers are duty bound to report a pupil's absence from school.
|dwell on something||If someone
dwells on something, they think or talk
about it all the time.
My mother-in-law has health problems, but I wish she wouldn't always dwell on the subject!
|dyed-in-the-wool||This expression is
used to describe a person who has fixed,
uncompromising, deep-felt beliefs to which
they are committed.
Bob and Jane are dyed-in-the-wool ecologists who use only
|dying for something||If you are
dying for something, you have a strong
desire for it!.
I'm dying for a cup of tea!
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