English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - D
|dead loss||Someone or something described as a
dead loss is absolutely useless or a
When it comes to gardening, my brother is a dead loss.
|dead man walking||A dead man walking is someone
who will inevitably be in great trouble very
soon, especially a person who is about to
lose their job or position.
Because of the way he handled the recent riots, the minister is a dead man walking.
|dead right||This is an emphatic way of telling
someone that what they are saying is
absolutely correct, without doubt.
This is a bad time to leave a job - you're dead right!
|dead set against||If you are dead
set against something, you are strongly
opposed to it.
My father wanted a dog, but my mother was dead set against the idea.
|dead wood||The term dead
wood refers to people or things which
are no longer considered useful or
The new manager wants to reduce costs by cutting out the dead wood.
|dead to the world||A person who is dead to the world
is fast asleep.
Don't worry. You won't disturb him. He's dead to the world!
|wouldn't be caught dead||If someone says
that they wouldn't be caught or seen
dead in a particular place or doing
something, they mean that they would be too
ashamed or embarrassed.
My seven-year-old son thinks he's a big boy; he wouldn't be caught dead holding my hand in front of his friends!
you turn a deaf ear to something,
you refuse to listen.
Sandy turned a deaf ear to the guide's advice and got lost in the mountains.
|raw deal||If you say that
someone got a raw deal, you think
they were treated unfairly or badly.
When Gary lost his job after organizing the merger, he really got.
a raw deal!
|deck out||If you deck out
someone or something, you dress or decorate
them in a special way.
Paul decked out his car for the wedding.
|deep down||If you talk about
how someone is, or feels, deep down,
you are describing what they are like or
what they really feel deep inside, behind
the outward appearance.
He appears to be indifferent to his success, but deep down he's very happy.
|deep pockets||A person or
organisation who has deep pockets
has a lot of money.
Andy's business is not doing well at the moment. He says he needs a friend with deep pockets!
|go off the deep end||A person who
goes off the deep end becomes suddenly
very angry or emotional.
He started shouting and throwing things around the office. He really went off the deep end.
|like a deer/rabbit caught in the headlights||When you are so surprised that you are
momentarily confused or unable to react
quickly, you are like a deer (or a
rabbit) caught in the headlights.
Surprised by the journalist's question, he was like a deer caught in the headlights.
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