English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - D
|dice with death||If you put your
life at risk by doing something very
dangerous, you dice with death.
Going mountain-climbing alone is dicing with death.
|dicey situation||Any situation that
is potentially risky or dangerous is called
a dicey situation.
The politician put himself in a dicey situation by getting involved with an intern.
|die is cast||To say that the
die is cast means that an irrevocable
decision has been made that will determine
I've handed in my resignation, so now the die is cast!
|die with one's boots on||A person who
dies with their boots on dies while
still leading an active life.
He says he'll never retire. He'd rather die with his boots on!
|(as) different as night and day||Two people or
things that are very different from each
other are as different as night and day.
Although they are twins they are as different as night and day.
|different kettle of fish||To describe a
person, thing or situation as a
different kettle of fish means that it
is completely different from what was
You may have good business relations, but living in that country is a different kettle of fish.
|different strokes for different folks||Each
individual has their own tastes and
requirements. What suits one person may not
Alison really enjoys gardening, whereas Julie finds it a chore. Different strokes for different folks!
|dig in one's heels||If
you dig in your heels, you refuse
to do something, especially if someone is
trying to convince you to do so.
My grandfather dug in his heels and refused to move to an apartment.
|dig one's own grave||A
person who digs their own grave
does something which causes their own
If you drop out of college now, with such high unemployment, you'll be digging your own grave.
|take a dim view||If
you take a dim view of something,
you dislike or disapprove of it.
My previous boss took a dim view of wearing casual clothes to work.
dip toes in the water/
get one's feet wet
|If you dip your
toes in the water, or get your feet
wet, you start to do something new or
unfamiliar, or explore new territory for the
It will be a new experience for me, but I can't wait to get my feet wet!
|(in) dire straits||If a
person or organisation is in dire
straits, they are in a very difficult
The loss of major contracts has put the company in dire straits.
|do someone's dirty work||To do
somebody's dirty work means to do the
unpleasant or difficult work that another
person does not want to do.
Life is easy for Harry. He always finds someone to do his dirty work!
wash ones dirty linen
|To wash one's
dirty linen in public means to talk
about unpleasant personal matters in the
presence of others.
'Argue in private. Don't wash your dirty linen in public.' was my grandmother's advice.
|disappear into thin air||If someone or
something disappears into thin air,
they vanish in a mysterious way.
After being accused of embezzlement, the director disappeared into thin air.
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