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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - D 

(Idioms D page 5 :  disaster written all over  → dog-eat-dog)

disaster written all over If something, such as a plan or idea, has disaster written all over it, it is thought to be heading for complete failure, or will cause a lot of trouble.
Mary's idea of a holiday with her in-laws has disaster written all over it!
dive in headfirst If you begin something enthusiastically, without thinking about the possible consequences, you dive in headfirst.
Tony accepted the project without realizing the time it would take; he always dives in headfirst!
do a double take Someone who does a double take looks again in surprise at something unexpected.
He did a double take when he saw his wife in a restaurant with another man.
do a disappearing act If someone does a disappearing act, they simply vanish, especially if they have done something wrong or dishonest.
Just before the police arrived, the suspect did a disappearing act.
do a good turn If you do someone a good turn, you act in a  helpful way.
Mike is a great guy - always ready to do a good turn.
(not) do justice to Something that does not show the true value of someone or something does not do justice to them/it.
The photograph doesn't do her justice; she's much prettier than that.
do more harm than good If the effect of an action is more damaging than helpful, it does more harm than good.
Giving him money did more harm than good - he spent it on alcohol.
do nothing by halves When a person does everything they are engaged in completely and thoroughly, they are said to do nothing by halves.
When she cooks, it's a four-course meal - she does nothing by halves!
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!
do the spadework Someone who does the spadework does the preparatory work or the preliminary research.
Although I did all the spadework, my name was never mentioned.
do the trick If something does the trick, it does exactly what is needed, or achieves the desired effect.
Another coat of paint should do the trick.
just what the doctor ordered If something is just what the doctor ordered, it is extremely pleasant and will help you feel better.
A week-end in the sun - just what the doctor ordered!
a doddle If a task or activity is a doddle, it is very easy to do or perform.
"How did it go?"  "No problem, it was a doddle."
dodge a bullet If you dodge a bullet, you narrowly avoid a very serious problem or a disaster.
I dodged a bullet when I missed the plane.  It crashed just after take-off.
dog-eat-dog This expression refers to intense competition and rivalry in pursuit of one's own interests, with no concern for morality.
The business world is tough today. There's a general dog-eat-dog attitude.
   
Lists D D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
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