English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - D
|dressed up to the nines||Someone dressed
up to the nines is wearing very smart
or glamorous clothes.
Caroline must be going to a party - she's dressed up to the nines.
|dribs and drabs||If something comes
in dribs and drabs, it arrives
little by little, in small amounts or
Instead of the crowed expected, people arrived in dribs and drabs.
|get someone's drift||If you get
someone's drift, you understand in a
general way what they are trying to say.
I didn't understand every word but I got the drift.
|drink like a fish||A person who
drinks like a fish is one who drinks a
I'm nervous if Ben drives when we go out because he drinks like a fish!
|drive a hard bargain||A person who
drives a hard bargain always makes sure
they gain advantage in a business deal.
Be prepared for tough negotiations with Dan. He drives a hard bargain.
|drive up the wall||If somebody or
something drives you up the wall,
they do something that greatly annoys or
I can't concentrate with all the noise - it's driving me up the wall.
|drop a bombshell||If you drop a
bombshell, you make an unexpected
announcement which will greatly change a
The chairman dropped a bombshell when he announced the merger with the company's biggest rival.
|drop like flies||If
people drop like flies, they fall
ill or die in large numbers.
There's a 'flu epidemic right now. Senior citizens are dropping like flies.
|drop of a hat||If you do something
at the drop of a hat, you do it
immediately and without hesitation.
I've got great friends. They're ready to help out at the drop of a hat.
|drop names||When you drop
names, you mention the names of famous
people you know or have met in order to
There goes Jack dropping names again. People will get tired of listening to him!
|drop in the ocean||A drop in the
ocean is a very small quantity compared
to the amount needed or expected.
The revenue from the proposed tax reform is a drop in the ocean compared to the deficit.
|drop someone a line||If you drop
someone a line, you write a letter to
I always drop her a line to wish her a Merry Christmas.
|drop like a hot potato||If you drop
someone or something like a hot potato,
you leave them or immediately stop
associating with them.
As soon as the article was published, she dropped him like a hot potato.
|ready to drop||Someone who is
ready to drop is nearly too exhausted
to stay standing.
I've been shopping all day with Judy. I'm ready to drop!
|drum into someone's head||If
you teach something to someone through
constant repetition, you drum it into
When we were kids at school, multiplication tables were drummed into our heads.
|dry (or dummy) run||If
you organise a rehearsal, a trial exercise
or a practice session
of something, in realistic conditions, to see how well it will work before it is launched, you do a dry run.
Let's do a dry run of the ceremony to make sure everything goes smoothly.
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