English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - I
|break the ice||A person who
breaks the ice is someone who does or
says something to make people relax in an
He started by telling a joke to break the ice.
|icing on the cake||
If something is referred to as icing on
the cake, it is an extra benefit that
makes a good situation even better.
Good news! I get the job ... and the icing on the cake is that I get a company car too!
|identity theft||The crime of using another person's personal information (name, credit card number, etc.) without his/her knowledge, to set up and use bank accounts and credit facilities is known as identity theft.|
|idiot box||Some people consider television to lack
educational value and refer to it as the
He spends all his free time in front of the idiot box.
|if it ain't broke don't fix it||This expression means that if a system
or method works well, you shouldn't change
We're not touching our alarm system. As the saying goes : if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
|if you can't stand the heat||The expression 'if you can't stand
the heat, get out of the kitchen' means
that if you feel there is too much pressure,
you can leave.
Amid the growing tension the organiser declared :
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!"
|ignorance is bliss||This means that if you don't know about
a problem or unpleasant fact, you won't
worry about it.
I didn't know our neighbour was an escaped prisoner until the police arrived - ignorance is bliss!
|ill-gotten gains||Money, profit or benefits that are made
in a dishonest or illegal manner are called
He won money by cheating and is now enjoying his ill-gotten gains.
|industrial strength||This is a humorous way of referring to
something which is very strong, powerful or
I've got an industrial-strength headache this morning!
|infomania||If you are constantly checking and
responding to email and text messages, you
may be the victim of a recent addiction
The abuse of technology has lead to a state of infomania; employees are becoming addicted to checking email and text messages during meetings.
|in cahoots||If one person is in cahoots
with another, they are working in close
partnership, usually conspiring to do
There was a rumour that the mayor was in cahoots with a chain of supermarkets.
|in a class of one's own||If someone is in a class of their
own, they are unequalled and considered
better than anyone else of their kind.
As a singer, Maria Callas was in a class of her own.
|in dire straits||If a person or organisation is in
dire straits, they are in a very
The loss of major contracts has put the company in dire straits.
|in essence||The term in essence means
'basically', fundamentally' or 'essentially'
and refers to the most important or
In essence, lightning is a great big spark of electricity.
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