English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms- I
|in the first place||Someone that is done in the first
place is done at the beginning, before
Why didn't you tell me in the first place that he was your boyfriend?
It would have saved a lot of embarrassment.
|in keeping with||If something is in keeping with,
for example, a style or tradition, it is
suitable or appropriate in a particular
We exchange presents at Christmas in keeping with tradition.
|in the heat of the moment||If you say or do something in the
heat of the moment, you say or do it
without pausing to think, at a time when you
are experiencing unusually strong emotions
such as anger, excitement, etc.
I was so angry that in the heat of the moment I said things that I later regretted.
|in the interim||Something that happens in the
interim takes place during a period of
time between two events.
I won't have the apartment until next month. In the interim I'm staying at a local hotel.
|in inverted commas||When describing something, if you use a
word which you say is
'in inverted commas', you indicate that the word is not quite true or appropriate.
We were served a 'meal', in inverted commas, but we were too hungry to complain.
|in leaps and bounds||If you do something
in leaps and bounds, you make rapid or
spectacular progress or growth.
The number of subscribers to the newsletter has grown in leaps and bounds.
|in the long run||This term refers to
something that will have effect over or
after a long period of time.
Learning Chinese is going to be difficult, but it'll be worth it in the long run because it will help me to get a better job.
|in the lurch||If something leaves
you in the lurch, it leaves you in
a difficult or embarrassing situation.
When Paul missed the last bus, he was left in the lurch.
|in the middle of nowhere||If a place is
in the middle of nowhere, it is in a
remote area, far from towns, villages or
The campsite was in the middle of nowhere so I couldn't send you a postcard.
|in mint condition||Something that is
in mint condition is in such perfect
condition that it looks new or as good as
The car is 10 years old but according to Tom it's in mint condition.
|in one's own sweet time||If you do something
in your own sweet time, you take as
long as you please to do it, in spite of the
wishes of others.
OK, I'll do it - but in my own sweet time!
|in over your head||If you are in over your head,
you are involved in something that is too
difficult for you to handle.
I accepted to organise the festival, but I quickly realized that I was in over my head.
|in raptures||If you are in
raptures, you are delighted or very
Amanda is in raptures about her new apartment.
|in retrospect||This expression
refers to a past situation or event,
particularly if your present opinion is
different from the one you had at the time.
In retrospect, we were not aware of the effects on the environment.
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