English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - K
|keep options open||When you keep your options open,
you postpone making a decision so that you
can choose among several possible courses of
The offer sounds good, but keep your options open until you're sure it's the best choice.
|keep posted||If someone asks you to keep them
posted, they want you to keep them
informed about a situation.
Our agent promised to keep us posted on developments in the negotiations.
|keep in proportion||If you react to a situation in a
sensible way, without exaggerating the
importance or seriousness of the facts, you
keep things in proportion.
Yes, we've got a problem, but let's try to keep things in proportion.
|keep your shirt on!||If you tell somebody to keep their
shirt on, you are asking them to calm
Keep your shirt on Bob. Just give your version of the story!
|keep a stiff upper lip||If a person keeps a stiff upper lip,
they contain their emotion and do not let
other people see their feelings.
When she heard the bad news, she kept a stiff upper lip.
|keep under your hat||
To keep something under one's hat
means to keep a secret.
My boss has promised me a promotion, but it's not official yet, so keep it under your hat.
|keep under wraps||If something is kept under wraps,
it is held secret and not revealed to
The plan was kept under wraps until the contract as officially signed.
|keep up appearances||A person who keeps up appearances
maintains an outward show of prosperity or
well-being in order to hide their
difficulties from others.
He continued to keep up appearances even when business was bad.
|keep up with Joneses||Someone who tries to keep up with
the Joneses tries to have the same
possessions or social achievements as
First the Browns moved their children to an expensive school. Now the Smiths have done the same. It's silly how some people feel they have to keep up with the Joneses!
|keep wolf from door||To
keep the wolf from the door you need
to have enough money to buy food and other
basic essentials in order to survive.
My grandparents earned barely enough money to keep the wolf from the door.
|put the kibosh on||If you do something to prevent a plan or
activity from happening or developing, you
put the kibosh on it.
The bank's refusal to grant him a loan put the kibosh on Jack's project.
|kick the bucket||To kick the bucket is a
lighthearted way of talking about death.
He will inherit when his grandfather kicks the bucket.
|kick up a fuss||A person who kicks up a fuss
creates a disturbance, especially by
complaining or protesting about something.
The service was so slow in the restaurant that several customers began to kick up a fuss.
|get a kick out of||If you get a
kick out of something, you feel
enjoyment or excitement from something.
Tania is a bit strange - she gets a kick out of listening to other people's phone messages.
|kick yourself||If you feel like
kicking yourself, you are angry
with yourself for something you have or have
I could have kicked myself for forgetting Emily's birthday.
|more alphabetical lists ...|