English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - M
|smack dab in the middle||If something is
smack dab in the middle, it is right in
I couldn't hide the stain on my shirt. It was smack dab in the middle.
|burn the midnight oil||A person who
burns the midnight oil stays up very
late at night in order to finish a piece of
Tony is working hard for his exams. He's been burning the midnight oil all week.
|might is right||This saying
expresses the belief that being the most
powerful person or country gives you the
right to do whatever you want.
There are many leaders today who believe that might is right.
|milk of human kindness||Someone who has, or
is full of, the milk of human kindness,
is naturally kind and compassionate to
She's a wonderful person - full of the milk of human kindness.
|go/put through the mill||If you go
(or are put) through the mill,
you experience a very difficult period, or
are exposed to rough treatment.
When I was an intern, I was put through the mill. Nothing went unnoticed.
|look/feel like a million dollars||If you look or
feel like a million dollars, you look
or feel extremely good.
With a tan and a new hairstyle, she looked like a million dollars.
|millstone around neck||Something described
as a millstone around your neck
refers to a problem or responsibility that
becomes a burden and a source of worry.
The money he borrowed became a millstone around his neck.
|(not) mince words||Someone who does
not mince their words expresses
their opinions, ideas or thoughts very
clearly, even if they offend others by doing
Come on John! Tell us what you really think - and don't mince your words.
|mind over matter||The mental power to
influence one's body and overcome physical
difficulties is said to be a question of
mind over matter.
He know he could not be cured, but he managed to live until the baby was born - a case of mind over matter.
|mind of your own||If you have a
mind of your own, you are capable of
forming an opinion and making decisions
without being influenced by others.
The boy doesn't need any advice; he's got a mind of his own.
|the mind boggles||The expression
'the mind boggles' is used as a
reaction to something that you find amazing
or difficult to understand.
She crossed the Atlantic alone - can you imagine? - the mind boggles!
|cross your mind||If an idea or
thought crosses your mind, you
suddenly think of it.
It has just crossed my mind that the shops are closed today.
|have you gone out of your mind?||If you ask someone
if they have gone out of their mind,
you think they are crazy, foolish or insane.
You're going to ask for a 100% salary increase? Have you gone out of your mind?
|mind your own business! (rude)||
Telling someone to mind their own
business is a (rude) way of saying that
they are too interested in what others are
doing, or that they are interfering in
something that does not concern them.
Don't tell me what to do - just mind your own business!
|mind/watch your language||This is said to warn someone to be
careful what they say so as not to upset or
Your grandfather doesn't tolerate rudeness, so mind your language when we go to visit him!
|mind your Ps and Qs||If you tell someone
to mind their Ps and Qs, you are
advising them to be careful about how they
behave and what they say.
Politeness is very important to my grandparents, so mind your Ps and Qs.
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