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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - M

(page 8 :  reach for the moon → move heaven and earth)

reach for the moon If you reach for the moon, you are very ambitious and try to achieve something even it it is difficult.
Jenny is talented and ambitious; she always tends to reach for the moon.
moonlight flit Someone who does a moonlight flit leaves a place quickly and in secret, usually to avoid paying debts.
Just before the rent was due he did a moonlight flit.
moot point A subject which gives rise to argument or debate is called a moot point.
Whether Bach composed it himself or not is a moot point among musicians.
more by accident than (by) design Something which happens more by accident than (by) design is  done without deliberate intention.
I became an interpreter more by accident than design; nobody else could speak the language of the refugees.
more fun than a barrel of monkeys If something is very amusing or enjoyable, you can say that it is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
The TV quiz was more fun than a barrel of monkeys!
more heat than light If a discussion or debate generates more heat than light, it causes anger or intense reaction but doesn't clarify anything.
The meeting that was held to discuss the problem generated more heat than light!
more than meets the eye When something is more complicated, difficult or interesting than
it appears, it is said that there is more (to it) than meets the eye.
He said that he had simply sold his shares, but I think there's more to it than meets the eye.
more power to elbow This is said to express praise or encouragement to someone for doing something.
"I've left my job and I'm going to work free-lance from now on."
"Well, more power to  you!"
mouse potato This term refers to a person who spends a lot of time in front of the computer.
My son and his friends are all mouse potatoes - constantly glued to the computer!
all mouth and no trousers This is said of someone who talks a lot about doing something but never actually does it.
He keeps saying he's going to resign and travel around the world, but he's all mouth and no trousers.
butter wouldn't melt in mouth If you say that someone looks as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouth, you mean that they look completely innocent, but that they are capable of doing unpleasant things.
The boy who stole the purse looked as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.
say a mouthful If you make an important or lengthy remark, you say a mouthful.
The customer said a mouthful when he gave the reason for his dissatisfaction.
move the goalposts During a course of action, if someone moves the goalposts they change the rules or conditions.
Our objectives have been set for next year. Let's hope the boss doesn't move the goalposts halfway through.
move heaven and earth To say that you will move heaven and earth means that you are prepared to do everything that is possible to achieve something.
I promise I will move heaven and earth to get a work permit for you.
   
...back next...
  alphabetical lists M ... 
M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 M7 M8 M9

more alphabetical lists ... 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z