English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - M
|reach for the moon||If you reach
for the moon, you are very ambitious
and try to achieve something even it it is
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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