English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - M
|move in same circles||When people
move in the same circles, they
socialize with others who have a similar
background, interests or lifestyle.
I've never met the Duchess personally. We don't move in the same circles!
|move up in the world||A person who
moves up in the world becomes more
important in society or successful in their
Rachel Jones has moved up in the world since we were kids.
|movers and shakers||The term movers
and shakers refers to people in power
who take an active part in making things
Mover and shakers are assembling in Brussels for the summit.
|much of a muchness||This expression
means 'very similar' or 'almost alike'.
It's hard to choose between the two - they're much of a muchness really.
|much ado about nothing||If people make
much ado about nothing, they make a lot
of fuss about something which is not
A discussion took place about the colour of the receptionist's shoes - much ado about nothing!
|much obliged||Some people use
this expression to say that they are very
"It's raining Mr. Brown - take my umbrella." "Much obliged."
|as much use as a handbrake on a canoe||This expression refers to something
which is completely useless or serves no
With no electricity, a refrigerator would be as much use as a handbrake on a canoe!
|muddy the waters||If you muddy
the waters, you make something less
clear by giving confusing information.
I had difficulty understanding, and Alan's explanation just muddied the waters!
|mug's game||An unprofitable or
ill-advised activity that only a fool (mug)
would do is called a mug's game.
Spending hours making home-made cakes for a few customers is a mug's game.
|mum's the word||To say 'mum's
the word' means that the subject or
plan is a secret and must not be revealed.
We're organizing a surprise birthday party, so mum's the work - OK?
|murder something||If you say that you
could murder something, such as
food or drink, you mean that you want it
I'm so hot and thirsty I could murder a cool drink!
|be murder||If something is
murder, it is very difficult or
The journey home through the storm was absolute murder!
|get away with murder||Someone who
gets away with murder can do something
unacceptable without being punished or
Some parents let their kids get away with murder.
|murphy's law||Referring to
Murphy's law expresses a sentiment of
bad luck and the idea that if anything can
go wrong, it will.
We've tried to prepare for every possible incident, but remember Murphy's law ...!
|face the music||If you have to
face the music, you have to accept the
unpleasant consequences of your actions.
He was caught stealing. Now he has to face the music!
|music to one's ears||If something is
music to your ears, the information
that you receive makes you feel very happy.
His compliments were music to my ear.
|mutton dressed as lamb||This expression
refers to a middle-aged woman who tries to
look younger by dressing in clothes designed
for younger people.
The style doesn't suit her - it has a mutton-dressed-as-lamb effect on her!
|my way or highway||If you say to
someone 'it's my way or the highway',
you are telling them that either they
accept to do as you say or they leave the
You don't have much choice when someone says: 'it's my way or the highway.'!
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