English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - O
on the cards
(US : in the cards)
|Something which is on the cards is
planned and likely to happen.
A coalition between the two parties is still on the cards.
|on the fly||If you do something
on the fly, you do it quickly,
without thinking much about it, while doing
I'm so busy I usually have lunch on the fly.
|on ice||If a project or
plan is put on ice, all further
action has been suspended or postponed for
an indefinite period of time.
Plans for the nuclear power station have been put on ice.
|on one's last legs||If you are on your last legs,
you are in a very weak condition or about to
I was so sick that I felt as though I was on my last legs!
|on the level||If you say that
someone is on the level, you are
referring to an honest and truthful person.
Tell me straight - is he on the level or not?
|on the lookout||If you are on
the lookout for something, you are
constantly watchful and attentive so as not
to miss it.
Being a collector, he's always on the lookout for interesting items.
|on the map||If a place becomes
well-known, it is put on the map.
The president's visit really put the restaurant on the map.
|on the mend||If someone or
something is on the mend, they are
improving after an illness or a difficult
My mother caught the 'flu but she's on the mend now.
|on the QT||Something that is
done on the QT is done quietly or
They got married on the QT last summer and told nobody.
|on the safe side||If you do something
to be on the safe side, you do it
as a precaution, to avoid any risks.
I think I locked the door but I'll check again to be on the safe side.
|on the up and up||A person who is
on the up and up is becoming
The architect has been on the up and up since he designed a building in Dubai.
|on one's uppers||Someone who is
on their uppers has very little money
or not enough to cover their needs.
Because he was clearly on his uppers when he was hired, he was given an advance in salary.
|on the sly||If you do something
on the sly, you do it secretly or
He made such quick progress that the others suspected him of having private lessons on the sly.
|once in a blue moon||If something occurs
once in a blue moon, it happens
Bill has very little contact with his brother. They see each other once in a blue moon.
|one in the eye||If an event or
development is an unexpected defeat or
disappointment for someone, it is one in
the eye for that person.
My promotion was one in the eye for my ambitious colleague.
|one fell swoop||If something is
accomplished at (or in) one
fell swoop, it is done in a single
action, usually rapidly and ruthlessly.
The three houses were demolished at one fell swoop.
|one good turn deserves another||If someone helps
you, it is natural and right to help them in
We helped Alex and Sara when they moved into their new house, just as they helped us last year; one good turn deserves another.
alphabetical lists O ...
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