English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - O
open-and-shut case is one where the
facts are so clear that the matter can be
dealt with or solved easily.
He was caught driving the stolen car. It's an open-and-shut case.
|opposite number||A person who holds
the same position as oneself in another
company or organisation is called one's
I spoke to my opposite number in several local companies and we all agreed to join the anti-pollution campaign.
|ostrich strategy/policy||Someone who adopts
an ostrich strategy or policy
chooses to ignore or evade an obvious
problem in the hope that it will resolve
itself or disappear.
Adopting an ostrich strategy will only make matters worse - we've got to find a solution.
|other side of the coin||When you want to
mention a different or contradictory aspect
of a situation, you refer to the other
side of the coin.
The house is lovely and spacious, but the other side of the coin is that it is far from shops and schools.
|other things being equal||This expression
refers to a probable situation if the
conditions elsewhere remain unchanged or
Other things being equal, a reduction in the cost of transport should enable us to lower our prices.
|out of the blue||If something
happens out of the blue, it happens
I had nearly given up hope when out of the blue I was offered a job.
|out of character||If you do something
that is out of character, it is
unlike your usual behaviour or not what is
expected from you.
The way she panicked was out of character for such a normally calm person.
|out of circulation||Someone who is
out of circulation is unavailable or
not joining in activities with others.
I'm going to do a summer course in New York, so I'll be out of circulation for a while.
|out of your depth||If you are
out of your depth, you are unable to
understand a subject or deal with a
situation because it is too difficult for
The level of the class was too high for me, so very quickly I felt out of my depth.
|out of earshot||When someone is
out of earshot, they are too far away
to hear or to be heard.
They waited until Tess was out of earshot before discussing her surprise birthday party.
|out of harm's way||If you put
something out of harm's way, you
put it in a safe place where it won't be
I'm going to put this glass bowl out of harm's way so that it doesn't get broken.
|out like a light||If a person is
out like a light, they are so tired
that they fall asleep very quickly.
As soon as his head touched the pillow, he was out like a light.
|out on a limb||If you go out
on a limb, you do something risky or
unsupported by others, which leaves you in a
Jack was out on a limb with his proposal - nobody supported his idea.
alphabetical lists O ...
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