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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - P

(page 10 :  power behind throne  →  a proper do)

power behind the throne Someone with no apparent authority who has great influence over the person officially in charge is said to be the power behind the throne.
It's essential to be on good terms with his wife.  Apparently she's the power behind the throne.
preaching to the converted A person who preaches to the converted is encouraging people to support an idea that they already agree with.
Talking to athletes about the virtues of sport is preaching to the converted.
pregnant pause A pregnant pause is a moment of silence full of unexpressed meaning.
There was a pregnant pause before the president answered the journalist's question.
prepare the ground When you prepare the ground, you try to make it easier for a future event or action to happen or be accepted.
The two foreign ministers prepared the ground for negotiations.
press home If you press something home, you insist on a point in a discussion or argument.
Her lawyer kept pressing home the fact that she was a single mother.
pressed for time If you are pressed for time, you have hardly enough time to do something, so you must hurry.
Sorry, I can't talk to you now.  I'm a bit pressed for time.
pretty as a picture Someone who is (as) “pretty as a picture’ is very attractive or appealing in appearance.
The young bride looked (as) pretty as a picture in her beautiful dress.
cost a pretty penny If something costs a pretty penny, it costs a lot of money.
Steve's new car must have cost a pretty penny!
prey on your mind If something preys on your mind, it troubles you so much that you keep thinking about it.
The vision of the house on fire kept preying on her mind.
price oneself out of the market If you price yourself out of the market, you charge such a high price for your goods or services that nobody wants to buy them.
He was so eager to make money that he priced himself out of the market.
price you have to pay The price you have to pay is what you have to endure in return for something you gain or achieve.
Lack of privacy is the price you have to pay for being a celebrity.
prick up one's ears If you prick up your ears, you suddenly pay attention to what is being said.
The children pricked up their ears when they heard the word 'ice-cream'.
prime of one's life The prime of one's life is the time in a person's life when they are the most successful, or in their best physical condition.
At the age of 75, the singer is not exactly in the prime of his life!
get  your priorities right/straight If you put things in the right order of importance, you get your priorities right.
Dad!  Your health is more important than the state of the garden. 
You must get your priorities right!
prod into (doing) If you prod someone into doing something, you make a hesitant person do something that they are reluctant to do.
She was ideal for the job, but I had to prod her into applying for the position.
low profile A person who keeps a low profile tries not to attract public attention.
The investor is a discreet man who keeps a low profile.
prolong the agony If someone prolongs the agony, they make an unpleasant or tense situation last longer than necessary.
Please don't prolong the agony. Just tell me whether I've been accepted or not.
proof of the pudding This expression means that something new can only be judged after it has been tested.
I'm going to try out my new DVD player. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as we all know!
proper 'do' This expression refers to a social event with formal clothes and top-class catering, organised to celebrate something.
Bob says he'd be happy with a civil wedding and a drink afterwards, but Maggie wants a proper do.
   
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 alphabetical lists P ... 

P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13

 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