English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - R
|race against time||When someone is in
a race against time, they have to work very
quickly in order to do or finish something
before a certain time.
It was a race against time to get everything ready for the inauguration.
|rack one's brains||
If you rack your brains, you try
very hard to think of something or to
Christmas is always a hassle for me. I have to rack my brains every year to find ideas for presents.
|go to rack and ruin||If something goes to rack and ruin,
it deteriorates or falls into serious
decline until it reaches a state of complete
When the factory closed down, the building was to left to go to rack and ruin.
|on the rack||If you are in a stressful situation,
having to answer a lot of questions or wait
for a decision, you are on the rack.
The suspect was put on the rack by the police but he did not confess to anything.
|racked with pain||When someone is suffering from severe
pain, they are racked with pain.
The soldier was so badly injured that he was racked with pain.
|from rags to riches||If a person goes from rags to riches,
they start off being very poor and become
very rich and successful.
By renovating old houses in the right places, he went from rags to riches.
|take a rain check||To say that you take a rain check
means that you cannot accept an
invitation or offer now, but you will be
happy to accept it later.
Do you mind if I take a rain check on that lunch invitation? I'm going to be away all week.
|it never rains but it pours||This expression is used to comment on
the fact that when something bad happens,
other bad things often happen too, and make
the situation even worse.
First he forgot his briefcase, then he lost his wallet, and when he reached the car park, his car had been stolen - it never rains but it pours!
|raining cats and dogs||If it's raining cats and dogs,
it is raining very heavily.
We'll have to cancel the picnic I'm afraid - it's raining cats and dogs.
|raise eyebrows||Someone who raises their eyebrows
at something shows surprise or disapproval
by the expression on their face.
When the boss arrived in jeans, there were a lot of raised eyebrows.
|raise the roof||When people raise the roof,
they make a lot of noise by cheering,
shouting, whistling or clapping their hands.
The concert was such a success, the audience raised the roof.
|raise/lower one's sights||If you raise/lower your sights,
your raise or lower your expectations, or
you are more or less ambitious.
He had to lower his sights and accept a less well-paid job than what he hoped for.
|rake over the ashes||When people rake over the ashes,
they discuss an unpleasant event which took
place in the past.
My grandfather's business went bankrupt years go, but he still rakes over the ashes from time to time.
|rake in the money||If you rake in the money, you
make money in large quantities.
Bob's business is so successful, he's raking in the money.
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