English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|state of the art||If something is described as state-of-the-art, it is the most advanced model currently available, incorporating the latest and best technology.|
|stay one jump ahead||If you stay one
jump ahead, you keep an advantage over
others by making sure you are better
informed or taking action before they do.
He is a successful journalist because he always stays one jump ahead of the others.
|steal a march||If you steal a
march on someone, you do something in
an unexpected or secret way that enables you
to gain an advantage over them.
We were able to steal a march on other retailers by immediately offering a 10% reduction on orders received the first day.
|steal someone's thunder||If you steal
someone's thunder you take their idea
or plan and draw attention and praise away
from them by presenting it first.
Fred had developed a plan to reduce production costs, but the manager stole his thunder by announcing Fred's idea at the regional meeting.
|steal the show||A person who
steals the show gets more attention or
praise than the other participants.
The Japanese competitor stole the show at the Olympic games.
|it's a steal!||If you find
something that you want for a very low
price, much lower than what it is worth, you
can say 'it's a steal!'.
He's selling it for $20? At that price it's a steal!
|let off steam||A person who
lets off steam releases surplus energy
or strong feelings either through intense
physical activity or by talking in an
Let's bring the kids to the playground so that they can let off steam.
|run out of steam||If you say that a
person, a process or an organised event is
running out of steam, you mean that
there is a loss of impetus, energy or
The anti-immigrant movement seems to be running out of steam.
|under your own steam||If you go somewhere
under your own steam, you do so
without any help from others.
No need to pick us up. We'll get there under our own steam.
|steamed up||If someone gets
steamed up about something, they become
very angry, excited or enthusiastic about
Calm down - there's no need to get all steamed up about it!
|stem the tide||If you stem the
tide (of events), you stop the
development of something bad or undesirable.
The authorities seem unable to stem the rising tide of violence in schools.
|step into the breach||If you step
into the breach, you do work that
someone else is unexpectedly unable to do.
Steve stepped into the breach when his colleague had a car accident.
|step into someone's shoes||If you step
into someone's shoes, you take over a
job or position held by someone else before
William has been trained to step into his father's shoes when he retires.
|step on the gas||If someone tells
you to step on the gas, they are
encouraging you to accelerate or hurry up in
order to get something done quickly.
We'd better step on the gas and get these figures printed. The meeting starts in half an hour.
|step on someone's toes||If you annoy or
irritate someone by intervening in a
situation that is their responsibility, you
step on their toes.
I could offer some advice but I'm afraid of stepping on someone's toes.
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