English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|step out of line||If you step out
of line, you do something unacceptable
or break the rules.
It was made clear upon arrival that we would be dismissed if we stepped out of line.
|take steps||If you take
steps, you start a course of action in
order to accomplish something.
The town is taking steps to improve security in public car parks.
|sterner stuff||If someone is made
of sterner stuff, they have a
strong character and are better able to deal
with difficulties than others.
I was surprised to see him so upset. I thought he was made of sterner stuff.
|in a stew||When someone is
in a stew about something, they are
worried and agitated.
When she was organizing the wedding reception, Laura got into a stew over the seating arrangements.
|stew in your own juice||If you let someone
stew in their own juice, you leave them
to worry about the consequences of their own
Ricky spent last night in prison for starting a fight - let him just stew in his own juice!
|stick in one's throat||If something
sticks in your throat (or craw),
it is very difficult to accept and makes you
angry or resentful.
The way he treats women really sticks in my throat!
|stick out like a sore thumb||If something
sticks out like a sore thumb, it is
very obvious or visible in an unpleasant
The modern building sticks out like a sore thumb among the old houses.
|stick something out||If you stick
something out, you continue to endure
it in spite of the difficulties or
unpleasant aspects of the situation.
Life is difficult here, but Luke is going to stick it out because he is determined to succeed.
|stick out a mile||If something
sticks out a mile, it is very obvious
or very easy to see.
You can see she's had a facelift - it sticks out a mile!
|stick to your guns||If you stick to
your guns, you show determination when
faced with opposition.
The government stuck to its guns in spite of the criticism.
|stick to your last||If you tell someone
to stick to their last, you are
asking them to restrict their intervention
or comments to an area where they have
knowledge and experience, and to keep away
from areas where they know nothing.
(A 'last' is used in making and repairing shores.)
Why don't you stick to your last and let me handle this matter.
|sticking point||A sticking
point is a controversial issue that
causes an interruption or blocks progress in
discussions or negotiations.
The choice of distributor was a sticking point in the negotiations.
|stickler for the rules||Someone who is
a stickler for the rules is a
disciplinarian who demands strict observance
of the rules or procedures.
Be sure to use the proper form. Mr. Brown is a stickler for the rules.
|sticky fingers||Someone who has
sticky fingers has a tendency to steal.
Items have been disappearing from the stock recently. Do any of the employees have sticky fingers?
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