English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - U
|up in the air||If something, such as a plan or
decision, is up in the air, it has
not been decided or settled yet.
I can't give you a definite answer yet; the project is still up in the air.
|up for grabs||If something is up for grabs,
it is available for anyone who wants to
compete for it.
You should enter the competition - there's $20000 in prizes up for grabs.
|up-to-the-minute||Something that is up-to-the-minute
is the very latest or most recent version
The internet is the best place to find up-to-the-minute news.
|up to no good||When someone is up to no good, they are
doing or planning something bad or wrong.
When the shopkeeper saw the boys hiding behind a car, he suspected they were up to no good.
|up to par||If something is up to par, it
meets the required standard.
He didn't get the job because his English wasn't up to par.
|up and running||If a business or a project is up and
running, it has started and is fully
In some countries you can have a company up and running in a very short time.
|uphill battle||A person faced with an uphill battle
has to struggle against very
After the terrible accident, his recovery was an uphill battle all the way.
|upper crust||This term refers to the higher levels of
society, the upper class or the aristocracy.
William hides his working-class background and pretends to be from the upper crust.
|upper hand||If a person or
organisation gains or gets the
upper hand, especially in a fight or
competition, they take control over
We increased our market share and gained the upper hand over our competitors.
|on one's uppers||Someone who is on their uppers
has very little money or not enough to cover
Because he was clearly on his uppers when he was hired, he was given an advance in salary.
|on the uptake||Someone who is quick or slow on the
uptake is quick or slow to understand
what is meant.
Please explain the problem in simple words - I'm a bit slow on the uptake!
|use one's noodle||If you use your noodle, you use
your brain or your common sense.
How did I figure that out? I just used my noodle!
|useful as a chocolate teapot||Something which is of no practical use
at all is about as useful as a chocolate
When there are no roads, a car is about as useful as a chocolate teapot!
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