English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - W
|wise up to||If you wise up
or get wise to something, you
become fully aware of the facts and are no
When Mike finally wised up to the methods being used, he resigned from the company.
|none the wiser||If you do not know
more about something after hearing or
reading an explanation, or if you fail to
find information on the subject, you are
none the wiser.
I tried to understand the voting system but I was none the wiser after reading the explanation.
|wish the ground would swallow you up||When you are so
embarrassed by something that you would like
to disappear, you wish the ground would
swallow you up.
When I realized I was reading the wrong report, I stood there in front of the group wishing the ground would swallow me up!
|your wish is my command||This is a
humoristic way of saying that you are
willing to do whatever the other person
Breakfast in bed? Your wish is my command!
Wishful thinking means believing that
something that you want to happen is really
happening or will happen, even though it is
neither true nor likely.
I think his health is improving a little, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking on my part.
|wither on the vine||If something
withers on the vine, it comes to an end
or ceases to exist because people do not
support or encourage it.
Let's hope the recent efforts towards peace will not wither on the vine.
|without a hitch||If something
happens without a hitch, it takes
place exactly as planned, without any
The ceremony went off without a hitch, to our great relief!
|at your wits' end||If you are at
your wits' end, you are very worried
about something and do not know what to do.
When her son dropped out of school, Susan was at her wit's end.
|throw a wobbly / wobbler||When someone,
usually a capricious person, throws a
wobbly, they have a fit of nerves or
bad temper and lose all self-control.
He's very calm - not the sort of man to throw a wobbly if he doesn't have a clean shirt!
|wolf in sheep's clothing||To describe someone
as a wolf in sheep's clothing means
that although they look harmless, they are
really very dangerous.
Be careful. He looks kind but in fact he's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
|cry wolf||To cry wolf
is to call for help when you are not really
in danger. As a result, nobody believes you
when you really need help.
There's Mary screaming again! Does she really need help or is she just crying wolf again?
|keep the wolf from the door||To
keep the wolf from the door you need
to have enough money to buy food and other
basic essentials in order to survive.
My grandparents earned barely enough to keep the wolf from the door.
|wonders will never cease||This saying is used
to express pleasure or surprise at
The price of petrol has dropped! Wonders will never cease!
|can't see the wood for the trees||If someone
can't see the wood for the trees, they
are so concentrated on the details that they
can't see the situation as a whole.
The new manager found the situation so complicated that he couldn't see the wood for the trees.
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