English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - W
|work to rule||During a conflict,
when employees decide to do only the minimum
amount of work required by company rules,
and refuse any overtime, etc., they work
In protest against the new measures, the employees decided to work to rule.
|work the system||People who work
the system learn how a state or public
organisation works in order to benefit as
much as possible from the system.
He hasn't changed his lifestyle since he lost his job - he must know to work the system!
|the works||Something that has
the works contains everything that is
possible, or the full range of options.
The first thing he did was order a new computer with the works.
|in the works||If
something is in the works, it is
currently being prepared or planned.
A reorganisation of the company is in the works.
|world of difference||When comparing two
things or situations, the expression a
world of difference means that there is
a vast difference between them.
A swimming pool would make a world of difference in this hot climate.
|come up in the world||A person who has
come up in the world is richer than
before and has a higher social status.
My old school friend has bought an apartment overlooking Central Park. She has certainly come up in the world.
|in a world of your own||If you are in a
world of your own, you are so
preoccupied by your own concerns that you
are unaware of what is happening around you.
Dad's out there in the garden in a world of how own.
|be/mean the world to||When you are
or mean the world to someone, you
are very important or precious to them.
His daughter means all the world to Mr. Jones.
|do a world of good||If something
does you a world of good, it is
beneficial and makes you feel a lot better.
Why don't you go away for a few days? A break would do you a world of good.
|have the world at your feet||If you have the
world at your feet, you are extremely
successful and greatly admired.
The talented young actress has the world at her feet.
|have the world by its tail||Someone who has
the world by its tail is very
successful and has many opportunities to
Due to her intelligence and hard work, she now has the world by its tail.
|the world is your oyster||This expression
means that you are free and able to enjoy
the pleasures and opportunities that life
has to offer.
She left college feeling that the world was her oyster.
|not for all the world||If you say that you
would not to something for
(all) the world, you mean that you
never do it, no matter what you were
I would not live in that building for (all) the world!
|out of this world||To refer to
something as out of this world
means that you think it is extremely good or
The hotel was very comfortable and the food was out of this world.
|best of both worlds||If a person has the
best of both worlds, they have the
benefits and advantages of two different
We live in the centre of town, but only 5 minutes from the beach. We have the best of both worlds.
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