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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


(Idioms:  make headway  → wait in the wings)

  • make headway
    • If you make headway, you make progress in what you are trying to achieve.
      "Investigators have made little headway in their search for the causes of the catastrophe."

  • mean business
    • If someone means business, they are serious about what they announce
      "The boss says that in future any missing material will be reported to the police, and he looks as though he means business."

  • never say die
    • You can say 'never say die' to encourage someone to persevere in their efforts and not give up or abandon their project.
      "Keep going - it's too soon to give up. Never say die!"

  • paddle your own canoe
    • If you paddle your own canoe, you do what you want to do without help or interference from anyone.
      "He decided to paddle his own canoe and set up his own business."

  • pound the pavement
    • Someone who pounds the pavement walks the streets or goes from company to company, usually in search of employment.
      (You can also pound the pavement in an effort to raise funds or gain support for a cause.)
      "Charlie is out there pounding the pavement since he lost his job."

  • pull out all the stops
    • If you pull out all the stops, you do everything you can to make something successful.
      "We'll have to pull out all the stops to get the store ready for the opening day."

  • punch above your weight
    • If you punch above your weight, you try to perform at a level that is beyond your ability.
      "She submitted her idea for the 'invention of the year' award, knowing that she was punching above her weight."

  • reach for the moon
    • If you reach for the moon, you are very ambitious and try to achieve something even if it is difficult.
      "His parents were hardworking people who encouraged their children to reach for the moon."

  • raise/lower your sights
    • If you raise/lower your sights, your raise or lower your expectations, or you are more or less ambitious.
      "He had to lower his sights and accept a less well-paid job than what he hoped for."

  • sink your teeth into something
    • If you sink your teeth into something, you do it with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
      "When Julie got promoted, she immediately sank her teeth into her new job."

  • the sky's the limit
    • To say means that there is no limit to the possibility of success or progress for someone or something.
      ""How successful do you think the project will be?" "Who knows ... the sky's the limit!""

  • stand your ground
    • If you stand your ground you maintain your position and refuse to yield or give way.
      "He claimed innocence and stood his ground in spite of the repeated accusations."

  • stick to your guns
    • If you stick to your guns, you show a lot of determination when faced with opposition.
      "The government stuck to its guns in spite of the criticism."

  • stop at nothing
    • Someone who would stop at nothing would do anything, even something illegal or immoral, to obtain what they want.
      "He's a man who would stop at nothing if there was a possibility of making money.”

  • wait in the wings
    • If someone is waiting in the wings, they are waiting for an opportunity to take action, especially to replace someone else in their job or position.
      "There are many young actors waiting in the wings ready to show their talent."

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More Idioms: 

 Ambition-Determination ... 

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