black and white
- thinking of everything or judging everything as either good or
badHe tries to see everything in black and white although he knows
this is impossible.
- darken by putting out or dimming electric
lightsDuring the war people in the cities were forced to black out
their windows so that the enemy aircraft could not see them.
- prevent or silence information or communicationThe
government decided to black out all of the information related to the political
- lose consciousnessSuddenly the man blacked out
during the parade and had to be helped to a quiet place.
black sheep (of the family)
- a person who is a disgrace to a family or groupThe
man is the black sheep in his family and is the only member who has not made a
success of his life.
blue in the face
- very angry or upset, excited and very emotionalHe
argued with her until he was blue in the face.
brown bag it
- take a lunch to workI have had to brown bag it
every day this week as the company cafeteria is closed for repair work.
catch (someone) red-handed
- catch someone in the middle of doing something
wrongThe woman was caught red-handed at the store trying to steal
give someone the green light
- give permission to go ahead with a projectWe were
finally given the green light to begin setting up the new project.
grass is always greener on the other side
- a place that is far away or different seems better than where
we are nowHe realized that the grass is always greener on the other
side when he saw that his new job wasn`t perfect and had its own problems too.
- inexperienced, immatureHe is rather green and
doesn`t have enough experience to drive the large piece of machinery yet.
- an area of fields and trees around a townThe city
has a policy of increasing the green belt around the city.
- a talent for gardening, ability to make things
growShe has a green thumb and is able to grow one of the best gardens
in our neighborhood.
green with envy
- very jealous, full of envyI was green with envy
when I heard that she would be going to London for a week while I had to stay
horse of a different color
- something totally separate and differentI know that
he would like to discuss that issue now but it is a horse of a different color
and we should discuss it at another time.
in the black
- successful or profitableThe company has been in the
black since they began to adopt many new ideas to cut costs.
in the red
- lose money, unprofitableThe company has been in the
red for three years now - ever since their exports to Asia decreased by 35 per
look at (see) the world through rose-colored
- see only the good things about something, be too
optimisticHe always looks at the world through rose-colored glasses
and is never able to understand that some people are dishonest.
- in bad taste, rude, dirtyHe told an off-color joke
at the party that made his wife very angry.
once in a blue moon
- rarelyWe go out for Italian food once in a blue
moon although we enjoy it very much.
out of the blue
- without any warning, by surpriseI don`t understand
what is the matter. Right out of the blue he decided to quit his job and go and
live in Europe.
paint the town red
- go out and party and have a good timeWhen my cousin
came to visit us we decided to go out and paint the town red.
- termination notice from a jobI received my pink
slip last week and am now looking for a new job.
pot calling the kettle black
- the person who is criticizing someone else is as guilty as the
person he accusesShe was criticizing me for not looking for a new job
but that is like the pot calling the kettle black. She isn`t looking for a new
- an unimportant matter that draws attention away from the main
subjectSuddenly talking about the strike was a red herring and didn't
do anything to deal with today's problems.
- a day that is memorable because of some important
eventIt was a red-letter day when she finally received her graduation
- excessive formalities in official businessMany
businesses have been complaining about the amount of red tape that they must
deal with in order to get anything done with the government.
roll out the red carpet
- greet a person with great respect, give a big
welcomeWhen the King of Jordon visited Washington, they rolled out
the red carpet and gave him a great welcome.
- become very angryHe really saw red last night when
I told him that I wouldn`t be coming to work today.
show one`s true colors
- show what one is really likeI know that she doesn`t
like me but she was showing her true colors when she began yelling at me on the
- be very pleased, thrill, delightShe was tickled
pink that you made the effort to go and visit her when you were in town.
- a useless possessionThe new stereo that he bought
is a white elephant and he doesn`t need it at all.
white as a ghost
- very pale because of fear, shock, illness etc.My
sister became white as a ghost when she saw the man at the window.
- a harmless lie (told to be polite or to do something not
seriously wrong)I told my boss a white lie and said that I was sick
yesterday when actually I wasn`t.
- the selling at a reduced price of towels or sheets
etc.We went to the white sale at the department store in order to buy
some new sheets before my parents come to visit.
with flying colors
- with great or total successShe passed her course
with flying colors and now wants to go out and celebrate.
- extremely timid, cowardlyHe is a yellow-bellied
coward and never is willing to fight for what is right.
- cowardice in one`s characterHe has a yellow streak
running down his back and is not a good person to expect to support you when
things become difficult.
Idiom Quizzes - Colors