dance to a different tune
- talk or act differently (usually better) because things have
changedHe has begun dancing to a different tune now that he knows
that his head salesman is thinking of quitting.
- a candidate little known to the general publicAt
first he was a dark horse candidate but he later won the election.
- do or finish quickly, leave quicklyI will dash off
a letter now but then I must go to work.
- become clearIt finally dawned on me as to why he
day and night
- continuallyWe worked day and night to finish the
project before the end of the month.
day in and day out
- regularly, all the timeHe goes to that restaurant
day in and day out and never gets tired of it.
- exactly in front, beforeThere was a truck dead
ahead so we put on the car brakes suddenly.
dead as a doornail
- very deadThe man was dead as a doornail as we could
see after the accident.
- a person who never pays his debtsThere is a policy
to penalize deadbeat fathers by the local government.
- exact middleHe was able to hit the target dead
- person or thing in a hopeless situation or
conditionHe is a dead duck and has no hope of recovering his former
- the closed end of a road or an impasseThe
negotiations between the team and the owners have come to a dead end.
- with an expressionless or emotionless faceHe had a
deadpan expression when he told us the story.
dead set against something
- determined not to do somethingThey are dead set
against their son going to Europe for a year.
- very tired, exhaustedI was dead tired so I went to
bed as soon as I got home.
dead to the world
- fast asleepThe little boy was dead to the world
when his father took him out of the car.
- dressed in fancy clothesShe was all decked out in
her best clothes for the party.
- throw away, dispose ofI decided to deep-six the
videos as I didn`t want them any longer.
- serious trouble or difficultyHe will be in deep
water if he doesn`t tell us where he spent the money.
deliver the goods
- succeed in doing what is expected wellHe is the
best manager that we have ever had. He knows how to deliver the goods.
- unworried, not caring what happensHe has a
devil-may-care attitude to his job and nothing ever bothers him.
- come slowly to an end, grow weakerWhen the sound of
the music finally died down we were able to get to sleep.
- die one after another until the number is smallThe
house plants began to die off as soon as he moved to a new apartment.
- die or disappear slowly until all goneDinosaurs
died out millions of years ago.
- begin eatingLet`s dig in and eat before everything
dime a dozen
- common, easy to get and of little valueUsed books
are a dime a dozen so don`t worry if you can`t sell them.
- a look that shows dislike or disapprovalHis mother
gave him a dirty look when he smoked the cigarette.
- serve food from a large bowl or plateHe began to
dish out the food as soon as the guests arrived.
- treat or criticize roughlyHe likes to dish out
criticism to others but he doesn`t like to hear criticism about himself.
do a double take
- look again in surprise at someone or somethingShe
did a double take when she saw her old boyfriend with another woman.
do a job on
- do harm to, make ugly or uselessHe really did a job
on the plans for the new house that he was working on.
do away with
- put an end to, stop, get rid ofThe company has
decided to do away with having fixed holidays every year.
- ready or willing to fight and hurt others to get what you
wantIt is a dog-eat-dog world out in the world of advertising and
- to ruin, destroyHe quickly did in the new shoes
that he received for his birthday.
- to make tired, exhaustHe was really done in by the
time that he finished the marathon.
- dress in fancy clothesShe was all dolled up for the
party at the downtown hotel.
- ruined, defeated, dyingI think that the team is
done for as far as this season is concerned.
- be finished using somethingHe was finally done with
the computer and so he let his sister use it.
do one`s best
- try to do something as well as you canI tried to do
my best on the exam.
do one`s bit (part)
- share in a group project by contributing one`s time and
effortHe did his bit for the planning of the party.
do one`s thing
- do what one wants to do and enjoysHe is an
individualist and enjoys doing his thing when and where he chooses.
- make a great effort while disregarding dangerHe was
in a position of do-or-die when he finally found another job.
do out of
- cause to lose by trickery or cheatingHe was worried
that the company would do him out of the large bonus that he was expecting.
do someone good
- be good or beneficial for someoneIt will do you
good to go on a holiday.
do something rash
- take drastic action (usually without thinking)She
is extremely angry so I hope that she doesn`t do anything rash.
do the honors
- perform the duty of a host (when serving a drink
etc.)Would you like to do the honors and pour everyone a glass of
do the trick
- work well, achieve a good resultI think the new
piece of equipment should do the trick and solve the problem.
- spend time in prisonHe was doing time when I first
heard about him.
- benefit fromI have been working hard all day so now
I could do with a cold drink.
- be acquainted, involved or associated withI don`t
have anything to do with the party this year.
- manage without somethingIf there is no sugar, we`ll
have to do without.
- turn back from where you are going or have beenWe
decided to double back from the arena to get some money to go to a movie.
- check again to be sure something is correctHe
double-checked the price of the airplane ticket.
- deceive, promise one thing and do anotherHe tried
to double-cross his partner but was caught and sent to jail.
- talk that appears to have meaning but does notHe
gave the audience a lot of double-talk so nobody knew what he wanted to say.
- share a room or home with someoneThe passengers had
to double up in hotel rooms when the plane was delayed because of the weather.
down and out
- have no moneyHe has been down and out before but he
has always been able to find a job eventually.
down in the dumps
- unhappyShe has been really down in the dumps since
her boyfriend moved away.
down on (someone)
- be critical of someone, angry atShe is really down
on her friend but I don`t really know the reason.
down one`s alley
- suited to one`s tastes and abilitiesComputers are
down his alley so I am sure that he will be interested in taking the job.
down the line
- straight ahead, in futureThere will be many changes
at this company down the line but for now your job is safe.
down the drain
- wasted or lostHe is just throwing money down the
drain when he goes to the horse races.
- sensible and practicalHer mother is a very
down to the wire
- nearing a deadline, running out of timeWe went
right down to the wire but we were able to finish the job on time.
- produce excellent resultsIf you begin to do some
exercise it will do wonders for your health.
- insist on bringing another subject into a
discussionHe always drags in his personal problems when we are
talking about his performance on the job.
- pass very slowly, make longerThe speech seemed to
drag on and on so finally we decided to leave early.
drag one`s feet/heels
- act slowly or reluctantlyHe has been dragging his
feet about whether or not to take the job.
draw a blank
- obtain nothing in return for an effort made, get a negative
resultHe drew a blank when he went to the head office to try and
receive some information about the merger.
- receive criticism or argumentHe has been drawing a
lot of fire since he announced that he would not play basketball another year.
- be a target, attract or provoke shootingThe
soldiers drew fire when they entered the small village.
draw in one`s horns
- spend less moneyTheir company is not doing well so
they will have to draw in their horns for awhile.
draw (someone) out
- make a person talk or tell somethingShe was very
quiet but we finally were able to draw her out so that she would join the party.
draw the line
- set a limitWe have to draw the line somewhere in
regards to the costs of the party.
- put in writingThey were able to draw up the new
contract while we were waiting.
dressed to kill
- wear one`s finest clothesShe was dressed to kill
when I saw her at the concert last week.
dressed to the nines (teeth)
- dressed elegantlyThe stars were all dressed to the
nines during the Academy Awards ceremony.
- put on one`s best clothesHe decided to dress up for
dinner at the restaurant.
drive a hard bargain
- conclude a bargain without making any
concessionsAlthough he drives a hard bargain I like doing business
- try or want to say somethingI don`t know what he
was driving at in his speech.
drive someone up a wall
- irritate or annoy someone greatlyHis constant
complaining is driving me up a wall.
drop a hint
- casually utter a hint or suggestionHe dropped a
hint that he wanted to transfer to a new department.
drop (someone) a line
- write or mail a note or letter to someoneShe
promised that she would drop me a line when she gets to Singapore.
- move or step backwards, retreatDuring the hike his
foot began to get sore so he decided to drop back and rest for awhile.
- to visit someone or somewhereHe dropped by after
work for a drink.
drop by the wayside
- give up or fail before the finishMany runners
dropped by the wayside as the marathon continued.
- go away and be quiet, stop bothering someoneI told
him to drop dead when he came into my room and now he is angry at me.
- make a short or unplanned visitI decided to drop in
and visit my friend after I finished work for the day.
drop in the bucket
- small amountThe money he paid back was only a drop
in the bucket compared to what he owes.
drop out (of school)
- quit school or a course of some kindShe dropped out
of the class after three months.
drown one`s sorrows
- drink alcohol to forget one`s problemsHe`s in the
bar drowning his sorrows with a beer.
- make so much noise that it is impossible to hearThe
team captain was drowned out by the cheering fans.
- invent, encourage by making an effortThey were able
to drum up a lot of business during the summer.
- easy, effortlessHow was the test last week? It was
duck soup - no problem at all.
- a stupid gullible personHe is a dumb bunny and you
never know what he will do next.
- meal/movie etc. where each person pays their own way,
contribute equally to somethingWhen he goes out with his girlfriend
it is always a Dutch treat as he doesn`t have much money.
- think about or talk about something all the timeI
wish he wouldn`t always dwell on his personal problems.