- a self-appointed group that decides how to punish someone who
is supposed to have done something wrongThe men were convicted by the
people in the town but it was like a kangaroo court and nobody agreed with the
Katie bar the door
- get ready for trouble, a desperate situation is at
handThe gang arrived at the bar and were ready to come in and fight.
Well, Katie bar the door.
- fall over and faintThree of the members of the band
suddenly keeled over because of the heat.
- turn upside down, tip overThe boat keeled over in
the middle of the lake but everybody was safe.
- remind someone over and overI always have to keep
after her to do her job properly.
keep an eye on something or someone
- watch (as in take care of something)Will you keep
an eye on the baby while I go to the store.
keep a secret
- not tell a secret to othersI have been trying to
keep a secret about her boyfriend for a long time now.
keep a stiff upper lip
- be brave, face trouble bravelyThe prisoners tried
hard to keep a stiff upper lip in spite of the hardships of the prison.
- persist withHe has decided to keep at his studies
so I am sure he will succeed.
keep body and soul together
- keep alive, surviveIt was very cold during the
winter but somehow she was able to keep body and soul together and survived.
- keep records of money gained and spent, do the work of a
bookkeeperMy first job was to keep books for a small company in my
- keep from progressing or growing, keep within limits,
controlThe students were told to keep down the noise as some of the
other classes were having exams.
- prevent, refrain fromI love ice cream and couldn`t
keep from eating three bowls.
keep good time
- work accurately (a clock)My watch has not been
keeping good time lately.
- look after a house or a householdShe has been
keeping house for her father while he is sick.
keep in touch
- talk or write to someoneI have always tried to keep
in touch with my friends from high school.
keep on (doing something)
- continueShe is careless and keeps on making the
same mistakes over and over.
keep one`s chin up
- be brave, be determinedTry and keep your chin up.
Things will get better in the future.
keep one`s eye on the ball
- be watchful and readyYou should keep your eye on
the ball or you will make a mistake.
keep one`s fingers crossed
- wish for good results in something one is
doingPlease keep your fingers crossed that I will pass the exam.
keep one`s head
- stay calm when there is trouble or dangerHe is a
very good leader and always is able to keep his head during an emergency.
keep one`s head above water
- have the ability to pay one`s billsHe is having
trouble keeping his head above water since his salary has decreased.
keep one`s mouth shut
- be or stay silentI was very angry so I told him to
keep his mouth shut. Later I had to apologize.
keep one`s nose clean
- stay out of troubleHe has been managing to keep his
nose clean since he moved to the new town.
keep one`s nose to the grindstone
- work very hardHe has been keeping his nose to the
grindstone recently and I haven`t had a chance to see him.
keep one`s own counsel
- keep one`s ideas and plans to oneselfHe always
keeps his own counsel and never really reveals his plans to anyone.
keep one`s shirt on
- calm down, keep from losing one`s temper or getting
impatientTry and keep your shirt on! Everything is going to be
alright in a few minutes.
keep one`s wits about one
- stay calm when there is trouble or dangerAlthough
there was a fire in the building he was able to keep his wits about him and help
everybody to safety.
keep one`s word
- fulfill one`s promiseShe never keeps her word so I
don`t believe that she will come to the party.
- go as fast, go at the same rateIt was difficult to
keep pace with the other students but somehow I managed.
- remain silentCould you all please keep quiet and
listen to the instructor.
keep someone on
- allow someone to continue working for youAlthough
we have too many workers we have decided to keep him on until business improves.
keep tabs on
- watch or check, keep under observationThey have
been keeping tabs on the spending of the sales department.
keep the ball rolling
- keep up an activity or action, not allow something that is
happening to slow or stopWe should try to keep the ball rolling and
get as much of our work done while everyone is still here.
keep the home fires burning
- keep things going as usual while someone is
awayDon`t worry about anything. I will stay home and keep the home
fires burning while you are on your holiday.
keep track of
- maintain a recordPlease carefully keep track of
your expenses during the trip.
keep (someone) up
- prevent someone from going to bedThey kept me up
last night with their noisy radio.
- show the right timeMy new watch keeps perfect time
so I am very happy.
- keep the beat, keep the same rhythmIt is difficult
for him to keep time with the other members of the band but at least he tries.
keep under one`s hat
- keep secret, not tellHe won`t say where he is going
for his holiday. He wants to keep it under his hat.
keep up appearances
- keep an outward show of prosperity or good
behaviorThey have been trying to keep up appearances even though he
has lost his job.
- go on, not stop, continueHe is working hard to keep
up the same level of production as last year.
- keep something at the same level or rate or in good
conditionHe spends a lot of time trying to keep up the garden of his
keep up with
- go at the same speed as a person or thing, maintain the same
rate of progressI can`t keep up with the rest of the class.
keep up with the news
- keep informedHe reads the newspaper every morning
in order to keep up with the news.
keep up with the Joneses
- try to be the same as your neighborsHe always
worries about keeping up with the Joneses and is always frustrated.
kettle of fish
- something to be considered, how things areThat`s a
totally different kettle of fish. We should talk about it another time.
- excited, nervousI was all keyed up after we won the
game and I couldn`t go to sleep.
- treat badly, act roughly or badly to someone or
somethingI don`t like her very much because she is always kicking
other people around.
- lie around in a placeI was tired on Saturday so I
stayed home and kicked around in the morning.
- relax and do nothingI`m going to kick back this
evening and stay home and watch television.
- money paid illegally for favorable treatmentThe
construction company gave the politician some illegal kickbacks in order to win
- begin, launch, startThe department store kicked off
their summer sale early Saturday morning.
- a startThe kick-off for the no smoking campaign
will start next week.
- regretI kicked myself for not applying for the job
- make someone go or leave, get rid of, dismissHe was
kicked out of school when he was 15 years old because of his bad behavior.
- a motor begins to workAt first the engine wouldn`t
start because it was too cold but finally it kicked over.
- pay, contributeI was forced to kick over a lot of
money for the motor for my car.
kick the bucket
- dieThe man who used to clean the walls at the
factory kicked the bucket last week.
kick the habit
- stop a bad habit like smoking or taking drugsHe has
been trying to kick his smoking habit for years.
kick up a fuss
- make trouble, make a disturbanceI didn`t think that
it would be a big problem but he really kicked up a fuss when I told him about
kick up one`s heels
- have a good time, celebrateWe really kicked up our
heels at the Christmas party that we attended last week.
- kill or end completely, destroyThe pollution in the
river has killed off all of the fish.
kill the goose that layed the golden egg
- spoil something that is good or something that one has by
being greedyHe was always complaining about his job but now it is
gone. He has killed the goose that layed the golden egg.
kill two birds with one stone
- accomplish two things with one actionHe was able to
kill two birds with one stone by going to the meeting.
- travel without a plan, go where one pleasesWe
decided to go to Brazil and knock about for a couple of months.
knock it off
- stop doing something, quitPlease knock it off. You
are going to hurt yourself if you are not careful.
- murder someoneThe owner of the shop was knocked off
in the robbery last week.
knock off one`s feet
- surprise or shock someone so much that he does not know what
to doWhen they announced that I had won the prize it knocked me off
knock one`s block off
- hit someone very hard, beat someone upHe was very
angry and threatened to knock anyone`s block off who came near him.
knock one`s head against the wall
- waste time trying to do something with no
successThey have been knocking their head against the wall for years
trying to find a solution to the problem.
knock oneself out
- make a great effortThey really knocked themselves
out trying to make the party successful.
knock on wood
- knock on something made of wood to keep from having bad
luckI don`t think that I will lose my job - knock on wood.
- a very beautiful womanThe man said that the woman
he saw at the bus stop was a real knockout.
- make unconscious, unworkable or unusableThe storm
last night knocked out power in most of the town.
knock the living daylights out of someone
- make someone unconsciousThe man knocked the living
daylights out of his friend during the fight.
know by heart
- memorizeI learned the poem by heart.
(not) know if one is coming or going
- not know what to doThe new sales manager doesn`t
seem to know if he is coming or going.
- a person who acts as if they know everythingHe is a
know-it-all and nobody likes to be around him.
(not) know the first thing about
- lack basic knowledge about somethingHe doesn`t know
the first thing about computers.
know which side one`s bread is buttered
- know who can help one and try to please him, know what is good
for oneselfHe is careful not to make his boss angry. He knows which
side his bread is buttered on.
- begin to work earnestlyI think it is time that we
knuckle down and finally finish this project.
- yield, submitThe union finally knuckled under the
pressure and ended the strike.
Idiom Quizzes - JK