tail between one`s legs
- feeling ashamed or beatenHe was forced to resign
from his company with his tail between his legs after he was caught lying about
his expense account.
take a back seat
- accept a poorer or lower position, be second to something or
someone I had to take a back seat to my partner when we went on the
take a bath
- come to financial ruinShe took a bath on the stock
market last year and is afraid to invest in stocks now.
take a beating
- lose moneyHis father really took a beating on the
stock market recently.
take a crack at
- try, attemptHave you decided to take a crack at the
entrance exam in June?
take a dim view of
- be against, disapproveOur company takes a dim view
of people who do not wear a suit and tie.
take advantage of
- use for one`s own benefitWe took advantage of the
beautiful weather and went to the beach.
- resemble or act like a parent or relativeHe is tall
and handsome like his father and seems to take after him in other ways as well.
take a leak
- urinateHe stopped at the side of the road to take a
leak when he was walking home last night.
take a powder
- leave quickly, run awayI don`t know where he is but
I think that he took a powder right after the meeting.
take a shine to
- have or show a quick liking for someoneHer daughter
took a shine to her new teacher and is very happy at school now.
take a stand on something
- declare firmly that one is for or against
somethingThe Prime Minister finally took a stand on the tax issue.
take a trip
- go for a journeyWe plan to take a trip to Italy in
- admit to making a wrong statementHe had to take
back what he said about his boss in front of his co-workers.
take by storm
- capture by a sudden or very bold attackThe army
took the town by storm and was easily able to capture all of the enemy troops.
take by storm
- win the favor of, become popular with a group of
peopleThe rock band took the town by storm when they came to town.
take care of
- look after or give attention to someone or
somethingYou should take care of your health or you will get sick.
take care of
- deal with something, do what is necessary to do
somethingCould you please take care of these letters while I make
some phone calls.
- write or record what is saidI took down many notes
during the lecture last week.
- take apart, pull to piecesWe took down our tent as
soon as it began to rain.
take down a notch (peg)
- make someone less proud or sure of himselfHe was
taken down a notch by his boss because he was beginning to act in an arrogant
- become legally right or operativeThe new laws
related to alcohol took effect early last month.
take exception to
- speak against, find fault with, be angered byHe
took exception to the fact that everyone was able to go and play golf except for
- mistake someone for somethingThe man took the young
boy for a robber and called the police.
take for a ride
- play a trick on or fool someone, take unfair advantage of
someoneI was taken for a ride by the used car salesman. The car that
I bought is not very good.
take for granted
- assume something is a certain way or is correctI
took it for granted that you knew him. Otherwise I would have introduced you.
- be encouraged, feel brave and want to try
somethingHe took heart from his previous failure and decided to try
- become sickShe took ill during her holiday and
spent most of the time in her hotel.
- go and see or visitWe decided to go and take in a
movie last night.
- make smallerThe tailor took in the waist of my suit
pants and they now fit much better.
- grasp with the mindThe course was very difficult
but I tried to take in as much as possible.
take in (money)
- receive, getWe were able to take in a lot of money
last night at the charity auction.
- let someone come in, admitThe farmer took in the
couple for the night after their car broke down.
take in stride
- accept good or bad luck and go onThe boxer took his
loss in stride and began to prepare for his next fight.
- endure trouble or criticism or abuseHe is quite
sensitive and can never really take it if I make a joke about him.
- get an idea or impression, understand from what is said or
doneI take it that you are not going to come to the graduation
ceremony next week.
take it easy
- relaxI`ve been working hard all month so I have
decided to take it easy for a few days.
take it on the chin
- be badly beaten or hurt, accept trouble calmlyOur
team took it on the chin at the baseball tournament last week.
take it out on
- be unpleasant or unkind to someone because one is angry or
upsetAlthough he has much stress from work he is careful not to take
it out on his friends or family.
take its toll
- cause loss or damageHis new job and the long hours
have begun to take their toll on his health.
take kindly to
- be pleased by, likeHe doesn`t take kindly to people
telling him how to run his business.
take leave of
- abandon, go away from or become separated fromI
think that he has taken leave of his senses. He has been acting very strange
- act toward someone in too close or friendly a manner, use
someone as one would a close friend or something of one`s ownShe is
taking liberties with her friend by always borrowing her car.
- unpleasantly surprised, suddenly puzzled or
shockedI was taken aback when she said that she didn`t want to work
with us any longer.
take off (clothes)
- remove clothes etc.Please take off your shoes
before you enter our house.
take off (time)
- be absent from workHe was sick and had to take off
a week from work.
- depart suddenly or quickly, run awayWe decided to
take off right after the concert ended.
- leave on a flightThe flight took off right on time.
- begin to handle, commit oneself toRecently he has
begun to take on too many things at work and has become very tired.
- give a job to, hire, employThe factory took on over
fifty new employees last month.
- begin to have the look ofHe has begun to take on
the look of a university professor although he has only been working at the
university for a short time.
- loadThe ship took on most of its cargo the week
before it left the port.
take one`s hat off to someone
- admire, respect, praiseYou really have to take your
hat off to him. He has built up his company from almost nothing.
take one`s own medicine
- accept punishment without complainingHe likes to
criticize everyone but can never take his own medicine when others criticize
take one`s time
- do something without hurryingHe took his time in
returning the book he had borrowed.
- escort or go on a date with someoneI finally had a
chance to take out the new woman from work last week.
- take control, take commandOur company was taken
over by a foreign company last month.
take part in
- participate inAre you planning to take part in the
seminar next week?
- happen, occurThe game took place on the coldest day
of the year.
- support one side on the otherYou should not take
sides in the argument or both sides will hate you.
take someone for a ride
- cheat, swindleI think that they really took him for
a ride when he was visiting last year.
take someone to the cleaners
- take all of someone`s money or cheat someoneHe was
taken to the cleaners when he decided to buy the series of books from the
take something into account
- remember and considerPlease take into account that
she has only been studying French for a few weeks.
take something lying down
- suffer without a fightI am very angry and won`t
take what he says lying down.
take something to heart
- consider seriouslyYou shouldn`t really take what he
says to heart. He is really very kind.
take something with a grain of salt
- not take seriously something someone has saidYou
can take everything that he says with a grain of salt.
- begin to make plans or arrangements, make
preparationsThe company has begun to take steps to stop people from
smoking in the main office building.
- count items of merchandise or supplies in stock, take
inventoryThe store will be closed for three days next week while the
company is taking stock.
take stock in (usually negative)
- have faith in, believeShe took no stock in the idea
that women could not work as firefighters as well as men.
take stock of
- carefully study a situation or a number of possibilities or
opportunitiesAfter taking stock of the situation he decided that it
would be difficult to continue working for the company.
take the bull by the horns
- take some kind of actionHe finally decided to take
the bull by the horns and started to plan their anniversary party.
take the edge off
- lessen, weaken, softenWe had a drink of hot
chocolate in order to take the edge off the cold weather.
take the Fifth
- hide behind the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which
guarantees any witness the right not to incriminate himself while testifying at
a trialHe decided to take the Fifth rather than tell the truth at the
take the plunge
- do something decisive (often used when you get
married)He finally decided to take the plunge and will get married
take the rap
- receive punishment, be accused and punishedThe
owner of the restaurant was forced to take the rap over allowing underage
workers to work at night.
take the words out of someone`s mouth
- say something someone else was going to sayHe took
the words right out of my mouth when he answered your question.
- begin the work or job of, learn easily, do well
atHe took to the job of administrator very easily and was a great
- to like at first meeting, be pleased by or attracted to,
accept quicklyThey took to the new coach immediately and did very
well during the beginning of the season.
take to task
- scold for a fault or errorI was taken to task by
the supervisor for not arriving at work on time.
take to the cleaners
- win all someone`s moneyHe went to Las Vegas and was
taken to the cleaners by the card dealers.
take to the woods
- run away and hideHe decided to take to the woods
rather than wait to talk to his wife.
- do something alternately with othersWe had to take
turns using the dictionary as there was only one.
take (someone) under one`s wing
- protect someoneHe has taken the new employee under
his wing and is teaching him about the company.
- begin an activity or hobbyHe has a lot of free time
lately and has decided to take up fishing as a hobby.
- fill a place or time, occupyAll of his evenings
have been taken up by his hobby of building model airplanes.
- gather together, collectWe decided to take up a
collection in order to help repair the old building.
- begin, startWe took up the lesson where we had
finished last week.
- pull and make tightI went back to the department
store to see if they could take up my suit pants.
take up arms
- get ready to fight or make warThe citizens were not
willing to take up arms to try and change their government.
- answer rudelyShe is very strict and never allows
her children to talk back to her.
- talk boastfully, bragHe is always talking big but
nobody believes what he says.
talk down to someone
- use words or ideas that are too simpleI don`t
really like her because she is always talking down to the people around her.
- get someone to agree to something, persuade someone to do
somethingShe finally talked her father into lending her the family
- discuss until everything is agreed on, settleWe
stayed up late last night and talked out the problem.
talk out of
- persuade not to, decide not toI spent about an hour
yesterday trying to talk my friend out of quitting his job.
- discussYou had better talk over your plans with
your parents before you decide what to do.
- talk about things in one`s workEveryone at the
restaurant decided that they would not talk shop during the dinner.
talk through one`s hat
- make exaggerated or inaccurate statementsHe is
always talking through his hat and you never know if you can believe him or not.
- discuss seriouslyNow you`re talking turkey so let`s
finish and go home.
- speak in favor ofThe manager was talking up the
product as we entered the meeting.
tan someone`s hide
- give a beating to, spank hardThe boy`s mother
threatened to tan his hide if he did not behave himself.
- come to an end little by little, become smaller toward the
endThe rain began to taper off early in the afternoon.
tar and feather
- punish severelyThe teacher said that she would tar
and feather anyone who didn`t do their homework.
- take down, destroyThe city decided to tear down the
building because it was unsafe.
- say bad things about, criticizeThe audience tore
down his argument after he finished the lecture.
- tear something up into small piecesThe child tore
up the new telephone book.
- distinguish between two things or peopleIt is hard
to tell the two sisters apart.
tell it like it is
- be honest, sincere, tell the truthAlthough what he
said was very difficult for everyone to believe he decided to tell it like it is
tell it to the marines (Sweeney)
- I don`t believe you, stop trying to fool meShe said
that she was going to start her own business but I told her to tell it to the
marines as I didn`t believe her.
tell (someone) off
- speak to angrilyHe told his neighbor off after
their music was too loud last night.
tell on someone
- reveal the activities or wrongdoings of someone by telling
othersShe told on her brother for eating the cake.
tempest in a teapot
- great excitement about something not importantThe
problem was really a tempest in a teapot and after a few days everyone had
forgotten about it.
- I understand you."Ten-four", he said when his
friend asked him if he understood the plan.
- in a state of suspense or strain because of
uncertaintyThey have been on tenterhooks all week while waiting for
the decision about the Olympics.
that will be the day
- that will never happenThat will be the day that he
is willing to put you in charge of running the restaurant.
- dumb, unreasonableHe is a little bit thick and
never understands what I want to say.
think better of
- consider something again and make a better decision about
somethingI would think better of going to Europe in the winter if I
have a chance to go again.
think little of
- think that something or someone is not important or
valuableShe is not very happy and seems to think little of the people
that she is working with.
think nothing of something
- not worry about something, forget itWhen he goes
drinking he thinks nothing of spending most of his money at one time.
- think through to the endI didn`t really have time
to think out the problem of where everyone would sleep before the guests
think out loud
- say what one is thinkingI am sorry. I was thinking
out loud about the new system we have started.
- consider carefullyHe carefully thought over his
plans before talking to his supervisor.
think twice about something
- think very carefullyYou should think twice before
you go ahead and quit your job.
- invent, createHe has thought up a lot of
interesting ideas for his company.
(the) third degree
- detailed questioningHis mother gave him the third
degree when he came home late last night.
three sheets to the wind
- unsteady from too much liquor, drunkI saw him
walking down the street last night but he seemed to have three sheets to the
through the grapevine
- hear from other peopleI heard it through the
grapevine that he was going to move to Paris next summer.
through the mill
- experience a difficult situationHe has really been
through the mill after his divorce and loss of job.
through thick and thin
- through all difficulties and troubles, through good times and
bad timesHer husband is always ready to help her and supports her
through thick and thin.
throw a curve
- take someone by surprise in an unpleasant
wayEverything was going well until he threw me a curve and told me
that we would have to move to another office building next month.
throw a monkey wrench into
- cause something that is going smoothly to stopHe
threw a monkey wrench into our plans to go to the lake for the summer.
throw away a chance or opportunity
- fail to make use of a chance or opportunityHe threw
away a chance to get a good education when he began to work when he was very
throw cold water on
- discourage, forbidMy boss quickly threw cold water
on my plan to go to New York on a field trip.
throw down the gauntlet
- challenge someone to a fight or something
similarThe government threw down the gauntlet to the opposition party
to either give an alternative or stop criticizing the government`s plans.
- give or put in as an additionWhen we bought the car
the dealer threw in some new tires as a bonus.
throw in one`s lot with
- join, take part in somethingHe decided to throw in
his lot with the members of the company who were on strike.
throw in the towel
- surrender, give upThe boxer threw in the towel
about half way through the match.
- get free fromI was able to throw off my cold and
- mislead, confuse, foolThe criminals threw off the
police and escaped into the subway.
throw one`s weight around
- use one`s influence in an aggressive wayHe has been
throwing his weight around ever since he got his new promotion.
- force to leave, dismissThe umpire threw out the
coach for arguing with him.
throw the baby out with the bathwater
- reject all of something because part of it is
faultyWhen they decided to get rid of all of the computers because
one was broken it was like throwing the baby out with the bath water. They only
needed one new computer.
throw the book at
- punish severely for breaking a rule or the lawThe
government threw the book at him after he was convicted of drunk driving.
- make in a hurry and without careWe didn`t have much
time last night so we threw together a quick meal and then went to the football
(be) thrown together
- be grouped with other people by chanceWe were
thrown together with some strange people when the storm forced the plane to
delay its flight for a day.
throw to the wolves
- send into danger without protectionThe small boy
was thrown to the wolves when he was made to join the team of older players.
- vomitHe threw up two times after he got food
poisoning from the seafood.
throw up one`s hands
- give up trying, admit that one cannot succeedHe
threw up his hands and decided to let the students go home early.
thumb a lift/ride
- hitchhikeTheir car had a flat tire so they thumbed
a lift to the nearest gas station.
thumb one`s nose
- look with disfavor or dislikeThe star player
thumbed his nose at the fans when they began to boo him.
- very happyHe was tickled pink to be awarded a prize
for growing the best flowers.
tide (someone) over
- help someone through a difficult situationI lent
him some money to tide him over until he gets paid.
tie the knot
- get marriedThey decided to tie the knot after
seeing each other for over three years.
- keep someone from going somewhere or doing
somethingThe project tied him down for over three months.
- have family or job responsibilitiesI never see him
anymore as he is tied down because of his busy schedule at work.
- to connect with something elseThe merchandise was
tied in with the movie and had very good sales.
- slow or stop the movement or action ofThe highway
traffic was tied up for over three hours last night.
- take all the time of someoneI was tied up this
morning so I was unable to answer the phone.
- limit or prevent the use ofAll of his money is tied
up in real estate investments.
- enter into an association or partnership, joinOur
company decided to tie up with a company from Sweden to make the pollution
- dock (a ship)The ship docked at the pier three days
before it was ready to load.
tie up in knots
- make someone very nervous or worriedHe was tied up
in knots before the speech at the convention.
tighten one`s belt
- economize, spend lessWe will have to tighten our
belts for awhile until the economy improves.
- a difficult situationThey are in a very tight spot
since the head salesman quit.
- difficult financial situationThe company is in a
tight squeeze now that sales are down from last year.
time after time
- repeatedlyI have told her time after time to be
careful with her spelling.
time of one`s life
- a wonderful timeShe had the time of her life when
she went to Rome last summer.
- time when a game or something is temporarily stopped for some
reasonDuring the game we took some time out to rest.
tip (someone) off
- warn, informThe police were tipped off that there
was going to be a robbery at the bank.
tip the balance
- have important or decisive influence, decideHis
ability to speak French tipped the balance in his favor to get the job at the
tip the scales
- weighThe sumo wrestler tipped the scales at over
- make very tiredMy father was tired out after
working hard all day.
tit for tat
- equal treatment in return, a fair exchangeThe
government policy was a tit for tat response to any attacks against its
to a fault
- so very well that it is almost badHe is honest to a
fault and will not say anything unless it is the absolute truth.
to and fro
- forward and back again and againThey went to and
fro between the two items trying to decide what to buy.
to a T
- perfectly, exactlyThat new suit fits you to a T.
to be sure
- without a doubt, certainlyTo be sure it would be
better to talk to the president of the company in person.
- in addition, alsoYou will not only need a new
video. You will need a new television to boot.
toe the line
- obey the rules and do one`s dutiesThe children were
forced to toe the line when the new teacher arrived.
- under controlThe army brought the citizens to heel
when they entered the town.
- make less harsh or strong, moderateThe union leader
was forced to tone down his language after the strike began to grow violent.
- worthy of sorrow or regretIt is too bad that the
university decided to close the bookstore last year.
too big for one`s breeches/boots
- feeling more important than one really isOur new
boss is too big for his breeches and needs someone to tell him to change his
too many irons in the fire
- too many things you are trying to doHe has too many
irons in the fire at the moment and has no time for other things.
to one`s name
- in one`s ownershipHe is a very good dresser
although he doesn`t have a penny to his name.
- according to directions given in an order in the way something
is made or size wanted etc.He had three suits made to order when he
visited Hong Kong last year.
tooth and nail
- fiercely, as hard as possibleHe decided to fight
tooth and nail to get a transfer to another department of the company.
- of the best or most important kindWhen he buys a
new car he always buys a top-drawer model.
- into broken pieces or fragments, destroyed, not
workingHis car fell to pieces during his recent trip to Alaska.
- very much, greatlyHe loves his little girl to
- excellent, the bestThey had a top-notch cook at the
restaurant but he left last month.
- come or bring to a special or unexpected ending,
climaxThe conference was topped off by a large dinner on the last
- upside down, in disarrayMy apartment was
topsy-turvy so I stayed home to clean up.
to speak of
- important, worth talking aboutWe didn`t do anything
to speak of during the summer vacation.
- drink rapidlyHe tossed off a couple of drinks
before he went home for the evening.
- make or say easily without trying or thinking
hardHe was able to toss off the answer to the question easily when
the teacher asked him.
- force to leave, dismissThe boys was tossed out of
the restaurant for their bad behavior.
to the bone
- thoroughly, entirelyHe became wet to the bone when
the sudden storm appeared.
to the eye
- as it is seen, apparentlyTo the eye it looked like
a nice hotel but when we entered it was not very good at all.
to the full
- very much, fullyHe always tries to live his life to
to the hilt
- to the maximum amount, completelyHe has been up to
the hilt in debt since he bought that car.
to the letter
- exactly, preciselyThe police officer always follows
the law to the letter.
to the nth degree
- to the greatest degree possible, extremelyThey made
an effort to the nth degree but were unable to successfully complete the
to the tune of
- to the amount or extent ofThe damage that he did to
his car was to the tune of about $2000.
to the wall
- into a place from which there is no escapeThe
credit agency pushed him to the wall and he finally had to declare bankruptcy.
touch and go
- uncertain, dangerous situationIt was touch and go
as to whether she was going to survive after the car accident.
- cause to fire or explode by lighting the fuseThe
fire at the oil refinery touched off an explosion that destroyed many tanks.
- start somethingThe arrest of the labor leader
touched off a riot among the citizens.
touch on (upon)
- speak of or write of brieflyThe news article about
the company touched upon their previous legal problems.
- paint over (small imperfections)I decided to have
the repair shop touch up several places on my car where the paint was bad.
- improve with small additions or changesMy essay
will be done as soon as I touch up some of the weak spots.
- unlucky event, misfortuneHe received a tough break
when he became sick immediately before the music contest.
- place that is overpriced and attracts touristsHe
thinks that Hawaii is a tourist trap and doesn`t want to go there for his
tower of strength
- a person who gives strong and reliable supportHe
has been a real tower of strength to his sister since her husband died.
- search forI have been trying to track down an old
Beatles album for many months.
trade something in
- exchange something old or used for something newHe
traded in his old car for a new one.
- travel with very little luggage or with little to
carryWe always travel very light when we go on a holiday.
tread on one`s toes
- do something that offends someoneI don`t want to
tread on her toes because she is the most powerful supervisor in this company.
- pay for someone elseHe treated me to a dinner at
trial and error
- a way of solving problems by trying different possible
solutions until one finds one that worksThey worked by trial and
error until they found a solution to the parking problems at the factory.
- a hint about a plan with the purpose of finding out what
people think about the ideaWe sent up a trial balloon to see who
would support our plan to enlarge the factory.
trick of the trade
- a smart, quick or skillful way of doing somethingHe
knows many of the tricks of the trade in the publishing business.
trip the light fantastic
- go dancingIt`s Friday night so let`s go downtown
and trip the light fantastic.
- make a mistakeThe teacher tripped up over the
correct pronunciation of the president`s name.
- make up, invent in the mindHe was arrested on
trumped up charges of selling illegal CDs.
- something kept back to be used to win success if nothing else
worksHis trump card was his knowledge of the sales figures that
nobody else knew..
- put on clothes to see how they fit and lookYou
should try on that jacket before you buy it.
try one`s hand
- make an inexperienced attempt at somethingI have
decided to try my hand at sailing a boat this summer.
try (something) out
- testWe were not allowed to try the computer out
before we bought it.
try out for
- planning to join or take part in a team, competing for a
placeTheir son has decided to try out for the football team this
- a game in which two teams pull on opposite ends of a rope and
try to pull the other team over a line marked on the groundThe
children played tug-of-war at the summer camp.
- a contest in which two sides try to defeat each other, a
struggleThe two countries have been in a tug-of-war over the
territory for many years.
- adjust a radio or television to pick up a certain
stationWe were able to tune in to the basketball game when we were
driving to work this morning.
- get in touch with something important like one`s own feelings,
etc.She is always going to workshops and taking short courses to help
her tune in to her feelings.
- adjust a musical instrument to the right soundThe
orchestra tuned up their instruments before the performance.
- adjust a car engine so that it will run properlyWe
took our car to the garage to be tuned up before we went on our holiday.
turn a deaf ear to
- pretend not to hear, refuse to hearThe company
turned a deaf ear to our demands for more money and holidays.
- reduce the loudness, brightness or force of
somethingI went over to my next door neighbor and asked him to turn
down his stereo.
- refuse to accept, rejectThe union turned down the
company offer of more money but no change in working conditions.
- give to someone, hand to someoneI turned in the
wallet that I had found to the police.
- inform on, reportThe department store turned in the
shoplifter to the police.
- go to bedWe decided to turn in about 9:00 PM last
- shut off, stopPlease turn off the lights before you
- leave by turning right or left onto another road or
pathWhen we arrived at the small store we decided to turn off on the
turn (someone) off
- disgust, irritate, repel someoneHer constant
complaining always turns me off.
- open, start, let water or electricity flowPlease
turn on the radio so we can hear the evening news.
turn (someone) on
- excite a person, become interested in an idea, person or
undertakingShe was turned on by the idea of going to Spain for the
turn on someone
- become suddenly hostile to someoneHe used to be my
friend but he suddenly turned on me last summer.
turn one`s back on
- refuse to help someone in trouble or needShe turned
her back on her friend when she asked for help writing the exam paper.
turn one`s stomach
- make one feel sickSeeing the car accident turned my
turn on one`s heel
- turn around suddenlyThe mailman turned on his heel
when when he saw the large dog.
- make someone leave or go awayThe man decided to
turn his son out of the house when he refused to get a job.
- turn inside out, emptyHe turned out his pockets
when he was looking for his car keys.
- result, end, prove to be trueAt first we thought
the weather would be terrible but it actually turned out fine.
- make, produceThe car company is turning out over
8,000 cars a week now.
- come or go out to see or do somethingOver 50.000
people turned out for the football game.
- make a light go outHe always turns out the light if
he doesn`t need it.
- roll over, upsetThe ferry turned over during the
- give to someone for use or careI turned over the
keys of my apartment to the landlord when I went away for a month.
- start an engine or motorIt was too cold in the
morning so the car engine would not turn over.
- sellWe were able to turn over most of our stock of
air conditioners during the summer.
turn over a new leaf
- make a fresh startI`m going to turn over a new leaf
and begin to practice the piano every day.
turn over in one`s grave
- be so angry that one would not rest quietly in one`s
graveMy grandmother would turn over in her grave if she knew that I
had lost my job and was not working.
- run away from trouble or dangerThe young boys
turned tail when the farmer began to chase them from the field.
turn the clock back
- return to an earlier periodThe politician wanted to
turn the clock back to an earlier time but of course everyone knew it was
turn the other cheek
- let someone do something to you and not try to get
revengeHe decided to turn the other cheek when the man tried to start
a fight in the restaurant.
turn the tables
- reverse the situationThe opposing team were able to
finally turn the tables and won the game.
turn the tide
- change what looks like defeat into victoryAt the
beginning of the game they were losing badly but they turned the tide and
finally won the game.
turn the trick
- bring about the result one wants, succeed in what one plans to
doHe wanted to win two prizes at the competition but was unable to
turn the trick and only won one.
turn thumbs down
- disapprove or reject, say noMy supervisor turned
thumb downs to my plan to work on a more flexible schedule.
- go to for helpHe turned to his wife`s parents for
advice about buying a house.
- appear suddenlyThey turned up when the party was
- find, discoverMy wallet turned up in my suit jacket
- just where I left it.
turn up one`s nose at
- refuse as not being good enough for oneHe turned up
his nose at the offer of a job in another department of the company.
twiddle one`s thumbs
- not busy, not workingHe was sitting around
twiddling his thumbs all day and didn`t get any work done.
twist someone around one`s little finger
- have complete control over someone and be able to make them do
anything you wantShe is able to easily twist her supervisor around
her little finger and gets whatever she wants at work.
twist one`s arm
- force someone or threaten someone to make them do
somethingHe didn`t have to twist my arm to get me to go to the movie.
I wanted to go anyway.
- twenty-five cents, a quarter of a dollarHe bought
several used books for two bits each.
- something not important or very small, almost
nothingAlthough his stereo works well I wouldn`t give him two cents
two cents worth
- something one wants to say, opinionHe is always
talking and I never have a chance to put in my two cents worth.
- disloyal, untrustworthyI think he is two-faced and
can never be trusted.
Idiom Quizzes - T