Important Idioms, Phrases & Phrasal Verbs Starting With Letter ‘H’

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

In this post, we are sharing the important idioms, phrases, and phrasal verbs which start with the letter ‘H’ in our series ‘Important Idioms, Phrases & Phrasal Verbs for bank exams’. It includes English as well as Hindi meaning along with usage of the following important idioms, phrases & phrasal verbs. So, go through this article now and gear up your preparation for the upcoming exams of IBPS Clerk & IBPS PO Main 2021.


Important Idioms, Phrases & Phrasal Verb with Letter ‘H’

1. Have a hand in

Meaning – To be involved or influential in the planning, creation, or execution of something

Meaning (Hindi) – शामिल होना, निर्माण में प्रभावशाली होना 

Example – Even though the writer is someone else, from the writing style of the book, it is evident that the President had a hand in it.

2. Hair-splitting

Meaning – To argue uselessly/characterized by the minute and irrelevant differences or details in an argument.

Meaning (Hindi) –   बाल की खाल खींचना

Example –  My colleague has a very bad habit of hair-splitting even on trivial issues.

3. Handle someone with kid gloves

Meaning –  to be very careful and polite to a person because you don’t want to hurt him or her, or you don’t want to make him or her angry or upset.

Meaning (Hindi) – कोमलता से व्यवहार करना

Example – You need to handle her with kid gloves as she is very upset after her brother’s demise.

 4. Hale and Hearty

Meaning –  Fit and fine 

Meaning (Hindi) –  चुस्त और तंदुरुस्त

Example – Although he was hospitalized two weeks back, he is hale and hearty now.

5. Hangfire

Meaning –  to delay or wait; to be delayed/to wait to take action

Meaning (Hindi) –  विलम्ब होना

Example –  Our film shooting has to hang fire until we get permission from the forest authority.

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6. Harp on the same tune

Meaning – Keep on repeating the same thing

Meaning (Hindi) –  एक ही बात दोहराना जारी रखना

Example – I do not want to sit beside him as he always harps on the same tune that his father won the election last year.

7. Have had one’s chips

Meaning – To be defeated; to fail completely; to die or be killed.

Meaning (Hindi) – पराजित होना, पूरी तरह से विफल

Example – Most of the businesses have had their chips due to the recession in the country.

8. Have a cow

Meaning –  To become amazed, angered, or upset/To get very upset about something, often more than is expected or warranted

Meaning (Hindi) –  क्रोधित और परेशान होना 

Example – The principal had a cow when he caught students cheating during the exam.

9. Hang in the balance

Meaning –  To be in the state of uncertainty/Be in a precarious condition or in a state of suspense

Meaning (Hindi) – अनिश्चितता की स्थिति में होना

Example – The future of the students is hanging in the balance after the paper leak case.

10. Has too many irons in the fire

Meaning – to be doing too many things at once

Meaning (Hindi) – अनेक कार्यो में संलग्नता रखना

Example – My father had too many irons in the fire but he managed everything very well.

11. Hit a snag

Meaning – To encounter an unexpected problem or obstacle 

Meaning (Hindi) – एक अप्रत्याशित समस्या या बाधा का सामना करना 

Example –  Our plan to go to the hill station hit a snag when we came to know about a cloudburst in the region.

12. Hit the nail on the head

Meaning –  Said or done exactly the right thing/ to do something in the most effective and efficient way. 

Meaning (Hindi) – बहुत सटीकता से

Example – By analyzing the main reason behind the lack of confidence in Raman, his father hit the nail on the head.

13. Hit the sack/Hit the hay

Meaning –  To get into bed and go to sleep

Meaning (Hindi) – बिस्तर में जाना 

Example -: When we came back home after the long tiring trip, we directly hit the sack.

14. Hope against hope

Meaning – To continue to hope for something even though it seems unlikely to happen/Cling to a mere possibility

Meaning (Hindi) – व्यर्थ की आशा

Example -: He hasn’t studied for the exam and he is hoping against hope that he might pass when the result is about to come.

15. Hush Money

Meaning –  money paid to someone to prevent them from disclosing embarrassing or discreditable information.

Meaning (Hindi) – रिश्वत देना, मुंहभराई

Example -:  The corrupt man tried a lot to offer hush money to the minister but failed in his motive.

16. Hand back

Meaning – to give something back to someone

Meaning (Hindi) – वापस करना 

Example -: Harish gave me this book, so please hand back it to him when you meet him.

17. Hand down

Meaning – 

  • to give knowledge or skill to someone who is younger than you and will live after you have died
  • to give clothes, toys , etc to a younger child when an older child no longer needs them
  • to say officially that someone should receive a particular punishment

Meaning (Hindi) – के नाम करना, दिया जाना

Example –

  • These art skills have been handed down from one generation to another generation.
  • The sentence handed down by the judge to the little boy is too severe according to everyone.

18. Head off

Meaning – 

  • to prevent something from taking place
  • to leave
  •  to prevent someone from going somewhere by getting in front of them

Meaning (Hindi) – बाधा डालना, छुड़ाना, रोक देना

Example -: It is need of the hour to head off our children going in the wrong direction.

19. Hammer away at

Meaning – Work relentlessly 

Meaning (Hindi) – निरंतर काम करना 

Example -: Because the last date to submit the project was near, she hammered away at her computer whole night.

20. Hack around

Meaning – Waste time 

Meaning (Hindi) – समय बर्बाद करना

Example -: Hacking around will lead you nowhere in life. 

Word of the day: Hold

21. Hold forth

Meaning –  State your opinions about something, especially when talking for a long time and boringly/ talk lengthily, assertively, or tediously about a subject.

Meaning (Hindi) – विस्तार से कहना

Example – In our annual function, the chief guest held forth for about 40 minutes on a variety of subjects.

22. Holdback

Meaning – 

  • Prevent something from moving forwards or progressing
  • Not disclose information or make it public 

Meaning (Hindi) – अवरुद्ध करना

Example – 

  • As her only brother was going to the hostel, it was really hard for her to hold back the tears.
  • The bank held back the findings of the report for the fear of alienating customers. 

23. Hold on

Meaning –

  • Wait 
  • To hold tightly 

Meaning (Hindi) – जोर से पकड़ना, प्रतीक्षा करना 

Example –  

  • Hold on for five minutes, I am about to reach the place.
  • The mother advised the son to hold on his bag while travelling in a train.

24. Hold off

Meaning –  

  • Stop someone from attacking or beating you 
  • (of bad weather) fail to occur.

Meaning (Hindi) – रोक कर रखना

Example –

  • Because of the bad weather, the international match has been held off.
  • Vijender could not hold his opponent off and lost the game.

25. Hold something over

Meaning – postpone something.

Meaning (Hindi) –  स्थगित करना

Example – 

  • The exam was held over until the last week of May due to some undisclosed reasons.
  • He was hoping that he would be able to get away after committing the crime, but the security officers proved him wrong.


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