Important Idioms & Phrases

By Nitin Singhal|Updated : March 3rd, 2021

As you all know that Idioms & Phrases type of questions is the most important part of the State Exams. So we are providing you with 25 most repeated idioms & phrases which usually comes in State Exams. If you like it let us know.


1. Break the ice:

  • Meaning- To initiate a social conversation or interaction
  • Sentence- At the start of the lecture, the new professor tried to break the ice by telling a joke.

2.  Apple of one’s eye:

  • Meaning- Being cherished more than others are
  • Sentence- Sam is adored by his teacher for his childlike nature. He is the apple of her eye.

3. Golden handshake:

  • Meaning- A big sum of money given to a person when he/she leaves a company or retires
  • Sentence- The management of the company wanted to decrease their workforce. They offered a golden handshake to their aged employees.

4. Come hell or high water:

  • Meaning- Possible obstacles in your path (will not stop you)
  • Sentence- I have decided that come hell or high water I will become an engineer.

5. Piece of cake:

  • Meaning- Something that is easy to understand or do
  • Sentence- I thought that the problem would be tough, but it turned out to be a piece of cake!

6. Chip on your shoulder:

  • Meaning- When someone is upset about something that happened a while ago
  • Sentence- He has a chip on his shoulder for being abandoned by his parents in his childhood.

7. Cry over spilt milk:

  • Meaning- Complaining about a loss or failure from the past
  • Sentence- He was mad because he couldn’t clear the cut off due to a silly mistake. But, then he realized there was no use crying over spilt milk and decided to become more careful.

8. Once in a blue moon:

  • Meaning- Something that happens very rarely
  • Sentence-  Once in a blue moon, the blue jay can be seen in these parts of the forest.

9. Bone of contention:

  • Meaning- A subject or issue over which there is continuing disagreement
  • Sentence- The examination system has long been a serious bone of contention in the HRD Ministry.

10. Eat humble pie:

  • Meaning- To apologize humbly
  • Sentence- He will have to eat humble pie for the disrespect shown to the Captain.

11. Fool’s paradise:

  • Meaning- False sense of happiness or success
  • Sentence- They were living in a fool’s paradise, refusing to accept that they were facing poverty.

12. Give cold shoulder:

  • Meaning- To ignore
  • Sentence- I sent her a message to apologize for my misbehavior, but she gave me the cold shoulder.

13. Get a raw deal:

  • Meaning- To not be treated as well as other people
  • Sentence- The fact is that students in government schools get a raw deal.

14. Hit the nail on the head:

  • Meaning- To do the correct thing
  • Sentence- She hit the nail on the head when she laid out a list of justifiable grievances she had with the company.

15. Hand to mouth:

  • Meaning- live on only basic necessities
  • Sentence- The severe drought led the farmers to live hand to mouth.

16. Hit the bull’s eye:

  • Meaning- To be exactly right about something or achieve the best result possible.
  • Sentence- The detective hit the bull’s eye when he figured out that nobody but the doctor could have had access to the poison.

17. Let the cat out of the bag:

  • Meaning- To reveal the secret carelessly or by mistake
  • Sentence- Now that she had let the cat out of the bag, she had no option but to confess.

18. Make a face:

  • Meaning- To show dislike or disappointment through facial expressions
  • Sentence- Little Stella made a face at the sight of bitter gourd in her food.

19. Open Pandora’s Box:

  • Meaning- To find a source of great troubles and problems
  • Sentence- Finding the wallet on the road opened up a Pandora’s box. I was arrested for stealing when I went to report it at the police station.

20. It’s Greek to me

  • Meaning- Something that is not understandable
  • Sentence- I failed my commerce test; it was all Greek to me!

21. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:

  • Meaning- Do not put all your resources in one basket.
  • Sentence- The boy put all his money into his dream startup that eventually failed. I had told him not to put all his eggs in one basket.

22. To call a spade a spade:

  • Meaning- To be brutally frank, outspoken, blunt in speech.
  • Sentence- Let’s call a spade a spade – popular he may be, but that man is a liar.

23. To be a Good Samaritan:

  • Meaning- To be kind and compassionate to someone in distress
  • Sentence- I was sure I would be stuck on the highway till the morning, but a Good Samaritan offered me a ride home.

24. To put in a nutshell:

  • Meaning- To say in a few words or to make something concise
  • Sentence- The Textbook Development Committee decided to put the 30-page chapter, in a nutshell, to help save time for students during revision.

25. To pour oil on troubled waters:

  • Meaning- To make peace
  • Sentence- I am always stuck pouring oil on troubled waters when my mother and wife start their bickering.


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