Idiom Examples


An idiom is a phrase that has a different meaning that that of the words that make it up. The meaning of an idiom cannot be determined by looking up the meanings of the separate words. Rather, when these words are put together in a specific way, the meaning is something new and separate.

Many languages have idiomatic expressions that must be learned. Native speakers of a language pick up the meaning of these phrases as they experience the language. Those who are trying to learn a language must memorize the meanings of idioms

Examples of Idiom:

Examples of Idioms in English

1. It'sraining cats and dogs. (hard rain)

2. This is a piece of cake. (very easy)

3. Break a leg when you go on stage. (do a good job in the performance

4. You just hit the nail on the head. (said something accurate)

5. Don't let the cat out of the bag. (tell a secret)

Examples of Idioms Used in Literature

William Shakespeare invented many idiomatic expressions:

Sea-change-significant transformation

Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade

But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.

Dead as a doornail-dead "Look on me well: I have eat no meat these five days; yet, come thou and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat grass more." Henry VI

Be all and end all-the last word; the thing that ends a search for something better

"If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly. If th' assassination Could trammel up the consequence, and catch With his surcease, success: that but this blow Might be the be-all and the end-all".Macbeth

Greek to me-couldn't be understood; unintelligible "Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me." Julius Caesar

Related Links:
Grammar Examples