Слова на букву --- -be m (459) Словарь американских идиом
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Слова на букву --- -be m (459)

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--- and ---
1. - And is used between repeated words to show continuation or emphasis. * /When the children saw the beautiful Christmas tree they looked and looked./ * /Old Mr, ...
a little bird told me
To have learned something from a mysterious, unknown, or secret source. * /"Who told you that Dean Smith was resigning?" Peter asked. "A little bird told me," ...
a bit
{n., informal} A small amount; some. * /There's no sugar in the sugar bowl, but you may find a bit in the bag./ * /If the ball had hit the window a bit harder, it would ...
a few
{n.} or {adj.} A small number (of people or things); some. * /The dry weather killed most of Mother's flowers, but a few are left./ * /In the store, Mary saw many ...
a friend in need is a friend indeed
A genuine friend on whom one can always depend. - A proverb; often shortened to "a friend in need..." * /When John's house burned down, his neighbor Jim helped him and his ...
a hell of
a[or one hell of a] {adj. or adv. phr.}, {informal} Extraordinary; very. * /He made a hell of a shot during the basketball game./ * /Max said seven months was a hell of a time ...
a la
{prep.} In the same way as; like. * /Billy played ball like a champion today, a la the professional ball players./ * /Joe wanted to shoot an apple off my head a la William ...
a little
{n.} or {adj.} A small amount (of); some. - Usually "a little" is different in meaning from "little", which emphasizes the negative; "a little" means "some"; but "little" ...
a little knowledge is a dangerous thing
{literary} A person who knows a little about something may think he knows it all and make bad mistakes. - A proverb. * /John has read a book on driving a car and now he ...
a lot
{n.}, {informal} A large number or amount; very many or very much; lots. * /I learned a lot in Mr. Smith's class./ * /A lot of our friends are going to the beach this ...
a must
{n.} 1. An inevitability; a necessity. * /Visas in many foreign countries are a must./ 2. An extremely interesting or memorable event, such as a free concert ...
a number
{n.} A rather large number; numbers. - Used when there arc more than several and fewer than many. * /The parents were invited to see the program, and a number came./ * /We ...
a pretty pass
{n. phr.} An unfortunate condition; a critical state. * /While the boss was away, things at the company had come to a pretty pass./
abide by
{v.} To accept and obey; be willing to follow. * /A basketball player may know he did not foul, but he must abide by the referee's decision./ * /The members agree to ...
about face
{n.} A sudden change of course or a decision opposite to what was decided earlier. * /Her decision to become an actress instead of a dentist was an about face from her ...
about one's ears
or[around one's ears] {adv. phr.} To or into complete collapse, defeat, or ruin; to the destruction of a person's plans, hopes, or happiness. * /They planned to have ...
about time
{n. phr.} Finally, but later than it should have been; at last. * /Mother said, "It's about time you got up, Mary."/ * /The basketball team won last night. About time./
about to
1. Close to; ready to. - Used with an infinitive. * /We were about to leave when the snow began./ * /I haven't gone yet, but I'm about to./ Compare: GOING TO, ON THE ...
above all
{adv. phr.} Of first or highest importance; most especially. * /Children need many things, but above all they need love./ Syn.: FIRST AND LAST.
above suspicion
{adj. phr.} Too good to be suspected; not likely to do wrong. * /The umpire in the game must be above suspicion of supporting one side over the other./
absent without leave (AWOL)
{adj.} Absent without permission; used mostly in the military. * /Jack left Fort Sheridan without asking his commanding officer, and was punished for going AWOL./
absentia
See: IN ABSENTIA.
Acapulco gold
{n., slang} Marijuana of an exceptionally high quality. * /Jack doesn't just smoke pot, he smokes Acapulco gold./
accord
See: OF ONE'S OWN ACCORD or OF ONE'S OWN FREE WILL.
according as
{conj.} 1. Depending on which; whichever. * /You may take an oral or written exam according as you prefer./ 1. Depending on whether; if. * /We will play golf or stay home ...
according to
{prep.} 1. So as to match or agree with; so as to be alike in. * /Many words are pronounced according to the spelling but some are not./ * /The boys were placed in three ...
according to one's own lights
{adv. phr.} In accordance with one's conscience or inclinations. * /Citizens should vote according to their own lights./
account
See: CALL TO ACCOUNT, CHARGE ACCOUNT, LEAVE OUT OF ACCOUNT, ON ACCOUNT, ON ACCOUNT OF, ON ONE'S ACCOUNT, ON ONE'S OWN ACCOUNT, SAVINGS ACCOUNT, TAKE INTO ...
ace
See: WITHIN AN ACE OF.
ace in the hole
{n. phr.} 1. An ace given to a player face down so that other players in a card game cannot see it. * /When the cowboy bet all his money in the poker game he did not know ...
Achilles' heel
{n. phr.}, {literary} A physical or psychological weakness named after the Greek hero Achilles who was invulnerable except for a spot on his heel. * /John's Achilles' ...
acid head
{n.}, {slang} A regular user of LSD on whom the hallucinogenic drug has left a visible effect. * /The reason John acts so funny is that he is a regular acid head./
acid rock
{n.}, {slang} A characteristic kind of rock in which loudness and beat predominate over melody; especially such music as influenced by drug experiences. * /John is a ...
acorn
See: GREAT OAKS PROM LITTLE ACORNS GROW.
acoustic perfume
{n.}, {slang} Sound for covering up unwanted noise, such as music over loudspeakers in a noisy construction area. * /Let's get out of here - this acoustic perfume is too ...
acquire a taste for
{v. phr.} To become fond of something; get to like something. * /Jack acquired a taste for ripe cheeses when he went to France./
across the board
{adv. phr.} 1. So that equal amounts of money are bet on the same horse to win a race, to place second, or third. * /I bet $6 on the white horse across the board./ - ...
across the tracks
See: THE TRACKS.
act
See: READ THE RIOT ACT.
act high and mighty
{v. phr.} To wield power; act overbearingly; order others around; look down on others. * /Paul is an inexperienced teacher and he acts high and mighty with his students./
act of faith
{n. phr.} An act or a deed that shows unquestioning belief in someone or something. * /It was a real act of faith on Mary's part to entrust her jewelry to her younger ...
act of God
{n.} An occurrence (usually some sort of catastrophe) for which the people affected are not responsible; said of earthquakes, floods, etc. * /Hurricane Andrew ...
act one's age
or[be one's age] {v. phr.} To do the things that people expect someone of your age to do, not act as if you were much younger than you are. * /Mr. O'Brien was playing tag ...
act out
{v.} 1. To show an idea, story, or happening by your looks, talk, and movements. * /He tried to act out a story that he had read./ 2. To put into action. * /All his life ...
act up
{v.}, {informal} 1. To behave badly; act rudely or impolitely. * /The dog acted up as the postman came to the door./ 2. To work or run poorly (as a after all ...
actions speak louder than words
What you do shows your character better and is more important than what you say. - A proverb. * /John promised to help me, but he didn't. Actions speak louder than words./ ...
actor
See: BAD ACTOR.
ad lib
{v. phr.} To improvise; interpolate during speech. * /When the actress forgot her lines during the second act, she had to ad lib in order to keep the show going./
add fuel to the flame
{v. phr.} To make a bad matter worse by adding to its cause; spread trouble, increase anger or other strong feelings by talk or action. * /By criticizing his son's ...
add insult to injury
{v. phr.} 1. To hurt someone's feelings after doing him harm. * /He added insult to injury when he called the man a rat after he had already beaten him up./ 2. To make ...
add the finishing touches
{v. phr.} To complete; finish. * /Mary's first novel promised to be excellent; however, her editor suggested that she should add some finishing touches before accepting ...
add up
{v.} 1. To come to the correct amount. * /The numbers wouldn't add up./ 2. {informal} To make sense; be understandable. * /His story didn't add up./
add up to
{v.} 1. To make a total of; amount to. * /The bill added up to $12.95./ 2. {informal} To mean; result in. * /The rain, the mosquitoes, and the heat added up to a spoiled ...
addition
See: IN ADDITION.
address
See: PUBLIC-ADDRESS SYSTEM.
advance
See: IN ADVANCE or IN ADVANCE OF.
advantage
See: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF, TO ADVANTAGE.
affair
See: LOVE AFFAIR.
afoul of
{prep.} 1. In collision with. * /The boat ran afoul of a buoy./ 2. In or into trouble with. * /The thief ran afoul of the night watchman./ * /Speeders can expect to fall afoul ...
afraid of one's shadow
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Scared of small or imaginary things; very easily frightened; jumpy; nervous. * /Mrs. Smith won't stay alone in her house at night; she is afraid of ...
after a fashion
{adv. phr.} Not very well or properly; poorly. * /He played tennis after a fashion./ * /The roof kept the rain out after a fashion./ Compare: IN A WAY.
after a while
{informal} or[in a while] {adv. phr.} Later, at some time in the future; after a time that is not short and not long. * /"Dad, will you help me make this model plane?" ...
after all
{adv. phr.} 1. As a change in plans; anyway. - Used with emphasis on "after". * /Bob thought he couldn't go to the party because he had too much homework, but he went ...
after hours
{adv. or adj. phr.} Not during the regular, correct, or usual time; going on or open after the usual hours. * /The store was cleaned and swept out after hours./ * /The ...
after one's own heart
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Well liked because of agreeing with your own feelings, interests, and ideas; to your liking-agreeable. Used after "man" or some similar word. * ...
after the dust clears
or[when the dust settles] {adv. phr.} When a troubling, confusing, or disastrous event is finally over. * /John invited Tim for dinner, but since Tim's father had just ...
again
See: COME AGAIN, EVERY NOW AND THEN or EVERY NOW AND AGAIN, NOW AND THEN or NOW AND AGAIN, OFF AGAIN, ON AGAIN or ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN, SOMETHING ELSE AGAIN, THEN AGAIN, ...
against it
See: UP AGAINST IT.
against the clock
See: AGAINST TIME.
against the current
or[against the stream] See: SWIM AGAINST THE CURRENT.
against the grain
{adv. phr.} 1. Across rather than with the direction of the fibers (as of wood or meat). * /He sandpapered the wood against the grain./ 2. So as to annoy or trouble, ...
against time
or[against the clock] {adv. phr.} 1. As a test of speed or time; in order to beat a speed record or time limit. * /John ran around the track against time, because there was ...
age
See: ACT ONE'S AGE or BE ONE'S AGE, DOG'S AGE or COON'S AGE, LEGAL AGE or LAWFUL AGE, OF AGE, OVER AGE, UNDER AGE.
agent
See: FREE AGENT.
Agent Orange
{n.} A herbicide used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War, considered by some to cause birth defects and cancer, hence, by extension, an instance of ...
ago
See: WHILE AGO.
agree with
{v.} To have a good effect on, suit. * /The meat loaf did not agree with him./ * /The warm, sunny climate agreed with him, and he soon grew strong and healthy./
ahead
See: DEAD AHEAD, GET AHEAD.
ahead of
{prep.} 1. In a position of advantage or power over. * /He studies all the time, because he wants to stay ahead of his classmates./ 2. In front of; before. * /The ...
ahead of the game
{adv. or adj. phr.}, {informal} 1. In a position of advantage; winning (as in a game or contest); ahead (as by making money or profit); making it easier to win or ...
ahead of time
{adv. phr.} Before the expected time; early. * /The bus came ahead of time, and Mary was not ready./ * /The new building was finished ahead of time./ Contrast: BEHIND TIME. ...
aim
See: TAKE AIM.
air
See: BUILD CASTLES IN THE AIR, CLEAR THE AIR, GIVE ONESELF AIRS, GET THE AIR at GET THE BOUNCE(1), GIVE THE AIR at GIVE THE BOUNCE(1), IN THE AIR, INTO THIN AIR, ...
air one's dirty linen in public
or[wash one's dirty linen in public] {v. phr.} To talk about your private quarrels or disgraces where others can hear; make public something embarrassing that should ...
air shuttle
{n.}, {informal} Air service for regular commuters operating between major cities at not too far a distance, e.g., between Boston and New York City; such ...
airbus
n. A trade name, also used informally for a wide-bodied airplane used chiefly as a domestic passenger carrier. * /Airbuses don't fly overseas, but mainly from coast to ...
airquake
{n.} An explosive noise of undetermined origin usually heard in coastal communities and appearing to come from some higher point in elevation. * /What was that awful noise ...
albatross around one's neck
{n. phr.}, {literary} Guilt, the haunting past, an unforgettable problem. * /Even though it was an accident, John's father's death has been an albatross around John's ...
alert
See: ON THE ALERT.
alive
See: COME ALIVE, KNOW --- IS ALIVE, LOOK ALIVE, SKIN ALIVE.
alive and kicking
{adj. phr.} Very active; vigorous; full of energy. * /Grandpa was taken to the hospital with pneumonia, but he was discharged yesterday and is alive and kicking./
alive with
{prep.}, {informal} Crowded with; filled with. * /The lake was alive with fish./ * /The stores were alive with people the Saturday before Christmas./
all
See: AFTER ALL, AND ALL, AT ALL, BEAT ALL or BEAT THE DUTCH, FOR ALL, FOR ALL ONE IS WORTH, FOR ALL ONE KNOWS, FOR ALL THE WORLD, FOR GOOD also FOR GOOD AND ALL, ...
all told
{adv. phr.}, {informal} Counting or including everything. * /Including candy sale profits we have collected $300 all told./
all wool and a yard wide
{adj. phr.} Of fine character; especially, very generous and kind-hearted. * /He's a wonderful brother - all wool and a yard wide./
all along
or ({informal})[right along] {adv. phr.} All the time; during the whole time. */I knew all along that we would win./ * /I knew right along that Jane would come./
all at once
{adv. phr.} 1. At the same time; together. * /The teacher told the children to talk one at a time; if they all talked at one time, she could not understand them./ * /Bill ...
all better
{adj. phr.} Fully recovered; all well again; no longer painful. - Usually used to or by children. * /"All better now," he kept repeating to the little girl./
all but
{adv. phr.} Very nearly; almost. * /Crows all but destroyed a farmer's field of corn./ * /The hikers were exhausted and all but frozen when they were found./
all ears
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Very eager to hear; very attentive. - Used in the predicate. * /Go ahead with your story; we are all ears./ * /When John told about the ...
all eyes
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Wide-eyed with surprise or curiosity; watching very closely. - Used in the predicate. * /At the circus the children were all eyes./
all gone
{adj. phr.} Used up; exhausted (said of supplies); done with; over with. * /We used to travel a lot, but, alas, those days are all gone./
all here
See: ALL THERE.
all hours
{n. phr.}, {informal} Late or irregular times. * /The boy's mother said he must stop coming home for meals at all hours./ * /He stayed up till all hours of the night to ...
all in
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Very tired; exhausted. * /The players were all in after their first afternoon of practice./ Syn.: PLAYED OUT, WORN OUT.
all in a day's work
or[all in the day's work] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Unpleasant or bad but to be expected; not harder than usual; not unusual. * /Keeping ants away from a picnic lunch is ...
all in all(1)
{n. phr.}, {literary} The person or thing that you love most. * /She was all in all to him./ * /Music was his all in all./
all in all(2)
or[in all] {adv. phr.} When everything is thought about; in summary; altogether. * /All in all, it was a pleasant day's cruise./ * /All in all, the pilot of an airplane ...
all in good time
{adv. phr.} Some time soon, when the time is ripe for an event to take place. * /"I want to get married, Dad," Mike said. "All in good time, Son," answered his father./ ...
all in one piece
{adv. phr.} Safely; without damage or harm. * /John's father was terribly concerned when his son was sent to war as a pilot, but he came home all in one piece./
all kinds of
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Plenty of. * /People say that Mr. Fox has all kinds of money./ * /When Kathy was sick, she had all kinds of company./ Compare: GREAT DEAL.
all manner of
{adj. phr.}, {formal} Many different kinds of; all sorts of. * /In a five-and-ten-cent store you can buy all manner of things./
all of
{adj. phr.}, {informal} 1. At least the amount or number of; fully; no less than. * /It was all of ten o'clock before they finally started./ * /She must have paid all of ...
all of a sudden
See: ALL AT ONCE 2.
all out
{adv. phr.}, {informal} With all your strength, power, or determination; to the best of your ability; without holding back. - Usually used in the phrase "go all out". * /We ...
all over
{adv. phr.} 1. In every part; everywhere. * /He has a fever and aches all over./ * /I have looked all over for my glasses./ Compare: FAR AND WIDE. 2. {informal} In every ...
all over but the shouting
{adv. phr.,} {informal} Finally decided or won; brought to an end; not able to be changed. * /After Bill's touchdown, the game was all over but the shouting./ * /John and ...
all over someone
See: FALL ALL OVER SOMEONE.
all right for you
{interj.} I'm finished with you! That ends it between you and me! - Used by children. * /All right for you! I'm not playing with you any more!/
all right(1)
{adv. phr.} 1. Well enough. * /The new machine is running all right./ 2. {informal} I am willing; yes. * /"Shall we watch television?" "All right."/ Compare: VERY ...
all right(2)
{adj. phr.} 1. Good enough; correct; suitable. * /His work is always all right./ 2. In good health or spirits; well. * /"How are you?" "I'm all right."/ 3. {slang} Good. ...
all roads lead to Rome
{literary} The same end or goal may be reached by many different ways. - A proverb. * /"I don't care how you get the answer," said the teacher, "All roads lead to ...
all set
{adj. phr.} Ready to start. * /"Is the plane ready for take-off?" the bank president asked. "Yes, Sir," the pilot answered. "We're all set."/
all shook up
also[shook up] {adj.}, {slang} In a state of great emotional upheaval; disturbed; agitated. * /What are you so shook up about?/
all systems go
{Originally from space English, now general colloquial usage.} Everything is complete and ready for action; it is now all right to proceed. * /After they wrote out the ...
all the ---er
{substandard} The ---est; as ... as. - Used with a comparative adjective or adverb and subordinate clause in place of a superlative adjective or adverb. * /That was all the ...
all the better
See: ALL THE(2).
all the same(1)
or[all one] {n. phr.} Something that makes no difference; a choice that you don't care about. * /If it's all the same to you, I would like to be waited on first./ * /You ...
all the same(2)
or[just the same] {adv. phr.}, {informal} As if the opposite were so; nevertheless; anyway; anyhow; still. * /Everyone opposed it, but Sally and Bob got married all the same./ ...
all the thing
or[all the rage],[the in thing] {n. phr.} The fashionable or popular thing to do, the fashionable or most popular artist or form of art at a given time. * /After "The ...
all the time
{adv. phr.} 1. or[all the while] During the whole period; through the whole time. * /Mary went to college in her home town and lived at home all the while./ * /Most of us ...
all the way
or[the whole way] {adv. phr.} 1. From start to finish during the whole distance or time. * /Jack climbed all the way to the top of the tree./ * /Joe has played the ...
all the worse
See: ALL THE 2.
all the(1)
{adj. phr.}, {dial.} The only. * /A hut was all the home he ever had./
all the(2)
{adv. phr.} Than otherwise; even. - Used to emphasize comparative adjectives, adverbs, and nouns. * /Opening the windows made it all the hotter./ * /Take a bus instead of ...
all there
or[all here] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Understanding well; thinking clearly; not crazy. - Usually used in negative sentences, * /Joe acted queerly and talked wildly, ...
all thumbs
{adj.}, {informal} Awkward, especially with your hands; clumsy. * /Harry tried to fix the chair but he was all thumbs./
all to the good
See: TO THE GOOD.
all up
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Near to certain death or defeat without any more chance or hope. * /With their ammunition gone the patrol knew that it was all up with them./ ...
all very well
{adj.} All right; very good and correct; very true. - Usually followed by a "but" clause. * /It's all very well for you to complain but can you do any better?/ * /It's all very ...
all walks of life
{n. phr.} All socioeconomic groups; all professions and lines of work. * /A good teacher has to be able to communicate with students from all walks of life./ * /A ...
all wet
{adj.}, {slang} Entirely confused or wrong; mistaken. * /When the Wright brothers said they could build a flying machine, people thought they were all wet./ * /If you ...
all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Too much hard work without time out for play or enjoyment is not good for anyone. - A proverb. * /Bill's mother told him to stop studying and to go out and play, because ...
all year round
{adv. phr.} Always; all the time; throughout all seasons of the year. * /In California the sun shines all year round./
all-out effort
{n.} A great and thorough effort at solving a given problem. * /The President is making an all-out effort to convince Congress to pass the pending bill on health ...
all-out war
{n.} Total war including civilian casualties as opposed to a war that is limited only to armies. * /Hitler was waging an all-out war when he invaded Poland./
alley
See: BLIND ALLEY, DOWN ONE'S ALLEY or UP ONE'S ALLEY.
alley cat
{n.}, {slang} 1. A stray cat. 2. A person (usually a female) of rather easy-going, or actually loose sexual morals; a promiscuous person. * /You'll have no problem ...
allow for
{v.} To provide for; leave room for; give a chance to; permit. * /She cut the skirt four inches longer to allow for a wide hem./ * /Democracy allows for many differences ...
allowance
See: MAKE ALLOWANCE.
alone
See: LET ALONE or LEAVE ALONE, LET WELL ENOUGH ALONE or LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE.
along
See: ALL ALONG or RIGHT ALONG, COME ALONG, GET ALONG, GO ALONG, RUN ALONG, STRING ALONG.
along for the ride
{adv. phr.}, {informal} Being in a group for the fun or the credit without doing any of the work. * /He wants no members in his political party who are just along for ...
along in years
or[on in years] {adj. phr.} Elderly; growing old. * /As Grandfather got on in years, he became quiet and thoughtful./ * /Our dog isn 't very playful because it is getting on ...
alongside of
{prep.} 1. At or along the side of. * /We walked alongside of the river./ 2. Together with. * /I played alongside of Tom on the same team./ Compare: SHOULDER TO ...
aloud
See: THINK ALOUD or THINK OUT LOUD.
alpha wave
{n.} A brain wave, 8-12 cycles per second, associated with a state of relaxation and meditation and, hence, free of anxieties. * /Try to produce some alpha waves; ...
alter
See: CIRCUMSTANCES ALTER CASES.
always
See: GRASS is ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE.
ambulance chaser
{n.} An attorney who specializes in representing victims of traffic accidents. By extension, a lawyer of inferior rank or talent. * /Don't hire Cohen; he's just another ambulance ...
American plan
{n.} A system of hotel management in which meals are included with the room, as opposed to the European plan that does not include meals. * /American tourists in Europe ...
amount to
{v.} Signify; add up to. * /John's total income didn't amount to more than a few hundred dollars./
anchor
See: AT ANCHOR.
and all
{informal} And whatever goes with it; and all that means. * /We don't go out much nowadays, with the new baby and all./ * /Jack's employer provided the tools and all./ ...
and how!
{interj.}, {informal} Yes, that is certainly right! - Used for emphatic agreement. * /"Did you see the game?" "And how!"/ * /"Isn't Mary pretty?" "And how she is!"/ Syn.: YOU ...
and so forth
or[and so on] And more of the same kind; and further amounts or things like the ones already mentioned. * /The costumes were red, pink, blue, purple, yellow, and ...
and the like
{n. phr.} Things of a similar nature. * /I like McDonald's, Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the like./ * /When I go out to the beach flake towels, a mat, suntan ...
and then some
And a lot more; and more too. * /It would cost all the money he had and then some./ * /Talking his way out of this trouble was going to take all his wits and then ...
and what not
See: WHAT NOT.
angel dust
{n.}, {slang} Phencyclidine, an addictive hallucinatory narcotic drug extremely dangerous to the users' health, also called PCP. * /Mike has gone from grass to angel ...
another
See: DANCE TO ANOTHER TUNE.
answer back
See: TALK BACK.
answer for
{v.} 1. To take responsibility for; assume charge or supervision of. * /The secret service has to answer for the safety of the President and his family./ 2. To say you are ...
answer one's calling
{v. phr.} To fulfill one's destiny in terms of work or profession by doing what one has a talent for. * /Don answered his calling when he became a chiropractor. Susy ...
answer the call of nature
or[obey the call of nature] {v. phr.}, {slang} To go to the bathroom to relieve oneself by urinating or defecating. * /Ted was hiking in the mountains when suddenly he had ...
answer to
{v.} To be named; go by a certain name or designation; be accountable. * /When you walk my dog, please remember that he answers to the name "Caesar."/ * /As head of ...
ante up
{v.}, {informal} To produce the required amount of money in order to close a transaction; to pay what one owes. * /"I guess I'd better ante up if I want to stay an active ...
ants in one's pants
{n. phr.}, {slang} Nervous over-activity; restlessness. * /Jane can not sit still; she has ants in her pants./ * /You have ants in your pants today. Is something wrong?/
any
See: HARDLY ANY or SCARCELY ANY.
any number
{n.}, {informal} A large number; many. * /There are any number of reasons for eating good food./ * /Don't ask George what his excuse is. He can invent any number./ ...
any old how
/[any old way] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Doing something in a casual, haphazard, or careless way. * /"John," the teacher said, "you can't just do your homework any old ...
any port in a storm
Any help is welcome in an emergency. - A proverb. * /The motel we stopped in was nothing to brag about, but we were so exhausted that it was a clear case of any port in ...
any which way
See: EVERY WHICH WAY.
anything
See: HAVE NOTHING ON or NOT HAVE ANYTHING ON, IF ANYTHING.
anything but
{adv. phr.} Quite the opposite of; far from being. * /I don't mean he's lazy - anything but!/ * /The boys knew they had broken the rules, and they were anything but ...
anything like
or[anywhere near] {adv.} Nearly. - Used in negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences, often in the negative forms " nothing like" or " nowhere near". * /It's ...
anywhere near
See: ANYTHING LIKE or ANYWHERE NEAR.
apart
See: JOKING ASIDE or JOKING APART, POLES APART, TELL APART.
apart from
or[aside from] {prep. phr.} Beside or besides; in addition to. * /The children hardly see anyone, apart from their parents./ * /Aside from being fun and good ...
ape
See: GO APE.
appear
See: SPEAK OF THE DEVIL AND HE APPEARS.
appearance
See: PUT IN AN APPEARANCE also MAKE AN APPEARANCE.
apple
See: POLISH THE APPLE.
apple of one's eye
{n. phr.} Something or someone that is adored; a cherished person or object. * /Charles is the apple of his mother's eye./ * /John's first car was the apple of his eye. ...
apple polisher
;[apple polishing] See: POLISH THE APPLE.
apple-pie order
{n. phr.}, {informal} Exact orderly arrangement, neatness; tidy arrangement. * /The house was in apple-pie order./ * /Like a good secretary, she kept the boss's desk in ...
applecart
See: UPSET THE APPLECART or UPSET ONE'S APPLECART.
approval
See: ON APPROVAL.
apron
See: TIED TO ONE'S MOTHER'S APRON STRINGS.
apropos of
{prep.}, {formal} In connection with; on the subject of, about; concerning. * /Apropos of higher tuition, Mr. Black told the boy about the educational loans that banks are ...
arm
See: GIVE ONE'S RIGHT ARM, KEEP AT A DISTANCE Or KEEP AT ARM'S LENGTH, SHOT IN THE ARM, TAKE UP ARMS, TWIST ONE'S ARM, UP IN ARMS, WITH OPEN ARMS, COST AN ARM AND A ...
arm and a leg
{n.}, {slang} An exorbitantly high price that must be paid for something that isn't really worth it. * /It's true that to get a decent apartment these days in New York you have ...
arm in arm
{adv. phr.} With your arm under or around another person's arm, especially in close comradeship or friendship. * /Sally and Joan were laughing and joking together as they ...
armed to the teeth
{adj. phr.} Having all needed weapons; fully armed. * /The paratroopers were armed to the teeth./
around one's ears
See: ABOUT ONE'S EARS.
around the clock
also[the clock around] {adv. phr.} For 24 hours a day continuously all day and all night. * /The factory operated around the clock until the order was filled./ * /He ...
around the corner
{adv. phr.} Soon to come or happen; close by; near at hand. * /The fortuneteller told Jane that there was an adventure for her just around the corner./
arrest
See: UNDER ARREST.
as
See: FOR AS MUCH AS, IN AS MUCH AS.
as hard as nails
{adj. phr.} Very unfeeling; cruel, and unsympathetic. * /Uncle Joe is as hard as nails; although he is a millionaire, he doesn't help his less fortunate relatives./
as --- as ---
- Used with an adjective or adverb in a comparison or with the effect of a superlative. * /John is as tall as his father now./ * /I didn't do as badly today as I did ...
as a last resort
{adv. phr.} In lieu of better things; lacking better solutions. * /"We'll sleep in our sleeping bags as a last resort," John said, "since all the motels are full."/ ...
as if
or[as though] {conj.} 1. As (he, she, it) would if; in the same way one would if seeing to show. * /The baby laughed as if he understood what Mother said./ * /The book ...
as if one has come out of a bandbox
See: LOOK AS IF ONE HAS COME OUT OF A BANDBOX.
as is
{adv.} Without changes or improvements; with no guarantee or promise of good condition. - Used after the word it modifies. * /They agree to buy the house as is./ * /He ...
as it were
{adv. phr.} As it might be said to be; as if it really were; seemingly. - Used with a statement that might seem silly or unreasonable, to show that it is just a way of ...
as likely as not
{adv. phr.} Probably. * /As likely as not, he will disappear forever./
as long as
or[so long as] {conj.} 1. Since; because; considering that. * /As long as you are going to town anyway, you can do something for me./ 2. Provided that; if. * /You may use the ...
as luck would have it
{adv. clause} As it happened; by chance; luckily or unluckily. * /As luck would have it, no one was in the building when the explosion occurred./ * /As luck would ...
as much
{n.} The same; exactly that. * /Don't thank me, I would do as much for anyone./ * /Did you lose your way? I thought as much when you were late in coming./
as much as
{adv. phr.} 1. or[much as] Even though; although. * /As much as I hate to do it, I must stay home and study tonight./ 2. or[so much as] Just the same as; almost; ...
as of
prep. At or until (a certain time). * /I know that as of last week he was still unmarried./ * /As of now we don't know much about Mars./
as one goes
See: PAY AS ONE GOES.
as one man
{adv. phr.} Unanimously; together; involving all. * /The audience arose as one man to applaud the great pianist./
as regards
{prep.} Regarding; concerning; about. * /You needn't worry as regards the cost of the operation./ * /He was always secretive as regards his family./
as soon as
{conj.} Just after; when; immediately after. * /As soon as the temperature falls to 70, the furnace is turned on./ * /As soon as you finish your job let me know./ * /He ...
as the crow flies
{adv. clause} By the most direct way; along a straight line between two places. * /It is seven miles to the next town as the crow flies, but it is ten miles by the ...
as the story goes
{adv. phr.} As the story is told; as one has heard through rumor. * /As the story goes, Jonathan disappeared when he heard the police were after him./
as though
See: AS IF.
as to
{prep.} 1. In connection with; about; regarding. * /There is no doubt as to his honesty./ * /As to your final grade, that depends on your final examination./ ...
as usual
{adv. phr.} In the usual way; as you usually do or as it usually does. * /As usual, Tommy forgot to make his bed before he went out to play./ * /Only a week after the fire in ...
as well
{adv. phr.} 1. In addition; also, too; besides. * /The book tells about Mark Twain's writings and about his life as well./ * /Tom is captain of the football team and is ...
as well as
{conj.} In addition to; and also; besides. * /Hiking is good exercise as well as fun./ * /He was my friend as well as my doctor./ * /The book tells about the author's ...
as yet
{adv. phr.} Up to the present time; so far; yet. * /We know little as yet about the moon's surface./ * /She has not come as yet./
as you please
1. As you like, whatever you like or prefer; as you choose. * /You may do as you please./ 2. {informal} Very. - Used after an adjective or adverb often preceded by "as". * ...
aside
See: JOKING ASIDE, SET ASIDE.
aside from
See: APART FROM.
aside of
{prep.}, {dialect} Beside; by the side of. * /Mary sits aside of her sister on the bus./
ask
See: FOR THE ASKING.
ask for
{v.}, {informal} To make (something bad) likely to happen to you; bring (something bad) upon yourself. * /Charles drives fast on worn-out tires; he is asking for trouble./ * ...
ask for one's hand
{v. phr.} To ask permission to marry someone. * /"Sir," John said timidly to Mary's father, "I came to ask for your daughter's hand."/
ask for the moon
or[cry for the moon] {v. phr.} To want something that you cannot reach or have; try for the impossible. * /John asked his mother for a hundred dollars today. He's ...
asleep at the switch
{adj. phr.} 1. Asleep when it is one's duty to move a railroad switch for cars to go on the right track. * /The new man was asleep at the switch and the two trains ...
at best
or[at the best] {adv. phr.} 1. Under the best conditions; as the best possibility. * /A coal miner's job is dirty and dangerous at best./ * /We can't get to New ...
at each other's throats
{prep. phr.} Always arguing and quarreling. * /Joan and Harry have been at each other's throats so long that they have forgotten how much they used to love one ...
at --- stage of the game
{adv. phr.} At (some) time during an activity; at (some) point. * /At that stage of the game, our team was doing so poorly that we were ready to give up./ * /It's hard ...
at a premium
{adv. phr.} At a high price due to special circumstances. * /When his father died, Fred flew to Europe at a premium because he had no chance to buy a less ...
at a blow
or[at a stroke] or[at one stroke] {adv. phr.} Immediately; suddenly; with one quick or forceful action. * /The pirates captured the ship and captured a ton of gold ...
at a loss
{adj. phr.} In a state of uncertainty; without any idea; puzzled. * /A good salesman is never at a loss for words./ * /When Don missed the last bus, he was at a loss ...
at a set time
{prep. phr.} At a particular, pre-specified time. * /Do we have to eat in this hotel at a set time, or may we come down whenever we want?/
at a snail's pace
See: SNAIL'S PACE.
at a straw
See: GRASP AT STRAWS.
at a stroke
See: AT A BLOW or AT A STROKE.
at a time
{adv. phr.} At once; at one time; in one group or unit; together. * /He checked them off one at a time as they came in./ * /He ran up the steps two at a time./ See: EVERY ...
at all
{adv. phr.} At any time or place, for any reason, or in any degree or manner. - Used for emphasis with certain kinds of words or sentences. 1. Negative * /It's not at all ...
at all costs
{adv. phr.} At any expense of time, effort, or money. Regardless of the results. * /Mr. Jackson intended to save his son's eyesight at all costs./ * /Carl is determined to ...
at all events
See: IN ANY CASE.
at all hazards
{adv. phr.} With no regard for danger; at any risk; regardless of the chances you must take. * /The racer meant to win the 500-mile race at all hazards./
at all hours
{adv. phr.} Any time; all the time; at almost any time. * /The baby cried so much that we were up at all hours trying to calm her down./
at anchor
{adj. phr.} Held by an anchor from floating away; anchored. * /The ship rode at anchor in the harbor./
at any rate
{adv. phr.} In any case; anyhow. * /It isn't much of a car, but at any rate it was not expensive./ Compare: AT LEAST(2), IN ANY CASE.
at arm's length
See: KEEP AT A DISTANCE or KEEP AT ARM'S LENGTH.
at bay
{adv.} or {adj. phr.} In a place where you can no longer run away; unable to go back farther; forced to stand and fight, or face an enemy; cornered. * /The dog ran the ...
at both ends
See: BURN THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS.
at call
{adj.} or {adv. phr.} 1. Ready or nearby for use, help, or service; on request. * /Thousands of auto insurance agents all over the country are at the insured person's call, ...

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