Слова на букву nest-open (459) Словарь американских идиом
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Слова на букву nest-open (459)

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nest egg
{n.} Savings set aside to be used in the future. * /Herb says he doesn't have to worry about his old age because he has a nest egg in the bank./
never
See: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS, LIGHTNING NEVER STRIKES TWICE IN THE SAME PLACE.
never mind
{v. phr.} Don't trouble about it; don't worry about it; forget it; skip it. - Usually used in speaking or when writing dialogue. * /Never mind preparing a picnic ...
never say die
{v. phr.} Don't quit; don't be discouraged. * /"Never say die!" John said, as he got on his feet and tried to ice skate again./
new
See: TURN OVER A NEW LEAF.
new blood
{n.} Something or someone that gives new life or vigor, fresh energy or power. * /New blood was brought into the company through appointment of younger men to important ...
new broom sweeps clean
A new person makes many changes. - A proverb. * /The new superintendent has changed many of the school rules. A new broom sweeps clean./
new deal
{n.}, {informal} 1. A complete change; a fresh start. * /People had been on the job too long; a new deal was needed to get things out of the old bad habits./ 2. Another ...
new leaf
See: TURN OVER A NEW LEAF.
new lease on life
{n. phr.} A new chance to live; an improved manner of living. * /After his illness and his retirement, living in Hawaii was a new lease on life./
new man
{n.} A person who has become very much better. * /Diet and exercise made a new man of him./
new money
{n. phr.} People who have become rich recently. * /Since Bobby's father invented a new computer component, Bobby and his family are new money./ Contrast: OLD MONEY.
Newcastle
See: CARRY COALS TO NEWCASTLE.
newfangled
{adj.} Newly invented or contrived; excessively complex. * /Dorothy felt that many newfangled gadgets in Kate's all-electric kitchen weren't really necessary./
newshawk
{n.} A newspaper reporter. * /There are always a lot of newshawks following the president./
next door
{adv.} or {adj.} 1. In or to the next house or apartment. * /He lived next door to me./ * /She telephoned next door to ask about John./ * /The house next door ...
next to nothing
{n. phr.} Very little; almost nothing. * /They gave me next to nothing for my old car when I traded it in for a new one./ * /When he first started to work, Mr. Black ...
next to(1)
{adv.} Almost; nearly. * /It was next to impossible to believe that in a month the grass would be green and flowers would be blooming./ * /It was next to unthinkable that the ...
next to(2)
{prep.} Just after; second to. * /Next to his family, baseball was his greatest love./ * /Next to pizza, Bob liked hamburger best./
nice Nelly(1)
or[nice Nellie] {n.}, {informal} Someone who acts too good to be true; a prude; a prig. * /We took him for a nice Nelly when he wouldn't fight./
nice Nelly(2)
or[nice Nellie] {adj.}, {informal} Too careful not to say or do anything wrong or improper; too proper; prudish. * /Her nice Nelly behavior made her unpopular at school./
Nick
See: FULL OF THE OLD NICK.
nigger in the woodpile
{n. phr.}, {slang} Something unexpected that changes a situation; a hidden factor or trick. - Racist and offensive, but commonly used in the past. * /I knew there had to ...
night
See: FLY-BY-NIGHT, MAKE A NIGHT OF IT.
night and day
See: DAY AND NIGHT.
night letter
{n.} A telegram sent at night at a cheaper rate and delivered in the morning. * /I waited until after six o'clock in the evening before sending the telegram home because I ...
night life
{n. phr.} Entertainment at night. * /People in the city are able to find more night life than those who live in the country./
night owl
{n. phr.} One who sleeps during the day and stays up or works during the night. * /Tom hardly ever sleeps at night; he prefers to work by lamp light and has become a regular ...
nightcap
{n.} A good-night drink; a drink taken just before bedtime. * /Let's have a nightcap and then go to sleep./ * /Would you like to come up to my place for a nightcap?/
nine
See: CAT HAS NINE LIVES, ON CLOUD NINE.
nine-to-five job
{n. phr.} A typical office job that starts at 9 A.M. and ends at 5 P.M. with a one-hour lunch break at 12 noon or 1 P.M. * /We professors are not too well paid but I could ...
ninety
See: GAY NINETIES.
nip and tuck
{adj. or adv.}, {informal} Evenly matched; hard fought to the finish. * /The game was nip and tuck until the last minute./ * /A was a nip and tuck race right to the ...
nip in the bud
{v. phr.} To check at the outset; prevent at the start; block or destroy in the beginning. * /The police nipped the plot in the bud./ * /The teacher nipped the disorder ...
no account(1)
{adj.} Of no importance. * /The lowly clerk's opinion is of no account in this matter./
no account(2)
{n. phr.} A person of low social station. * /Fred was first considered a no account but he soon proved himself to be a person of great ability./
no deal
or[no dice] or[no go] or[no sale] or[no soap] {slang} Not agreed to; refused or useless; without success or result; no; certainly not. - Used in the predicate or to ...
no doubt
{adv.} 1. Without doubt; doubtless; surely; certainly. * /No doubt Susan was the smartest girl in her class./ 2. Probably. * /John will no doubt telephone us if he comes to ...
no end
{adv.}, {informal} 1. Very much; exceedingly. * /Jim was no end upset because he couldn't go swimming./ 2. Almost without stopping; continually. * /The baby cried no ...
no end to
or {informal}[no end of] So many, or so much of, as to seem almost endless; very many or very much. * /There was no end to the letters pouring into the post office./ * ...
no frills
{n. phr.} A firm or product that offers no extras; a generic product that carries no expensive label. * /We went on a no frills trip to Europe with few luxuries./
no go
See: NO DEAL.
no good
{adj. phr.} Not satisfactory; not adequate; not approved. * /"That's no good," I told him when he began to cry./ * /He was no good at arithmetic./ * /He tried appealing to the ...
no great shakes
{adj.}, {informal} Mediocre; unimportant. * /Joe Wilson is no great shakes./
no hard feelings
{n. phr.} A lack of resentment or anger; a state of peace and forgiveness. * /"No hard feelings," he said. "You should feel free to make constructive criticism any time."/
no kidding
{n. phr.} Without jokes or teasing; honestly spoken. * /"You actually won the lottery?" Dick asked. "No kidding," Joe replied. "I really did."/
no longer
{adv.} Not any more; not at the present time. * /He could no longer be trusted and they had to let him go./ * /The shore was no longer in sight./
no love lost
{n. phr.} Bad feeling; ill will. * /Bob and Dick both wanted to be elected captain of the team, and there was no love lost between them./ * /There was no love lost ...
no matter
1. Not anything important. * /I wanted to see him before he left but it's no matter./ 2. It makes no difference; regardless of. * /She was going to be a ...
no matter what
{adv. phr.} Under any circumstances. * /We will go to Europe this summer, no matter what./ * /Charles had decided to go to the football game and he felt he must go no ...
no picnic
{n. phr.} Something arduous; something that requires great effort to accomplish. * /It is no picnic to climb Mount Everest./ Contrast: A PIECE OF CAKE, A CINCH, ...
no sale
See: NO DEAL.
no sooner --- than
As soon as; at once when; immediately when. * /No sooner did he signal to turn than the other car turned in front of him./ * /No sooner were the picnic baskets unpacked ...
no spring chicken
{n. phr.} A person who is no longer young. * /Even though she is no spring chicken anymore, men still turn their heads to look at her./
no sweat(1)
{adj.}, {slang}, {informal} Easily accomplished, uncomplicated. * /That job was no sweat./
no sweat(2)
{adv.} Easily. * /We did it no sweat./
no two ways about it
{n. phr.} No other choice; no alternative. * /The boss said there were no two ways about it; we would all have to work late to finish the job./
no use
{n.} 1. No purpose; no object; no gain. * /There's no use in crying about your broken bicycle./ * /Bob said, "Let's try again." Dick answered, "It's no use."/ 2. Bad opinion; ...
no use crying over spilled milk
or[no use crying over spilt milk] See: CRY OVER SPILLED MILK.
no way
{adv.} Not at all; never; under no circumstances. * /Do you think I will do the house chores alone? No way!/
no wonder
also[small wonder] {adj.} Not surprising; to be expected. * /It is no wonder that the children love to visit the farm./ * /The Browns didn't go to the fair. ...
no-show
{n.}, {informal} A person who makes a reservation, e.g., at a hotel or at an airline, and then neither claims nor cancels it. * /The airlines were messed up because of a ...
nobody
See: IT'S AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NOBODY GOOD.
nobody home
{slang} 1. Your attention is somewhere else, not on what is being said or done here; you are absent-minded. * /The teacher asked him a question three times but he still ...
nobody's fool
{n. phr.} A smart person; a person who knows what he is doing; a person who can take care of himself. * /In the classroom and on the football field, Henry was ...
nod
See: LAND OF NOD.
nodding acquaintance
{n.} Less than casual acquaintance. * /I have never spoken to the chancellor; we have only a nodding acquaintance./
noggin
See: USE ONE'S HEAD or USE ONE'S NOGGIN.
nonce
See: FOR THE TIME BEING also FOR THE NONCE.
none
See: HALF A LOAF IS BETTER THAN NONE, HAVE NONE OF.
none too
{adv.} Not very; not at all. * /The doctor arrived none too soon as Lucy's fever was alarmingly high./
nonsense
See: STUFF AND NONSENSE.
nonstarter
{n.} An idea, plan, or project that doesn't work or is obviously no good. * /His plan to start a new private school is a nonstarter because he is unable to organize ...
noodle
See: USE ONE'S HEAD or USE ONE'S NOODLE.
nor
See: NEITHER FISH NOR FOWL, NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, NEITHER HIDE NOR HAIR.
nose
See: COUNT HEADS or COUNT NOSES, CUT OFF ONE'S NOSE TO SPITE ONE'S FACE, FOLLOW ONE'S NOSE, GO INTO A TAIL SPIN or GO INTO A NOSE DIVE, HARD-NOSED, KEEP ONE'S NOSE ...
nose about
or[nose around] {v. phr.}, {informal} To look for something kept private or secret; poke about; explore; inquire; pry. * /In Grandmother's attic, Sally spent a while ...
nose down
{v.}, {of an aircraft} To head down; bring down the nose of. * /The big airliner began to nose down for a landing./ * /The pilot nosed the plane down toward the runway./
nose in a book
{n. phr.} Busy interest in reading. - Used with a possessive. * /Mother can't get Mary to help do the housework; she always has her nose in a book./
nose in(1)
or[nose into(1)] {informal} Prying or pestering interest in; unwelcome interest in; impolite curiosity. * /He always had his nose in other people's business./ Contrast: ...
nose in(2)
or[nose into(2)] {v.} To move in close; move slowly in with the front first. * /The ship nosed into the pier./ * /The car nosed into the curb./
nose is out of joint
See: PUT ONE'S NOSE OUT OF JOINT.
nose out
{v.}, {informal} 1. To learn by effort (something private or secret); uncover. * /The principal nosed out the truth about the stolen examination./ 2. To defeat by a ...
nose out of
{informal} Curious attention; bothering. - Usually used with a possessive and usually used with "keep". * /When Billy asked his sister where she was going she told him to ...
nose over
{v.} To turn over on the nose so as to land upside down. * /The airplane made a faulty landing approach and nosed over./
nose up
{v.} To head up; incline the forward end upwards; move up. * /The airplane nosed up through the cloud bank./ * /The pilot nosed the plane up from the field./
not all there
{adj. phr.} Not completely alert mentally; absentminded; not together. * /Bill is a wonderful guy but he is just not all there./
not a few
See: QUITE A FEW.
not a leg to stand on
{n. phr.}, {informal} No good proof or excuse; no good evidence or defense to offer. * /The man with a gun and $300 in his pocket was accused of robbing an oil ...
not a little
See: QUITE A LITTLE.
not at all
See: AT ALL.
not bad
or[not so bad] or[not half bad] {adj.}, {informal} Pretty good; all right; good enough. * /The party last night was not bad./ * /It was not so bad, as inexpensive ...
not by a long shot
See: BY A LONG SHOT.
not by any means
See: BY NO MEANS.
not for all the coffee in Brazil
or[not for all the tea in China] or[not for anything in the world ] or[not for love or money] See: NOT FOR THE WORLD.
not for the world
or[not for worlds] {adv. phr.} Not at any price; not for anything. * /I wouldn't hurt his feelings for the world./ * /Not for worlds would he let his children go ...
not half bad
See: NOT BAD.
not have anything on
See: HAVE NOTHING ON.
not have the heart to
{v. phr.} To not be insensitive or cruel. * /My boss did not have the heart to lay off two pregnant women when they most needed their jobs./
not in the least
{adv. phr.} Not at all. * /She was not in the least interested in listening to a long lecture on ethics./
not know which way to turn
or[not know which way to jump] {v. phr} To be puzzled about getting out of a difficulty; not know what to do to get out of trouble. * /When Jane missed the last bus home, ...
not let any grass grow under one's feet
See: LET GRASS GROW UNDER ONE'S FEET.
not on your life
{adv. phr.}, {informal} Certainly not; not ever; not for any reason. - Used for emphasis. * /I wouldn't drive a car with brakes like that - not on your life./ * /Did he ...
not one's cup of tea
See: CUP OF TEA.
not one's scene
See: CUP OF TEA.
not see beyond one's nose
See: SEE BEYOND ONE'S NOSE.
not so bad
See: NOT BAD.
not so hot
or[not too hot] {adj. phr.} Ineffective; not very good. * /His plans to rebuild the house in a hurry obviously weren't so hot./
not the thing
{n. phr.} Not the accepted form of action; something socially improper. * /It is simply not the thing to wear blue jeans to the opera./
not the only fish in the sea
{n. phr.} One of many; not the only one of the kind; not the only one available. * /He said he could find other girls - she was not the only fish in the sea./ Compare: ...
not the only pebble on the beach
{n. phr.} Not the only person to be considered; one of many. * /George was acting pretty self-important and we finally had to tell him that he wasn't the only pebble on the ...
not to get to first base
{v. phr.} To fail to make initial progress; have no success at all. * /I tried various ways to make Mary interested in me as a potential husband, but I couldn 't even ...
not to give one the time of day
{v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To dislike someone strongly enough so as to totally ignore him. * /Sue wouldn't give Helen the time of day./
not to give quarter
{v. phr.} 1. To be utterly unwilling to show mercy; not to allow a weaker or defeated party the chance to save themselves through escape. * /The occupying foreign ...
not to know one from Adam
{v. phr.} To not know a person; be unable to recognize someone. * /I have no idea who that guy is that Jane just walked in with; I don't know him from Adam./
not to know the first thing about
{v. phr.} To be totally ignorant about a certain issue. * /Al assured us that he didn't know the first thing about Mary's whereabouts./
not to know what to make of
{v. phr.} To be unable to decipher; be unable to identify; not know how to decide what something really is. * /I got a mysterious letter asking me to meet Santa Claus at ...
not to know whether one is coming or going
{v. phr.} To be completely confused. * /He was so perplexed he didn't know whether he was coming or going./ Compare: AT SEA(2).
not to lift a finger
{v. phr.} To not help in the slightest degree. * /"My husband won't lift a finger to help me," she complained, "although we have 12 people coming for dinner."/
not to mention
or[not to speak of] or[to say nothing of] Without ever needing to speak of; in addition to; besides. - Used to add something to what you have said or explained. * ...
not to speak of
See: NOT TO MENTION.
not to touch (something) with a ten-foot pole
{v. phr.} To consider something completely undesirable or uninteresting. * /Some people won't touch spinach with a ten-foot pole./ * /Kids who wouldn't touch an encyclopedia ...
not worth a dime
See: NOT WORTH A TINKER'S DAMN.
not worth a hill of beans
See: NOT WORTH A TINKER'S DAMN.
not worth a red cent
See: NOT WORTH A TINKER'S DAMN.
not worth a tinker's damn
or not[worth a tinker's dam] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Not worth anything; valueless. * /As a bricklayer he was not worth a tinker's damn./ * /I am not familiar with the ...
notch
See: TIGHTEN ONE'S BELT.
note
See: COMPARE NOTES, TAKE NOTE OF.
nothing
See: GO FOR NOTHING, HAVE NOTHING ON, HERE GOES NOTHING, IN NO TIME or IN NOTHING FLAT, NOT TO MENTION or TO SAY NOTHING OF.
nothing doing
{adv. phr.}, {informal} I will not do it; certainly not; no indeed; no. * /"Will you lend me a dollar?" " Nothing doing!"/ * /"Let's go for a boat ride!" " Nothing doing!"/ ...
nothing if not
{adv. phr.} Without doubt; certainly. * /With its bright furnishings, flowers, and sunny windows, the new hospital dayroom is nothing if not cheerful./
nothing like
See: ANYTHING LIKE.
nothing of the kind
{adv. phr.} On the contrary. * /"Did you quit your job?" he asked. "No, I did nothing of the kind," she answered./
nothing short of
{adv. phr.} Absolutely; thoroughly; completely. * /Olivier's performance in Hamlet was nothing short of magnificent./
nothing succeeds like success
Success in one thing makes success in other things easier; people like a successful person. - A proverb. * /The girls all like Bob because he is football captain. Nothing ...
nothing to it
{adj. phr.} Presenting no serious challenge; easily accomplished. * /Once you learn how to tread water, swimming is really easy; there is nothing to it./ Compare: EASY AS ...
nothing to sneeze at
See: SNEEZE AT.
notice
See: SIT UP AND TAKE NOTICE, TAKE NOTE OF or TAKE NOTICE OF.
notion
See: HALF A MIND also HALF A NOTION, TAKE INTO ONE'S HEAD or TAKE A NOTION.
now
See: EVERY NOW AND THEN or EVERY NOW AND AGAIN, HERE AND NOW, JUST NOW.
now --- now
{coord. adv.} Sometimes... sometimes; by turns; at one time... then at another. - Often used with adjectives that are very different or opposite, especially to show ...
now and then
or[now and again] {adv. phr.} Not often; not regularly; occasionally; sometimes. * /Now and then he goes to a ball game./ * /The maid broke a dish now and then./ ...
now or never
{adv. phr.} Exclusively at the present time. * /Mike said, " Now that Paul has resigned, there is a perfect place for you. It is now or never!"/
now that
{conj.} Since; because; now. * /Now that dinner is ready, wash your hands./ * /You came early, but now that you're here, take off your coat./ Syn.: INASMUCH AS.
nowhere
See: OUT OF NOWHERE.
nowhere near
See: ANYTHING LIKE.
nth
See: TO THE NTH DEGREE.
nuisance
See: PUBLIC NUISANCE.
nuke
{v.} To fix any meal in a microwave oven. * /When we are in a hurry, we nuke some beef./
nuke a tater
{v. phr.} 1. To bake a potato in a microwave oven. * /"We have no time for standard baked potatoes in the oven," she said. "We'll just have to nuke a tater."/
null and void
{adj.} Not worth anything; no longer valid. * /Both the seller and the buyer agreed to forget about their previous contract and to consider it null and void./
number
See: A NUMBER, ANY NUMBER, DAYS ARE NUMBERED, GET ONE'S NUMBER, HOT NUMBER, QUITE A FEW or QUITE A NUMBER.
number among
{v. phr.} Consider as one of; consider to be a part of. * /I number Al among my best friends./
number one(1)
or[Number One(1)] {n. phr.}, {informal} Yourself; your own interests; your private or selfish advantage. Usually used in the phrase "look out for number one". * /He was well ...
number one(2)
{adj. phr.} 1. Of first rank or importance; foremost; principal. * /He is easily America's number one golfer./ 2. Of first grade; of top quality; best. * /That is ...
nurse
See: VISITING NURSE.
nurse a drink
{v. phr.}, {informal} To hold a drink in one's hand at a party, pretending to be drinking it or taking extremely small sips only. * /John's been nursing that drink all ...
nurse a grudge
{v. phr.} To keep a feeling of envy or dislike toward some person; remember something bad that a person said or did to you, and dislike the person because of that. * ...
nursing home
See: CONVALESCENT HOME.
nut
See: HARD NUT TO CRACK or TOUGH NUT TO CRACK.
nut case
{n. phr.} A very silly, crazy, or foolish person. * /I am going to be a nut case if I don't go on a vacation pretty soon./
nuts about
See: CRAZY ABOUT.
nuts and bolts of
{n. phr.} The basic facts or important details of something. * /"Ted will he an excellent trader," his millionaire grandfather said, " once he learns the nuts and ...
nutshell
See: IN A NUTSHELL.
nutty as a fruitcake
{adj. phr.}, {slang} Very crazy; entirely mad. * /He looked all right, as we watched him approach, but when he began to talk, we saw that he was as nutty as a fruitcake./
oak
See: GREAT OAKS FROM LITTLE ACORNS GROW.
oars
See: REST ON ONE'S OARS.
oath
See: TAKE OATH.
oats
See: FEEL ONE'S OATS, SOW ONE'S WILD OATS.
obey the call of nature
See: ANSWER THE CALL OF NATURE.
occasion
See: ON OCCASION.
occupy oneself
{v. phr.} To make oneself busy with. * /Having retired from business, he now occupies himself with his stamp collection./
odd jobs
{n. phr.} Work that is not steady or regular in nature; small, isolated tasks. * /Dan does odd jobs for his neighbors, barely making enough to eat./
oddball
{n.}, {slang}, {informal} An eccentric person; one who doesn't act like everyone else. * /John is an oddball - he never invites anyone./
odds
See: BY ALL ODDS.
odds and ends
{n. phr.} Miscellaneous items; remnants. * /After the great annual clearance sale there were only a few odds and ends left in the store./
odds are against
{v. phr.} The likelihood of success is not probable; the chances of success are poor. * /The odds are against her getting here before Monday./
odds-on
{adj.}, {informal} Almost certain; almost sure; probable. * /Ed is the odds-on choice for class president, because he has good sense and good humor./
of a piece
{adj. phr.} Of the same kind; in line. - Usually used with "with". * /His quitting the job is of a piece with his dropping out of school./
of age
{adj. phr.} 1a. Old enough to be allowed to do or manage something. * /Mary will be of driving age on her next birthday./ Contrast: OVER AGE, UNDER AGE. 1b. Old ...
of course
{adv. phr.} 1. As you would expect; naturally. * /Bob hit Herman, and Herman hit him back, of course./ * /The rain came pouring down, and of course the track meet was ...
of die devil
See: SPEAK OF THE DEVIL AND HE APPEARS.
of it
See: WHAT OF IT.
of late
{adv. phr.}, {formal} In the recent past; not long ago; a short time ago; lately; recently. * /There have been too many high school dropouts of late./
of necessity
{adv. phr.} Because there is no other way; because it must be; necessarily. * /Being a professional actor of necessity means working nights and Sundays./
of no avail
See: TO NO AVAIL.
of old(1)
{adj. phr.} Of ancient times; of long ago. * /Knights of old had to wear armor in battle./
of old(2)
{adv. phr.} From earlier experience. * /You won't get any money from Freddie. I know him of old./
of one's life
{adj. phr.} The best or worst; greatest. - Usually describing a time or effort. * /At Disneyland, Tommy had the time of his life./ * /His race for the presidency was the ...
of one's own accord
or[of one's own free will] {adv. phr.} Without suggestion or help from anyone else; without being told; voluntarily. * /On her mother's birthday, Betsy did the ...
of one's own free will
See: OF ONE'S OWN ACCORD.
of oneself
See: GIVE OF ONESELF.
of service
{adj. phr.} Valuable as a source of aid; helpful; useful. * /When a visitor seems lost or confused, the courteous student will ask " May I be of service?"/ * /A good ...
of sorts
or[of a sort] {adj. phr.} Not especially good; not very good; of common quality. * /Joel was a magician of sorts, and popular at parties./
of the first water
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Of the finest quality; superior; very good; best. * /The jeweler chose diamonds of the first water for the queen's crown./ * /The dance program at ...
of the same mind
{adv. phr.} In agreement; in consonance. * /It is a good thing when father and son are of the same mind regarding business and politics./
off the air
{adj. phr.} Not broadcasting; observing radio silence. * /The talk show is off the air on Wednesdays and Fridays./
off the record(1)
{adv. phr.} Confidentially. * /"Off the record," the boss said, "you will get a good raise for next year, but you'll have to wait for the official letter."/ Contrast: ...
off (one/he/she/it) goes!
{v. phr.} Said of a person, a vehicle, or a memorable thing who/which has started leaving or moving, both as a statement of fact (declarative assertion) or as a ...
off a duck's back
See: LIKE WATER OFF A DUCK'S BACK
off and on
also[on and off] {adv.} Not regularly; occasionally; sometimes. * /Joan wrote to a pen pal in England off and on for several years./ * /It rained off and on all day./ - ...
off balance
{adj. phr.} 1. Not in balance; not able to stand up straight and not fall; not able to keep from turning over or falling; unsteady. * /Never stand up in a canoe; it will ...
off base
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Not agreeing with fact; wrong. * /The idea that touching a toad causes warts is off base./ * /When Tom said that the teacher's explanation did not ...
off center
{adv. phr.} Not exactly in the middle. * /Mary hung the picture off center, because it was more interesting that way./
off day
{n. phr.} A period when one is not functioning at his or her best; a period of weakness. * /The champion was obviously having an off day; otherwise she would have been ...
off duty
{adj.} Not supposed to be at work; having free time; not working. * /Sailors like to go sight-seeing, when they are off duty in a foreign port./ * /It seems that all the taxis ...
off feed
or[off one's feed] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Not feeling well; lacking in vitality; droopy; moody. * /Mary was worried; her canary was off feed./ * /Jerry seemed to be off ...
off guard
{adj.} In a careless attitude; not alert to coming danger; not watching. * /In the second that the boxer was off guard, his opponent landed a knockout punch./ * /Timmy ...
off in a flash
See: IN A FLASH.
off limits
See: OUT OF BOUNDS.
off one's back
{adj. phr.} 1. {informal} Stopped from bothering one; removed as an annoyance or pest. * /"Having a kid brother always following me is a nuisance," Mary told her mother. ...
off one's chest
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Told to someone and so not bothering you anymore; not making you feel worried or upset, because you have talked about it. * /After Dave told ...
off one's feet
See: KNOCK OFF ONE'S FEET, SWEEP OFF ONE'S FEET.
off one's hands
{adv. phr.} No longer in your care or possession. * /Ginny was glad to have the sick dog taken off her hands by the doctor./ Contrast: ON ONE'S HANDS.
off one's head
{adj. phr.} Crazy; mad. * /We had no doubt that the old man was off his head when we saw him jumping into the lake with his winter coat on./
off one's high horse
{adj. phr.}, {informal} 1. Not acting proud and scornful; humble and agreeable. * /The girls were so kind to Nancy after her mother died that she came down off her high horse ...
off one's nut
See: OFF ONE'S HEAD.
off one's rocker
or[off one's trolley] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Not thinking correctly; crazy; silly; foolish. * /Tom is off his rocker if he thinks he can run faster than Bob can./ * ...
off one's trolley
See: OFF ONE'S ROCKER.
off season
See: LOW SEASON. Contrast: HIGH SEASON, ON SEASON.
off the bat
See: RIGHT AWAY or RIGHT OFF THE BAT.
off the beam
{adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. (Of an airplane) Not in the radio beam that marks the path to follow between airports; flying in the wrong direction. * /A radio signal tells the ...
off the beaten track
{adv. phr.} Not well known or often used; not gone to or seen by many people; unusual. * /The theater is off the beaten track./ * /We are looking for a vacation spot that ...
off the cuff
{adv. phr.}, {informal} Without preparing ahead of time what you will, say; without preparation. * /Some presidents like to speak off the cuff to newspaper reporters but ...
off the ground
See: GET OFF THE GROUND.
off the handle
See: FLY OFF THE HANDLE.
off the hog
See: LIVE HIGH OFF THE HOG.
off the hook
{adv. phr.} Out of trouble; out of an awkward or embarrassing situation. * /Thelma found she had made two dates for the same night; she asked Sally to get her off the hook ...
off the record(2)
{adj. phr.} Not to be published or told; secret; confidential. * /The president told the reporters his remarks were strictly off the record./ - Sometimes used with ...
off the top of one's head
{adv.} or {adj. phr.}, {informal} Without thinking hard; quickly. * /Vin answered the teacher's question off the top of his head./ * /When Lorraine was asked to recite, ...
off the wagon
{adj. phr.}, {slang} No longer refusing to drink whiskey or other alcoholic beverages; drinking liquor again, after stopping for a while. * /When a heavy drinker quits ...
off the wall
{adj. phr.} Strange; out of the ordinary; stupid. * /He has been making off-the-wall remarks all day; something must he the matter with him./
off-again, on-again
or[on-again, off-again] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Not settled; changeable; uncertain. * /John and Susan had an off-again, on-again romance./ * /I don't like this ...
off-center
{adj.}, {informal} Different from the usual pattern; not quite like most others; odd. * /Roger's sense of humor was a bit off-center./ Compare: OFF-KEY.
off-color
or[off-colored] {adj.} 1. Not of the proper hue or shade; not matching a standard color sample. * /The librarian complained that the painter had used an off-color ...
off-key
{adj.}, {informal} 1. Not proper; queer. * /When George told jokes at the funeral, everyone thought his action was off-key./ 2. In a false key. * /John always sings ...
off-the-cuff
{adj.}, {informal} Not prepared ahead of time. - Used of a speech or remarks. * /Jack was made master of ceremonies because he was a good off-the-cuff speaker./
offbeat
{adj.}, {informal} Nonconventional; different from the usual; odd. * /Linguistics used to be an offbeat field, but nowadays every self-respecting university has a ...
offhand
{adj.} 1. Informal; casual; careless. * /Dick found Bob's offhand manner inappropriate for business./ 2. In an improvised fashion. * /Offhand, I would guess that at ...
offshoot
{n.} A derivative; a side product. * /The discovery of nuclear reactors was ah offshoot of research in quantum physics./
often
See: EVERY NOW AND THEN or EVERY SO OFTEN, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT.
oil
See: POUR OIL ON TROUBLED WATERS.
oil the wheels
See: GREASE THE WHEELS.
ointment
See: PLY IN THE OINTMENT.
old
See: CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, COMFORTABLE AS AN OLD SHOE, COMMON AS AN OLD SHOE, OF OLD.
old as the hills
{adj. phr.} Very old; ancient. * /"Why didn't you laugh?" she asked. "Because that joke is as old as the hills," he answered./
old boy
or[old chap] {n.}, {chiefly British} One of the men educated at the same institution and bound by strong ties of loyalty to each other. * /He got the job because the ...
old boy network
{n. phr.} A system whereby men who went to the same school help each other to get good jobs, regardless of their ability or training. * /Peter got his lucrative job ...
old college try
{n. phr.} An attempt to win a favor from another by mentioning the fact that one had gone to the same college or university as the party from whom the favor is ...
old country
{n. phr.} Primarily Europe, but also any country other than the United States where one originally came from. * /Al's wife was born in Chicago but Al himself is from ...
old flame
{n. phr.} An erstwhile lover. * /Did you know that Meg was one of Howard's old flames?/
old guard
{n. phr.} People whose ideas may be out of date, but who have been in power for a long time. * /There will not be any change in policy at the company, as long as ...
old hand
{n. phr.} An experienced and highly skilled expert at some particular job. * /Uncle Joe is an old hand at repairing car engines./
old hat
{adj.}, {informal} Old-fashioned; not new or different. * /By now, putting satellites in orbit is old hat to space scientists./ * /Andrea thought her mother's ideas about ...
old maid
{n. phr.} A spinster; a woman who has never married. * /Because my old maid aunt is a terrific cook as well as a good-looking woman, nobody understands why she never ...
old money
Contrast: NEW MONEY.
Old Nick
See: FULL OF THE OLD NICK.
old school tie
See: OLD BOY NETWORK, OLD COLLEGE TRY.
old story
{n.} An everyday occurrence; something that often happens. * /Jane's temper tantrums were an old story./ * /It's an old story when a woman divorces her husband for too ...
old world
{n. phr.} Europe, the continent; a continental manner. * /Tom had an old world manner that thoroughly charmed all the ladies./ Compare: OLD COUNTRY.
old-timer
{n.} An old person who remembers bygone days, matters, and personalities. * /There was an old-timer at the party who told us interesting details about World War II./ ...
olive branch
{n. phr.} An overture; a symbol of peace. * /Tired of the constant fighting, the majority government extended an olive branch to the militant minority./
on one's hands
{adv.} or {adj. phr.} In your care or responsibility; that you must do something about. * /Mrs. Blake left her five children with me while she shopped. I could not ...
on the contrary
{adv. phr.} Exactly the opposite; rather; instead. * /The principal thought that the children went to the zoo; on the contrary, they went to the bakery./ * /"You ...
on the heels of
{prep.} Just after; following (something, especially an event). - Often used with "hard" for emphasis. * /Hard on the heels of the women's liberation parade, homosexuals ...

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