Слова на букву be n-bull (459) Словарь американских идиом
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EN-DE-FR →  Словарь американских идиом →  --- -be m be n-bull bum -come come-does dog-fill fill-get get -hard hard-in a in a-keep keep-long long-nest nest-open open-pull pull-scen sche-so b so b-take take-turn turn-word


Слова на букву be n-bull (459)

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be nuts about
{v. phr.} To be enthusiastic or very keen about someone or something; be greatly infatuated with someone. * /Hermione is nuts about modern music./ * /"I am nuts about ...
be off
{v. phr.} 1. {v.} To be in error; miscalculate. * /The estimator was off by at least 35% on the value of the house./ 2. {v.} To leave. * /Jack ate his supper in a hurry ...
be on
{v. phr.} 1. To be in operation; be in the process of being presented. * /The news is on now on Channel 2; it will be off in five minutes./ 2. To be in the process of ...
be on the outs with
{v. phr.} To not be on speaking terms with someone; be in disagreement with someone. * /Jane and Tom have been on the outs with one another since Tom started to date ...
be on the rocks
See: ON THE ROCKS, GO ON THE ROCKS.
be on the verge of
{v. phr.} To be about to do something; be very close to. * /We were on the verge of going bankrupt when, unexpectedly, my wife won the lottery and our business was ...
be on the wagon
See: ON THE WAGON, FALL OFF THE WAGON.
be on to
{v. phr.} To understand the motives of someone; not be deceived. * /Jack keeps telling us how wealthy his family is, but we are on to him./
be one's age
See: ACT ONE'S AGE.
be oneself
{v.} To act naturally; act normally without trying unduly to impress others. * /Just try being yourself; I promise people will like you more./
be out
{v. phr.} 1. To not be at home or at one's place of work. * /I tried to call but they told me that Al was out./ 2. To be unacceptable; not be considered; impossible. * ...
be out to
{v. phr.} To intend to do; to plan to commit. * /The police felt that the gang may be out to rob another store./
be over
{v. phr.} To be ended; be finished. * /The show was over by 11 P.M./ * /The war will soon be over./
be set on
or[upon] {v. phr.} To be determined about something. * /Tow is set upon leaving his Chicago job for Tokyo, Japan, although he speaks only English./
be the making of
{v. phr.} To account for the success of someone or something. * /The strict discipline that we had to undergo in graduate school was the making of many a successful ...
be up to no good
{v. phr.}, {informal} To be plotting and conniving to commit some illegal act or crime. * /"Let's hurry!" Susan said to her husband. "It's dark here and those hoodlums ...
be up to something
{v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To feel strong enough or knowledgeable enough to accomplish a certain task. * /Are you up to climbing all the way to the 37th floor?/ * /Are we up ...
be-in
{n.}, {slang}, {hippie culture} A gathering or social occasion with or without a discernible purpose, often held in a public place like a park or under a large circus ...
beach
See: NOT THE ONLY PEBBLE ON THE BEACH.
beach bunny
{n.}, {slang} An attractive girl seen on beaches - mostly to show off her figure; one who doesn't get into the water and swim. * /What kind of a girl is Susie? - She's ...
bead
See: DRAW A BEAD ON.
beam
See: OFF THE BEAM, ON THE BEAM.
bean
See: FULL OF BEANS, SPILL THE BEANS, USE ONE'S HEAD or USE ONE'S BEAN.
bear
See: GRIN AND BEAR IT, LOADED FOR BEAR.
bear a grudge
{v. phr.} To persist in bearing ill feeling toward someone after a quarrel or period of hostility. * /Come on, John, be a good sport and don't bear a grudge because I beat ...
bear a hand
See: LEND A HAND.
bear down
{v.} 1. To press or push harder; work hard at; give full strength and attention. * /She is bearing down in her studies to win a scholarship./ * /The baseball pitcher is ...
bear down on
or[upon] {v. phr.} To draw constantly nearer with great speed and force. * /The police cars were bearing down on the bank robbers' get-away car./
bear fruit
{v. phr.} To yield results. * /We hope that the company's new investment policy will bear fruit./
bear in mind
See: IN MIND.
bear in the air
or[bear in the sky] {n. phr.}, {slang}, {citizen's band jargon} A police helicopter flying overhead watching for speeders. * /Slow down, good buddy, there's a bear in ...
bear off the palm
See: CARRY OFF THE PALM.
bear one's cross
See: CARRY ONE'S CROSS.
bear out
{v.} To show to be right; prove; support. * /Modern findings do not bear out the old belief that the earth is flat./ * /Seward's faith in his purchase of Alaska was ...
bear trap
{n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio jargon} A police radar unit designed to catch speeders. * /Watch the bear trap at exit 101./
bear up
{v.} 1. To hold up; carry; support; encourage. * /The old bridge can hardly bear up its own weight any more./ * /He was borne up by love of country./ 2. To keep up one's ...
bear watching
{v. phr.} 1. To be worth watching or paying attention to; have a promising future. * /That young ball player will bear watching./ 2. To be dangerous or untrustworthy. ...
bear with
{v.}, {formal} To have patience with; not get angry with. * /Your little sister is sick. Try to bear with her when she cries./ * /It is hard to bear with criticism./ ...
beard
See: LAUNCH UP ONE'S SLEEVE or LAUGH IN ONE'S SLEEVE or LAUGH IN ONE'S BEARD.
beat
See: HEART SKIP A BEAT, OFF THE BEATEN TRACK.
beat a retreat
{v. phr.} 1. To give a signal, esp. by beating a drum, to go back. * /The Redcoats' drums were beating a retreat./ 2. To run away. * /They beat a retreat when they saw ...
beat about the bush
or[beat around the bush] {v. phr.}, {slang} To talk about things without giving a clear answer; avoid the question or the point. * /He would not answer yes or no, but beat ...
beat all
or[beat the Dutch] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be strange or surprising. * /John found a box full of money buried in his garage. Doesn't that beat all!/ * /It beats the Dutch ...
beat all hollow
also[beat hollow] {v. phr.}, {slang} To do much better than; to beat very badly. * /We beat their team all hollow./ * /As a speaker, he beats us all hollow./
beat around the bush
See: BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH.
beat down
{v.} 1. To crush or break the spirit of; win over; conquer. * /All their defenses were beaten down by the tanks./ 2. {informal} a. To try to get reduced; force down by ...
beat hollow
See: BEAT ALL HOLLOW.
beat into one's head
{v. phr.}, {informal} To teach by telling again and again; repeat often; drill, also, to be cross and punish often. * /Tom is lazy and stubborn and his lessons have to ...
beat it
{v.}, {slang} To go away in a hurry; get out quickly. * /When he heard the crash he beat it as fast as he could./ - Often used as a command. * /The big boy said, " Beat it, ...
beat one to it
{v. phr.} To arrive or get ahead of another person. * /I was about to call you, John, but you have beat me to it! Thanks for calling me./
beat one's brains out
or[beat one's brains] {v. phr.}, {slang} To try very hard to understand or think out something difficult; tire yourself out by thinking. * /It was too hard for him and he ...
beat one's gums
{v. phr.}, {slang} To engage in idle talk, or meaningless chatter; generally to talk too much. * /"Stop beating your gums, Jack," Joe cried. "I am falling asleep."/ Compare: ...
beat one's head against a wall
{v. phr.} To struggle uselessly against something that can't be beaten or helped; not succeed after trying very hard. * /Trying to make him change his mind is just ...
beat the drum
{v. phr.} To attract attention in order to advertise something or to promote someone, such as a political candidate. * /Mrs. Smith has been beating the drum in ...
beat the --- out of
or[lick the --- out of] or[whale the --- out of] {v. phr.}, {informal} To beat hard; give a bad beating to. - Used with several words after "the", as "daylights", " ...
beat the band
{adv. phr.}, {informal} At great speed; with much noise or commotion. - Used after "to". * /The fire engines were going down the road to beat the band./ * /The audience ...
beat the bushes
also[beat the brush] {v. phr.}, {informal} To try very hard to find or get something. * /The mayor was beating the bushes for funds to build the playground./ Contrast: ...
beat the gun
See: JUMP THE GUN.
beat the meat
{v. phr.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} To masturbate (said primarily of men). * /"So what did you do for sex in prison for seven years?" Joe asked. "Well, unless you want to ...
beat the pants off
{v. phr.} 1. To prevail over someone in a race or competition. * /Jim beat the pants off George in the swimming race./ 2. To give someone a severe physical beating. * ...
beat the rap
{v. phr.} To escape the legal penalty one ought to receive. * /In spite of the strong evidence against him, the prisoner beat the rap and went free./
beat the shit out of
{v. phr.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} See: KNOCK THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF.
beat time
{v. phr.} To follow the rhythm of a piece of music by moving one's fingers or feet. * /Jack was beating time with his foot during the concert, which annoyed his ...
beat to
{v.}, {informal} To do something before someone else does it. * /I was waiting to buy a ticket but only one ticket was left, and another man beat me to it./ * /We were ...
beat to the punch
or[beat to the draw] {v. phr.}, {slang} To do something before another person has a chance to do it. * /John was going to apply for the job, but Ted beat him to the ...
beat up
{v.}, {informal} To give a hard beating to; hit hard and much; thrash; whip. * /When the new boy first came, he had to beat up several neighborhood bullies before they would ...
beaten path
{n. phr.} The usual route or way of operating that has been conventionally established, * /If we always follow the beaten path, we'll never have the courage to try something ...
beaten track
{n.} See: BEATEN PATH.
beauty sleep
{n.} A nap or rest taken to improve the appearance. * /She took her beauty sleep before the party./ * /Many famous beauties take a beauty sleep every day./
beaver
{n.}, {slang}, {vulgar}, {avoidable}, {citizen's band radio jargon} A female, especially one driving along the highway and operating a CB radio. * /I didn't know there ...
because of
{prep.} On account of; by reason of; as a result of. * /The train arrived late because of the snowstorm./
beck
See: AT ONE'S BECK AND CALL.
become of
{v. phr.} To happen to; befall. * /What will become of the children, now that both parents are in jail?/
bed
See: GET UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED, GO TO BED WITH THE CHICKENS, MAKE ONE'S BED AND LIE IN IT, PUT TO BED.
bed of nails
{n. phr.} A difficult or unhappy situation or set of circumstances. * /"There are days when my job is a regular bed of nails," Jim groaned./ Contrast: BED OF ROSES.
bed of roses
or[bowl of cherries] {n. phr.} A pleasant easy place, job, or position; an easy life. * /A coal miner's job is not a bed of roses./ * /After nine months of school, ...
bed of thorns
{n. phr.} A thoroughly unhappy time or difficult situation. * /I'm sorry I changed jobs; my new one turned out to be a bed of thorns./ See: BED OF NAILS.
bee
See: BIRDS AND THE BEES.
bee in one's bonnet
{n. phr.}, {informal} A fixed idea that seems fanciful, odd, or crazy. * /Robert Fulton had a bee in his bonnet about a steamboat./ * /Grandmother has some bee in her ...
beef about
{v. phr.} To complain about something. * /Stop beefing about your job, Jack. You could have done a lot worse!/
beef up
{v.}, {informal} To make stronger by adding men or equipment; make more powerful; reinforce. * /The general beefed up his army with more big guns and tanks./ * /The ...
beeline
See: MAKE A BEELINE FOR.
before long
{adv. phr.} In a short time; without much delay; in a little while, soon. * /Class will be over before long./ * /We were tired of waiting and hoped the bus would come ...
before one can say Jack Robinson
{adv. cl.}, {informal} Very quickly; suddenly. - An overused phrase. * /Before I could say Jack Robinson, the boy was gone./ Compare: IN A FLASH, RIGHT AWAY.
before swine
See: CAST PEARLS BEFORE SWINE or CAST ONE'S PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.
before you know it
{adv. phr.} Sooner than one would expect. * /Don't despair; we'll be finished with this work before you know it!/
beg
See: BEGGING.
beg the question
{v. phr.}, {literary} To accept as true something that is still being argued about, before it is proved true; avoid or not answer a question or problem. * /The girls ...
beg off
{v.} To ask to be excused. * /Father told Tom to rake the yard, but Tom tried to beg off./ * /Mrs. Crane accepted an invitation to a luncheon, but a headache made her beg off./ ...
beggars can't be choosers
People who can not choose what they will have, must accept what they get; if you are not in control, you must take what you can gel. * /We wanted to leave on the train in ...
begin with
{adv. phr.} As a preliminary statement; in the first place. * /To begin with, you are far too young to get married./
behalf
See: IN BEHALF OF or ON BEHALF OF, IN ONE'S BEHALF or ON ONE'S BEHALF.
behavior
See: ON ONE'S GOOD BEHAVIOR.
behind
See: DRY BEHIND THE EARS, FALL BEHIND, GET BEHIND, HANG BACK or HANG BEHIND.
behind the eight-ball
{adj. phr.}, {slang} In a difficult position; in trouble. * /Mr. Thompson is an older man, and when he lost his job, he found he was behind the eight-ball./ * /Bill ...
behind bars
{adv. phr.} In jail; in prison. * /He was a pickpocket and had spent many years behind bars./ * /That boy is always in trouble and will end up behind bars./
behind one's back
{adv. phr.} When one is absent; without one's knowledge or consent; in a dishonest way; secretly; sneakily. * /Say it to his face, not behind his back./ * /It is not right ...
behind the scenes
{adv. phr.} Out of sight; unknown to most people; privately. * /Much of the banquet committee s work was done behind the scenes./ * /John was president of the club, ...
behind the times
{adj. phr.} Using things not in style; still following old ways; old-fashioned. * /Johnson's store is behind the times./ * /The science books of 30 years ago are ...
behind time
{adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1a. Behind the correct time; slow. * /That clock is behind time./ 1b. Behind schedule; late. * /The train is running behind time today./ 2. Not ...
being
See: FOR THE TIME BEING.
belabor the point
{v. phr.} To overexplain something to the point of obviousness, resulting in ridicule. * /"Lest I belabor the point," the teacher said, "I must repeat the importance of ...
belfry
See: BATS IN ONE'S BELFRY or BATS IN THE BELFRY.
believe
See: MAKE BELIEVE, SEEING IS BELIEVING.
believe one's ears
{v. phr.} 1. To believe what one hears; trust one's hearing. - Used with a negative or limiter, or in an interrogative or conditional sentence. * /He thought he ...
believe one's eyes
{v. phr.} 1. To believe what one sees; trust one's eyesight. - Used with a negative or limiter or in an interrogative or conditional sentence. * /Is that a ...
bell
See: RING A BELL, WITH BELLS ON.
belly up
{adj.}, {informal} Dead, bankrupt, or financially ruined. * /Tom and Dick struggled on for months with their tiny computer shop, but last year they went belly up./ ...
belly up
{v.}, {informal} To go bankrupt, become afunctional; to die. * /Uncompetitive small businesses must eventually all belly up./
bellyache
{v.} To constantly complain. * /Jim is always bellyaching about the amount of work he is required to do./
below par
{adj.} or {adv.} Below standard. * /Bob was fired because his work has been below par for several months now./ Contrast: UP TO PAR or UP TO SNUFF.
below the belt
{adv. phr.} 1. In the stomach; lower than is legal in boxing. * /He struck the other boy below the belt./ 2. {informal} In an unfair or cowardly way; against the rules of ...
belt
See: BELOW THE BELT, SEAT BELT, TIGHTEN ONE'S BELT, UNDER ONE'S BELT.
belt out
{v.}, {slang} To sing with rough rhythm and strength; shout out. * /She belted out ballads and hillbilly songs one after another all evening./ * /Young people enjoy ...
bench
See: ON THE BENCH, WARM THE BENCH.
bench warmer
See: WARM THE BENCH.
bend over backward
or[lean over backward] {v. phr.}, {informal} To try so hard to avoid a mistake that you make the opposite mistake instead; do the opposite of something that you know you ...
beneath one
{adj. phr.} Below one's ideals or dignity. * /Bob felt it would have been beneath him to work for such low wages./
benefit
See: GIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.
bent on
or[bent upon] Very decided, determined, or set. * /The sailors were bent on having a good time./ * /The policeman saw some boys near the school after dark and thought ...
berth
See: GIVE A WIDE BERTH.
beside oneself
{adj. phr.} Very much excited; somewhat crazy. * /She was beside herself with fear./ * /He was beside himself, he was so angry./ * /When his wife heard of his death, ...
beside the point
or[beside the question] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} Off the subject; about something different. * /What you meant to do is beside the point; the fact is you didn't do it./ * /The ...
best
See: AS BEST ONE CAN, AT BEST, FOR THE BEST, GET THE BETTER OF or GET THE BEST OF, HAD BETTER or HAD BEST, HE LAUGHS BEST WHO LAUGHS LAST, MAKE THE BEST OF, PUT ONE'S ...
best bib and tucker
or[Sunday best] or[Sunday go-to-meeting clothes] {n. phr.}, {informal} Best clothes or outfit of clothing. * /The cowboy got all dressed up in his best bib and tucker ...
best man
{n.} The groom's aid (usually his best friend or a relative) at a wedding. * /When Agnes and I got married, my brother Gordon was my best man./
best seller
{n.} An item (primarily said of books) that outsells other items of a similar sort. * /Catherine Neville's novel "The Eight" has been a national best seller for months./ ...
bet
See: YOU BET or YOU BET YOUR BOOTS or YOU BET YOUR LIFE.
bet on the wrong horse
{v. phr,}, {informal} To base your plans on a wrong guess about the result of something; misread the future; misjudge a coming event. * /To count on the small family ...
bet one's boots
or[bet one's bottom dollar] or[bet one's shirt] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To bet all you have. * /This horse will win. I would bet my bottom dollar on it./ * /Jim said he ...
better
See: ALL BETTER, DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF VALOR, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, FOR THE BETTER, GET THE BETTER OF, GO --- ONE BETTER, HAD BETTER, HALF A LOAF IS BETTER ...
better half
{n.}, {informal} One's marriage partner (mostly said by men about their wives.) * /"This is my better half, Mary," said Joe./
better late than never
It is better to come or do something late than never. * /The firemen didn't arrive at the house until it was half burned, but it was better late than never./ * ...
better than
{prep. phr.} More than; greater than; at a greater rate than. * /The car was doing better than eighty miles an hour./ * /It is better than three miles to the station./ ...
between
See: BETWIXT AND BETWEEN, COME BETWEEN, PEW AND FAR BETWEEN.
between a rock and a hard place
See: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA.
between life and death
{adv. phr.} In danger of dying or being killed; with life or death possible. * /He held on to the mountainside between life and death while his friends went to get ...
between the devil and the deep blue sea
or {literary}[between two fires] or[between a rock and a hard place] {adv. phr.} Between two dangers or difficulties, not knowing what to do. * /The pirates had to fight ...
between the eyes
See: HIT BETWEEN THE EYES.
between the lines
See: READ BETWEEN THE LINES.
between two fires
See: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA.
between two shakes of a lamb's tail
See: BEFORE ONE CAN SAY JACK ROBINSON.
beyond measure
{adj.} or {adv. phr.}, {formal} So much that it can not be measured or figured without any limits. * /With her parents reunited and present at her graduation, she had ...
beyond one's depth
{adj.} or {adv. phr.} 1. Over your head in water; in water too deep to touch bottom. * /Jack wasn't a good swimmer and nearly drowned when he drifted out beyond his ...
beyond one's means
{adj. phr.} Too expensive, not affordable. * /Unfortunately, a new Mercedes Benz is beyond my means right now./
beyond one's nose
See: SEE BEYOND ONE'S NOSE.
beyond question(1)
{adj. phr.} Not in doubt certain; sure. - Used in the predicate. * /People always believe anything that Mark says; his honesty is beyond question./ Contrast: IN ...
beyond question(2)
or[without question] {adv. phr.} Without doubt or argument; surely; unquestionably. * /Beyond question, it was the coldest day of the winter./ * /John's drawing is without ...
beyond reasonable doubt
{adv. phr.}, {formal and legal} Virtually certain; essentially convincing. * /The judge instructed the jurors to come up with a verdict of guilty only if they were convinced ...
beyond the pale
{adv.} or {adj. phr.} In disgrace; with no chance of being accepted or respected by others; not approved by the members of a group. * /After the outlaw killed a man he was ...
beyond the shadow of a doubt
{adv. phr.}, {formal and legal} Absolutely certain, totally convincing. * /Fred burglarized Mrs. Brown's apartment, beyond the shadow of a doubt./
bib
See: BEST BIB AND TUCKER.
bid fair
{v.}, {literary} To seem likely; promise. * /He bids fair to be a popular author./ * /The day bids fair to be warm./
bide one's time
{v. phr.} To await an opportunity; wait patiently until your chance comes. * /Refused work as an actor, Tom turned to other work and bided his time./ * /Jack was hurt ...
big
See: IN A BIG WAY, LITTLE FROG IN A BIG POND, LITTLE PITCHERS HAVE BIG EARS, TALK BIG, TOO BIG FOR ONE'S BREECHES, WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA.
big lie, the
{n.}, {informal} A major, deliberate misrepresentation of some important issue made on the assumption that a bold, gross lie is psychologically more believable than ...
big as life
or[large as life] {adj. phr.} 1. or[life-size] The same size as the living person or thing. * /The statue of Jefferson was big as life./ * /The characters on the screen ...
big cheese
or[big gun] or[big shot] or[big wheel] or[big wig] {n.}, {slang} An important person; a leader; a high official; a person of high rank. * /Bill had been a big shot in high ...
big daddy
{n.}, {slang}, {informal} The most important, largest thing, person or animal in a congregation of similar persons, animals, or objects. * /The whale is the big daddy of ...
big deal
{interj.}, {slang}, {informal} (loud stress on the word " deal") Trifles; an unimportant, unimpressive thing or matter. * /So you became college president - big deal!/
big frog in a small pond
{n. phr.}, {informal} An important person in a small place or position; someone who is respected and honored in a small company, school, or city; a leader in a ...
big hand
{n.} Loud and enthusiastic applause. * /When Pavarotti finished singing the aria from Rigoletto, he got a very big hand./
big head
{n.}, {informal} Too high an opinion of your own ability or importance; conceit. * /When Jack was elected captain of the team, it gave him a big head./ Compare: SWELLED HEAD. ...
big house
{n.} A large jail or prison. * /The rapist will spend many years in the big house./
big mouth
or[big-mouthed] See: LOUD MOUTH, LOUD-MOUTHED.
big shot
or[big wig] {n.} An important or influential person. * /Elmer is a big shot in the State Assembly./
big stink
{n.}, {slang} A major scandal; a big upheaval. * /I'll raise a big stink if they fire me./
big time
{n.}, {informal} 1. A very enjoyable time at a party or other pleasurable gathering. * /I certainly had a big time at the club last night./ 2. The top group; the leading ...
big top
{n.} The main tent under which a circus gives its show; the circus and circus life. * /Lillian Leitzel was one of the great stars of the big top./ * /The book tells of ...
big wheel
{n.}, {informal} An influential or important person who has the power to do things and has connections in high places. * /Uncle Ferdinand is a big wheel in Washington; ...
big yawn
{n.} A very boring person, story or event. * /I love my grandma very much, but the stories she tells sure are a yawn./
big-time
{adj.} Belonging to the top group; of the leading class; important. * /Jean won a talent contest in her home town, and only a year later she began dancing on big-time ...
bigger than one's stomach
See: EYES BIGGER THAN ONE'S STOMACH.
bill
See: CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH, FILL THE BILL.
bind
See: DUTY BOUND, IN A BIND, MUSCLE BOUND, ROOT-BOUND.
bingo card
{n.}, {slang} A response card, bound into a periodical, containing numbers keyed to editorial or advertising matter, giving the reader the opportunity to ...
bird
See: EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM or EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM, EAT LIKE A BIRD, FINE FEATHERS DO NOT MAKE FINE BIRDS, FOR THE BIRDS, KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE.
bird has flown
{slang} The prisoner has escaped; the captive has got away. * /When the sheriff returned to the jail, he discovered that the bird had flown./
bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (a)
Something we have, or can easily get, is more valuable than something we want that we may not be able to get; we shouldn't risk losing something sure by trying to get ...
bird of a different feather
{n. phr.} A person who is free thinking and independent. * /Syd won't go along with recent trends in grammar; he created his own. He is a bird of a different ...
bird watcher
{n.} A person whose hobby is to study birds close-up in their outdoor home. * /A bird watcher looks for the first robin to appear in the spring./
birds and the bees (the)
{n. phr.}, {informal} The facts we should know about our birth. * /At various ages, in response to questions, a child can be told about the birds and the bees./
birds of a feather flock together
People who are alike often become friends or are together; if you are often with certain people, you may be their friends or like them. - A proverb. * /Don't be ...
birthday suit
{n.} The skin with no clothes on; complete nakedness. * /The little boys were swimming in their birthday suits./
bit
See: A BIT, CHAMP AT THE BIT, FOUR BITS, QUITE A LITTLE or QUITE A BIT, SIX BITS, TAKE THE BIT IN ONE'S MOUTH, TWO BITS.
bitch
See: SON OF A BITCH.
bite
See: BARK WORSE THAN ONE'S BITE, PUT THE BITE ON, ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY at BURNT CHILD DREADS THE FIRE.
bite off more than one can chew
{v. phr.}, {informal} To try to do more than you can; be too confident of your ability. * /He bit off more than he could chew when he agreed to edit the paper alone./ * ...
bite one's head off
{v. phr.} To answer someone in great anger; answer furiously. * /I'm sorry to tell you that I lost my job, but that's no reason to bite my head off!/
bite one's lips
{v. phr.} To force oneself to remain silent and not to reveal one's feelings. * /I had to bite my lips when I heard my boss give the wrong orders./
bite the dust
{v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To be killed in battle. * /Captain Jones discharged his gun and another guerrilla bit the dust./ 2. To fall in defeat; go down before enemies; be ...
bite the hand that feeds one
{v. phr.} To turn against or hurt a helper or supporter; repay kindness with wrong. * /He bit the hand that fed him when he complained against his employer./
bitter
See: TO THE BITTER END.
bitter pill
{n.} Something hard to accept; disappointment. * /Jack was not invited to the party and it was a bitter pill for him./
black
See: BLACK AND WHITE, IN THE BLACK, LOOK BLACK, POT CALLS THE KETTLE BLACK.
black and blue
{adj.} Badly bruised. * /Poor Jim was black and blue after he fell off the apple tree./
black and white
{n. phr.} 1. Print or writing; words on paper, not spoken; exact written or printed form. * /He insisted on having the agreement down in black and white./ * /Mrs. ...
black day
{n.} A day of great unhappiness; a disaster. * /It was a black day when our business venture collapsed./
black eye
{n.} 1. A dark area around one's eye due to a hard blow during a fight, such as boxing. * /Mike Tyson sported a black eye after the big fight./ 2. Discredit. * /Bob's ...
black out
{v.} 1. To darken by putting out or dimming lights, * /In some plays the stage is blacked out for a short time and the actors speak in darkness./ * /In wartime, cities ...
black sheep
{n.} A person in a family or a community considered unsatisfactory or disgraceful. * /My brother Ted is a high school dropout who joined a circus; he is the black ...
black-and-white
{adj.} Divided into only two sides that are either right or wrong or good or bad, with nothing in between; thinking or judging everything as either good or bad. ...
blackout
{n.} 1. The darkening of a city curing an air raid by pulling down all curtains and putting out all street lights. * /The city of London went through numerous blackouts ...
blame
See: TO BLAME.
blast off
{v.} 1. To begin a rocket flight. * /The astronaut will blast off into orbit at six o'clock./ 2. Also[blast away] {informal} To scold or protest violently. * /The coach blasted ...
blaze a trail
{v. phr.} 1. To cut marks in trees in order to guide other people along a path or trail, especially through a wilderness. * /Daniel Boone blazed a trail for other ...
bleep out
See: BLIP OUT.
bless one's heart
{v. phr.} To thank someone; consider one the cause of something good that has happened. * /Aunt Jane, bless her heart, left me half a million dollars!/
blessing
See: MIXED BLESSING.
blind
See: FLY BLIND.
blind alley
{n.} 1. A narrow street that has only one entrance and no exit. * /The blind alley ended in a brick wall./ 2. A way of acting that leads to no good results. * /John ...
blind as a bat/beetle/mole/owl
{adj. phr.} Anyone who is blind or has difficulty in seeing; a person with very thick glasses. * /Without my glasses I am blind as a bat./
blind date
{n.} An engagement or date arranged by friends for people who have not previously known one another. * /A blind date can be a huge success, or a big disappointment./
blind leading the blind
One or more people who do not know or understand something trying to explain it to others who do not know or understand. * /Jimmy is trying to show Bill how to skate. The ...
blind spot
{n.} 1. A place on the road that a driver cannot see in the rearview mirror. * /I couldn't see that truck behind me, Officer, because it was in my blind spot./ 2. A ...
blink
See: ON THE BLINK.
blip out
or[bleep out] {v. phr.}, {informal} To delete electronically a word on television or on radio either because it mentions the name of an established firm in a ...
blitz
See: SAFETY BLITZ.
block
See: CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, KNOCK ONE'S BLOCK OFF, ON THE BLOCK.
blockhead
{n.}, {informal} An unusually dense, or stupid person whose head is therefore exaggeratedly compared to a solid block of wood. * /Joe is such a blockhead that he flunked ...
blood
See: DRAW BLOOD, FLESH AND BLOOD, IN COLD BLOOD, IN ONE'S BLOOD or INTO ONE'S BLOOD, MAKE ONE'S BLOOD BOIL or MAKE THE BLOOD BOIL, NEW BLOOD, OUT OF ONE'S BLOOD, RUN ...
blood and thunder
{n. phr.} The violence and bloodshed of stories that present fast action rather than understanding of character. * /Crime movies and westerns usually have lots of blood ...
blood freezes
See: BLOOD RUNS COLD.
blood is thicker than water
Persons of the same family are closer to one another than to others; relatives are favored or chosen over outsiders. * /Mr. Jones hires his relatives to work in his ...
blood runs cold
also[blood freezes] or[blood turns to ice] You are chilled or shivering from great fright or horror; you are terrified or horrified. - Usually used with a ...
blood turns to ice
See: BLOOD RUNS COLD.
bloody
See: SCREAM BLOODY MURDER.
blot out
{v. phr.} 1. To obstruct; cover; obscure. * /The high-rise building in front of our apartment house blots out the view of the ocean./ 2. To wipe out of one's ...
blow
See: AT A BLOW, BODY BLOW, COME TO BLOWS, IT'S AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NOBODY GOOD, WAY THE WIND BLOWS or HOW THE WIND BLOWS.
blow one's top
{v. phr.} To become very excited, angry, hysterical, or furious. * /"No need to blow your top, Al," his wife said, "just because you lost a few dollars."/
blow a fuse
or[blow a gasket] or[blow one's top] or[blow one's stack] {v. phr.}, {slang} To become extremely angry; express rage in hot words. * /When Mr. McCarthy's son got married ...
blow great guns
See: GREAT GUNS.
blow hot and cold
{v. phr.} To change your ways or likes often; be fickle or changeable. * /Tom blows hot and cold about coming out for the baseball team; he cannot decide./ * /Mary blew ...
blow in
{v.}, {slang} To arrive unexpectedly or in a carefree way. * /The house was already full of guests when Bill blew in./ Compare SHOW UP(3).
blow into
{v.}, {slang} To arrive at (a place) unexpectedly or in a carefree way. * /Bill blows into college at the last minute after every vacation./ * /Why Tom, when did you blow into ...
blow off steam
See: LET OFF STEAM.
blow one's brains out
{v. phr.} 1. To shoot yourself in the head. * /Mr. Jones lost all his wealth, so he blew his brains out./ 2. {slang} To work very hard; overwork yourself. * /The boys ...
blow one's cool
{v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To lose your composure or self-control. * /Whatever you say to the judge in court, make sure that you don't blow your cool./
blow one's lines
or[fluff one's lines] {v. phr.}, {informal} To forget the words you are supposed to speak while acting in a play. * /The noise backstage scared Mary and she blew her lines./ ...
blow one's mind
{v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal}; {originally from the drug culture} 1. To become wildly enthusiastic over something as if understanding it for the first time in an entirely ...
blow one's own horn
or[toot one's own horn] {v. phr.}, {slang} To praise yourself; call attention to your own skill, intelligence, or successes; boast. * /People get tired of a man who is always ...
blow out
{v. phr.} 1. To cease to function; fail; explode (said of tires and fuses). * /The accident occurred when Jim's tire blew out on the highway./ * /The new dishwasher blew out ...
blow over
{v.} To come to an end; pass away with little or no bad effects. * /The sky was black, as if a bad storm were coming, but it blew over and the sun came out./ * /They were ...
blow taps
{v. phr.} To sound the final bugle call of the evening in a camp or military base. * /After taps is blown the boy scouts go to their bunks to sleep./
blow the gaff
{v. phr.} To open one's mouth to reveal a secret. * /When Al cheated on his wife, his younger brother blew the gaff on him./
blow the lid off
{v. phr.}, {informal} Suddenly to reveal the truth about a matter that has been kept as a secret either by private persons or by some governmental agency. * /The clever ...
blow the whistle on
{v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To inform against; betray. * /The police caught one of the bank robbers, and he blew the whistle on two more./ 2. To act against, stop, or tell ...
blow up
{v.} 1a. To break or destroy or to be destroyed by explosion. * /He blew up the plane by means of a concealed bomb./ * /The fireworks factory blew up when ...
blow up in one's face
{v. phr.}, {informal} To fail completely and with unexpected force. * /The thief's plan to rob the bank blew up in his face when a policeman stopped him./
blowout
{n.} 1. An explosion of a tire or a fuse. * /Jim's van veered sharply to the right after his car had a blowout./ 2. A big party. * /After graduation from college, my son ...
blue
See: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, BOLT FROM THE BLUE, ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, OUT OF THE BLUE or OUT OF A CLEAR BLUE SKY.
blue around the gills
See: GREEN AROUND THE GILLS.
blue collar worker
{n. phr.} A manual laborer who is probably a labor union member. * /Because Jack's father is a blue collar worker, Jack was so anxious to become an intellectual./ Contrast: ...
blue in the face
{adj. phr.}, {informal} Very angry or upset; excited and very emotional. * /Tom argued with Bill until he was blue in the face./ * /Mary scolded Jane until she was blue ...
blue Monday
{n.} A Monday when you have to work after a happy weekend. * /It was blue Monday and John nodded sleepily over his books./ * /Housewives sometimes wish they could ...
blue-pencil
{v.} To edit. * /The editor blue-penciled John's manuscript./
bluff
See: CALL ONE'S BLUFF.
blurt out
{v. phr.} To suddenly say something even if one was not planning to do so, or if it was not expected of them. * /"My brother Bob is in jail," Tony blurted out, before anybody ...
blush
See: AT FIRST BLUSH.
board
See: ACROSS THE BOARD, COLLEGE BOARDS, GO BY THE BOARD or PASS BY THE BOARD, ON BOARD, SANDWICH BOARD.
boat
See: BURN ONE'S BRIDGES also BURN ONE'S BOATS, IN THE SAME BOAT, MISS THE BOAT, ROCK THE BOAT.
bob up
See: POP UP(1).
bobby-soxer
{n.} A teen-aged girl. (1940s idiom) * /My two daughters, age 13 and 14, are typical bobby-soxers./
body
See: KEEP BODY AND SOUL TOGETHER.
body blow
{n.}, {informal} A great disappointment; a bitter failure. * /When he failed to get on the team it came as a body blow to him./

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