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Tamilnadu Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Vocabulary Idioms

An idiom is an expression in English with a special meaning of its own. Idioms do not give the literal meaning of the individual words used in them.

Here are a few sentences with idioms (meanings are given in brackets):

Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Vocabulary Idioms

  • Business is going from bad to worse, (deteriorate further)
  • They always do things in a big way, (on a large scale)
  • The government has taken a very hard line (not giving in) against illegal quarrying.
  • Orders for the new product are coming in thick and fast, (in large numbers)
  • How can any one make ends meet (manage with the money) with just ? 2000/- a month?
  • Your son’s behavior is a matter of concern, (something to worry about)
  • The name sounds familiar but I can’t call her face to mind, (recall something from memory; recognise)
  • My uncle loves to tell us how to play cricket. He is an armchair expert.
    (one who gives advice in an area in which he was not actively involved)
  • Ravi is our sincere employee. He has had a clean slate (a past record without discredit) for over twenty years.
  • The policeman went near the damaged car to have a look at close quarters, (very near)
  • Dr. Jacob is at the helm (in charge) of affairs in this hospital.
  • No one can make a break even (make no profit or loss) in the first year of business.
  • Because of the steep rice in prices, people living on pension feel the pinch, (feeling unpleasant change in one’s standard of living)
  • Let us settle the bill for the damage fair and square, (in a fair way)
  • I can hear you over phone loud and clear, (very clearly)
  • By and by (as time goes by) he will realise that my going to Delhi was the right decision.

Idioms from the Textual Exercises
Idiom – Meaning
1. alarm bells ringing – a sign of something going wrong
2. back to the wall – in serious difficulty
3. below the belt – unfair or unsporting behavior
4. by the skin of one’s teeth – a narrow escape.
5. drive one up the wall – to annoy or irritate someone
6. asp / clutch at straws – try any method to overcome a crisis
7. hang out to dry – abandoning one who is in difficulty
8. have cold feet – feel nervousness and anxiety
9. hit the road – to begin one’s journey
10. in a nice pickle – in a troublesome or difficult situation
11. in our corner – on your side in an argument or dispute
12. in panic mode – in a frightening state
13. on the ropes – state of near collapse or defeat
14. right up to one’s alley – ideally suited to one’s interest
15. saved by the bell – help at the last moment rescuing one from a difficult situation
16. shot his bolt – to exhaust one’s effort
17. square off – prepare for a conflict
18. take (one) for a ride – to deceive someone
19. throw in the towel – to give up
20. tight corners – difficult situations

Some more idioms and meanings :

1 a bolt from the blue unexpected event; complete surprise (usually unwelcome)
2 a drop in the ocean a very small amount compared with what is needed or expected
3 a great deal plenty of
4 a penny for your thoughts a way of asking what someone is thinking.
5 a stone’s throw a very short distance
6 a storm in a teacup a big fuss about a small problem
7 a wild goose chase a worthless hunt or chase
8 a yellow streak cowardice in one’s character
9 above board honest, not a secret
10 add insult to injury to worsen an unfavorable situation
11 armchair expert one who gives advice in an area in which he was not actively involved
12 at close quarters very near
13 at hand very near
14 at loggerheads to disagree strongly
15 at snail’s pace very slowly
16 at the drop of the hat without any hesitation
17 at the eleventh hour at the last moment
18 at the end of one’s tether to have no power, patience or endurance left
19 at the helm in charge
20 at the mercy of under the control of
21 barking up the wrong tree accusing the wrong person
22 be armed with be equipped with
23 be fit for suitable
24 be part of belong to
25 beat around the bush avoiding the main topic
26 bed of roses comfortable position
27 best of both worlds all the advantages
28 big way on a large scale
29 bite the bullet to get something over with because it is inevitable
30 blessing in disguise something good that isn’t recognized at first.
31 bolt from the blue something that happened without warning
32 break even make no profit or loss
33 break the ice make people feel more comfortable
34 break through penetrate
35 bring forth produce
36 burst into enter suddenly
37 by and by as time goes by
38 by nature because of natural habits
39 call it a day stop working on something
40 can’t judge a book by its cover cannot judge something primarily on appearance.
41 clean slate a past record without discredit
42 comparing apples to oranges comparing two things that cannot be compared
43 costs an arm and a leg very expensive
44 curiosity killed the cat being inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation.
45 devil’s advocate to present a counter argument
46 draw a blank unable to get information
47 every cloud has a silver lining good-things come after bad things
48 eyesore ugly sight
49 eyewash something to deceive
50 fair and square in a fair way
51 fall a prey to become a victim
52 far cry from very different from
53 far from distant
54 feel the pinch feeling unpleasant change in one’s standard of living
55 fit as a fiddle in good health
56 fortune favours the bold take risks
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57 give (someone) a piece of one’s mind to tell someone frankly what one thinks especially when one disapproves of the other’s behaviour
58 give someone the cold shoulder ignore someone
59 go down in flames fail spectacularly
60 go on a wild goose chase to do something pointless
61 going from bad to worse deteriorate further
62 good-for-nothing worthless
63 hang around someone strongly to loiter
64 hang in there don’t give up
65 hard to come by difficult to find
66 have a hand to get involved
67 have no hand in does not take part in an activity
68 head back return
69 herculean task difficult task
70 hit the nail on the head do or say something exactly right
71 hit the sack go to sleep
72 holds good valid at the time of discussion
73 , honour bound (to do something) required to do something as a moral duty but not by law
74 in a nutshell briefly
75 in all walks of life all social groups
76 in deep waters in trouble
77 in hot pursuit following closely
78 in short supply Not enough / scarce
79 in the hands of in the care of
80 in the service of available for
81 it is a piece of cake it is easy
82 it’s Taining cats and dogs it’s raining hard
83 keep pace with to move with same speed
84 keep something at bay keep something away
85 kicked the bucket passed away
86 leave no stone unturned look everywhere
87 let the cat out of the bag give away a secret
88 lion’s share major share
89 look down upon treat with contempt                        .
90 loud and clear very clearly
91 make both ends meet live within means
92 make fun of ridicule
93 make up one’s mind decide, determine
94 matter of concern something to worry about
95 miss the boat it’s too late
96 muffle up to cover
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97 not playing with a full deck someone who lacks intelligence
98 note of hand promissory note
99 null and void invalid
100 on cloud nine to be extremely happy
101 once and for all completely and finally
102 once in a blue moon vary rarely
103 one thing leads to another series of events in which each event was caused by the previous one.
104 out of place unsuitable
105 pink of health extremely healthy, in perfect condition
106 play an important role to have a significant position
107 pull yourself together calm down
108 put on airs behave in an unnatural way to impress others
109 shadow of one’s self not having the strength, former self influence, etc., that one once had
110 side by side along with
111 speak volumes to express something very clearly and completely
112 spill the beans give away a secret
113 take to one’s heels to run away
114 taken a very hard line not giving in
115 the ball is in your court it’s your decision
116 the burning question a crucial issue
117 the whys and wherefores the reasons for something
118 thick and fast in large numbers
119 tit for tat revenge
120 told him flat expressed opinion directly
121 tread on walk with difficulty
122 trial and error to try many times to succeed
123 tricks of the trade the expertise of doing business
124 well-balanced well adjusted
125 whole nine yards everything, all of it
126 wouldn’t be caught dead would never like to do something
127 with a bang in a very exciting way

Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Vocabulary Idioms

Exercises
(i) Choose the correct option to complete the given idioms.
1. A bolt from _________.
(a) the white (b) the sky (c) the green (d) the blue
Answer:
(d) the blue

2. A storm _________.
(a) at sea (b) in the ocean (c) in a coffee cup (d) in a tea cup
Answer:
(d) in a tea cup

3. Can’t judge a book, _________.
(a) by the colour (b) by its cover (c) by its pages (d) by its author
Answer:
(db) by its cover

4. Every cloud _________.
(a) is dark (b) hides the sun (c) has a silver lining (d) brings rain
Answer:
(c) has a silver lining

5. Casts an arm _________.
(a) and a face (b) and a finger (c) and a leg (d) and some money
Answer:
(c) and a leg

6. Add insult to _________.
(a) friend (b) enemy (c) neighbor (d) injury
Answer:
(d) injury

7. A penny for _________.
(a) a picture (b) honesty (c) hard work (d) your thoughts
Answer:
(d) your thoughts

8. Fortune favors
(a) the hardworking (b) the poor (c) the rich (d) the bold
Answer:
(d) the bold

9. Hit the nail _________.
(a) on the wall (b) on the door (c) in the bench (d) on the head
Answer:
(d) on the head

10. Once in a _________.
(a) blue moon (b) in a tea cup (c) new moon (d) full moon
Answer:
(a) blue moon

Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Vocabulary Idioms

(ii) Give a suitable idiom for the given meanings.

1. Say something exactly right.
Answer:
To hit the nail on the head.

2. All social groups.
Answer:
All walks of life.

3. It’s raining hard.
Answer:
Its raining cats and dogs.

4. Passed away.
Answer:
Kicked the bucket.

5. Live within means.
Answer:
To make both ends meet.

6. Invalid.
Answer:
Null and void.

7. Extremely healthy.
Answer:
Pink of health.

8. Give away a secret.
Answer:
To let the cat out of the bag.

9. Revenge.
Answer:
Tit for that.

Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Vocabulary Idioms

10. In trouble.
Answer:
In deep waters.

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