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Idiomatic Expressions


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idioms

What are idioms?

Definition

An idiom (also called idiomatic expression) is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning conventionally understood by native speakers. This meaning is different from the literal meaning of the idiom's individual elements. In other words, idioms don't mean exactly what the words say. They have, however, hidden meaning.

Examples

  • "Kick the bucket"
  • "Spill the beans"

The meaning of these expressions is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which they are made. Their meaning are however used figuratively. They mean respectively:

  • "to die "
  • "to tell people secret information"

Lists of idioms

English has thousands of idioms. Here are lists of idioms arranged in alphabetical order or in different categories.

Exercise on idioms.

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