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Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


What does like a moth to a flame mean?

Meaning of idioms with examples...

like a moth to a flame


If you are attracted to someone or to something like a moth to a flame, you are irresistibly attracted to them.

Other forms of this idiom include:

Like a moth around a flame.
Like a moth around a candle.

The origin of the phrase

The phrase "like a moth to a flame" refers to the well-known attraction that moths have to bright lights, which could include those harmless lights, such as the light from flashlights, as well as dangerous ones, such as fire. The phrase was first used to emphasize a type of attraction that might cause someone's destruction. It indicates that sometimes things that seem familiar and irresistibly inviting might hurt you.

There is a reference to this phrase in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice", 1596:

Thus hath the candle singed the moth.
O these deliberate fools! When they do choose,
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.


Hollywood drew young girls like a moth to a flame.

He was so popular that he attracted women to him like moths to the flame.

This idiom is in the animals category

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