What is Idiom? Definition and Example Sentences with Idioms

What is Idiom? Definition and Example Sentences with Idioms

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Idioms in English

In linguistics, the concepts of idioms are stereotyped word-groups or sentences, consisting of words that indicate situations with a pleasant meaning or in a special structure or syntax, and usually have meanings different from their real meanings.

For example, “You can say that again.” is an idiom. What is meant by this idiom is “That’s true, I agree.” is the sentence. Someone told us, “You can say that again.” When he says that, he probably doesn’t expect us to say the same thing again, instead he is expressing that he agrees with the idea we have put forward. Let’s give some more examples.

It’s a piece of cake.

The person who used the sentence given as an example above is probably not talking about a piece of cake, but rather about the convenience of a particular situation.

It’s raining cats and dogs.

In this idiom, what is meant is not the rain of cats and dogs, but the pouring of rain.

Let the cat out of the bag.

Someone using this example sentence isn’t talking about a cat coming out of a bag, they might use this idiom when someone asks you to reveal a secret.

Don’t cry over spilled milk.

Someone using this example sentence is not talking about crying for milk. Generally speaking, this idiom means that there is no reason to complain about something that cannot be fixed in some way.

Take a shower check.

We usually use this example sentence when we want to postpone a plan, not to check if it’s raining.

The ball is in your court

Although we can use this example sentence while doing sports, as an idiom, “This is your decision.”

The elephant in the room.

Someone using this example sentence is not talking about a real elephant in their room but is probably talking about a big problem that people are avoiding.

Throw caution to the wind.

Although this example sentence can be used as a warning for someone leaving their house in case of stormy or windy weather, when we use it as an idiom, we are talking about a risk-taking situation.

You can’t judge a book by its cover.

This example sentence is a statement in itself. It can also be used in real terms. For example, when you go to a store that sells books, the content of a book that interests you may not be of interest to you. When used literally, a person or object may look bad from the outside but maybe good on the inside.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

This example sentence given can be used in a literal sense, as well as in an idiomatic sense. When used literally, the person using it is probably trying to convey that what you are doing is too risky.

Barking up the wrong tree.

A person who uses this example sentence will use this idiom against a person who is mistaken and looks for a solution in the wrong place.

A picture is worth 1000 words.

Someone who uses this sentence as an idiom says, “It’s better to show than tell.” he means.