English idioms are extremely common in daily conversation. There are a lot of idioms, but it doesn’t mean that use all the idioms. You need to use only the idioms which are most common in conversation.
It will be helpful to understand native speakers as well as for English improvement. Before learning the most common English idioms, let’s see the definition of English idioms.
“An idiom is an expression or a phrase that has a particular meaning that’s different from the meaning of the individual words.”
List of 40 Most Common English Idioms with Meaning and Examples
Learn and use the most common English idioms with meaning and examples which are given below:
1. Under the weather
Under the weather means to feel sick, ill, or not well for some other reason.
- Sorry, I can’t help in your presentation because I’ve been feeling under the weather for 2 days.
- Today, she is feeling a bit under the weather, so she is going to see the doctor.
2. Recharge your batteries
To recharge your batteries means to relax or rest for a period of time so that you feel energetic again.
- We had a busy at work, so we need to recharge our batteries.
- You must recharge your batteries as you are really tired now.
3. Clean bill of health
A clean bill of health is a report or a decision by a doctor that someone is healthy. This idiom is also used when something is working properly.
- Yesterday, I had my annual checkup and I’ve been given a clean bill of health by the doctor.
- That elevator has a clean bill of health.
4. It’s raining cats and dogs
It’s raining cats and dogs means it is raining very heavily.
- We must cancel the meeting because it’s raining cats and dogs.
- I don’t want to go outside for playing. I’m going to stay inside and read books. It’s raining cats and dogs!
5. Once in a blue moon
It means something happens very rarely.
- It’s once in a blue moon that I got a chance to do something.
- Do you meet with your friends once in a blue moon?
6. Turn over a new leaf
To turn over a new leaf means to change your behavior and your life in a positive way.
- You must turn over a new leaf now.
- Now, it’s your last opportunity to turn over a new leaf.
7. Keep your chin up
To keep your chin up means to stay positive or cheerful in a difficult situation.
- Don’t worry! keep your chin up. You’ll win next time.
- Just keep your chin up! I’m sure everything will be all right.
8. On top of the world
It means to be extremely happy or delighted.
- I got a new job. I’m on top of the world.
- He was on top of the world when he had been given a reward by the principal.
9. A piece of cake
The idiom “a piece of cake” it doesn’t mean a slice of cake. Actually, it means something that’s extremely easy to do.
- Dress designing is a piece of cake for me.
- The exam was really a piece of cake. I solved all the questions.
10. Way to go!
This idiom is used to congratulate someone. In short “way to go” means well done or good job.
- In the event you did great job. Way to go!
- I heard that you won the contest. Way to go!
11. Reach for the stars
Reach for the stars means to try to accomplish a far reaching goal or try to get something particularly difficult.
- I’m keeping my eyes to the destination and reaching for the stars.
- My father always says to me to reach for the star and never give up.
12. Break the ice
It means to do or say something that makes people feel more comfortable or make people more friendly towards each other.
- Everybody was quiet in the meeting, but I broke the ice with a joke.
- She knows very well how to break the ice.
13. Break a leg!
This idiom is used to wish someone good luck, mostly regarding a performance.
- Tomorrow is your interview. Break a leg!
- I’m dead sure that you can do it. Go and break a leg!
14. Break a habit
It means to stop doing something that you usually do, generally something bad, or harmful habit.
- You play all the time. You must break a habit.
- Just break a habit of snoring. It drives me nut.
15. On the ball
To be on the ball means to be alert, efficient, and able to deal with things rapidly and intelligently.
- I’ve finished all of the presentation. I’m on the ball.
- Is she always on the ball?
16. On cloud nine
To be on cloud nine means to be extremely happy and excited.
- I got A+ on the test. I’m really on cloud nine!
- She was on cloud nine when she’d got the gold medal.
17. A pain in the neck
A pain in the neck means someone or something that’s annoying or difficult to deal with.
- Finally, I solved that question which was a pain in the neck for me.
- Why are you being a pain in the neck? Let me work.
18. Dead tired
It means to be completely exhausted (extremely tired).
- I’m dead tired because I’ve worked a lot today.
- It seems you are dead tired now, just take a rest.
19. Dead sure / Dead certain
It means absolutely sure or certain.
- Are you dead sure about it?
- I’m dead certain that she is the one who has stolen my phone.
20. Add insult to injury
It means to make a bad situation even worse in some ways by doing something.
- I was already getting late for work and to add insult to injury, I stuck in the traffic.
- He was an accident on the way today and to add insult to injury, a truck drove by and splashed mud all over his suit.
21. Act your age
Act your age means to stop acting in an immature way.
- Stop being silly and act your age!
- Why are behaving like a child? Just act your age.
22. Add fuel to the fire
This phrase means to make a miserable situation even worse by doing or saying something.
- We had lost the way, but when we called him for help, he refused and it added fuel to the fire.
- I won’t comment on this argument without knowing all the facts. I don’t want to add fuel to the fire.
23. A bite to eat
It doesn’t mean just one bite. Actually, the idiom “a bite to eat” means a meal.
- I don’t have much time, so I’m going to grab a bite to eat right now.
- Let’s grab a bite to eat and after that finish the project.
24. Bite the hand that feeds you
It means to act badly towards the person who helps or supports you.
- If you bite the hand that feeds you, no one will help you.
- Why are biting the hand that feeds you? Just be kind to your parents.
25. It’s not a rocket science
This phrase means something isn’t complicated or difficult.
- Speaking English is not a rocket science. Everyone can learn it.
- I can finish this project today. It’s not a rocket science.
26. Hang in there
Hang in there means keep going, keep moving forward, and don’t give up when things get difficult.
- Physics is not too hard subject, just hang in there, hard work always pays off.
- Don’t be distraught, hang in there. Everything will be alright soon.
27. Better late than never
This idiom means that arriving someone late or doing something late is better than to never arrive or do it at all.
- I thought that you wouldn’t come, but better late than never.
- It took me six months to complete this magnificent painting, but better late than never.
28. Hit the sack
To “hit the sack” means to go to sleep.
- I’m really exhausted. I’m going to hit the sack.
- Why don’t you hit the sack right now?
29. Hit the books
To “hit the books” means to study hard with concentration.
- Your exam is round the corner. Why don’t you hit the books?
- I can’t go to the party tonight. I need to hit the books.
30. Pulling someone’s leg
It means joking or kidding with someone.
- Don’t be so serious whatever he says, he is just pulling your leg.
- She was just pulling his leg. She doesn’t really speak four languages.
You can use this idiom according to the subject.
31. Pull yourself together
It means to clam down and act normally after being distraught or furious.
- It really difficult time for you that you’ve been rejected in the interview, but pull yourself together.
- I know you have less time to do, but hang in there and pull yourself together.
You can use this phrase according to the subject.
32. Call it a day
“Call it a day” means to stop working and relax.
- You’ve been studying continuously for five hours. I think you should call it a day.
- I’m a bit tired now. Shall I call it a day?
33. Cross that bridge when one comes to it
It means to deal with a difficult circumstance when and if it occurs.
- I’m dead certain that I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
- She isn’t worried about her interview yet. She’ll cross that bridge when she comes to it.
We can use this idiom according to the sentence.
34. Time flies
“Time flies” means time passes surprisingly and rapidly.
- I can’t believe that my class test is in next week. Time flies!
- You have one year for the preparation, but I know time flies.
- Time flies when you are having fun.
35. A fish out of water
It means to feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
- I felt like a fish out of water in that classroom.
- Stop being like a fish out of water!
36. A big fish in a small pond
This phrase means that someone who is well known and has lots of influences only over a small area.
- She is really a big fish in a small pond.
- Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond?
37. Butterflies in my stomach
It means to feel nervous or excited about something.
- Before the exam, I had butterflies in my stomach.
- When do you have butterflies in your stomach?
You can use this idiom according to the subject.
38. Sick and tired
You can use this phrase when you cannot tolerate something or someone.
- She is sick and tired of her friend.
- I’m really sick and tired of eating bread and butter for breakfast every single day.
39. Step up one’s game
It means to improve and try harder to achieve something.
- Why don’t you set up your game?
- I really need to set up my game for my destination.
You can use this phrase according to the subject.
40. A dime a dozen
The idiom “a dime a dozen” means that something which is common and not at all unique.
- This idea is a dime a dozen.
- You have designed this dress, but it’s a dime a dozen.
I hope you loved these super common idioms helpful. Just try to learn and use them in your conversation.