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 Scanned by: Александр Быков
 OCR, spellcheck & formatting: Wesha the Leopard (http://wesha.lib.ru)

hrc-файл синтаксической раскраски для просмотра словаря в редакторе
FAR-а можно получить, послав запрос по адресу wesha@hotmail.com
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   Это  обновленное  и  дополненное  издание,  содержащее  более  8000
идиоматических слов и выражений, причем  каждое  из  которых  снабжено
грамматическим объяснением и практическим примером.  Словарь  содержит
лексемные  идиомы,  фразеологические  единицы  и  поговорки,   имеющие
особенное значение. В нем приведены наиболее употребительные выражения
только американского  английского  языка.  Этот  словарь  -  идеальное
пособие  для  студентов,  часто  разъезжающих  бизнесменов  и   просто
путешественников.





                           Что такое идиома?

   Если в незнакомом тексте Вы понимаете каждое слово,  но  не  можете
понять смысла. Ваши  затруднения,  вероятно,  вызваны  идиоматическими
выражениями. Предположим, Вы прочитали или услышали следующий текст:

        Sam is a real cool cat. He  never  blows  his  stack  and
     hardly ever flies off the handle. What's more, he knows  how
     to get away with things... Well, of course,  he  is  getting
     on, too. His hair is pepper and salt, but he  knows  how  to
     make up for lost time by taking it easy. He gets  up  early,
     works out, and turns in early. He takes care of the hot  dog
     stand like a breeze until he gets time  off.  Sam's  got  it
     made; this is it for him.

   Очевидно, что этот стиль нельзя назвать  строго  литературным,  но,
тем не менее, американцы в разговоре друг с другом  часто  употребляют
такие выражения. Если Вы иностранец и знаете слова  cool  (прохладно),
cat (кошка), blow (дуть), stack (кучи), fly (лететь), handle (ручка) и
т.д.,  Вы  не  поймете  данный  образец   разговорного   американского
английского языка, потому что те переводы слов,  которые  находятся  в
обычных английских словарях, не дадут Вам точного значения приведенных
выше выражений. Из этого следует, что идиома - это новое,  неожиданное
значение группы слов, каждое из  которых  обладает  своим  собственным
значением.   Ниже   Вы   найдете   перевод   этого   разговорного    и
нелитературного  текста  на  более  формальный  вариант  американского
диалекта:

        Sam is really a calm person. He never  loses  control  of
     himself and hardly ever becomes too angry.  Furthermore,  he
     knows how to manage his business financially by using a  few
     tricks... Needless to say, he, too, is  getting  older.  His
     hair is  beginning  to  turn  gray,  but  he  knows  how  to
     compensate for wasted time  by  relaxing.  He  rises  early,
     exercises, and goes to bed early. He manages his frankfurter
     stand without visible effort, until  it  is  someone  else's
     turn to work there. Sam is successful; he  has  reached  his
     life's goal.

        "Сэм очень тихий человек. Он никогда не  теряет  контроль
     над собой и редко сердится. Кроме того, он знает, как  вести
     свое дело с финансовой точки  зрения,  употребляя  некоторые
     хитрости... Безусловно, он тоже стареет. Его волосы  седеют,
     но он умеет восстанавливать  потраченные  силы  отдыхом.  Он
     рано встает, делает гимнастику  и  рано  ложится.  Со  своей
     работой в колбасном  магазине  он  справляется  без  особого
     труда, успевая все сделать до  того,  как  его  сменят.  Сэм
     вполне счастлив, - он достиг цели своей жизни".

   Идиоматические  выражения,  употребленные  в  этом  тексте,   можно
организовать в следующий небольшой словарь:

   +=================К=============================================+
   I to be a (real)  I "быть очень спокойным человеком"            I
   I cool cat        I                                             I
   Л=================+=============================================?
   I to blow one's   I "потерять контроль над собой, рассердиться" I
   I stack           I                                             I
   Л=================+=============================================?
   I to fly off the  I "прийти в ярость"                           I
   I handle          I                                             I
   Л=================+=============================================?
   I what's more     I "помимо этого, кроме того"                  I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to get away     I "смошенничать, оставшись безнаказанным"     I
   I with something  I                                             I
   I                 I                                             I
   I of course       I "конечно"                                   I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to be getting   I "постареть"                                 I
   I on              I                                             I
   I                 I                                             I
   I pepper and salt I "седеющие черные или темные волосы"         I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to make up for  I "восполнить что-то"                         I
   I something       I                                             I
   I                 I                                             I
   I lost time       I "потерянное время"                          I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to take it easy I "не обращать внимания"                      I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to get up       I "встать утром"                              I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to work out     I "делать гимнастику"                         I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to turn in      I "лечь спать"                                I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to lake care of I "отвечать за что-то"                        I
   I something       I                                             I
   I                 I                                             I
   I like a breeze   I "легко, элегантно, без усилий"              I
   I                 I                                             I
   I time off        I "время отдыха"                              I
   I                 I                                             I
   I to have got it  I "быть счастливым, довольным, удачливым"     I
   I made            I                                             I
   I                 I                                             I
   I this is it      I "вот и все, что нужно"                      I
   +=================Й=============================================+

   Некоторые идиомы из этого небольшого списка  можно  найти  в  нашем
словаре. Большая часть идиом принадлежит  обыкновенным  грамматическим
классам или частям речи. Так,  например,  некоторые  идиомы  по  своей
природе - типичные глаголы: get away with, get up, work out, turn in и
т.д. Не меньшее число идиоматических выражений - имена. Так,  hot  dog
(сосиска в хлебе), The White House (Белый Дом - официальная резиденция
американского президента) - имена существительные. Некоторые из  идиом
- имена прилагательные: так, в нашем примере pepper and salt (седеющие
черные или темные  волосы)  обозначает  цвет  волос.  Многие  из  этих
выражений, как, например, like a  breeze  (легко),  hammer  and  tongs
(violently,  насильственно)  -  наречия.   Идиоматические   выражения,
относящиеся  к  одному   из   обыкновенных   грамматических   классов,
называются лексемными идиомами (lexemic idioms).
   Вторая основная группа  идиом  состоит  из  фраз,  таких  как  наши
примеры to fly off the handle (потерять контроль над собой) и to  blow
one's stack (прийти в ярость).  В  американском  варианте  английского
языка  подобные  выражения  встречаются  очень  часто.  Некоторые   из
наиболее известных  следующие:  to  kick  the  bucket  (die,  умереть,
сыграть в ящик, отбросить копыта), to be up the creek (in danger, быть
в опасности), to seize the bull by the horns (face a problem squarely,
разрешать проблему или задачу, стоящую перед нами, взять быка за рога)
и т.д. Идиомы этой  группы  называются  оборотами  речи,  по-английски
tournures  (из  французского  языка).  Они   не   принадлежат   одному
какому-либо грамматическому классу (части речи), и переводить их нужно
не словом, а группой слов.
   Форма подобных идиоматических выражений устоялась;  многие  из  них
совсем  "застыли"  и  не  могут  функционировать   в   другой   форме.
Рассмотрим, например,  идиому  tо  kick  the  bucket  (die,  умереть).
Употребив  эту  форму  в  пассивном   залоге,   мы   отказываемся   от
идиоматического смысла, получив выражение the bucket has  been  kicked
by the cowboy (ковбой ударил ведро ногой). Впрочем, даже это выражение
может изменяться по времени, так  как  мы  можем  сказать  the  cowboy
kicked the bucket, the cowboy will kick the  bucket,  the  cowboy  has
kicked  the  bucket  и  т.д.  Проблема,  можно  ли   употреблять   это
идиоматическое выражение в герундивной форме  (герундив,  gerundive  -
слово, производное от  глагола  с  помощью  суффикса  -ing,  например,
singing от sing,  eating  от  eat  и  т.д.),  не  решена  окончательно
учеными-лингвистами и носителями языка. Правильная эта форма или  нет,
мы не рекомендуем употреблять выражения типа his  kicking  the  bucket
surprised us all.
   Следующий большой класс идиом состоит из поговорок, таких как don't
count your chickens before  they're  hatched  (do  not  celebrate  the
outcome of an undertaking prematurely - you may  fail  and  will  look
ridiculous); буквально: "не считайте кур, пока они  не  вылупились  из
яиц"; русский вариант поговорки звучит:  "цыплят  по  осени  считают".
Большое число поговорок  пришло  в  американский  вариант  английского
языка  из  литературных  источников  или  же  от   первых   английских
иммигрантов в Америку.
   Своим рождением идиомы обязаны тому, что  мы  чаще  используем  уже
существующие слова для выражения новых идей, чем создаем новые слова с
помощью фонем языка. Фактически нет  языков,  в  которых  не  было  бы
идиом.  Возьмем,  например,  слова  "ма  шанг",  китайское  выражение,
которое  значит  "быстро".   Переведенное   дословно,   оно   означает
"лошадиная спина". Связь понятий лошадиной спины и быстроты  очевидна:
раньше, до появления поезда, автомобиля и самолета, быстрее всего было
путешествовать верхом на лошади. Китайское выражение "ма шанг" было бы
аналогом русской фразы:  "Торопитесь,  нам  надо  ехать  на  лошадиной
спине". Такая форма была бы вполне понятной носителю  русского  языка,
но иностранец  должен  был  бы  понять,  что  это  идиома.  Даже  если
иностранец никогда не слышал выражения "ма шанг" (лошадиная спина), он
может догадаться, что это значит; однако, во многих  случаях  подобные
догадки ошибочны.
   Например,  возьмем  английскую  идиому  the  die  is  cast  (жребий
брошен). Вряд ли, не зная ее точного выражения,  Вы  догадаетесь,  что
это выражение значит:  "Я  решил,  и  больше  не  могу  изменить  свое
решение". Зная точное значение, Вы можете догадаться, как возникло это
идиоматическое выражение: кость, брошенная во время игры в  кости,  по
правилам может быть брошена только один раз, независимо от результата.
Многие знают, что  эту  фразу  произнес  Юлий  Цезарь,  когда  перешел
Рубикон, что явилось началом войны.
   Как  научиться  употреблять  идиоматическое  выражение   правильно?
Прежде всего, подождите, пока Вы не услышите идиому от  человека,  для
которого американский английский - родной язык. Если  Вы  неоднократно
слышали идиому и вполне поняли ее  значение,  Вы  сами  можете  начать
употреблять это выражение. Предположим, молодая  девушка  очень  хочет
выйти замуж. Она  может  выбирать  между  двумя  возможными  женихами,
назовем их Павел и Николай. Павел немолод, некрасив и небогат,  но  он
уже сделал предложение и готов жениться хоть завтра. Николай красив  и
богат, но он пока не собирается  жениться  и  неизвестно,  женится  ли
когда-нибудь. После  некоторого  размышления  девушка  решает  принять
предложение Павла, боясь остаться  старой  девой.  Если  вскоре  после
свадьбы Николай признается  ей,  что  мечтает  быть  ее  мужем,  нашей
героине останется только сказать "Oh, well, the die is cast..."  ("Что
делать, жребий брошен"). Если,  оказавшись  в  подобной  ситуации,  Вы
произносите эту фразу, беседуя с американцем, и он смотрит  на  Вас  с
сочувствием и не переспрашивает: "Что Вы имеете в виду?"  -  считайте,
что Вы достигли первого успеха, употребив новую  идиому  в  правильном
контексте. Американцы  относятся  к  иностранцам  более  лояльно,  чем
другие нации,  но  они,  конечно,  оценят,  сколь  бегло  Вы  говорите
по-английски. Использование идиом поможет Вам  установить  контакт  со
слушателем и избежать репутации  "слишком  серьезного"  человека.  Чем
больше идиом Вы употребляете в правильном контексте, тем лучше  о  Вас
будут думать Ваши собеседники.





   Словарь был составлен для  людей,  говорящих  по-английски,  но  не
родившихся   в   Америке.   Словарь   содержит    лексемные    идиомы,
фразеологические единицы  и  поговорки,  имеющие  особенное  значение.
Возможно, некоторые из идиоматических выражений Вам уже знакомы, и  Вы
понимаете, что они  означают.  Найдите  в  словаре  перевод  одной  из
следующих идиом, значение которой Вы уже знаете,  -  это  поможет  Вам
понять, как пользоваться этой  книгой:  boyfriend,  girlfriend,  piggy
bank, get even, give up, going to, keep on, keep your mouth shut, lead
somebody by the nose, look after, show off, throw away, all  over,  in
love, mixed-up, out of this world, I'll say.
   Чтобы научиться пользоваться словарем,  несколько  раз  внимательно
изучите  предписания   и   попрактикуйтесь   в   нахождении   значения
идиоматических выражений. Если  Вы  услышите  идиому,  которой  нет  в
книге, то, имея некоторый опыт работы с  нашим  словарем,  Вы  сможете
найти ее значение и выписать его для себя.  Заведите  Ваш  собственный
список идиом и храните его вместе с Вашим  обычным  словарем.  Пошлите
нам Ваши наблюдения и замечания.
   Как узнать, поможет ли Вам "Словарь идиом"  понять  трудную  фразу?
Иногда догадаться, о чем идет речь, не сложно, как в выражениях  puppy
love, fun house, dog-eat-dog, mixed-up. Если же Вы не можете перевести
выражение, выберите основное слово из самой трудной  части  и  найдите
его в словаре. Если это первое слово идиомы, Вы найдете  всю  фразу  и
перевод к ней. Таким образом, выражение bats in the belfry  напечатано
в этом словаре под буквой  В,  слово  bats.  Если  слово,  которое  Вы
выбрали, не первое слово идиомы,  Вы  найдете  список  идиом,  которые
содержат это слово. Например, слово toe  (палец  ноги)  Вы  найдете  в
статьях CURL ONE'S HAIR or CURL ONE'S TOES, ON ONE'S TOES, STEP ON THE
TOES (OF SOMEBODY). Конечно, Вы  можете  столкнуться  с  тем,  что  не
понимаете некоторые  фразы,  потому  что  Вам  незнакомы  обыкновенные
слова, а не из-за обилия идиоматических выражений. В этом  случае  Вам
поможет  обычный  словарь.  Обратите  внимание,  что  в  этом  словаре
приведены  наиболее  употребительные  выражения  только  американского
английского языка, без учета  идиоматики,  например,  британского  или
австралийского диалектов. Словарь, содержащий  идиомы  всех  диалектов
английского  языка,   был   бы   международным   словарем   английских
идиоматических выражений.  В  настоящее  время  такой  книги  нет,  но
надеемся, что в будущем она будет написана.





   Этот  словарь  содержит  четыре  типа   статей:   главные   статьи,
продолжающиеся статьи, статьи-ссылки и  указательные  статьи.  Главная
статья включает полное  объяснение  идиомы.  Продолжающаяся  статья  -
фраза,  происходящая  от   другой   идиомы,   но   которая   была   бы
самостоятельной  единицей,  если  бы  она  была  напечатана  в   своем
собственном алфавитном месте.  Эти  производные  идиомы  приводятся  в
конце главной статьи, например,  fence  sitter  "человек,  сидящий  на
заборе" в конце статьи sit on the fence  "сидеть  на  заборе".  В  тех
случаях,  когда  понять  производную  форму,  опираясь   на   основное
объяснение, затруднительно, приводятся дополнительные объяснения. Если
идиома может употребляться в форме различных частей  речи,  приводится
отдельная статья на каждый случай.
   Ссылки показывают, что  объяснение  можно  найти  в  другом  месте.
Предположим, Вы хотите посмотреть выражение cast  in  one's  lot  with
(решить стать соучастниками или партнерами). Вы можете  посмотреть  на
слово cast (бросать) или на слово lot (судьба), ссылка направит Вас  к
слову throw в фразе throw in one's lot with. Причиной  этого  является
тот  факт,  что  слово  cast  (бросать)  употребляется  в  сегодняшнем
английском языке гораздо реже чем слово  throw.  Следовательно,  более
распространенная форма этой идиомы начинается глаголом throw.
   Указательная статья ведет нас ко всем  другим  статьям,  содержащим
искомое слово. Таким образом, слово chin  (подбородок)  сопровождается
фразами, в которых Вы найдете слово chin, таких как  keep  one's  chin
up, stick one's chin (or neck) out, take out, take it on the chin,  up
to the chin.





   Лексемные  идиомы,  которые  мы  обсуждали   раньше,   сопровождены
указателем части речи. В некоторых  случаях,  таких,  как,  скажем,  в
случае предложных  фраз,  употреблен  двойной  указатель,  потому  что
данная фраза имеет два грамматических употребления. Буква {v.}  значит
verb (глагол); она напечатана в фразах, содержащих глагол  и  наречие,
или глагол и предлог, или все три, то есть глагол, предлог и  наречие.
Сокращение {v. phr.} означает "verbal phrase" как, например, look  up,
look in и т.д., то есть сочетание глагола с существительным: глагол  с
дополнением, глагол с подлежащим и глагол с предложной фразой.





   Иностранцу, для которого американский английский -  неродной  язык,
следует обратить особое внимание на то, в какой ситуации какую  идиому
можно употреблять. В этом  читателю  словаря  помогут  ограничительные
указатели. Так,  указатель  {slang}  (слэнг)  показывает,  что  идиома
употребляется только в фамильярном разговоре очень близкими  друзьями.
Указатель {informal} (неформальный) показывает,  что  выражение  может
употребляться в разговоре,  но  не  должно  встречаться  в  формальных
сочинениях.  Указатель  {formal}  (формальный)  имеет  противоположное
значение: он указывает,  что  форма  употребляется  только  в  научных
работах или при чтении лекции  в  университете.  Указатель  {literary}
(литературный)  напоминает,  что  интересующая  Вас  идиома  -  широко
известная цитата; ее не стоит  употреблять  слишком  часто.  Указатель
{vulgar}  (вульгарный,  грубый)  показывает,  что   Вам   не   следует
употреблять эту форму. Однако, иметь представление о  подобных  формах
необходимо, чтобы иметь возможность судить о людях по  языку,  который
они употребляют. Указатель {substandard} (не соответствующий  языковой
норме) показывает, что форма употребляется  малообразованными  людьми;
{non-standard} (нестандартный) значит, что фраза неуклюжая.  Указатель
{archaic} (архаический) редко употребляется в этой книге; он означает,
что форма очень редка в современном английском  языке.  Географические
указатели показывают, где идиома  образовалась  и  где  употребляется.
{Chiefly British} (главным образом британское) значит, что  американцы
редко употребляют эту форму; {southern}  (южный)  значит,  что  идиома
употребляется чаще на юге США, чем на севере. Молодые  формы,  которые
образовались не более шести или семи лет назад, находятся в приложении
к главному словарю.

                                                           Adam Makkai
                                           Maya Aleksandrovna Glinberg





   [abide by] {v.} To accept and obey; be  willing  to  follow.  *  /A
basketball player may know he did not foul, but he must abide  by  the
referee's decision./ * /The members agree to abide by the rules of the
club./

   [a bit] {n., informal} A small amount; some. * /There's no sugar in
the sugar bowl, but you may find a bit in the bag./ * /If the ball had
hit the window a bit harder, it would have broken it./  -  Often  used
like an adverb. * /This sweater scratches a bit./ - Also used like  an
adjective before "less", "more".  *  /Janet  thought  she  could  lose
weight by eating a bit less./ * /"Have some more cake?" "Thanks. A bit
more won't  hurt  me."/  -  Often  used  adverbially  after  verbs  in
negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences, sometimes  in  the
form "one bit". * /"Won't your father be angry?" "No, he won't care  a
bit."/ * /Helen feels like crying, but I'll be surprised if she  shows
it one bit./ - Sometimes used with "little" for emphasis, also in  the
emphatic form "the least bit". * /"Wasn't Bob even a little bit  sorry
he forgot his date?" "No, Bob wasn't the least bit  sorry."/  Syn.:  A
LITTLE. Compare: A FEW. Contrast: A LOT.

   [about face] {n.} A sudden change of course or a decision  opposite
to what was decided earlier. * /Her  decision  to  become  an  actress
instead of a dentist was an about face from her original plans./

   [about one's ears] or [around one's ears] {adv. phr.}  To  or  into
complete collapse, defeat, or ruin; to the destruction of  a  person's
plans, hopes, or happiness. * /They planned to have factories all over
the world but the war brought their plans down about  their  ears./  *
/John hoped to go to college and become a great  scientist  some  day,
but when his father died he had to get a job, and John's  dreams  came
crashing around his ears./ Compare: ON ONE'S HEAD.

   [about time] {n. phr.} Finally, but later than it should have been;
at last. * /Mother said, "It's about time you got up, Mary."/  *  /The
basketball team won last night. About time./

   [about to] 1. Close to; ready to. - Used with an infinitive. *  /We
were about to leave when the snow began./ * /I haven't gone  yet,  but
I'm about to./ Compare: GOING TO,  ON  THE  POINT  OF.  2.  {informal}
Having a wish or plan to.  -  Used  with  an  infinitive  in  negative
sentences. * /Freddy wasn't about to give  me  any  of  his  ice-cream
cone./ * /"Will she come with us?" asked Bill. "She's not  about  to,"
answered Mary./

   [above all] {adv.  phr.}  Of  first  or  highest  importance;  most
especially. * /Children need many things,  but  above  all  they  need
love./ Syn.: FIRST AND LAST.

   [above suspicion] {adj. phr.} Too good to be suspected; not  likely
to do wrong. * /The umpire in the game  must  be  above  suspicion  of
supporting one side over the other./

   [absent without leave (AWOL)]  {adj.}  Absent  without  permission;
used mostly in the military. * /Jack left Fort Sheridan without asking
his commanding officer, and was punished for going AWOL./

   [absentia] See: IN ABSENTIA.

   [Acapulco gold] {n., slang}  Marijuana  of  an  exceptionally  high
quality. * /Jack doesn't just smoke pot, he smokes Acapulco gold./

   [accord] See: OF ONE'S OWN ACCORD or OF ONE'S OWN FREE WILL.

   [according as] {conj.} 1. Depending on which; whichever. * /You may
take an oral or written exam according as you prefer./ 1. Depending on
whether; if. * /We will play  golf  or  stay  home  according  as  the
weather is good or bad./

   [according to] {prep.} 1. So as to match or agree with; so as to be
alike in. * /Many words are pronounced according to the  spelling  but
some are not./ * /The boys were placed in three  groups  according  to
height./ 2. On the word or authority of. * /According  to  the  Bible,
Adam was the first man./

   [according to one's own lights]  {adv.  phr.}  In  accordance  with
one's conscience or inclinations. * /Citizens should vote according to
their own lights./

   [account] See: CALL  TO  ACCOUNT,  CHARGE  ACCOUNT,  LEAVE  OUT  OF
ACCOUNT, ON ACCOUNT, ON ACCOUNT OF, ON ONE'S  ACCOUNT,  ON  ONE'S  OWN
ACCOUNT, SAVINGS ACCOUNT, TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.

   [ace] See: WITHIN AN ACE OF.

   [ace in the hole] {n. phr.} 1. An ace given to a player  face  down
so that other players in a card game cannot see it. * /When the cowboy
bet all his money in the poker game he did not know that  the  gambler
had an ace in the hole and would  win  it  from  him./  2.  {informal}
Someone or something important that is kept as a  surprise  until  the
right time so as to bring victory or success. * /The football team has
a new play that they are keeping as an ace in the  hole  for  the  big
game./ * /The lawyer's ace in the hole was a secret  witness  who  saw
the accident./ Compare: CARD UP ONE'S SLEEVE.

   [Achilles' heel] {n. phr.}, {literary} A physical or  psychological
weakness named after the Greek  hero  Achilles  who  was  invulnerable
except for a spot on his heel. * /John's Achilles' heel is his lack of
talent with numbers and math./

   [acid head] {n.}, {slang}  A  regular  user  of  LSD  on  whom  the
hallucinogenic drug has left a visible effect. * /The reason John acts
so funny is that he is a regular acid head./

   [acid rock] {n.}, {slang} A characteristic kind of  rock  in  which
loudness and beat predominate over melody; especially  such  music  as
influenced by drug experiences. * /John is a regular acid rock freak./

   [acorn] See: GREAT OAKS PROM LITTLE ACORNS GROW.

   [acoustic perfume] {n.}, {slang} Sound  for  covering  up  unwanted
noise, such as music over loudspeakers in a noisy construction area. *
/Let's get out of here - this acoustic perfume  is  too  much  for  my
ears./

   [acquire a taste for] {v. phr.} To become fond of something; get to
like something. * /Jack acquired a taste for ripe cheeses when he went
to France./

   [across the board] {adv. phr.} 1. So that equal  amounts  of  money
are bet on the same horse to win a race, to place second, or third.  *
/I bet $6 on the white horse across the  board./  -  Often  used  with
hyphens as an adjective. * /I made  an  across-the-board  bet  on  the
white horse./ 2. {informal} Including everyone or all, so that all are
included. * /Thе President wanted taxes lowered across the  board./  -
Often used with hyphens as an adjective. * /Thе workers at  the  store
got an across-the-board pay raise./

   [across the tracks] See: THE TRACKS.

   [act] See: READ THE RIOT ACT.

   [act high and mighty] {v. phr.} To wield power; act  overbearingly;
order others around; look down on others. * /Paul is an  inexperienced
teacher and he acts high and mighty with his students./

   [actions speak louder than words] What you do shows your  character
better and is more important than what you say. - A proverb.  *  /John
promised to help me, but he didn't. Actions speak louder than  words./
* /Joe is very quiet, but actions speak louder than words. He  is  the
best player on the team./

   [act of faith] {n. phr.} An act or a deed that shows  unquestioning
belief in someone or something. * /It was  a  real  act  of  faith  on
Mary's part to entrust her jewelry to her younger sister's care./

   [act of God] {n.} An occurrence (usually some sort of  catastrophe)
for  which  the  people  affected  are  not   responsible;   said   of
earthquakes, floods, etc. * /Hurricane Andrew destroyed many houses in
Florida, but some types of insurance did not compensate  the  victims,
claiming that the hurricane was an act of God./ See: FICKLE FINGER  OF
FATE.

   [act one's age] or [be one's age] {v. phr.} To do the  things  that
people expect someone of your age to do, not act as if you  were  much
younger than you are. * /Mr. O'Brien was playing tag with the children
at the party. Then Mrs. O'Brien said, "Henry! Act your  age!"  and  he
stopped./

   [actor] See: BAD ACTOR.

   [act out] {v.} 1. To show an idea,  story,  or  happening  by  your
looks, talk, and movements. * /He tried to act out a story that he had
read./ 2. To put into action. * /All his life he tried to act out  his
beliefs./

   [act up] {v.},  {informal}  1.  To  behave  badly;  act  rudely  or
impolitely. * /The dog acted up as the postman came to the  door./  2.
To work or run poorly (as a after all machine); skip; miss. * /Thе car
acted up because the spark plugs were dirty./

   [add fuel to the flame] {v. phr.} To make a  bad  matter  worse  by
adding to its cause; spread trouble, increase anger  or  other  strong
feelings by talk or action. * /By  criticizing  his  son's  girl,  the
father added fuel to the flame of his son's love./ *  /Bob  was  angry
with Ted and Ted added fuel to the flame by laughing at him./

   [add insult to injury] {v. phr.}  1.  To  hurt  someone's  feelings
after doing him harm. * /He added insult to injury when he called  the
man a rat after he had already beaten him up./ 2. To make bad  trouble
worse. * /We started on a picnic, and first it  rained,  then  to  add
insult to injury, the car broke down./

   [addition] See: IN ADDITION.

   [address] See: PUBLIC-ADDRESS SYSTEM.

   [add the finishing  touches]  {v.  phr.}  To  complete;  finish.  *
/Mary's first novel promised to  be  excellent;  however,  her  editor
suggested that she should add some finishing touches before  accepting
it./

   [add up] {v.} 1. To come to the  correct  amount.  *  /The  numbers
wouldn't add up./ 2. {informal} To make sense;  be  understandable.  *
/His story didn't add up./

   [add up to] {v.} 1. To make a total of;  amount  to.  *  /The  bill
added up to $12.95./ 2. {informal} To mean; result in.  *  /The  rain,
the mosquitoes, and the heat added up to a spoiled vacation./

   [ad lib] {v. phr.} To improvise; interpolate during speech. * /When
the actress forgot her lines during the second act, she had to ad  lib
in order to keep the show going./

   [advance] See: IN ADVANCE or IN ADVANCE OF.

   [advantage] See: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF, TO ADVANTAGE.

   [a few] {n.} or {adj.} A small number (of people or things);  some.
* /The dry weather killed most of Mother's  flowers,  but  a  few  are
left./ * /In the store, Mary saw many pretty rings and bracelets,  and
she wanted to buy a few of them./ * /After the party, we thought  that
no one would help clean up, but a few couples did./ * /Alice wanted to
read a few pages more before  she  stopped./  -  Usually  "a  few"  is
different in meaning from "few", which  emphasizes  the  negative;  "a
few" means "some", but "few" means "not many". * /We  thought  no  one
would come to lunch, but a few came./ * /We thought many people  would
come to lunch, but few came./ But  sometimes  "a  few"  is  used  with
"only", and then it is negative. * /We thought many people would  come
to lunch, but only a few came./ - Sometimes used  like  an  adverb.  *
/Three students have no seats; we need a few more chairs./  *  /If  we
can set up chairs faster than people come and sit  in  them,  we  will
soon be a few ahead./ - Sometimes used with  "very"  for  emphasis.  *
/Uncle Ralph gave away almost all of his sea shells, but he still  had
a very few left./ Compare: A LITTLE. Contrast: A LOT, QUITE A FEW.

   [affair] See: LOVE AFFAIR.

   [afoul of] {prep.} 1. In collision with. * /The boat ran afoul of a
buoy./ 2. In or into trouble with. * /The thief ran afoul of the night
watchman./ * /Speeders can expect to fall afoul of the law sometimes./

   [afraid of one's shadow] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Scared of small or
imaginary things; very easily  frightened;  jumpy;  nervous.  *  /Mrs.
Smith won't stay alone in her house at night; she is afraid of her own
shadow./ * /Johnny cries whenever he must say hello to an adult; he is
afraid of his own shadow./

   [a friend in need is a friend indeed] A genuine friend on whom  one
can always depend. - A  proverb;  often  shortened  to  "a  friend  in
need..." * /When John's house burned down, his neighbor Jim helped him
and his family with shelter, food and clothing.  John  said,  "Jim,  a
friend in need is a friend indeed - this describes you."/

   [after a fashion] {adv. phr.} Not very well or properly; poorly.  *
/He played tennis after a fashion./ * /The  roof  kept  the  rain  out
after a fashion./ Compare: IN A WAY.

   [after all] {adv. phr.} 1. As a change in  plans;  anyway.  -  Used
with emphasis on "after". * /Bob thought he couldn't go to  the  party
because he had too much homework, but he went after  all./  2.  For  a
good reason that you should remember. - Used with emphasis on "all". *
/Why shouldn't Betsy eat the cake? After all, she baked it./

   [after a while] {informal} or [in a while] {adv.  phr.}  Later,  at
some time in the future; after a time that is not short and not  long.
* /"Dad, will you help me make this  model  plane?"  "After  a  while,
Jimmy, when I finish reading the newspaper."/  *  /The  boys  gathered
some wood, and in a while, a hot fire was burning./ Syn.: BY  AND  BY.
Contrast: RIGHT AWAY.

   [after hours] {adv. or adj. phr.} Not during the regular,  correct,
or usual time; going on or open after the usual hours.  *  /The  store
was cleaned and swept out after hours./ * /The children had  a  secret
after hours party when they were supposed to be in bed./

   [after one's own heart] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Well liked  because
of agreeing with your own feelings,  interests,  and  ideas;  to  your
liking-agreeable. Used after "man" or some similar word. *  /He  likes
baseball and good food; he is a man after my own heart./ * /Thanks for
agreeing with me about the class party; you're a  girl  after  my  own
heart./ Compare: SEE EYE TO EYE.

   [after the dust clears] or [when the dust settles] {adv. phr.} When
a troubling, confusing, or disastrous event is finally over.  *  /John
invited Tim for dinner, but since  Tim's  father  had  just  died,  he
replied, "Thanks. I'd like to come after the dust settles."/

   [again] See: COME AGAIN, EVERY NOW AND THEN or EVERY NOW AND AGAIN,
NOW AND THEN or NOW AND AGAIN, OFF AGAIN, ON AGAIN or  ON  AGAIN,  OFF
AGAIN, SOMETHING ELSE AGAIN, THEN AGAIN, TIME AND AGAIN, YOU  SAID  IT
or YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN.

   [against it] See: UP AGAINST IT.

   [against the clock] See: AGAINST TIME.

   [against the current] or [against the stream] See: SWIM AGAINST THE
CURRENT.

   [against the grain] {adv. phr.} 1.  Across  rather  than  with  the
direction of the fibers (as of wood or meat). *  /He  sandpapered  the
wood against the grain./ 2. So as to annoy or  trouble,  or  to  cause
anger or dislike. - Usually follows "go". * /His coarse and rude  ways
went against the grain with me./ * /It went against the grain with him
to have to listen to her gossip./ Compare: RUB THE WRONG WAY.

   [against time] or [against the clock] {adv. phr.} 1. As a  test  of
speed or time; in order to beat a speed record or time limit. *  /John
ran around the track against time, because there was no  one  else  to
race against./ 2. As fast as possible; so as to do or finish something
before a certain time. * /It was a race against the clock whether  the
doctor would get to the accident soon enough to save the injured man./
3. So as to cause delay by using up time. * /The outlaw talked against
time with the sheriff, hoping that his  gang  would  come  and  rescue
him./

   [age] See: ACT ONE'S AGE or BE ONE'S AGE, DOG'S AGE or COON'S  AGE,
LEGAL AGE or LAWFUL AGE, OF AGE, OVER AGE, UNDER AGE.

   [agent] See: FREE AGENT.

   [Agent Orange] {n.} A herbicide used  as  a  defoliant  during  the
Vietnam War, considered by some to cause  birth  defects  and  cancer,
hence,  by  extension,  an   instance   of   "technological   progress
pollution". * /If things continue as they have, we'll  all  be  eating
some Agent Orange with our meals./

   [ago] See: WHILE AGO.

   [agree with] {v.} To have a good effect on, suit. * /The meat  loaf
did not agree with him./ * /The warm, sunny climate agreed  with  him,
and he soon grew strong and healthy./

   [ahead] See: DEAD AHEAD, GET AHEAD.

   [ahead of] {prep.} 1. In a position of advantage or power  over.  *
/He studies all the time, because  he  wants  to  stay  ahead  of  his
classmates./ 2. In front of; before. * /The troop leader walked a  few
feet ahead of the boys./ 3.  Earlier  than;  previous  to,  before.  *
/Betty finished her test ahead of the others./

   [ahead of the game]  {adv.  or  adj.  phr.},  {informal}  1.  In  a
position of advantage; winning (as in a game or contest); ahead (as by
making money or profit); making it easier to win or  succeed.  *  /The
time you spend studying when you are in school will put you  ahead  of
the game in college./ * /After Tom sold his papers, he was $5 ahead of
the game./ 2. Early; too soon;  beforehand.  *  /When  Ralph  came  to
school an hour early, the janitor said, "You're ahead of the game."/ *
/John studies his lessons only one day early; if he gets too far ahead
of the game, he forgets what he read./

   [ahead of time] {adv. phr.} Before the expected time; early. * /The
bus came ahead of time, and Mary was not ready./ * /The  new  building
was finished ahead of time./ Contrast: BEHIND TIME.

   [a hell of] a [or one hell of a] {adj. or  adv.  phr.},  {informal}
Extraordinary; very. * /He made a hell of a shot during the basketball
game./ * /Max said seven months was a hell of a time to have  to  wait
for a simple visa./ * /The fall Max took left one hell of a bruise  on
his knee./

   [aim] See: TAKE AIM.

   [air] See: BUILD CASTLES IN THE AIR, CLEAR THE  AIR,  GIVE  ONESELF
AIRS, GET THE AIR at GET THE BOUNCE(1),  GIVE  THE  AIR  at  GIVE  THE
BOUNCE(1), IN THE AIR, INTO THIN AIR, LEAVE HANGING or  LEAVE  HANGING
IN THE AIR, ON THE AIR, OUT OF THIN AIR, UP IN THE AIR, WALK ON AIR.

   [airbus] n. A trade name, also used informally  for  a  wide-bodied
airplane used chiefly as a domestic  passenger  carrier.  *  /Airbuses
don't fly overseas, but mainly from coast to coast./

   [air one's dirty linen in public] or [wash  one's  dirty  linen  in
public] {v. phr.} To talk about your  private  quarrels  or  disgraces
where others can hear; make public something embarrassing that  should
be kept secret. * /Everyone in the school knew that the superintendent
and the principal were angry with each other because they aired  their
dirty linen in public./ * /No one knew that the  boys'  mother  was  a
drug addict, because the family  did  not  wash  its  dirty  linen  in
public./

   [airquake] {n.} An explosive noise of undetermined  origin  usually
heard in coastal communities and appearing to come  from  some  higher
point in elevation. * /What was that awful noise just now? -  I  guess
it must have been an airquake./

   [air shuttle] {n.}, {informal} Air service  for  regular  commuters
operating between major cities  at  not  too  far  a  distance,  e.g.,
between Boston  and  New  York  City;  such  flights  operate  without
reservation on a frequent schedule. * /My dad takes  the  air  shuttle
from Boston to New York once a week./

   [a la] {prep.} In the same way as; like. * /Billy played ball  like
a champion today, a la the professional ball players./ *  /Joe  wanted
to shoot an apple off my head a la William Tell./ (From French "a la",
in the manner of.)

   [albatross around one's neck]  {n.  phr.},  {literary}  Guilt,  the
haunting past, an unforgettable problem. *  /Even  though  it  was  an
accident, John's father's death has been an  albatross  around  John's
neck./ Compare: MONKEY ON ONE'S BACK.

   [alert] See: ON THE ALERT.

   [a little] {n.} or {adj.} A small amount (of); some. -  Usually  "a
little" is different in meaning from "little",  which  emphasizes  the
negative; "a little" means "some"; but "little" means "not  much".  We
say * /"We thought that the paper was  all  gone,  but  a  little  was
left."/ But we say, * /"We thought we still had a bag  of  flour,  but
little was left."/ Also, we say, * /"Bob was sick yesterday, but he is
a little better today."/ But we say, * /"Bob was sick  yesterday,  and
he is little better today."/ Sometimes "a little" is used with "only",
and then it is negative. * /We thought we had a whole  bag  of  flour,
but only a little was left./ * /We have used most of the sugar; but  a
little is left./ * /We did not eat all the cake; we saved a little  of
it for you./ * /I'm tired; I need a little time to rest./ * /Where  is
the paper? I need a little more./ -  Often  used  like  an  adverb.  *
/Usually the teacher just watched the dancing class, but sometimes she
danced a little to show them how./ * /The children wanted  to  play  a
little longer./ - Sometimes used with "very" for emphasis. * /The sick
girl could not eat anything, but she could drink a very  little  tea./
Syn.: A BIT. Compare: A FEW. Contrast: A LOT, QUITE A LITTLE.

   [a  little  bird  told  me]  To  have  learned  something  from   a
mysterious, unknown, or secret source. *  /"Who  told  you  that  Dean
Smith was resigning?" Peter  asked.  "A  little  bird  told  me,"  Jim
answered./

   [a little knowledge is a dangerous thing] {literary} A  person  who
knows a little about something may think he knows it all and make  bad
mistakes. - A proverb. * /John has read a book on driving  a  car  and
now he thinks he can drive. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing./

   [alive] See: COME ALIVE, KNOW --- IS ALIVE, LOOK ALIVE, SKIN ALIVE.

   [alive and kicking] {adj. phr.}  Very  active;  vigorous;  full  of
energy. * /Grandpa was taken to the hospital with  pneumonia,  but  he
was discharged yesterday and is alive and kicking./

   [alive with] {prep.}, {informal} Crowded with; filled with. *  /The
lake was alive with fish./ * /The stores were alive  with  people  the
Saturday before Christmas./

   [all] See: AFTER ALL, AND ALL, AT ALL, BEAT ALL or BEAT THE  DUTCH,
FOR ALL, FOR ALL ONE IS WORTH, FOR ALL ONE KNOWS, FOR ALL  THE  WORLD,
FOR GOOD also FOR GOOD AND ALL, FROM THE BOTTOM OF ONE'S HEART or WITH
ALL ONE'S HEART, HAVE ALL ONE'S BUTTONS or HAVE ALL ONE'S MARBLES,  IN
ALL, JUMP ON or JUMP ALL OVER or LAND ALL OVER,  KNOW-IT-ALL,  ON  ALL
FOURS, ONCE AND FOR ALL, PUT ALL ONE'S EGGS IN ONE BASKET, STRIKE  ALL
OF A HEAP, WALK OVER or WALK ALL OVER or STEP ALL OVER.

   [all along] or ({informal}) [right along] {adv. phr.} All the time;
during the whole time. */I knew all along that we  would  win./  *  /I
knew right along that Jane would come./

   [all at once] {adv. phr.} 1. At the same  time;  together.  *  /The
teacher told the children to talk one at a time; if they all talked at
one time, she could not understand them./ * /Bill can play the  piano,
sing, and lead his orchestra all at once./ 2. or  [all  of  a  sudden]
Without warning; abruptly; suddenly; unexpectedly. * /All at  once  we
heard a shot and the soldier fell to the ground./ * /All of  a  sudden
the ship struck a rock./ Compare: AT ONCE.

   [all better] {adj. phr.} Fully recovered; all well again; no longer
painful. - Usually used to or by children. *  /"All  better  now,"  he
kept repeating to the little girl./

   [all but] {adv.  phr.}  Very  nearly;  almost.  *  /Crows  all  but
destroyed a farmer's field of corn./ * /The hikers were exhausted  and
all but frozen when they were found./

   [all ears]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}  Very  eager  to  hear;  very
attentive. - Used in the predicate. * /Go ahead with  your  story;  we
are all ears./ * /When John told about the circus, the boys  were  all
ears./

   [alley] See: BLIND ALLEY, DOWN ONE'S ALLEY or UP ONE'S ALLEY.

   [alley cat] {n.}, {slang} 1. A stray cat. 2. A  person  (usually  a
female) of rather easy-going,  or  actually  loose  sexual  morals;  a
promiscuous person. * /You'll have no  problem  dating  her;  she's  a
regular alley cat./

   [all eyes] {adj.  phr.},  {informal}  Wide-eyed  with  surprise  or
curiosity; watching very closely. - Used in the predicate. *  /At  the
circus the children were all eyes./

   [all gone] {adj. phr.} Used up; exhausted (said of supplies);  done
with; over with. * /We used to travel a lot, but, alas, those days are
all gone./

   [all here] See: ALL THERE.

   [all hours] {n. phr.}, {informal} Late or irregular times.  *  /The
boy's mother said he must stop coming home for meals at all hours./  *
/He stayed up till all hours of the night to finish his school work./

   [all in] {adj. phr.}, {informal}  Very  tired;  exhausted.  *  /The
players were all in after their first afternoon  of  practice./  Syn.:
PLAYED OUT, WORN OUT.

   [all in a day's work] or [all  in  the  day's  work]  {adj.  phr.},
{informal} Unpleasant or bad but  to  be  expected;  not  harder  than
usual; not unusual. * /Keeping ants away from a picnic lunch is all in
the day's work./ * /When the car had a flat tire, Father said that  it
was all in a day's work./ Compare: PAR FOR THE COURSE, PUT UP WITH.

   [all in all(1)] {n. phr.}, {literary} The person or thing that  you
love most. * /She was all in all to him./ *  /Music  was  his  all  in
all./

   [all in all(2)] or [in all] {adv. phr.} When everything is  thought
about; in summary; altogether. * /All in all, it was a pleasant  day's
cruise./ * /All in all, the  pilot  of  an  airplane  must  have  many
abilities and  years  of  experience  before  he  can  he  appointed./
Compare: ON THE WHOLE 1. * /Counting the balls on the green,  we  have
six golf balls in all./

   [all in good time] {adv. phr.} Some time soon,  when  the  time  is
ripe for an event to take place. * /"I want to get married, Dad," Mike
said. "All in good time, Son," answered his father./

   [all in one piece] {adv. phr.} Safely; without damage  or  harm.  *
/John's father was terribly concerned when his son was sent to war  as
a pilot, but he came home all in one piece./

   [all kinds of] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Plenty  of.  *  /People  say
that Mr. Fox has all kinds of money./ * /When Kathy was sick, she  had
all kinds of company./ Compare: GREAT DEAL.

   [all manner of] {adj. phr.}, {formal} Many different kinds of;  all
sorts of. * /In a five-and-ten-cent store you can buy  all  manner  of
things./

   [all of] {adj. phr.}, {informal} 1. At least the amount  or  number
of; fully; no less than. * /It was all  of  ten  o'clock  before  they
finally started./ * /She must have paid all of $50 for that  hat./  2.
Showing all the signs of; completely in. - Used with "a". * /The girls
were all of a twitter before the dance./ * /Mother is all of a flutter
because of the thunder and lightning./ * /The dog was all of a tremble
with cold./

   [all of a sudden] See: ALL AT ONCE 2.

   [all out] {adv. phr.}, {informal} With all your strength, power, or
determination; to the best of your ability; without  holding  back.  -
Usually used in the phrase "go all out". * /We went all out to win the
game./ * /John went all out to finish  the  job  and  was  very  tired
afterwards./ Compare: ALL THE WAY 2, FULL TILT, GO THE WHOLE  HOG,  GO
TO ANY LENGTH, LEAVE A STONE UNTURNED, WITH MIGHT AND MAIN.

   [all-out effort] {n.} A great and  thorough  effort  at  solving  a
given problem. *  /The  President  is  making  an  all-out  effort  to
convince Congress to pass the pending bill on health care./

   [all-out war] {n.}  Total  war  including  civilian  casualties  as
opposed to a war that is limited only to armies. * /Hitler was  waging
an all-out war when he invaded Poland./

   [all over] {adv. phr.} 1. In every part; everywhere. *  /He  has  a
fever and aches all over./ * /I have looked all over for my  glasses./
Compare: FAR AND WIDE. 2. {informal} In every way; completely. *  /She
is her mother all over./ 3. {informal} Coming into very close physical
contact, as during a violent fight; wrestling.  *  /Before  I  noticed
what happened, he was all over me./

   [all over but the shouting] {adv. phr.,} {informal} Finally decided
or won; brought to an end; not able to be  changed.  *  /After  Bill's
touchdown, the game was all over but the shouting./ *  /John  and  Tom
both tried to win Jane, but after John's promotion it was all over but
the shouting./

   [all over someone] See: FALL ALL OVER SOMEONE.

   [allowance] See: MAKE ALLOWANCE.

   [allow for] {v.} To provide for; leave room for; give a chance  to;
permit. * /She cut the skirt four inches longer to allow  for  a  wide
hem./ * /Democracy allows for many differences of opinion./

   [all right(1)] {adv. phr.} 1. Well enough. * /The  new  machine  is
running all right./ 2. {informal} I am  willing;  yes.  *  /"Shall  we
watch television?" "All right."/ Compare:  VERY  WELL.  3.  {informal}
Beyond question, certainly. - Used for emphasis and placed  after  the
word it modifies. * /It's time to leave, all right, but the bus hasn't
come./

   [all right(2)] {adj. phr.} 1. Good  enough;  correct;  suitable.  *
/His work is always all right./ 2. In good health or spirits; well.  *
/"How are you?" "I'm all right."/ 3. {slang}  Good.  *  /He's  an  all
right guy./

   [all right for you] {interj.} I'm finished with you! That  ends  it
between you and me! - Used by children. * /All right for you! I'm  not
playing with you any more!/

   [all roads lead to Rome] {literary} The same end  or  goal  may  be
reached by many different ways. - A proverb. * /"I don't care how  you
get the answer," said the teacher, "All roads lead to Rome."/

   [all set] {adj. phr.} Ready to start. * /"Is the  plane  ready  for
take-off?" the bank president asked. "Yes, Sir," the  pilot  answered.
"We're all set."/

   [all shook up] also [shook up] {adj.}, {slang} In a state of  great
emotional upheaval; disturbed; agitated. * /What are you so  shook  up
about?/

   [all systems  go]  {Originally  from  space  English,  now  general
colloquial usage.} Everything is complete and ready for action; it  is
now all right to proceed. * /After they wrote out the invitations,  it
was all systems go for the wedding./

   [all the(1)] {adj. phr.}, {dial.} The only. * /A hut  was  all  the
home he ever had./

   [all the(2)] {adv. phr.} Than otherwise; even. - Used to  emphasize
comparative adjectives, adverbs, and nouns.  *  /Opening  the  windows
made it all the hotter./ * /Take a bus instead of walking and get home
all the sooner./ * /If you don't eat your dessert, all  the  more  for
us./

   [all the better] See: ALL THE(2).

   [all the ---er] {substandard} The ---est; as ... as. - Used with  a
comparative adjective or adverb and subordinate clause in place  of  a
superlative adjective or adverb. * /That was all the bigger he  grew./
* /Is that all the faster you can go?/

   [all there] or [all here]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}  Understanding
well;  thinking  clearly;  not  crazy.  -  Usually  used  in  negative
sentences, * /Joe acted queerly and talked wildly, so  we  thought  he
was not all there./

   [all the same(1)] or [all one] {n. phr.} Something  that  makes  no
difference; a choice that you don't care about. *  /If  it's  all  the
same to you, I would like to be waited on first./ * /You can get there
by car or by bus - it's all one./

   [all the same(2)] or [just the same] {adv. phr.}, {informal} As  if
the opposite were so; nevertheless; anyway; anyhow; still. * /Everyone
opposed it, but Sally and Bob got married all the same./  *  /Mary  is
deaf, but she takes tap dancing lessons just the  same./  Compare:  AT
THAT 3, IN SPITE OF.

   [all the thing] or [all the rage], [the in  thing]  {n.  phr.}  The
fashionable or popular thing to do, the fashionable  or  most  popular
artist or form of art at a given time. * /After "The Graduate"  Dustin
Hoffman was all the rage in the movies./ * /It was all  the  thing  in
the late sixties to smoke pot  and  demonstrate  against  the  war  in
Vietnam./

   [all the time] {adv. phr.} 1. or [all the while] During  the  whole
period; through the whole time. * /Mary went to college  in  her  home
town and lived at home all the while./ * /Most of us were surprised to
hear that Mary and Tom had been engaged all year,  but  Sue  said  she
knew it all the time./  2.  Without  stopping;  continuously  *  /Most
traffic lights work all the time./ 3. Very often; many times. *  /Ruth
talks about her trip to Europe all the time, and her friends are tired
of it./

   [all the way] or [the whole way]  {adv.  phr.}  1.  From  start  to
finish during the whole distance or time. * /Jack climbed all the  way
to the top of the tree./ * /Joe  has  played  the  whole  way  in  the
football game and it's almost over./ 2. In  complete  agreement;  with
complete willingness to satisfy. - Often used in the  phrase  "go  all
the way with". * /I go all the way with what George says about  Bill./
* /Mary said she was willing to kiss Bill, but that did not  mean  she
was willing to go all the way with him./ * /The bank  was  willing  to
lend Mr. Jones money to enlarge his factory but it wasn 't willing  to
go all the way with his plans to build  another  in  the  next  town./
Compare: ALL OUT, GO THE WHOLE HOG.

   [all the worse] See: ALL THE 2.

   [all thumbs]  {adj.},  {informal}  Awkward,  especially  with  your
hands; clumsy. * /Harry tried to fix the chair but he was all thumbs./

   [all  told]  {adv.  phr.},   {informal}   Counting   or   including
everything. * /Including candy sale profits we have collected $300 all
told./

   [all to the good] See: TO THE GOOD.

   [all up] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Near to certain  death  or  defeat
without any more chance or hope. * /With  their  ammunition  gone  the
patrol knew that it was all up with them./

   [all very well] {adj.} All right; very good and correct; very true.
- Usually followed by a "but" clause. * /It's all very well for you to
complain but can you do any better?/ * /It's all  very  well  if  Jane
comes with us, but how will she get  back  home?/  Compare:  WELL  AND
GOOD.

   [all walks  of  life]  {n.  phr.}  All  socioeconomic  groups;  all
professions and lines of work. * /A good teacher has  to  be  able  to
communicate with students  from  all  walks  of  life./  *  /A  clever
politician doesn't alienate people from any walk of life./

   [all wet] {adj.}, {slang} Entirely confused or wrong;  mistaken.  *
/When the Wright brothers said they  could  build  a  flying  machine,
people thought they were all wet./ * /If you think  I  like  baseball,
you're all wet./ Compare: OFF ONE'S ROCKER.

   [all  wool  and  a  yard  wide]  {adj.  phr.}  Of  fine  character;
especially, very  generous  and  kind-hearted.  *  /He's  a  wonderful
brother - all wool and a yard wide./

   [all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy]  Too  much  hard  work
without time out for play or enjoyment is not good  for  anyone.  -  A
proverb. * /Bill's mother told him to stop studying and to go out  and
play, because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy./

   [all year round] {adv. phr.} Always; all the time;  throughout  all
seasons of the year. * /In California the sun shines all year round./

   [alone] See: LET ALONE or LEAVE ALONE, LET  WELL  ENOUGH  ALONE  or
LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE.

   [along] See: ALL ALONG or RIGHT ALONG, COME ALONG,  GET  ALONG,  GO
ALONG, RUN ALONG, STRING ALONG.

   [along for the ride] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Being in a  group  for
the fun or the credit without doing any of the work. *  /He  wants  no
members in his political party who are just along for the ride./

   [along in years] or [on in years] {adj. phr.} Elderly; growing old.
* /As Grandfather got on in years, he became quiet and thoughtful./  *
/Our dog isn 't very playful because it is getting on in years./

   [alongside of] {prep.} 1. At or along the side  of.  *  /We  walked
alongside of the river./ 2. Together with. * /I  played  alongside  of
Tom on the same team./ Compare: SHOULDER TO SHOULDER, SIDE BY SIDE. 3.
{informal} Compared with or to; measured next to. * /His money doesn't
look like much alongside of a millionaire's./

   [a lot] {n.}, {informal} A large number or  amount;  very  many  or
very much; lots. * /I learned a lot in Mr. Smith's class./ * /A lot of
our friends are going to the beach this summer./ - Often used like  an
adverb. * /Ella is a jolly girl; she laughs a lot./ * /Grandfather was
very sick last week, but he's a lot better now./  *  /You'll  have  to
study a lot harder if you want to pass./ - Also used as  an  adjective
with "more", "less", and "fewer". * /There was a  good  crowd  at  the
game today, but a lot more will come next week./  -  Often  used  with
"whole" for emphasis. * /John has a whole lot of marbles./ * /Jerry is
a whole lot taller than he was a year ago./ Compare: GOOD  DEAL,  GOOD
MANY, A NUMBER. Contrast: A FEW, A LITTLE.

   [aloud] See: THINK ALOUD or THINK OUT LOUD.

   [alpha wave] {n.} A brain wave, 8-12 cycles per second,  associated
with a  state  of  relaxation  and  meditation  and,  hence,  free  of
anxieties. * /Try to produce some alpha waves; you will instantly feel
a lot better./

   [alter] See: CIRCUMSTANCES ALTER CASES.

   [always] See: GRASS is ALWAYS GREENER ON  THE  OTHER  SIDE  OF  THE
FENCE.

   [ambulance chaser] {n.} An attorney who specializes in representing
victims of traffic accidents. By extension, a lawyer of inferior  rank
or talent. * /Don't hire Cohen; he's just another ambulance chaser./

   [American plan] {n.} A system of hotel management  in  which  meals
are included with the room, as opposed to the European plan that  does
not include meals. * /American tourists  in  Europe  sometimes  expect
that their meals will be  included,  because  they  are  used  to  the
American plan./

   [amount to] {v.} Signify; add up to. * /John's total income  didn't
amount to more than a few hundred dollars./

   [a must] {n.} 1. An inevitability; a necessity. *  /Visas  in  many
foreign  countries  are  a  must./  2.  An  extremely  interesting  or
memorable event, such as a free  concert  given  by  an  international
celebrity. * /Alfred Brendel's Beethoven master classes  are  open  to
the public and are not to be missed; they're a must./

   [anchor] See: AT ANCHOR.

   [--- and ---] 1. - And is  used  between  repeated  words  to  show
continuation or emphasis. *  /When  the  children  saw  the  beautiful
Christmas tree they looked and looked./ * /Old  Mr,  Bryan  has  known
Grandfather for years and years, since they were boys./ * /Billy dived
to the bottom of the lake  again  and  again,  looking  for  the  lost
watch./ * /Everyone wished the speaker would stop, but  he  talked  on
and on./ Compare: THROUGH AND THROUGH. 2. - When "and" is used between
words with opposite meaning, it often emphasizes how much you mean.  *
/Mr. Jones worked early and late to  earn  enough  to  live./  *  /The
parents hunted high and low for the  lost  child./  Compare:  DAY  AND
NIGHT, FROM -- TO, INSIDE AND OUT.

   [and all] {informal} And whatever goes with it; and all that means.
* /We don't go out much nowadays,  with  the  new  baby  and  all./  *
/Jack's employer provided the tools and all./

   [and how!] {interj.}, {informal} Yes, that is  certainly  right!  -
Used for emphatic agreement. * /"Did you see the game?" "And how!"/  *
/"Isn't Mary pretty?" "And how she is!"/ Syn.: YOU BET, YOU  SAID  IT.
Compare:: BUT GOOD.

   [and so forth] or [and so on]  And  more  of  the  same  kind;  and
further amounts or things like the  ones  already  mentioned.  *  /The
costumes were red, pink, blue, purple, yellow, and so forth./ Compare:
WHAT HAVE YOU.

   [and the like] {n. phr.} Things of a  similar  nature.  *  /I  like
McDonald's, Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the like./ * /When  I
go out to the beach flake towels, a mat, suntan lotion, and the like./

   [and then some] And a lot more; and more too. * /It would cost  all
the money he had and then some./  *  /Talking  his  way  out  of  this
trouble was going to take all his wits and then some./

   [and what not] See: WHAT NOT.

   [angel   dust]   {n.},   {slang}   Phencyclidine,   an    addictive
hallucinatory narcotic drug extremely dangerous to the users'  health,
also called PCP. * /Mike has gone from grass to angel  dust;  he  will
end up in the morgue./

   [another] See: DANCE TO ANOTHER TUNE.

   [answer back] See: TALK BACK.

   [answer for] {v.} 1. To take responsibility for; assume  charge  or
supervision of. * /The secret service has to answer for the safety  of
the President and his family./ 2. To say you are sure  that  (someone)
has good character or ability;  guarantee:  sponsor.  *  /When  people
thought Ray had stolen the money,  the  principal  said,  "Ray  is  no
thief. I'll answer for him."/ 3. Take the blame or punishment  for.  *
/When Mother found out who ate the cake, Tom had  to  answer  for  his
mischief./

   [answer one's calling] {v. phr.} To fulfill one's destiny in  terms
of work or profession by doing what one  has  a  talent  for.  *  /Don
answered his calling when he became a chiropractor. Susy answered  her
calling when she became a violinist./

   [answer the call of nature] or [obey the call of nature] {v. phr.},
{slang} To go to the bathroom  to  relieve  oneself  by  urinating  or
defecating. * /Ted was hiking in the mountains when suddenly he had to
answer the call of nature but since  there  was  no  bathroom  in  the
woods, he excused himself and disappeared behind the bushes./

   [answer to] {v.} To be named; go by a certain name or  designation;
be accountable. * /When you walk  my  dog,  please  remember  that  he
answers to the name "Caesar."/ * /As head of the company she does  not
have to answer to anyone./

   [ante up] {v.}, {informal} To produce the required amount of  money
in order to close a transaction; to pay what one owes. * /"I guess I'd
better ante up if I want to stay an active member of the Association",
Max said./

   [ants in one's pants] {n.  phr.},  {slang}  Nervous  over-activity;
restlessness. * /Jane can not sit still; she has ants in her pants./ *
/You have ants in your pants today. Is something wrong?/

   [a number] {n.} A rather large number; numbers. - Used  when  there
arc more than several and fewer than many. * /The parents were invited
to see the program, and a number came./ * /We knew the Smiths  rattier
well; we had visited them a number of times./ - Used like an adjective
before "less", "more". * /We have not set up enough folding chairs; we
need a number more./ Compare: QUITE A FEW.

   [any] See: HARDLY ANY or SCARCELY ANY.

   [any number] {n.}, {informal} A large number; many.  *  /There  are
any number of reasons for eating good food./ * /Don't ask George  what
his excuse is. He can invent any number./ Compare: A  LOT,  A  NUMBER,
GOOD MANY.

   [any old how]  /  [any  old  way]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Doing
something in a casual, haphazard, or  careless  way.  *  /"John,"  the
teacher said, "you can't just do your homework any old way;  you  must
pay attention to my instructions!"/

   [any port in a storm] Any help is welcome  in  an  emergency.  -  A
proverb. * /The motel we stopped in was nothing to brag about, but  we
were so exhausted that it was a clear case of any port in a storm./

   [anything] See: HAVE  NOTHING  ON  or  NOT  HAVE  ANYTHING  ON,  IF
ANYTHING.

   [anything but] {adv. phr.} Quite the opposite of; far from being. *
/I don't mean he's lazy - anything but!/ * /The  boys  knew  they  had
broken the rules, and they were anything  but  happy  when  they  were
called to the office./

   [anything like]  or  [anywhere  near]  {adv.}  Nearly.  -  Used  in
negative, interrogative,  and  conditional  sentences,  often  in  the
negative forms "nothing like" or "nowhere near". * /It's not  anything
like as hot today as it was yesterday./ * /Do you think that gold ring
is worth anywhere near a hundred dollars?/ * /Today's game was nowhere
near as exciting as yesterday's game./ * /Studying that lesson  should
take nothing like two hours./

   [anywhere near] See: ANYTHING LIKE or ANYWHERE NEAR.

   [any which way] See: EVERY WHICH WAY.

   [apart] See: JOKING ASIDE or JOKING APART, POLES APART, TELL APART.

   [apart from] or [aside from] {prep. phr.}  Beside  or  besides;  in
addition to. * /The children  hardly  see  anyone,  apart  from  their
parents./ * /Aside from being fun and good  exercise,  swimming  is  a
very useful skill./ Syn.: EXCEPT FOR, OUTSIDE OF.

   [ape] See: GO APE.

   [appear] See: SPEAK OF THE DEVIL AND HE APPEARS.

   [appearance] See: PUT IN AN APPEARANCE also MAKE AN APPEARANCE.

   [apple] See: POLISH THE APPLE.

   [applecart] See: UPSET THE APPLECART or UPSET ONE'S APPLECART.

   [apple of one's eye] {n. phr.} Something or someone that is adored;
a cherished person or object. * /Charles is the apple of his  mother's
eye./ * /John's first car was the apple of  his  eye.  He  was  always
polishing it./

   [apple-pie order] {n. phr.}, {informal} Exact orderly  arrangement,
neatness; tidy arrangement. * /The house was in  apple-pie  order./  *
/Like a good secretary, she kept the boss's desk in apple-pie order./

   [apple polisher]; [apple polishing] See: POLISH THE APPLE.

   [approval] See: ON APPROVAL.

   [a pretty pass] {n. phr.}  An  unfortunate  condition;  a  critical
state. * /While the boss was away, things at the company had come to a
pretty pass./

   [apron] See: TIED TO ONE'S MOTHER'S APRON STRINGS.

   [apropos of] {prep.}, {formal} In connection with; on  the  subject
of, about; concerning. * /Apropos of higher tuition,  Mr.  Black  told
the boy about the educational loans that banks are offering./  *  /Mr.
White went to see Mr. Richards apropos of buying a car./

   [arm] See: GIVE ONE'S RIGHT ARM, KEEP AT  A  DISTANCE  Or  KEEP  AT
ARM'S LENGTH, SHOT IN THE ARM, TAKE UP ARMS, TWIST ONE'S  ARM,  UP  IN
ARMS, WITH OPEN ARMS, COST AN ARM AND A LEG.

   [arm and a leg] {n.}, {slang} An exorbitantly high price that  must
be paid for something that isn't really worth it. * /It's true that to
get a decent apartment these days in New York you have to pay  an  arm
and a leg./

   [armed to the teeth] {adj. phr.} Having all needed  weapons;  fully
armed. * /The paratroopers were armed to the teeth./

   [arm in arm] {adv. phr.} With your  arm  under  or  around  another
person's arm, especially in close comradeship or friendship. *  /Sally
and Joan were laughing and joking together as they walked arm  in  arm
down the street./ * /When they arrived  at  the  party,  the  partners
walked arm in arm to meet the hosts./ Compare: HAND IN HAND.

   [around one's ears] See: ABOUT ONE'S EARS.

   [around the clock] also [the clock around] {adv. phr.} For 24 hours
a day continuously all day and all  night.  *  /The  factory  operated
around the clock until the order was filled./ * /He studied around the
clock for his  history  exam./  -  [round-the-clock]  {adj.}  *  /That
filling station has round-the-clock service./

   [around the corner] {adv. phr.} Soon to come or happen;  close  by;
near at hand. *  /The  fortuneteller  told  Jane  that  there  was  an
adventure for her just around the corner./

   [arrest] See: UNDER ARREST.

   [as] See: FOR AS MUCH AS, IN AS MUCH AS.

   [as a last resort] {adv. phr.} In lieu of  better  things;  lacking
better solutions. * /"We'll sleep in  our  sleeping  bags  as  a  last
resort," John said, "since all the motels are full."/

   [as a matter of fact] {adv. phr.} Actually; really; in addition  to
what has been said; in reference to what was said. - Often used as  an
interjection. * /It's not true that I cannot  swim;  as  a  matter  of
fact, I used to work as a lifeguard in Hawaii./ * /Do you  think  this
costs too much? As a matter of fact, I think it is rather cheap./

   [as an aside] {adv. phr.} Said as a remark in a low tone of  voice;
used in theaters where the actor turns toward the audience  as  if  to
"think out loud." * /During the concert Tim said to  his  wife  as  an
aside, "The conductor has no idea how to conduct Beethoven."/

   [as a rule] {adv. phr.} Generally; customarily. * /As a  rule,  the
boss arrives at the office about 10 A.M./

   [as an old shoe] See: COMFORTABLE AS AN OLD SHOE, COMMON AS AN  OLD
SHOE.

   [as --- as ---] - Used with an adjective or adverb in a  comparison
or with the effect of a superlative. * /John is as tall as his  father
now./ * /I didn't do as badly today as I  did  yesterday./  *  /John's
father gave him a hard job and told him to do as well as possible./  *
/The sick girl was not hungry, but her mother told her to eat as  much
as she could./ - Also used in the form "so --- as" in some  sentences,
especially negative sentences. * /This hill isn't nearly  so  high  as
the last one we climbed./ - Often used in  similes  (comparisons  that
are figures of speech). * /The baby mouse looked as big as a  minute./
* /Jim's face was red as a beet after he made the foolish mistake./  -
Most similes in conventional  use  are  cliches,  avoided  by  careful
speakers and writers.

   [as best one can] {adv. phr.} As well as you can; by whatever means
are available; in the best way you can. * /The car broke down  in  the
middle of the night, and he had to get  home  as  best  he  could./  *
/George's foot hurt, but he played the game as best he could./ *  /The
girl's mother was sick, so the girl got dinner as best she could./

   [as catch can] See: CATCH AS CATCH CAN.

   [as far as] or [so far as] {adv. phr.} 1. To the degree  or  amount
that; according to what, how much, or how far. * /John did a good  job
as far as he went, but he did not finish it./ * /So far as the weather
is concerned, I do not  think  it  matters./  *  /As  far  as  he  was
concerned, things were going well./ 2. To the extent that; within  the
limit that. * /He has no brothers so far  as  I  know./  Compare:  FOR
ALL(2).

   [as far as that goes] or [as far as that is concerned] or  [so  far
as that is concerned] also [so far as that goes] {adv. phr.} While  we
are talking about it; also; actually. * /You don't have to worry about
the girls. Mary can take care of herself, and as  far  as  that  goes,
Susan is pretty independent, too./ * /I didn't enjoy the movie, and so
far as that is concerned, I never like horror movies./ Syn.: FOR  THAT
MATTER, IN FACT. Compare: COME TO THINK OF IT.

   [as follows] A list of things that come next; what is listed  next.
- Followed by a colon. *  /My  grocery  list  is  as  follows:  bread,
butter, meat, eggs, sugar./  *  /The  names  of  the  members  are  as
follows: John Smith, Mary Webb, Linda  Long,  Ralph  Harper./  *  /The
route is as follows: From City Hall go south on  Main  Street  to  Elm
Street, east on Elm to 5th Street, and south on 5th two blocks to  the
school./

   [as for] {prep.} 1. In regard to; speaking of;  concerning.  *  /We
have plenty of bread, and as for butter, we have more than enough./ 2.
Speaking for. * /Most people like the summer but as  for  me,  I  like
winter much better./ Compare: FOR ONE'S PART.

   [as good as] {adv. phr.} Nearly the same as; almost. * /She claimed
that he as good as promised to marry her./ * /He as good as called  me
a liar./ * /We'll get to school on time, we're as good as there  now./
* /The man who had been shot was  as  good  as  dead./  -  Often  used
without the  first  "as"  before  adjectives.  *  /When  the  car  was
repaired, it looked good as new./

   [as good as a mile] See: MISS IS AS GOOD AS A MILE.

   [as good as one gets] See: GIVE AS GOOD AS ONE GETS.

   [as good as one's promise] See: AS GOOD AS ONE'S WORD.

   [as good as one's  word]  or  [good  as  one's  word]  {adj.  phr.}
Trustworthy; sure to keep your promise. * /The  coach  said  he  would
give the players a day off if they won, and he  was  as  good  as  his
word./ * /We knew she was always good as her word, so we trusted her./

   [as  hard  as  nails]  {adj.  phr.}  Very  unfeeling;  cruel,   and
unsympathetic. * /Uncle Joe is as hard as  nails;  although  he  is  a
millionaire, he doesn't help his less fortunate relatives./

   [aside] See: JOKING ASIDE, SET ASIDE.

   [aside from] See: APART FROM.

   [aside of] {prep.}, {dialect} Beside; by the side of. * /Mary  sits
aside of her sister on the bus./

   [as if] or [as though] {conj.} 1. As (he, she, it) would if; in the
same way one would if seeing to show. * /The baby  laughed  as  if  he
understood what Mother said./ * /The book looked as though it had been
out in the rain./ * /The waves dashed on the rocks as if in anger./ 2.
That. * /It seems as if you are the first one here./

   [as if one has come out of a bandbox] See: LOOK AS IF ONE HAS  COME
OUT OF A BANDBOX.

   [as is] {adv.} Without changes or improvements; with  no  guarantee
or promise of good condition. - Used after the  word  it  modifies.  *
/They agree to buy the house as is./ * /He bought an old car  as  is./
Compare: AT THAT(1).

   [as it were] {adv. phr.} As it might be said to be; as if it really
were; seemingly. - Used with a statement  that  might  seem  silly  or
unreasonable, to show that it is just a way of saying it. *  /In  many
ways children live, as it were, in a different world from  adults./  *
/The sunlight on the icy branches made,  as  it  were,  delicate  lacy
cobwebs from tree to tree./ Compare: SO TO SPEAK.

   [ask] See: FOR THE ASKING.

   [ask for] {v.}, {informal} To make (something bad) likely to happen
to you; bring (something bad) upon yourself. * /Charles drives fast on
worn-out tires; he is asking for trouble./ *  /The  workman  lost  his
job, but he asked for it by  coming  to  work  drunk  several  times./
Compare: HAVE IT COMING, SERVE RIGHT, SIGN ONE'S OWN DEATH WARRANT.

   [ask for one's hand] {v. phr.} To ask permission to marry  someone.
* /"Sir," John said timidly to Mary's father, "I came to ask for  your
daughter's hand."/

   [ask for the moon]  or  [cry  for  the  moon]  {v.  phr.}  To  want
something that you cannot reach or have; try  for  the  impossible.  *
/John asked his mother for a hundred dollars today. He's always asking
for the moon./ Compare: PROMISE THE MOON.

   [asleep at the switch] {adj. phr.} 1. Asleep when it is one's  duty
to move a railroad switch for cars to go on the right  track.  *  /The
new man was asleep at the switch  and  the  two  trains  crashed./  2.
{informal} Failing to act  promptly  as  expected,  not  alert  to  an
opportunity. * /When the ducks flew over, the boy was  asleep  at  the
switch and missed his shot./

   [as likely as not] {adv. phr.} Probably. * /As likely  as  not,  he
will disappear forever./

   [as long as] or [so long as] {conj.} 1. Since; because; considering
that. * /As long as you are going to town anyway, you can do something
for me./ 2. Provided that; if. * /You may use the room as you like, so
long as you clean it up afterward./

   [as luck would have it] {adv. clause} As it  happened;  by  chance;
luckily or unluckily. * /As luck would have it,  no  one  was  in  the
building when the explosion occurred./ * /As luck would have it,
there was rain on the day of the picnic./

   [as much] {n.} The same; exactly that. * /Don't thank me,  I  would
do as much for anyone./ * /Did you lose your way? I  thought  as  much
when you were late in coming./

   [as much as] {adv. phr.} 1. or [much as] Even though;  although.  *
/As much as I hate to do it, I must stay home and study  tonight./  2.
or [so much as] Just the same as; almost; practically; really.  *  /By
running away he as much as admitted that he had taken  the  money./  *
/You as much as promised you would help us./ * /The clerk as  much  as
told me that I was a fool./ Compare: AS GOOD AS. 3. See: FOR  AS  MUCH
AS.

   [as of] prep. At or until (a certain time). * /I know  that  as  of
last week he was still unmarried./ * /As of now  we  don't  know  much
about Mars./

   [as one goes] See: PAY AS ONE GOES.

   [as one man] {adv. phr.} Unanimously; together;  involving  all.  *
/The audience arose as one man to applaud the great pianist./

   [as regards] {prep.} Regarding; concerning; about. *  /You  needn't
worry as regards  the  cost  of  the  operation./  *  /He  was  always
secretive as regards his family./

   [as soon as] {conj.} Just after; when;  immediately  after.  *  /As
soon as the temperature falls to 70, the furnace is turned on./ *  /As
soon as you finish your job let me know./ * /He will see you  as  soon
as he can./

   [as the crow flies] {adv. clause} By the most direct way;  along  a
straight line between two places. * /It is seven  miles  to  the  next
town as the crow flies, but it is ten miles by the  road,  which  goes
around the mountain./

   [as the story goes] {adv. phr.} As the story is told;  as  one  has
heard through rumor. * /As the story goes, Jonathan  disappeared  when
he heard the police were after him./

   [as though] See: AS IF.

   [as to] {prep.} 1. In connection with; about; regarding.  *  /There
is no doubt as to his honesty./  *  /As  to  your  final  grade,  that
depends  on  your  final  examination./  Syn.:  WITH  RESPECT  TO.  2.
According to; following; going by. * /They sorted the eggs as to  size
and color./

   [as usual] {adv. phr.} In the usual way; as you usually do or as it
usually does. * /As usual, Tommy forgot to make his bed before he went
out to play./ * /Only a week after the fire in the store, it was doing
business as usual./

   [as well] {adv. phr.} 1. In addition; also, too;  besides.  *  /The
book tells about Mark Twain's writings and about his life as well./  *
/Tom is captain of the football team and is on the  baseball  team  as
well./ 2. Without loss and possibly with gain. * /After  the  dog  ran
away, Father thought he might as well sell the dog house./ * /Since he
can't win the race, he may as well quit./ * /It's  just  as  well  you
didn't come yesterday, because we were away./

   [as well as] {conj.} In addition to; and also; besides.  *  /Hiking
is good exercise as well as fun./ * /He was my friend as  well  as  my
doctor./ * /The book tells about the author's life as  well  as  about
his writings./

   [as yet] {adv. phr.} Up to the present time; so  far;  yet.  *  /We
know little as yet about the moon's surface./ * /She has not  come  as
yet./

   [as you please] 1. As you like, whatever you like or prefer; as you
choose. * /You may do as you please./ 2. {informal} Very. - Used after
an adjective or adverb often preceded by "as". *  /There  was  Tinker,
sitting there, cheerful as you please./ * /She  was  dressed  for  the
dance and she looked as pretty as you please./

   [at a blow] or [at  a  stroke]  or  [at  one  stroke]  {adv.  phr.}
Immediately; suddenly; with one  quick  or  forceful  action.  *  /The
pirates captured the ship and captured a ton of gold at a blow./ *  /A
thousand men lost their jobs at a stroke when the factory  closed./  *
/All the prisoners escaped at one stroke./ Compare: AT  ONCE,  AT  ONE
TIME.

   [at all] {adv. phr.} At any time or place, for any  reason,  or  in
any degree or manner. - Used for emphasis with certain kinds of  words
or sentences. 1. Negative * /It's not at all likely he will come./  2.
Limited * /I can hardly hear you at all./ 3. Interrogative *  /Can  it
be done at all?/ 4. Conditional * /She will walk with a limp,  if  she
walks at all./ Syn.: IN THE LEAST.

   [at all costs] {adv. phr.} At  any  expense  of  time,  effort,  or
money. Regardless of the results. * /Mr. Jackson intended to save  his
son's eyesight at all costs./ * /Carl is determined to succeed in  his
new job at all costs./

   [at all events] See: IN ANY CASE.

   [at all hazards] {adv. phr.} With no  regard  for  danger;  at  any
risk; regardless of the chances you must take. * /The racer  meant  to
win the 500-mile race at all hazards./

   [at all hours] {adv. phr.} Any time; all the time;  at  almost  any
time. * /The baby cried so much that we were up at all hours trying to
calm her down./

   [at a loss] {adj. phr.} In a  state  of  uncertainty;  without  any
idea; puzzled. * /A good salesman is never at a  loss  for  words./  *
/When Don missed the last bus, he was at a loss to know what to do./

   [at anchor] {adj. phr.} Held  by  an  anchor  from  floating  away;
anchored. * /The ship rode at anchor in the harbor./

   [at any rate] {adv. phr.} In any case; anyhow. * /It isn't much  of
a car, but at any rate it was not expensive./ Compare: AT LEAST(2), IN
ANY CASE.

   [at a  premium]  {adv.  phr.}  At  a  high  price  due  to  special
circumstances. * /When his father died,  Fred  flew  to  Europe  at  a
premium because he had no chance to buy a less expensive ticket./

   [at arm's length] See: KEEP AT A DISTANCE or KEEP AT ARM'S LENGTH.

   [at a set time] {prep. phr.} At a particular, pre-specified time. *
/Do we have to eat in this hotel at a set time, or may  we  come  down
whenever we want?/

   [at a snail's pace] See: SNAIL'S PACE.

   [at a straw] See: GRASP AT STRAWS.

   [at a stroke] See: AT A BLOW or AT A STROKE.

   [at a time] {adv. phr.} At once; at one time; in one group or unit;
together. * /He checked them off one at a time as they came in./ * /He
ran up the steps two at a time./ See: EVERY OTHER. * /They  showed  up
for class three and four at a time./

   [at bay] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} In a place where you can  no  longer
run away; unable to go back farther; forced to  stand  and  fight,  or
face an enemy; cornered. * /The dog ran the rat  into  a  corner,  and
there the rat turned at bay./ * /The police  chased  the  thief  to  a
roof, where they held him at bay until more policemen came  to  help./
Compare: BRING TO BAY.

   [at  best]  or  [at  the  best]  {adv.  phr.}  1.  Under  the  best
conditions; as the best possibility. * /A coal miner's  job  is  dirty
and dangerous at best./ * /We can't get to New York before ten o'clock
at best./ Compare: AT  MOST.  Contrast:  AT  WORST.  2.  In  the  most
favorable way of looking at something; even saying the best about  the
thing. * The /treasurer had at best  been  careless  with  the  club's
money, but most people thought he had been dishonest./

   [at both ends] See: BURN THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS.

   [at call] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} 1. Ready or nearby for  use,  help,
or service; on request. * /Thousands of auto insurance agents all over
the country are at the insured person's call, wherever he may travel./
2. At the word of command; at an order  or  signal.  *  /The  dog  was
trained to come at call./

   [at close range] {adv. phr.} Close by; in proximity. * /The  police
officer fired at the fleeing murder suspect at close range./

   [at cross purposes] {adv. phr.} With  opposing  meanings  or  aims;
with opposing effect or result; with aims which hinder or get in  each
other's way. * /Tom's parents acted at cross purposes in advising him;
his father wanted him to become a doctor; but his mother wanted him to
become a minister./

   [at death's door] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} Very near death;  dying.  *
/He seemed to be at death's door from his illness./

   [at  each  other's  throats]  {prep.  phr.}  Always   arguing   and
quarreling. * /Joan and Harry have been at  each  other's  throats  so
long that they have forgotten how much they used to love one another./

   [at ease] or [at one's ease] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} 1.  In  comfort;
without pain or bother. * /You can't feel at ease with  a  toothache./
2. or  [at  one's  ease]  Comfortable  in  one's  mind;  relaxed,  not
troubled. - Often used in the phrase "put at ease" or  "put  at  one's
ease." * /We put Mary at her ease during the thunderstorm  by  reading
her stories./ Compare: AT HOME(2). Contrast: ILL AT EASE, ON EDGE.  3.
Standing with your right foot in place and without talking in military
ranks. * /The sergeant gave his men the command "At  ease!"/  Compare:
PARADE REST.

   [at every turn] {adv. phr.} Every time; all the  time;  continually
without exception. * /Because of his drinking, the man was  refused  a
job at every turn./

   [at face value] {prep. phr.} What one can actually hear,  read,  or
see; literally. * /John is so honest that you can take  his  words  at
face value./ * /This store's advertisements are honest; take  them  at
face value./

   [at fault] {adj. phr.} Responsible for  an  error  or  failure;  to
blame. * /The driver who didn't stop at the red light was at fault  in
the accident./ * /When the engine would not start, the mechanic looked
at all the parts to find what was at fault./ Syn.: IN THE WRONG.

   [at first] {adv. phr.} In the  beginning;  at  the  start.  *  /The
driver didn't see the danger at first./ * /At  first  the  job  looked
good to Bob, but later it became tiresome./  *  /There  was  a  little
trouble at first, but things soon were quiet./

   [at first blush] {adv.  phr.}  When  first  seen;  without  careful
study. * /At first blush the offer looked good, but  when  we  studied
it, we found things we could not accept./

   [at first glance] or [at first sight] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} After a
first quick look. * /At first sight, his  guess  was  that  the  whole
trouble between the two men resulted from personalities that  did  not
agree./ * /Tom met Mary at a party, and it was love at first sight./

   [at great length] {prep. phr.} 1. In great detail. * /Jim  told  us
the story of his life at great length./ 2. For a  long  time.  *  /The
boring speaker rambled on at great length./

   [at half mast] {prep. phr.} Halfway up or down; referring primarily
to flagposts, but may be used jokingly. * /When  a  president  of  the
United States dies, all flags are flown at half mast./

   [at hand] also [at close hand] or [near at  hand]  {adv.  phr.}  1.
Easy to reach; nearby. * /When he writes, he always keeps a dictionary
at hand./ 2. {formal} Coming soon; almost here.  *  /Examinations  are
past and Commencement Day is at hand./

   [at heart] {adv. phr.} 1. In spite of appearances;  at  bottom;  in
reality. * /His manners are rough but he is a kind man at  heart./  2.
As a serious interest or concern; as an important aim or goal.  *  /He
has the welfare of the poor at heart./

   [at home] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. In the place where you  live  or
come from. * * /I went to his house,  but  he  was  not  at  home./  *
/Americans abroad are protected by the government  like  Americans  at
home./ 2. Knowing what to do or say; familiar; comfortable. * /Charles
and John enjoy working together because they feel at  home  with  each
other./ * /The politician was at home among  poor  farmers  and  among
rich factory owners./ * /Make the new student feel  at  home  in  your
school./ * /Would you be at home driving a truck?/ * /Jim always lived
by a lake, and he is at home in the water./ * /Tom has read many books
about missiles and is at home in  that  subject./  Syn.:  AT  EASE(2).
Compare: IN ONE'S ELEMENT, MAKE ONESELF AT HOME. Contrast: AT A LOSS.

   [at issue] {adj. phr.} 1. In dispute; to be settled by  debate,  by
vote, by battle, or by some other contest. * /His  good  name  was  at
issue in the trial./ * /The independence of  the  United  States  from
England was at issue in the Revolutionary War./ Compare: IN  QUESTION.
2. Not in agreement; in conflict; opposing. * /His work  as  a  doctor
was at issue with other doctors' practice./ Syn.: AT ODDS.

   [at it] {adj. phr.} Busily doing something; active. * /His rule for
success was to keep always at it./ * /The couple who owned the  little
cleaning shop were at it early and late./ * /Mr. Curtis heard  a  loud
crash in the next apartment - the neighbors were at it again./

   [at large] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. Not kept within walls,  fences,
or boundaries; free. * /The  killer  remained  at  large  for  weeks./
Compare: AT LIBERTY. * /Cattle and sheep roamed at large  on  the  big
ranch./ 2.  In  a  broad,  general  way;  at  length;  fully.  *  /The
superintendent talked at large for an hour about his hopes for  a  new
school building./ 3. As a group  rather  than  as  individuals;  as  a
whole; taken together. * /The junior class at large was not interested
in a senior yearbook./ 4. As a representative  of  a  whole  political
unit or area rather than one of its parts; from a city rather than one
of its wards, or a state rather than one of its districts. *  /He  was
elected congressman at large./ * /Aldermen are voted for at large./

   [at last] also [at long  last]  {adv.  phr.}  After  a  long  time;
finally. * /The war had been long and hard, but now there was peace at
last./ * /The boy saved his money until at last he had  enough  for  a
bicycle./

   [at least] {adv. phr.} 1. or [at the least] At the smallest  guess;
no fewer than; no less than. * /You should brush your teeth  at  least
twice a day./ * /At least three students are failing in  mathematics./
* /Mr. Johnson must weigh 200 pounds at least./ Compare:  ALL  OF.  2.
Whatever else you may say; anyhow; anyway. * /It was  a  clumsy  move,
but at least it saved her from getting hit./ * /She broke her arm, but
at least it wasn't the arm she writes with./ * /The Mortons had fun at
their picnic yesterday - at least the children did - they played while
their parents cooked the food./ * /He's not coming - at  least  that's
what he said./ Compare: AT ANY RATE.

   [at leisure] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} 1. Not at work; not  busy;  with
free time; at rest. * /Come and visit us some evening when  you're  at
leisure./ 2. or [at one's leisure] When  and  how  you  wish  at  your
convenience; without hurry. *  /John  made  the  model  plane  at  his
leisure./ * /You may read the book at your leisure./

   [at length] {adv. phr.} 1. In detail; fully. * /You must study  the
subject at length to understand it./ * /The teacher explained the  new
lesson at length to the students./ 2. In the end; at last; finally.  *
/The movie became more and more exciting, until at length people  were
sitting on the edge of their chairs./

   [at liberty] {adv.} or {adj. phr.}  Free  to  go  somewhere  or  do
something; not shut in or stopped. * /The police promised to  set  the
man at liberty if he told the names of the other  robbers./  *  /I  am
sorry, but I am not at liberty to come to  your  party./  Compare:  AT
LARGE(1).

   [at loggerheads] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} In a quarrel;  in  a  fight;
opposing each other. * /The two senators had long been at  loggerheads
on foreign aid./ * /Because of their barking dog, the  Morrises  lived
at loggerheads with their neighbors./ Compare: AT ODDS.

   [at long last] See: AT LAST.

   [at loose ends] {adj.  phr.}  Without  a  regular  job  or  settled
habits; uncertain what to do next; having nothing to do for  a  while;
undecided; unsettled; restless. * /Feeling at loose ends, I went for a
long walk./ * /He had finished college but hadn't found a job yet,  so
he was at loose ends./

   [at most] or [at the most] {adv.  phr.}  By  the  largest  or  most
generous guess; at the upper limit; by the maximum account;  not  more
than; at best; at worst. * /It was a minor offense at most./ * /He had
been gone 15 minutes at the most./ * /Their new house lot is a quarter
acre at most./

   [at odds] {adj. phr.} In conflict or disagreement; opposed. *  /The
boy and girl were married  a  week  after  they  met  and  soon  found
themselves at odds about religion./ Compare: AT LOGGERHEADS.

   [at once] {adv. phr.} 1. Without delay; right now  or  right  then;
immediately. * /Put a burning match next to a piece of  paper  and  it
will begin burning at once./ * /Mother called the children  to  lunch,
and Paul came at once, but Brenda stayed in the  sand  pile  a  little
longer./ Syn.: RIGHT AWAY or RIGHT OFF. Compare: ALL AT ONCE(2).

   [at one] {adj. phr.} 1.  In  union  or  harmony;  in  agreement  or
sympathy. Not usually used informally. * /He felt at one with all  the
poets who have sung of love./ 2. Of the same opinion, in agreement.  *
/Husband and wife were at one on everything but money./  Contrast:  AT
ODDS.

   [at one fell swoop] See: IN ONE FELL SWOOP.

   [at one's beck and call] or [at the beck and call of]  {adj.  phr.}
Ready and willing to do whatever someone asks; ready  to  serve  at  a
moment's notice. * /A good parent  isn't  necessarily  always  at  the
child's beck and call./

   [at one's best] {prep. phr.} In best form;  displaying  one's  best
qualities. * /Tim is at his best when he has had a long swim before  a
ballgame./ * /Jane rested before the  important  meeting  because  she
wanted to be at her best./

   [at one's door] or [at one's doorstep] {adv. phr.} 1.  Very  close;
very near where you live or work. *  /Johnny  is  very  lucky  because
there's a swimming pool right at his doorstep./ * /Mr. Green  can  get
to work in only a few minutes because the subway is at his  door./  2.
See: LAY AT ONE'S DOOR.

   [at one's ease] See: AT EASE(2).

   [at one's elbow] {adv. phr.}  Close  beside  you;  nearby.  *  /The
President rode in an open car with his wife at  his  elbow./  *  /Mary
practiced for several years to  become  a  champion  swimmer  and  her
mother was always at her elbow to help her./  Contrast:  BREATHE  DOWN
ONE'S NECK.

   [at one's feet] {adv. phr.} Under your influence or power.  *  /She
had a dozen men at her feet./ * /Her voice kept audiences at her  feet
for years./ Compare: THROW ONESELF AT SOMEONE'S FEET.

   [at one's fingertips] {adv. phr.} 1.  Within  easy  reach;  quickly
touched; nearby. * /Seated in the cockpit, the pilot of  a  plane  has
many controls at his fingertips./ 2. Readily usable  as  knowledge  or
skill; familiar. * /He had several languages at his fingertips./ * /He
had the whole design of the machine at his fingertips./

   [at one's heels] {adv. phr.} Close behind; as a  constant  follower
or companion. * /The boy got tired of having his little brother at his
heels all day./ * /John ran by the finish line with Ned at his heels./
* /Bad luck followed at his heels all his life./

   [at one's leisure] See: AT LEISURE(2).

   [at one's service] {adv. phr.} 1.  Ready  to  serve  or  help  you;
prepared to obey your wish or command; subject to your orders.  *  /He
placed himself completely at the President's service./ * /"Now I am at
your service," the dentist told the next patient./  2.  Available  for
your use; at your disposal. * /He put  a  car  and  chauffeur  at  the
visitor's service./

   [at one stroke] See: AT A BLOW or AT ONE STROKE.

   [at one's wit's end] or [at wits end] {adj. phr.} Having  no  ideas
as to how to meet a difficulty or solve  a  problem;  feeling  puzzled
after having used up all of your ideas or resources; not knowing  what
to do; puzzled. * /He had approached every friend and acquaintance for
help in vain, and now he was at his wit's end./ * /The designer was at
his wit's end: he had tried out wings of many different kinds but none
would fly./ Compare: AT A LOSS, END OF ONE'S ROPE.

   [at one's word] See: TAKE AT ONE'S WORD.

   [at one time] {adv. phr.} 1. In the same moment; together. * /Let's
start the dance again all at one time./ * /Mr. Reed's bills  came  all
at one time and he could not pay them./ Syn.: AT THE SAME TIME(1).  2.
At a certain time in the past;  years  ago.  *  /At  one  time  people
thought that Minnesota was not a good place to live./ * /At  one  time
most school teachers were men, but today there  are  more  women  than
men./

   [at pains] {adj. phr.} Making a special effort. * /At pains to make
a good impression, she was prompt for her appointment./

   [at present] {adv. phr.} At this time; now. * /It took a long  time
to get started, but at present the  road  is  half  finished./  *  /At
present the house is empty, but next week a family will move in./

   [at random] {adv. phr.} With no  order,  plan,  or  purpose;  in  a
mixed-up, or thoughtless way. * /He opened the letters at  random./  *
/His clothes were scattered about the room at random./

   [at sea(1)] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1.  On  an  ocean  voyage;  on  a
journey by ship. * /They had first met at sea./ 2. Out on  the  ocean;
away from land. * /By the second day the ship was well out at sea./  *
/Charles had visited a ship in dock, but he had never been on  a  ship
at sea./

   [at sea(2)]  {adj.  phr.}  Not  knowing  what  to  do;  bewildered;
confused; lost. * /The job was new to him, and for a few days  he  was
at sea./ * /When his friends talked about chemistry, Don was  at  sea,
because he did not study chemistry./ Compare: AT A LOSS.

   [at sight] or [on sight] {adv. phr.} 1. The first time  the  person
or thing is seen; as soon as the person or thing  is  seen.  *  /First
graders learn to read many words on sight./  *  /Mary  had  seen  many
pictures of Grandfather, so  she  knew  him  on  sight./  Compare:  AT
ONCE(1). 2. On demand, on asking the first time. *  /The  money  order
was payable at sight./

   [at sixes and sevens] {adj. phr.} Not in order; in confusion; in  a
mess. * /He apologized because his wife was away and the house was  at
sixes and sevens./ * /Our teacher had just moved to a  new  classroom,
and she was still at sixes and sevens./ * /After the  captain  of  the
team broke his leg, the other players were at sixes and sevens./

   [at --- stage of the game] {adv. phr.} At  (some)  time  during  an
activity; at (some) point. * /At that stage of the game, our team  was
doing so poorly that we were ready to give up./ * /It's hard  to  know
what will happen at this stage of the game./ * /At what stage  of  the
game did the man leave?/

   [at stake] {adj. phr.} Depending, like a bet,  on  the  outcome  of
something uncertain; in a position to be lost or gained. *  /The  team
played hard because the championship of the state  was  at  stake./  *
/The farmers were more anxious for rain than the people  in  the  city
because they had more at stake./ Compare: HANG IN THE BALANCE.

   [at straws] See: GRASP AT STRAWS.

   [at swords' points] {adj. phr.} Ready to start fighting; very  much
opposed to each; other hostile; quarreling. * /The dog's barking  kept
the Browns at swords' points with their neighbors for months./ *  /The
mayor and the reporter were always at swords' points./

   [at table] See: AT THE TABLE; WAIT AT TABLE.

   [at that] {adv. phr.}, {informal} 1.  As  it  is;  at  that  point;
without more talk or waiting. * /Ted was not quite satisfied with  his
haircut but let it go at that./ 2. In addition; also. *  /Bill's  seat
mate on the plane was a girl and a pretty one at that./ 3. After  all;
in spite of all; anyway. * /The book was hard to  understand,  but  at
that Jack enjoyed it./ Syn.: ALL THE SAME.

   [at the best] See: AT BEST.

   [at the bit] See: CHAMP AT THE BIT.

   [at the drop of a hat] {adv. phr.}, {informal} 1. Without  waiting;
immediately; promptly. * /If you need a babysitter quickly, call Mary,
because she can come at the drop of a hat./ Compare: ON  THE  SPUR  OF
THE MOMENT. 2. Whenever you have a chance; with very little  cause  or
urging. * /At the drop of a hat, he would tell the story of the  canal
he wanted to build./ * /He was quarrelsome and ready to fight  at  the
drop of a hat./

   [at the eleventh hour] {prep. phr.} At the last  possible  time.  *
/Aunt Mathilda got married at the eleventh hour; after  all,  she  was
already 49 years old./

   [at the end of one's rope] See: END OF ONE'S ROPE.

   [at the kill] See: IN AT THE KILL.

   [at the least] See: AT LEAST.

   [at the mercy of] or [at one's mercy] {adj. phr.} In the power  of;
subject to the will and wishes of; without  defense  against.  *  /The
champion had the other boxer at his mercy./ * /The picnic was  at  the
mercy of the weather./ * /The small grocer was at the mercy of  people
he owed money to./

   [at the most] See: AT MOST.

   [at the outset] {adv. phr.} At  the  start;  at  the  beginning.  *
/"You'll live in the cheaper barracks at the  outset;  later  you  can
move into the better cabins," the camp director said to the new boys./

   [at the outside] {adv. phr.} Maximally; at the utmost. * /This  old
house can cost no more than $40,000 at the outside./

   [at the point of] {prep.} Very near to; almost at or  in.  *  /When
Mary broke her favorite bracelet, she was at the point  of  tears./  *
/The boy hurt in the accident lay at the point of death  for  a  week,
then he got well./ Compare: ABOUT TO(1), ON THE POINT OF.

   [at the ready] {adj. phr.} Ready for use. * /The  sailor  stood  at
the bow, harpoon at the ready, as the boat neared the whale./

   [at the same time] {adv. phr.} 1. In the same moment;  together.  *
/The two runners reached the finish line at the same time./  Syn.:  AT
ONCE, AT ONE TIME. 2. In spite of that  fact;  even  though;  however;
but; nevertheless. * /John did pass the test; at  the  same  time,  he
didn't know the subject very well./

   [at the seams] See: BURST AT THE SEAMS.

   [at the table] or [at table] {adv. phr.} At a meal; at  the  dinner
table. * /The telephone call came while they were all at table./

   [at the tip of one's tongue] or [on the tip of one's tongue]  {adv.
phr.} {informal} 1. Almost spoken; at the point of being said.  *  /It
was at the tip of my tongue to tell him, when the phone rang./ * /John
had a rude answer on the tip of his  tongue,  but  he  remembered  his
manners just in time./ 2. Almost remembered; at the  point  where  one
can almost say it but cannot because it is forgotten. *  /I  have  his
name on the tip of my tongue./

   [at the top of one's voice] or [at the top of  one's  lungs]  {adv.
phr.} As loud as you can;  with  the  greatest  possible  sound;  very
loudly. * /He was singing at the top of his voice./ * /He  shouted  at
the top of his lungs./

   [at this rate] or [at that rate] {adv. phr.} At a speed  like  this
or that; with progress like this or that. * /John's father  said  that
if John kept going at that rate he  would  never  finish  cutting  the
grass./ * /So Johnny has a whole dollar!  At  this  rate  he'll  be  a
millionaire./ * /"Three 100's in the last four  tests!  At  this  rate
you'll soon be teaching the subject," Tom said to Mary./

   [at times] {adv. phr.} Not often; not regularly; not every day; not
every week; occasionally; sometimes. * /At times Tom's mother lets him
hold the baby./ * /You can certainly be exasperating, at times!/ * /We
have pie for dinner at times./ Syn.: FROM TIME TO TIME, NOW AND  THEN,
ONCE IN A WHILE.

   [at will] {adv. phr.} As you like; as you please or choose  freely.
* /Little Bobby is allowed to wander at will in the  neighborhood./  *
/With an air conditioner you can  enjoy  comfortable  temperatures  at
will./

   [at wits end] See: AT ONE'S WIT'S END.

   [at work] {adj, phr.} Busy at a job; doing work. * /The teacher was
soon hard at work correcting that day's test./ * /Jim is  at  work  on
his car./

   [at worst] or [at  the  worst]  {adv.  phr.}  1.  Under  the  worst
conditions; as the worst possibility. * /When Don was caught  cheating
in the examination he thought that at worst he would get a  scolding./
Compare: AT MOST. Contrast AT BEST. 2. In the least favorable view, to
say the worst about a thing. * /The treasurer had certainly not stolen
any of the club's money; at worst, he had forgotten to write down some
of the things he had spent money for./

   [aught] See: FOR AUGHT at FOR ALL(2), FOR ALL ONE KNOWS.

   [Aunt  Tom]  {n.},  {slang},  {originally  from  Black  English}  A
successful professional or business woman who, due to her success in a
masculine  profession,  doesn't  care  about  the  women's  liberation
movement or the passing of the Equal  Rights  Amendment  to  the  U.S.
Constitution. * /Hermione is a regular Aunt Tom, she'll never vote for
the ERA./

   [avail] See: TO NO AVAIL or OF NO AVAIL.

   [average] See: ON AN AVERAGE or ON THE AVERAGE, LAW OF AVERAGES.

   [awe] See: STAND IN AWE OF.

   [awkward age] {n.} Adolescence; awkwardness during  adolescence.  *
/Sue used to be an "ugly duckling" when she was at  the  awkward  age,
but today she is a glamorous fashion model./

   [AWOL] See: ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.

   [ax to grind] {n. phr.}, {informal} Something to gain for yourself:
a selfish reason. * /In praising movies for classroom use he has an ax
to grind; he sells motion picture equipment./ * /When Charles told the
teacher he saw Arthur copying his homework from Jim, he had an  ax  to
grind; Arthur would not let Charles copy from him./





   [babe in the woods] {n. phr.} A  person  who  is  inexperienced  or
innocent in certain things. * /He is a good driver, but as a  mechanic
he is just a babe in the woods./  Compare:  OVER  ONE'S  HEAD,  BEYOND
ONE'S DEPTH.

   [baby] See: WAR BABY.

   [baby boom] {n.} A sudden  increase  in  the  birth  rate.  *  /The
universities were filled  to  capacity  due  to  the  baby  boom  that
followed World War II./

   [baby grand] {n.} A small grand piano no longer  than  three  feet,
maximally four feet. * /This apartment  can't  take  a  regular  grand
piano, so we'll have to buy a baby grand./

   [baby kisser] {n.}, {slang} A person campaigning for votes  in  his
quest for elected political office; such  persons  often  kiss  little
children in public. * /Nixon was a baby kisser when he  ran  for  Vice
President with Eisenhower./

   [back] See: BACK OF or IN BACK OF, BEHIND ONE'S BACK,  BRUSH  BACK,
COME BACK, CUT BACK, DOUBLE BACK, DRAW BACK, DROP BACK.  EYES  IN  THE
BACK OF ONE'S HEAD, FADE BACK, FALL BACK, FALL BACK ON, FLANKER  BACK.
FROM WAY BACK, GET BACK AT, GET ONE'S BACK  UP,  GIVE  THE  SHIRT  OFF
ONE'S BACK, GO BACK ON, HANG BACK, HARK BACK, HOLD  BACK,  LIKE  WATER
OFF A DUCK'S BACK, LOOK BACK, OFF ONE'S BACK, ON ONE'S  BACK,  PAT  ON
THE BACK, PIGGY-BACK, PIN ONE'S EARS BACK, PUT BACK THE CLOCK or  TURN
BACK THE CLOCK, PUT ONE'S BACK TO IT, SCRATCH ONE'S  BACK,  SET  BACK,
SET BACK ON ONE'S HEELS, SIT BACK, STAB IN THE BACK, TAKE A BACK SEAT,
TAKE BACK, TALK BACK also ANSWER BACK, TURN ONE'S BACK ON,  WEIGHT  OF
THE WORLD ON ONE'S SHOULDERS or WORLD ON ONE'S BACK, WHILE BACK.

   [back and forth] {adv.} Backwards and forwards.  *  /The  chair  is
rocking hack and forth./ * /The tiger is pacing hack and forth in  his
cage./ Compare: TO AND FRO.

   [back away] {v.} To act to avoid or  lessen  one's  involvement  in
something; draw or turn back; retreat. * The townspeople  backed  away
from the building plan when they found out how much it would cost.

   [back door] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio  jargon}  Rear  of
vehicle. * /I am watching your back door./

   [back down] or [back off] {v.}, {informal} To give up a claim;  not
follow up a threat. * /Bill said he could beat Ted, but when  Ted  put
up his fists Bill backed down./ * /Harry claimed  Joe  had  taken  his
book, but backed down when the teacher talked with him./ Syn.: BEAT  A
RETREAT. Compare: BACK OUT, GIVE IN, GO BACK ON(1).

   [back in circulation] {adv. phr.} 1.  Socially  active  once  again
(said about people); back on the dating circuit after a divorce  or  a
romantic breakup. * /Now that Sully is divorced from Jim she  is  hack
in circulation./ 2. Once again available to  the  public  (said  about
types of paper money, rare  coins,  or  other  commercially  available
goods). * /In the USA the two-dollar hill was back in circulation  for
a short time only in the 1950s and 1960s./

   [back number] {n.} Something out of fashion,  or  out  of  date.  *
/Among today's young people a waltz like "The Blue Danube" is  a  hack
number./

   [backfire] {v.} To misfire; to have a reverse effect from what  was
intended. * /Mimi's gossip about the Head of the Department  backfired
wizen people began to mistrust her./

   [backhanded compliment] {n. phr.}  A  remark  that  sounds  like  a
compliment but is said sarcastically. * /"Not  had  for  a  girl"  the
coach said, offering a backhanded compliment./

   [back of] or [in back of] {prep.} 1. In or at the rear of;  to  the
back of; behind. * /The garage is hack of the house./ * /Our  car  was
in hack of theirs at the traffic light./ 2. {informal} Being  a  cause
or reason for; causing. * /Hard work was back of his success./ *  /The
principal tried to find out what was back of the trouble on the  bus./
3. {informal} In support or encouragement of; helping, clones will  be
elected because many powerful men are back of him. * /Get in  back  of
your team by cheering them at the game./

   [back out] {v. phr.} 1.  To  move  backwards  out  of  a  place  or
enclosure. * /Bob slowly backed his car out  of  the  garage./  2.  To
withdraw from an activity one has promised to carry out. * /Jim  tried
to back out of the engagement with Jane, but she  insisted  that  they
get married./ Compare: BEG OFF, GO BACK ON.

   [back seat] See: TAKE A BACK SEAT.

   [backseat driver] {n.}, {informal} A bossy  person  in  a  car  who
always tells the driver what to do. *  /The  man  who  drove  the  car
became angry with the back seat driver./

   [back street] {n.} A street not near the main streets or from which
it is hard to get to a main street. * /We got lost in the back streets
going through the city and it took us a half  hour  to  find  our  way
again./ Compare: SIDE STREET.

   [back talk] {n.} A sassy, impudent reply. * /Such  back  talk  will
get you nowhere, young man!/ See: TALK BACK.

   [back the wrong horse] {v. phr.} To support a loser. *  /In  voting
for George Bush, voters in 1992 were backing the wrong horse./

   [back-to-back] {adv.}  1.  Immediately  following.  *  /The  health
clinic had back-to-back appointments for the new students  during  the
first week of school./ 2. Very close to, as if touching.  *  /Sardines
are always packed in the can back-to-back./ * /The  bus  was  so  full
that people had to stand back-to-back./

   [back to the salt mines] {informal} Back to the job; back to  work;
back to work that is as hard or as unpleasant as  working  in  a  salt
mine would be. - An overworked phrase, used humorously. *  /The  lunch
hour is over, boys. Back to the salt mines!/ *  /"Vacation  is  over,"
said Billy. "Back to the salt mines."/

   [back to the wall] or [back against the  wall]  {adv.  phr.}  In  a
trap, with no way to escape; in bad trouble. * /The soldiers had their
backs to the wall./ * /He was in debt and could not get any help;  his
back was against the wall./ * /The team had their backs to the wall in
the second half./ Compare: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE  DEEP  BLUE  SEA,
LAST DITCH, ON THE SPOT, UP AGAINST IT.

   [back up] {v.} 1. To move backwards. * /The train was backing  up./
2. To help or be ready to help; stay behind to help;  agree  with  and
speak in support of. * /Jim has joined the Boy Scouts and  his  father
is backing him up./ * /The principal backs up  the  faculty./  *  /Jim
told us what had happened and Bob backed him up./ Compare: BACK OF(3),
STAND BY(4). 3. To move behind (another fielder) in order to catch the
ball if he misses it. * /The shortstop backed up the second baseman on
the throw./

   [backward] See: BEND OVER BACKWARD or LEAN OVER BACKWARD; FALL OVER
BACKWARDS or FALL OVER ONESELF.

   [backward and forward] or [backwards and forwards] {adv.  phr.}  To
the full  extent;  in  all  details;  thoroughly;  completely.  *  /He
understood automobile engines backwards  and  forwards./  *  /He  knew
basketball rules backwards and forwards./ * /I  explained  matters  to
him so that he understood backwards and forwards how it was./

   [bacon] See: BRING HOME THE BACON.

   [bad] See: GO FROM BAD TO WORSE, IN A BAD WAY, IN BAD, IN ONE'S BAD
GRACES, LEAVE A BAD TASTE IN ONE'S MOUTH, NOT BAD or NOT SO BAD or NOT
HALF BAD, ON ONE'S BAD SIDE, TOO BAD, WITH BAD GRACE.

   [bad actor] {n.}, {informal} A person  or  animal  that  is  always
fighting, quarreling, or doing bad things. * /The boy was a bad  actor
and nobody liked him./

   [bad blood]  {n.},  {informal}  Anger  or  misgivings  due  to  bad
relations in the past between individuals or groups. * /There's a  lot
of bad blood between Max and Jack; I bet they'll never  talk  to  each
other again./ Compare: BAD SHIT.

   [bad egg]  {n.},  {slang}  A  ne'er-do-well;  good-for  nothing;  a
habitual offender. * /The judge sent the bad egg to prison  at  last./
Contrast: GOOD EGG.

   [bad mouth (someone)]  {v.},  {slang}  To  say  uncomplimentary  or
libelous  things  about  someone;  deliberately  to  damage  another's
reputation. * /It's not nice to had mouth people./

   [bad news] {n.}, {slang}  An  event,  thing,  or  person  which  is
disagreeable or an unpleasant surprise. * /What's  the  new  professor
like? - He's all bad news to me./

   [bad paper] {n.}, {slang} 1. A check for which there are  no  funds
in the bank. 2. Counterfeit paper money. * /Why are you so  mad?  -  I
was paid with some bad paper./

   [bad shit] {n.},  {vulgar},  {avoidable}  An  unpleasant  event  or
situation, such as a long lasting and unsettled quarrel  or  recurring
acts of vengeance preventing two people or two  groups  from  reaching
any kind of reconciliation. * /There is so much had shit  between  the
two gangs that I bet there will he more killings this year./  Compare:
BAD BLOOD.

   [bad trip] {n.}, {slang}, {also used colloquially} A disturbing  or
frightening experience, such as terrifying hallucinations, while under
the influence  of  drugs;  hence,  by  colloquial  extension  any  bad
experience in general. * /Why's John's face so distorted? - He  had  a
bad trip./ * /How was your math exam? - Don't mention it; it was a bad
trip./

   [bag] See: GRAB BAG, IN THE BAG, LEAVE HOLDING THE BAG, LET THE CAT
OUT OF THE BAG.

   [bag and baggage] {adv.}, {informal}  With  all  your  clothes  and
other personal belongings, especially movable possessions; completely.
* /If they don't pay their hotel bill they will be  put  out  bag  and
baggage./

   [baggage] See: BAG AND BAGGAGE.

   [bail] See: JUMP BAIL or SKIP BAIL.

   [bail out(1)] {v.} 1. To secure release from prison until trial  by
leaving or promising money or property for a while.  *  /When  college
students got into trouble with the police, the college president would
always bail them out./ 2. {informal} To free from trouble by giving or
lending money. * /He started a small business, which  prospered  after
his father had to bail him out a couple of times./

   [bail out(2)] {v.} To  jump  from  an  airplane  and  drop  with  a
parachute. * /When the second engine failed, the pilot  told  everyone
to bail out./

   [bail out(3)] {v.} To dip water from a  filling  or  leaking  boat;
throw water out of a boat to prevent its sinking.  *  /Both  men  were
kept busy bailing out the rowboat after it began to leak./

   [bait] See: FISH OR CUT BAIT.

   [bake] See: HALF-BAKED.

   [baker's dozen] {n.}, {informal} Thirteen.  *  /"How  many  of  the
jelly doughnuts, Sir? " the salesclerk asked. "Oh, make it  a  baker's
dozen."/

   [balance] See: HANG IN THE BALANCE, OFF BALANCE.

   [ball] See: BASE ON BALLS, CARRY THE BALL, FLY BALL, FOUL BALL, GET
THE BALL ROLLING, SET THE BALL ROLLING, START THE BALL ROLLING, GOPHER
BALL, GROUND BALL, HAVE A HALL, HAVE SOMETHING ON THE BALL, JUMP BALL,
KEEP THE BALL. ROLLING, LONG BALL, ON  THE  BALL,  PASSED  BALL,  PLAY
BALL.

   [ball game] {n.}, {slang}, also {informal}  The  entire  matter  at
hand; the whole situation; the entire contest. * /You said we can  get
a second mortgage for the house?! Wow! That's a whole new ball game./

   [ball of fire] {n.}, {informal} A  person  with  great  energy  and
ability; a person who can do something very well. * /He did poorly  in
school but as a salesman he is a ball of fire./ * /The  new  shortstop
is a good fielder but certainly no ball of fire in batting./  Compare:
HOT NUMBER, HOT ONE.

   [balloon] See: TRIAL BALLOON, LEAD BALLOON.

   [ballot stuffing] See: STUFF THE BALLOT BOX.

   [ball up] {v.}, {slang} To make a mess of; confuse. *  /Don't  ball
me up./ * /Hal balled up the business with his errors./ -  Often  used
in the passive. * /He was so balled up that he did not know if he  was
coming or going./ Compare: MIXED UP.

   [baloney]  {n.},  {informal}  Nonsense,  unbelievable,  trite,   or
trivial. * /John brags that he's won the $10 million  lottery,  and  I
think it's just a lot of baloney./ * /"Will  you  marry  Joe?"  mother
asked. "Baloney," Susie answered with a disgusted  look./  *  /Do  you
still  believe  all  that  baloney  about  socialism  excluding   free
enterprise? Look at China and Hungary./

   [banana  oil]  {n.},  {slang}   Flattery   that   is   an   obvious
exaggeration; statements that are  obviously  made  with  an  ulterior
motive. * /Cut out the banana oil; flattery will get you nowhere!/

   [band] See: BEAT THE BAND.

   [bandbox] See: LOOK AS IF ONE HAS COME OUT OF A BANDBOX.

   [band together] {v. phr.} To join a group to exert united force.  *
/The inhabitants of the ecologically threatened area  banded  together
to stop the company from building new smokestacks./

   [bandwagon] See: JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON.

   [bandy about] {v. phr.} To spread rumors or whisper secrets. * /The
news of Jim and Mary's divorce was bandied about until everyone at the
office had heard it./

   [bang up] {adj.}, {informal} Very successful; very good;  splendid;
excellent. * /The football coach has done a bang-up job this  season./
* /John did a bang-up job painting the house./ Syn.: FIRST-CLASS.

   [bank] See: PIGGY BANK.

   [bank on] {v.}, {informal} To depend on; put one's trust  in;  rely
on. * /He knew he could bank on public indignation to  change  things,
if he could once prove the dirty work./ * /The students  were  banking
on the team to do its best in the championship game./ Syn.: COUNT ON.

   [bar] See: BEHIND BARS, PARALLEL BARS.

   [bargain] See: DRIVE A BARGAIN, IN THE BARGAIN or INTO THE BARGAIN.

   [bargain for] or [bargain on] {v.} To be ready for; expect. * /When
John started a fight  with  the  smaller  boy  he  got  more  than  he
bargained for./ * /The final cost of building the house was much  more
than they had bargained on./ Compare: COUNT ON.

   [barge in] {v. phr.}, {informal} To appear uninvited  at  someone's
house or apartment, or to interrupt a conversation. * /I'm  sorry  for
barging in like that, Sir, but my car died on me and there is  no  pay
phone anywhere./ * /I'm sorry for barging in while you two are  having
a discussion, but could you please tell me where the nearest exit is?/

   [bark up the wrong tree] {v. phr.}, {informal} To choose the  wrong
person to deal with or the wrong course of action; mistake an  aim.  *
/If he thinks he can fool me, he is barking up the wrong tree./ *  /He
is barking up the wrong tree when he blames his troubles on bad luck./
* /The police were looking for a tall thin man, but  were  barking  up
the wrong tree; the thief was short and fat./

   [bark worse than  one's  bite]  {informal}  Sound  or  speech  more
frightening or worse  than  your  actions.  *  /The  small  dog  barks
savagely, but his bark is worse than his bite./ * /The boss  sometimes
talks roughly to the men, but they know that his bark  is  worse  than
his bite./ * /She was always scolding her children, but they knew  her
bark was worse than her bite./

   [barn] See: LOCK THE BARN DOOR AFTER THE HORSE IS STOLEN.

   [barrel] See: OVER A BARREL also OVER THE BARREL, SCRAPE THE BOTTOM
OF THE BARREL.

   [barrelhead] See: CASH ON THE BARREL-HEAD.

   [bar the door] See: CLOSE THE DOOR.

   [base] See: FIRST BASE, GET TO FIRST BASE or REACH FIRST BASE, LOAD
THE BASES or FILL THE BASES, OFF BASE, SECOND BASE, STOLEN BASE, THIRD
BASE.

   [base on balls] {n.} First base given to a baseball batter  who  is
pitched four balls outside of the strike zone. * /He was a good  judge
of pitchers and often received bases on balls./

   [basket] See: PUT ALL ONE'S EGGS IN ONE BASKET.

   [basket case] {n.}, {slang}, {also informal} 1. A  person  who  has
had both arms and both legs cut off  as  a  result  of  war  or  other
misfortune. 2. A helpless  person  who  is  unable  to  take  care  of
himself, as if carted around in a basket by others. * /Stop  drinking,
or else you'll wind up a basket case!/

   [bat] See: AT BAT, GO TO BAT FOR, RIGHT  AWAY  or  RIGHT  OFF  also
RIGHT OFF THE BAT.

   [bat an eye] or [bat an eyelash]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  show
surprise, fear, or interest; show your feelings. -  Used  in  negative
sentences. * /When I told him the price of the car he never batted  an
eye./ * /Bill told his story without batting an eyelash, although  not
a word of it was true./ Compare: STRAIGHT FACE.

   [bath] See: SPONGE BATH, THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH.

   [bats in one's belfry] or [bats in the belfry] {n.  phr.},  {slang}
Wild ideas in his mind; disordered senses; great mental  confusion.  *
/When he talked about going to the moon he was thought to have bats in
his belfry./

   [bat the breeze] See: SHOOT THE BREEZE.

   [batting average] {n. phr.} Degree  of  accomplishment  (originally
used as a baseball term). * /Dr. Grace has  a  great  batting  average
with her heart transplant operations./

   [battle] See: HALF THE BATTLE.

   [battle of nerves] {n. phr.} A contest of wills  during  which  the
parties do not fight physically but try to wear each other out. *  /It
has been a regular battle of nerves to get the new program accepted at
the local state university./ See: WAR OF NERVES.

   [bawl out] {v.}, {informal} To reprove in a loud  or  rough  voice;
rebuke sharply; scold. * /The teacher bawled us out for not handing in
our homework./ Compare: HAUL OVER THE COALS, LIGHT INTO, TELL A  THING
OR TWO.

   [bay] See: AT BAY, BRING TO BAY.

   [be] See: LET BE, TO-BE.

   [beach] See: NOT THE ONLY PEBBLE ON THE BEACH.

   [beach bunny] {n.}, {slang} An attractive girl seen  on  beaches  -
mostly to show off her figure; one who doesn't get into the water  and
swim. * /What kind of a girl is Susie? -  She's  a  beach  bunny;  she
always comes to the Queen's Surf on Waikiki but I've  never  seen  her
swim./

   [bead] See: DRAW A BEAD ON.

   [be a fly  on  the  wall]  {v.  phr.}  To  eavesdrop  on  a  secret
conversation. * /How I wish I could be a fly on the wall to hear  what
my fiance's parents are saying about me!/

   [be a good hand at] {v. phr.} To be talented, gifted, or skilled in
some activity. * /Florian  is  a  good  hand  at  both  gardening  and
building./

   [beam] See: OFF THE BEAM, ON THE BEAM.

   [bean] See: FULL OF BEANS, SPILL THE BEANS, USE ONE'S HEAD  or  USE
ONE'S BEAN.

   [be an item] {v. phr.} To be a couple; belong to one another. * /No
one is surprised  to  see  them  together  anymore;  if  is  generally
recognized that they are an item./

   [be a poor hand at] {v. phr.} To be inept, untalented, or clumsy in
some activity. * /Archibald is a poor hand at tennis so no  one  wants
to play with him./ Contrast: BE A GOOD HAND AT.

   [be at pains] {v. phr.} To be extremely desirous to  do  something;
to take the trouble to do something. * /The captain was  at  pains  to
see that everybody got safely into the lifeboats./

   [bear] See: GRIN AND BEAR IT, LOADED FOR BEAR.

   [bear a grudge] {v. phr.} To persist in bearing ill feeling  toward
someone after a quarrel or period of hostility. * /Come on, John, be a
good sport and don't bear a  grudge  because  I  beat  you  at  golf./
Contrast: BURY THE HATCHET.

   [bear a hand] See: LEND A HAND.

   [beard] See: LAUNCH UP ONE'S SLEEVE or LAUGH  IN  ONE'S  SLEEVE  or
LAUGH IN ONE'S BEARD.

   [bear down] {v.} 1. To press or push harder;  work  hard  at;  give
full strength and attention. * /She is bearing down in her studies  to
win a scholarship./ * /The baseball pitcher is bearing down./  *  /The
pitcher bore down on the star batter./ * /Teachers of  the  deaf  bear
down on English./ *  /The  sergeant  bears  down  on  lazy  soldiers./
Contrast:  LET  UP(2b).  2.  To  move  toward  in  an  impressive   or
threatening way. - Often used with "on". * /While he was crossing  the
street a big truck bore down on him./ *  /The  little  ship  tried  to
escape when the big pirate ship bore down./ * /After  the  boys  threw
the snowballs they saw a large lady bearing down upon them from across
the street./

   [bear down on] or [upon] {v. phr.} To draw constantly  nearer  with
great speed and force. * /The police cars were  bearing  down  on  the
bank robbers' get-away car./

   [bear fruit] {v. phr.} To  yield  results.  *  /We  hope  that  the
company's new investment policy will bear fruit./

   [bear in mind] See: IN MIND.

   [bear in the  air]  or  [bear  in  the  sky]  {n.  phr.},  {slang},
{citizen's band jargon} A police helicopter flying  overhead  watching
for speeders. * /Slow down, good buddy, there's a bear in the air./

   [bear off the palm] See: CARRY OFF THE PALM.

   [bear one's cross] See: CARRY ONE'S CROSS.

   [bear out] {v.} To show to be  right;  prove;  support.  *  /Modern
findings do not bear out the old belief that the  earth  is  flat./  *
/Seward's faith in his purchase of Alaska was borne out,  even  though
it was once called "Seward's Folly."/

   [bear trap] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio jargon}  A  police
radar unit designed to catch speeders. * /Watch the bear trap at  exit
101./

   [bear up] {v.} 1. To hold up; carry; support; encourage. * /The old
bridge can hardly bear up its own weight any more./ * /He was borne up
by love of country./ 2. To keep up one's courage or strength; last.  -
Often used with "under". * /This boat will  bear  up  under  hurricane
winds./ * /She bore up well at the funeral./ Syn.: STAND UP.  Compare:
CARRY ON.

   [bear watching] {v.  phr.}  1.  To  be  worth  watching  or  paying
attention to; have a promising future. * /That young ball player  will
bear watching./ 2. To be dangerous or untrustworthy.  *  /Those  tires
look badly worn; they will bear watching./ Compare: KEEP AN EYE ON.

   [bear with] {v.}, {formal} To have patience  with;  not  get  angry
with. * /Your little sister is sick. Try to bear  with  her  when  she
cries./ * /It is hard to bear with  criticism./  Syn.:  PUT  UP  WITH.
Compare: CARRY ONE'S CROSS.

   [beat] See: HEART SKIP A BEAT, OFF THE BEATEN TRACK.

   [beat about the bush] or [beat around the bush] {v. phr.},  {slang}
To talk about things without giving a clear answer; avoid the question
or the point. * /He would not answer yes or no,  but  beat  about  the
bush./ * /He beat about the bush for a half hour without coming to the
point./ Compare: BESIDE THE POINT. Contrast: COME TO THE POINT.

   [beat all] or [beat the Dutch] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be  strange
or surprising. * /John found a box full of money buried in his garage.
Doesn't that beat all!/ * /It beats the Dutch how Tom always  makes  a
basket./

   [beat all hollow] also [beat hollow] {v. phr.}, {slang} To do  much
better than; to beat very badly. * /We beat their team all hollow./  *
/As a speaker, he beats us all hollow./

   [beat a retreat] {v. phr.} 1. To give a signal, esp. by  beating  a
drum, to go back. * /The Redcoats' drums were beating a  retreat./  2.
To run away. * /They beat a retreat when they saw that they  were  too
few./ * /The cat beat a hasty retreat when he  saw  the  dog  coming./
Compare: BACK DOWN, FALL BACK.

   [beat around the bush] See: BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH.

   [beat down] {v.} 1. To crush or break  the  spirit  of;  win  over;
conquer. * /All their defenses were beaten  down  by  the  tanks./  2.
{informal} a. To try to get reduced; force down by discussing. *  /Can
we beat down the price?/ b. To persuade or force (someone) to accept a
lower price or easier payments. * /He tried to beat us down, so we did
not sell the house./ 3. To shine brightly or hotly. * /At noon the sun
beat down on our heads as we walked home./

   [beaten path] {n. phr.} The usual route or way  of  operating  that
has been conventionally established, * /If we always follow the beaten
path, we'll never have the courage to try something new./

   [beaten track] {n.} See: BEATEN PATH.

   [beat hollow] See: BEAT ALL HOLLOW.

   [beat into one's head] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  teach  by  telling
again and again; repeat often; drill, also, to  be  cross  and  punish
often. * /Tom is lazy and stubborn and his lessons have to  be  beaten
into his head./ * /I cannot beat it into his head that he should  take
off his hat in the house./

   [beat it] {v.}, {slang} To go away in a hurry; get out  quickly.  *
/When he heard the crash he beat it as fast as he could./ - Often used
as a command. * /The big boy said, "Beat it, kid. We  don't  want  you
with us."/ Compare: CLEAR OUT(2), LIGHT OUT, HEAD FOR THE HILLS.

   [beat one to it] {v. phr.}  To  arrive  or  get  ahead  of  another
person. * /I was about to call you, John, but you have beat me to  it!
Thanks for calling me./

   [beat one's brains out] or [beat one's brains] {v.  phr.},  {slang}
To try very hard to understand or think out something difficult;  tire
yourself out by thinking. * /It was too hard for him and he  beat  his
brains out trying to get the answer./ * /Some students are  lazy,  but
others beat their brains and succeed./

   [beat one's gums] {v. phr.}, {slang} To engage  in  idle  talk,  or
meaningless chatter; generally to talk too much. * /"Stop beating your
gums, Jack," Joe cried. "I am falling asleep."/ Compare: CHEW THE  FAT
or CHEW THE RAG, SHOOT THE BREEZE or BAT THE BREEZE or FAN THE  BREEZE
or SHOOT THE BULL.

   [beat one's head against a wall] {v. phr.}  To  struggle  uselessly
against something that can't be beaten or helped;  not  succeed  after
trying very hard. * /Trying to  make  him  change  his  mind  is  just
beating your head against a wall./

   [beat the band] {adv. phr.}, {informal} At great speed;  with  much
noise or commotion. - Used after "to". * /The fire engines were  going
down the road to beat the band./ * /The audience cheered  and  stamped
and clapped to beat the band./

   [beat the bushes] also [beat the brush] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To
try very hard to find or get something. * /The mayor was  beating  the
bushes for funds to build the playground./ Contrast:  BEAT  ABOUT  THE
BUSH or BEAT AROUND THE BUSH.

   [beat the  drum]  {v.  phr.}  To  attract  attention  in  order  to
advertise something  or  to  promote  someone,  such  as  a  political
candidate. * /Mrs. Smith has been beating the  drum  in  her  town  in
order to get her husband elected mayor./

   [beat the gun] See: JUMP THE GUN.

   [beat the --- out of] or [lick the --- out of] or  [whale  the  ---
out of] {v. phr.}, {informal} To beat hard; give a bad beating  to.  -
Used  with  several  words  after  "the",  as   "daylights",   "living
daylights", "tar". * /The big kid told Charlie that he would beat  the
daylights out of him if Charlie came in his yard again./

   [beat the meat] {v.  phr.},  {vulgar},  {avoidable}  To  masturbate
(said primarily of men). * /"So what did you do for sex in prison  for
seven years?" Joe asked. "Well, unless you want to become gay, you can
beat the meat and that's about it," Max answered./

   [beat the pants off] {v. phr.} 1. To prevail over someone in a race
or competition. * /Jim beat the  pants  off  George  in  the  swimming
race./ 2. To give someone a severe physical beating. * /Jack beat  the
pants off the two young men who were trying to hold him up in  Central
Park./

   [beat the rap] {v. phr.} To escape the legal penalty one  ought  to
receive. * /In spite of the strong evidence against him, the  prisoner
beat the rap and went free./

   [beat the shit out of] {v. phr.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} See:  KNOCK
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF.

   [beat time] {v. phr.} To follow the rhythm of a piece of  music  by
moving one's fingers or feet. * /Jack was beating time with  his  foot
during the concert, which annoyed his neighbor./

   [beat to] {v.}, {informal} To do something before someone else does
it. * /I was waiting to buy a ticket but only one ticket was left, and
another man beat me to it./ * /We were planning to send a rocket  into
space but the Russians beat us to it./ Compare: GET THE JUMP ON.

   [beat to the punch] or [beat to the draw] {v. phr.}, {slang} To  do
something before another person has a chance to do  it.  *  /John  was
going to apply for the job, but Ted beat him to  the  draw./  *  /Lois
bought the dress before Mary could beat her to the punch./

   [beat up] {v.}, {informal} To give a hard beating to; hit hard  and
much; thrash; whip. * /When the new boy first came, he had to beat  up
several neighborhood bullies before they would  leave  him  alone./  -
Used with "on" in substandard speech. * /The tough boy said  to  Bill,
"If you come around here again, I'll beat up on you."/

   [beauty sleep] {n.} A nap or rest taken to improve the  appearance.
* /She took her  beauty  sleep  before  the  party./  *  /Many  famous
beauties take a beauty sleep every day./

   [beaver] {n.},  {slang},  {vulgar},  {avoidable},  {citizen's  band
radio jargon} A female, especially one driving along the  highway  and
operating a CB radio. * /I didn't know there was a beaver aboard  that
eighteen wheeler./

   [because of] {prep.} On account of; by reason of; as a result of. *
/The train arrived late because of the snowstorm./

   [beck] See: AT ONE'S BECK AND CALL.

   [become of] {v. phr.} To happen to; befall. * /What will become  of
the children, now that both parents are in jail?/

   [bed] See: GET UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED, GO TO BED WITH  THE
CHICKENS, MAKE ONE'S BED AND LIE IN IT, PUT TO BED.

   [bed of nails] {n. phr.} A difficult or unhappy situation or set of
circumstances. * /"There are days when my job  is  a  regular  bed  of
nails," Jim groaned./ Contrast: BED OF ROSES.

   [bed of roses] or [bowl of cherries]  {n.  phr.}  A  pleasant  easy
place, job, or position; an easy life. * /A coal miner's job is not  a
bed of roses./ * /After nine months of school, summer  camp  seemed  a
bowl of cherries./ Compare: IN CLOVER, LIFE OF RILEY.

   [bed of thorns] {n. phr.} A thoroughly unhappy  time  or  difficult
situation. * /I'm sorry I changed jobs; my new one turned out to be  a
bed of thorns./ See: BED OF NAILS.

   [bee] See: BIRDS AND THE BEES.

   [beef about] {v. phr.} To complain about something. * /Stop beefing
about your job, Jack. You could have done a lot worse!/

   [beef up] {v.}, {informal}  To  make  stronger  by  adding  men  or
equipment; make more powerful; reinforce. * /The general beefed up his
army with more big guns and tanks./ * /The university  beefed  up  the
football coaching staff by adding several good men./

   [bee in one's bonnet] {n. phr.}, {informal} A fixed idea that seems
fanciful, odd, or crazy. * /Robert Fulton had  a  bee  in  his  bonnet
about a steamboat./ * /Grandmother has some bee in  her  bonnet  about
going to the dance./

   [beeline] See: MAKE A BEELINE FOR.

   [be even-Steven] {v. phr.} To be in a position of owing  no  favors
or debt to someone. * /Yesterday you paid for my  lunch,  so  today  I
paid for yours; now we're even-Steven./

   [before long] {adv. phr.} In a short time; without much delay; in a
little while, soon. * /Class will be over before  long./  *  /We  were
tired of waiting and hoped the bus would come before long./

   [before one can say Jack  Robinson]  {adv.  cl.},  {informal}  Very
quickly; suddenly. - An overused phrase. * /Before I  could  say  Jack
Robinson, the boy was gone./ Compare: IN A FLASH, RIGHT AWAY.

   [before swine] See: CAST PEARLS BEFORE SWINE or CAST  ONE'S  PEARLS
BEFORE SWINE.

   [before you know it] {adv. phr.} Sooner than one  would  expect.  *
/Don't despair; we'll be finished with this work before you know it!/

   [beg] See: BEGGING.

   [be game] {v. phr.} To be cooperative, willing, sporting. * /When I
asked Charlie to climb Mount McKinley with us, he said he was game  if
we were./

   [beggars can't be choosers] People who can  not  choose  what  they
will have, must accept what they get; if you are not in  control,  you
must take what you can gel. * /We wanted to leave on the train in  the
morning but it doesn't go until afternoon, so we must go then. Beggars
can't he choosers./ * /Mary got a red dress from her sister,  although
she didn't like red. She kept it because she said beggars  should  not
be choosers./ Compare: LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH.

   [begin with] {adv. phr.} As a preliminary statement; in  the  first
place. * /To begin with, you are far too young to get married./

   [beg off] {v.} To ask to be excused. * /Father told Tom to rake the
yard, but Tom tried to beg off./ * /Mrs. Crane accepted an  invitation
to a luncheon, but a headache made her beg off./ Compare: BACK OUT.

   [beg  the  question]  {v.  phr.},  {literary}  To  accept  as  true
something that is still being argued about, before it is proved  true;
avoid or not answer a question or problem. *  /The  girls  asked  Miss
Smith if they should wear formal dresses to the party; Miss Smith said
they were begging the question because they didn't know  yet  if  they
could get permission for a party./ * /Laura  told  Tom  that  he  must
believe her argument because she was right. Father  laughed  and  told
Laura she was begging the question./ Compare: TAKE FOR GRANTED.

   [behalf] See: IN BEHALF OF or ON BEHALF OF, IN ONE'S BEHALF  or  ON
ONE'S BEHALF.

   [behavior] See: ON ONE'S GOOD BEHAVIOR.

   [be hard on] {v. phr.} To be strict or critical  with  another;  be
severe. * /"Don't be so hard on Jimmy," Tom  said.  "He  is  bound  to
rebel as he gets older."/

   [behind] See: DRY BEHIND THE EARS, FALL BEHIND,  GET  BEHIND,  HANG
BACK or HANG BEHIND.

   [behind bars]  {adv.  phr.}  In  jail;  in  prison.  *  /He  was  a
pickpocket and had spent many years  behind  bars./  *  /That  boy  is
always in trouble and will end up behind bars./

   [behind one's back] {adv. phr.} When one is absent;  without  one's
knowledge or consent; in a dishonest way; secretly; sneakily.  *  /Say
it to his face, not behind his back./ * /It is not right to  criticize
a person behind his back./ Contrast: TO ONE'S FACE.

   [behind  the  eight-ball]  {adj.  phr.},  {slang}  In  a  difficult
position; in trouble. * /Mr. Thompson is an older  man,  and  when  he
lost his job, he found he was behind the eight-ball./  *  /Bill  can't
dance and has no car, so he is behind the eight-ball with the  girls./
Compare: HAVE TWO STRIKES AGAINST ONE(2), IN A HOLE.

   [behind the scenes] {adv. phr.}  Out  of  sight;  unknown  to  most
people; privately. * /Much of the banquet committee s  work  was  done
behind the scenes./ * /John was president of the club, but behind  the
scenes Lee told him what to do./

   [behind the times] {adj. phr.} Using things  not  in  style;  still
following old ways; old-fashioned. * /Johnson's store  is  behind  the
times./ * /The science books of 30 years  ago  are  behind  the  times
now./ * /Mary thinks her parents are behind  the  times  because  they
still do the foxtrot and don't know any new dances./

   [behind time] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1a. Behind  the  correct  time;
slow. * /That clock is behind time./ 1b. Behind schedule; late. * /The
train is running behind time today./ 2. Not keeping  up;  not  at  the
proper time; overdue. * /Your lessons are good, but why are you behind
time?/ * /We are behind time in paying the rent./ Contrast:  AHEAD  OF
TIME, IN TIME, ON TIME.

   [be-in] {n.}, {slang},  {hippie  culture}  A  gathering  or  social
occasion with or without a discernible purpose, often held in a public
place like a park or under a large  circus  tent.  *  /The  youngsters
really enjoyed the great springtime jazz be-in at the park./

   [be in a stew] {v. phr.} To be worried, harassed, upset. * /Al  has
been in a stew ever since he got word that his  sister  was  going  to
marry his worst enemy./

   [being] See: FOR THE TIME BEING.

   [be in labor] {v.  phr.}  To  be  in  parturition;  experience  the
contractions of childbirth. * /Vane had been in labor for eight  hours
before her twin daughters were finally born./

   [be in someone else's shoes] {v. phr.}  To  be  in  someone  else's
situation. * /Fred has had so much trouble recently that we  ought  to
be grateful we're not in his shoes./

   [be into something] {v. phr.}, {informal} To have  taken  something
up partly as a nobby, partly as a serious interest of sorts (basically
resulting from the new  consciousness  and  self-realization  movement
that originated in the late Sixties). * /Roger's wife is into  women's
liberation and women's consciousness./ * /Did you  know  that  Syd  is
seriously into transcendental meditation?/ * /Jack found out that  his
teenage son is into pot smoking and gave him a serious scolding./

   [be itching to] {v. phr.} To  have  a  very  strong  desire  to  do
something. * /Jack is itching to travel abroad./

   [be it so] See: SO BE IT.

   [belabor the point] {v. phr.} To overexplain something to the point
of obviousness, resulting in ridicule. * /"Lest I belabor the  point,"
the teacher said, "I must  repeat  the  importance  of  teaching  good
grammar in class."/

   [belfry] See: BATS IN ONE'S BELFRY or BATS IN THE BELFRY.

   [believe] See: MAKE BELIEVE, SEEING IS BELIEVING.

   [believe one's ears] {v. phr.} 1. To believe what one hears;  trust
one's  hearing.  -  Used  with  a  negative  or  limiter,  or  in   an
interrogative or conditional sentence. * /He thought he heard  a  horn
blowing in the distance, but he could not believe his ears./ 2. To  be
made sure of (something). * /Is he really coming? I can hardly believe
my ears./

   [believe one's eyes] {v. phr.} 1. To believe what one  sees;  trust
one's  eyesight.  -  Used  with  a  negative  or  limiter  or  in   an
interrogative or conditional sentence. *  /Is  that  a  plane?  Can  I
believe my eyes?/ 2. To be made sure of seeing something. *  /She  saw
him there but she could hardly believe her eyes./

   [bell] See: RING A BELL, WITH BELLS ON.

   [bellyache]  {v.}  To  constantly  complain.  *  /Jim   is   always
bellyaching about the amount of work he is required to do./

   [belly  up]  {adj.},  {informal}  Dead,  bankrupt,  or  financially
ruined. * /Tom and Dick  struggled  on  for  months  with  their  tiny
computer shop, but last year they went belly up./

   [belly up] {v.}, {informal} To go bankrupt, become afunctional;  to
die. * /Uncompetitive small businesses must eventually all belly up./

   [below par] {adj.} or {adv.}  Below  standard.  *  /Bob  was  fired
because his work has been below par for several months now./ Contrast:
UP TO PAR or UP TO SNUFF.

   [below the belt] {adv. phr.} 1. In the stomach; lower than is legal
in boxing. * /He struck the other boy below the belt./  2.  {informal}
In an unfair or cowardly way; against the rules  of  sportsmanship  or
justice; unsportingly; wrongly. * /It was hitting below the  belt  for
Mr. Jones's rival  to  tell  people  about  a  crime  that  Mr.  Jones
committed when he was a young boy./ * /Pete told the students to  vote
against Harry because Harry was in a wheelchair and couldn't be a good
class president, but the students thought Pete was hitting  below  the
belt./

   [belt] See: BELOW THE BELT, SEAT BELT, TIGHTEN  ONE'S  BELT,  UNDER
ONE'S BELT.

   [belt out] {v.}, {slang} To sing with rough  rhythm  and  strength;
shout out. * /She belted out ballads and  hillbilly  songs  one  after
another all evening./ * /Young people enjoy belting out songs./

   [be my guest] {v.  phr.}  Feel  free  to  use  what  I  have;  help
yourself. * /When Suzie asked if she could borrow John's bicycle, John
said, "Be my guest."/

   [beneath one] {adj. phr.} Below one's ideals  or  dignity.  *  /Bob
felt it would have been beneath him to work for such low wages./

   [bench] See: ON THE BENCH, WARM THE BENCH.

   [bench warmer] See: WARM THE BENCH.

   [bend over backward] or [lean over backward] {v. phr.},  {informal}
To try so hard to avoid a mistake that you make the  opposite  mistake
instead; do the opposite of something that you know you should not do;
do too much to avoid doing the wrong thing; also, make a great effort;
try very hard. * /Instead of punishing the boys  for  breaking  a  new
rule, the principal bent over backward to explain  why  the  rule  was
important./ * /Mary was afraid the girls at her new  school  would  be
stuck up, but they leaned over backward to make  her  feel  at  home./
Compare: GO OUT OF ONE'S WAY.

   [benefit] See: GIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.

   [bent on] or [bent upon] Very decided, determined, or set.  *  /The
sailors were bent on having a good time./ * /The  policeman  saw  some
boys near the  school  after  dark  and  thought  they  were  bent  on
mischief./ * /The bus was late, and the driver was bent upon  reaching
the school on time./

   [be nuts about] {v. phr.} To be enthusiastic  or  very  keen  about
someone or something; be greatly infatuated with someone. *  /Hermione
is nuts about modern music./ * /"I am  nuts  about  you,  Helen,"  Jim
said. "Please let's get married!"/

   [be off] {v. phr.} 1. {v.} To be in  error;  miscalculate.  *  /The
estimator was off by at least 35% on the value of the house./ 2.  {v.}
To leave. * /Jack ate his supper in a hurry and was off without saying
goodbye./ 3. {adj.} Cancelled; terminated. * /The weather was  so  bad
that we were told that the trip was off./ 4. {adj.} Crazy. * /I'm sure
Aunt Mathilda is a bit off; no one in her right mind  would  say  such
things./ 5. {adj.} Free from work; having vacation time.  *  /Although
we were off for the rest of the day,  we  couldn't  go  to  the  beach
because it started to rain./

   [be on] {v. phr.} 1. To be in operation; be in the process of being
presented. * /The news is on now on Channel 2; it will be off in  five
minutes./ 2. To be in the process of happening; to take place.  *  /We
cannot travel now to certain parts of Africa, as there is a civil  war
on there right now./

   [be one's age] See: ACT ONE'S AGE.

   [be oneself] {v.} To act naturally;  act  normally  without  trying
unduly to impress others. * /Just try being yourself; I promise people
will like you more./

   [be on the outs with] {v. phr.} To not be on  speaking  terms  with
someone; be in disagreement with someone. * /Jane and Tom have been on
the outs with one another since Tom started to date another woman./

   [be on the rocks] See: ON THE ROCKS, GO ON THE ROCKS.

   [be on the verge of] {v. phr.} To be about to do something; be very
close  to.  *  /We  were  on  the  verge  of  going   bankrupt   when,
unexpectedly, my wife won the lottery and our business was saved./

   [be on the wagon] See: ON THE WAGON, FALL OFF THE WAGON.

   [be on to] {v. phr.} To understand the motives of someone;  not  be
deceived. * /Jack keeps telling us how wealthy his family is,  but  we
are on to him./

   [be over] {v. phr.} To be ended; be finished. * /The show was  over
by 11 P.M./ * /The war will soon be over./

   [be out] {v. phr.} 1. To not be at home or at one's place of  work.
* /I tried to call but they told  me  that  Al  was  out./  2.  To  be
unacceptable; not be considered; impossible. * /I  suggested  that  we
hire more salespeople but the  boss  replied  that  such  a  move  was
positively out./ 3. To be poorer by; suffer a loss of. * /Unless  more
people came to the church picnic, we realized we would be out $500  at
least./ 4. To be in circulation, in print,  published.  *  /Jane  said
that her new novel won't be out for at  least  another  month./  5.  A
baseball term indicating that a player has been declared either  unfit
to continue or punished by withdrawing him. * /The spectators  thought
that John was safe at third base, but the umpire said he was out./

   [be out to] {v. phr.} To intend to do; to plan to  commit.  *  /The
police felt that the gang may be out to rob another store./

   [berth] See: GIVE A WIDE BERTH.

   [be set on] or [upon] {v. phr.} To be determined about something. *
/Tow is set upon leaving his Chicago job for Tokyo, Japan, although he
speaks only English./

   [beside oneself] {adj. phr.} Very much excited; somewhat  crazy.  *
/She was beside herself with fear./ * /He was beside himself,  he  was
so angry./ * /When his  wife  heard  of  his  death,  she  was  beside
herself./

   [beside the point] or [beside the question] {adj.} or  {adv.  phr.}
Off the subject; about something different. * /What you meant to do is
beside the point; the fact is you didn't do it./ * /The judge told the
witness that his remarks were beside the point./ Compare: BEAT  AROUND
THE BUSH, NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.

   [best] See: AS BEST ONE CAN, AT BEST, FOR THE BEST, GET THE  BETTER
OF or GET THE BEST OF, HAD BETTER or HAD  BEST,  HE  LAUGHS  BEST  WHO
LAUGHS LAST, MAKE THE BEST OF, PUT ONE'S  BEST  FOOT  FORWARD,  SECOND
BEST, TO THE BEST OF ONE'S KNOWLEDGE, WITH THE BEST or WITH  THE  BEST
OF THEM.

   [best bib and tucker] or [Sunday  best]  or  [Sunday  go-to-meeting
clothes] {n. phr.}, {informal} Best clothes or outfit of  clothing.  *
/The cowboy got all dressed up in his best bib and tucker to go to the
dance./ * /Mary went to the party in her Sunday best and  made  a  hit
with the boys./ Compare: GLAD RAGS.

   [best man] {n.} The groom's aid  (usually  his  best  friend  or  a
relative) at a wedding. * /When Agnes and I got  married,  my  brother
Gordon was my best man./

   [best seller] {n.} An item (primarily said of books) that  outsells
other items of a similar  sort.  *  /Catherine  Neville's  novel  "The
Eight" has been a national best seller for months./ * /Among  imported
European cars, the Volkswagen is a best seller./

   [bet] See: YOU BET or YOU BET YOUR BOOTS or YOU BET YOUR LIFE.

   [be the making of] {v. phr.} To account for the success of  someone
or something. * /The strict discipline  that  we  had  to  undergo  in
graduate school was the making of many a successful professor./ * /The
relatively low cost and high gas mileage are the making of Chevrolet's
Geo Metro cars./

   [bet one's boots] or [bet one's bottom dollar] or [bet one's shirt]
{v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To bet all you have. * /This horse will  win.
I would bet my bottom dollar on it./ * /Jim  said  he  would  bet  his
boots that he would pass the examination./ 2. or [bet one's life].  To
feel very sure; have no doubt. * /Was I scared when  I  saw  the  bull
running at me? You bet your life I was!/

   [bet on the wrong horse] {v. phr,}, {informal} To base  your  plans
on a wrong guess about the result of something;  misread  the  future;
misjudge a coming event. * /To count on the small family  farm  as  an
important thing in the American future now looks like betting  on  the
wrong horse./ * /He expected Bush to be elected President in 1992  but
as it happened, he bet on the wrong horse./

   [better] See: ALL BETTER, DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART  OF  VALOR,
FOR BETTER OR WORSE, FOR THE BETTER, GET THE BETTER  OF,  GO  ---  ONE
BETTER, HAD BETTER, HALF A LOAF IS BETTER THAN NONE or HALF A LOAF  IS
BETTER THAN NO BREAD, SEE BETTER DAYS, THINK BETTER OF.

   [better half] {n.}, {informal} One's marriage partner (mostly  said
by men about their wives.) * /"This is my  better  half,  Mary,"  said
Joe./

   [better late than never] It is better to come or do something  late
than never. * /The firemen didn't arrive at the  house  until  it  was
half burned, but it was better late than  never./  *  /Grandfather  is
learning to drive a car. "Better late than never," he says./  Compare:
HALF A LOAF IS BETTER THAN NONE.

   [better than] {prep. phr.} More than; greater than;  at  a  greater
rate than. * /The car was doing better than eighty miles an  hour./  *
/It is better than three miles to the station./

   [between] See: BETWIXT AND  BETWEEN,  COME  BETWEEN,  PEW  AND  FAR
BETWEEN.

   [between a rock and a hard place] See: BETWEEN THE  DEVIL  AND  THE
DEEP BLUE SEA.

   [between life and death] {adv. phr.} In danger of  dying  or  being
killed; with life or death possible. * /He held on to the mountainside
between life and death while his friends went to  get  help./  *  /The
little sick girl lay all night between life and death until her  fever
was gone./

   [between the devil and the deep blue sea]  or  {literary}  [between
two fires] or [between a rock and a hard place]  {adv.  phr.}  Between
two dangers or difficulties, not knowing what to do.  *  /The  pirates
had to fight and be killed or give up and be hanged; they were between
the devil and the deep blue sea./ * /The boy was between a rock and  a
hard place; he had to go home and be whipped or stay in town all night
and be picked up by the police./ * /When the man's wife and her mother
got together, he was between two fires./ Compare: COMING AND GOING(2),
IN A BIND.

   [between the eyes] See: HIT BETWEEN THE EYES.

   [between the lines] See: READ BETWEEN THE LINES.

   [between two fires] See: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA.

   [between two shakes of a lamb's tail] See: BEFORE ONE CAN SAY  JACK
ROBINSON.

   [be up to no  good]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  be  plotting  and
conniving to commit some illegal act or crime. * /"Let's hurry!" Susan
said to her husband. "It's dark here and those hoodlums obviously  are
up to no good."/

   [be up to something] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To feel strong enough
or knowledgeable enough to accomplish a certain task. * /Are you up to
climbing all the way to the 37th floor?/ * /Are we up to  meeting  the
delegation from Moscow and speaking Russian to them?/ 2.  Tendency  to
do something mischievous. * /I'm afraid Jack is up to one of  his  old
tricks again./

   [beyond measure] {adj.} or {adv. phr.}, {formal} So  much  that  it
can not be measured or figured without any limits. * /With her parents
reunited and present at  her  graduation,  she  had  happiness  beyond
measure./ * /No one envied him for he was popular beyond measure./

   [beyond one's depth] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} 1.  Over  your  head  in
water; in water too deep to  touch  bottom.  *  /Jack  wasn't  a  good
swimmer and nearly drowned when he drifted out beyond his  depth./  2.
In or into something too difficult for you; beyond your  understanding
or ability. * /Bill decided that his big brother's geometry  book  was
beyond his depth./ * /Sam's father started to explain the atom bomb to
Sam but he soon got beyond his depth./ * /When  Bill  played  checkers
against the city champion, Bill was beyond his depth./  Compare:  OVER
ONE'S HEAD(1).

   [beyond one's means] {adj. phr.} Too expensive, not  affordable.  *
/Unfortunately, a new Mercedes Benz is beyond my means right now./

   [beyond one's nose] See: SEE BEYOND ONE'S NOSE.

   [beyond question(1)] {adj. phr.} Not in doubt certain; sure. - Used
in the predicate. * /People always believe anything  that  Mark  says;
his honesty is beyond question./ Contrast: IN QUESTION.

   [beyond question(2)] or  [without  question]  {adv.  phr.}  Without
doubt or argument; surely; unquestionably. * /Beyond question, it  was
the coldest day of the winter./ * /John's drawing is without  question
the best in the class./

   [beyond reasonable doubt] {adv. phr.}, {formal and legal} Virtually
certain; essentially convincing. * /The judge instructed the jurors to
come up with a verdict of guilty only if they were convinced beyond  a
reasonable doubt that Algernon was the perpetrator./

   [beyond the pale] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} In disgrace; with no chance
of being accepted or respected by others; not approved by the  members
of a group. * /After the outlaw killed a man he was  beyond  the  pale
and not even his old friends would talk to him./ * /Tom's swearing  is
beyond the pale; no one invites him to dinner any more./

   [beyond the shadow of a doubt]  {adv.  phr.},  {formal  and  legal}
Absolutely certain,  totally  convincing.  *  /Fred  burglarized  Mrs.
Brown's apartment, beyond the shadow of a doubt./

   [bib] See: BEST BIB AND TUCKER.

   [bide one's time] {v. phr.} To await an opportunity; wait patiently
until your chance comes. * /Refused work as an actor,  Tom  turned  to
other work and bided his time./ * /Jack was hurt deeply, and he  bided
his time for revenge./

   [bid fair] {v.}, {literary} To seem likely;  promise.  *  /He  bids
fair to be a popular author./ * /The day bids fair to be warm./

   [big] See: IN A BIG WAY, LITTLE FROG IN A BIG POND, LITTLE PITCHERS
HAVE BIG EARS, TALK BIG, TOO BIG FOR ONE'S BREECHES,  WHAT'S  THE  BIG
IDEA.

   [big as life] or [large as life] {adj. phr.} 1. or [life-size]  The
same size as the living person or thing. * /The  statue  of  Jefferson
was big as life./ * /The characters on the screen were life-size./  2.
or [big as life and twice as natural] {informal} In person;  real  and
living. * /I had not seen him for years, but there he was, big as life
and twice as natural./

   [big cheese] or [big gun] or [big shot] or [big wheel] or [big wig]
{n.}, {slang} An important person; a leader; a high official; a person
of high rank. * /Bill had been a big shot in  high  school./  *  /John
wanted to be the big cheese in his club./ Compare: WHOLE CHEESE.

   [big daddy] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} The most  important,  largest
thing, person or animal in a congregation of similar persons, animals,
or objects. * /The whale is the big daddy of everything that swims  in
the ocean./ * /The H-bomb is the big daddy of all modern  weapons./  *
/Al Capone was the big daddy of  organized  crime  in  Chicago  during
Prohibition./

   [big deal] {interj.}, {slang}, {informal} (loud stress on the  word
"deal") Trifles; an unimportant, unimpressive thing or matter.  *  /So
you became college president - big deal!/

   [big frog in a small  pond]  {n.  phr.},  {informal}  An  important
person in a small place or position;  someone  who  is  respected  and
honored in a small company, school, or  city;  a  leader  in  a  small
group. * /As company president, he had been a  big  frog  in  a  small
pond, but he was not so important as a new congressman in Washington./
Contrast: LITTLE FROG IN A BIG POND.

   [bigger than one's stomach] See: EYES BIGGER THAN ONE'S STOMACH.

   [big hand] {n.} Loud and enthusiastic applause. *  /When  Pavarotti
finished singing the aria from Rigoletto, he got a very big hand./

   [big head] {n.}, {informal} Too high an opinion of your own ability
or importance; conceit. * /When Jack was elected captain of the  team,
it gave him a big head./ Compare: SWELLED HEAD.

   [big house] {n.} A large jail or prison. * /The rapist  will  spend
many years in the big house./

   [big   lie,   the]   {n.},   {informal}   A    major,    deliberate
misrepresentation of some important issue made on the assumption  that
a bold, gross lie is psychologically more  believable  than  a  timid,
minor one. * /We all heard the big lie during the Watergate months./ *
/The pretense of democracy by a totalitarian regime is part of the big
lie about its government./

   [big mouth] or [big-mouthed] See: LOUD MOUTH, LOUD-MOUTHED.

   [big shot] or [big wig] {n.} An important or influential person.  *
/Elmer is a big shot in the State Assembly./

   [big stink] {n.}, {slang} A major scandal; a big upheaval. *  /I'll
raise a big stink if they fire me./

   [big time] {n.}, {informal} 1. A very enjoyable time at a party  or
other pleasurable gathering. * /I certainly had a big time at the club
last night./ 2. The top group; the leading class;  the  best  or  most
important company. * /After his graduation from college, he soon  made
the big time in baseball./ * /Many young actors go to  Hollywood,  but
few of them reach the big time./

   [big-time] {adj.} Belonging to the top group; of the leading class;
important. * /Jean won a talent contest in her home town, and  only  a
year later she began dancing on big-time television./ * /Bob practices
boxing in the gym every day; he wants to become a big time  boxer./  -
Often used in the phrase "big-time operator". * /Just because Bill has
a new football uniform he thinks he is a big-time operator./  Compare:
SHOW OFF. Contrast: SMALL-TIME.

   [big top] {n.} The main tent under which a circus gives  its  show;
the circus and circus life. * /Lillian Leitzel was one  of  the  great
stars of the big top./ * /The book tells of life under the big top./

   [big wheel] {n.}, {informal} An influential or important person who
has the power to do things and  has  connections  in  high  places.  *
/Uncle Ferdinand is a big wheel in Washington; maybe he can  help  you
with your problem./

   [big yawn] {n.} A very boring person, story or event. * /I love  my
grandma very much, but the stories she tells sure are a yawn./

   [bill] See: CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH, FILL THE BILL.

   [bind] See: DUTY BOUND, IN A BIND, MUSCLE BOUND, ROOT-BOUND.

   [bingo  card]  {n.},  {slang}  A  response  card,  bound   into   a
periodical, containing  numbers  keyed  to  editorial  or  advertising
matter,  giving  the  reader  the  opportunity  to  send  for  further
information by marking the numbers of the items he is  interested  in;
such a card can be mailed free of charge. * /Jack thinks he is  saving
time by filling out bingo cards instead of writing a letter./

   [bird] See: EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM  or  EARLY  BIRD  GETS  THE
WORM, EAT LIKE A BIRD, FINE FEATHERS DO NOT MAKE FINE BIRDS,  FOR  THE
BIRDS, KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE.

   [bird has flown] {slang} The prisoner has escaped; the captive  has
got away. * /When the sheriff returned to the jail, he discovered that
the bird had flown./

   [bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (a)] Something we  have,
or can easily get, is more valuable than something we want that we may
not be able to get; we shouldn't risk losing something sure by  trying
to get something that is not sure. - A proverb. * /Johnny has a job as
a paperboy, but he wants a job in a gas station. His father says  that
a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush./

   [bird of a different feather]  {n.  phr.}  A  person  who  is  free
thinking and independent. * /Syd won't go along with recent trends  in
grammar; he created his own. He is a bird of a different feather./

   [birds of a feather flock together]  People  who  are  alike  often
become friends or are together; if you are often with certain  people,
you may be their friends or like  them.  -  A  proverb.  *  /Don't  be
friends with bad boys. People think that  birds  of  a  feather  flock
together./

   [birds and the bees (the)]  {n.  phr.},  {informal}  The  facts  we
should know about our birth.  *  /At  various  ages,  in  response  to
questions, a child can be told about the birds and the bees./

   [bird watcher] {n.} A person whose hobby is to study birds close-up
in their outdoor home. * /A bird watcher looks for the first robin  to
appear in the spring./

   [birthday  suit]  {n.}  The  skin  with  no  clothes  on;  complete
nakedness. * /The little boys were swimming in their birthday suits./

   [bit] See: A BIT, CHAMP AT THE BIT, FOUR BITS, QUITE  A  LITTLE  or
QUITE A BIT, SIX BITS, TAKE THE BIT IN ONE'S MOUTH, TWO BITS.

   [bitch] See: SON OF A BITCH.

   [bite] See: BARK WORSE THAN ONE'S  BITE,  PUT  THE  BITE  ON,  ONCE
BITTEN, TWICE SHY at BURNT CHILD DREADS THE FIRE.

   [bite off more than one can chew] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  try  to
do more than you can; be too confident of your ability. * /He bit  off
more than he could chew when he agreed to edit the paper alone./ * /He
started to repair his car himself, but realized that he had bitten off
more than he could chew./

   [bite one's head off] {v. phr.} To answer someone in  great  anger;
answer furiously. * /I'm sorry to tell you that I  lost  my  job,  but
that's no reason to bite my head off!/

   [bite one's lips] {v. phr.} To force oneself to remain  silent  and
not to reveal one's feelings. * /I had to bite my lips when I heard my
boss give the wrong orders./

   [bite the dust] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To be killed in battle.  *
/Captain Jones discharged his gun and another guerrilla bit the dust./
2. To fall in defeat; go down before enemies; be overthrown;  lose.  *
/Our team bit the dust today./

   [bite the hand that feeds one] {v. phr.} To turn against or hurt  a
helper or supporter; repay kindness with wrong. *  /He  bit  the  hand
that fed him when he complained against his employer./

   [bitter] See: TO THE BITTER END.

   [bitter pill] {n.} Something  hard  to  accept;  disappointment.  *
/Jack was not invited to the party and it was a bitter pill for him./

   [black] See: BLACK AND WHITE, IN THE BLACK, LOOK BLACK,  POT  CALLS
THE KETTLE BLACK.

   [black and blue] {adj.} Badly bruised. * /Poor Jim  was  black  and
blue after he fell off the apple tree./

   [black and white] {n. phr.} 1. Print or writing;  words  on  paper,
not spoken; exact written or printed form. * /He  insisted  on  having
the agreement down in black  and  white./  *  /Mrs.  Jones  would  not
believe the news, so Mr. Jones showed her the article in the newspaper
and said, "There it is in black and white."/ 2. The  different  shades
of black and white of a simple picture, rather than  other  colors.  *
/He showed us snapshots in black and white./

   [black-and-white] {adj.} Divided  into  only  two  sides  that  are
either right or wrong  or  good  or  bad,  with  nothing  in  between;
thinking or judging everything as either good or bad. * /Everything is
black-and-white to Bill; if you're not his friend, you are his enemy./
*  /The  old  man's  religion  shows  his  black-and-white   thinking;
everything is either completely good or completely bad./

   [black day] {n.} A day of great unhappiness; a disaster. * /It  was
a black day when our business venture collapsed./

   [black eye] {n.} 1. A dark area around one's eye due to a hard blow
during a fight, such as boxing. * /Mike  Tyson  sported  a  black  eye
after the big fight./ 2. Discredit. * /Bob's illegal actions will give
a black eye to the popular movement he started./

   [blackout] {n.} 1. The darkening of a city curing an  air  raid  by
pulling down all curtains and putting out all street  lights.  *  /The
city of London went through numerous blackouts during World  War  II./
2. A cessation of news by the mass media. * /There was  a  total  news
blackout about the kidnapping of the prime minister./

   [black out] {v.} 1. To darken by putting out or dimming  lights,  *
/In some plays the stage is blacked out  for  a  short  time  and  the
actors speak in darkness./ * /In wartime, cities are  blacked  out  to
protect against  bombing  from  planes./  2.  To  prevent  or  silence
information or communication; refuse to give out truthful news. *  /In
wartime, governments often black out all news or give out false news./
* /Dictators usually black out all criticism  of  the  government./  *
/Some big games are blacked out  on  television  to  people  who  live
nearby./ 3. {informal} To lose consciousness; faint. * /It had been  a
hard and tiring day, and she suddenly blacked out./

   [black sheep] {n.} A person in a family or a  community  considered
unsatisfactory or disgraceful. * /My brother  Ted  is  a  high  school
dropout who joined a circus; he is the black sheep in our family./

   [blame] See: TO BLAME.

   [blank check] {n.} 1. A bank check written to a person who can then
write in how much money he wants. * /John's father sent  him  a  blank
check to pay his school bills./ 2. {informal}  Permission  to  another
person to do anything he decides to do. * /The teacher gave the pupils
a blank check to plan the picnic./

   [blanket] See: WET BLANKET.

   [blast off] {v.} 1. To begin a rocket flight. * /The astronaut will
blast off into orbit at six o'clock./ 2. Also [blast away]  {informal}
To scold or protest violently. * /The coach blasted off  at  the  team
for poor playing./

   [blaze a trail] {v. phr.} 1. To cut marks  in  trees  in  order  to
guide other people  along  a  path  or  trail,  especially  through  a
wilderness. * /Daniel Boone blazed a trail for other hunters to follow
in Kentucky./ 2. To lead the way; make a  discovery;  start  something
new. * /Henry Ford blazed a trail  in  manufacturing  automobiles./  *
/The building  of  rockets  blazed  a  trail  to  outer  space./  See:
TRAILBLAZER.

   [bleep out] See: BLIP OUT.

   [bless one's heart] {v. phr.} To thank someone;  consider  one  the
cause of something good that has happened. *  /Aunt  Jane,  bless  her
heart, left me half a million dollars!/

   [blessing] See: MIXED BLESSING.

   [blind] See: FLY BLIND.

   [blind alley] {n.} 1. A narrow street that has  only  one  entrance
and no exit. * /The blind alley ended in a brick wall./ 2.  A  way  of
acting that leads to no good results. * /John did  not  take  the  job
because it was a blind alley./ * /Tom thought  of  a  way  to  do  the
algebra problem, but he found it was a blind alley./

   [blind as a bat/beetle/mole/owl] {adj. phr.} Anyone who is blind or
has difficulty in seeing; a person with very thick glasses. * /Without
my glasses I am blind as a bat./

   [blind date] {n.} An engagement or date  arranged  by  friends  for
people who have not previously known one another. * /A blind date  can
be a huge success, or a big disappointment./

   [blind leading the blind] One or more people who  do  not  know  or
understand something trying to explain it to others who do not know or
understand. * /Jimmy is trying to show Bill how to  skate.  The  blind
are leading the blind./

   [blind spot] {n.} 1. A place on the road that a driver  cannot  see
in the rearview mirror. *  /I  couldn't  see  that  truck  behind  me,
Officer, because it was in my blind spot./ 2.  A  matter  or  topic  a
person refuses to discuss or accept. * /My uncle Ted has a real  blind
spot about religion./

   [blink] See: ON THE BLINK.

   [blip  out]  or  [bleep  out]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To   delete
electronically a word on television or  on  radio  either  because  it
mentions the name of an established firm in a commercial or because it
is a censored word not allowed for television audiences, resulting  in
a sound resembling the word "bleep." * /What was the old product  they
compared Spic-n-Span to? - I don't know; they've bleeped it out./

   [blitz] See: SAFETY BLITZ.

   [block] See: CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, KNOCK ONE'S BLOCK OFF, ON  THE
BLOCK.

   [blockhead] {n.}, {informal} An unusually dense, or  stupid  person
whose head is therefore exaggeratedly compared to  a  solid  block  of
wood. * /Joe is such a blockhead that he flunked  every  course  as  a
freshman./

   [blood] See: DRAW BLOOD, FLESH AND BLOOD, IN COLD BLOOD,  IN  ONE'S
BLOOD or INTO ONE'S BLOOD, MAKE ONE'S BLOOD BOIL  or  MAKE  THE  BLOOD
BOIL, NEW BLOOD, OUT OF ONE'S BLOOD, RUN IN THE BLOOD or  RUN  IN  THE
FAMILY, SPORTING BLOOD, SWEAT BLOOD, WARM ONE'S BLOOD.

   [blood and thunder] {n. phr.} The violence and bloodshed of stories
that present fast action rather than  understanding  of  character.  *
/Crime movies and westerns usually have lots of blood and thunder./  -
Often used like an adjective. * /John likes to watch blood-and-thunder
stories on television./

   [blood freezes] See: BLOOD RUNS COLD.

   [blood is thicker than water] Persons of the same family are closer
to one another than to others; relatives are favored  or  chosen  over
outsiders. * /Mr. Jones hires his relatives  to  work  in  his  store.
Blood is thicker than water./

   [blood runs cold] also [blood freezes] or [blood turns to ice]  You
are chilled  or  shivering  from  great  fright  or  horror;  you  are
terrified or horrified. - Usually  used  with  a  possessive.  *  /The
horror movie made the children's blood  run  cold./  *  /Mary's  blood
froze when she had to walk through the cemetery at night./ *  /Oscar's
blood turned to ice when  he  saw  the  shadow  pass  by  outside  the
window./ Compare: HAIR STAND ON END, THE CREEPS.

   [blood turns to ice] See: BLOOD RUNS COLD.

   [bloody] See: SCREAM BLOODY MURDER.

   [blot out] {v.  phr.}  1.  To  obstruct;  cover;  obscure.  *  /The
high-rise building in front of our apartment house blots out the  view
of the ocean./ 2. To wipe out of one's memory. * /Jane can't  remember
the details when she was attacked in the streets; she blotted  it  out
of her memory./

   [blow] See: AT A BLOW, BODY BLOW, COME TO BLOWS, IT'S AN  ILL  WIND
THAT BLOWS NOBODY GOOD, WAY THE WIND BLOWS or HOW THE WIND BLOWS.

   [blow a fuse] or [blow a gasket] or [blow one's top] or [blow one's
stack] {v. phr.}, {slang} To become extremely angry; express  rage  in
hot words. * /When Mr. McCarthy's son got married against his  wishes,
he blew a fuse./ * /When the umpire called Joe out at first, Joe  blew
his top and was sent to the showers./ Syn.: BLOW  UP(1b),  FLIP  ONE'S
LID, LOSE ONE'S TEMPER. Compare: BLOW OFF STEAM(2).

   [blow great guns] See: GREAT GUNS.

   [blow hot and cold] {v. phr.} To change your ways or  likes  often;
be fickle or changeable. * /Tom blows hot and cold  about  coming  out
for the baseball team; he cannot decide./ * /Mary blew  hot  and  cold
about going to college; every day she changed her mind./ *  /The  boys
will get tired of Ann's blowing hot and cold./

   [blow in] {v.}, {slang} To arrive unexpectedly  or  in  a  carefree
way. * /The house was already full  of  guests  when  Bill  blew  in./
Compare SHOW UP(3).

   [blow into] {v.}, {slang} To arrive at (a place) unexpectedly or in
a carefree way. * /Bill blows into college at the  last  minute  after
every vacation./ * /Why Tom, when did you blow into town?/

   [blow off steam] See: LET OFF STEAM.

   [blow one's brains out] {v. phr.} 1. To shoot yourself in the head.
* /Mr. Jones lost all his wealth, so  he  blew  his  brains  out./  2.
{slang} To work very hard; overwork yourself. * /The boys  blew  their
brains out to get the stage ready for the play./ * /Mary is not one to
blow her brains out./ Compare: BREAK ONE'S NECK.

   [blow one's cool] {v.  phr.},  {slang},  {informal}  To  lose  your
composure or self-control. * /Whatever you say to the judge in  court,
make sure that you don't blow your cool./

   [blow one's lines] or [fluff one's lines] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To
forget the words you are supposed to speak while acting in a  play.  *
/The noise backstage scared Mary and she blew her lines./

   [blow one's mind] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal}; {originally  from
the drug culture} 1. To become wildly enthusiastic over  something  as
if understanding it for the first time in an  entirely  new  light.  *
/Read Lyall Watson's book "Supernature",  it  will  simply  blow  your
mind!/ 2. To lose one's ability to function, as if due to an  overdose
of drugs, * /Joe is entirely incoherent - he seems to have  blown  his
mind./ Contrast: BLOW ONE'S COOL.

   [blow one's own horn] or [toot one's own horn] {v.  phr.},  {slang}
To praise yourself; call attention to your own skill, intelligence, or
successes; boast. * /People get tired of a man who is  always  blowing
his own horn./ * /A person who does things well does not have to  toot
his own horn; his abilities will be noticed by others./

   [blow  one's  top]  {v.  phr.}  To  become  very  excited,   angry,
hysterical, or furious. * /"No need to blow your top,  Al,"  his  wife
said, "just because you lost a few dollars."/

   [blow out] {v. phr.} 1. To cease to function; fail;  explode  (said
of tires and fuses). * /The accident occurred when Jim's tire blew out
on the highway./ * /The new dishwasher blew out the fuses in the whole
house./ 2. To extinguish. * /Jane blew out her birthday  cake  candles
before offering pieces to the guests./

   [blowout] {n.} 1. An explosion of a tire or a fuse.  *  /Jim's  van
veered sharply to the right after his car had a  blowout./  2.  A  big
party. * /After graduation from college, my son and his friends staged
a huge blowout./

   [blow over] {v.} To come to an end; pass away with little or no bad
effects. * /The sky was black, as if a bad storm were coming,  but  it
blew over and the sun came out./ * /They were  bitter  enemies  for  a
while, but the quarrel blew over./ * /He was much criticized  for  the
divorce, but it all blew over after a few years./

   [blow taps] {v. phr.} To sound the final bugle call of the  evening
in a camp or military base. * /After taps is blown the boy  scouts  go
to their bunks to sleep./

   [blow the gaff] {v. phr.} To open one's mouth to reveal a secret. *
/When Al cheated on his wife, his younger brother  blew  the  gaff  on
him./

   [blow the lid off] {v. phr.}, {informal}  Suddenly  to  reveal  the
truth about a matter that has been kept as a secret either by  private
persons or by some governmental agency. * /The clever journalists blew
the lid off the Watergate cover-up./

   [blow the whistle on] {v. phr.},  {slang}  1.  To  inform  against;
betray. * /The police caught one of the bank robbers, and he blew  the
whistle on two more./ 2. To act against,  stop,  or  tell  people  the
secrets of (crime or lawlessness). * /The mayor blew  the  whistle  on
gambling./ * /The police blew the whistle on hot reading./

   [blow up] {v.} 1a. To break  or  destroy  or  to  be  destroyed  by
explosion. * /He blew up the plane by means of a  concealed  bomb./  *
/The fireworks factory  blew  up  when  something  went  wrong  in  an
electric switch./ 1b. {informal}  To  explode  with  anger  or  strong
feeling; lose control of yourself. * /When Father bent  the  nail  for
the third time, he blew up./ Compare: BLOW A FUSE. 1c. To stop playing
well in a game or contest, usually because you are in danger of losing
or are tired; {especially}: To  lose  skill  or  control  in  pitching
baseball. * /The champion blew up and lost the tennis match./  *  /Our
team was behind but the pitcher on the other team blew up and  we  got
the winning runs./ 2. {informal} To be ruined as if by  explosion;  be
ended suddenly. * /The whole scheme for a big party suddenly blew up./
3a. To pump full of air; inflate. * /He blew his tires up at a filling
station./ 3b. To make (something) seem bigger or important. * /It  was
a small thing to happen but the newspapers had blown it  up  until  it
seemed important./ 4. To bring on bad weather; also, to come on as bad
weather. * /The wind had blown up a storm./ * /A storm had blown  up./
5. To copy in bigger form; enlarge. * /He blew up the  snapshot  to  a
larger size./

   [blow up in one's face] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  fail  completely
and with unexpected force. * /The thief's plan to rob the bank blew up
in his face when a policeman stopped him./

   [blue] See: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, BOLT FROM  THE
BLUE, ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, OUT OF THE BLUE or OUT OF A CLEAR BLUE SKY.

   [blue around the gills] See: GREEN AROUND THE GILLS.

   [blue collar worker] {n. phr.} A manual laborer who is  probably  a
labor union member. * /Because Jack's father is a blue collar  worker,
Jack was so anxious to become an intellectual./ Contrast: WHITE COLLAR
WORKER.

   [blue in the face] {adj. phr.}, {informal}  Very  angry  or  upset;
excited and very emotional. * /Tom argued with Bill until he was  blue
in the face./ * /Mary scolded Jane until she was blue in the face, but
Jane kept on using Mary's paints./

   [blue Monday] {n.} A Monday when you have to  work  after  a  happy
weekend. * /It was blue Monday  and  John  nodded  sleepily  over  his
books./ * /Housewives sometimes wish they  could  sleep  through  blue
Monday./

   [blue-pencil] {v.} To edit.  *  /The  editor  blue-penciled  John's
manuscript./

   [bluff] See: CALL ONE'S BLUFF.

   [blurt out] {v. phr.} To suddenly say something even if one was not
planning to do so, or if it was not expected of them. *  /"My  brother
Bob is in jail," Tony blurted out, before anybody could stop him./

   [blush] See: AT FIRST BLUSH.

   [board] See: ACROSS THE BOARD, COLLEGE BOARDS, GO BY THE  BOARD  or
PASS BY THE BOARD, ON BOARD, SANDWICH BOARD.

   [boat] See: BURN ONE'S BRIDGES also BURN ONE'S BOATS, IN  THE  SAME
BOAT, MISS THE BOAT, ROCK THE BOAT.

   [bobby-soxer] {n.} A  teen-aged  girl.  (1940s  idiom)  *  /My  two
daughters, age 13 and 14, are typical bobby-soxers./

   [bob up] See: POP UP(1).

   [body] See: KEEP BODY AND SOUL TOGETHER.

   [body blow] {n.},  {informal}  A  great  disappointment;  a  bitter
failure. * /When he failed to get on the team it came as a  body  blow
to him./

   [body English] {n.}, {informal} The wishful attempt to make a  ball
move in the right direction after it  has  been  hit  or  let  go,  by
twisting the body in the desired direction. * /He tried  to  help  the
putt fall by using body English./

   [bog down] {v. phr.} To be immobilized in  mud,  snow,  etc.;  slow
down. * /Our research got  bogged  down  for  a  lack  of  appropriate
funding./ * /Don't get bogged down in too much detail when  you  write
an action story./

   [bog down, to get bogged down] {v. phr.}, {mostly  intransitive  or
passive} 1. To stop progressing; to slow to a halt. * /Work on the new
building bogged down, because the contractor didn't deliver the needed
concrete blocks./ 2. To become entangled with a variety  of  obstacles
making your efforts unproductive  or  unsatisfying.  *  /The  novelist
wrote tittle last summer because she got bogged down in housework./

   [boggle the mind]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  stop  the  rational
thinking process by virtue of being too fantastic or incredible. * /It
boggles the mind that John should have been inside a flying saucer!/

   [boil] See: MAKE ONE'S BLOOD BOIL or MAKE THE BLOOD BOIL.

   [boil down] {v.} 1. To boil away some of the water from; make  less
by boiling. * /She boiled down the maple sap to a thick syrup./ * /The
fruit juice boiled down until it was almost not good for jelly./ 2. To
reduce the length of; cut down; shorten. * /The  reporter  boiled  the
story down to half the original length./ 3. To reduce itself to;  come
down to; be briefly or basically. * /The whole discussion  boils  down
to the question of whether the government should fix prices./

   [boil over] {v. phr.} 1. To rise due to boiling and  overflow  down
the sides of a pan or a pot. * /"Watch out!" Jane cried. "The milk  is
boiling over on the stove!"/ 2. To become  enraged  to  the  point  of
being unable to contain oneself. * /John took a lot of abuse from  his
boss, but after 25 minutes he suddenly boiled over and told  him  what
he thought of him./

   [boiling point] {n.} 1. The temperature at which a liquid boils.  *
/The boiling point of water is 272{sup}o{/sup} Fahrenheit./ 2. The time when  you
become very angry. * /He has a low  boiling  point./  *  /After  being
teased for a long time, John reached the boiling point./ * /When  John
made the same mistake for the fourth time,  his  teacher  reached  the
boiling point./ Compare: BLOW UP(1b), MAKE ONE'S BLOOD BOIL.

   [bolt from the blue] {n. phr.} Something sudden and unexpected;  an
event that you did not see coming;  a  great  and  usually  unpleasant
surprise; shock. * /We had been sure she was in Chicago, so her sudden
appearance was a bolt from the blue./ * /His decision to resign was  a
bolt from the blue./ Compare: OUT OF THE BLUE.

   [bombshell] See: EXPLODE A BOMBSHELL.

   [bond] See: SAVINGS BOND.

   [bone] See: BRED IN THE BONE, FEEL IN ONE'S BONES or KNOW IN  ONE'S
BONES, FUNNY BONE, MAKE NO BONES, SKIN AND BONES, T-BONE  STEAK,  WORK
ONE'S FINGERS TO THE BONE.

   [bonehead] {n.}, {slang} An unusually dense  or  stupid  person.  *
/John is such a bonehead - small wonder he flunks all of his courses./

   [bone of contention] {n. phr.} Something to fight  over;  a  reason
for quarrels; the subject of a fight. * /The boundary line between the
farms was a bone of contention between the two farmers./ * /The use of
the car was a bone of contention between Joe and his wife./

   [bone to pick] or [crow to pick] {n. phr.}, {informal} A reason for
dispute; something to  complain  of  or  argue  about.  -  Often  used
jokingly. * /"I have a bone to pick with you," he said./ * /There  was
always a crow to pick  about  which  one  would  shave  first  in  the
morning./ Compare: BONE OF CONTENTION.

   [bone up] {v.}, {informal} To fill with information; try to learn a
lot about something in a short time; study quickly. * /Carl was boning
up for an examination./ * /Jim had to make a class report the next day
on juvenile delinquency, and he was in the library boning  up  on  how
the courts handle it./

   [bonnet] See: BEE IN ONE'S BONNET.

   [book] See: CLOSED BOOK, CLOSE  THE  BOOKS,  HIT  THE  BOOKS,  KEEP
BOOKS, NOSE IN A BOOK, ONE FOR  THE  BOOKS,  READ  ONE  LIKE  A  BOOK,
TALKING BOOK, THROW THE BOOK AT.

   [boom] See: LOWER THE BOOM.

   [boot] See: DIE IN ONE'S BOOTS, IN ONE'S SHOES also IN ONE'S BOOTS,
LICK ONE'S BOOTS, SHAKE IN ONE'S SHOES or SHAKE  IN  ONE'S  BOOTS,  TO
BOOT, TOO BIG FOR ONE'S BREECHES or TOO BIG FOR ONE'S BOOTS,  YOU  BET
or YOU BET YOUR BOOTS.

   [boot hill] {n.} A cemetery in the old Wild West where cowboys  and
cops and robbers used  to  be  buried  with  their  boots  on.  Hence,
jokingly, any cemetery. *  /Good  old  Joe,  the  cowboy,  is  resting
comfortably in the nearby boot hill./

   [boot out] See: KICK OUT.

   [boot strap] See: PULL ONESELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS.

   [border on] {v. phr.} To be adjacent to; come close to;  adjoin.  *
/Our village borders on the  Mississippi  River./  *  /John's  actions
border on irresponsibility./

   [bore to death] See: TO DEATH.

   [bore to tears] {v. phr.} To  fill  with  tired  dislike;  tire  by
dullness or the same old thing bore. * /The party was dull  and  Roger
showed plainly that he was bored to tears./ * /Mary loved cooking, but
sewing bores her to tears./

   [born] See: NATURAL-BORN, TO THE MANNER BORN.

   [born out of wedlock] {adj. phr.}  Born  to  parents  who  are  not
married to each other; without legal  parents.  *  /Sometimes  when  a
married couple can't have children, they adopt a child  who  was  born
out of wedlock./ * /Today we no longer make fun of children  born  out
of wedlock./

   [born with a silver spoon in  one's  mouth]  {adj.  phr.}  Born  to
wealth and comfort; provided from birth with everything  wanted;  born
rich. * /The stranger's conduct was that of a man who  had  been  born
with a silver spoon in his mouth./ Compare: WELL-HEELED.

   [born yesterday] {adj. phr.} Inexperienced and easily  fooled;  not
alert to trickery; easily deceived  or  cheated.  -  Usually  used  in
negative sentences. * /When  Bill  started  the  new  job,  the  other
workers teased him a little, but he soon proved to  everyone  that  he
wasn't born yesterday./ * /I won't give you the money till I  see  the
bicycle you want to sell me. Do  you  think  I  was  born  yesterday?/
Compare: NOBODY'S FOOL.

   [borrow] See: LIVE ON BORROWED TIME.

   [borrow trouble] {v. phr.} To worry for nothing about trouble  that
may not come; make trouble for yourself needlessly.  *  /Don't  borrow
trouble by worrying about next year. It's too far away./  *  /You  are
borrowing trouble if you try to tell John what to  do./  Compare:  ASK
FOR, CROSS ONE'S BRIDGES BEFORE ONE COMES TO THEM, CRY BEFORE  ONE  IS
HURT.

   [bosom friend] {n. phr.} A very close friend;  an  old  buddy  with
whom one has a confidential relationship. * /Sue and  Jane  have  been
bosom friends since their college days./

   [boss] See: STRAW BOSS.

   [boss one around] {v. phr.} To keep giving someone orders;  to  act
overbearingly toward someone. *  /"If  you  keep  bossing  me  around,
darling," Tom said to Jane, "the days of our relationship  are  surely
numbered."/

   [botch up] {v. phr.} To ruin, spoil, or mess something  up.  *  /"I
botched up my chemistry exam," Tim said, with a resigned sigh./

   [both] See: CUT BOTH WAYS, PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES.

   [both --- and] {coord. conj.} Used to emphasize that  two  or  more
things are talked about. * /Both Frank and Mary were at the party./  *
/Millie is both a good swimmer and a good cook./  *  /In  the  program
tonight Mary will both sing and dance./ * /The frog can  move  quickly
both on land and in the water./ Compare: AS WELL AS.  Contrast  EITHER
OR.

   [bothered] See: HOT AND BOTHERED.

   [bottle blond] {n.}, {slang}  A  person  who  is  obviously  not  a
natural blond but whose hair is artificially colored. * /I doubt  that
Leonora's hair color is natural; she strikes me as a bottle blond./

   [bottleneck] {n.} A heavy traffic congestion.  *  /In  Chicago  the
worst bottleneck is found where the Kennedy and the Eden's expressways
separate on the way to the airport./

   [bottle up] {v.} 1. To hide or hold back; control. * /There was  no
understanding person to talk  to,  so  Fred  bottled  up  his  unhappy
feeling./ 2. To hold in a place from which there is no escape; trap. *
/Our warships bottled up the enemy fleet in the harbor./

   [bottom] See: BET ONE'S BOOTS or BET ONE'S BOTTOM DOLLAR, FROM  THE
BOTTOM OF ONE'S HEART, FROM --- TO ---, GET  TO  THE  BOTTOM  OF,  HIT
BOTTOM or TOUCH BOTTOM, ROCK BOTTOM, SCRAPE THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL.

   [bottom dollar] {n.}, {v. phr.}, {informal} One's last penny, one's
last dollar. * /He was down to his bottom dollar when he suddenly  got
the job offer./

   [bottom drop out] or [bottom fall out] {v. phr.} {informal}  1.  To
fall below an earlier lowest price. * /The bottom dropped out  of  the
price of peaches./ 2. To lose  all  cheerful  qualities;  become  very
unhappy, cheerless, or unpleasant. * /The bottom dropped  out  of  the
day for John when he saw his report card./ * /The bottom fell out  for
us when the same ended with our team on the  two  yard  line  and  six
points behind./

   [bottom line] {n.}, {informal} (stress on "line") 1. The last  word
on a controversial issue; a final decision. *  /"Give  me  the  bottom
line on the proposed merger," said John./ 2. The naked  truth  without
embellishments. * /Look, the bottom  line  is  that  poor  Max  is  an
alcoholic./ 3. The final dollar amount; for example, the lowest  price
two parties reach in bargaining about a sale. * /"Five-hundred, " said
the used car dealer, "is the bottom line. Take it or leave it."/

   [bottom line] {v.}, {informal} (stress on "bottom") To  finish;  to
bring to a conclusion. * /Okay,  you  guys,  let's  bottom  line  this
project and break for coffee./

   [bottom out] {v. phr.} To reach the lowest point (said  chiefly  of
economic cycles). * /According to the leading economic indicators  the
recession will bottom out within the next two months./

   [bounce] See: GET THE BOUNCE, GIVE THE BOUNCE.

   [bound] See: BIND, BY LEAPS  AND  BOUNDS,  OUT  OF  BOUNDS,  WITHIN
BOUNDS.

   [bound for] {adj. phr.} On the way to; going to. * /I am bound  for
the country club./ * /The ship is bound for Liverpool./

   [bound up with] {v. phr.} To be  connected;  be  involved  with.  *
/Tuition at our university is bound up with the state budget./

   [bow] See: TAKE A BOW.

   [bow and scrape] {v.} To be too polite or  obedient  from  fear  or
hope of gain; act like a slave. * /The old servant bowed  and  scraped
before them, too obedient and eager to please./

   [bowl of cherries] See: BED OF ROSES.

   [bowl over] {v.}, {informal} 1. To knock down as if with  a  bowled
ball. * /The taxi hit him a glancing blow and bowled him over./ 2.  To
astonish with success or shock with misfortune; upset; stun. * /He was
bowled over by his wife's sudden death./ * /The young  actress  bowled
over everybody in her first movie./

   [bow out] {v.}, {informal}  1.  To  give  up  taking  part;  excuse
yourself from doing any more; quit. * /Mr. Black often quarreled  with
his partners, so finally he bowed out of the company./  *  /While  the
movie was being filmed, the star got sick and had to bow out./  2.  To
stop working after a long service; retire. * /He bowed  out  as  train
engineer after forty years of railroading./

   [box] See: IN A BIND or IN A BOX, PENALTY BOX, PRESS BOX, STUFF THE
BALLOT BOX, VOICE BOX.

   [box office] {n.}, {informal} 1. The place at movies  and  theaters
where tickets may be purchased just before the performance instead  of
having ordered them through the telephone or having bought them  at  a
ticket agency. * /No need to reserve the seats; we can pick them up at
the box office./ 2. A best selling movie, musical, or drama (where the
tickets are all always sold out and people line up in front of the box
office). * /John Wayne's last movie was  a  regular  box  office./  3.
Anything successful or well liked. * /Betsie is no longer  box  office
with me./

   [boy] See: ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY,  FAIR-HAIRED
BOY, MAMA'S BOY, OLD BOY, SEPARATE THE MEN FROM THE BOYS.

   [boyfriend] {n.}, {informal} 1.  A  male  friend  or  companion.  *
/"John and his boyfriends have  gone  to  the  ball  game,"  said  his
mother./ 2. A girl's steady date, a woman's  favorite  man  friend;  a
male lover or sweetheart. * /Jane's new boyfriend is a senior in  high
school./ Contrast: GIRL FRIEND.

   [boys will be boys] Boys are only children and must  sometimes  get
into mischief or trouble or behave too roughly. * /Boys will  be  boys
and make a lot of noise, so John's mother told him and his friends  to
play in the park instead of the back yard./

   [brain] See: BEAT ONE'S BRAINS OUT, BLOW ONE'S BRAINS OUT,  ON  THE
BRAIN, RACK ONE'S BRAIN, GET ONE'S BRAINS FRIED.

   [brain bucket] {n.}, {slang} A motorcycle helmet. * /If you want to
share a ride with me, you've got to wear a brain bucket./

   [brain  drain]  {n.},  {informal}  1.  The  loss  of  the   leading
intellectuals and researchers of a country due to excessive emigration
to other countries where conditions are better. * /Britain suffered  a
considerable brain drain to the United States after World War II./  2.
An activity requiring great mental concentration resulting in  fatigue
and exhaustion * /That math exam I took was a regular brain drain./

   [brain-storm] {v.} To have a discussion among fellow researchers or
co-workers on a project in order to find the best solution to a  given
problem. * /Dr. Watson and his research assistants are  brain-storming
in the conference room./

   [brainstorm] {n.} A sudden insight; a stroke  of  comprehension.  *
/Listen to me, I've just had a major brainstorm, and I think  I  found
the solution to our problem./

   [brain trust] {n.} A group of specially trained, highly intelligent
experts in a given field. * /Albert Einstein gathered  a  brain  trust
around himself at the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies./

   [brake] See: RIDE THE BRAKE.

   [branch off]  {v.}  To  go  from  something  big  or  important  to
something smaller or less important; turn aside. * /At  the  bridge  a
little road branches off from the highway and follows  the  river./  *
/Martin was trying to study his lesson, but his  mind  kept  branching
off onto what girl he should ask to go with him to the dance./

   [branch out] {v.} To add new interests or activities;  begin  doing
other things also. * /First Jane collected stamps; then  she  branched
out and collected coins, too./ * /John  started  a  television  repair
shop; when he did well, he branched out and began  selling  television
sets too./

   [brand-new] also [bran-new] {adj.} As new or  fresh  as  when  just
made and sold by the manufacturer; showing no use or wear. *  /He  had
taken a brand-new car from the dealer's floor and wrecked it./  *  /In
Uncle Tom's trunk, we found  a  wedding  ring,  still  in  its  little
satin-lined box, still brand-new./

   [brass] See: DOUBLE IN BRASS, GET DOWN TO BRASS TACKS.

   [brass hat] {n.}, {slang} 1. A high officer in the army,  navy,  or
air force. * /The brass hats In  Washington  often  discuss  important
secrets./ 2. Any person who has a high position in business, politics,
or other work. * /Mr. Woods, the rich oil man, is  a  political  brass
hat./

   [brass tacks] See: GET DOWN TO BRASS TACKS.

   [brave it out] {v. phr.} To endure something difficult or dangerous
through to the end; keep on through trouble or danger.  *  /It  was  a
dangerous ocean crossing in wartime, but captain and  crew  braved  it
out./

   [brazen it out] {v. phr.} To pretend  you  did  nothing  wrong;  be
suspected, accused, or scolded without admitting you did wrong; act as
if not guilty. * /The teacher found a stolen pen that the girl had  in
her desk, but the girl brazened it out; she  said  someone  else  must
have put it there./

   [bread] See: HALF A LOAF is BETTER THAN NONE, KNOW WHICH SIDE ONE'S
BREAD IS BUTTERED ON, TAKE THE BREAD OUT OF ONE'S MOUTH.

   [bread and butter(1)] {n. phr.} The  usual  needs  of  life;  food,
shelter, and clothing.  *  /Ed  earned  his  bread  and  butter  as  a
bookkeeper, but added a little jam by working with  a  dance  band  on
weekends./

   [bread and butter(2)] {adj.} Thanking someone for entertainment  or
a nice visit; thank-you. * /After spending the weekend as a  guest  in
the Jones' home, Alice wrote the Joneses  the  usual  bread-and-butter
letter./ See: BREAD AND BUTTER LETTER.

   [bread and butter(3)] {interj.}, {informal} Spoken to  prevent  bad
luck that you think might result from some action. * /We'd say  "Bread
and butter!" when we had passed on opposite sides of a tree./

   [bread-and-butter  letter]  {n.}  A   written   acknowledgment   of
hospitality received. * /Jane  wrote  the  Browns  a  bread-and-butter
letter when she returned home from her visit to them./

   [breadbasket] {n}, {slang} The stomach. *  /John  is  stuffing  his
breadbasket again./

   [break] See: COFFEE BREAK.

   [break away] or [break loose] {v. phr.} To  liberate  oneself  from
someone or something. * /Jane tried to break loose from her  attacker,
but he was too strong./

   [break camp] {v. phr.} To take down  and  pack  tents  and  camping
things; take your things from a camping place.  *  /The  scouts  broke
camp at dawn./

   [break down] {v.} (stress on "down") 1. To smash or hit (something)
so that it falls; cause to fall by force. * /The  firemen  broke  down
the door./ 2. To reduce or destroy the strength or effect of;  weaken;
win over. * /By helpful kindness the teacher broke down the new  boy's
shyness./ * /Advertising breaks down a  lot  of  stubbornness  against
change./ 3. To separate into elements or parts;  decay.  *  /Water  is
readily broken down into hydrogen and oxygen./ *  /After  many  years,
rocks break down into dirt./ 4. To become unusable because of breakage
or other failure; lose power to work or go.  *  /The  car  broke  down
after half an hour's driving./ * /His health broke down./ * /When  the
coach was sick in bed, the training rules of  the  team  broke  down./
Compare: GO BACK ON(2).

   [breakdown] See: NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.

   [breaker] See: JAW-BREAKER.

   [break even] {v. phr.}, {informal} (stress  on  "even")  To  end  a
series of gains and losses having the same amount  you  started  with;
have expenses equal to profits; have  equal  gain  and  loss.  *  /The
storekeeper made many sales, but his expenses were  so  high  that  he
just broke even./ * /If you gamble you are lucky when you break even./

   [break-even] {n.} The point of equilibrium in  a  business  venture
when one has made as much money as one had invested, but  not  more  -
that would be "profit." * /"We've reached the break-even point at long
last!" - Max exclaimed with joy./

   [break ground] {v. phr.} To begin a construction project by digging
for the foundation; especially, to turn the formal first  spadeful  of
dirt. * /City officials and  industrial  leaders  were  there  as  the
company broke ground for its new building./ See: BREAK NEW GROUND.

   [break in] {v.} (stress on "in") 1a. To break from outside. *  /The
firemen broke in the door of the burning house./ 1b. To enter by force
or unlawfully. * /Thieves broke in while the family was away./  2.  To
enter suddenly or interrupt. * /A stranger broke  in  on  the  meeting
without knocking./ * /The secretary broke in to say  that  a  telegram
had arrived./ Compare: CUT IN(2). 3. To make a start in a line of work
or with a company or association; begin a new job. * /He broke in as a
baseball player with a minor league./ 4. To teach the skills of a  new
job or activity to. * /An assistant foreman broke in the new man as  a
machine operator./ 5. To lessen the stiffness or newness of by use.  *
/He broke in a new pair of shoes./ * /Breaking in a new  car  requires
careful driving at moderate speeds./

   [break-in] {n.} (stress on "break") A robbery; a  burglary.  *  /We
lost our jewelry during a break-in./

   [break into] {v.} 1. To force an entrance into;  make  a  rough  or
unlawful entrance into. * /Thieves broke into the store at night./  2.
{informal} To succeed in beginning (a career, business,  or  a  social
life) * /He broke into television as an actor./ 3. To interrupt. * /He
broke into the discussion with  a  shout  of  warning./  4.  To  begin
suddenly. * /He broke into a sweat./ * /She broke into tears./ *  /The
dog heard his master's whistle and broke into a run./

   [break new ground] {v. phr.} 1. To start a new activity  previously
neglected by others; do pioneering work. * /Albert Einstein broke  new
ground with his theory of relativity./ 2.  To  begin  something  never
done before. * /The school broke new ground with reading lessons  that
taught students to guess the meaning of new words./

   [break  off]  {v.}  1.  To  stop  suddenly.  *  /The  speaker   was
interrupted so often that he broke off and sat down./ * /When Bob came
in, Jean broke off  her  talk  with  Linda  and  talked  to  Bob./  2.
{informal} To end a friendship or love. * /I hear that Tom  and  Alice
have broken off./ * /She broke off with her best friend./

   [break one's balls] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} To do
something with maximum effort;  to  do  something  very  difficult  or
taxing * /I've been breaking my balls to buy you this new color TV set
and you aren't the least bit appreciative!/ Compare: BREAK ONE'S NECK.

   [break one's heart] {v. phr.} To discourage greatly; make very  sad
or hopeless. * /His son's disgrace broke his heart./ * /When Mr. White
lost everything he had worked so hard for, it broke his heart./

   [break one's neck] {v. phr.}, {slang} To do all you  possibly  can;
try your hardest. - Usually used with a limiting adverb or negative. *
/John nearly broke his neck trying  not  to  be  late  to  school./  *
/Mother asked Mary to go to the store when she was free,  but  not  to
break her neck over it./

   [break one's word] {v. phr.} To renege on a promise. *  /When  Jake
broke his word that he would marry Sarah, she became very depressed./

   [break out] {v.} 1. To begin showing a rash or other skin disorder.
- Often used with "with". * /He broke out with scarlet fever./  2.  To
speak or act suddenly and violently. * /He broke out laughing./ * /She
broke out, "That is not so!"/ 3. To begin  and  become  noticeable.  *
/Fire broke out after the earthquake./ *  /War  broke  out  in  1812./
Compare: FLARE UP. 4. {informal} To bring out; open and show. *  /When
word of the victory came, people began breaking out  their  flags./  *
/When Mr. Carson's first son was born, he broke out the cigars he  had
been saving./

   [break the ice] {v. phr.},  {informal}  1.  To  conquer  the  first
difficulties in starting a conversation, getting  a  party  going,  or
making an acquaintance. * /To break the ice Ted spoke of his  interest
in mountain climbing, and they soon had a conversation going./ * /Some
people use an unusual thing, such as an unusual piece of  jewelry,  to
break the ice./ 2. To be the first person or team to score in a  game.
* /The Wolves broke the ice with a touchdown./

   [break the record] {v. phr.} To set or to establish a new  mark  or
record. * /Algernon broke the record in both the  pentathlon  and  the
decathlon and took home two gold medals from the Olympics./

   [break through] {v.} To be successful after overcoming a difficulty
or bar to success. * /Dr. Salk failed many times but he finally  broke
through to find a successful polio vaccine./ * /Jim studied very  hard
this semester in college, and he finally broke through onto the Dean's
List for the first time./

   [breakthrough] {n.} A point of sudden success after a long  process
of experimentation,  trial  and  error.  *  /The  U.S.  Space  Program
experienced a major breakthrough when Armstrong and Aldrin  landed  on
the moon in June of 1969./

   [break up] {v. phr.} To end a romantic relationship, a marriage, or
a business partnership. * /Tom and Jane broke up because Tom played so
much golf that he had no time for her./

   [break up] {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The  workmen  broke  up
the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up  in
the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or  self-control.
- Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs.  Lawrence  was  all  broken  up
after her daughter's death, and did not go out of the  house  for  two
months./ Compare: CRACK UP, GO TO PIECES. 3. To come or to put  to  an
end, especially by separation; separate. * /Some men kept interrupting
the speakers, and finally broke up the meeting./ * /The party broke up
at midnight./ - Often used in the informal phrase  "break  it  up".  *
/The boys were fighting, and a passing policeman ordered them to break
it up./ Compare: CUT OUT(1). 4. {informal} To stop  being  friends.  *
/Mary and June were good friends and did everything together, but then
they had a quarrel and broke up/ Compare: BREAK OFF.

   [break-up] {n.} The end of a relationship, personal or  commercial.
* /The break-up finally occurred when Smith and Brown decided  to  sue
each other for embezzlement./

   [break with] {v.} To separate yourself  from;  end  membership  in;
stop friendly association with. * /He broke with the Democratic  party
on the question of civil rights./ * /He had broken with  some  friends
who had changed in their ideas./

   [breast] See: MAKE A CLEAN BREAST OF.

   [breath] See: CATCH ONE'S BREATH, DRAW A LONG BREATH or TAKE A LONG
BREATH, HOLD ONE'S BREATH, IN THE SAME BREATH,  OUT  OF  BREATH,  SAVE
ONE'S BREATH, SECOND WIND also SECOND BREATH, TAKE ONE'S BREATH  AWAY,
UNDER ONE'S BREATH, WASTE ONE'S BREATH.

   [breathe down one's neck] {v. phr.}, {informal} To follow  closely;
threaten from behind; watch every action. * /Too many  creditors  were
breathing down his neck./ * /The carpenter didn't like to work for Mr.
Jones, who was always breathing down his neck./

   [breathe easily] or [breathe  freely]  {v.}  To  have  relief  from
difficulty or worry; relax; feel that trouble is gone; stop  worrying.
* /Now that the big bills were paid, he breathed more easily./ *  /His
mother didn't breathe easily until he got home that night./

   [breathe one's last] {v. phr.} To die. * /The wounded soldier  fell
back on the ground and breathed his last./

   [bred in  the  bone]  {adj.  phr.}  Belonging  to  your  nature  or
character, especially from early teaching or long habit; natural  from
belief or habit; believing deeply. * /The Willett children's cleanness
is bred in the none./ Often used, with hyphens before the noun. * /Joe
is a bred-in-the-bone horseman; he has been riding since he was  six./
Contrast: SKIN-DEEP.

   [breeches] See: TOO BIG FOR ONE'S BREECHES.

   [breeze] See: SHOOT THE BREEZE or BAT THE BREEZE or FAN THE BREEZE,
WIN IN A WALK or WIN IN A BREEZE.

   [breeze in] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To  walk  into  a  place
casually (like a soft blowing wind). * /Betsie breezed in and sat down
at the bar./

   [brew] See: HOME BREW.

   [brick] See: MAKE BRICKS WITHOUT STRAW.

   [brick wall] See: STONE WALL.

   [bridge] See: BURN ONE'S BRIDGES, CROSS A BRIDGE BEFORE  ONE  COMES
TO IT, WATER OVER THE DAM or WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE.

   [brief] See: HOLD A BRIEF FOR, IN BRIEF or IN SHORT or IN A WORD.

   [bright and early] {adj. phr.} Prompt and alert; on time and ready;
cheerful and on time or before time. * /He came down bright and  early
to breakfast./ * /She arrived bright and early for the appointment./

   [bring about] {v.} To cause; produce;  lead  to.  *  /The  war  had
brought about great changes in living./ *  /Drink  brought  about  his
downfall./

   [bring around] or [bring round] {v.} 1. {informal}  To  restore  to
health or consciousness cure. * /He was quite ill,  but  good  nursing
brought him around./ Compare: BRING TO(1). 2. To  cause  a  change  in
thinking; persuade; convince; make willing. * /After a  good  deal  of
discussion he brought her round to his way of thinking./

   [bringdown] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. (from "bring  down",  past
"brought down"). A critical or cutting remark  said  sarcastically  in
order to deflate a braggard's ego. * /John  always  utters  the  right
bringdown when he encounters a braggard./ 2. A  person  who  depresses
and saddens others by being a chronic complainer. * /John is a regular
bringdown./

   [bring  down]  {v.  phr.},  {slang},  {informal}  1.   To   deflate
(someone's ego). * /John brought  Ted  down  very  cleverly  with  his
remarks./ 2. To depress (someone). *  /The  funeral  brought  me  down
completely./

   [bring down about one's ears] or [bring  down  around  one's  ears]
See: ABOUT ONE'S EARS.

   [bring down the house] {v. phr.}, {informal} To start  an  audience
laughing or clapping enthusiastically. * /The  principal's  story  was
funny in itself and also touched their loyalties, so it  brought  down
the house./ * /The President made a fine speech which brought down the
house./

   [bring home]  {v.}  To  show  clearly;  emphasize;  make  (someone)
realize; demonstrate. * /The accident caused a death  in  his  family,
and it brought home to him the evil of drinking while driving./  *  /A
parent or teacher should bring home to children the value and pleasure
of reading./

   [bring home the bacon] {v. phr.}, {informal}  1.  To  support  your
family; earn the family living. * /He was a steady fellow, who  always
brought home the bacon./ 2. To win a game or prize.  *  /The  football
team brought home the bacon./

   [bring in] {v.} In baseball: To enable men on base to score, score.
* /Dick's hit brought in both base runners./ * /A walk  and  a  triple
brought in a run in the third inning./

   [bring into line] {v. phr.} To make someone conform to the accepted
standard. * /Sam had to be brought into line when he refused  to  take
his muddy shoes off the cocktail table./

   [bring off] {v.} To do (something difficult); perform  successfully
(an act of skill); accomplish (something requiring unusual ability). *
/By skillful discussion, Mr. White had brought off an  agreement  that
had seemed impossible to get./ * /He tried several times to break  the
high jump record,  and  finally  he  brought  it  off./  Compare:  PUT
OVER(2).

   [bring on] {v.} To result in; cause;  produce.  *  /The  murder  of
Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the summer of 1914 brought  on  the  First
World War./ * /Spinal meningitis brought on John's  deafness  when  he
was six years old./ *  /Reading  in  a  poor  light  may  bring  on  a
headache./

   [bring out] {v.} 1. To cause to appear; make clear. *  /His  report
brought out the foolishness of the plan./ * /Brushing will  bring  out
the beauty of your hair./ 2. To help (an ability  or  skill)  grow  or
develop. * /The teacher's coaching brought  out  a  wonderful  singing
voice of great power and  warmth./  3.  To  offer  to  the  public  by
producing, publishing, or selling. * /He brought out a  new  play./  *
/The company brought out a line of light personal airplanes./

   [bring round] See: BRING AROUND.

   [bring suit against] {v. phr.} To sue someone in a court of law.  *
/Fred brought suit against Tom for fraud and embezzlement./

   [bring to] {v.} (stress on "to") 1. To  restore  to  consciousness;
wake from sleep, anesthesia, hypnosis, or fainting. * /Smelling  salts
will often bring a fainting person to./ Compare: BRING  AROUND(1).  2.
To bring a ship or boat to a stop. * /Reaching the  pier,  he  brought
the boat smartly to./

   [bring to a close] {v. phr.} To terminate; cause  to  end.  *  /The
meeting was brought to an abrupt close when the speaker collapsed with
a heart attack./

   [bring to a head] {v. phr.} To cause some  activity  to  reach  the
point of culmination. * /Time is running out,  gentlemen,  so  let  us
bring this discussion to a head./

   [bring to bay] {v. phr.} To chase  or  force  into  a  place  where
escape is impossible without a fight;  trap;  corner.  *  /The  police
brought the robber to bay on the roof and he gave up./ * /The fox  was
brought to bay in a hollow tree and the dogs stood around it barking./
Compare: AT BAY.

   [bring to heel] See: TO HEEL.

   [bring to light] {v. phr.} To discover (something hidden); find out
about; expose. * /Many things left by the ancient Egyptians  in  tombs
have been brought to  light  by  scientists  and  explorers./  *  /His
enemies brought to light some foolish things he had done while  young,
but he was elected anyway because people trusted him./  Compare:  COME
TO LIGHT.

   [bring to one's knees] {v. phr.} To seriously weaken the  power  or
impair the function of. * /The fuel shortage  brought  the  automobile
industry to its knees./

   [bring to pass] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make  (something)  happen;
succeed in causing. *  /By  much  planning,  the  mother  brought  the
marriage to pass./ * /The change in the law was slow in coming, and it
took a disaster to bring it to pass./ Compare: BRING  ABOUT,  COME  TO
PASS.

   [bring to terms] {v. phr.} To make  (someone)  agree  or  do;  make
surrender. * /The two brothers were brought to terms by  their  father
for riding the bicycle./ * /The war won't end until we bring the enemy
to terms./ Contrast: COME TO TERMS.

   [bring up] {v.} 1.  To  take  care  of  (a  child);  raise,  train,
educate. * /He gave much attention and  thought  to  bringing  up  his
children./ * /Joe was born in Texas but brought up  in  Oklahoma./  2.
{informal} To stop; halt. - Usually used with "short". *  /He  brought
the car up short when the light changed to red./ *  /Bill  started  to
complain, I brought him up short./ 3. To begin a discussion of;  speak
of; mention. * /At the class meeting Bob brought  up  the  idea  of  a
picnic./

   [bring up the rear] {v. phr.} 1. To come last in a  march,  parade,
or procession; end a line. * /The fire truck with Santa on it  brought
up the rear of the Christmas parade./ * /The governor  and  his  staff
brought up the rear of the parade./ 2. {informal} To do least well; do
the most poorly of a group; be last. * /In the race, John  brought  up
the rear./ * /In the basketball tournament, our team  brought  up  the
rear./

   [bring] or [wheel in] or [out] or [up the big guns]  {v.  phr.}  To
make use of a concealed plan in order to  defeat  an  opponent  in  an
argument or in a game, debate, or competition.  *  /The  new  computer
software company decided to bring out the big guns to get ahead of the
competition./

   [broke] See: GO BROKE, GO FOR BROKE, STONE-BROKE OT DEAD  BROKE  or
FLAT BROKE, STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK.

   [Bronx cheer] {n. phr.}, {slang} A loud sound made with tongue  and
lips to show opposition or scorn. * /When he began to show  anti-union
feelings, he was greeted with Bronx cheers all around./

   [broom] See: NEW BROOM SWEEPS CLEAN.

   [broth] See: SCOTCH BROTH.

   [brow] See: BY THE SWEAT OF ONE'S BROW.

   [brown] See: DO UP BROWN.

   [brown-bagger] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} A person who does  not  go
to the cafeteria or to a restaurant for lunch at work, but who  brings
his homemade lunch to work in order to save money. *  /John  became  a
brown-bagger not because he can't afford the restaurant,  but  because
he is too busy to go there./

   [brown-nose]  {v.},  {slang},  {avoidable},  {though   gaining   in
acceptance} To curry favor in  a  subservient  way,  as  by  obviously
exaggerated flattery. * /Max brown-noses his teachers, that's  why  he
gets all A's in his courses./ Compare: POLISH THE APPLE.

   [brown paper bag] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio  jargon}  An
unmarked police car. * /The beaver got a Christmas  card  because  she
didn't notice the brown paper bag at her back door./ See: PLAIN  WHITE
WRAPPER.

   [brown study] {n. phr.} A time of deep thought about  something;  a
deep thoughtful mood. * /When his wife found him, he had  pushed  away
his books and was in a brown study./

   [brush] See: BEAT THE BUSHES or BEAT THE BRUSH.

   [brush aside] {v. phr.} To ignore; give no reply. * /Brushing aside
the editor's comments, the young novelist proceeded  with  his  story,
which was subsequently rejected by the publisher./

   [brush back] {v.} To throw  a  baseball  pitch  close  to.  *  /The
pitcher threw a high inside pitch to brush  the  batter  back./  Syn.:
DUST OFF.

   [brushoff] See: GET THE BRUSHOFF, BRUSH OFF or GIVE THE BRUSHOFF.

   [brush off] or [give the brush off] {v. phr.} 1. To refuse to  hear
or believe; quickly and  impatiently;  not  take  seriously  or  think
important. * /John brushed off Bill's warning that he might fall  from
the tree./ * /I said that it might rain and to take the bus,  but  Joe
gave my idea the brushoff./ * /Father cut his finger but he brushed it
off as not important and kept working./ 2. {informal} To be unfriendly
to; not talk or pay attention  to  (someone);  get  rid  of.  *  /Mary
brushed off Bill at the dance./ * /I said hello to Mr. Smith,  but  he
gave me the brushoff./ Compare: COLD SHOULDER, HIGH-HAT. Contrast: GET
THE BRUSH OFF.

   [brush up] or [brush up on] {v.} To  refresh  one's  memory  of  or
skill at by practice or review; improve; make perfect.  *  /She  spent
the summer brushing up on her American History as  she  was  to  teach
that in the fall./ * /He brushed up his target shooting./

   [bubble gum music] {n.},  {slang}  The  kind  of  rock'n'roll  that
appeals to young teenagers. *  /When  will  you  learn  to  appreciate
Mozart instead of that bubble gum music?/

   [bubble trouble] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio jargon}  Tire
trouble, flat tire. * /The eighteen wheeler ahead of me seems to  have
bubble trouble./

   [buck] See: FAST BUCK or QUICK BUCK, PASS THE BUCK.

   [bucket] See: KICK THE BUCKET, RAIN CATS AND DOGS or RAIN BUCKETS.

   [bucket of bolts] {n.}, {slang} A  very  old  and  shaky  car  that
barely goes. * /When are you going to get rid of that  old  bucket  of
bolts?/

   [buckle] See: BUCKLE DOWN or KNUCKLE DOWN.

   [buckle down] or [knuckle down] {v.} To give complete attention (to
an effort or job); attend. * /They chatted idly for a few moments then
each buckled down to work./ * /Jim was fooling instead of studying; so
his father told him to buckle down./

   [buck passer], [buck-passing] See: PASS THE BUCK.

   [buck up] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make or  become  more  cheerful;
make or become free from discouragement; become more hopeful. * /After
the heavy rain, the scoutmaster bucked up the boys by leading them  in
a song./ * /Tom was disappointed that he didn't make the team; but  he
soon bucked up./

   [bud] See: NIP IN THE BUD.

   [bug-eyed] {adj.}, {slang} Wide-eyed with  surprise.  *  /He  stood
there bug-eyed when told that he had won the award./

   [buggy-whip] {n.}, {slang} An unusually long, thin radio antenna on
a car that bends back like a whip when the car  moves  fast.  *  /He's
very impressed with himself ever since he got a buggy whip./

   [bughouse(1)] {n.}, {slang} An insane asylum. * /They took  Joe  to
the bughouse./

   [bughouse(2)]  {adj.},  {slang}  Crazy,  insane.  *   /Joe's   gone
bughouse./

   [bug in one's ear] {n. phr.}, {informal} A hint; secret information
given to someone to make him act; idea. * /I saw Mary at the jeweler's
admiring the diamond pin; I'll put a bug in Henry's ear./

   [build] See: JERRY-BUILT.

   [build a fire under]  {v.  phr.}  To  urge  or  force  (a  slow  or
unwilling person) to action; get  (someone)  moving;  arouse.  *  /The
health department built a fire under the restaurant owner and got  him
to clean the place up by threatening to cancel his license./

   [build castles in the air] or [build castles in Spain] {v. phr.} To
make impossible or imaginary plans, dream about future successes  that
are unlikely. * /He liked to build  castles  in  the  air,  but  never
succeeded in anything./ * /To build castles in Spain  is  natural  for
young people and they may work  hard  enough  to  get  part  of  their
wishes./

   [build on sand] {v. phr.} To lay a weak or insufficient  foundation
for a building, a business, or a relationship. *  /"I  don't  want  to
build my business on sand," John said, "so please. Dad, give  me  that
loan I requested."/

   [build up] {v.} 1. To  make  out  of  separate  pieces  or  layers;
construct from parts. * /Johnny built up a fort out of large balls  of
snow./ * /Lois built up a cake of three layers./ 2. To cover  over  or
fill up with buildings. * /The fields where Tom's father played  as  a
boy are all built up now./ * /A driver should slow down when he  comes
to an area that is built up./ 3a.  To  increase  slowly  or  by  small
amounts; grow. * /John built up a bank account by saving regularly./ *
/The noise built up until Mary couldn't stand it any longer./  3b.  To
make stronger or better or more effective. * /Fred exercised to  build
up his muscles./ * /Joanne was studying to build up her algebra./  3c.
{informal} To advertise quickly and publicize so as to make famous.  *
/The press agent built up the young actress./  *  /The  movie  company
spent much money building up its new picture./

   [build up to] {v.  phr.}  To  be  in  the  process  of  reaching  a
culmination point. * /The clouds were building up to a violent storm./
* /Their heated words were building up to a premature divorce./

   [bull] See: HIT THE BULLS-EYE, SHOOT THE BREEZE or SHOOT THE  BULL,
TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORNS.

   [bullet lane] {n.}, {slang},  {citizen's  band  radio  jargon}  The
passing lane. * /Move over into the bullet lane, this eighteen wheeler
is moving too slow./

   [bull in a china shop] {n. phr.} A rough or clumsy person who  says
or does something to anger others or upset plans; a tactless person. *
/We were talking politely and carefully with the teacher about a class
party, but John came in like a bull in a china shop and his rough talk
made the teacher say no./

   [bull session] {n.}, {slang} A long informal talk  about  something
by a group of persons. * /After the game the boys in the dormitory had
a bull session until the lights went out./

   [bullshit] {n.},  {vulgar,  but  gaining  in  acceptance  by  some}
Exaggerated or insincere talk meant to impress others. *  /"Joe,  this
is a lot of bullshit!"/

   [bullshit]  {v.},  {vulgar  to  informal},   {gaining   in   social
acceptance by some} To exaggerate or talk insincerely in an effort  to
make yourself seem impressive. * /"Stop bullshitting me, Joe, I  can't
believe a word of what you're saying."/

   [bullshit artist] {n.}, {slang}, {vulgar,  but  gaining  in  social
acceptance} A person who habitually makes exaggerated  or  insincerely
flattering speeches designed to impress others. * /Joe  is  a  regular
bullshit artist, small wonder  he  keeps  gettine  promoted  ahead  of
everyone else./

   [bum around] {v. phr.}, {slang} To aimlessly wander in no  definite
direction, like a vagabond. * /Jim had  been  bumming  around  in  the
desert for three days and nights before he was able to remember how he
got there in the first place./

   [bump] See: GOOSE BUMPS.

   [bump into] {v.}, {informal} To meet without expecting  to;  happen
to meet; come upon by accident. * /Mary was walking down  the  street,
when she suddenly bumped into Joan./ * /Ed was surprised to bump  into
John at the football game./ Syn.: RUN INTO.

   [bump off] {v.}, {slang} To  kill  in  a  violent  way;  murder  in
gangster fashion. * /Hoodlums in a speeding car bumped  him  off  with
Tommy guns./

   [bum's rush] {n. phr.}, {slang} Throwing  or  pushing  someone  out
from where he is not wanted. * /When John tried to  go  to  the  party
where he was not invited, Bill and Fred gave him the  bum's  rush./  *
/Tom became too noisy, and he got the bum's rush./ 2. To hurry or rush
(someone). * /The salesman tried to give me the bum's rush./

   [bum steer] {n.} Wrong or misleading directions given naively or on
purpose. * /Man, you sure gave me a bum steer when you told me  to  go
north on the highway; you should have sent me south!/

   [bundle of laughs] {n. phr.}  A  very  amusing  person,  thing,  or
event. * /Uncle Lester tells so many jokes that  he  is  a  bundle  of
laughs./

   [bundle up] See: WRAP UP(1).

   [burn] See: EARS BURN, KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING, MONEY TO BURN.

   [burn a hole in one's pocket] {v. phr.} To make  you  want  to  buy
something; be likely to be quickly spent. * /Money  burns  a  hole  in
Linda's pocket./ * /The silver dollar that Don got  for  his  birthday
was burning a hole in his pocket, and Don hurried to a dime store./

   [burn down] {v. phr.} To burn to the ground; be totally  gutted  by
fire. * /The old frame house burned down before the firefighters could
get to it./

   [burn in effigy] See: HANG IN EFFIGY.

   [burn one's bridges] also [burn one's boats] {v. phr.}  To  make  a
decision that you cannot change; remove or destroy all  the  ways  you
can get back out of a place  you  have  got  into  on  purpose;  leave
yourself no way to escape a position. * /Bob was a good wrestler but a
poor boxer. He burned his boats by  letting  Mickey  choose  how  they
would fight./ * /When Dorothy became a nun,  she  burned  her  bridges
behind her./

   [burn one's fingers] {v. phr.}, {informal} To get in trouble  doing
something and fear to do it again; learn caution through an unpleasant
experience. * /He had burned his fingers in the stock market once, and
didn't want to try again./ * /Some people can't be told; they have  to
burn their fingers to learn./

   [burn out] {v. phr.} 1. To destroy by fire  or  by  overheating.  *
/Mr. Jones burned out the clutch on his car./ 2. To destroy  someone's
house or business by fire so that they have  to  move  out.  *  /Three
racists burned out the Black family's home./ 3a. To go out  of  order;
cease to function because of long use or  overheating.  *  /The  light
bulb in the bathroom burned out, and Father put in a new one./ *  /The
electric motor was too powerful, and it burned out  a  fuse./  3b.  To
break, tire, or wear out  by  using  up  all  the  power,  energy,  or
strength of. * /Bill burned himself out in the first part of the  race
and could not finish./ * /The farmer burned out his field by  planting
the same crop every year for many years./

   [burn-out] {n.} A point of  physical  or  emotional  exhaustion.  *
/There are so  many  refugees  all  over  the  world  that  charitable
organizations  as  well  as  individuals  are  suffering  from   donor
burn-out./

   [burn rubber] {v. phr.},  {slang}  1.  To  start  up  a  car  or  a
motorcycle from dead stop so fast that the tires leave a mark  on  the
road. * /The neighborhood drag racers burned a lot of rubber - look at
the marks on the road!/ 2. To leave in a hurry. * /I guess I am  going
to have to burn rubber./

   [burnt child dreads the fire] or [once bitten, twice shy] A  person
who has suffered from doing something has learned to  avoid  doing  it
again. - A proverb. * /Once Mary had got lost when her mother took her
downtown. But a burnt child dreads the fire, so now Mary  stays  close
to her mother when they are downtown./

   [burn the candle at both ends] {v. phr.} To work or play  too  hard
without enough rest; get too tired. * /He worked hard every day  as  a
lawyer and went to parties and dances every night; he was burning  the
candle at both ends./

   [burn the midnight oil] {v. phr.} To study late at night.  *  /Exam
time was near, and more and more  pupils  were  burning  the  midnight
oil./

   [bum to a crisp] {v. phr.} To burn black; burn past saving or using
especially as food. * /While getting breakfast, Mother was  called  to
the telephone, and when she got back, the bacon had been burned  to  a
crisp./

   [burn up] {v.} 1. To burn completely; destroy or  be  destroyed  by
fire. * /Mr. Scott was burning up old letters./ * /The house burned up
before the firemen got  there./  2.  {informal}  To  irritate,  anger,
annoy. * /The boy's laziness and rudeness burned up  his  teacher./  *
/The breakdown of his new car burned Mr. Jones up./

   [burn up the road] {v. phr.}, {informal} To drive a car very  fast.
* /In his eagerness to see his girl again, he burned up  the  road  on
his way to see her./ * /Speed demons burning up the road  often  cause
accidents./

   [burst at the seams] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be too  full  or  too
crowded. * /John ate so much he was bursting at the seams./ *  /Mary's
album was so full of pictures it was bursting at the seams./

   [burst into] {v. phr.} 1. To enter suddenly. * /Stuart  burst  into
the room, screaming angrily./ 2. To break out. * /The crowd burst  out
cheering when the astronauts paraded along Fifth Avenue./

   [burst into flames] {v. phr.} To begin to  burn  suddenly.  *  /The
children threw away some burning  matches  and  the  barn  burst  into
flames./

   [burst into tears] {v. phr.} To  suddenly  start  crying.  *  /Mary
burst into tears when she heard that her brother was killed in  a  car
accident./

   [burst with joy] or [pride] {v. phr.} To be so full of the  feeling
of joy or pride that one cannot refrain from showing  one's  exuberant
feelings. * /Armstrong and Aldrin burst with pride when  they  stepped
out on the moon in July, 1969./

   [bury one's head in the sand] See: HIDE ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND.

   [bury the hatchet] {v. phr.}, {informal} To settle a quarrel or end
a war; make peace. * /The two men had been enemies a  long  time,  but
after the flood they buried the hatchet./ Compare: MAKE UP(5).

   [bus] See: MISS THE BOAT or MISS THE BUS.

   [bush] See: BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH, BIRD IN THE HAND IS WORTH  TWO  IN
THE BUSH.

   [bushel] See: HIDE ONE'S LIGHT UNDER A BUSHEL.

   [bushes] See: BEAT THE BUSHES.

   [business] See: DO THE  BUSINESS,  HAVE  NO  BUSINESS,  LAND-OFFICE
BUSINESS, MEAN BUSINESS, MONKEY BUSINESS, THE BUSINESS.

   [bust  up]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  terminate  a  partnership,  a
relationship, a friendship, or a marriage. * /If Jack  keeps  drinking
the way he does, it will bust up his marriage to Sue./

   [busy work] {n.} Work that is done not to  do  or  finish  anything
important, but just to keep busy. * /When the teacher finished all she
had to say it was still a half hour before school  was  over.  So  she
gave the class a test for busy work./

   [but for] See: EXCEPT FOR.

   [but  good]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Very  much  so;  thoroughly
completely; forcefully. - Used for emphasis. * /Jack called Charles  a
bad name, and Charles hit him, but good./ * /Tom fell  and  broke  his
leg. That taught him but good not  to  fool  around  in  high  trees./
Compare: AND HOW.

   [but not least] See: LAST BUT NOT LEAST.

   [butter] See: BREAD AND BUTTER.

   [butterflies in one's stomach] {n. phr.} A  queer  feeling  in  the
stomach caused by nervous fear or uncertainty; a feeling  of  fear  or
anxiety in the stomach. * /When Bob walked into the factory office  to
ask for a job, he had butterflies in his stomach./

   [butter up] {v.}, {informal} To try to get the favor or  friendship
of (a person) by flattery or pleasantness. * /He began  to  butter  up
the boss in hope of being given a better  job./  Compare:  POLISH  THE
APPLE.

   [butter wouldn't melt in  one's  mouth]  {informal}  You  act  very
polite and friendly but do not really  care,  you  are  very  nice  to
people but are not sincere. * /The new secretary was rude to the other
workers, but when she talked to the boss, butter wouldn't melt in  her
mouth./

   [butt in] {v.}, {slang} To join in with what other people are doing
without asking or being asked; interfere in other  people's  business;
meddle. * /Mary was explaining to Jane how  to  knit  a  sweater  when
Barbara butted in./ Often used with "on". * /John butted  in  on  Bill
and Tom's fight, and got hurt./ Compare: HORN IN.

   [button] See: HAVE ALL ONE'S BUTTONS, ON THE BUTTON, PUSH THE PANIC
BUTTON.

   [button down] {v.}, {slang} (stress on "down") To state  precisely,
to ascertain, to pin down, to peg down. * /First let's get  the  facts
buttoned down, then we can plan ahead./

   [button-down]  {attrib.  adj.},  {slang}   (stress   on   "button")
Well-groomed, conservatively dressed. * /Joe is a regular  button-down
type./

   [buttonhole] {v.} To approach a person in order to speak  with  him
or her in private. * /After waiting for several hours, Sam managed  to
buttonhole his boss just as she was about to leave the building./

   [button one's lip] also [zip one's lip] {v. phr.}, {slang} To  stop
talking; keep a secret; shut your mouth; be  quiet.  *  /The  man  was
getting loud and insulting and the cop told him to button his lip./  *
/John wanted to talk, but Dan told him  to  keep  his  lip  buttoned./
Syn.: KEEP ONE'S MOUTH SHUT, SHUT UP.

   [buy for a song] {v. phr.} To buy something very cheaply. *  /Since
the building on the corner was old and neglected, I was able to buy it
for a song./

   [buy off] {v.} To turn from duty or purpose by a gift. * /When  the
police threatened to stop the gambling business, the owner bought them
off./ * /The Indians were going to burn the cabins, but the men bought
them off with gifts./ Compare: PAY OFF.

   [buy out] {v.} 1. To buy the ownership or a share of; purchase  the
stock of. * /He bought out several small stockholders. 2. To  buy  all
the goods of; purchase the merchandise of./ * /Mr. Harper bought out a
nearby hardware store./ Contrast: SELL OUT.

   [buy up] {v. phr.} To purchase the entire  stock  of  something.  *
/The company is trying to buy up all the available shares./

   [buzz] See: GIVE A RING also GIVE A BUZZ.

   [buzz word] {n.} A word that sounds big and important in a sentence
but,  on  closer  inspection,  means  little  except   the   speaker's
indication to belong to a certain group. *  /The  politician's  speech
was nothing but a lot of  misleading  statements  and  phony  promises
hidden in a bunch of buzz words./

   [by] See: TOO --- BY HALF.

   [by a hair] See: HANG BY A THREAD or HANG BY A HAIR

   [by] or [in my book] {adv. phr.} In my opinion;  as  far  as  I  am
concerned; in my judgment. * /By my book, Mr. Murgatroyd is not a very
good department head./

   [by all means] also [by all manner of means] {adv. phr.} Certainly,
without fail. * /He felt that he should  by  all  means  warn  Jones./
Contrast: BY NO MEANS.

   [by all odds] {adv. phr.} Without question; certainly. * /He was by
all odds the strongest candidate./ * /By all odds we  should  win  the
game, because the other team is so weak./ Compare: FAR AND AWAY.

   [by a long shot] {adv. phr.}, {informal} By a  big  difference;  by
far. - Used to add emphasis. * /Bert was the best swimmer in the race,
by a long shot./ Often used with a negative. * /Tom isn't the kind who
would be fresh to a teacher, by a long shot./ * /Our team didn't win -
not by a long shot./ Compare: MISS BY A MILE.

   [by a mile] See: MISS BY A MILE.

   [by and by] {adv.} After a while;  at  some  time  in  the  future;
later. * /Roger said he would do his  homework  by  and  by./  *  /The
mother knew her baby would be a man by and by and do  a  man's  work./
Syn.: AFTER A WHILE.

   [by and large] {adv. phr.} As it most  often  happens;  more  often
than not; usually; mostly. * /There  were  bad  days,  but  it  was  a
pleasant summer, by and large./ * /By and large, women can  bear  pain
better than men./ Syn.: FOR THE MOST PART, ON THE WHOLE(2).

   [by any means] See: BY NO MEANS.

   [by a thread] See: HANG BY A THREAD.

   [by chance] {adv. phr.} Without any cause or reason;  by  accident;
accidentally. * /Tom met Bill by chance./ * /The apple fell by  chance
on Bobby's head./

   [by choice] {adv. phr.} As a result of choosing because of  wanting
to; freely. * /John helped his father by choice./ * /Mary ate a  plum,
but not by choice. Her mother told her she must eat it./

   [by dint of] {prep.} By the exertion of; by the use of; through.  *
/By dint of sheer toughness and real courage,  he  lived  through  the
jungle difficulties and  dangers./  *  /His  success  in  college  was
largely by dint of hard study./

   [bye] See: BY THE WAY also BY THE BYE.

   [by ear] {adv. phr.} 1. By sound, without ever reading the  printed
music of the piece being played. * /The church choir sang the hymns by
ear./ 2. Waiting to see what will happen. * /I don't want to plan now;
let's just play it by ear./

   [by far] {adv. phr.} By a large difference; much. * /His  work  was
better by far than that of any other printer in the city./ * /The  old
road is prettier, but it is by far the longer way./ Compare:  FAR  AND
AWAY.

   [by fits and starts] or [jerks] {adv. phr.}  With  many  stops  and
starts, a little now and a  little  more  later;  not  all  the  time;
irregularly. * /He had worked on the invention by fits and starts  for
several years./ * /You will never get anywhere if you  study  just  by
fits and starts./ Compare: FROM TIME TO TIME, OFF AND ON.

   [bygone] See: LET BYGONES BE BYGONES.

   [by heart] {adv. phr.}  By  exact  memorizing;  so  well  that  you
remember it; by memory. * /The pupils learned many poems by heart./  *
/He knew the records of the major league teams by heart./

   [by hook or by crook] {adv. phr.} By honest ways  or  dishonest  in
any way necessary. * /The wolf tried to get the little pigs by hook or
by crook./ * /The team was determined to win that last game by hook or
by crook, and three players were put out of the game for fouling./

   [by inches] {adv. phr.} By small or slow degrees; little by little;
gradually. * /The river was rising by inches./ *  /They  got  a  heavy
wooden beam under the barn for a lever, and  managed  to  move  it  by
inches./ * /He was dying by inches./

   [by leaps and bounds] {adv. phr.} With long steps; very rapidly.  *
/Production in the factory was increasing by leaps and bounds./ * /The
school enrollment was going up by leaps and bounds./

   [by means of] {prep.} By the use of;  with  the  help  of.  *  /The
fisherman saved himself by means of a floating log./ *  /By  means  of
monthly payments, people can buy more than in the past./

   [by mistake] {adv. phr.} As the result of a mistake; through error.
* /He picked up the wrong hat by mistake./

   [by no means] or [not by any means] also [by no manner of means] or
[not by any manner of means] {adv. phr.} Not even a little;  certainly
not. * /He is by no means bright./ * /"May I stay home  from  school?"
"By no means."/ * /Dick worked on his project Saturday, but he is  not
finished yet, by any means./ Contrast: BY ALL MEANS.

   [B.Y.O.] (Abbreviation) {informal} Bring Your Own. Said of  a  kind
of party where the host or hostess does not provide the drinks or food
but people ring their own.

   [B.Y.O.B.]  (Abbreviation)  {informal}  Bring  Your   Own   Bottle.
Frequently written on invitations for the kind of party  where  people
bring their own liquor.

   [by oneself] {adv. phr.} 1. Without  any  others  around;  separate
from others; alone. * /The house stood by itself on a  hill./  *  /Tom
liked to go walking by himself./ * /Betty felt very sad and lonely  by
herself./ 2. Without the help of anyone else; by your own work only. *
/John built a flying model airplane by himself./ * /Lois  cleaned  the
house all by herself./

   [by one's own bootstraps] See: PULL ONE SELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS.

   [by storm] See: TAKE BY STORM.

   [by surprise] See: TAKE BY SURPRISE.

   [by the board] See: GO BY THE BOARD also PASS BY THE BOARD.

   [by the bootstraps] See: PULL ONESELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS.

   [by the bye] See: BY THE WAY.

   [by the dozen] or [by the hundred] or [by the thousand] {adv. phr.}
Very many at one time; in great numbers. * /Tommy ate cookies  by  the
down./ Often used in the plural, meaning even larger numbers.  *  /The
ants arrived at the picnic by the hundreds./ * /The enemy attacked the
fort by the thousands./

   [by the horns] See: TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORNS.

   [by the hundred] See: BY THE DOZEN.

   [by the nose] See: LEAD BY THE NOSE.

   [by the piece] {adv. phr.} Counted one piece at a time,  separately
for each single piece. * /John bought boxes full  of  bags  of  potato
chips and sold them by the piece./ * /Mary  made  potholders  and  got
paid by the piece./

   [by the seat of one's pants] See: FLY BY THE SEAT OF ONE'S PANTS.

   [by the skin of one's teeth] {adv. phr.} By a narrow  margin;  with
no room to spare; barely. * /The drowning man struggled, and I got him
to land by the skin of my teeth./ * /She passed English by the skin of
her teeth./ Compare: SQUEAK THROUGH, WITHIN AN ACE  OF  or  WITHIN  AN
INCH OF.

   [by the sweat of one's brow] {adv. phr.} By hard  work;  by  tiring
effort; laboriously. * /Even with modern labor-saving  machinery,  the
farmer makes his living by the sweat of his brow./

   [by the thousand] See: BY THE DOZEN.

   [by the way] also [by the bye] {adv. phr.} Just as some added  fact
or news; as something else that  I  think  of.  -  Used  to  introduce
something related to the general subject, or brought to mind by it.  *
/We shall expect you; by the way, dinner will be at eight./ *  /I  was
reading when the earthquake occurred, and, by the way, it was The Last
Days of Pompeii that I was reading./

   [by the wayside] See: FALL BY THE WAYSIDE.

   [by turns] {adv. phr.} First one and then another in a regular way;
one substituting for or following  another  according  to  a  repeated
plan. * /On the drive to Chicago, the three  men  took  the  wheel  by
turns./ * /The teachers were on duty by turns./ *  /When  John  had  a
fever, he felt cold and hot by turns./ Syn.: IN  TURN.  Compare:  TAKE
TURNS.

   [by virtue of] also [in virtue of]  {prep.}  On  the  strength  of;
because of; by reason of. * /By virtue of his high rank and  position,
the President takes social leadership over almost  everyone  else./  *
/Plastic bags are useful for holding many kinds of food, by virtue  of
their clearness, toughness, and low cost./ Compare: BY DINT OF.

   [by way of] {prep.} 1. For the sake or purpose of; as. * /By way of
example, he described his own experience./  2.  Through;  by  a  route
including; via. * /He went from New York to San Francisco  by  way  of
Chicago./

   [by word of mouth] {adv. phr.} From person to person by the  spoken
word; orally. * /The news got around by word of mouth./ * /The message
reached him quietly by word of mouth./





   [cahoots] See: IN LEAGUE WITH or IN CAHOOTS WITH.

   [Cain] See: RAISE CAIN.

   [cake] See: EAT-ONE'S CAKE AND HAVE IT TOO,  PAT-A-CAKE,  TAKE  THE
CAKE.

   [calculated risk] {n.} An action that may fail but is  judged  more
likely to succeed. * /The sending of troops to the  rebellious  island
was a calculated risk./

   [calf love] See: PUPPY LOVE.

   [call] See: AT CALL, AT ONE'S BECK AND CALL, CLOSE CALL,  ON  CALL,
PORT OF CALL, POT CALLS THE KETTLE BLACK, WITHIN CALL.

   [call a halt] {v. phr.} To give a command to stop.  *  /The  scouts
were tired during the hike, and the  scoutmaster  called  a  halt./  *
/When the children's play, got too noisy, their mother called a halt./

   [call a spade a spade] {v. phr.} To call a person or thing  a  name
that is true but not polite; speak bluntly; use the plainest language.
* /A boy took some money from Dick's desk and said he borrowed it, but
I told him he stole it; I believe in calling a spade a spade./

   [call down] also [dress down] {v.}, {informal} To scold. * /Jim was
called down by his teacher for being late to class./ * /Mother  called
Bob down for walking into the kitchen with muddy boots./ Compare: CALL
ON THE CARPET, CHEW OUT, BAWL OUT, READ THE RIOT ACT.

   [call for] {v.} 1. To come or go to get (someone or  something).  *
/John called for Mary to take her to the dance./ Syn.: PICK UP. 2.  To
need; require. * /The cake recipe calls for  two  cups  of  flour./  *
/Success in school calls for much hard study./

   [call  girl]  {n.},  {slang}  A  prostitute  catering  to   wealthy
clientele, especially  one  who  is  contacted  by  telephone  for  an
appointment. * /Rush Street is full of call girls./

   [calling  down]  also  [dressing  down]  {n.  phr.},  {informal}  A
scolding; reprimand. * /The judge gave the  boy  a  calling  down  for
speeding./

   [call in question] or [call into question] or [call in  doubt]  {v.
phr.} To say (something)  may  be  a  mistake;  express  doubt  about;
question. * /Bill called in question Ed's remark  that  basketball  is
safer than football./

   [call it a day] {v. phr.} To declare that a given  day's  work  has
been accomplished and go home; to quit for the day. * /"Let's call  it
a day," the boss said, "and go out for a drink."/  *  /It  was  nearly
midnight, so Mrs. Byron decided to call it a day, and left the  party,
and went home./ * /The four golfers played nine holes and then  called
it a day./ Compare: CLOSE UP SHOP.

   [call it a night] {v. phr.} To declare that  an  evening  party  or
other activity conducted late in the day is finished. * /I am so tired
that I am going to call it a night and go to bed./

   [call it quits] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To decide to stop what you
are doing; quit. * /When Tom had painted half the garage, he called it
quits./ 2. To agree that each side  in  a  fight  is  satisfied;  stop
fighting because a wrong has been paid back; say things  are  even.  *
/Pete called Tom a bad name, and they fought  till  Tom  gave  Pete  a
bloody nose; then they called it quits./ 3. To cultivate  a  habit  no
longer. * /"Yes, I called it quits with cigarettes three years ago."/

   [call names] {v. phr.} To use ugly or unkind words when speaking to
someone or when talking  about  someone.  -  Usually  used  by  or  to
children. * /Bill got so mad he started calling Frank names./

   [call off] {v.} To stop (something planned); quit; cancel. *  /When
the ice became soft and sloppy, we had to  call  off  the  ice-skating
party./ * /The baseball game was called off because of rain./

   [call on] or [call upon] {v.} 1. To make a call upon; visit. * /Mr.
Brown called on an old friend while he was in the city./ 2. To ask for
help. * /He called on a friend to give him money for  the  busfare  to
his home./

   [call one's bluff] {v. phr.}, {informal} To ask  someone  to  prove
what he says he can or will do. (Originally  from  the  card  game  of
poker.) * /Tom said he could jump twenty feet and so Dick  called  his
bluff and said "Let's see you do it!"/

   [call one's shot] {v. phr.} 1. To tell before firing where a bullet
will hit. * /An expert rifleman can call his shot regularly./  *  /The
wind was strong and John couldn't call his shots./  2.  or  [call  the
turn] To tell in advance the result of something before you do  it.  *
/Mary won three games in a row, just as she said she would. She called
her turns well./ * /Nothing ever happens as Tom says it  will.  He  is
very poor at calling his turns./

   [call on the carpet] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  call  (a  person)
before an  authority  (as  a  boss  or  teacher)  for  a  scolding  or
reprimand. * /The worker was called on the  carpet  by  the  boss  for
sleeping on the job./ * /The principal called Tom on  the  carpet  and
warned him to stop coming to school late./

   [call the roll] {v. phr.} To read out the names on a certain  list,
usually in alphabetical order. * /The sergeant called the roll of  the
newly enlisted volunteers in the army./

   [call the shots] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  give  orders;  be  in
charge; direct; control. * /Bob is a first-rate leader who  knows  how
to call the shots./ * /The quarterback called the shots well, and  the
team gained twenty yards in five plays./ Syn.: CALL THE TUNE.

   [call the tune] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be in control; give orders
or directions; command. * /Bill was president of the club but Jim  was
secretary and called the tune./ * /The people supported the mayor,  so
he could call the tune in city matters./ Syn.: CALL THE SHOTS.

   [call the turn] See: CALL ONE'S SHOT(2).

   [call to account] {v. phr.} 1. To ask (someone) to explain  why  he
did something wrong (as breaking a rule). * /The principal called  Jim
to account after Jim left school  early  without  permission./  2.  To
scold (as for wrong conduct); reprimand. * /The father called his  son
to account for disobeying him./

   [call to arms] {v. phr.} To summon into the army. *  /During  World
War II millions of Americans were called to arms to  fight  for  their
country./

   [call to mind] {v. phr.} To remember; cause to  remember.  *  /Your
story calls to mind a similar event that happened to us  a  few  years
back./

   [call to order] {v. phr.} 1. To open (a meeting) formally.  *  /The
chairman called the committee to order./ * /The president pounded with
his gavel to call the convention to order./ 2. To warn  not  to  break
the rules of a meeting. * /The judge called the people  in  the  court
room to order when they talked too loud./

   [call out] {v. phr.} 1. To shout; speak  loudly.  *  /My  name  was
called out several times, but I was unable to hear it./ 2.  To  summon
someone. * /If the rioting continues, the governor will have  to  call
out the National Guard./

   [call up] {v.} 1. To make someone think of; bring to mind;  remind.
* /The picture of the Capitol called up memories of our  class  trip./
2. To tell to come (as before  a  court).  *  /The  district  attorney
called up three witnesses./ 3. To bring together for a purpose;  bring
into action. * /Jim called  up  all  his  strength,  pushed  past  the
players blocking him, and ran for a touchdown./ * /The army called  up
its reserves when war seemed near./ 4. To call  on  the  telephone.  *
/She called up a friend just for a chat./

   [call upon] See: CALL ON.

   [calm down] {v. phr.} To become quiet; relax. *  /"Calm  down,  Mr.
Smith," the doctor said with a reassuring smile.  "You  are  going  to
live a long time."/

   [camel] See: STRAW THAT
BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK at LAST STRAW.

   [camp] See: BREAK CAMP.

   [campaign] See: WHISPERING CAMPAIGN.

   [camp follower] {n.} 1. A man or woman who goes with an  army,  not
to fight but to sell something. * /Nowadays  camp  followers  are  not
allowed as they were long ago./ 2. A person who goes with a famous  or
powerful person or group in hope of profit. *  /A  man  who  runs  for
president has many camp followers./

   [camp out] {v.} To live, cook, and sleep out  of  doors  (as  in  a
tent). * /We camped out near the river for a week./

   [can] See: AS BEST ONE CAN, CATCH AS CATCH CAN.

   [canary] See: LOOK LIKE THE CAT THAT ATE THE CANARY  or  LOOK  LIKE
THE CAT THAT SWALLOWED THE CANARY.

   [cancel out] {v.}  To  destroy  the  effect  of;  balance  or  make
useless. * /The boy got an "A" in history to cancel out the "C" he got
in arithmetic./ * /Our track team won the mile relay to cancel out the
other team's advantage in winning the half-mile relay./ *  /Tom's  hot
temper cancels out his skill as a player./

   [cancer stick] {n.}, {slang} A cigarette. * /Throw away that cancer
stick! Smoking is bad for you!/

   [candle] BURN THE CANDLE AT  BOTH  ENDS,  GAME  IS  NOT  WORTH  THE
CANDLE, HOLD A CANDLE.

   [canned heat] {n.} Chemicals in  a  can  which  burn  with  a  hot,
smokeless flame. * /Some people use canned heat to keep food warm./  *
/The mountain climbers used canned heat for cooking./

   [canned laughter] {n.}, {informal} The sounds of laughter heard  on
certain television programs that were obviously not recorded in  front
of a live audience and are played for the benefit of the audience from
a stereo track to underscore the funny points. * /"How can there be an
audience in this show when it is taking place in the  jungle?  -  Why,
it's canned laughter you're hearing."/

   [canned music] {n.} Recorded music,  as  opposed  to  music  played
live. * /"Let us go to a real concert, honey," Mike said. "I am  tired
of all this canned music we've been listening to."/

   [canoe] See: PADDLE ONE'S OWN CANOE.

   [can of worms] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. A complex  problem,  or
complicated situation. * /Let's not  get  into  big  city  politics  -
that's a different can of worms./ 2. A very restless, jittery  person.
* /Joe can't sit still for a minute - he is a can of worms./

   [can't help but] {informal} also {formal} [cannot but] {v. phr.} To
be forced to; can only; must. * /When the streets are full of  melting
snow, you can't help but get your shoes wet./ * /When  a  friend  gave
Jim a ticket to the game, he couldn't help but go./ *  /When  a  close
friend dies, you cannot but feel sad./ Compare: CAN HELP, HAVE TO.

   [can't make an omelette without breaking (some) eggs] To achieve  a
certain goal one must sometimes incur damage, experience difficulties,
or make sacrifices. - A proverb. * /When we drove across the  country,
we put a lot of mileage on our car and had a flat tire, but it  was  a
pleasant trip. "Well, you can't make an omelette without breaking some
eggs," my wife said with a smile./

   [can't see the wood for the trees] or [can't see the woods for  the
trees] or [can't see the forest for the trees] {v. phr.} To be  unable
to judge or understand the whole because of attention  to  the  parts;
criticize small things and not see the value or the aim of the  future
achievement. * /Teachers sometimes notice language errors and  do  not
see the good ideas in a composition; they cannot see the woods for the
trees./ * /The voters defeated a bond issue for the new school because
they couldn't see the forest for the  trees;  they  thought  of  their
taxes rather than of their children's education./ * /We  should  think
of children's growth in character and understanding more than of their
little faults and misdeeds; some of us can't  see  the  wood  for  the
trees./

   [cap] See: FEATHER IN ONE'S CAP, SET ONE'S CAP FOR,  PUT  ON  ONE'S
THINKING CAP.

   [cap the climax] {v. phr.} To exceed what is already a  high  point
of  achievement.  *  /Sam's  piano  recital  was  great,  but   Bill's
performance capped the climax./

   [card] See: CREDIT CARD, FLASH CARD, HOUSE OF CARDS, IN  THE  CARDS
or ON THE CARDS, LAY ONE'S CARDS ON THE TABLE, PLAY ONE'S CARDS RIGHT,
PUT ONE'S CARDS ON THE TABLE, STACK THE CARDS, TRUMP CARD.

   [cards stacked against one] See: STACK THE CARDS.

   [card up one's sleeve] {n. phr.}, {informal} Another help, plan, or
argument  kept  back  and  produced  if  needed;  another  way  to  do
something. * /John knew his mother would lend him money if  necessary,
but he kept that card up his sleeve./ * /Bill always has a card up his
sleeve, so when his first plan failed he tried another./ Compare:  ACE
IN THE HOLE(2).

   [care] See: COULDN'T CARE LESS, HAVE A CARE, GIVE A HANG or CARE  A
HANG, TAKE CARE.

   [carpet] See: CALL ON THE CARPET, MAGIC CARPET, ROLL  OUT  THE  RED
CARPET.

   [car pool] {n.} A group of people  who  own  cars  and  take  turns
driving each other to work or on some other regular trip.  *  /It  was
John's father's week to drive his own car in the car pool./

   [carriage trade] {n.}, {literary} Rich or  upper  class  people.  *
/The hotel is so expensive that only the carriage trade stays  there./
* /The carriage trade buys its clothes at the best stores./

   [carrot and stick] {n. phr.} The promise of reward  and  threat  of
punishment, both at the same time. * /John's father  used  the  carrot
and stick when he talked about his low grades./

   [carry] See: CASH-AND-CARRY.

   [carry a torch] or [carry the torch] {v. phr.} 1. To show great and
unchanging loyalty to a cause or a person. * /Although the others gave
up fighting for their rights, John continued to carry the  torch./  2.
{informal} To be in love, usually without success or return. * /He  is
carrying a torch for Anna, even though she is  in  love  with  someone
else./

   [carry a tune] {v. phr.} To sing the right notes  without  catching
any false ones. * /Al is a wonderful fellow, but he sure can't carry a
tune and his singing is a pain to listen to./

   [carry away] {v.} To cause very strong feeling; excite  or  delight
to the loss of cool judgment. * /The music carried her  away./  *  /He
let his anger carry him away./ - Often used in the passive, * /She was
carried away by the man's charm./ * /He was carried away by the  sight
of the flag./

   [carry coals to Newcastle] {v. phr.} To do  something  unnecessary;
bring or furnish something of which there is plenty. *  /The  man  who
waters his grass after a good rain is carrying coals to Newcastle./  *
/Joe was carrying coals to Newcastle when he told the  doctor  how  to
cure a cold./ (Newcastle is an English city near many coal mines,  and
coal is sent out from there to other places.)

   [carrying charge]  {n.}  An  extra  cost  added  to  the  price  of
something bought on weekly or monthly payments. * /The  price  of  the
bicycle was $50. Jim bought it for $5.00 a month for ten months plus a
carrying charge of $1 a month./

   [carry on] {v.} 1. To cause death of; kill. * /Years  ago  smallpox
carried off hundreds of Indians of the  Sioux  tribe./  Compare:  WIPE
OUT. 2. To succeed in winning. * /Bob carried off honors in  science./
* /Jim carried off two gold medals in the track meet./ 3.  To  succeed
somewhat unexpectedly in. * /The spy  planned  to  deceive  the  enemy
soldiers and carried it off very well./ * /In the  class  play,  Lloyd
carried off his part surprisingly well./

   [carry --- off one's feet] See: KNOCK OFF  ONE'S  FEET,  SWEEP  OFF
ONE'S FEET.

   [carry off the palm] or [bear off the palm] {v.  phr.},  {literary}
To gain the victory; win. * /John carried off the palm in  the  tennis
championship match./ * /Our army bore off the  palm  in  the  battle./
(From the fact that long ago a palm leaf was given to the winner in  a
game as a sign of victory.)

   [carry on] {v.} 1. To work at; be busy with; manage.  *  /Bill  and
his father carried on a hardware business./ * /Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith
carried on a long correspondence with each other./ 2. To keep doing as
before; continue. * /After his father died, Bill carried on  with  the
business./ * /The colonel told the soldiers to carry on while  he  was
gone./ * /Though tired and hungry, the Scouts carried  on  until  they
reached camp./ Compare: BEAR UP(2), GO ON. 3a. {informal} To behave in
a noisy, foolish, and troublesome manner. * /The boys  carried  on  in
the  swimming  pool  until  the  lifeguard  ordered  them  out./   3b.
{informal} To make too great a show of feeling, such as anger,  grief,
and pain. * /John carried on for ten minutes after he  hit  his  thumb
with the hammer./ Compare: TAKE ON(4). 4.  {informal}  To  act  in  an
immoral or scandalous way; act disgracefully. * /The townspeople  said
that he was carrying on with a neighbor girl./

   [carry one's cross] or {literary} [bear one's cross] {v.  phr.}  To
live with pain or trouble; keep on even  though  you  suffer  or  have
trouble. * /Weak ankles are a cross Joe carries while the  other  boys
play basketball./ * /We didn't know the cheerful woman was bearing her
cross, a son in prison./

   [carry out] {v.} To  put  into  action;  follow;  execute.  *  /The
generals were determined to  carry  out  their  plans  to  defeat  the
enemy./ * /John listened  carefully  and  carried  out  the  teacher's
instructions./

   [carry over] {v.} 1. To save for another time.  *  /The  store  had
some bathing suits it had carried over from last year./  *  /What  you
learn in school should carry over into adult life./ 2. To transfer (as
a figure) from one column, page, or book to another. * /When he  added
up the figures, he carried over the total into the next year's account
book./ 3. To continue in another place. * /The story was carried  over
to the next page./

   [carry the ball] {v. phr.}, {informal} To take the  most  important
or difficult part in an action or business. * /None of the other  boys
would tell the principal about their breaking the window, and John had
to carry the ball./ * /When the going is rough,  Fred  can  always  be
depended on to carry the ball./

   [carry the banner] {v. phr.} To support a cause or  an  ideal  with
obvious advocacy. * /Our college is carrying the banner for saving the
humpback whale, which is on the list of endangered species./

   [carry the day] {v. phr.}, {informal} To win completely; to succeed
in getting one's aim accomplished. * /The defense  attorney's  summary
before the jury helped him carry the day./

   [carry the torch] See: CARRY A TORCH.

   [carry the weight of the world on one's shoulders] See:  WEIGHT  OF
THE WORLD ON ONE'S SHOULDERS.

   [carry through] {v.} 1a. To put into action. * /Mr. Green  was  not
able to carry through his plans for a hike because he broke his  leg./
1b. To do something you have planned; put a plan into action. *  /Jean
makes good plans but she cannot  carry  through  with  any  of  them./
Compare: GO THROUGH WITH, CARRY OUT. 2. To keep (someone) from failing
or stopping; bring through; help. * /When the tire blew out, the rules
Jim had learned in driving class carried him through safely./

   [carry weight] {n.} To be  influential;  have  significance  and/or
clout; impress. * /A letter of recommendation from  a  full  professor
carries more weight than a letter from an assistant professor./

   [cart before the horse (to put)] {n. phr.},  {informal}  Things  in
wrong  order;  something  backwards  or  mixed  up.  -   An   overused
expression. Usually used  with  "put"  but  sometimes  with  "get"  or
"have". *  /When  the  salesman  wanted  money  for  goods  he  hadn't
delivered, I told him he was putting the cart before the horse./ * /To
get married first and then get a job is getting the  cart  before  the
horse./

   [cart off] or [cart away] {v.}, {informal} To take away, often with
force or with rough handling or behavior. *  /The  police  carted  the
rioters off to jail./ * /When  Bobby  wouldn't  eat  his  supper,  his
mother carted him away to bed./

   [carved] or [chiseled] or [inscribed  in  granite]  /  [written  in
stone] {adj. phr.} Holy; unchangeable; noble and of ancient origin.  *
/You should wear shoes when you come to class, although  this  is  not
carved in granite./ * /The Constitution of the  United  States  is  so
hard to change that one thinks of it as written in stone./

   [case] See: BASKET CASE, CIRCUMSTANCES ALTER CASES, COUCH CASE, GET
DOWN TO BRASS TACKS also GET DOWN TO CASES, IN ANY CASE, IN CASE or IN
THE EVENT, IN CASE OF also IN THE EVENT OF, VANITY CASE.

   [case in point] {n. phr.} An example that proves something or helps
to make something clearer. * /An American can rise from  the  humblest
beginnings to become President. Abraham Lincoln is a case in point./

   [case the joint] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To study  the  layout  of  a
place one wishes to burglarize.  *  /The  hooded  criminals  carefully
cased  the  joint  before  robbing  the  neighborhood  bank./  2.   To
familiarize oneself with a potential workplace or vacation spot  as  a
matter of preliminary planning. * /"Hello Fred,"  he  said.  "Are  you
working here now?" "No, not yet," Fred answered. "I am  merely  casing
the joint."/

   [cash] See: COLD CASH.

   [cash-and-carry(1)] {adj.} Selling things for cash money  only  and
letting the customer carry them home, not  having  the  store  deliver
them; also sold in this way. * /This is a cash-and-carry store  only./
* /You can save money at a cash-and-carry sale./

   [cash-and-carry(2)] {adv}. With no credit, no time payments, and no
deliveries. * /Some stores sell cash-and-carry only./ * /It is cheaper
to buy cash-and-carry./

   [cash crop] {n.} A crop grown to be sold. * /Cotton is a cash  crop
in the South./ * /They raise potatoes to eat,  but  tobacco  is  their
cash crop./

   [cash in] {v.} 1. To exchange (as poker chips  or  bonds)  for  the
value in money. * /He paid the bill by cashing in some bonds./ * /When
the card game ended, the players cashed in their chips and went home./
2. or [cash in one's chips] {slang} To die. * /When the outlaw  cashed
in his chips, he was buried with his boots on./ * /He was shot through
the body and knew he was going to cash in./

   [cash in on] {v.}, {informal} To see (a chance) and profit  by  it;
take advantage of (an opportunity or happening). * /Mr.  Brown  cashed
in on people's great  interest  in  camping  and  sold  three  hundred
tents./

   [cash on the barrelhead] {n. phr.}, {informal} Money paid at  once;
money paid when something is  bought.  *  /Father  paid  cash  on  the
barrelhead  for  a  new  car./  *  /Some  lawyers  want  cash  on  the
barrelhead./ Compare: COLD CASH.

   [cast] or [shed] or  [throw  light  upon]  {v.  phr.}  To  explain;
illuminate; clarify. * /The letters that were found  suddenly  cast  a
new light on the circumstances of Tom's disappearance./ *  /Einstein's
General Theory of Relativity  threw  light  upon  the  enigma  of  our
universe./

   [cast about]  also  [cast  around]  {v.},  {literary}  1.  To  look
everywhere;  search.  *  /The  committee  was  casting  about  for  an
experienced teacher to take the retiring  principal's  place./  2.  To
search  your  mind;  try  to  remember  something;  try  to  think  of
something. * /The teacher cast about for an easy way  to  explain  the
lesson./ * /Jane cast around for a good subject for her report./

   [cast down] {adj.} Discouraged; sad; unhappy.  -  Used  less  often
than the reverse form, "downcast". * /Mary was cast down at  the  news
of her uncle's death./ * /Charles felt cast  down  when  he  lost  the
race./

   [cast in one's lot with] {formal} See: THROW IN ONE'S LOT WITH.

   [castle in the air] See: BUILD CASTLES IN THE AIR.

   [castles in Spain] See: CASTLES IN THE AIR.

   [cast off] {v.} 1a. or [cast loose] To unfasten; untie;  let  loose
(as a rope holding a boat). * /The captain of the boat  cast  off  the
line and we were soon out in open water./ 1b. To untie a rope  holding
a boat or something suggesting a boat. * /We cast off and set sail  at
6 A.M./ 2. To knit the last row of stitches. * /When she  had  knitted
the twentieth row of stitches she cast off./ 3. To say that you do not
know (someone) any more; not accept as a relative or  friend.  *  /Mr.
Jones cast off his daughter when she married against his wishes./

   [cast one's lot with] See: THROW IN ONE'S LOT WITH.

   [cast out] {v.}, {formal} To force (someone) to  go  out  or  away;
banish; expel. * /After the scandal, he  was  cast  out  of  the  best
society./ Compare: CAST OFF(3).

   [cast pearls before swine] or [cast one's pearls before swine]  {n.
phr.}, {literary} To waste good acts or valuable things on someone who
won't  understand  or  be  thankful  for  them,  just  as  pigs  won't
appreciate pearls. - Often used in  negative  sentences.  *  /I  won't
waste good advice on John any more because he never listens to  it.  I
won't cast pearls before swine./

   [cast the first stone] {v. phr.}, {literary} To  be  the  first  to
blame someone, lead accusers against a wrongdoer. * /Jesus said that a
person who was without sin could cast the first  stone./  *  /Although
Ben saw the girl cheating, he did not want to cast the first stone./

   [cast up] {v.}, {literary} 1. To turn or direct  upward;  raise.  *
/The dying missionary cast up his  eyes  to  heaven  and  prayed./  2.
{archaic} To do sums; do a problem in addition; add. *  /Cast  up  15,
43, 27, and 18./ * /When John had all the figures, he cast them up./

   [cat] See: COPY  CAT,  CURIOSITY  KILLED  THE  CAT,  FRAIDY-CAT  or
FRAID-CAT or SCAREDY CAT OY SCARED-CAT, HOLY CATS, LET THE CAT OUT  OF
THE BAG, LOOK LIKE THE CAT THAT ATE THE CANARY,  PLAY  CAT  AND  MOUSE
WITH, RAIN CATS AND DOGS.

   [catch] See: EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM,  FAIR  CATCH,  SHOESTRING
CATCH.

   [catch-as-catch-can(1)] {adv. phr.} In a free manner;  in  any  way
possible; in the best way you can. *  /On  moving  day  everything  is
packed and we eat meals catch-as-catch-can./

   [catch-as-catch-can(2)] {adj. phr.}  Using  any  means  or  method;
unplanned;  free.  *  /Rip  van   Winkle   seems   to   have   led   a
catch-as-catch-can life./ * /Politics is rather  a  catch-as-catch-can
business./ Compare: HIT-OR-MISS.

   [catch at] {v.} 1. To try to catch suddenly; grab for. *  /The  boy
on the merry-go-round caught at the brass ring, but did not  get  it./
2. To seize quickly; accept mentally or physically. * /The hungry  man
caught at the sandwich and began to eat./  *  /Joe  caught  at  Bill's
offer to help./

   [catch at a straw] See: GRASP AT STRAWS.

   [catch  cold]  {v.  phr.}  1.  or  [take  cold]  To  get  a  common
cold-weather sickness  that  causes  a  running  nose,  sneezing,  and
sometimes sore throat and fever or other symptoms. * /Don't  get  your
feet wet or you'll catch cold./ 2. {informal} To catch  unprepared  or
not ready for a question or unexpected happening. * /I had not studied
my lesson carefully, and the teacher's question  caught  me  cold./  *
/The opposing team was big and sure of winning, and they  were  caught
cold by the fast, hard playing of our smaller players./

   [catch (someone)  dead]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  see  or  hear
(someone) in an embarrassing act or place at any  time.  Used  in  the
negative usually in the passive. * /You won't catch Bill  dead  taking
his sister to the movies./ * /John wouldn't  be  caught  dead  in  the
necktie he got for Christmas./

   [catch fire] {v. phr.} 1. To begin to burn. * /When  he  dropped  a
match in the leaves, they caught fire./ 2. To become excited.  *  /The
audience caught fire at the speaker's words and  began  to  cheer./  *
/His imagination caught fire as he read./

   [catch flat-footed] See: FLAT-FOOTED(2).

   [catch forty winks] See: FORTY WINKS.

   [catch hold of] {v. phr.} To grasp a person or a  thing.  *  /"I've
been trying to catch hold of you all week," John said, "but  you  were
out of town."/ * /The mountain climber successfully caught hold of his
friend's hand and thereby saved his life./

   [catch it] or [get it] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  be  scolded  or
punished. - Usually used of children. * /John knew he would  catch  it
when he came home late for supper./ * /Wow, Johnny! When  your  mother
sees those torn pants, you're going to get it./  Compare:  GET  WHAT'S
COMING TO ONE. Contrast: GIVE IT TO(2).

   [catch it in the neck] or [get it in the neck] {v.  phr.},  {slang}
To be blamed or punished. * /Tom got it in the neck because he  forgot
to close the windows when it rained./ * /Students get it in  the  neck
when they lose library books./ Compare: CATCH IT, GET WHAT'S COMING TO
ONE.

   [catch off balance] {v. phr.} To  confront  someone  with  physical
force or with a statement or question he or she  is  not  prepared  to
answer or deal with; to exploit the disadvantage of  another.  *  /The
smaller wrestler caught his opponent off balance and managed to  throw
him on the float in spite of his greater weight and strength./ * /Your
question has caught me off balance; please give me some time to  think
about your problem./

   [catch off guard] {v. phr.} To challenge or confront a person at  a
time of lack of preparedness or sufficient care. *  /The  suspect  was
caught off guard by the detective and confessed where  he  had  hidden
the stolen car./

   [catch on] {v.}, {informal} 1. To understand; learn about. -  Often
used with "to". * /You'll catch on to the job after you've  been  here
awhile./ * /Don't play any tricks on Joe. When he catches on, he  will
beat you./ 2. To become popular; be done or used  by  many  people.  *
/The song caught on and was sung and  played  everywhere./  3.  To  be
hired; get a job. * /The ball player caught on with a big league  team
last year./

   [catch one's breath] {v. phr.} 1. To breathe in suddenly with  fear
or surprise. * /The beauty of the scene made him  catch  his  breath./
Compare: TAKE ONE'S BREATH AWAY. 2a. To rest and get back your  normal
breathing, as after running. * /After running to the bus stop, we  sat
down to catch our breath./ 2b. To relax for a moment after any work. *
/After the day's work we sat down over coffee to catch our breath./

   [catch one's  death  of]  or  [take  one's  death  of]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To become very ill with (a cold, pneumonia, flu). * /Johnny
fell in the icy water and almost took his death  of  cold./  Sometimes
used in the short form "catch your death." * /"Johnny! Come  right  in
here and put your coat and hat on. You'll catch your death!"/

   [catch one's eye] {v. phr.} To attract your attention. * /I  caught
his eye as he moved through the crowd, and waved at him to come over./
* /The dress in the window caught her eye when she passed the store./

   [catch red-handed] {v. phr.} /To apprehend a person during the  act
of committing an illicit or criminal act./ * /Al was caught red-handed
at the local store when he was trying to walk out with a new camera he
had not paid for./

   [catch sight of] {v. phr.}  To  see  suddenly  or  unexpectedly.  *
/Allan caught sight of a kingbird in a  maple  tree./  Contrast:  LOSE
SIGHT OF.

   [catch some rays] {v. phr.},  {slang},  {informal}  To  get  tanned
while sunbathing. * /Tomorrow I'll go to the beach and  try  to  catch
some rays./

   [catch some Z's] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To take a  nap,  to
go to sleep. (Because of the "z" sound resembling snoring.) * /I  want
to hit the sack and catch some Z's./

   [catch-22] {n.}, {informal} From Joseph Heller's novel  "Catch-22",
set  in  World  War  II.  1.  A  regulation  or  situation   that   is
self-contradictory or  that  conflicts  with  another  regulation.  In
Heller's book it referred to the regulation  that  flight  crews  must
report for duty unless excused for reasons of insanity, but  that  any
one  claiming  such  an  excuse  must,  by  definition,  be  sane.   *
/Government rules require workers to expose any  wrongdoing  in  their
office, but the Catch-22 prevents them from their  doing  so,  because
they are not allowed to disclose any information about their work./ 2.
A paradoxical situation. * /The Catch-22 of job-hunting was  that  the
factory  wanted  to  hire  only  workers  who  had  experience  making
computers but the only way to get the experience was by working at the
computer factory./

   [catch up] {v.} 1. To take or pick up suddenly; grab (something). *
/She caught up the book from the table and ran out of the room./ 2. To
capture or trap (someone) in a situation;  concern  or  interest  very
much. - Usually used in the passive with "in". * /The Smith family was
caught up in the war in Europe and we did not see them again  till  it
was over./ * /We were so caught up in the movie we forgot what time it
was./ Compare: MIX UP. 3. To go fast enough or do enough so as not  to
be behind; overtake; come even. - Often used with "to"  or  "with".  *
/Johnny ran hard and tried to catch up to his friends./ * /Mary missed
two weeks of school; she must work hard to catch up with  her  class./
Compare: UP TO. 4. To find out about or get proof to punish or arrest.
- Usually used with "with". * /A man told the police where the robbers
were hiding, so the police finally caught up with them./ 5. To  result
in something bad; bring punishment. - Usually used with "with". * /The
boy's fighting caught up with him and he was expelled from school./  *
/Smoking will catch up with  you./  Compare:  CHICKENS  COME  HOME  TO
ROOST. 6. To finish; not lose or be behind. - Used with "on" and often
in the phrase "get caught up on". *  /Frank  stayed  up  late  to  get
caught up on his homework./ * /I have to catch up on my sleep./ *  /We
caught up on all the latest news when we got back to  school  and  saw
our friends again./ Syn.: KEEP UP.

   [catch with one's  pants  down]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  surprise
someone in an embarrassing position or guilty  act.  *  /They  thought
they could succeed in the robbery, but  they  got  caught  with  their
pants down./ * /When the weather  turned  hot  in  May,  the  drive-in
restaurant was caught with its pants down, and ran out  of  ice  cream
before noon./

   [cat got one's tongue] You are not able or willing to talk  because
of shyness. Usually used about children or as a question to  children.
* /Tommy's father asked Tommy if the cat had got his tongue./  *  /The
little girl had a poem  to  recite,  but  the  cat  got  her  tongue./
Compare: LOSE ONE'S TONGUE.

   [cat has nine lives] A cat can move so fast and jump so  well  that
he seems to escape being killed many times.  *  /We  thought  our  cat
would be killed when he fell from the roof of the house. He  was  not,
but he used up one of his nine lives./

   [cathouse] {n.},  {slang}  A  house  of  ill  repute,  a  house  of
prostitution.  *  /Massage  parlors  are   frequently   cathouses   in
disguise./

   [cat's meow]  or  [cat's  pajamas]  {n.},  {slang}  Something  very
wonderful, special, or good. * /John's new hike is  really  the  cat's
meow./ * /Mary's party is going to be the cat's pajamas./

   [caught  short]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}  Not  having  enough  of
something when you need it. * /Mrs. Ford was  caught  short  when  the
newspaper boy came for his money a day early./ * /The man  was  caught
short of clothes when he had to go on a trip./

   [cause eyebrows to raise] {v. phr.} To  do  something  that  causes
consternation; to shock others. *  /When  Algernon  entered  Orchestra
Hall barefoot and wearing a woman's wig, he caused eyebrows to raise./

   [cause tongues to wag] See: TONGUES TO WAG.

   [caution] See: THROW CAUTION TO THE WINDS.

   [cave in] {v.} 1. To fall or collapse inward. * /The mine caved  in
and crushed three miners./ * /Don't climb on that old roof.  It  might
cave in./ 2. {informal} To weaken and be forced to  give  up.  *  /The
children begged their father to take them to the circus until he caved
in./ * /After the atomic bomb, Japan caved in and the war ceased./

   [cease fire] {v.} To give a military command ordering  soldiers  to
stop shooting. * /"Cease fire!" the captain cried,  and  the  shooting
stopped./

   [cease-fire] {n.} A period of negotiated  nonaggression,  when  the
warring parties involved promise not to attack. * /Unfortunately,  the
cease-fire in Bosnia was broken many times by all parties concerned./

   [ceiling] See: HIT THE CEILING or HIT THE ROOF.

   [cent] See: TWO CENTS, WORTH A CENT.

   [center] See: FRONT AND CENTER, OFF-CENTER, SHOPPING CENTER.

   [century] See: TURN OF THE CENTURY.

   [C.E.O.] {n.} Abbreviation of "Chief Executive Officer."  The  head
of a company, factory, firm, etc. * /We are very  proud  of  the  fact
that our C.E.O. is a young woman./

   [ceremony] See: STAND ON CEREMONY.

   [certain] See: FOR SURE or FOR CERTAIN.

   [chain gang] {n.} A group of convicts or slaves in  the  old  South
who were chained together. * /Chain gangs are no longer an  acceptable
way of punishment, according to modern criminologists./

   [chain letter] {n.} A letter which  each  person  receiving  it  is
asked to copy and send to several others. * /Most  chain  letters  die
out quickly./

   [chain-smoke] {v.} To smoke cigarettes or cigars one after  another
without stopping. *  /Mr.  Jones  is  very  nervous.  He  chain-smokes
cigars./ [chain  smoker]  {n.}  *  /Mr.  Jones  is  a  chain  smoker./
[chain-smoking] {adj.} or {n.} * /Chain smoking is very  dangerous  to
health./

   [chain stores] {n.} A series  of  stores  in  different  locations,
joined together under one ownership and  general  management.  *  /The
goods in chain stores tend to be  more  uniform  than  in  independent
ones./

   [chained to the oars] {adj. phr.} The condition of being forced  to
do strenuous and unwelcome labor against one's wishes for an  extended
period of  time.  *  /Teachers  in  large  public  schools  frequently
complain that they feel as if they had been chained to the oars./

   [chair] See: MUSICAL CHAIRS.

   [chalk] See: WALK THE CHALK.

   [chalk up] {v.}, {informal} 1. To write down as part  of  a  score;
record. * /The scorekeeper chalked up one  more  point  for  the  home
team./ 2. To make (a score or part of a score);  score.  *  /The  team
chalked up another victory./ * /Bob chalked up a home run and two base
hits in the game./ * /Mary chalked up good grades this term./

   [champ at the bit] {v. phr.} To be eager  to  begin;  be  tired  of
being held back; want to start. * /The horses  were  champing  at  the
bit, anxious to start racing./ * /As punishment John  was  kept  after
school for two hours. He was champing at the bit to go out./

   [chance] See: BY CHANCE, FAT CHANCE, STAND A CHANCE, TAKE A CHANCE.

   [chance it] {v. phr.} To be willing to risk an action whose outcome
is uncertain. * /"Should we take the boat out in such stormy weather?"
Jim  asked.  "We  can  chance  it,"  Tony  replied.  "We  have  enough
experience."/

   [chance on] also [chance upon] {v.} To happen to find or meet; find
or meet by accident. * /On our vacation we chanced upon an interesting
antique store./ * /Mary dropped her  ring  in  the  yard,  and  Mother
chanced on it as she was raking./ Syn.: HAPPEN ON. Compare: RUN INTO.

   [change] See: RING THE CHANGES.

   [change color] {v. phr.} 1. To become pale. *  /The  sight  was  so
horrible that Mary changed color from fear./  *  /Bill  lost  so  much
blood from the cut that he changed color./ 2. To become pink or red in
the face; become flushed;  blush.  *  /Mary  changed  color  when  the
teacher praised her drawing./ * /Tom  got  angry  at  the  remark  and
changed color./

   [change hands] {v. phr.} To change or transfer ownership.  *  /Ever
since our apartment building changed hands, things are working  a  lot
better./

   [change horses in the middle of a  stream]  or  [change  horses  in
midstream] {v. phr.} To make new plans or choose a new leader  in  the
middle of an important activity. * /When a  new  President  is  to  be
elected during a war, the people may decide not to  change  horses  in
the middle of a stream./

   [change off]  {v.},  {informal}  To  take  turns  doing  something;
alternate. * /John and Bill changed off at riding the bicycle./ * /Bob
painted one patch of wall and then he changed off with Tom./

   [change of heart] {n. phr.} A change in the way one feels or thinks
about a given task, idea or problem to be solved. * /Joan had a change
of heart and suddenly broke off her engagement to Tim./  *  /Fred  got
admitted to medical school, but he had a change of heart  and  decided
to go into the Foreign Service instead./

   [change of life] {n. phr.} The menopause (primarily  in  women).  *
/Women usually undergo a change of life in their forties or fifties./

   [change of pace] {n. phr.} A quick change in what you are doing.  *
/John studied for three hours and then read a comic book for a  change
of pace./ * /The doctor told the man he needed a change of pace./

   [change one's mind] {v. phr.} To alter one's opinion or judgment on
a given issue. * /I used to hate Chicago, but as the  years  passed  I
gradually changed my mind and now I actually love living here./

   [change one's tune] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make a change in  your
story, statement, or claim; change your way of acting. * /The man said
he was innocent, but when they found the stolen money in his pocket he
changed his tune./ * /Bob was rude to his teacher, but she  threatened
to tell the principal and he changed his tune./ Syn.: SING A DIFFERENT
TUNE.

   [change up] See: LET UP(4).

   [character] See: IN CHARACTER.

   [charge] See: CARRYING CHARGE, CHARGE OFF(2), IN CHARGE, IN  CHARGE
OF, TAKE CHARGE.

   [charge account] {n.} An agreement with a store through  which  you
can buy things and pay for them later. * /Mother bought a new dress on
her charge account./ * /Mr. Jones has a charge account at  the  garage
on the corner./

   [charge off] {v.} 1. To consider or record as a loss, especially in
an account book. * /The store  owner  charged  off  all  of  the  last
season's stock of suits./  Syn.:  WRITE  OFF(1).  2.  or  [charge  up]
{informal} To accept or remember (something)  as  a  mistake  and  not
worry about it any more. - Often used  with  "to  experience".  *  /He
charged off his mistakes to  experience./  Syn.:  CHALK  UP.  Compare:
CHARGE TO.

   [charge something to something] {v.} 1. To place the blame on; make
responsible for. * /John failed to win a prize, but he charged  it  to
his lack of experience./ * /The coach charged the loss of the game  to
the team's disobeying his orders./ 2. To buy something on  the  credit
of. * /Mrs. Smith bought a  new  pocketbook  and  charged  it  to  her
husband./ * /Mr. White ordered a box of cigars and had it  charged  to
his account./

   [charge up] {v. phr.} 1. To submit to  a  flow  of  electricity  in
order to make functional. * /I mustn't forget to charge  up  my  razor
before we go on our trip./ 2. To use up all the available  credit  one
has on one's credit card(s). * /"Let's charge  dinner  on  the  Master
Card," Jane said. "Unfortunately I can't," Jim  replied.  "All  of  my
credit cards are completely charged up."/

   [charge with] {v. phr.} To accuse someone in a court of law. * /The
criminal was charged with aggravated kidnapping across a state line./

   [charmed life] {n.} A life often saved from danger; a life full  of
lucky escapes. * /He was in two  airplane  accidents,  but  he  had  a
charmed life./ * /During the war a bullet knocked the gun out  of  his
hand, but he had a charmed life./

   [chase] See: GIVE CHASE, GO CHASE ONESELF, LEAD A MERRY CHASE.

   [chase after] See: RUN AFTER.

   [chase around] See: RUN AROUND.

   [cheapskate] {n.}, {informal} A selfish or stingy person; a  person
who will not spend much. - An insulting term. *  /None  of  the  girls
like to go out on a date with him because he is a cheapskate./

   [cheat on someone] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be unfaithful (to one's
wife or husband, or to one's sweetheart or fiancee). * /It is  rumored
that Joe cheats on his wife./

   [check] See: BLANK CHECK, CLAIM CHECK, DOUBLE CHECK, IN CHECK, RAIN
CHECK, RUBBER CHECK, SALES CHECK.

   [check  in]  {v.}  1a.  To  sign  your  name  (as  at  a  hotel  or
convention). * /The last guests to reach the hotel checked  in  at  12
o'clock./ Contrast: CHECK  OUT.  1b.  {informal}  To  arrive.  *  /The
friends we had invited did not check in until Saturday./ 2. To receive
(something) back and make a record of it. * /The coach checked in  the
football uniforms at the end of the school year./ * /The students  put
their books on the library desk, and the librarian checked them in./

   [check off] {v.} To put a mark beside (the  name  of  a  person  or
thing on a list) to show that it has  been  counted.  *  /The  teacher
checked off each pupil as he got on the bus./ * /Bill wrote  down  the
names of all the states he could remember, and then  he  checked  them
off against the list in his book./ Compare: TICK OFF.

   [check on someone/thing] or [check up on someone/thing] {v}. To try
to find out the truth or rightness of; make sure of; examine; inspect;
investigate. * /We checked on Dan's age by getting his birth  record./
* /Mrs. Brown said she heard someone downstairs  and  Mr.  Brown  went
down to check up on it./ * /You can check on your answers at the  back
of the book./ * /The police are checking up on the man to  see  if  he
has a police record./ * /Grandfather went to have the doctor check  on
his health./ Compare: LOOK INTO, LOOK OVER.

   [check out] {v.} 1a. To pay your hotel bill and leave. * /The  last
guests checked out of their rooms in the morning./ Contrast: CHECK IN.
1b. {informal} To go away; leave. * /I hoped our guest would stay  but
he had to check out before Monday./ Compare: CHECK IN. 2a. To  make  a
list or record of. * /They checked out all the goods  in  the  store./
2b. To give or lend (something) and make a record of it. *  /The  boss
checked out the tools to the workmen as they came to work./ 2c. To get
(something) after a record has been made of it. *  /I  checked  out  a
book from the library./ 3. {informal} To test (something, like a  part
of a motor). * /The mechanic checked out  the  car  battery./  *  /"He
checked out from the motel at nine,"  said  the  detective,  "then  he
checked out the air in the car tires and his list of local  clients."/
4. {slang} To die. * /He seemed too young to check out./

   [check up] {v.} To find out  or  try  to  find  out  the  truth  or
correctness of something; make sure of something; investigate. * /Mrs.
Brown thought she had heard a burglar  in  the  house,  so  Mr.  Brown
checked up, but found nobody./ * /Bill thought  he  had  a  date  with
Janie, but phoned her to check up./

   [check-up] {n.} A periodic examination by a physician  or  of  some
equipment by a mechanic. *  /I  am  overdue  for  my  annual  physical
check-up./ * /I need to take my car in for a check-up./

   [check with] {v. phr.} 1. To consult. * /I want to  check  with  my
lawyer before I sign the  papers./  2.  To  agree  with.  *  /Does  my
reconciliation of our account check with the bank statement?/

   [cheek] See: TURN THE OTHER CHEEK.

   [cheer] See: BRONX CHEER.

   [cheer on] {v. phr.} To vociferously encourage a person or  a  team
during a sports event. * /The spectators at  the  stadium  cheered  on
their home team./

   [cheer up] {v.} 1. To feel happy; stop being  sad  or  discouraged;
become hopeful, joyous, or glad.  *  /Jones  was  sad  at  losing  the
business, but he cheered up at the sight of his  daughter./  *  /Cheer
up! The worst is over./ 2. To make cheerful or happy. *  /The  support
of the students cheered up the losing team and they played harder  and
won./ * /We went to the  hospital  to  cheer  up  a  sick  friend./  *
/Flowers cheer up a room./

   [cheese] See: BIG CHEESE, WHOLE CHEESE.

   [cheesebox] {n.}, {slang} A small, suburban house built by  a  land
developer available at low cost and resembling the other houses around
it. * /They moved to a suburb, but their house is just a cheesebox./

   [cheesecake] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} A showing of the legs of  an
attractive woman or a display of her breasts as in  certain  magazines
known as cheesecake magazines. * /Photographer to model: "Give us some
cheesecake in that pose!"/

   [cherry farm] {n.}, {slang} A correctional institution  of  minimal
security where the inmates, mostly first offenders, work as farmhands.
* /Joe got a light sentence and was sent to  a  cherry  farm  for  six
months./

   [chest] See: OFF ONE'S CHEST, ON ONE'S CHEST.

   [chew] See: BITE OFF MORE THAN ONE CAN CHEW.

   [chew out] {v.}, {slang} To scold  roughly.  *  /The  boy's  father
chewed him out for staying up late./  *  /The  coach  chews  out  lazy
players./ Syn.: BAWL OUT, CALL ON THE CARPET, HAUL OVER THE COALS.

   [chew the fat] or  [chew  the  rag]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  talk
together in an idle, friendly fashion; chat. * /We used to meet  after
work, and chew the fat over coffee and  doughnuts./  *  /The  old  man
would chew the rag for hours with anyone who would join him./

   [chew the scenery] {v. phr.}, {slang} To act overemotionally  in  a
situation where it is inappropriate; to engage in  histrionics.  *  /I
don't know if Joe was sincere about our house, but he sure  chewed  up
the scenery!/

   [chicken] See: COUNT ONE'S CHICKENS BEFORE THEY ARE HATCHED, GO  TO
BED WITH THE CHICKENS, SPRING CHICKEN.

   [chicken-brained] {adj.} Stupid; narrow-minded; unimaginative. * /I
can't understand how a  bright  woman  like  Helen  can  date  such  a
chicken-brained guy as Oliver./

   [chicken feed] {n.}, {slang} A very small sum of money. * /John and
Bill worked very hard, but they were only paid chicken feed./  *  /Mr.
Jones is so rich be thinks a thousand dollars is chicken feed./

   [chicken-hearted] {adj.} Cowardly; excessively timid. * /"Come  on,
let's  get  on  that  roller  coaster,"  she  cried.  "Don't   be   so
chicken-hearted."/ See: CHICKEN-LIVERED.

   [chicken-livered]  {adj.},  {slang},  {colloquial}  Easily  scared;
cowardly. * /Joe sure is a chicken-livered guy./ See: CHICKEN-HEARTED.

   [chicken out] {v. phr.}, {informal} To stop doing something because
of fear;  to  decide  not  to  do  something  after  all  even  though
previously having decided to try it. * /I used to ride a motorcycle on
the highway, but I've chickened out./ *  /I  decided  to  take  flying
lessons but just before they started I chickened out./

   [chickens come home to roost] {informal} Words or acts come back to
cause trouble for a person; something bad you  said  or  did  receives
punishment; you  get  the  punishment  that  you  deserve.  *  /Fred's
chickens finally came home to roost today. He was late so  often  that
the teacher made him go to the principal./ - Often  used  in  a  short
form. * /Mary's selfishness will come home to roost some day./

   [chicken switch] {n.}, {slang}, {Space English}  1.  The  emergency
eject button used by test pilots in fast and high flying  aircraft  by
means of which they can parachute to safety if the engine fails; later
adopted by astronauts in space capsules. *  /Don't  pull  the  chicken
switch, unless absolutely necessary./ 2. The panic button;  a  panicky
reaction  to  an  unforeseen  situation,  such  as   unreasonable   or
hysterical telephone calls to friends for  help.  *  /Joe  pulled  the
chicken switch on his neighbor when the grease started burning in  the
kitchen./

   [child] See: BURNT CHILD DREADS THE FIRE, WITH CHILD.

   [children and fools speak the truth] Children and fools say  things
without thinking; they say what they  think  or  know  when  grown-ups
might not think it was polite or wise to do so. - A proverb. * /"Uncle
Willie is too fat," said little Agnes. "Children and fools  speak  the
truth," said her father./

   [children should be seen and not heard] A command issued by  adults
to children ordering them to be  quiet  and  not  to  interrupt.  -  A
proverb. * /Your children should not  argue  so  loudly.  Haven't  you
taught them that children should be seen and not heard?/

   [child's play] {adj.} Easy; requiring no effort. * /Mary's work  as
a volunteer social worker is so agreeable to her that she thinks of it
as child's play./

   [chill] See: SPINE-CHILLING.

   [chime in] {v.} 1. {informal} To join in. * /The whole group chimed
in on the chorus./ * /When the argument got hot, John chimed  in./  2.
To agree; go well together. - Usually used with "with".  *  /Dick  was
happy, and the holiday music chimed in with  his  feelings./  *  /When
Father suggested going to the shore for the vacation, the whole family
chimed in with the plan./

   [chin] See: KEEP ONE'S CHIN UP, STICK ONE'S NECK OUT or STICK ONE'S
CHIN OUT, TAKE IT ON THE CHIN, UP TO THE CHIN IN.

   [china shop] See: BULL IN A CHINA SHOP.

   [China syndrome] {n.}, {informal} From the title of the movie  with
Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon. The possibility that an industrial nuclear
reactor might explode, literally  affecting  the  other  side  of  the
planet (as if by eating a hole  through  the  earth  all  the  way  to
China.) * /Antinuclear demonstrators are  greatly  worried  about  the
China syndrome./

   [chip] See: CASH IN ONE'S CHIPS at CASH-IN, IN THE CHIPS.  LET  THE
CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY, FISH-AND-CHIPS, WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN.

   [chip in] or [kick in]  {v.},  {informal}  To  give  together  with
others, contribute. * /The pupils chipped in a  dime  apiece  for  the
teacher's Christmas present./ * /All the neighbors kicked in  to  help
after the fire./ * /Lee chipped in ten points in the basketball game./
* /Joe didn't say much but chipped in a few words./

   [chip off the old block] {n. phr.} A person whose character  traits
closely resemble those of his parents. * /I hear that  Tom  plays  the
violin in the orchestra his father conducts; he sure is a chip off the
old block./

   [chip on  one's  shoulder]  {n.  phr.},  {informal}  A  quarrelsome
nature; readiness to be angered. * /He went through life with  a  chip
on his shoulder./ * /Jim often gets into fights because he goes around
with a chip on his shoulder./

   [chips] See: WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN.

   [chisel]  or  [muscle  in  on]  {v.  phr.}  To  illegitimately  and
forcefully intrude into someone's traditional  sales  or  professional
arena of operation. * /Tim has a  good  sales  territory,  but  he  is
always afraid that someone might chisel in on it./ * /Las Vegas casino
owners  are  concerned  that  the  Mafia  might  muscle  in  on  their
territory./

   [choice] See: BY CHOICE, FIELDER'S CHOICE.

   [choke off]  {v.}  To  put  a  sudden  end  to;  stop  abruptly  or
forcefully. * /It was almost time for the  meeting  to  end,  and  the
presiding officer had to move to choke off debate./ * /The war  choked
off diamond shipments from overseas./

   [choke up] {v.} 1a. To come near losing  calmness  or  self-control
from strong feeling; be upset by your feelings. *  /When  one  speaker
after another praised John, he choked up and couldn't thank  them./  *
/When Father tried to tell me how glad he was to see me safe after the
accident, he choked up and was unable to speak./ 1b. {informal} To  be
unable to do well because of excitement or nervousness. * /Bill was  a
good batter, but in  the  championship  game  he  choked  up  and  did
poorly./ 2. To fill up; become clogged or blocked; become hard to pass
through. * /The channel had choked up with sand so that boats couldn't
use it./

   [choose] See: PICK AND CHOOSE.

   [chooser] See: BEGGARS CAN'T BE CHOOSERS.

   [choose up sides] {v. phr.} To form two  teams  with  two  captains
taking turns choosing players. * /The boys chose up sides for  a  game
of softball./ * /Tom and Joe were the captains. They chose up sides./

   [chop] See: LICK ONE'S CHOPS.

   [chow line] {n.}, {slang} A line of people waiting for food. * /The
chow line was already long when John got to the dining hall./  *  /The
soldiers picked up trays and got into the chow line./

   [Christmas] See: FATHER CHRISTMAS.

   [Christmas card] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's  band  radio  jargon}  A
speeding ticket. * /Smokey just gave a Christmas card to the  eighteen
wheeler we passed./

   [Christmas club] {n.} A plan for putting money in the  bank  to  be
saved for Christmas shopping. * /John deposits $10 each  week  in  the
Christmas club./ * /The woman will get her  Christmas  club  money  on
December 10./

   [chum around with] {v. phr.} 1. To be close friends with someone. *
/They have been chumming around with one another for quite some time./
2. To travel around with someone. * /Jack is planning to  chum  around
with Tim in Europe this summer./

   [cigar-store Indian] {n. phr.} A wooden statue of an  Indian  which
in the past was placed in front of a cigar store.  *  /A  cigar  store
Indian used to mean a cigar store in the same way a barber pole  still
means a barber shop./

   [circle] See: COME FULL CIRCLE, IN A  CIRCLE  or  IN  CIRCLES,  RUN
CIRCLES AROUND also RUN RINGS AROUND.

   [circulation] See: IN CIRCULATION, OUT OF CIRCULATION.

   [circumstance]  See:  UNDER   THE   CIRCUMSTANCES   also   IN   THE
CIRCUMSTANCES.

   [circumstances alter cases] {formal} The way things are, or happen,
may change the way you are expected to act. * /John's father told  him
never to touch his gun, but one day when Father was away, John used it
to shoot a poisonous snake that  came  into  the  yard.  Circumstances
alter cases./

   [circus] See: THREE-RING CIRCUS.

   [citizen] See: SENIOR CITIZEN.

   [civil] See: KEEP A CIVIL TONGUE IN ONE'S HEAD.

   [claim] See: STAKE A CLAIM.

   [claim check] {n.} A ticket needed to get back  something.  *  /The
man at the parking lot gave Mrs. Collins a claim check./  *  /The  boy
put the dry cleaning claim check in his billfold./  *  /The  man  told
Mary the pictures would be ready Friday and gave her a claim check./

   [clamp down] {v.}, {informal} To put on  strict  controls;  enforce
rules or laws. * /After the explosion, police clamped down and let  no
more visitors inside the monument./ *  /The  school  clamped  down  on
smoking./ * /When the crowds became  bigger  and  wilder,  the  police
clamped down on them and made everyone go home./

   [clam up] {v.}, {slang}  To  refuse  to  say  anything  more;  stop
talking. * /The suspect clammed up, and the police could get  no  more
information out of him./

   [class] See: HIGH-CLASS, SECOND CLASS.

   [clay] See: FEET OF CLAY.

   [clay pigeon] {n.}, {slang}, {informal}  1.  A  popular  target  at
practice shooting made of clay and roughly  resembling  a  pigeon;  an
easy target that doesn't move. * /All he can shoot is a clay  pigeon./
2. A person who, like a clay pigeon in target practice, is immobilized
or is in a sensitive position and is therefore  easily  criticized  or
otherwise victimized. * /Poor Joe is a clay pigeon./ 3. A task  easily
accomplished like shooting an immobile clay pigeon. * /The  math  exam
was a clay pigeon./

   [clean] See: COME CLEAN, KEEP ONE'S NOSE CLEAN, MAKE A CLEAN BREAST
OF, NEW BROOM SWEEPS CLEAN, TAKE TO ONE'S HEELS,  also  SHOW  A  CLEAN
PAIR OF HEELS.

   [clean bill of health] {n. phr.} 1. A certificate that a person  or
animal has no infectious disease. * /The government doctor gave  Jones
a clean bill of health when he entered the country./ 2.  {informal}  A
report that a person is free of guilt or fault. *  /The  stranger  was
suspected in the bank robbery, but the police gave him a clean bill of
health./

   [clean break] {n. phr.} A complete separation. * /Tom made a  clean
break with his former girlfriends before marrying Pamela./

   [cleaners] See: TO TAKE TO THE CLEANERS.

   [clean hands] {n. phr.}, {slang} Freedom from guilt or  dishonesty;
innocence. * /John grew up in a bad neighborhood, but he grew up  with
clean hands./ * /There was much proof against Bill, but  he  swore  he
had clean hands./

   [clean out] {v.} 1. {slang} To take everything from; empty;  strip.
* /George's friends cleaned him out when they were playing cards  last
night./ * /The sudden demand for paper plates  soon  cleaned  out  the
stores./ 2. {informal} To get rid of;  remove;  dismiss.  *  /The  new
mayor promised to clean the crooks out of the city government./

   [clean slate] {n. phr.} A  record  of  nothing  but  good  conduct,
without any errors or bad deeds; past acts that are all  good  without
any bad ones. * /Johnny was sent to the principal for  whispering.  He
had a clean slate so the principal did not punish him./ * /Mary stayed
after school for a week, and after that the teacher let her off with a
clean slate./ Compare: TURN OVER A NEW LEAF.

   [clean sweep] {n. phr.} A complete victory. *  /Our  candidate  for
the United States Senate made a clean sweep over his opponent./

   [clean up] {v. phr.} 1. To wash and  make  oneself  presentable.  *
/After quitting for the day in the garage, Tim decided to clean up and
put on a clean shirt./ 2.  To  finish;  terminate.  *  /The  secretary
promised her boss to clean up all the unfinished work  before  leaving
on her Florida vacation./ 3. {informal} To make a large profit. * /The
clever investors cleaned up on the stock market last week./

   [clean-up] {n.} 1. An act of removing all the dirt from a given set
of objects. * /What this filthy room needs is an honest clean-up./  2.
The elimination of pockets of resistance during warfare  or  a  police
raid. * /The FBI conducted a clean-up against the drug pushers in  our
district./

   [clear] See: COAST IS CLEAR, IN THE CLEAR, OUT OF THE BLUE  or  OUT
OF A CLEAR SKY or OUT OF A CLEAR BLUE SKY, SEE ONE'S WAY CLEAR,  STEER
CLEAR OF.

   [clear-cut] {adj.} Definite; well defined. * /The  president's  new
policy of aggressive action is a  clear-cut  departure  from  his  old
methods of unilateral appeasement./

   [clear-eyed] {adj.} Understanding problems or events clearly; being
able to tell very well the results of a way of acting. * /Tom is  very
clear-eyed. He knows he doesn't have much chance of winning the  race,
but he will try his best./ *  /He  is  a  clear-eyed  and  independent
commentator on the news./

   [clear one's name] {v. phr.} To prove  someone  is  innocent  of  a
crime or misdeed of which he has been accused. * /The falsely  accused
rapist has been trying in vain to clear his name./

   [clear out] {v.} 1. To take everything out of; empty. * /When  Bill
was moved to another class he cleared out his desk./ 2. {informal}  To
leave suddenly; go away; depart. * /The cop told  the  boys  to  clear
out./ * /Bob cleared out without paying his room rent./ *  /Clear  out
of here! You're bothering me./ Compare: BEAT IT.

   [clear   the   air]   {v.   phr.}   To   remove   angry   feelings,
misunderstanding, or confusion. * /The President's statement  that  he
would run for office again cleared the air of rumors and guessing./  *
/When Bill was angry at Bob, Bob made a joke, and it cleared  the  air
between them./

   [clear the decks] {v. phr.} To put everything in  readiness  for  a
major activity; to eliminate unessentials. * /The governor  urged  the
State Assembly to clear the decks of all but the most pressing  issues
to vote on./

   [clear up] {v.} 1. To make plain or clear; explain; solve.  *  /The
teacher cleared up the harder parts of the story./  *  /Maybe  we  can
clear up your problem./ 2. To become clear. * /The weather cleared  up
after the storm./ 3. To cure. * /The  pills  cleared  up  his  stomach
trouble./ 4. To put back into a normal, proper, or  healthy  state.  *
/The doctor can give you something to clear up your  skin./  *  /Susan
cleared up the room./ 5. To become cured. * /This  skin  trouble  will
clear up in a day or two./

   [clerk] See: ROOM CLERK or DESK CLERK.

   [cliffdweller] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} A city person who lives on
a very high floor in an apartment building.  *  /Joe  and  Nancy  have
become cliffdwellers - they moved up to the 30th floor./

   [clifihanger] {n.}, {informal} A sports event or a movie  in  which
the outcome is uncertain to the very end  keeping  the  spectators  in
great suspense and excitement. * /Did you see "The Fugitive"?  It's  a
regular cliffhanger./

   [climb] See: SOCIAL CLIMBER.

   [climb on the bandwagon] See: ON THE BANDWAGON.

   [climb the wall] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. To  react  to  a
challenging  situation  with  too   great   an   emotional   response,
frustration, tension, and anxiety. * /By the time  I  got  the  letter
that I was hired, I was  ready  to  climb  the  wall./  2.  To  be  so
disinterested or bored as to be most anxious to get away at any  cost.
* /If the chairman doesn't stop talking, I'll climb the wall./

   [clinging vine] {n.} A very dependent woman; a woman who needs much
love and encouragement from a man. * /Mary is  a  clinging  vine;  she
cannot do anything without her husband./

   [cling to one's mother's apron strings] See: TIED TO ONE'S MOTHER'S
APRON STRINGS.

   [clip joint] {n.}, {slang} A low-class night club or other business
where people are cheated. * /The man got drunk and lost all his  money
in a clip joint./ * /The angry woman said the store was a clip joint./

   [clip one's wings] {v. phr.} To limit or hold you back,  bring  you
under control; prevent your success. * /When the new  president  tried
to become dictator, the generals soon clipped his wings./ *  /Jim  was
spending too much time on dates when he needed to study so his  father
stopped his allowance; that clipped his wings./

   [cloak-and-dagger] {adj.} Of or about spies and  secret  agents.  *
/It was a cloak-and-dagger story about some spies who tried  to  steal
atomic secrets./ * /The book was written by a retired colonel who used
to take part in cloak-and-dagger plots./ (From the wearing  of  cloaks
and daggers by people in old adventure stories.)  Compare:  BLOOD  AND
THUNDER.

   [clock] See: AGAINST TIME or AGAINST THE CLOCK, AROUND THE CLOCK or
THE CLOCK AROUND, PUT BACK THE CLOCK or TURN BACK THE CLOCK,  GO  LIKE
CLOCKWORK or GO OFF LIKE CLOCKWORK, TURN THE CLOCK BACK.

   [clock watcher] {n. phr.}, {informal} A worker who always quits  at
once when it is time; a man who is in a hurry  to  leave  his  job.  *
/When Ted got his first job, his father told him to work hard and  not
be a clock watcher./

   [close at hand] {adj. phr.} Handy; close by; within one's range.  *
/My calendar isn't close at hand, so I can't tell you whether  we  can
come next week or not./ * /I always keep my pencils and erasers  close
at hand when I work on a draft proposal./

   [close call] or [shave] {n. phr.} A narrow escape. * /That sure was
a close call when that truck came near us from the right!/ * /When Tim
fell off his bicycle in front of a bus, it was a very close shave./

   [closed book] {n.} A secret; something not known or  understood.  *
/The man's early life is a closed book./ * /For  Mary,  science  is  a
closed book./ * /The history of the town is a closed book./

   [closed-door] {adj.} Away from the public; in private or in secret;
limited to a few. * /The officers  of  the  club  held  a  closed-door
meeting./ * /The committee decided  on  a  closed-door  rule  for  the
investigation./ Compare: IN PRIVATE.

   [close down] or [shut down] {v.} To  stop  all  working,  as  in  a
factory; stop work entirely; also:  to  stop  operations  in.  *  /The
factory closed down for Christmas./  *  /The  company  shut  down  the
condom plant for Easter./

   [closed shop] {n. phr.} 1. A plant or  factory  that  employs  only
union workers. * /Our firm has been fighting the  closed  shop  policy
for many years now./ 2. A profession or  line  of  work  dominated  by
followers of a certain mode of thinking and  behaving  that  does  not
tolerate differing views or ideas. * /Certain groups of psychologists,
historians, and linguists often behave with a closed-shop  mentality./
Contrast: OPEN SHOP.

   [close in] {v.} To come in nearer from all sides. * /We wanted  the
boat to reach shore before the fog closed in./ - Often used with "on".
* /The troops were closing in on the enemy.

   [close its doors] {v. phr.} 1. To keep someone  or  something  from
entering or joining; become closed. * /The club has closed  its  doors
to new members./ 2. To fail as a business; go bankrupt.  *  /The  fire
was so damaging that the store had to close its  doors./  *  /Business
was so poor that we had to close our doors after six months./ Compare:
CLOSE THE DOOR. Contrast: OPEN ITS DOORS.

   [close-knit] {adj.}  Closely  joined  together  by  ties  of  love,
friendship, or common interest; close. * /The Joneses are a close-knit
family./ * /The three boys are  always  together.  They  form  a  very
close-knit group./

   [close one's eyes] or [shut one's eyes] {v. phr.} To refuse to  see
or think about. * /The park is beautiful if you shut your eyes to  the
litter./ * /The ice was very thin, but the boys shut their eyes to the
danger and went skating./ Compare: OPEN ONE'S EYES.

   [dose out] {v.} To sell the whole of; end (a business or a business
operation) by selling all the goods; also, to sell your stock and stop
doing business. * /The store closed out its stock of garden supplies./
* /Mr. Jones closed out his grocery./ * /Mr. Randall was losing  money
in his shoe store, so he decided to close out./

   [close quarters] {n. phr.} Limited, cramped space.  *  /With  seven
boy scouts in a tent, they were living in very close quarters./

   [close ranks] {v. phr.}  1.  To  come  close  together  in  a  line
especially for fighting. * /The soldiers closed  ranks  and  kept  the
enemy away from the bridge./ 2. To stop quarreling and work  together;
unite and fight together. *  /The  Democrats  and  Republicans  closed
ranks to win the war./ * /The leader asked the people to  close  ranks
and plan a new school./

   [close shave] See: CLOSE CALL.

   [closet] See: SKELETON IN THE CLOSET.

   [close  the  books]  {v.  phr.}  To  stop  taking  orders;  end   a
bookkeeping period. * /The tickets were all sold, so the manager  said
to close the books./ * /The department store closes its books  on  the
25th of each month./

   [close the door] or [bar the door] or [shut the door] {v. phr.}  To
prevent any more action or talk about a subject.  *  /The  President's
veto closed the door to any new attempt to pass the bill./ * /Joan was
much hurt by what Mary said, and she closed the door on Mary's attempt
to apologize./ * /After John makes up his mind, he closes the door  to
any more arguments./ Contrast: OPEN THE DOOR.

   [close  to  home]  {adv.  phr.}  Too  near  to  someone's  personal
feelings, wishes, or interests. * /When John made fun of Bob's way  of
walking, he struck close to home./ * /When the  preacher  spoke  about
prejudice, some people felt he had come too close to home./

   [close-up] {n.} A photograph, motion picture, or video camera  shot
taken at very close range. *  /Directors  of  movies  frequently  show
close-ups of the main characters./

   [close up shop] {v. phr.} 1. To shut a store at the end of a  day's
business, also, to end a business. * /The grocer closes up shop  at  5
o'clock./ * /After 15 years in business at the same spot,  the  garage
closed up shop./ 2. {informal} To stop some activity; finish what  you
are doing. * /After camping out for two weeks, the  scouts  took  down
their tents and  closed  up  shop./  *  /The  committee  finished  its
business and closed up shop./ Compare: CALL IT A DAY.

   [clothes] See: BEST BIB AND TUCKER or SUNDAY-GO-TO-MEETING CLOTHES.

   [clothing] See: WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING.

   [cloud] See: EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING,  IN  THE  CLOUDS,  ON
CLOUD NINE, UNDER A CLOUD.

   [clover] See: FOUR-LEAF CLOVER, IN CLOVER or IN THE CLOVER.

   [club] See: CHRISTMAS CLUB.

   [cluck and grunt] {n.}, {slang},  {avoid  it  in  restaurants}  The
familiar restaurant dish of ham and eggs; since ham is  made  of  pork
(and pigs grunt) and eggs come from hens (which cluck.) * /"I am sorry
I can't fix you an elaborate meal, but I can give you  a  quick  cluck
and grunt."/

   [clutch] See: RIDE THE BRAKE.

   [coal] See: CARRY COALS TO NEWCASTLE, HAUL OVER THE COALS  or  RAKE
OVER THE COALS, HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON ONE'S HEAD.

   [coast is clear] No enemy or danger is in sight; there is no one to
see you. * /When the teacher had disappeared around the  corner,  John
said, "Come on, the coast is clear."/ * /The men knew when  the  night
watchman would pass. When he had gone, and the coast was  clear,  they
robbed the safe./ * /When Father stopped the car  at  the  stop  sign,
Mother said, "The coast is clear on this side."/

   [coat tail] See: ON ONE'S COAT TAILS.

   [cock] See: GO OFF HALF-COCKED also GO OFF AT HALF COCK.

   [cock-and-bull story] {n.  phr.}  An  exaggerated  or  unbelievable
story. * /"Stop feeding me such cock-and-bull stories," the  detective
said to the suspect./

   [cockeyed] {adj.} Drunk; intoxicated. * /Frank  has  been  drinking
all day and, when we met,  he  was  so  cockeyed  he  forgot  his  own
address./

   [cocksure] {adj.} Overconfident; very sure. *  /Paul  was  cocksure
that it wasn 't going to snow, but it snowed so much that  we  had  to
dig our way out of the house./

   [C.O.D.] {n. phr.} Abbreviation of "cash on delivery."  *  /If  you
want to receive a piece of  merchandise  by  mail  and  pay  when  you
receive it, you place a C.O.D. order./

   [coffee break] {n.} A short recess or time out from work  in  which
to rest and drink coffee. * /The girls in the  office  take  a  coffee
break in the middle of the morning and the afternoon./

   [coffee hour] {n.} A time for coffee or other refreshments after  a
meeting; a time to meet people and have  refreshments.  *  /After  the
business meeting we had a coffee hour./ * /The Joneses  had  a  coffee
hour so their visitor could meet their neighbors./

   [coffee table] {n.} A low table used in a  living  room.  *  /There
were several magazines on the coffee table./

   [coffin nail] {n.}, {slang} A cigarette. *  /"I  stopped  smoking,"
Algernon said. "In fact, I haven't had a coffin nail in  well  over  a
year."/

   [cog] See: SLIP A COG or SLIP A GEAR.

   [coin money] or [mint money] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make a lot of
money quickly; profit heavily; gain big profit. * /Fred  coined  money
with many cigarette vending machines and juke boxes./

   [cold] See: BLOOD RUNS COLD, BLOW HOT AND COLD, CATCH COLD or  TAKE
COLD, IN  COLD  BLOOD,  OUT  COLD,  OUT  IN  THE  COLD,  PASS  OUT(2),
STONE-COLD, STOP COLD, THROW COLD WATER ON.

   [cold cash] or [hard cash] {n.} Money that is paid at the  time  of
purchase; real money; silver and bills. * /Mr. Jones bought a new  car
and paid cold cash for it./ * * /Some stores sell things only for cold
cash./ Compare: CASH ON THE BARRELHEAD.

   [cold comfort] {n.} Something that makes a person in  trouble  feel
very little better or even worse. * /When Tim lost the  race,  it  was
cold comfort to him to hear that he could try again in two  weeks./  *
/Mary spent her vacation sick in bed and Jane's letter about her  trip
was cold comfort./

   [cold feet] {n. phr.}, {informal} A loss of  courage  or  nerve;  a
failure or loss of confidence in yourself. * /Ralph was going  to  ask
Mary to dance with him but he got cold feet and didn't./

   [cold fish] {n.}, {informal}  A  queer  person;  a  person  who  is
unfriendly or does not mix with  others.  *  /No  one  knows  the  new
doctor, he is a cold fish./ * /Nobody invites Eric to parties  because
he is a cold fish./

   [cold-shoulder] {v.}, {informal} To  act  towards  a  person;  with
dislike or scorn; be unfriendly to. * /Fred  cold-shouldered  his  old
friend when they passed on the street./ * /It is impolite  and  unkind
to cold-shoulder people./ Compare: BRUSH OFF(2), HIGH-HAT,  LOOK  DOWN
ONE'S NOSE AT.

   [cold shoulder] {n.}, {informal} Unfriendly treatment of a  person,
a showing of dislike for a person or of looking down on  a  person.  -
Used in the cliches "give the cold shoulder" or "turn a cold  shoulder
to" or "get the cold shoulder". * /When Bob asked Mary for a date  she
gave him the cold shoulder./ * /The membership committee turned a cold
shoulder to Jim's request to join the club./

   [cold snap] {n.} A short time of quick change from warm weather  to
cold. * /The cold snap killed everything in the garden./

   [cold turkey] {adv.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. Abruptly  and  without
medical aid to withdraw from the use of an addictive drug  or  from  a
serious drinking problem. * /Joe is a very brave guy;  he  kicked  the
habit cold turkey./ 2. {n.} An  instance  of  withdrawal  from  drugs,
alcohol, or cigarette smoking. * /Joe did a cold turkey./

   [cold war] {n.} A struggle that is carried on by  other  means  and
not by actual fighting; a war without shooting or  bombing.  *  /After
World War II, a cold war began between Russia and the United States./

   [collar] See: HOT UNDER THE COLLAR, ROMAN COLLAR, SAILOR COLLAR.

   [collective  farm]  {n.}  A  large  government-run  farm  made   by
combining many small farms. * /The Russian farmers  used  to  live  on
collective farms./

   [collector's item]  {n.}  Something  rare  or  valuable  enough  to
collect or save. * /Jimmy's mother found an old  wooden  doll  in  the
attic that turned out to be a collector's item./

   [College Boards] {n.}  A  set  of  examinations  given  to  test  a
student's readiness and ability for college. * /John got a high  score
on his College Boards./ * /College Boards test both what a student has
learned and his ability to learn./

   [color] See: CHANGE COLOR, GIVE COLOR TO or  LEND  COLOR  TO,  HAUL
DOWN ONE'S COLORS, HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR, NAIL  ONE'S  COLORS  TO
THE MAST, OFF-COLOR or OFF-COLORED, SAIL UNDER FALSE COLORS,  SEE  THE
COLOR OF ONE'S MONEY, SHOW ONE'S COLORS, WITH FLYING COLORS.

   [color guard] {n.} A military guard of honor  for  the  flag  of  a
country; also: a guard of honor to carry and protect a flag or  banner
(as of a club). * /There were four Marines in the color guard  in  the
parade./ * /Bob was picked to be a color guard and to carry the banner
of the drum corps at the football game./

   [color scheme] {n.} A plan for colors used together as  decoration.
* /The color scheme for the  dance  was  blue  and  silver./  *  /Mary
decided on a pink and white color scheme for her room./

   [comb] See: FINE-TOOTH COMB.

   [come] See: CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST, CROSS A BRIDGE BEFORE  ONE
COMES TO IT, EASY COME - EASY GO,  FIRST  COME  -  FIRST  SERVED,  GET
WHAT'S COMING TO ONE, HAVE IT COMING, HOW COME  also  HOW'S  COME,  IF
WORST COMES TO WORST, JOHNNY-COME-LATELY, KNOW ENOUGH TO COME  IN  OUT
OF THE RAIN, KNOW IF ONE IS COMING OR GOING, LOOK AS IF ONE  HAS  COME
OUT OF A BANDBOX, SHIP COME IN.

   [come about] {v.} To take place; happen, occur. * /Sometimes it  is
hard to tell how a quarrel comes about./ * /When John woke up  he  was
in the hospital, but he didn't know how that had come about./

   [come a cropper] 1.  To  fall  off  your  horse.  *  /John's  horse
stumbled, and John came a cropper./ 2. To fail. * /Mr. Brown  did  not
have enough money to  put  into  his  business  and  it  soon  came  a
cropper./ Compare: RIDING FOR A FALL.

   [come across] {v.} 1. or [run across] To find or meet by chance.  *
/He came across a dollar bill in  the  suit  he  was  sending  to  the
cleaner./ * /The other day I ran across a book that you might like./ *
/I came across George at a party last week; it was the  first  time  I
had seen him in months./ Compare: COME ON(3), RUN INTO(3b). 2. To give
or do what is asked. * /The robber told the woman to come across  with
her purse./ * /For hours the police questioned the  man  suspected  of
kidnapping the child, and finally he came across with the story./

   [come again] {v.}, {informal} Please repeat; please say that again.
- Usually used as a command. * /"Harry has just come into a  fortune,"
my wife said. "Come again? " I asked her, not believing it./ *  /"Come
again," said the hard-of-hearing man./

   [come alive] or [come to life] {v.} 1. {informal} To  become  alert
or attentive; wake up and look  alive;  become  active.  *  /When  Mr.
Simmons mentioned money, the boys  came  alive./  *  /Bob  pushed  the
starter button, and the engine came alive with a  roar./  2.  To  look
real; take on a bright, natural look. * /Under skillful lighting,  the
scene came alive./ * /The President came alive in the picture  as  the
artist worked./

   [come along] {v.} To make progress; improve;  succeed.  *  /He  was
coming along well after the operation./ * /Rose is coming right  along
on the piano./

   [come a long way] {v. phr.} To show much  improvement;  make  great
progress. * /The school has come a long way since its  beginnings./  *
/Little Jane has come a long way since she broke her leg./

   [come apart at the seams] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To  become
upset to the point where one loses self-control and  composure  as  if
having suffered a sudden nervous breakdown. * /After his  divorce  Joe
seemed to be coming apart at the seams./

   [come around] See: COME ROUND.

   [come at] {v.} 1. To approach; come to or against; advance  toward.
* /The young boxer came at the champion cautiously./ 2. To  understand
(a word or idea) or master (a skill); succeed with. * /The sense of an
unfamiliar word is hard to come at./

   [come back] {v.}, {informal} 1. To reply;  answer.  *  /The  lawyer
came back sharply in defense of his client./  *  /No  matter  how  the
audience heckled him, the comedian always had an answer to  come  back
with./ 2. To get a former place or position back, reach again a  place
which you have lost. * /After a year off to have her baby, the  singer
came back to even greater fame./ * /It is hard  for  a  retired  prize
fighter to come hack and beat a younger man./

   [comeback] {n.}, {v. phr.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio  jargon}
A return call. * /Thanks for your comeback./

   [come back to earth] or [come down to earth] {v. phr.} To return to
the real world; stop imagining or dreaming; think and behave as usual.
* /After Jane met the movie star it was hard for her to come  back  to
earth./ * /Bill was sitting and daydreaming so his mother told him  to
come down to earth and to do his homework./  Compare:  COME  TO  ONE'S
SENSES, DOWN-TO-EARTH. Contrast: IN THE CLOUDS.

   [come  between]  {v.}  To  part;  divide;   separate.   *   /John's
mother-in-law came to live in his home, and as time  passed  she  came
between him and his wife./ * /Bill's hot rod came between him and  his
studies, and his grades went down./

   [come by] {v.} To get; obtain; acquire. * /A good job like that  is
hard to come by./ * /Money easily come by is often  easily  spent./  *
/How did she come by that money?/

   [come  by  honestly]  {v.   phr.},   {informal}   To   inherit   (a
characteristic) from your parents. * /Joe  comes  by  his  hot  temper
honestly; his father is the same way./

   [come clean] {v. phr.}, {slang} To tell all; tell the whole  story;
confess. * /The boy suspected of stealing the watch came  clean  after
long questioning./

   [comedown] {n.} Disappointment; embarrassment; failure. *  /It  was
quite a comedown for Al when the girl he took for granted refused  his
marriage proposal./

   [come down] {v.} 1. To reduce itself; amount to  no  more  than.  -
Followed by "to". * /The quarrel finally came down to  a  question  of
which boy would do the dishes./ Syn.: BOIL DOWN(3). 2.  To  be  handed
down or passed along, descend from parent to child;  pass  from  older
generation to younger ones. * /Mary's necklace had come  down  to  her
from her grandmother./

   [come down  hard  on]  {v.},  {informal}  1.  To  scold  or  punish
strongly. * /The principal came down hard on the boys for breaking the
window./ 2. To oppose strongly. * /The minister  in  his  sermon  came
down hard on drinking./

   [come down in the world] {v. phr.} To lose a place  of  respect  or
honor, become lower (as in rank or fortune). * /The  stranger  plainly
had come down a long way in the world./ Compare: DOWN ON ONE'S LUCK.

   [come down off one's high horse] {v. phr.} To become less arrogant;
to assume a more modest disposition. *  /The  boastful  candidate  for
Congress quickly came down off his high  horse  when  he  was  soundly
beaten by his opponent./

   [come down on like a ton of bricks] {v. phr.},  {slang}  To  direct
one's full anger at somebody. * /When the janitor was late  for  work,
the manager came down on him like a ton of bricks./

   [come down to earth] See: COME BACK TO EARTH.

   [come down with] {v.}, {informal} To become sick with; catch. * /We
all came down with the mumps./ * /After being out in the rain,  George
came down with a cold./

   [come from far and wide] {v. phr.} To originate or hail  from  many
different places. * /The students at this university come from far and
wide and speak many languages./

   [come full circle] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  1.  To  become  totally
opposed to one's own earlier conviction on a given subject. * /Today's
conservative businessperson has come full circle from  former  radical
student days./ 2. To change and develop, only  to  end  up  where  one
started. * /From modern permissiveness, ideas about child raising have
come full circle to the views of our grandparents./

   [come hell or high water] {adv. phr.}, {informal}  No  matter  what
happens; whatever may come. * /Grandfather said he  would  go  to  the
fair, come hell or high water./ Compare: COME WHAT  MAY,  THROUGH  THE
MILL.

   [come home to roost] See: CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST.

   [come  in]  {v.}  1.  To  finish  in  a  sports  contest  or  other
competition. * /He came in second in the  hundred-yard  dash./  2.  To
become the fashion; begin to be used. * /Swimming trunks for men  came
in after World War I; before that men used full swim suits./

   [come in for] {v.} To receive. * /He came in for  a  small  fortune
when his uncle died./ * /His conduct came in for much criticism./

   [come in handy] {v. phr.}, {informal} To prove useful. *  /Robinson
Crusoe found tools in the ship which came in handy  when  he  built  a
house./ * /The French he learned in high school came in handy when  he
was in the army in France./

   [come into] {v.} To receive, especially after another's death;  get
possession of. * /He came into a lot of money when his father died./ *
/He came into possession of the farm after his uncle died./

   [come into one's own] {v. phr.} To receive the  wealth  or  respect
that you should have. *  /John's  grandfather  died  and  left  him  a
million dollars; when John is 21, he will come into his own./ *  /With
the success of the Model T Ford, the automobile industry came into its
own./

   [came natural] See: COME EASY.

   [come of] {v.} 1. To result from. * /After all the energy we  spent
on that advertising campaign, absolutely nothing came of  it./  2.  To
become of; happen to. * /"Whatever became of your son, Peter?"/

   [come of age] See: OF AGE.

   [come off] {v.} 1. To take place; happen. * /The picnic came off at
last, after being twice postponed./ 2. {informal} To do well; succeed.
* /The attempt to bring the quarreling couple together again came off,
to people's astonishment./

   [come off it] also [get off it] {v. phr.}, {slang} Stop pretending;
bragging, or kidding; stop being silly. - Used as a command. * /"So  I
said to the duchess..." Jimmy began. "Oh, come off it," the other boys
sneered./ * /Fritz said he had a car of his own. "Oh,  come  off  it,"
said John. "You can't even drive."/

   [come off] or [through with flying colors] {v.  phr.}  To  succeed;
triumph. * /John came off with flying colors in  his  final  exams  at
college./

   [come off second best] {v. phr.} To not win first but only  second,
third, etc. place. * /Our home team came off second best  against  the
visitors./ * /Sue complains that she always comes off second best when
she has a disagreement with her husband./

   [come on] {v.}  1.  To  begin;  appear.  *  /Rain  came  on  toward
morning./ * /He felt a cold coming on./ 2. To grow or do well; thrive.
* /The wheat was coming on./ * /His business came on  splendidly./  3.
or [come upon]. To meet accidentally; encounter; find. * /He  came  on
an old friend that day when he visited his club./ * /He came  upon  an
interesting idea in reading about the French Revolution./  Syn.:  COME
ACROSS, HAPPEN ON. 4. {informal} Let's get started; let's  get  going;
don't delay; don't wait. - Used as a command. * /"Come on, or we'll he
late," said Joe, but Lou still waited./ 5. {informal} Please do it!  -
Used in begging someone to do something. * /Sing  us  just  one  song,
Jane, come on!/ * /Come on, Laura, you  can  tell  me.  I  won't  tell
anybody./

   [come-on] {n.}, {slang} An attractive offer made to a naive  person
under false pretenses in order to gain monetary or other advantage.  *
/Joe uses a highly successful come-on when he  sells  vacant  lots  on
Grand Bahama Island./

   [come one's way] {v. phr.} To be experienced by someone; happen  to
you. * /Tom said that if the chance to become a sailor ever  came  his
way, he would take it./ * /I hope bad luck isn't coming  our  way./  *
/Luck came Bill's way today and he hit a home run./ Compare: GO  ONE'S
WAY, IN ONE'S FAVOR.

   [come on strong] {v. phr.}, {slang} To overwhelm  a  weaker  person
with excessively  strong  language,  personality,  or  mannerisms;  to
insist extremely strongly and claim something with  unusual  vigor.  *
/Joe came on very strong last night about the War in  Indochina;  most
of us felt embarrassed./

   [come out] {v.} 1. {Of a girl:} To be formally introduced to polite
society at about age eighteen, usually at a party; begin to go to  big
parties, * /In society, girls come out when  they  reach  the  age  of
about eighteen, and usually it is at a big party in their honor; after
that they are looked on as adults./ 2. To be published.  *  /The  book
came out two weeks ago./ 3. To become publicly  known.  *  /The  truth
finally came out at his trial./ 4, To end; result; finish. * /How  did
the story come out?/ * /The game came out as we  had  hoped./  *  /The
snapshots came out  well./  5.  To  announce  support  or  opposition;
declare yourself (for or against a person  or  thing).  *  /The  party
leaders came out for an acceptable  candidate./  *  /Many  Congressmen
came out against the bill./ 6. See: GO OUT FOR.

   [coming-out] {adj.} Introducing a girl to polite society. * /Mary's
parents gave her a coming-out party when she was 17./

   [come out for] {v. phr.} To support; declare oneself  in  favor  of
another, especially during a political election. * /Candidates for the
presidency of the United States are anxious for the  major  newspapers
to come out for them./

   [come out in the open] {v. phr.} 1. To reveal one's  true  identity
or intentions. * /Fred finally came out in the open and admitted  that
he was gay./ 2. To declare one's position openly. * /The  conservative
Democratic candidate came out in the open and declared that  he  would
join the Republican party./

   [come out with] {v. phr.} 1. To make a public announcement of; make
known. * /He came out with a clear declaration of his principles./  2.
To say. * /He comes out with the funniest remarks you can imagine./

   [come over] {v.} To take control of; cause  sudden  strong  feeling
in; happen to. * /A sudden fit of anger came over  him./  *  /A  great
tenderness came over her./ * /What has come over him?/

   [come round] or [come around] {v.} 1. To happen or appear again and
again in regular order. * /And so Saturday night came around again./ *
/I will tell him when he comes round again./ 2. {informal} To get back
health or knowledge of things; get well from sickness or a  faint./  *
/Someone brought out smelling salts and Mary soon came round./ *  /Jim
has come around  after  having  had  stomach  ulcers./  3.  To  change
direction, * /The wind has come round to the south./ 4. {informal}  To
change your opinion or purpose to agree with another's.  *  /Tom  came
round when Dick told him the whole story./

   [come through] {v.}, {informal} To  be  equal  to  a  demand;  meet
trouble or a sudden need with success; satisfy a  need.  *  /When  the
baseball team needed a hit, Willie came  through  with  a  double./  *
/John needed money for college and his father came through./

   [come to] {v.}  (stress  on  "to")  1.  To  wake  up  after  losing
consciousness; get the use of your senses back again after fainting or
being knocked out. * /She fainted in the store and  found  herself  in
the first aid room when she came to./ * /The boxer who was knocked out
did not come to for five minutes./ * /The doctor gave her a  pill  and
after she took it she didn't come to for two days./ Compare: BRING TO.
2. (stress on "come") To get enough familiarity or  understanding  to;
learn to; grow to. - Used with an infinitive. * /John was  selfish  at
first, but he came to realize  that  other  people  counted,  too./  *
/During her years at the school, Mary came to know that road well./ 3.
To result in or change to; reach the point of; arrive at. * /Mr. Smith
lived to see his invention come to success./  *  /Grandfather  doesn't
like the way young people act today; he says, "I don't know  what  the
world is coming to."/ 4. To have something to do with; be in the field
of; be about. - Usually used in the phrase "when it comes to". *  /Joe
is not good in sports, but when it comes to arithmetic he's  the  best
in the class./ * /The school has very good teachers, but when it comes
to buildings, the school is poor./

   [come to a dead end] {v. phr.} To reach  a  point  from  which  one
cannot proceed further, either  because  of  a  physical  obstacle  or
because of some forbidding circumstance. * /Our car  came  to  a  dead
end; the only way to get out was to drive back  in  reverse./  *  /The
factory expansion project came to a dead end  because  of  a  lack  of
funds./

   [come to blows] {v. phr.} To begin to fight. * /The two  quarreling
boys came to blows after school./ * /The two countries came  to  blows
because one wanted to be independent from the other./

   [come to grief] {v. phr.} To have a bad accident or disappointment;
meet trouble or ruin; end badly; wreck; fail. * /Bill  came  to  grief
learning to drive a car./ * /Nick's hopes for  a  new  house  came  to
grief when the house he was building burned down./ * /The fishing boat
came to grief off Cape Cod./

   [come to grips with] {v. phr.} 1. To get hold of (another wrestler)
in close fighting. * /After circling around  for  a  minute,  the  two
wrestlers came to grips with each other./  2.  To  struggle  seriously
with (an idea or problem). * /Mr. Blake's leaching helps students come
to grips with the important ideas in the  history  lesson./  *  /Harry
cannot be a leader, because he never  quite  comes  to  grips  with  a
problem./ Compare: COME TO TERMS(2).

   [come to hand] {v. phr.} To be received or  obtained.  *  /Father's
letter was mailed from Florida last week and came to  hand  today./  *
/The new books came to hand today./ * /New information about the boy's
disappearance came to hand yesterday./

   [come to heel] See: TO HEEL.

   [come to life] See: COME ALIVE.

   [come to light] {v. phr.} To be discovered; become known; appear. *
/John's thefts from the bank where he worked came to  light  when  the
bank examiners made an inspection./ * /When the old woman died it came
to light that she was actually rich./ * /New facts about ancient Egypt
have recently come to light./ Compare: BRING TO LIGHT.

   [come to mind] {v. phr.} To occur to someone. * /A new idea for the
advertising campaign came to mind as I was reading your book./

   [come to nothing] also {formal} [come to naught] {v. phr.}  To  end
in failure; fail; be in vain. * /The dog's attempts to climb the  tree
after the cat came to nothing./

   [come to one's senses] {v. phr.} 1. Become  conscious  again;  wake
up. * /The boxer was knocked out and did not come to  his  senses  for
several minutes./ * /The doctors gave Tom  an  anesthetic  before  his
operation; then the doctor took out Tom's appendix before he  came  to
his senses./ Compare: COME TO(1). 2. To think clearly; behave as usual
or as you should; act sensibly. * /A boy threw a snowball  at  me  and
before I could come to my  senses  he  ran  away./  *  /Don't  act  so
foolishly. Come to your senses!/ Contrast: OUT OF ONE'S HEAD.

   [come to pass] {v. phr.}, {literary} To happen; occur.  *  /Strange
things come to pass in troubled times./ * /It came to  pass  that  the
jailer visited him by night./ * /His hopes of success did not come  to
pass./ Compare: BRING TO PASS, COME ABOUT.

   [come to terms] {v. phr.} To reach an agreement. * /Management  and
the labor union came to terms about a new arrangement and a strike was
prevented./

   [come to the point] or [get to the point] {v. phr.} To  talk  about
the important thing; reach the important facts of  the  matter;  reach
the central question or fact. * /Henry was giving a lot of history and
explanation, but his father asked him to come to the point./ * /A good
newspaper story must come right to the point and save the details  for
later./ Contrast: BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH.

   [come to think of it] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  As  I  think  again;
indeed; really. * /Come to think of it, he has already been given what
he needs./ * /Come to think of it, I should write my daughter today./

   [come true] {v.} To really happen; change from a dream  or  a  plan
into a fact. * /It took  years  of  planning  and  saving,  but  their
seagoing vacation came true at last./ * /It was a dream come true when
he met the President./ * /His hope of  living  to  100  did  not  come
true./

   [come up] {v.} 1. To become a subject for discussion or decision to
talk about or decide about. * /"He was  a  good  salesman,  and  price
never came up until the very last," Mary said./  *  /The  question  of
wage increases came up at the board meeting./ * /Mayor Jones comes  up
for reelection this fall./ 2. To be equal; match in value. - Used with
"to". * /The new model car comes up to last year's./ 3.  To  approach;
come close. * /We saw a big black  bear  coming  up  on  us  from  the
woods./ *  /Christmas  is  coming  up  soon./  *  /The  team  was  out
practicing for the  big  game  coming  up./  4.  To  provide;  supply;
furnish. - Used with "with". * /For years Jones kept  coming  up  with
new and good ideas./ * /The teacher asked a  difficult  question,  but
finally Ted came up with a good answer./

   [come up in the world] or [rise in the world]  {v.  phr.}  To  gain
success, wealth, or importance in life; rise to a position of  greater
wealth or importance. * /He had come up in the world since he  peddled
his wife's baked goods from a pushcart./ Compare: GET AHEAD. Contrast:
COME DOWN IN THE WORLD.

   [come up smelling like a rose] {v. phr.} To escape from a difficult
situation  or  misdeed  unscathed  or  without  punishment.  *  /A  is
predicted  that  Congressman  Brown,   in   spite   of   the   current
investigation into his financial affairs, will come up smelling like a
rose at the end./

   [come up to] {v. phr.} To  equal.  *  /The  meals  cooked  in  most
restaurants do not come up to those prepared at home./

   [come up with] {v. phr.} 1. To offer. * /We can  always  depend  on
John Smith to come up with a good solution for any  problem  we  might
have./ 2. To produce on demand. * /I won't be able to  buy  this  car,
because I cannot come up with the down payment  you  require./  3.  To
find. * /How on earth did you come up with such a brilliant idea?/

   [come upon] See: COME ON(3).

   [come what may] {adv. phr.} Even if troubles come; no  matter  what
happens; in spite of opposition or mischance. * /Charles  has  decided
to get a college education, come what may./ * /The editor says we will
publish the school paper this week, come what may./

   [comfort] See: COLD COMFORT.

   [comfortable as an old shoe] {adj. phr.}, {informal}  Pleasant  and
relaxed; not stiff, strict or too polite; easy to talk and work  with.
* /The stranger was as comfortable as an old shoe, and  we  soon  were
talking like old friends./

   [coming and going] or [going and coming] {adv. phr.} 1. Both  ways;
in both directions. * /The truck driver stops at the same cafe  coming
and going./ * /John was late. He got punished both going  and  coming;
his teacher punished him and his parents punished him./ 2.  Caught  or
helpless; in your power; left with no way out of a difficulty. -  Used
after "have". * /If Beth stayed in the house, Mother  would  make  her
help with the cleaning; if she went outside,  Father  would  make  her
help wash the car - they had her coming and going./ * /Uncle Mike is a
good checker player, and he  soon  had  me  beat  coming  and  going./
Compare: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA.

   [coming out] See: COME OUT(1).

   [coming out party] {n. phr.} A debutante party  in  which  a  young
girl is formally introduced to society. * /Coming out parties used  to
be  more  popular  in  the  early  twentieth  century  than  nowadays,
primarily because they cost a lot of money./

   [comings and goings] {n. pl.}, {informal} 1. Times of arriving  and
going away; movements. * /I can't keep up with the children's  comings
and goings./ 2. Activities; doings; business. * /Mary  knows  all  the
comings and goings in the neighborhood./

   [command module] {n.}, {Space English} 1. One  of  the  three  main
sections of the basic Apollo spacecraft. It weighs  six  tons  and  is
cone shaped. It contains crew compartments and from it the  astronauts
can operate the lunar  module  (LM),  the  docking  systems,  etc.  2.
{Informal transferred sense.} The cockpit, the  chief  place  where  a
person does his most important work. * /My desk is my command module./

   [commission]  See:  IN  COMMISSION  or  INTO  COMMISSION,  OUT   OF
COMMISSION.

   [common] See: IN COMMON.

   [common as an old shoe] {adj. phr.}, {informal}  Not  showing  off;
not vain; modest; friendly to all. * /Although Mr. Jones ran  a  large
business, he was common as an old shoe./ * /The most famous people are
sometimes as common as an old shoe./

   [common  ground]  {n.}  Shared  beliefs,  interests,  or  ways   of
understanding; ways in which people are alike. * /Bob and Frank  don't
like each other because they have  no  common  ground./  *  /The  only
common ground between us is that we went to the same school./ Compare:
IN COMMON.

   [common touch] {n.} The ability to  be  a  friend  of  the  people;
friendly manner with everyone. * /Voters like a candidate who has  the
common touch./

   [company] See: KEEP COMPANY, PART COMPANY.

   [company man] {n.}, {informal} A  worker  who  always  agrees  with
management rather than labor. - Usually used  to  express  dislike  or
disapproval. * /Joe was a company man and refused to take  a  part  in
the strike./ Compare: YES-MAN.

   [compare notes] {v. phr.}, {informal} To exchange thoughts or ideas
about something; discuss together. * /Mother and Mrs. Barker  like  to
compare notes about cooking./

   [compliment] See: RETURN THE COMPLIMENT.

   [conclusion] See: JUMP TO A CONCLUSION.

   [condition] See: IN SHAPE or IN CONDITION, IN THE PINK  or  IN  THE
PINK OF  CONDITION,  ON  CONDITION  THAT,  OUT  OF  SHAPE  or  OUT  OF
CONDITION.

   [conference] See: PRESS CONFERENCE.

   [congregate housing] {n.}, {informal} A form of housing for elderly
persons in which dining facilities and services are shared in multiple
dwelling units. * /Jerry put  Grandma  in  a  place  where  they  have
congregate housing./

   [conk out] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To fall  asleep  suddenly
with great fatigue or after having drunk too much. *  /We  conked  out
right after the guests had left./

   [consent] See: SILENCE GIVES CONSENT.

   [consequence] See: IN CONSEQUENCE, IN CONSEQUENCE OF.

   [consideration] See: IN CONSIDERATION OF.

   [consumer goods] or [consumer items]  {n.}  Food  and  manufactured
things that people buy for their own use.  *  /In  time  of  war,  the
supply of consumer goods is greatly reduced./

   [content] See: TO ONE'S HEART'S CONTENT.

   [contention] See: BONE OF CONTENTION.

   [contrary] See: ON THE CONTRARY, TO THE CONTRARY.

   [control room] {n.} A room containing the panels and switches  used
to control something (like a TV  broadcast).  *  /While  a  television
program is on the air, engineers are at their places  in  the  control
room./

   [control tower] {n.} A tower with large windows and a good view  of
an  airport  so  that  the  traffic  of  airplanes  can  be  seen  and
controlled, usually by radio. *  /We  could  see  the  lights  at  the
control tower as our plane landed during the night./

   [conversation] See: MAKE CONVERSATION.

   [conversation piece] {n.} Something that interests people and makes
them talk about it; something that looks unusual, comical, or strange.
* /Uncle Fred has a glass monkey on top of his piano that he keeps for
a conversation piece./

   [conviction] See: HAVE THE COURAGE OF ONE'S CONVICTIONS.

   [cook] See: SHORT-ORDER COOK, WHAT'S UP or WHAT'S COOKING.

   [cook one's goose] {v. phr.}, {slang} To ruin  someone  hopelessly;
destroy one's future expectations or good name. * /The bank  treasurer
cooked his own goose when he stole the bank's funds./  *  /She  cooked
John's goose by reporting  what  she  knew  to  the  police./  *  /The
dishonest official knew his  goose  was  cooked  when  the  newspapers
printed the story about him./

   [cook up] {v.}, {informal} To  plan  and  put  together;  make  up;
invent. * /The boys cooked up an excuse to explain their absence  from
school./

   [cool] See: PLOW ONE'S COOL.

   [cool as a cucumber] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Very calm  and  brave;
not nervous, worried, or anxious; not excited; composed. * /Bill is  a
good football quarterback, always cool as a cucumber./

   [cool customer] {n.} Someone who is calm and in  total  control  of
himself; someone showing little emotion. * /Jim never gets too excited
about anything; he is a cool customer./

   [cool down] or [cool off] {v.} To lose or cause to lose the heat of
any deep feeling (as love, enthusiasm, or anger); make or become calm,
cooled or indifferent; lose interest. *  /A  heated  argument  can  be
settled better if both sides cool down first./ * /John was  deeply  in
love with Sally before he left for college, but he cooled  off  before
he got back./ *  /Their  friendship  cooled  off  when  Jack  gave  up
football./ * /The neighbor's complaint  about  the  noise  cooled  the
argument down./

   [cool one's heels]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  be  kept  waiting  by
another's pride or rudeness; be forced to wait by someone in power  or
authority; wait. * /He cooled his heels for an hour  in  another  room
before the great man would see him./ * /I was left to  cool  my  heels
outside while the others went into the office./

   [coon's age] See: DOG'S AGE.

   [coop] See: FLY THE COOP.

   [coop up] {v. phr.} To hedge in; confine; enclose in a small place.
* /How can poor Jane work in that small  office,  cooped  up  all  day
long?/

   [cop a feel] {v. phr.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} To attempt to  arouse
sexually by manual contact, usually by surprise. * /John talks big for
a 16 year old, but all he's ever done is cop a feel in  a  dark  movie
theater./ Compare: FEEL UP. Contrast: COP A PLEA.

   [cop a plea] {v.  phr.},  {slang},  {colloquial}  To  plead  guilty
during a trial in the hope of getting a lighter sentence as a  result.
* /The murderer of Dr. Martin Luther  King,  Jr.,  copped  a  plea  of
guilty, and got away  with  a  life  sentence  instead  of  the  death
penalty./

   [cop out]  {v.  phr.},  {slang},  {informal}  To  avoid  committing
oneself in a situation where doing so would result in difficulties.  *
/Nixon copped out on the American people with Watergate./

   [cop-out] {n. phr.}, {slang}, {informal}  An  irresponsible  excuse
made to avoid something one has to do, a flimsy pretext. *  /Cowe  on,
Jim, that's a cheap cop-out, and I don't believe a word of it!/

   [copy cat] n. Someone who copies another person's work or manner. -
Usually used by children or when speaking to children. * /He called me
a copy cat just because my new shoes look like his./

   [corn  ball]  {n.},  {slang},   {informal}   1.   A   superficially
sentimental movie or musical in which the word "love" is mentioned too
often; a theatrical performance that is trivially sentimental. * /That
movie last night was a corn hall./  2.  A  person  who  behaves  in  a
superficially sentimental manner or likes performances portraying such
behavior. * /Suzie can't stand Joe; she thinks he's a corn ball./

   [corn belt] {n.} 1. The Midwest; the agricultural  section  of  the
United States where much corn is grown. * /Kansas is one of the slates
that lies within the corn belt./

   [corner] See: AROUND THE CORNER, CUT CORNERS, FOUR CORNERS, OUT  OF
THE CORNER OF ONE'S EYE.

   [cost a bomb] or [an arm and a  leg]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  extremely
expensive. * /My new house has cost us an arm  and  a  leg  and  we're
almost broke./

   [cotton] See: ON TOP OF THE WORLD also SITTING ON HIGH COTTON.

   [cotton picking], [cotton-pickin']  {adj.},  {slang},  {colloquial}
Worthless, crude, common, messy. * /Keep your cotton picking hands off
my flowers!/ * /You've got to clean up  your  room,  son,  this  is  a
cotton-pickin' mess!/

   [couch case] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} A person judged  emotionally
so disturbed that people think he ought to see  a  psychiatrist  (who,
habitually, make their patients lie down on a couch). * /Joe's divorce
messed him up so badly that he became a couch case./

   [couch doctor] {n.}, {slang}, {colloquial} A psychoanalyst who puts
his patients on a couch following the practice established by  Sigmund
Freud. * /I didn't know your husband was a couch doctor, I thought  he
was a gynecologist!/

   [couch potato] {n.} A person who is addicted to watching television
all day. * /Poor Ted has become such a  couch  potato  that  we  can't
persuade him to do anything./

   [cough up] {v.}, {slang} 1. To give (money) unwillingly;  pay  with
an effort. * /Her husband coughed up the money for the  party  with  a
good deal of grumbling./ 2. To tell what was secret; make known. * /He
coughed up the whole story for the police./

   [couldn't care less] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be  indifferent;  not
care at all. * /The students couldn't care less about the  band;  they
talk all through the concert./ Also heard increasingly as "could  care
less" (nonstandard in this form.)

   [counsel] See: KEEP ONE'S OWN COUNSEL.

   [count] See: STAND UP AND BE COUNTED.

   [countdown] {n.}. {Space English},  {informal}  1.  A  step-by-step
process which leads to the launching of a rocket. * /Countdown  starts
at 23:00 hours tomorrow night and continues for 24 hours./ 2.  Process
of counting inversely during the acts leading  to  a  launch;  liftoff
occurs at  zero.  3.  The  time  immediately  preceding  an  important
undertaking, borrowed from Space English. * /We're leaving for  Hawaii
tomorrow afternoon; this is countdown time for us./

   [counter] See: UNDER THE COUNTER.

   [count heads] or [count noses] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  count  the
number of people in a group. * /On the class picnic, we counted  heads
before we left and when we arrived to be sure that no one got lost./ *
/The usher was told to look out into the audience and count noses./

   [count off] {v.} 1. To count aloud from one end of a line of men to
the other, each man counting in turn. * /The soldiers counted off from
right to left./ 2. To  place  into  a  separate  group  or  groups  by
counting. * /The  coach  counted  off  three  boys  to  carry  in  the
equipment./ * /Tom counted off enough newspapers for his route./

   [count on] {v.} 1. To depend on; rely on; trust. *  /The  team  was
counting on Joe to win the race./ * /I'll do  it;  you  know  you  can
count on me./ * /The company was counting on Brown's making the  right
decision./ Syn.: BANK ON. 2. See: FIGURE ON(2).

   [count one's chickens before they're hatched] {v. phr.}, {informal}
To depend on getting a profit or gain before you have it;  make  plans
that suppose something will happen; be too sure  that  something  will
happen. Usually used in negative sentences. * /When Jim said  that  he
would be made captain of the team, John told  him  not  to  count  his
chickens before they were hatched./ * /Maybe some  of  your  customers
won't pay, and then where will  you  be?  Don't  count  your  chickens
before they're hatched./

   [count out] {v.} 1. To leave (someone) out of a  plan;  not  expect
(someone) to share in an activity; exclude. * /"Will this  party  cost
anything? If it does, count me out, because I'm broke."/ *  /When  the
coach was planning who would play in the big game he counted Paul out,
because Paul had a hurt leg./ 2. To count out loud to ten to show that
(a boxer who has been knocked down in a fight) is  beaten  or  knocked
out if he does not get up before ten is counted. * /The  champion  was
counted. out in the third round./ 3a. To add up;  count  again  to  be
sure of the amount. * /Mary counted out  the  number  of  pennies  she
had./ 3b. To count out loud, (especially the beats  in  a  measure  of
music).   *   /The   music   teacher    counted    out    the    beats
"one-two-three-four," so the class would sing in time./

   [count to ten] {v. phr.}, {informal} To count from one  to  ten  so
you will have time to calm down or get control of  yourself;  put  off
action when angry or excited so as not to do anything wrong. * /Father
always told us to count to ten  before  doing  anything  when  we  got
angry./ Compare: KEEP ONE'S HEAD. Contrast: BLOW A FUSE, FLY  OFF  THE
HANDLE.

   [county  mounty]  {n.},  {slang},  {citizen's  hand  radio  jargon}
Sheriff's deputy. * /The county mounties are parked under the bridge./

   [courage] See: HAVE THE COURAGE  OF  ONE'S  CONVICTIONS,  SCREW  UP
ONE'S COURAGE.

   [course] See: IN DUE COURSE, MATTER OF COURSE, OF COURSE,  PAR  FOR
THE COURSE.

   [court] See: DAY IN COURT, FRONT COURT, HOLD COURT, KANGAROO COURT.

   [cousin] See: FIRST COUSIN, SECOND COUSIN.

   [cover] See: FROM COVER TO COVER at FROM --- TO(3), UNDER COVER.

   [cover a lot of ground] {v.  phr.}  To  process  a  great  deal  of
information and various facts. * /Professor Brown's  thorough  lecture
on asteroids covered a lot of ground today./

   [covered-dish supper] or [potluck supper]  A  meal  to  which  each
guest brings a share of the food. * /Dolly made  a  chicken  casserole
for the covered-dish supper./

   [cover girl] {n.} A pretty girl or woman whose picture  is  put  on
the cover of a magazine. * /Ann is not a cover girl, but she is pretty
enough to be./

   [cover ground] or [cover the ground] {v. phr.} 1. To go a distance;
travel. * /Mr. Rogers likes to travel in planes,  because  they  cover
ground so quickly./ 2. {informal} To move over an area at a speed that
is pleasing; move quickly over a lot of ground. * /The  new  infielder
really covers the ground at second base./ * /Herby's  new  car  really
covers ground!/ 3. To give or receive the important facts and  details
about a subject. * /If you're thinking about a  trip  to  Europe,  the
airline has a booklet that covers the  ground  pretty  well./  *  /The
class spent two days studying  the  Revolutionary  War,  because  they
couldn't cover that much ground in one day./

   [cover one's tracks] or [cover up one's tracks]  {v.  phr.}  1.  To
hide and not leave anything, especially foot marks, to show where  you
have been, so that no one can follow you.  *  /The  deer  covered  his
tracks by running in a stream./ 2. {informal} To hide or not say where
you have been or what you have done; not tell why you do something  or
what you plan to do. * /The boys covered their tracks when  they  went
swimming by saying that they were going for a  walk./  Compare:  COVER
UP(1).

   [cover the waterfront]  {v.  phr.}  To  talk  or  write  all  about
something; talk about something all possible ways.  *  /The  principal
pretty well covered the waterfront on student behavior./

   [cover up] {v.}, {informal} 1. To hide something wrong or bad  from
attention. * /The spy covered up his picture-taking by  pretending  to
be just a tourist./ * /A crooked banker tried to cover up his stealing
some of the bank's money by starting a fire to destroy  the  records./
Compare: COVER ONE'S TRACKS(2). 2. In boxing: To guard your  head  and
body with your gloves, arms, and shoulders. * /Jimmy's father told him
to cover up and protect his chin when he boxed./ 3. To protect someone
else from blame or punishment; protect someone with a lie or alibi.  -
Often used with "for". * /The teacher wanted to  know  who  broke  the
window and told the boys not to try to cover up for  anyone./  *  /The
burglar's friend covered up for him by saying that he was at his  home
when the robbery occurred./

   [cover-up] {n.}, {slang} A  plan  or  excuse  to  escape  blame  or
punishment; lie, alibi.  *  /When  the  men  robbed  the  bank,  their
cover-up was to dress like policemen./ * /Joe's cover-up to his mother
after he had been fighting was that he fell down./

   [cow] See: HOLY CATS or HOLY COW, SACRED COW.

   [cowboy] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} A  person  who  drives  his  car
carelessly and at too great a speed in order to show off his  courage.
* /Joe's going to be arrested some  day  -  he  is  a  cowboy  on  the
highway./

   [cow college] {n.}, {slang} 1. An agricultural  college;  a  school
where farming is studied. * /A new, bigger  kind  of  apple  is  being
grown at the cow college./ 2. A new or rural college not thought to be
as good as older or city colleges. * /John  wanted  to  go  to  a  big
college in New York City, not to a cow college./

   [cows tail] {n.}, {dialect} A person who is behind others. *  /John
was the cow's tail at the exam./ * /Fred was always the old cow's tail
for football practice./

   [cozy up] {v.}, {slang} To try to be close or friendly; try  to  be
liked. - Usually used with "to". * /John is cozying up to Henry so  he
can join the club./

   [crack] See: HARD NUT TO CRACK or TOUGH NUT TO CRACK.

   [crack a book] {v. phr.}, {slang} To open a book in order to study.
- Usually used with a negative. * /John did not crack a book until the
night before the exam./ * /Many students think they can  pass  without
cracking a book./

   [crack a bottle] {v. phr.}  To  open  a  new  bottle  of  alcoholic
beverage. * /On birthdays it is customary to crack a bottle and  offer
one's best wishes./

   [crack a joke] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make a joke; tell a joke. *
/The men sat around the stove, smoking and cracking jokes./

   [crack a smile] {v. phr.}, {informal} To let a smile show on  one's
face; permit a smile to appear. * /Bob  told  the  whole  silly  story
without even cracking a smile./ * /Scrooge was a gloomy man, who never
cracked a smile./ * /When we gave the shy  little  boy  an  ice  cream
cone, he finally cracked a smile./

   [crack down]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  enforce  laws  or  rules
strictly; require full obedience to a rule. * /After a speeding driver
hit a child, the police cracked down./  -  Often  used  with  "on".  *
/Police suddenly cracked down on the selling of liquors to minors./  *
/The coach cracked down on the players when he found they had not been
obeying the training rules./

   [crack of dawn] {n. phr.} The time in the morning  when  the  sun's
rays first appear. * /The rooster crows at the crack of dawn and wakes
up everybody on the farm./

   [cracked  up]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}  Favorably  described   or
presented; praised. - Usually used in the expression  "not  what  it's
cracked up to be". *  /The  independent  writer's  life  isn't  always
everything it's cracked up to be./ * /In bad weather, a sailing cruise
isn't what it's cracked up to be./

   [cracking] See: GET CRACKING - at GET GOING(2).

   [crackpot] {n.}, {attrib. adj.}, {informal} 1.  {n.}  An  eccentric
person with ideas that don't make sense to most other people. * /Don't
believe what Uncle Noam tells you - he is  a  crackpot./  2.  {attrib.
adj.} * /That's a crackpot idea./

   [crack  the  whip]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  get  obedience  or
cooperation by threats of punishment. * /If the children won't  behave
when I reason with them, I have to crack the whip./

   [crack up] {v.} 1. To  wreck  or  be  wrecked;  smash  up.  *  /The
airplane cracked up in  landing./  *  /He  cracked  up  his  car./  2.
{informal} To become mentally ill under physical or mental overwork or
worry. * /He had kept too busy for years, and when failures  came,  he
cracked up./ * /It seemed to be family problems that  made  him  crack
up./ 3. Burst into laughter or cause to burst into laughter.  *  /That
comedian cracks me up./

   [cradle] See: ROB THE CRADLE.

   [cradle robber], [cradle robbing] See: ROB THE CRADLE.

   [cramp] See: WRITER'S CRAMP.

   [cramp one's style] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  limit  your  natural
freedom; prevent your usual behavior; limit your actions  or  talk.  *
/He cramped his style a good deal when he lost  his  money./  *  /Army
rules cramped George's style./

   [crash dive] {n.} A sudden dive made by a submarine  to  escape  an
enemy; a dive made to get deep under water as quickly as  possible.  *
/The captain of the submarine told his crew to  prepare  for  a  crash
dive when he saw the enemy battleship approaching./

   [crash-dive] {v.} 1. To dive deep  underwater  in  a  submarine  as
quickly as possible. * /We shall crash-dive if  we  see  enemy  planes
coming./ 2. To dive into (something)  in  an  airplane.  *  /When  the
plane's motor was hit by the guns of the enemy battleship,  the  pilot
aimed the plane at the ship and crash-dived into it./

   [crash the gate] {v. phr.}, {slang} To enter without  a  ticket  or
without paying; attend without an invitation or permission. * /Bob got
into the circus without paying. He crashed the gate./  *  /Three  boys
tried to crash the gate at our party but we didn't let them in./

   [craw] See: STICK IN ONE'S CRAW.

   [crawl up] See: RIDE UP.

   [crazy]  or  [mad]  or  [nuts  about]   {adj.   phr.},   {informal}
Excessively fond of; infatuated with. * /Jack is  totally  nuts  about
Liz, but she is not too crazy about him./

   [cream] See: VANISHING CREAM.

   [cream of the crop] {n. phr.} The best of a group; the top  choice.
* /May Queen candidates were lovely, but  Betsy  and  Nancy  were  the
cream of the crop./ * /The students had drawn many good  pictures  and
the teacher chose the cream of the crop to hang up  when  the  parents
came to visit./

   [creature of habit] {n. phr.} A person who does things out of habit
rather than by thought. * /Our boss is a creature of habit, so let  us
not confuse him with too many new ideas./

   [credibility gap] {n.}, {hackneyed phrase}, {politics} An  apparent
discrepancy between what the government says and what one can  observe
for oneself. * /There was a tremendous  credibility  gap  in  the  USA
during the Watergate years./

   [credit] See: DO CREDIT.

   [creek] See: UP THE CREEK or UP THE CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE.

   [creep] See: THE CREEPS.

   [creep up on] {v.} 1. To crawl towards; move along near the ground;
steal cautiously towards so as not to be seen or noticed. * /The mouse
did not see the snake creeping up on it over the  rocks./  *  /Indians
were creeping up on the house through the bushes./ 2. or [sneak up on]
To come little by little; arrive slowly and unnoticed. * /The  woman's
hair was turning gray as age crept up on her./ * /Winter  is  creeping
up on us little by little./ * /The boys  didn't  notice  the  darkness
creeping up on them while they were playing./ Compare: COME OVER.

   [crew] See: SECTION GANG or SECTION CREW.

   [crew cut] or [crew haircut] {n.} A boy's or man's hair style,  cut
so that the hair stands up in short, stiff bristle. * /Many boys  like
to get crew cuts during the summer to keep cooler./

   [crisp] See: BURN TO A CRISP.

   [crocodile tears] {n.} Pretended grief; a show of  sorrow  that  is
not really felt. * /When his rich uncle died, leaving him  his  money,
John shed crocodile tears./ (From the old legend that crocodiles  make
weeping sounds to attract victims and then  shed  tears  while  eating
them.)

   [crook] See: BY HOOK OR BY CROOK.

   [crop] See: CASH CROP, CREAM OF THE CROP, STICK IN  ONE'S  CRAW  or
STICK IN ONE'S CROP.

   [crop out] {v.} To appear at the  surface;  come  through  or  show
through from hiding or concealment. * /Rocks often  crop  out  in  New
England pasture land./ * /A hidden hate cropped out in his words./

   [cropper] See: COME A CROPPER.

   [crop  up]  {v.}  To  come  without  warning;  appear   or   happen
unexpectedly. * /Problems cropped up almost every day  when  Mr.  Reed
was building his TV station./ * /Serious trouble cropped up just  when
Martin thought the problem  of  his  college  education  was  solved./
Compare: TURN UP.

   [cross] See: AT CROSS PURPOSES, CARRY ONE'S  CROSS,  DOUBLE  CROSS,
KEEP ONE'S FINGERS CROSSED at CROSS ONE'S FINGERS(1b).

   [cross a bridge before one comes to it] {v. phr.}  To  worry  about
future events or  trouble  before  they  happen.  -  Usually  used  in
negative sentences, often as a proverb. * /"Can I be a soldier when  I
grow up, Mother?" asked Johnny. "Don't cross  that  bridge  until  you
come to it," said his mother./ Compare: BORROW TROUBLE.

   [cross-check(1)]  {v.}  To  test  the  truth  of  by  examining  in
different ways or by seeing different reports about.  *  /If  you  see
something in a book that may not be true, be sure to crosscheck it  in
other books./

   [cross-check(2)] {n.} The testing of the truth of by  checking  one
report against another or others. * /A cross-check  with  other  books
will show us if this story is true./

   [cross fire] {n.} 1. Firing in a fight or battle from two  or  more
places at once so that the lines of fire cross. * /The soldiers on the
bridge were caught in the crossfire coming  from  both  sides  of  the
bridge./ 2. Fast or angry talking back and forth between two  or  more
people; also, a dispute; a quarrel. *  /There  was  a  cross  fire  of
excited questions and answers between the parents and the children who
had been lost in the  woods./  *  /The  principal  and  the  graduates
quarreled about the football team, and the coach  was  caught  in  the
cross fire and lost his job./

   [cross one's fingers] {v. phr.} 1a. To cross  two  fingers  of  one
hand for good luck. * /Mary crossed her fingers  during  the  race  so
that Tom would win./ 11b. or [keep one's fingers  crossed]  {informal}
To wish for good luck. * /Keep your fingers crossed while I  take  the
test./ 2. To cross two fingers of one hand to excuse an  untruth  that
you are telling. * /Johnny crossed his fingers when he told his mother
the lie./

   [cross one's heart] or [cross one's heart  and  hope  to  die]  {v.
phr.}, {informal} To say that what  you  have  said  is  surely  true;
promise seriously that it is true. - Often used  by  children  in  the
longer form. Children often make a sign of a cross over the  heart  as
they say it, for emphasis. * /"Cross my  heart,  I  didn't  hide  your
bicycle," Harry told Tom./ * /"I didn't  tell  the  teacher  what  you
said. Cross my heart and hope to die," Mary said to Lucy./

   [cross one's mind] or [pass through one's mind] {v. phr.} To  be  a
sudden or passing thought; be thought of  by  someone;  come  to  your
mind; occur to you. * /At first Bob was puzzled by Virginia's  waving,
but then it  crossed  his  mind  that  she  was  trying  to  tell  him
something./ * /When Jane did not come home by midnight, many  terrible
fears passed through Mother's mind./

   [cross one's path] {v. phr.} To meet or encounter someone; to  come
upon someone more by accident than by plan. * /Surprisingly, I crossed
John's path in Central Park one afternoon./

   [cross street] {n.} A street that crosses a main street and runs on
both sides of it. * /Elm Street is a cross street on Main  Street  and
there is a traffic light there./ Compare: THROUGH STREET.

   [cross swords] {v. phr.}, {literary}  To  have  an  argument  with;
fight. - Often used with "with". *  /Don't  argue  with  the  teacher;
you're not old enough to cross swords with her./

   [cross the wire] {v. phr.} To finish a race. * /The Russian crossed
the wire just behind the American./

   [cross up] {v.}, {informal}  1.  To  block  or  upset;  throw  into
confusion or disorder. * /We were going to catch him at the gate,  but
he crossed us up by going in the back way./ * /Father crossed  up  the
surprise party we had planned for him by not getting back in time./ 2.
To deceive or be false to. * /George crossed up his partner by selling
a lot of things secretly./

   [crow] See: EAT CROW.

   [crow before one is out of the woods] {v. phr.} To be glad or  brag
before you are safe from danger or trouble. - Usually used in negative
sentences, often as a proverb, "Don't crow before you are out  of  the
woods." * /John thought his team would win because the game was almost
over, but he didn't want to crow before they were out of  the  woods./
Often used in a short form, "out of the woods". *  /Mary  nearly  died
during the operation, and she is not out of the woods yet./

   [crown jewels] {n. pl.} The crown, staff, and jewels used  for  the
crowning of a king or queen; the crown and jewels  representing  royal
power and authority. * /The crown jewels are handed down from one king
to the next when the new king is crowned./

   [crow to pick] See: BONE TO PICK or CROW TO PICK.

   [crust] See: UPPER CRUST.

   [crux of the matter] {n. phr.} The basic issue at  hand;  the  core
essence that one must face. * /The crux of the matter is  that  he  is
incompetent and we will have to fire him./

   [cry] See: FAR CRY, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, HUE AND CRY.

   [cry] or [scream bloody murder] {v. phr.} To  bitterly  and  loudly
complain against an indignity. * /Pete cried  bloody  murder  when  he
found out that he didn't get the promotion he was hoping for./

   [cry before one is hurt] or [holler before one is hurt] {v.  phr.},
{informal} To complain when there is no reason for  it;  become  upset
because you are worried or afraid. - Used  in  negative  sentences.  *
/When Billy went to the barber, he began to cry before the barber  cut
his hair and his father told him not to cry before  he  was  hurt./  -
Often used as a proverb. * /John was worried  because  he  would  soon
have a new boss. His mother said, "Don't  cry  before  you're  hurt!"/
Syn.: BORROW TROUBLE.

   [cry buckets] {v. phr.} To shed an excessive  amount  of  tears.  *
/Grandma is crying buckets over the loss of our cat./

   [cry for] or [cry out for]  {v.},  {informal}  To  need  badly;  be
lacking in. * /It has not rained for  two  weeks  and  the  garden  is
crying for it./ * /The school is crying out for good teachers./

   [cry out] {v.} 1. To call out loudly; shout; scream. *  /The  woman
in the water  cried  out  "Help!"/  2.  To  complain  loudly;  protest
strongly. - Used with "against". * /Many people are crying out against
the new rule./

   [cry out for] See: CRY FOR.

   [cry over spilled  milk]  or  [cry  over  spilt  milk]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To  cry  or  complain  about  something  that  has  already
happened; be unhappy about something that cannot be helped.  *  /After
the baby tore up Sue's picture book, Sue's mother told her  there  was
no use crying over spilled milk./ * /You have lost the game but  don't
cry over spilt milk./ Compare: MAKE ONE'S BED AND  LIE  IN  IT,  WATER
OVER THE DAM or WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE.

   [crystal ball] {n.} A ball, usually made of quartz crystal  (glass)
that is used by fortune-tellers. * /The  fortune-teller  at  the  fair
looked into her crystal ball and told me that I would take a long trip
next year./ 2. Any means of predicting the future. * /My crystal  ball
tells me you'll be making the honor roll./

   [crystal gazing] {n.} The attempt to predict future events. *  /The
magician's specialty was crystal gazing./

   [cry uncle] See: SAY UNCLE.

   [cry wolf] {v. phr.} To give a false alarm; warn of a  danger  that
you know is not there. * /The general said that the candidate was just
crying wolf when he said that the army was too weak to fight  for  the
country./ (From an old story about a shepherd boy who falsely  claimed
a wolf was killing his sheep, just to start some excitement.)

   [cub scout] {n.} A member of the Cub Scouts, the junior  branch  of
the Boy Scouts for boys 8-10 years of age. * /Jimmie  is  only  seven,
too young to be a Cub Scout./

   [cucumber] See: COOL AS A CUCUMBER.

   [cudgel] See: TAKE UP THE CUDGELS FOR.

   [cudgel one's brains] See: BEAT ONE'S BRAINS OUT.

   [cue in] {v. phr.}, {informal} To add new information to that which
is already known. * /Let's not forget to cue in Joe on what  has  been
happening./

   [cuff] See: OFF-THE-CUFF, ON THE CUFF.

   [culture vulture] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} A person who is an avid
cultural  sightseer,  one  who  seeks   out   cultural   opportunities
ostentatiously, such as going to the opera or seeing every museum in a
town visited, and brags about  it.  *  /Aunt  Mathilda  is  a  regular
culture vulture; she spends  every  summer  in  a  different  European
capital going to museums and operas./

   [cup] See: IN ONE'S CUPS.

   [cup of tea] also [dish of tea] {n. phr.}, {informal} 1.  Something
you enjoy or do well at; a special interest, or  favorite  occupation.
Used with a possessive. * /You could always get him to go for a  walk:
hiking was just his  cup  of  tea./  Compare:  DOWN  ONE'S  ALLEY.  2.
Something to think about; thing; matter.  *  /That's  another  cup  of
tea./ Compare: KETTLE OF FISH.

   [curb service] {n.} Waiting on customers while they  sit  in  their
cars. * /Families with small children often look for hamburger  stands
that offer curb service./

   [curiosity killed the cat] {informal} Getting too nosy may  lead  a
person into trouble. - A  proverb.  *  /"Curiosity  killed  the  cat,"
Fred's father said, when he found Fred hunting around in closets  just
before Christmas./

   [curl] See: PIN CURL.

   [curl one's hair] {v. phr.}, {slang} To shock;  frighten;  horrify;
amaze. * /Wait till you read what it says about  you  -  this'll  curl
your hair./ * /The movie about monsters from another planet curled his
hair./

   [curl up] {v.} 1a. To become curly or wavy. * /Bacon curls up  when
it is cooked./ 1b. To roll oneself into a ball. * /Tim  curled  up  in
bed and was asleep in five minutes./ 2. See: FOLD UP.

   [current] See: SWIM AGAINST THE CURRENT.

   [curry favor] {v.} To flatter or serve someone to get his  help  or
friendship. * /Joe tried to curry favor with the new teacher by  doing
little services that she didn't really want./ * /Jim  tried  to  curry
favor with the new girl by telling her she was the prettiest  girl  in
the class./ Compare: POLISH THE APPLE.

   [curve] See: THROW A CURVE.

   [cut] See: FISH OR CUT BAIT.

   [cut a class] {v. phr.} To be truant; to deliberately miss a  class
and do something else instead. * /"If you keep cutting classes the way
you do, you will almost surely flunk this  course,"  John's  professor
said to him./

   [cut a figure] {v. phr.} To make a favorable impression; carry  off
an activity with dignity and grace. *  /With  his  handsome  face  and
sporty figure, Harry cuts quite a figure with all the ladies./

   [cut across] {v.} 1. To  cross  or  go  through  instead  of  going
around; go a short way. * /John didn't want to walk to the corner  and
turn, so he cut across the yard to the next street./ 2. To  go  beyond
to include; stretch over to act on; affect. * /The  love  for  reading
cuts across all classes of people, rich and poor./

   [cut-and-dried]  {adj.  phr.}  Decided  or   expected   beforehand;
following the same old line; doing the usual thing. * /The decision of
the judge was cut-and-dried./ * /The ways of  the  king's  court  were
cut-and-dried./ * /People at the convention heard  many  cut-and-dried
speeches./

   [cut and run] {v.}, {informal} To abandon an unfavorable situation.
* /When the price of coffee dropped sharply many investors  wanted  to
cut and run./

   [cut a swathe] {v. phr.} 1a. To mow a path through a field. *  /The
farmer cut a swathe through the high grass with his  scythe./  1b.  To
cut down as if by mowing. * /The machine gun cut a swathe in the lines
of  enemy  soldiers./  2.  {informal}  To  attract  notice;  make   an
impression; seem important. * /The movie star cut a wide  swathe  when
he walked down the street./ * /John tries to show off and  cut  a  big
swathe with the girls./ Compare: GO OVER(6), MAKE A HIT.

   [cut back] {v.} 1. To change direction suddenly while going at full
speed. * /The halfback started to his left, cut back to his right, and
ran for a touchdown./ 2. To use fewer or use less. *  /After  the  big
job was finished, the builder cut back the number of men  working  for
him./ * /The school employed  forty  teachers  until  a  lower  budget
forced it to cut back./

   [cut back]  {v.  phr.}  To  diminish;  lessen;  decrease  (said  of
budgets). * /The state had to cut back on the university budget./

   [cutback] {n.} An  act  of  decreasing  monetary  sources.  *  /The
cutback in military spending has caused many bases to be closed./

   [cut both ways] or [cut two ways] {v. phr.} To  have  two  effects;
cause injury to both sides. * /People who gossip  find  it  cuts  both
ways./

   [cut corners] {v. phr.} 1. To take a short  way;  not  go  to  each
corner. * /He cut corners going home in a hurry./ 2. To save  cost  or
effort; manage in a thrifty way; be saving. * /John's father asked him
to cut corners all he could in college./ 3. To do  less  than  a  very
good job; do only what you must do on a job. * /He had cut corners  in
building his house, and it didn't stand up well./

   [cut down] {v.} To lessen; reduce; limit. * /Tom had  to  cut  down
expenses./ * /The doctor told Mr. Jones to cut down on smoking./

   [cut down to size] {v. phr.}, {informal} To prove that  someone  is
not as good as he thinks. * /The big boy told John he could beat  him,
but John was a good boxer and soon cut him down to size./ Syn.: PUT IN
ONE'S PLACE.

   [cut ice] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  make  a  difference;  make  an
impression; be accepted as important.  -  Usually  used  in  negative,
interrogative, or conditional sentences. * /When  Frank  had  found  a
movie he liked, what others said cut no ice with  him./  *  /Jones  is
democratic; a man's money or importance never cuts any ice with  him./
* /Does comfort cut any ice with you?/ * /I don't know if beauty in  a
woman cuts any ice with him./

   [cut in] {v.} 1. To force your way into a place between others in a
line of cars, people, etc.; push in. * /After  passing  several  cars,
Fred cut in too soon and nearly caused an accident./ - Often used with
"on". * /A car passed Jean and cut in on her too  close;  she  had  to
brake quickly or she would have hit it./ *  /The  teacher  beside  the
lunch line saw Pete cut in, and she sent him back to wait  his  turn./
2. To stop a talk or program for a time; interrupt. * /While Mary  and
Jim were talking on the porch, Mary's little brother cut  in  on  them
and began to tell about his fishing trip./ * /While we  were  watching
the late show, an announcer cut in to  tell  who  won  the  election./
Syn.: BREAK IN(2). 3. {informal} To tap a dancer on the  shoulder  and
claim the partner. * /Mary was a good dancer and a  boy  could  seldom
finish a dance with her; someone always cut in./  -  Often  used  with
"on". * /At the leap year dance, Jane cut  in  on  Sally  because  she
wanted to dance with Sally's handsome  date./  4.  To  connect  to  an
electrical circuit or to a machine. * /Harry threw the switch and  cut
in the motor./ * /The airplane pilot cut in  a  spare  gas  tank./  5.
{informal} To take in; include. *  /When  John's  friends  got  a  big
contract, they cut John in./

   [cut into] {v.} 1. To make less; reduce.  *  /The  union  made  the
company pay higher wages, which cut into the profits./  *  /The  other
houses got old and shabby, and that cut into the value of his  house./
* /At first Smith led in votes, but more votes came in  and  cut  into
his lead./ 2. To get into by cutting in. * /She heard the other  women
gossiping and cut into the talk./ * /While Bill  was  passing  another
car, a truck came around a curve heading for him, and  Bill  cut  back
into line quickly./

   [cut loose] {v.} 1. To free  from  ties  or  connections,  cut  the
fastenings of. * /The thief  hastily  cut  the  boat  loose  from  its
anchor./ Compare: LET LOOSE(1a). 2.  {informal}  To  break  away  from
control; get away and be free. * /The boy left home and cut loose from
his parents' control./ 3. {informal} To behave  freely  or  wildly.  *
/The men had come to the convention to have  a  good  time,  and  they
really cut loose./ * /When he got the news of his job promotion,  Jack
cut loose with a loud "Yippee!"/ Compare: LET GO(6).

   [cut no ice] {v. phr.} To have no effect;  achieve  no  result;  be
insignificant. * /The fact that the accused is a millionaire will  cut
no ice with this particular judge./

   [cut off] {v.} 1. To separate  or  block.  *  /The  flood  cut  the
townspeople off from the rest of the world./ * /The woods cut off  the
view./ * /His rudeness cuts him off from friends he might have./ 2. To
interrupt or stop. * /The television show was cut  off  by  a  special
news report./ * /We were told to pay the bill or the  water  would  be
cut off./ 3. To end the life of; cause the death of.  *  /Disease  cut
Smith off in the best part of life./ 4. To give nothing to  at  death;
leave out of a will. * /Jane married a man her father hated,  and  her
father cut her off./ * /Frank's uncle cut him off without a penny./ 5.
To stop from operating; turn a switch to stop. * /The ship cut off its
engines as it neared the dock./ Syn.: SHUT OFF, TURN OFF.

   [cut off one's nose to spite one's face] {v. phr.} To  suffer  from
an action intended originally to harm another person.  *  /In  walking
out and leaving his employer in the lurch, John  really  cut  off  his
nose to  spite  his  face,  since  no  business  wanted  to  hire  him
afterwards./

   [cut offs] {n.}, {colloquial} Pants cut to the length of shorts and
usually left unhemmed so as to look old  and  worn,  e.g.,  considered
cool and elegant. * /Jack always wears cut-offs during the summer./

   [cut one's eyeteeth on] See: CUT TEETH(2).

   [cut one's losses] {v. phr.}  To  stop  spending  time,  money,  or
energy on unprofitable projects and concentrate on what goes  well.  *
/"Just cut your losses, Jim," his father suggested, "and get  on  with
the rest of your life."/

   [cut one's teeth on] See: CUT TEETH(2).

   [cut one's throat] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  spoil  one's  chances;
ruin a person. * /He cut his own throat by his carelessness./  *  /The
younger men in the company were cutting each other's throats in  their
eagerness to win success./ * /John cut Freddie's throat with  Mary  by
telling her lies./

   [cut out(1)] {v.}, {slang} 1. To stop; quit. * /All  right,  now  -
let's cut out the talking./ * /He was teasing the dog and Joe told him
to cut it out./ Compare: BREAK UP(3). 2. To displace in favor. * /Tony
cut Ed out with Mary./ * /John cut out  two  or  three  other  men  in
trying for a better job./

   [cut out(2)] {adj.} 1. Made ready;  given  for  action;  facing.  *
/Mary agreed to stay with her teacher's children all day; she did  not
know what was cut out for her./ - Often used in the phrase "have one's
work cut out for one." * /If Mr. Perkins wants to become a senator, he
has his work cut out fur him./ 2. Suited to;  fitted  for.  *  /Warren
seemed to be cut out for the law. It was clear very  early  that  Fred
was cut out to he a doctor./

   [cut rate(1)] {n.} A lower price; a price less than usual. *  /Toys
are on sale at the store for cut rates./

   [cut-rate(2)] {adj.} Sold for a price  lower  than  usual;  selling
cheap things. * /If you buy cut-rate things, be  sure  they  are  good
quality first./ * /John's brother bought a  cut-rate  bicycle  at  the
second-hand store./ * /There is a cut-rate drug-store on the corner./

   [cut short] {v.} To stop or interrupt suddenly; end suddenly or too
soon. * /Rain cut short the ball game./ * /An auto accident cut  short
the man's life./ * /When Dick began to tell about his summer  vacation
the teacher cut him short, saying "Tell us about that another time."/

   [cut teeth] {v. phr.} 1. To have teeth grow out through the gums. *
/The baby was cross because he was cutting  teeth./  2.  or  [cut  eye
teeth]  {informal}  To  learn  something  very  early  in  life;  gain
experience; start by learning or doing.  -  Used  with  a  possessive,
usually used with "on". * /The professional ball player cut his  teeth
on a baseball bat in the sandlots./ * /Mr. Jones's company is building
the new Post Office in town but Mr. Jones  cut  his  eye  teeth  as  a
carpenter./

   [cut the ground from under] {v. phr.} {informal} To make  (someone)
fail; upset the plans  of;  spoil  the  argument  for  (a  person)  in
advance. * /Paul wanted to he captain but we cut the ground from under
him by saying that Henry was the best player on the team./ *  /Several
workers applied for the retiring foreman's job, but the owner cut  the
ground from under them by hiring a foreman from another company./

   [cut the mustard] {v. phr.}, {slang} To  do  well  enough  in  what
needs to be done; to succeed. * /His older brothers and sisters helped
Max through high school, but he couldn't cut the mustard in college./

   [cut-throat] {adj.}  Severe;  intense;  unrelenting.  *  /There  is
cut-throat competition among the various software companies today./

   [cut to pieces] {v. phr.}  1.  To  divide  into  small  parts  with
something sharp;  cut  badly  or  completely.  *  /Baby  has  cut  the
newspaper  to  pieces  with  scissors./  2.  To  destroy   or   defeat
completely. * /The soldiers were cut to  pieces  by  the  Indians./  *
/When Dick showed his book report to his big  sister  for  correction,
she cut it to pieces./

   [cut to the bone] {v.  phr.}  To  make  (something)  the  least  or
smallest possible amount; reduce severely; leave out everything  extra
or unnecessary from. * /Father cut Jane's allowance to  the  bone  for
disobeying him./ * /When father lost his job, our living expenses  had
to be cut to the bone./

   [cut to the quick] {v. phr.} To hurt someone's feelings  deeply.  *
/The children 's teasing cut Mary to the quick./

   [cut two ways] See: CUT BOTH WAYS.

   [cut up] {v.} 1. {informal} To  hurt  the  feelings  of;  wound.  -
Usually used in the passive. * /John was badly cut up when Susie  gave
him back his ring./ 2. {slang} To act funny or rough;  clown,  *  /Joe
would always cut up if there were any girls watching./ * /At the party
Jim and Ron were cutting up and broke a chair./ Compare: FOOL AROUND.





   [dab] See: SMACK-DAB or SMACK-TO DAB.

   [dagger] See: CLOAK-AND-DAGGER, LOOK DAGGERS.

   [daily dozen] {n.},  {informal}  Gymnastic  exercises;  especially,
several different exercises done daily. * /The boys  did  their  daily
dozen early each morning./

   [daisy] See: PUSH UP DAISIES.

   [dam] See: WATER OVER THE DAM.

   [damn] See: GIVE A HANG, NOT WORTH A TINKER'S DAMN.

   [damned if one does, damned if one doesn't] {adj. phr.}  No  matter
what one does, someone is likely to criticize one. * /No  matter  what
decisions I make, there are always some people who will  approve  them
and those who won't. It is a classical case of "damned if I do, damned
if I don't."/

   [dance] See: SONG AND DANCE.

   [dance to another tune] {v.  phr.}  To  talk  or  act  differently,
usually better because things have changed; be more polite or obedient
because you are forced to do it. * /Johnny refused to do his  homework
but punishment made him dance to another tune./ Compare: CHANGE  ONE'S
TUNE, SING A DIFFERENT TUNE.

   [dander] See: GET ONE'S BACK UP, GET ONE'S DANDER UP or  GET  ONE'S
IRISH UP.

   [dandy] See: JIM-DANDY.

   [dangerous] See: A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS A DANGEROUS THING.

   [dare say] {v. phr.} To think probable; suppose; believe. - Used in
first person. * /Mary is unhappy now  but  I  dare  say  she  will  be
laughing about this tomorrow./ * /There is no more ice  cream  on  the
table, but I dare say we can find some in the kitchen./

   [dare one to do something] {v. phr.} To  challenge  someone  to  do
something. * /"I dare you to jump off that rock into  the  sea,"  Fred
said to Jack./

   [dark] See: IN THE DARK, SHOT IN THE DARK, WHISTLE IN THE DARK.

   [darken one's door] or  [darken  the  door]  To  appear,  as  in  a
doorway; enter someone's home or establishment.  -  Used  in  negative
imperative sentences especially with "never" and "again".  *  /If  you
leave this house now, never darken my door  again./  *  /After  a  son
shamed his father by having to go to prison, the father told him never
to darken his door again./

   [dark horse] {n.}, {informal} A political candidate little known to
the general voting public; a candidate who was not expected to run.  *
/Every once in a while a dark horse candidate gets elected President./

   [dark of the moon] {n. phr.}, {literary} A time when  the  moon  is
not shining or cannot be seen. * /A was the dark of the moon when  the
scouts reached camp and they had to  use  flashlights  to  find  their
tents./ Contrast: FULL OF THE MOON.

   [dash cold water on] See: THROW COLD WATER ON.

   [dash light] {n.} A light on the front inside of a car or  vehicle.
* /Henry stopped the car and turned on the dash  lights  to  read  the
road map./

   [dash off] {v.} To make, do,  or  finish  quickly;  especially,  to
draw, paint, or write hurriedly. * /Ann took out her drawing  pad  and
pencil and dashed off a sketch of the Indians./ * /John can  dash  off
several letters while Mary writes only one./ * /Charles had  forgotten
to write his English report and dashed it off just before class./

   [date] See: DOUBLE-DATE, TO DATE.

   [date back] {v. phr.} To go back to a given period in the  past.  *
/My ancestors date back to the sixteenth century./

   [dawn on] {v.} To become clear to. * /It dawned  on  Fred  that  he
would fail the course if he did not study harder./

   [day] See: ALL IN A DAY'S WORK, CALL IT A DAY, CARRY THE DAY, EVERY
DOG HAS HIS DAY, FATHER'S DAY, FOREVER AND A DAY, GOOD DAY, MAKE A DAY
OF IT, NAME DAY, NIGHT AND DAY, ONE OF THESE DAYS, or  SOME  OF  THESE
DAYS, PASS THE TIME OF DAY, RAINY DAY, SAVE THE DAY, SEE BETTER  DAYS,
THAT'LL BE THE DAY.

   [day and night] or [night and  day]  {adv.}  1.  For  days  without
stopping;  continually.  Syn.:  AROUND  THE  CLOCK.  *  /Some  filling
stations on great highways are open day and night 365 days a year./  *
/The three men took turns driving the truck, and they drove night  and
day for three days./ 2. Every day  and  every  evening.  *  /The  girl
knitted day and night  to  finish  the  sweater  before  her  mother's
birthday./

   [day by day] {adv.} Gradually. * /The patient  got  better  day  by
day./

   [day in and day out] or [day in, day out]  {adv.  phr.}  Regularly;
consistently; all the time; always. * /He plays good tennis day in and
day out./ - Also used with several other time words in place  of  day:
week, month, year. * /Every summer, year in, year out, the  ice  cream
man comes back to the park./

   [day in court] {n.  phr.}  A  chance  to  be  heard;  an  impartial
hearing; a chance to explain what one has done. *  /The  letters  from
the faculty members to the  dean  gave  Professor  Smith  his  day  in
court./

   [daylight] See: SCARE OUT OF ONE'S WITS or SCARE THE DAYLIGHTS  OUT
OF, SEE DAYLIGHT.

   [daylight saving time] also [daylight saving] or [daylight time] or
[fast time] {n.} A way of keeping time in summer that is  one  or  two
hours ahead of standard time. - Abbreviation DST. *  /Many  places  in
the United States keep their clocks on daylight  saving  time  in  the
summer; in this way people get up earlier and have more free  time  in
the afternoon and evening while it is still daylight./ * /Father  said
that next week it will get  dark  later  because  we  will  change  to
daylight saving lime./ * /We go off  daylight  saving  in  the  fall./
Compare: CENTRAL TIME. Contrast: STANDARD TIME.

   [daylight robbery] See: HIGHWAY ROBBERY.

   [daydream] {v.} To spend time in reverie;  be  absentminded  during
the day. * /John spends so much time daydreaming that  he  never  gets
anything done./

   [day of grace] {n. phr.} An extension period after the due date  of
some contract or bond. * /The premium is due  on  the  first  of  each
month, but they allow ten days of grace./

   [day of reckoning] {n. phr.} 1. A time when one  will  be  made  to
account for misdeeds. * /When the criminal was caught and  brought  to
trial his victims said, "finally, the day of reckoning has come."/  2.
A time when one's will and  Judgment  are  severely  tested.  *  /"You
always wanted to run the  department,"  the  dean  said  to  Professor
Smith. "Now here is your chance; this is your day of reckoning."/

   [day off] {n.} A day  on  which  one  doesn't  have  to  work,  not
necessarily the weekend. * /Monday is his day off in  the  restaurant,
because he prefers to work on Saturdays and Sundays./

   [day-to-day] {adj.} Daily; common; everyday. * /For  best  results,
students' homework should be checked on a day-to-day basis./

   [days are numbered] (Someone or something) does not  have  long  to
live or stay. * /The days of the old school building are numbered./  *
/When a man becomes ninety years old, his days are numbered./

   [dazzle] See: RAZZLE-DAZZLE.

   [dead] See: CATCH DEAD, DROP DEAD, STONEDEAD.

   [dead ahead] {adv.}, {informal} Exactly in front;  before.  *  /The
school is dead ahead about two miles from here./ * /Father was driving
in a fog, and suddenly he saw another car dead ahead of him./

   [deadbeat] {n.}, {slang} A person who never pays his debts and  who
has a way of getting things free  that  others  have  to  pay  for.  *
/You'll never collect from Joe - he's a deadbeat./

   [dead and buried] {adj. phr.} Gone forever. * /Slavery is dead  and
buried in twentieth-century America./

   [dead as a  doornail]  {adj.  phr.}  Completely  dead  without  the
slightest hope  of  resuscitation.  *  /This  battery  is  dead  as  a
doornail; no wonder your car won't start./

   [dead broke] See: STONE-BROKE.

   [dead center] {n.} The exact middle. * /The treasure was buried  in
the dead center of the island./ Often used  like  an  adverb.  *  /The
arrow hit the circle dead center./

   [dead duck] {n.}, {slang} A person or thing in a hopeless situation
or condition; one to whom something bad is sure to happen. * /When the
pianist broke her arm, she was a dead duck./

   [deadhead] {n.}, {slang} An excessively dull or  boring  person.  *
/You'll never get John to tell a joke - he's a deadhead./

   [dead letter] {n. phr.} An undeliverable letter that ends up  in  a
special office holding such letters. * /There is a dead letter  office
in most major cities./

   [deadline] {n.} A final date by which a project,  such  as  a  term
paper, is due. * /The  deadline  for  the  papers  on  Shakespeare  is
November 10./

   [dead loss] {n. phr.} A  total  waste;  a  complete  loss.  *  /Our
investment in Jack's company turned out to be a dead loss./

   [dead on one's feet] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Very tired  but  still
standing or walking; too tired to do more; exhausted. *  /Jimmy  never
leaves a job unfinished. He continues to work even when he's  dead  on
his feet./ * /After the soldiers march all night,  they  are  dead  on
their feet./ Compare: DEAD TIRED, WEAR OUT(2).

   [deadpan]  {adj.},  {adv.},  {slang}  With  an  expressionless   or
emotionless face; without  betraying  any  hint  of  emotion.  *  /She
received the news of her husband's death deadpan./

   [dead pedal] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio  jargon}  A  slow
moving vehicle. * /Better pass that eighteen  wheeler,  Jack;  it's  a
dead pedal./

   [dead ringer] {n. phr.} A person  who  strongly  resembles  someone
else. * /Charlie is a dead ringer for his uncle./

   [dead set against]  {adj.  phr.}  Totally  opposed  to  someone  or
something. * /Jack is dead set against the  idea  of  marriage,  which
upsets Mary./

   [dead tired] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Very  tired;  exhausted;  worn
out. * /She was dead tired at the end of  the  day's  work./  Compare:
DEAD ON ONE'S FEET.

   [dead to rights]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Without  a  chance  of
escaping blame; proven wrong.  *  /Mother  had  Bob  dead  to  rights,
because she caught him with his hand in the cookie jar./ * /The police
caught the man dead to rights./

   [dead to the world] {adj. phr.}, {informal} 1. Fast asleep. *  /Tim
went to bed very late and was still dead to the world  at  10  o'clock
this morning./ 2. As if dead; unconscious. * /Tom was hit on the  head
by a baseball and was dead to the world for two hours./

   [dead-end] {n.} A street closed at one end; a situation that  leads
nowhere. * /Jim drove into a dead-end street and had to back  out./  *
/Mary was in a dead-end job./

   [dead-end] {v.} To not continue normally but end in a closure (said
of streets). * /Our street dead-ends on the lake./

   [deaf] See: TURN A DEAF EAR TO.

   [deal] See: GOOD DEAL or GREAT DEAL, NEW DEAL,  NO  DEAL,  THINK  A
GREAT DEAL OF, WHEEL AND DEAL.

   [deal in] {v. phr.} To sell; do business in a certain commodity.  *
/Herb's firm deals in sporting goods./

   [deal with] {v.  phr.}  1.  To  conduct  negotiations  or  business
dealings with. * /John refuses to deal with  the  firm  of  Brown  and
Miller./ 2. To handle a problem. * /Ted is a very  strong  person  and
dealt with the fact that his wife had left him much better than anyone
else I know./

   [dealer] See: WHEELER-DEALER at WHEEL AND DEAL.

   [dear] See: FOR DEAR LIFE.

   [Dear John letter] {n. phr.} A note or a letter informing one  that
a romantic relationship or a marriage is over. * /Jane  left  a  "Dear
John letter" on the table and went home to live with her parents./

   [dear me] {interj.} Used to show  surprise,  fear,  or  some  other
strong feeling. * /Dear me! My purse is lost, what shall I do now?/

   [death] See: AT DEATH'S DOOR, BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH,  CATCH  ONE'S
DEATH OF or TAKE ONE'S DEATH OF, SIGN  ONE'S  OWN  DEATH  WARRANT,  TO
DEATH.

   [death knell] {n.}, {formal} 1. The ringing of a bell at a death or
funeral. * /The people mourned at the death knell of their friend./ 2.
{literary} Something which shows a  future  failure.  *  /Bill's  poor
grade on his final examination sounded the death knell of his hope  to
be a doctor./ * /His sudden deafness was the death knell of  his  hope
to become President./

   [death on] {adj. phr.}, {informal} 1. Very successful in meeting or
dealing with. * /Joe is death on fast balls. He  usually  knocks  them
out of the park./ 2. Disliking or strongly against; very strict about.
* /The new teacher is death on students who come  late  to  class./  *
/The twins' grandmother is death on smoking./

   [deck] See: HIT THE DECK, ON DECK.

   [decked out] {adj. phr.},  {informal}  Dressed  in  fancy  clothes;
specially decorated for some festive occasion. * /The school band  was
decked out in bright red uniforms with brass buttons./ * /Main  Street
was decked with flags for the Fourth of July./

   [declare] See: I DECLARE.

   [deep] See: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE  SEA,  GO  OFF  THE
DEEP END, IN DEEP, KNEE-DEEP.

   [deep-six] {v.}, {slang} To throw  away;  dispose  of.  *  /As  the
police boat came near, the drug smugglers deep-sixed their cargo./ (An
expression originally used by sailors, suggesting  throwing  something
into water six fathoms deep.)

   [deep water] {n.} Serious trouble or difficulty. * /When Dad  tried
to take Mom's place for a day, he found himself in deep water./

   [defense] See: ZONE DEFENSE.

   [defiance] See: IN DEFIANCE OF.

   [degree] See: TO A DEGREE, TO THE NTH DEGREE.

   [deliver the goods] {v. phr.} 1. To carry things and give  them  to
the person who wants them. * /Lee delivered the  goods  to  the  right
house./ 2. {slang} To succeed in doing well what is expected.  *  /The
new pitcher delivered the goods by striking out 20 men  in  his  first
game./ * /This personal computer surely delivers the goods./  Compare:
BRING HOME THE BACON.

   [delta wave] {n.}, {informal}, {semi-technical} A  brain  wave  1-3
cycles per second, associated with very deep  sleep.  *  /Good  night,
honey, I'm off to produce some delta waves./ Compare: CATCH SOME  Z'S,
HIT THE HAY or HIT THE SACK.

   [demand] See: IN DEMAND.

   [Dennis the  Menace]  {n.  phr.}  After  the  notorious  television
character played by a young boy who always  creates  trouble  for  the
grownups. Any hyperactive little boy who needs calming down. *  /"Your
son, Joey, is becoming a regular 'Dennis the Menace',"  Jane  said  to
Elvira./

   [dent] See: MAKE A DENT IN.

   [deposit] See: ON DEPOSIT.

   [depth] See: BEYOND ONE'S DEPTH.

   [desk clerk] See: ROOM CLERK.

   [detective] See: HOUSE DETECTIVE.

   [devil] See: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, FULL  OF  THE
OLD NICK or FULL OF THE DEVIL, GIVE THE  DEVIL  HIS  DUE,  GO  TO  THE
DEVIL, PLAY THE DEVIL WITH, RAISE THE DEVIL, SPEAK OF THE DEVIL AND HE
APPEARS.

   [devil-may-care] {adj.}  Not  caring  what  happens;  unworried.  *
/Johnny has a devil-may-care feeling about his school work./ * /Alfred
was a devil-may-care youth but became more serious as he grew older./

   [devil-may-care attitude] {n. phr.} An attitude of no  concern  for
financial or other loss. * /"Easy come,  easy  go,"  John  said  in  a
devil-may-care attitude when he lost all of his money during  a  poker
game./

   [devil of it] or [heck of it]  {n.  phr.}  1.  The  worst  or  most
unlucky thing about a trouble or  accident;  the  part  that  is  most
regrettable. * /Andy lost his notebook, and the devil of it  was  that
the notebook contained all his homework for the coming week./ *  /When
I had a flat tire, the devil of it was that my  spare  tire  was  flat
too./ 2. Fun from doing mischief. - Used  after  "for".  *  /The  boys
carried away Miss White's front gate just for the devil of it./

   [devil to pay] {n. phr.} Great  trouble.  -  Used  after  "the".  *
/There'll be the devil to pay when the teacher finds out who broke the
window./ * /When Jim wrecked his father's car, there was the devil  to
pay./

   [dewey-eyed] See: MISTY-EYED.

   [diamond in the rough] {n. phr.} A  very  smart  person  without  a
formal education who may have untutored manners. * /Jack never went to
school but he is extremely talented; he is a veritable diamond in  the
rough./

   [dibs] See: TO HAVE DIBS ON or TO PUT DIBS ON.

   [dice] See: NO DEAL or NO DICE.

   [Dick] See: TOM, DICK AND HARRY.

   [die] See: CROSS ONE'S HEART or CROSS ONE'S HEART AND HOPE TO  DIE,
DO-OR-DIE, NEVER SAY DIE.

   [die away] or [die down] {v.} To come slowly to an end; grow slowly
less or weaker. * /The wind died down./ * /The music died away./ * /He
waited until the excitement had died down./ * /His mother's anger died
away./

   [die in one's boots] or  [die  with  one's  boots  on]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To be killed or hanged rather  than  die  in  bed.  *  /The
badmen of the Old West usually died in their  boots./  *  /The  robber
said he wanted to die with his boots on./

   [die  is  cast]  {v.  phr.},  {literary}  To  make  an  irrevocable
decision. (From Julius Caesar's famous words  in  Latin,  "alea  iacta
est",  when  he  crossed  the  river  Rubicon,  which  meant  war.)  *
/Everything was ready for the invasion of Europe,  the  die  had  been
cast, and there was no turning back now./

   [die off] {v.} To die one at a time. * /The flowers are  dying  off
because there has been no rain./

   [die on the vine] or [wither on the vine]  {v.  phr.}  To  fail  or
collapse in the planning stages. * /The  program  for  rebuilding  the
city died on the vine./

   [die out] {v.} To die or disappear slowly until all gone.  *  /This
kind of bird is dying out./ * /If you pour salt  water  on  grass,  it
dies out./ * /The American colonists started colleges so that learning
would not die out./

   [difference] See: MAKE A DIFFERENCE, SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE.

   [different] See: SING A DIFFERENT TUNE or WHISTLE A DIFFERENT TUNE.

   [dig down] {v.}, {slang} To spend your own money. * /The school let
the club use the bus and driver free for their trip, but they  had  to
dig down to pay for gas and meals./ *  /"So  you  broke  Mrs.  Brown's
window?" Tom's father said, "You'll have to dig down and pay for it,"/

   [dig in] {v.}, {informal} 1. To dig ditches for protection  against
an enemy attack. * /The soldiers dug in and waited for  the  enemy  to
come./ 2a. To go seriously to work; work hard.  *  /John  dug  in  and
finished his homework very quickly./ 2b. To begin  eating.  *  /Mother
set the food on the table and told the children to dig in./

   [dig out] {v.} 1. To find by searching; bring out (something)  that
was put away. * /Jack  dug  his  sled  out  of  the  cellar./  *  /The
newspaper printed an old story dug out of their records./ Compare: DIG
UP. 2. {informal} To escape. - Usually used with "of". Often  used  in
the phrase "dig oneself out of a hole." * /The pitcher dug himself out
of a hole by striking the batter out./

   [dig up] {v.}, {informal} To find  or  get  (something)  with  some
effort.  *  /Sue  dug  up  some  useful  material  for   her   English
composition./ * /Jim asked each boy to dig up twenty-five cents to pay
for the hot dogs and soda./ Compare: DIG OUT.

   [dilemma] See: HORNS OF A DILEMMA.

   [dim] See: TAKE A DIM VIEW OF.

   [dime a dozen] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Easy to get and so of little
value; being an everyday thing because there are many of them; common.
* /Mr. Jones gives A's to only one or two students, but in Mr. Smith's
class, A's are a dime a dozen./

   [dime store] or [five-and-dime] or [five-and-ten] {n. phr.} A store
that sells things that cost little. * /Charles bought a pencil at  the
five-and-dime./

   [dine out] {v. phr.} To not eat at home but to go to a  restaurant.
* /"Let's dine out tonight, honey," she said to  her  husband.  "I  am
tired of cooking dinner every night."/ See: EAT OUT.

   [dint] See: BY DINT OF.

   [dip into] {v. phr.} 1. To scan or sample lightly and briefly (said
of printed materials). * /I didn't get a chance to read all of War and
Peace, but I dipped into it here and there./ 2. To take money out of a
savings account or a piggy bank. * /I am sorry to have to say  that  I
had to dip into the piggy bank; I took out $6.75./

   [dirt] See: EAT DIRT, HIT THE DIRT, PAY DIRT.

   [dirt cheap] {adj.} Extremely inexpensive. * /The apartment we  are
renting is dirt cheap compared to other apartments of similar size  in
this neighborhood./

   [dirty] See: AIR ONE'S DIRTY LINEN IN PUBLIC or  WASH  ONE'S  DIRTY
LINEN IN PUBLIC.

   [dirty look] {n.}, {informal} A look that shows  dislike.  *  /Miss
Parker sent Joe to the principal's  office  for  giving  her  a  dirty
look./

   [dirty old man] {n. phr.} An  older  man  who  shows  an  unhealthy
interest in young girls. * /"Stay away from  Uncle  Algernon,  Sally,"
her mother warned. "He is a dirty old man."/

   [dirty one's hands] or [soil one's hands] {v.  phr.}  To  lower  or
hurt one's character or good name; do a bad or shameful thing. *  /The
teacher warned the children not to dirty their hands  by  cheating  in
the examination./ * /I would not soil  my  hands  by  going  with  bad
people and doing bad things./

   [dirty story] {n. phr.} An improper or obscene story. * /Uncle Bill
is much too fond of telling dirty stories in order  to  embarrass  his
friends./

   [dirty trick] {n. phr.} A treacherous  action;  an  unfair  act.  *
/That was a dirty trick John played on Mary when he ran away with  her
younger sister./

   [disappear] or [evaporate] or [vanish into thin air] {v.  phr.}  To
disappear  quickly,  without  leaving  a  trace.  *  /Money  seems  to
disappear into thin air these days./ * /Jack just vanished  into  thin
air before the meeting had started./

   [discretion] See: THROW CAUTION TO THE WINDS also THROW  DISCRETION
TO THE WINDS.

   [discretion is the better part of valor] {literary} When you are in
danger or trouble, good sense helps more than  foolish  risks;  it  is
better to be careful than to be foolishly brave. - A proverb. *  /When
you are facing a man with a knife, discretion is the  better  part  of
valor./

   [dish] See: COVERED-DISH SUPPER.

   [dish of tea] See: CUP OF TEA.

   [dish out] {v.} 1. To serve (food) from a large bowl  or  plate.  *
/Ann's mother asked her to dish out the beans./ 2. {informal} To  give
in large quantities. * /That teacher dished out so much homework  that
her pupils complained to their parents./ 3. {slang} To scold; treat or
criticize roughly. * /Jim likes to dish it out, but he hates  to  take
it./ Compare: HAND OUT.

   [dish the dirt] {v. phr.}, {slang}  To  gossip,  to  spread  rumors
about others. * /Stop dishing  the  dirt.  Sally,  it's  really  quite
unbecoming!/

   [disk jockey] {n.} An employee at a radio station  or  in  a  dance
club who puts on the records  that  will  be  broadcast.  *  /Jack  is
working as a disk jockey at the local FM station./

   [dispose of] {v.} 1. To throw away; give away, or sell; get rid of.
* /John's father wants to dispose of their old house  and  buy  a  new
one./ * /The burglars  had  difficulty  in  disposing  of  the  stolen
jewelry./ 2. To finish. with;  settle;  complete.  *  /The  boys  were
hungry, and quickly disposed of their dinner./ * /The  committee  soon
disposed of all its  business./  3.  To  destroy  or  defeat.  *  /The
champion disposed of the other fighter by  knocking  him  out  in  the
second round./ * /Our planes disposed of two enemy planes./

   [dispute] See: IN DISPUTE.

   [distance] See: KEEP AT A DISTANCE, KEEP ONE'S DISTANCE.

   [ditch] See: LAST DITCH,

   [dive] See: GO INTO A TAIL SPIN or GO INTO A NOSE DIVE.

   [do] See: HAVE DONE, HAVE DONE WITH, HAVE TO DO WITH, LET GEORGE DO
IT, LET ONE'S RIGHT HAND KNOW WHAT ONE'S LEFT  HAND  IS  DOING,  LET'S
DON'T, MAKE DO, WELL-TO-DO, WHAT'S UP or WHAT'S DOING.

   [do a double take] {v. phr.}, {informal} To look again in surprise;
suddenly understand what is seen or said. * /John did  a  double  take
when he saw Bill in girls'  clothes./  *  /When  Evvie  said  she  was
quitting school, I did a double take./

   [do a job on] {v. phr.}, {slang} To damage badly; do harm to;  make
ugly or useless. * /The baby did a job on Mary's book./  *  /Jane  cut
her hair and really did a job on herself./

   [Doakes] See: JOE DOAKES.

   [do a stretch] {v. phr.}  To  spend  time  in  jail  serving  one's
sentence. * /Jake has disappeared from view for a while; he is doing a
stretch for dope smuggling./

   [do away with] {v.} 1. To put an end to; stop. * /The teachers want
to do away with cheating in their school./ * /The city has decided  to
do away with overhead wires./ Compare: RID OF. 2. To kill;  murder.  *
/The robbers did away with their victims./

   [do by someone or something] {v.} To deal with; treat. - Used  with
a qualifying adverb between "do" and "by". * /Andy's  employer  always
does very well by him./

   [do credit] or [do credit to] also ({informal}) [do proud]  To  add
to or improve the reputation, good name, honor,  or  esteem  of;  show
(you) deserve praise. * /Your neat  appearance  does  you  credit./  *
/Mary's painting would do credit to a real artist./

   [doctor] See: JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED.

   [doctor up] {v. phr.} To meddle with; adulterate. * /You don't have
to doctor up this basic salad with a lot of extras as I am  trying  to
lose weight./

   [do duty for] {v. phr.} To substitute for; act in place of. *  /The
bench often does duty for a table./

   [Doe] See: JOHN DOE.

   [doesn't add up to a can of beans] {v. phr.} To be of little or  no
value. (Said of plans, ideas, etc.) * /"That's  a  fairly  interesting
concept you got there, Mike, but the competition is bound to say  that
it doesn't add up to a can of beans."/

   [do for] {v.}, {informal} To cause the death or ruin of;  cause  to
fail. - Used usually in the passive  form  "done  for".  *  /The  poor
fellow is done for and will die before morning./  *  /Andy's  employer
always does very well by him./ * /If Jim fails that test, he  is  done
for./

   [dog] See: EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY, GO TO THE DOGS, HOT DOG,  LEAD  A
DOG'S LIFE, LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE, RAIN CATS AND DOGS.

   [dog days] {n. phr.} The hottest days of the year in  the  Northern
Hemisphere (July and August). (The ancient Romans associated this time
with the "Dog Star" - Sirius - which becomes visible in the heavens at
this time of year.) * /"The dog days are upon us,"  John  said.  "It's
time to go swimming in the lake."/

   [dog-eat-dog(1)] {n.} A way of living in which every  person  tries
to get what he wants for himself no matter how  badly  or  cruelly  he
must treat others to get it; readiness to do anything to get what  you
want. * /In some early frontier towns it was dog-eat-dog./

   [dog-eat-dog(2)] {adj.} Ready or willing to fight and  hurt  others
to get what you want. * /During the California gold rush,  men  had  a
dog-eat-dog life./

   [doghouse] See: IN THE DOGHOUSE.

   [dog in the manger] {n. phr.} A person  who  is  unwilling  to  let
another use what he himself has no use for. * /Although Valerie  lives
alone in that big house, she is like a dog in the manger when it comes
to letting someone sharing it with her./

   [dog one's steps] {v. phr.} To follow someone closely. *  /All  the
time he was in Havana, Castro's police were dogging his steps./

   [dog's age] or [coon's age] {n.},  {informal}  A  very  long  time.
Usually used after "for" or "in" with a negative. * /Charlie Brown!  I
haven't seen you for a coon's age./ * /Father hasn't had a  night  out
with the boys in a dog's age./ * /I waited for him for  a  dog's  age,
but he didn't come./ Syn.: MONTH OF SUNDAYS.

   [dog's life] {n. phr.} A life of misery, poverty, and  unhappiness.
* /Diogenes, the Greek philosopher, lived a dog's life inside an empty
barrel./

   [do in] {v.}, {slang} 1. To ruin; destroy. * /Mr. Smith's  business
was done in by a fire that  burned  down  his  store./  2a.  To  kill;
murder. * /The poor man was done in by  two  gangsters  who  ran  away
after the crime./ 2b. To make tired; exhaust. * /The boys were done in
after their long hike./ Syn.: WEAR OUT(2). 3.  To  cheat;  swindle.  *
/Mr. Jones was done in by two men who claimed to be  collecting  money
for orphans and widows./

   [doing] See: NOTHING DOING.

   [do justice to] {v. phr.} 1. To  do  (something)  as  well  as  you
should; do properly. * /Barbara had so many  things  to  do  that  she
could not do justice to her lessons./ * /The newspaper man did not  do
justice to  the  story./  2.  To  eat  or  drink  with  enthusiasm  or
enjoyment. * /The boy did justice to the meal./

   [dole out] {v. phr.} To measure out sparingly. * /Since  the  water
ration was running low in the desert, the camp  commandant  doled  out
small cups of water to each soldier./

   [dollar] See: BET ONE'S BOTTOM DOLLAR at BET ONE'S BOOTS, FEEL LIKE
A MILLION or FEEL LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS, LOOK LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS.

   [doll up] {v.}, {slang} 1. To dress in fine  or  fancy  clothes.  *
/The girls dolled up for the big school dance of  the  year./  *  /The
girls were all dolled up for the Christmas party./  2.  To  make  more
pretty or attractive. *  /The  classrooms  were  all  dolled  up  with
Christmas decorations./ Compare: DECKED OUT.

   [done for] {adj. phr.} Finished; dead. * /When the police burst  in
on the crooks, they knew they were done for./

   [done to a turn] See: TO A T or TO A TURN.

   [done with] {adj. phr.} Finished; completed. * /As soon  as  you're
done with your work, give us a call./

   [don't cross your bridges until you come  to  them]  See:  CROSS  A
BRIDGE BEFORE ONE COMES TO IT.

   [don't cry before you're hurt] See: CRY BEFORE ONE IS HURT.

   [don't let's] See: LET'S DON'T.

   [don't look a gift horse in the mouth] See: LOOK A  GIFT  HORSE  IN
THE MOUTH.

   [do one a good turn] {v. phr.}  To  perform  an  act  of  kindness,
friendship,  or  help  to   another   person,   unselfishly,   without
expectation of reward. * /"I'll be happy to help you any time you need
it," John said. "After all you have done me so many good turns."/

   [do one good] {v. phr.} To benefit. * /The fresh air  will  do  you
good after having been inside the house all day./

   [do  one  good]  or  [do  one's  heart  good]  {v.  phr.}  To  give
satisfaction; please; gratify. * /It does my heart good to  see  those
children play./

   [do one's best] {v. phr.} To perform  at  one's  optimum  capacity;
spare no effort in fulfilling one's duties. * /"I've  really  done  my
best teaching you people," the tired professor said on the last day of
classes. "I hope you got something out of this course."/

   [do one's bit] or [part] {v.  phr.}  To  shoulder  one's  share  of
responsibility in a communal undertaking; shirk  one's  obligation.  *
/"Let me go home and rest, fellows, " John said. "I think I've done my
bit for this project. "/

   [do one's thing] or [do one's own thing] {v. phr.},  {informal}  1.
To do what one does well and actually enjoys doing.  *  /Two  thousand
fans paid $15 each to hear the rock  group  do  their  thing./  2.  To
follow one's bent; for example, to be engaged in  left-wing  politics,
some sort  of  meditation,  or  use  of  drugs  (particularly  in  the
sixties). * /The hippies were doing their own thing when the cops came
and busted them./ 3. To be engaged in an unusual activity that strikes
others as odd. * /Leave Jim alone, he's just doing his own thing  when
he's standing on his head./

   [do one's worst] {v. phr.} To do one's utmost by resorting to every
foul means possible. * /Hitler did his worst to drive out  the  Allied
invasion from Europe, but he failed./

   [door] See: AT DEATH'S DOOR, AT ONE'S DOOR, CLOSED-DOOR, CLOSE  ITS
DOORS, CLOSE THE DOOR or BAR THE DOOR or SHUT THE DOOR, DARKEN  ONE  S
DOOR, or DARKEN THE DOOR, FOOT IN THE DOOR, KEEP  THE  WOLF  FROM  THE
DOOR, LAY AT ONE'S DOOR, LOCK THE BARN DOOR AFTER THE HORSE IS STOLEN,
NEXT DOOR, OPEN ITS DOORS, OPEN THE DOOR, SHOW THE DOOR, SLAM THE DOOR
IN ONE'S FACE at IN ONE'S FACE.

   [do-or-die] {adj.} Strongly decided, very eager and  determined.  *
/With a real do-or-die spirit the team scored two  touchdowns  in  the
last five minutes of the game./ * /The other army was larger  but  our
men showed a do-or-die determination and won the battle./

   [doorstep] See: AT ONE'S DOOR or AT ONE'S DOOR-STEP.

   [do over] {v. phr.} 1. To renovate; redecorate. * /The  new  owners
are going to do over the entire building in the fall./ 2. To repeat. *
/Please do that math problem over until you get it right./

   [dope out] {v.}, {slang} To think of  something  that  explains.  *
/The detectives tried to dope out why the  man  was  murdered./  Syn.:
FIGURE OUT.

   [do proud] See: DO CREDIT.

   [do someone out of something] {v.}, {informal} To cause to lose  by
trickery or cheating. * /The clerk in the store did me out of $2.00 by
overcharging me./

   [dose of one's own medicine] or [taste of one's own  medicine]  {n.
phr.} Being treated in the same way you treat  others;  something  bad
done to you as you have done bad to other people. *  /Jim  was  always
playing tricks on other boys. Finally they decided to give him a  dose
of his own medicine./

   [dot] See: ON THE DOT also ON THE BUTTON.

   [do tell] {interj.}, {informal} An  inelegant  expression  used  to
show that you are a little surprised by what you  hear.  *  /"You  say
George is going to get married after all these years? Do  tell!"  said
Mrs. Green./ Syn.: YOU DON'T SAY.

   [do the business] {v. phr.}, {informal} To do  what  is  needed  or
wanted; get the job done; take proper action. * /The boys had  trouble
in rolling the stone, but four of them did the business./ * /When  the
little boy cut his finger a bandage did the business./

   [do the honors] {v.  phr.}  To  act  as  host  or  hostess  (as  in
introducing guests, carving, or paying other attentions to guests.)  *
/The president of the club will do the honors at the banquet./

   [do the trick] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  bring  success  in  doing
something; have a desired result. * /Jim was not passing  in  English,
but he studied harder and that did  the  trick./  *  /The  car  wheels
slipped on the ice, so Tom put sand under them, which did the  trick./
Compare: TURN THE TRICK.

   [do things by halves] {v. phr.} To do  things  in  a  careless  and
incomplete way. * /When he reads a book he always does it  by  halves;
he seldom finishes it./

   [do time] or [doing time] See: DO A STRETCH.

   [do to death] {v. phr.} To overdo; do something so  often  that  it
becomes extremely boring or tiresome. * /The typical car  chase  scene
in motion pictures has been done to death./

   [dot the i's and cross the t's] {v. phr.} To be careful,  thorough,
and pay close attention to detail. * /"The best way to get an A on the
final exam," the teacher said, "is for every one to dot  the  i's  and
cross the t's."/ Compare: MIND ONE'S P'S AND Q'S.

   [double back] {v.} 1. To turn back on one's way or course.  *  /The
escaped prisoner doubled back on his tracks./ 2. To fold over; usually
in the middle. * /The teacher told Johnny to double back the sheet  of
paper and tear it in half./

   [double check]  {n.}  A  careful  second  check  to  be  sure  that
something is right; a careful look for errors. * /The policeman made a
double check on the doors in the shopping area./

   [double-check] {v.} 1. To do a double check on; look at again  very
carefully. * /When the last typing  of  his  book  was  finished,  the
author double-checked it./ 2. To make a double check;  look  carefully
at something. * /The proofreader double-checks against errors./

   [double-cross] {v.} To promise one thing and  deliver  another;  to
deceive. * /The lawyer double-crossed the  inventor  by  manufacturing
the gadget instead of fulfilling his promise to arrange a  patent  for
his client./ Compare: SELL DOWN THE RIVER, TWO-TIME.

   [double date] {n.}, {informal} A  date  on  which  two  couples  go
together. * /John and Nancy went with Mary and Bill on a double date./

   [double-date] {v.}, {informal} To go on a double  date;  date  with
another couple. * /John and Nancy and Mary and Bill double-date./

   [double duty] {n.} Two uses or jobs;  two  purposes  or  duties.  *
/Matthew does double  duty.  He's  the  janitor  in  the  morning  and
gardener in the afternoon./ * /Our new washer  does  double  duty;  it
washes the clothes and also dries them./

   [double-header] {n.} Two games or contests played one  right  after
the other, between the same two teams or two different pairs of teams.
*  /The  Yankees  and  the  Dodgers  played  a  double-header   Sunday
afternoon./ * /We went to a basketball double-header at Madison Square
Garden and saw Seton Hall play St. John's and N.Y.U. play Notre Dame./

   [double nickel] {adv.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio jargon}  The
nationally enforced speed limit on some highways -  55  MPH.  *  /We'd
better go double nickel on this stretch, partner; there's  a  bear  in
the air./

   [double-park] {v.} To park a car beside another car which is at the
curb. * /Jimmy's father double-parked his car and the police gave  him
a ticket./ * /If you double-park, you block other cars from passing./

   [double-talk] {n.} 1. Something said  that  is  worded,  either  on
purpose or by accident, so that it may be understood in  two  or  more
different  ways.  *  /The  politician  avoided   the   question   with
double-talk./ 2. Something said that does not  make  sense;  mixed  up
talk or writing; nonsense. * /The man's explanation  of  the  new  tax
bill was just a lot of double-talk./

   [double up] {v.} 1. To bend far over forward. * /Jim was hit by the
baseball and doubled up with pain./ 2. To share a room, bed,  or  home
with another. * /When relatives came for a visit, Ann had to double up
with her sister./

   [doubt] See: GIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, NO DOUBT.

   [do up] {v.} 1a. To clean and prepare for use or wear;  launder.  *
/Ann asked her mother to do up  her  dress./  1b.  To  put  in  order;
straighten up; clean. * /At camp the girls have to  do  up  their  own
cabins./ 2. To tie up or wrap. * /Joan asked the clerk to  do  up  her
purchases./ 3a. To set and fasten (hair) in place. * /Grace helped her
sister to do up her hair./ Compare: PUT UP. 3b. {informal} To dress or
clothe. * /Suzie was done up in her fine new skirt and blouse./

   [do up brown] {v. phr.}, {slang} To do in a  thorough  or  complete
way. * /When Jim does a job, he does it up brown./

   [do well by] {v. phr.} To benefit; help; treat exceptionally  well.
* /In his will Grandpa did well by all of his grandchildren  and  left
each of them one million dollars./

   [do with] {v.} 1. To find enough for one's needs; manage. - Usually
follows "can". * /Some children  can  do  with  very  little  spending
money./ Compare: GET ALONG, MAKE DO. 2. To make use of; find useful or
helpful. - Follows "can" or "could". * /After a hard day's work, a man
can do with a good, hot meal./ * /After cleaning out the basement, the
boy could do with a bath./

   [do without] or [go without]  {v.}  1.  To  live  or  work  without
(something you want); manage without.  *  /Ann  said  that  she  likes
candy, but can do without it./ *  /We  had  to  go  without  hot  food
because the stove was broken./ 2. To live or  work  without  something
you want; manage. * /If George cannot earn money  for  a  bicycle,  he
will have to do without./ Compare: GET ALONG, GET BY.

   [down and out] {adj. phr.} Without money; without a  job  or  home;
broke. * /Poor Sam lost his job after his wife had  left  him;  he  is
really down and out./

   [down-and-outer] {n. phr.} A person who has lost everything and  is
penniless. * /Joe goes from shelter to shelter asking for food  and  a
place to sleep; he's become a regular down-and-outer./

   [down-at-heel] or [down-at-the-heel] or [down-at-the-heels]  {adj.}
Poorly kept up or dressed shabby; not neat; sloppy. * /John is  always
down-at-the-heels, but his sister is always very neat./ * /Old  houses
sometimes look down-at-the-heel./

   [down east] or [Down East] {n.} The northeast coastal part  of  the
United States and part of Canada; especially:  the  coastal  parts  of
Maine. * /Many people in Boston like to go down east for their  summer
vacation./ Compare: I WOULDN'T DO IT FOR A FARM DOWN EAST.

   [down in the dumps] or [down in the mouth] {adj. phr.},  {informal}
Sad or discouraged; gloomy; dejected. * /The boys were certainly  down
in the dumps when they heard that their team had lost./

   [down on] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Having a  grudge  against;  angry
at. * /John is down on his teacher because she gave him a low grade./

   [down one's alley] or [up one's alley] {adj. phr.}, {slang}  Suited
to your tastes and abilities; what you like or like to do. * /Baseball
is right down Jim's alley./ Compare: CUP OF TEA.

   [down one's neck] See: BREATHE DOWN ONE'S NECK.

   [down one's nose] See: LOOK DOWN ONE'S NOSE.

   [down one's throat] See: JUMP DOWN ONE'S THROAT, SHOVE  DOWN  ONE'S
THROAT or RAM DOWN ONE'S THROAT.

   [down on one's luck] {adj.}, {informal}  Having  bad  luck;  having
much trouble; not successful in life. * /Harry asked me  to  lend  him
ten dollars, because he was down on his luck./ * /The teacher is  easy
on Jane because Jane has been down on her luck lately./ Compare:  HARD
ROW TO HOE, HARD SLEDDING, ON ONE'S UPPERS.

   [down payment] {n.} A retainer paid to a prospective seller. * /How
much of a down payment do you require for this new car?/

   [down the drain] {adj.} or {adv. phr.}, {informal} Wasted; lost.  *
/It is money down the drain if you spend it  all  on  candy./  *  /Our
plans to go swimming went down the drain when it rained./ Compare:  GO
BY THE BOARD.

   [down the hatch!] {v. phr.}, {informal} Let us drink!  *  /When  we
celebrated Mom's birthday, we all raised  our  glasses  and  cried  in
unison, "Down the hatch!"/

   [down the line] {adv. phr.}, {informal} 1. Down the road or street;
straight ahead. * /The church is down the line a few blocks./  2.  All
the way; completely; thoroughly. * /Bob always follows  the  teacher's
directions right down the line./

   [down-to-earth]  {adj.}  Showing  good  sense;  practical.  *  /The
committee's first plan for the party was too fancy, but the second was
more down-to-earth./ * /Mr.  Jenkins  never  seems  to  know  what  is
happening around him, but his wife  is  friendly  and  down-to-earth./
Compare: COME BACK TO EARTH.

   [down to the wire] {adj.}, {slang} 1. Running out of time,  nearing
a deadline. * /Bob is down to the  wire  on  his  project./  2.  Being
financially almost broke, being very low on cash or other funds. * /We
can't afford going to a restaurant tonight - we're really down to  the
wire!/

   [down with a disease] {adj. phr.} Ill or sick. * /Aunt Liz is  down
with the flu this week; she has to stay in bed./

   [dozen] See: BY THE DOZEN, DAILY DOZEN, DIME A DOZEN,  SIX  OF  ONE
AND HALF-A-DOZEN OF THE OTHER.

   [drag in] {v.} To insist  on  bringing  (another  subject)  into  a
discussion; begin talking about (something different.)  *  /No  matter
what we talk  about,  Jim  drags  in  politics./  *  /Whenever  anyone
mentions travel, Grace has to drag in the trip to Mexico she took  ten
years ago./

   [drag on] or [drag out] {v.} 1. To pass very slowly.  *  /The  cold
winter months dragged on until we thought spring would never come./ 2.
To prolong; make longer. * /The meeting would have been  over  quickly
if the members had not dragged out the argument about dues./

   [drag on the market] {n. phr.} An article for which the demand  has
fallen off thus causing an oversupply. * /Your type of word  processor
went out of style and is now a drag on the market./

   [drag oneself up by one's boot straps] See: PULL ONESELF UP BY  THE
BOOT STRAPS.

   [drag one's feet] or [drag one's heels] {v. phr.} To act slowly  or
reluctantly. * /The children wanted to watch television,  and  dragged
their feet when their mother told them to go  to  bed./  *  /The  city
employees said the mayor had promised to raise their pay, but was  now
dragging his feet./

   [drag out] See: DRAG ON.

   [drag race] {n.}, {slang} An automobile race in which  the  drivers
try to cover a certain distance (usually  one  quarter  mile)  in  the
shortest possible time. *  /Drag  races  are  often  held  on  airport
landing strips./ * /Holding drag races is a good way to  stop  teenage
hot rod racing on public highways./ Compare: DRAG STRIP.

   [drag strip] {n.}, {slang} A place where drag  races  are  held.  *
/Before the race Paul loaded his racer onto the trailer to take it out
of town to the drag strip for the race./ Compare: DRAG RACE.

   [drain] See: DOWN THE DRAIN.

   [draw] See: BEAT TO THE PUNCH or BEAT TO THE DRAW.

   [draw a bead on] {v. phr.} {informal} 1. To aim at; sight  (with  a
gun). * /The deer bounded into the forest  before  the  hunters  could
draw a bead on them./ * /John drew a bead on the elk, but didn't  have
the heart to pull the trigger./ 2. To take (something) as  an  aim  or
goal. * /"I'm drawing a  bead  on  the  Literary  Society  president's
office," said Tom./ 3. To use as a  target  of  attack;  criticize.  *
/Whenever a politician makes a mistake, his  opponents  are  ready  to
draw a bead on him./

   [draw a blank] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To obtain nothing in return
for an effort made or to get a negative result. * /I looked up all the
Joneses in the telephone book but I drew a blank every  time  I  asked
for Archibald Jones./ 2. To fail to remember something. * /I am trying
to think  of  the  name  but  I  keep  drawing  a  blank./  3.  To  be
consistently unsuccessful at doing something. * /I keep trying to pass
that math exam but each time I try it I draw a blank./

   [draw a conclusion] {v. phr.} To make an  inference.  *  /After  he
failed to keep an appointment with me for the third time, I  drew  the
conclusion that he was an unreliable person./

   [draw a line] or [draw the line]  {v.  phr.}  1.  To  think  of  as
different. * /The law in this country draws a line between murder  and
manslaughter./ * /Can you draw the line between a lie and a  fib?/  2.
To set a limit to what will be done; say something cannot be  done.  *
/We would like to invite everybody to our party, but we have to draw a
line somewhere./ - Often used with "at". * /Mrs. Jones draws the  line
at permitting the children to play in their father's den./  *  /People
fighting for their freedom often do not draw the line at murder./

   [draw a long breath] or [take a long breath] {v. phr.}  To  breathe
deeply when getting ready to speak or act. * /Father asked  who  broke
the window. Jim drew a long breath and admitted that he had done  it./
* /The salesman took a long breath and started his talk./

   [draw a parallel] {v. phr.} To make a comparison. * /It is easy  to
draw a parallel between the characters of Saint Francis of Assisi  and
Great Saint Theresa of Aquila, but this doesn't mean that  all  saints
are alike./

   [draw and quarter] {v. phr.}, {literary} 1. To execute  someone  in
the barbaric medieval fashion of having him torn into four  pieces  by
four horses tearing his body in  four  different  directions.  *  /The
captured foreign marauders were  drawn  and  quartered  by  the  angry
citizens of ancient Frankfurt./ 2. To punish someone very severely.  *
/"If you miss another homework assignment, John,"  the  teacher  said,
"I'll have you drawn and quartered."/

   [draw aside] {v. phr.} To separate; take to one side.  *  /He  drew
her aside and whispered into her ear, "Johanna, please marry me!"/

   [draw back] {v.} To move back; back away; step backward;  withdraw;
move away from. * /When the man spotted the rattlesnake, he drew  back
and aimed his shotgun./ * /The children drew back from the dog when it
barked at them./ * /When the pitcher drew back his arm  to  pitch  the
ball, Tom ran as fast as he could to steal second base./ * /Some juice
from the grapefruit that Father was eating squirted in his eye and  he
drew back in surprise./ Compare: DROP BACK.

   [drawback] {n.} Disadvantage; obstacle; hindrance. *  /The  biggest
drawback of Bill's plan is the cost involved./

   [draw blood] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make  someone  feel  hurt  or
angry. *  /If  you  want  to  draw  blood,  ask  Jim  about  his  last
money-making scheme./ * /Her sarcastic comments drew blood./

   [drawer] See: TOP-DRAWER.

   [draw fire] {v. phr.} 1. To  attract  or  provoke  shooting;  be  a
target. * /The general's white horse drew the  enemy's  fire./  2.  To
bring criticism or argument; make people say bad things about  you.  *
/Having the newest car in your group is sure to draw fire./

   [drawing card] {n.} The most important  figure  in  a  multi-person
event; the top entertainer  during  a  show;  the  best  professor  or
researcher at a university, etc. * /During the concert  series  Barbra
Streisand was the biggest drawing card./ * /The biggest  drawing  card
at many a university is the resident Nobel Laureate./

   [draw in one's horns] See: PULL IN ONE'S HORNS.

   [draw interest] {v. phr.} To earn interest on invested  capital.  *
/My savings account draws 4.5% interest./

   [draw lots] {v. phr.} To select at random from a series in order to
determine precedents or apportionment. * /The refugees to be evacuated
drew lots on who would get a place on the first airplane  out  of  the
besieged city./

   [draw near] {v. phr.} To  approach;  come  near.  *  /The  time  is
drawing near when this century will end and the next will begin./

   [draw off] {v. phr.} To drain away; deflect. *  /A  light  flanking
attack was made in order to draw off the enemy's fire./

   [draw on] {v. phr.} 1. To arrive; approach. * /As midnight drew on,
the New Year's Eve party grew louder and louder./ 2. To  secure  funds
from a bank or person. * /Jack kept drawing on  his  bank  account  so
much that several of his checks bounced./

   [draw out] {v. phr.} 1. To take  out;  remove.  *  /Johnny  drew  a
dollar out of the bank to buy his mother a  present./  *  /The  hunter
drew out his gun and shot the snake./ 2. To make (a  person)  talk  or
tell something. * /Jimmy was bashful but Mrs. Wilson drew him  out  by
asking him about baseball./ 3. To make come out;  bring  out.  *  /The
bell of the ice-cream truck drew the children out of  the  houses./  *
/Mary was drawn out of her silence  by  Billy's  jokes./  4.  To  make
longer or too long; stretch. * /The Smiths drew out their vacation  at
the beach an extra week./ * /It was a long drawn out  meeting  because
everybody tried to talk at once./ * /Mary  and  her  mother  drew  out
their goodbyes so long at the bus station that Mary almost missed  the
bus./

   [draw the fire of] See: DRAW OFF.

   [draw the line] See: DRAW A LINE.

   [draw to a close] {v. phr.} To finish; terminate; come to an end. *
/The meeting drew to a close around midnight./

   [draw up] {v.} 1. To write (something) in its correct form; put  in
writing. * /The rich man had his lawyers draw up his will so that each
of his children would receive part of his money when he died./  2.  To
plan or prepare; begin to write out. * /The two countries  drew  up  a
peace treaty after the war ended./ * /Plans are being drawn up  for  a
new school next year./ Compare: WRITE UP. 3. To hold yourself straight
or stiffly, especially because you are proud or angry. * /When we said
that Mary was getting fat, she drew herself up angrily and walked  out
of the room./ 4. To stop or come to a stop. * /The cowboy drew up  his
horse at the top of the hill./ * /A big black car drew up in front  of
the house./ Syn.: PULL UP.

   [dread] See: BURNT CHILD DREADS THE FIRE.

   [dream of] {v.} To think about seriously; think about with the idea
of really doing; consider seriously. - Usually used with a negative. *
/I wouldn't dream of wearing shorts to church./

   [dressing down] {n.}, {informal} A scolding. * /The  sergeant  gave
the soldier a good dressing down because his shoes were not shined./

   [dress a window] See: WINDOW DRESSING.

   [dress like a million dollars] See: BEST BIB AND TUCKER.

   [dress up] {v.} 1a. To put on best or  special  clothes.  *  /Billy
hated being dressed up and took off his best suit as soon  as  he  got
home from church./ 1b. To put on a costume for fun or  clothes  for  a
part in a play. * /Mary was dressed  up  to  play  Cinderella  in  her
school play./ 2. To make (something) look different; make  (something)
seem better or more important. * /A fresh coat of paint will dress  up
the old bicycle very much./ * /Tommy dressed up the story of  what  he
did on vacation and made it seem twice as interesting as it was./

   [dressed fit to kill] See: BEST BIB AND TUCKER.

   [dressed like a peacock] See: BEST BIB AND TUCKER.

   [dribs and drabs] {n. phr.} Portions;  small  bits.  *  /John  paid
Oliver back what he owed him in dribs and drabs./

   [drift off] {v. phr.} 1. To fall asleep, *  /He  kept  nodding  and
drifting off to sleep while the lecturer was speaking./ 2. To  depart;
leave gradually. * /One by one, the sailboats  drifted  off  over  the
horizon./

   [drink down] {v. phr.} To drink in one gulp;  swallow  entirely.  *
/Steve was so thirsty that he drank down six glasses of  orange  juice
in rapid succession./

   [drink in] {v. phr.} To absorb with great interest. * /The tourists
stood on the beach drinking in the wonderful Hawaiian sunset./

   [drink like a fish] {v. phr.} To  drink  (alcoholic  beverages)  in
great quantities; to be addicted to alcohol. * /John  is  a  nice  guy
but, unfortunately, he drinks like a fish./

   [drink up] {v. phr.} To  finish  drinking;  empty  one's  glass.  *
/"Drink up that cough syrup," the nurse  said,  "and  never  mind  the
taste,"/

   [drive] See: LINE DRIVE.

   [drive a bargain] {v. phr.} 1. To buy or  sell  at  a  good  price;
succeed in a trade or deal. * /Tom's collie is a champion;  it  should
be easy for Tom to drive a bargain  when  he  sells  her  puppies./  *
/Father drove a hard bargain with the real estate agent when we bought
our new house./ 2. To make an agreement that is better  for  you  than
for the other person; make an agreement  to  your  advantage.  *  /The
French drove a hard bargain in demanding that Germany  pay  fully  for
World War I damages./

   [drive a hard bargain] See: DRIVE A BARGAIN.

   [drive at] {v.} To try or want to say; mean. - Used in the  present
participle. * /John did not understand what the coach was driving at./
* /He had been talking for half an hour before anyone realized what he
was driving at./

   [drive home] {v. phr.} To argue convincingly; make a strong  point.
* /The doctor's convincing arguments  and  explanation  of  his  X-ray
pictures drove home the point to Max that he needed surgery./

   [drive-in]  {adj.}/{n.}  A  kind  of  movie  theater,   fast   food
restaurant, or church, where the customers, spectators, or worshippers
do not leave their automobiles but are served the  food  inside  their
cars, can watch a motion  picture  from  inside  their  cars,  or  can
participate in a religious service in their cars. * /Let's  not  waste
time on the road; let's just eat at the next drive-in  restaurant./  *
/There is a drive-in theater not far from where we live./ *  /Max  and
Hilde go to a drive-in church every Sunday./

   [drive like  Jehu]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  drive  very  fast,
carelessly or recklessly. * /When Joe is late for work, he drives like
Jehu./

   [drive one ape], [bananas], [crazy], [mad]  or  [nuts]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To irritate, frustrate, or tickle someone's fancy so  badly
that they think they are going insane. *  /"Stop  teasing  me,  Mary,"
John said. "You are driving me nuts."/ * /"You are driving me  bananas
with all your crazy riddles," Steve said./

   [drive one round the bend] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  upset  someone
so much that they think they are going crazy. * /"Slow down,  please,"
Miss Jones cried. "You are driving me  around  the  bend!"/  Contrast:
DRIVE ONE APE, BANANAS, ETC.

   [driver] See: BACKSEAT DRIVER.

   [drive to the wall] {v. phr.} To defeat someone completely; to ruin
someone. * /Poor Uncle Jack was driven to the wall
by his angry creditors when his business
failed./ Compare: GO TO THE WALL.

   [drive someone bananas] or [drive someone nuts] or  [drive  someone
ape] {v. phr.}, {slang} {informal} To excite someone to the point that
he or she goes out of his or her  mind;  to  drive  someone  crazy.  *
/You're driving me bananas/nuts with that kind of talk!]

   [drop] See: AT THE DROP OF A HAT, BOTTOM DROP OUT, JAW DROP or  JAW
DROP A MILE.

   [drop a line] {v. phr.} To write someone a short letter or note.  *
/Please drop me a line when you get to Paris; I'd like  to  know  that
you've arrived safely./

   [drop back] {v.}  To  move  or  step  backwards;  retreat.  *  /The
soldiers dropped back before the enemy's attack./ *  /The  quarterback
dropped back to pass the football./ Compare:  DRAW  BACK,  FADE  BACK,
FALL BACK.

   [drop by] or [stop by] {v.} 1. or [drop around] To make a short  or
unplanned visit; go on a call or errand; stop  at  someone's  home.  *
/Drop by any time you're in town./ * /Mv sister  dropped  around  last
night./ * /Don't forget to stop by at the gas station./ Syn.: DROP IN.
2. or [drop into] To stop (somewhere) for a short  visit  or  a  short
time. * /We dropped by the club to see  if  Bill  was  there,  but  he
wasn't./ * /I dropped into the drugstore for  some  toothpaste  and  a
magazine./

   [drop by the wayside] See: FALL BY THE WAYSIDE.

   [drop dead] {v.}, {slang} To go away or be  quiet;  stop  bothering
someone. - Usually used as a command, * /"Drop dead!"  Bill  told  his
little sister when she kept  begging  to  help  him  build  his  model
airplane./ * /When Sally bumped into Kate's desk and spilled  ink  for
the fifth time, Kate told her to drop dead./  Compare:  BEAT  IT,  GET
LOST.

   [drop in] {v.} To make a short or unplanned visit; pay  a  call.  -
Often used with "on". * /We were just  sitting  down  to  dinner  when
Uncle Willie dropped in./ * /The Smiths dropped in on some old friends
on their vacation trip to New York./ Syn.: DROP BY, RUN IN(2).

   [drop in the bucket] {n. phr.} A relatively small amount;  a  small
part of the whole. * /Our university needs several million dollars for
its building renovation  project;  $50,000  is  a  mere  drop  in  the
bucket./

   [drop name] {v. phr.} To impress people by mentioning famous names.
* /He likes to pretend he's important by dropping a lot of names./

   [drop off] {v.} 1. To take (someone or something) part of  the  way
you are going. * /Joe asked Mrs. Jones to drop him off at the  library
on her way downtown./ 2. To go to sleep. * /Jimmy was thinking of  his
birthday party as he dropped off to sleep./ 3. To die. * /The  patient
dropped off in his  sleep./  4.  or  [fall  off]  To  become  less.  *
/Business picked up in the stores during  December,  but  dropped  off
again after Christmas./ Contrast PICK UP(14).

   [dropout] {n.} Someone who did not finish school, high  school  and
college primarily. * /Tim is having a hard time getting a  better  job
as he was a high-school dropout./ * /Jack never got  his  B.A.  as  he
became a college dropout./

   [drop out] {v.} To stop attending; quit; stop;  leave.  *  /In  the
middle of the race, Joe got a blister on his  foot  and  had  to  drop
out./ * /Teenagers who drop out of high school  have  trouble  finding
jobs./

   [drown  one's  sorrows]  or  [drown  one's  troubles]  {v.   phr.},
{informal} To drink liquor to try to forget something unhappy. * /When
his wife was killed in an auto accident, Mr. Green tried to drown  his
sorrows in whiskey./ * /When Fred lost his job and had to give up  his
new car, he tried to drown his troubles at the nearest tavern./

   [drown one's troubles] See: DROWN ONE'S SORROWS.

   [drown out] {v.} To make so much noise that  it  is  impossible  to
hear (some other sound). * /The  children's  shouts  drowned  out  the
music./ * /The actor's words were drowned out by applause./

   [drum up] {v.} 1. To get by  trying  or  asking  again  and  again;
attract or encourage by continued effort. * /The car dealer  tried  to
drum up business by advertising low prices./ 2. To invent. *  /I  will
drum up an excuse for coming to see you next week./ Syn.: MAKE  UP(2),
THINK UP.

   [dry] See: CUT AND DRIED, HIGH AND DRY.

   [dry behind the ears] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Experienced;  knowing
how to do something. Usually used in the negative. *  /John  had  just
started working for the company, and was not dry behind the ears yet./
Compare: KNOW ONE'S WAY AROUND. Contrast: WET BEHIND THE EARS.

   [dry out] {v. phr.} To cure an alcoholic. * /A longtime  alcoholic.
Uncle Steve is now in the hospital getting dried out./

   [dry up] {v.} 1. To become dry. * /The reservoir  dried  up  during
the  four-month  drought./  2.  To  disappear  or  vanish  as  if   by
evaporating. * /The Senator's influence dried up when he was voted out
of office./ 3. {slang} To stop talking. - Often used as a  command.  *
/"Dry up!" Tony said angrily when his friend told him  for  the  third
time that he had made a mistake in his theme./ Syn.: SHUT UP(1).

   [dual highway] See: DIVIDED HIGHWAY.

   [duck] See: DEAD DUCK, KNEE HIGH TO A GRASSHOPPER or KNEE HIGH TO A
DUCK, LAME DUCK, LIKE WATER OFF A DUCK'S BACK.

   [duckling] See: UGLY DUCKLING.

   [duck out] {v. phr.} To avoid; escape from  something  by  skillful
maneuvering. * /Somehow or other Jack always manages to  duck  out  of
any hard work./

   [duck soup] {n.}, {slang} 1. A task easily accomplished or one that
does not require much effort. * /That history test was duck soup./  2.
A person who offers no  resistance;  a  pushover.  *  /How's  the  new
history teacher? - He's duck soup./

   [duddy] See: FUDDY-DUDDY.

   [due] See: GIVE ONE'S DUE, GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE, IN DUE COURSE at
IN GOOD TIME.

   [due to] {prep.} Because of; owing to; by reason of. * /His  injury
was due to his careless use of the shotgun./ * /Joe's  application  to
the University was not accepted due to his failing English./

   [dull] See: ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY.

   [dumb bunny] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} Any person who  is  gullible
and stupid. * /Jack is a regular dumb bunny./

   [dumbwaiter] {n.} A small elevator for carrying food, dishes, etc.,
from one floor to another in hotels, restaurants, or  large  homes.  *
/The banquet was delayed because the dumbwaiter  broke  down  and  the
food had to be carried upstairs by hand./

   [dumps] See: DOWN IN THE DUMPS or DOWN IN THE MOUTH.

   [dust] See: BITE THE DUST, KICK UP A FUSS or KICK UP A DUST,  WATCH
ONE'S DUST, AFTER THE DUST CLEARS/WHEN THE DUST SETTLES.

   [dust off] {v.}, {informal} 1. To get ready to use again.  *  /Four
years after he graduated from school, Tom  decided  to  dust  off  his
algebra book./ 2. To throw a baseball pitch close to. *  /The  pitcher
dusted off the other team's best hitter./ Syn.: BRUSH BACK.

   [Dutch] See: BEAT ALL or BEAT THE DUTCH, GO DUTCH, IN DUTCH.

   [dutch treat] {n.}, {informal} A meal in a restaurant or an  outing
at the movies, concert, or theater where each party pays  his  or  her
own way. * /"I am willing to accept your invitation," Mary said,  "but
it will have to be Dutch treat."/

   [duty] See: DO DUTY FOR, DOUBLE DUTY,  HEAVY  DUTY,  OFF  DUTY,  ON
DUTY.

   [duty bound] {adj. phr.} Forced to  act  by  what  you  believe  is
right. * /Abraham Lincoln walked miles once to return  a  few  pennies
that he had overcharged a woman because he felt duty bound to do  it./
* /John felt duty bound to report that he had broken the window./

   [duty calls] {n. phr.} One must  attend  to  one's  obligations.  *
/"I'd love to stay and play more poker," Henry said, "but  duty  calls
and I must get back to the office."/

   [dwell on] or [dwell upon] {v.} To stay on  a  subject;  not  leave
something or want to leave; not stop talking or writing about. *  /Joe
dwelt on his mistake long after  the  test  was  over./  *  /Our  eyes
dwelled on the beautiful sunset./ * /The principal dwelled on  traffic
safety in his talk./ Compare: HARP ON. Contrast: TOUCH ON.

   [dyed-in-the-wool] {adj. phr.}  Thoroughly  committed;  inveterate;
unchanging. * /He is a died-in-the-wool Conservative Republican./

   [dying to] {adj. phr.} Having a great desire  to;  being  extremely
eager to. * /Seymour is dying to date Mathilda, but she keeps refusing
him./





   [each and every] {adj. phr.} Every. - Used  for  emphasis.  *  /The
captain wants each and every man to be here at eight o'clock./ *  /The
teacher must learn the name of each  and  every  pupil./  Syn.:  EVERY
SINGLE.

   [each other] or [one another] {pron.} Each one the other;  one  the
other. * /That man and his wife love each other./  *  /Bill  and  Mary
gave one another Christmas presents last year./ * /All the children at
the party were looking at one another trying to recognize one  another
in their masks and costumes./ * /The birds fought each other over  the
bread./

   [eager beaver] {n. phr.}, {slang} A person who is always  eager  to
work or do anything extra, perhaps to win the favor of his  leader  or
boss. * /Jack likes his teacher  and  works  hard  for  her,  but  his
classmates call him an eager beaver./ * /The man who was  promoted  to
be manager was an eager beaver who got to work early and left late and
was always offering to do extra work./

   [eagle eye] {n.} Sharp vision like that of an eagle; the ability to
notice even the tiniest details. * /The new boss keeps an eagle eye on
all aspects of our operation./

   [ear] See: ABOUT ONE'S EARS or AROUND  ONE'S  EARS,  BELIEVE  ONE'S
EARS, DRY BEHIND THE EARS, FLEA IN ONE'S EAR, GIVE AN EAR TO  or  LEND
AN EAR TO, GO IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER, JUG-EARED, LITTLE PITCHERS
HAVE BIG EARS, MUSIC TO ONE'S EARS, PIN ONE'S EARS BACK, PLAY BY  EAR,
PRICK UP ONE'S EARS, ROASTING EAR, TURN A DEAF EAR, UP TO THE CHIN  IN
or UP TO THE EARS IN, WET BEHIND THE EARS.

   [early] See: BRIGHT AND EARLY.

   [early bird] {n} An early riser from bed. * /Jane and Tom are  real
early birds; they get up at 6 A.M. every morning./

   [early bird catches the worm] or  [early  bird  gets  the  worm]  A
person who gets up early  in  the  morning  has  the  best  chance  of
succeeding; if you arrive early or  are  quicker,  you  get  ahead  of
others. - A proverb. * /When Billy's father woke him up for school  he
said, "The early bird catches the worm."/ * /Charles began looking for
a summer job in January; he knows that the early bird gets the  worm./
Compare: FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED.

   [earn one's keep] {v. phr.}  To  merit  one's  salary  or  keep  by
performing the labor or chores that  are  expected  of  one.  *  /John
earned his keep at the music  conservatory  by  dusting  off  all  the
musical instruments every day./

   [earnest] See: IN EARNEST.

   [ears burn] {informal} To feel embarrassment or  shame  at  hearing
others talk about you. * /Joan overheard the girls criticizing her and
it made her ears burn./  *  /Joe's  ears  burned  when  he  heard  his
classmates praising him to each other./

   [earth]  See:  COME  BACK  TO  EARTH  or  COME   DOWN   TO   EARTH,
DOWN-TO-EARTH, IN THE WORLD or ON EARTH, MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH.

   [ear to the ground] {n. phr.}, {informal} Attention directed to the
way things are going, or seem likely to go, or to the way people  feel
and think. * /The city manager kept an ear to the ground for  a  while
before deciding to raise the city employees' pay./ *  /Reporters  keep
an ear to the ground so as to know  as  soon  as  possible  what  will
happen./

   [ease] See: AT EASE or AT ONE'S EASE, ILL AT EASE.

   [ease off] or [ease up] {v.} To make or become less nervous; relax;
work easier. * /When the boss realized that John had been overworking,
he eased off his load./ * /With success and prosperity, Mr. Smith  was
able to ease off./ Compare: LET UP(3).

   [easily] See: BREATHE EASILY or BREATHE FREELY.

   [east] See: DOWN EAST.

   [easy] See: FREE AND EASY, GET OFF EASY, ON EASY  STREET,  TAKE  IT
EASY or GO EASY or TAKE THINGS EASY.

   [easygoing] {adj.} Amiable  in  manner;  relaxed;  not  excited.  *
/Because Al has an easygoing personality, everybody loves him./

   [easy as pie] See: PIECE OF CAKE.

   [easy come, easy go] {truncated sent.},  {informal}  Something  you
get quickly and easily  may  be  lost  or  spent  just  as  easily.  *
/Grandfather thought Billy should have to work for  the  money  Father
gave him, saying "Easy come, easy go."/

   [easy does it] {informal} Let's do  it  carefully,  without  sudden
movements and without forcing too hard or too fast; let's try to  just
hard enough but not too hard. * /"Easy does it," said the boss as they
moved the piano through the narrow doorway./ Compare: TAKE IT EASY.

   [easy mark] {n.} A foolishly generous person; one from whom  it  is
easy to get money. * /Bill is known to all the neighborhood beggars as
an easy mark./ See: SOFT TOUCH.

   [easy money] {n.}, {informal} Money gained without hard work; money
that requires little or no effort. * /The movie rights to a successful
play mean easy money to the writer of the play./ * /Young  people  who
look for easy money are usually disappointed./

   [eat] See: DOG-EAT-DOG, LIVE HIGH OFF THE HOG or EAT  HIGH  ON  THE
HOG, LOOK LIKE THE CAT THAT ATE THE CANARY.

   [eat away] {v.} 1. To rot, rust, or destroy.  *  /Rust  was  eating
away the pipe./ * /Cancer  ate  away  the  healthy  flesh./  See:  EAT
OUT(2). 2. To gradually consume. * /The  ocean  waves  were  gradually
eating the volcanic rocks until they turned into black sand./

   [eat away at] {v.  phr.}  To  psychologically  gnaw  at;  to  worry
someone. * /Fear of the comprehensive examination was eating  away  at
Sam./

   [eat crow] {v. phr.} To admit you are mistaken  or  defeated;  take
back a mistaken statement. * /John had boasted that he would  play  on
the first team; but when the coach did not choose him, he had  to  eat
crow./ * /Fred said he could beat the new man in boxing, but  he  lost
and had to eat crow./ Compare: BACK DOWN, EAT HUMBLE  PIE,  EAT  ONE'S
WORDS.

   [eat dirt] {v. phr.}, {informal} To act  humble;  accept  another's
insult or bad treatment. * /Mr. Johnson was so much afraid  of  losing
his job that he would eat dirt whenever the boss got mean./

   [eat (live) high on the hog] or [eat (live) high off the  hog]  {v.
phr.} To eat or live well or elegantly. *  /For  the  first  few  days
after the check arrived, they ate high on the hog./ Compare: IN CLOVER
or IN THE CLOVER, ON EASY STREET.

   [eat humble pie] {v. phr.} To  be  humbled;  to  accept  insult  or
shame; admit your error and apologize. * /Tow told a lie about George,
and when he was found out, he had to eat humble pie./ * /In  some  old
stories a boy with a stepfather has to eat humble pie./

   [eating one] {v. phr.} To cause someone to be angry or ill-humored.
* /We can't figure out what's eating Burt, but he  hasn't  spoken  one
pleasant word all day./

   [eat like a bird]  {v.  phr.}  To  eat  very  little;  have  little
appetite. * /Mrs. Benson is on a diet and she eats  like  a  bird./  *
/Alice's mother is worried about her; she eats like a bird and is very
thin./ Contrast: EAT LIKE A HORSE.

   [eat like a horse] {v. phr.} To eat a lot;  eat  hungrily.  *  /The
harvesters worked into the evening, and then  came  in  and  ate  like
horses./ Contrast: EAT LIKE A BIRD.

   [eat one out of house and home] {v. phr.} 1. To eat so much  as  to
cause economic hardship. * /Our teenaged sons are so  hungry  all  the
time that they may soon eat us out of house and home./ 2. To  overstay
one's welcome. * /We love Bob and Jane very much, but after two  weeks
we started to feel that they were eating us out of house and home./

   [eat one's cake and  have  it  too]  {v.  phr.}  To  use  or  spend
something and still keep it; have both when you must choose one of two
things. Often used in negative sentences. * /Roger can't make  up  his
mind whether to go to college or get a job. You can't  eat  your  cake
and have it too./ * /Mary wants to buy a beautiful dress  she  saw  at
the store, but she also wants to save her birthday money for camp. She
wants to eat her cake and have it too./

   [eat one's heart out] {v. phr.} To grieve long and  hopelessly;  to
become thin and weak from sorrow. * /For months  after  her  husband's
death, Joanne simply ate her heart out./ * /We sometimes hear of a dog
eating its heart out for a dead owner./

   [eat one's words] also [swallow one's words] {v. phr.} To take back
something you have said; admit something is  not  true.  *  /John  had
called Harry a coward, but the boys made him eat his words after Harry
bravely fought a big bully./ Compare: EAT CROW.

   [eat out] {v.} 1. To eat in a restaurant; eat  away  from  home.  *
/Fred ate out often even when he wasn't out of town./ 2. To rust, rot,
or be destroyed in time. * /Rust had eaten out the gun  barrel./  See:
EAT AWAY.

   [eat out of one's hand] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  trust  someone
fully; believe or obey someone without question. * /The  governor  has
the reporters eating out of his hand./  *  /Helen  is  so  pretty  and
popular that all the boys eat out of her hand./

   [eat up] {v.} 1. To eat all of. * /After hiking all afternoon, they
quickly ate up all of the dinner./ 2. To use all of. * /Idle talk  had
eaten up the hour before they knew it./ 3. {slang} To accept  eagerly;
welcome. * /The girls told John he was a  hero  because  he  made  the
winning touchdown, and he ate up their praise./  *  /Jim  told  Martha
that she was as smart as she was beautiful and Martha ate it up./

   [edge] See: HAVE AN EDGE ON, ON EDGE, SET ONE'S TEETH ON EDGE, TAKE
THE EDGE OFF, THE EDGE.

   [edge  away]  {v.  phr.}  To  withdraw  or  retreat  gradually.   *
/Frightened by the growling  tiger  guarding  its  catch,  the  hunter
carefully edged away./

   [edge in] {v.} To move slowly; get in quietly, especially with some
difficulty, by force or without a big enough opening.  *  /People  had
crowded around the senator, but Don succeeded in edging in./ *  /Harry
edged the book in on the shelf./

   [edge in (on)] {v. phr.} 1. To gradually approach an individual  or
a group with the intent of taking over or wielding power. * /Jack  was
edging in on the firm of  Smith  and  Brown  and  after  half  a  year
actually became its vice president./ 2. To approach for capture  (said
of a group). * /The hunters were edging in on the wounded leopard./

   [edge on] {adv. phr.} Edgewise; with the  narrow  side  forward.  *
/The board struck him edge on./

   [edge out] {v.} To defeat in competition or rivalry; take the place
of; force  out.  *  /Harry  edged  out  Tom  for  a  place  in  Mary's
affections./ * /Signal lights on cars have gradually  edged  out  hand
signals./

   [edgeways] See: GET A WORD IN or GET A WORD IN EDGEWISE, also GET A
WORD IN EDGEWAYS.

   [edgewise] See: GET A WORD IN or GET A WORD IN EDGEWAYS.

   [education] See: HIGHER EDUCATION.

   [effect] See: IN EFFECT, INTO EFFECT, SOUND EFFECTS,  TAKE  EFFECT,
TO THAT EFFECT, TO THE EFFECT THAT,

   [effigy] See: HANG IN EFFIGY or BURN IN EFFIGY.

   [egg] See: BAD EGG, GOOD EGG, KILL THE GOOSE THAT LAID  THE  GOLDEN
EGG, LAY AN EGG, PUT ALL ONE'S EGGS IN ONE BASKET, ROTTEN EGG.

   [egg on] {v.} To urge on; excite; lead to  action.  *  /Joe's  wife
egged him on to spend money to show off./ * /The big boys egged on the
two little boys to fight./ Compare: PUT UP(6).

   [either a feast or a famine] See: FEAST OR A FAMINE.

   [either hide or hair] See: HIDE OR HAIR.

   [eke out] {v.} 1. To fill out  or  add  a  little  to;  increase  a
little. * /Mr. Jones eked out a  country  teacher's  small  salary  by
hunting and trapping in the winter./ * /The modest meal was  eked  out
with bread and milk./ 2. To get (little) by hard work;  to  earn  with
difficulty. * /Fred eked out a bare  living  by  farming  on  a  rocky
hillside./

   [elbow] See: AT ONE'S ELBOW, ELBOW ROOM, RUB ELBOWS, UP TO THE CHIN
IN or UP TO THE ELBOWS IN.

   [elbow grease] {n.} Exertion; effort; energy. *  /"You'll  have  to
use a little more elbow grease to get  these  windows  clean,"  Mother
said to Ed./

   [elbow one's way into] or [out of] {v. phr.} To force entry into  a
place by using one's elbows. * /The bus was so crowded that, in  order
to get off in time, we had to elbow our way to the exit door./

   [elbow room] {n.} Adequate space to move around or to  work  in.  *
/He doesn't require a huge office, but we must at least give him elbow
room./

   [element] See: IN ONE'S ELEMENT, OUT OF ONE'S ELEMENT.

   [eleventh hour] {adj. phr.} Pertaining to  the  last  minutes;  the
last opportunity to accomplish a task. *  /The  editors  made  several
eleventh hour changes in the headlines of the morning paper./

   [else] See: SOMETHING ELSE AGAIN.

   [emcee] See: MASTER OF CEREMONIES.

   [end] See: AT LOOSE ENDS, AT ONE'S WITS' END, BURN  THE  CANDLE  AT
BOTH ENDS, GO OFF THE DEEP END, HAIR STAND ON END, HOLD ONE'S  END  UP
or HOLD UP ONE'S END or KEEP ONE'S END UP or KEEP UP ONE'S END, LIVING
END, LOOSE ENDS, MAKE AN END OF, MAKE ENDS MEET, NO END, NO END TO  or
NO END OF, ON END, PUT AN END OF, REAR END, SHORT END, SPLIT END,  TAG
END or TAIL END, TIGHT END, TO THE BITTER END, WORLD WITHOUT END.

   [end for end] {adv. phr.} In a reversed or  opposite  position  (as
upside down or backwards); the other way  around;  over.  *  /The  box
turned end for end as it fell, and everything  spilled  out./  *  /The
wind caught the canoe and turned it end for end./

   [end in itself] {n. phr.} Something wanted  for  its  own  sake;  a
purpose, aim, or goal we want for itself alone and not  as  a  way  to
something else. * /The miser never spent his gold because for  him  it
was an end in itself./

   [end of one's rope] or [end of one's tether] {n. phr.},  {informal}
The end of your trying or imagining; the  last  of  your  ability,  or
ideas of how to do more. * /Frank was out of work and  broke,  and  he
was at the end of his rope./ * /The doctor saw that Mother had reached
the end of her tether, and told us to send her away  for  a  holiday./
Compare: AT ONE'S WIT'S END, FED UP, UP AGAINST IT, UP A TREE.

   [end of the road] or [end of the line] {n. phr.} The  final  result
or end (as of a way of action or behavior); the condition  that  comes
when you can do no more. *  /He  had  left  a  trail  of  forgery  and
dishonesty across seven states; he had got out of each trouble with  a
new trick. Now the police had caught up with him, and it was  the  end
of the road./ * /"When I get to the end of the line,"  Jones  thought,
"I'd like my children to like and respect me still."/

   [end run] {n.} A football play in which a back tries to run  around
one end of the opponent's line. * /Smith's end run scored the  winning
touchdown./

   [end up] {v.} 1. To come to an end; be ended or finished;  stop.  *
/How does the story end up?/ 2. To finally reach or arrive; land. * /I
hope you don't end up in jail./ 3. {informal} To  die,  be  killed.  *
/The gangster ended up in the electric chair./ 4. or [finish  up].  To
put an end to; finish; stop. * /The politician finally  ended  up  his
speech./ Syn.: WIND UP.

   [end zone] {n.} Either of the marked areas behind the goal line.  *
/He caught a pass in the end zone for a touchdown./

   [engage in small talk] {v. phr.} To converse  with  a  stranger  or
casual acquaintance about matters of no great importance in  order  to
make the time go faster. * /The patients in the doctor's waiting  room
engaged in small talk complaining about the hot weather./

   [English] See: BODY ENGLISH.

   [enjoy oneself] {v. phr.} To have  a  good  time;  be  happy;  feel
pleasure. * /Mary enjoyed herself at the party./ * /"Enjoy yourselves,
children," Mother urged the guests at our party./

   [enlarge on] or [enlarge upon] or [expand on] or [expand upon] {v.}
To talk or write more about; say or  explain  more  completely  or  at
greater length. * /The teacher enlarged on the uses of atomic power./

   [en masse] {adv. phr.} As a group; in one big mass or group. - Used
after the word it modifies. * /The school turned out en masse to cheer
the returning astronaut./

   [enough] See: GIVE ONE ENOUGH ROPE, AND HE WILL HANG HIMSELF,  KNOW
ENOUGH TO COME IN OUT OF THE RAIN, LET WELL ENOUGH ALONE, SURE ENOUGH.

   [enough is enough] That's enough, let's not  have  any  more;  that
will do, let's cut it short; that's the limit, let's stop there. * /"I
don't mind good clean fun, but enough is enough," the principal said./

   [enterprise] See: FREE ENTERPRISE.

   [entry] See: PORT OF ENTRY.

   [envy] See: GREEN WITH ENVY.

   [equal to] {adj. phr.} Able to meet, do, or  control;  able  to  do
something about. * /The situation took quick thinking,  but  John  was
equal to it./ * /When a guest upset the coffee pot, Mrs. Smith's  tact
and quickness of mind were equal to the occasion./

   [equal to  the  occasion]  {adj.  phr.}  Capable  of  handling  the
situation. * /Although he had never before assisted in childbirth, the
taxi driver proved equal to the occasion and helped deliver  the  baby
in his cab./

   [error] See: TRIAL AND ERROR.

   [evaporate into thin air] See: DISAPPEAR INTO THIN AIR.

   [eve] See: ON THE EVE OF.

   [even] See: BREAK EVEN, GET EVEN, ON AN EVEN KEEL.

   [evening] See: GOOD EVENING.

   [even so] {adv.} Although that is true; nevertheless; still. * /The
fire was out, but even so, the smell of smoke was strong./

   [event] See: IN ANY CASE or AT ALL EVENTS, IN ANY CASE also IN  ANY
EVENT or AT ALL EVENTS, IN CASE or IN THE EVENT, IN CASE  OF  also  IN
THE EVENT OF.

   [ever] See: FOREVER AND EVER, HARDLY EVER or SCARCELY EVER.

   [ever so much] {adv.} Very much; truly. * /I am  ever  so  much  in
your debt for your kind assistance when I needed it most./

   [every] See: AT EVERY TURN, EACH AND EVERY.

   [every cloud has a  silver  lining]  Every  trouble  has  something
hopeful that you can see in it, like the bright  edge  around  a  dark
cloud. - A proverb. * /The doctor told Tommy to cheer up when  he  had
measles. "Every cloud has a silver lining," he said./ Compare: IT'S AN
ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NOBODY GOOD.

   [every dog has his day] Everyone will  have  his  chance  or  turn;
everyone is lucky or popular at some time. - A proverb. *  /Mary  will
be able to go to dances like her sister when she grows up.  Every  dog
has his day./

   [every  inch]  {adv.  phr.}  To  the  last  part,  in  every   way;
completely. * /He was every inch a man./ * /Henry looked every inch  a
soldier./

   [every last] See: EVERY SINGLE.

   [every last man] also [every man jack] {n. phr.} Every single  man;
each man without exception. * /I want every last man  to  be  here  on
time tomorrow morning./ * /Every man jack of you must do his duty./

   [every man jack] See: EVERY LAST MAN.

   [every now and then] or [every now and again] or [every  so  often]
or [every once in a while] {adv. phr.} At  fairly  regular  intervals;
fairly often; repeatedly. * /John comes to  visit  me  every  now  and
then./ * /It was hot work, but every so often  Susan  would  bring  us
something cold to drink./ Compare: NOW AND THEN.

   [every other] {adj. phr.} Every second;  every  alternate.  *  /The
milkman comes every other day./ * /On St. Patrick's Day, it  seems  as
if every other man you meet is wearing a shamrock./

   [every single] or [every  last]  {adj.  phr.}  Every.  -  Used  for
emphasis. * /She dropped the box, and when she opened it, every single
glass was broken./ * /When she got home she found every last tomato in
the box was rotten./ Syn.: EACH AND EVERY.

   [every so often] See: EVERY NOW AND THEN.

   [everything] See: HOLD IT or HOLD EVERYTHING.

   [every time one turns around] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Very often. *
/Mr. Winston must be rich. He buys a new  suit  every  time  he  turns
around./ * /No, Charles - I can't drive you to the park every  time  I
turn around./

   [every which way] also [any which way] In all directions. * /Bricks
and boards were scattered in confusion on the ground every which  way,
just as they had fallen after the tornado./ Compare HELTER-SKELTER.

   [evidence] See: IN EVIDENCE.

   [example] See: FOR EXAMPLE, MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF.

   [except for] or {formal} [but for] {prep.} 1.  With  the  exception
of; if (a certain person or thing) were left out; omitting. *  /Except
for John, the whole class passed the test./ 2. Without.  *  /I'd  have
been lost but for you./

   [exception] See: TAKE EXCEPTION TO.

   [exception proves the rule] Something unusual that does not  follow
a rule tests that rule to see if it is true; if  there  are  too  many
exceptions, the rule is no good. - A proverb. * /Frank is  very  short
but is a good basketball player. He is the exception that  proves  the
rule./

   [excuse oneself] {v. phr.} 1. To think of reasons for not being  to
blame; think yourself not at fault. * /John excused  himself  for  his
low grades on the ground that the teacher didn't like him./ 2. To  ask
to be excused after doing something impolite. * /John excused  himself
for his tardiness, saying his watch was wrong./ 3. To  ask  permission
to leave a group or place. * /The committee  meeting  lasted  so  long
that Mr. Wilkins excused himself to keep an appointment./ * /John  had
to go to the dentist's, so he excused himself and left the classroom./

   [exert oneself] {v. phr.} To make an effort; try hard; work hard. *
/Susan exerted herself all year to earn good marks./ * /Jerry  exerted
himself to please the new girl./

   [expand on] or [expand upon] See: ENLARGE ON or ENLARGE UPON.

   [explain away] {v.} To explain (something) so that it does not seem
true or important. * /John explained away his unfinished  homework  by
showing the teacher his broken arm in  a  cast./  *  /It  is  hard  to
explain away Abraham Lincoln's dream about being dead, which he had  a
few days before he was shot./ * /The man could not  explain  away  the
gun and the marked money from the bank robbery that the  police  found
in his car./

   [explain oneself] {v. phr.} 1. To make your meaning  plainer;  make
your first statement clear. * /When we  didn't  understand  Fritz,  he
went on to explain himself./ 2. To give a good  reason  for  something
you did or failed to do which seems wrong. * /When Jack  brought  Mary
home at three o'clock in the morning, her father asked him to  explain
himself./

   [explode a  bombshell]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  say  something
startling; suggest or show something astonishing or shocking,  *  /The
police exploded a bombshell when they arrested the kindly  old  banker
for stealing money  from  the  bank./  *  /The  principal  exploded  a
bombshell by cancelling the dance as a penalty./ * /Political  leaders
exploded a bombshell when they picked the  young  lawyer  to  run  for
mayor./

   [express oneself] {v. phr.} To say what you think or feel; put your
thoughts or feelings into words by speaking or  writing.  *  /The  boy
expressed himself well in debate./ * /The mayor expressed  himself  as
opposed to any borrowing./

   [extend one's sympathy to] {v. phr.} To offer one's condolences  on
the occasion of a death or similarly tragic event.  *  /All  of  Tom's
colleagues extended their sympathy to him when his wife  and  daughter
were killed in a car accident./

   [eye] See: APPLE OF ONE'S EYE,  BAT  AN  EYE  or  BAT  AN  EYELASH,
BELIEVE ONE'S EYES, CATCH ONE'S EYE, CLEAR-EYED, CLOSE ONE'S  EYES  or
SHUT ONE'S EYES, EYES OPEN, EYE OUT, EYE  TO,  FEAST  ONE'S  EYES  ON,
FOUR-EYES, GET THE EYE, GIVE THE EYE, GREEN-EYED MONSTER, HALF AN EYE,
HAVE AN EYE ON, HAVE EYES ONLY FOR, HIT BETWEEN  THE  EYES,  IN  ONE'S
MIND'S EYE, IN THE PUBLIC EYE, KEEP AN EYE ON or KEEP  ONE'S  EYE  ON,
KEEP ONE'S EYES PEELED or KEEP ONE'S EYES SKINNED, LAY EYES ON or  SET
EYES ON, LOOK IN THE EYE, MAKE EYES AT, MEET ONE'S EYE, MISTY-EYED  or
DEWEY-EYED, ONE EYE ON, OPEN ONE'S EYES or OPEN UP ONE'S EYES, OUT  OF
THE CORNER OF ONE'S EYE, PULL THE WOOL OVER ONE'S  EYES,  SEE  EYE  TO
EYE, SHUT-EYE, SIGHT FOR SORE EYES, STARS IN ONE'S EYES, ROUND-EYED or
WIDE-EYED also LARGE-EYED, PRIVATE EYE, TO THE EYE, UP TO THE CHIN  IN
or UP TO THE EYES IN, WEATHER EYE.

   [eyebrow] See: RAISE EYEBROWS.

   [eye-catcher] {n.} Something that strongly attracts the  eye.  See:
CATCH ONE'S EYE. * /That new girl in our class is a real eye-catcher./

   [eye-catching] See: CATCH ONE'S EYE.

   [eye-filling] {adj.}, {literary} Attractive to the eye;  beautiful;
especially grand; splendid; majestic. * /The mountains in
the distance were an eye-filling sight./

   [eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth] A blow or injury should be
given back as hard as each one that is received; every crime or injury
should be punished or paid back. * /In ancient times if  a  man's  eye
was put out by his enemy, he might get revenge by putting his  enemy's
eye out. This was the rule of "an eye for an eye and  a  tooth  for  a
tooth."/ Sometimes used in a short form. * /Churches today teach  that
we should forgive people who hurt us, not follow the rule of  "an  eye
for an eye."/ (From the old command in the Bible meaning when you  pay
back a person, you should  not  hurt  him  more  than  he  hurt  you.)
Compare: DOG EAT DOG, GIVE AS GOOD AS ONE GETS, TIT FOR TAT.

   [eye-opener] See: OPEN ONE'S EYES.

   [eye out] Careful watch or attention; guard. - Used  after  "keep",
"have" or "with". * /Keep an eye out. We're close to Joe's  house./  -
Usually used with "for". * /Mary has her  eye  out  for  bargains./  *
/They went through the  woods  very  quietly,  with  an  eye  out  for
Indians./ Compare: LOOK OUT(2), ON GUARD, ON THE ALERT, ON THE WATCH.

   [eyes are bigger than one's stomach] {informal} You want more  food
than you can eat. * /Annie took a second big helping of  pudding,  but
her eyes were bigger than her stomach./ * /"Your eyes are bigger  than
your stomach," mother told little Tommy when he piled up food  on  his
plate./

   [eye shadow] {n. phr.} A cream used to darken the eyelids in  order
to make the eyes more noticeable. * /Jane's mother told her that girls
in the ninth grade shouldn't be using eye shadow./

   [eyes in the back of one's head] {n. phr.}, {informal}  Ability  to
know what happens when your back is turned. * /Mother must  have  eyes
in the back of her head, because she always knows when I do  something
wrong./

   [eyes open] 1. Careful watch or  attention;  readiness  to  see.  -
Usually used with "for". * /Keep your eyes open for a boy in a red cap
and sweater./ * /The hunter had his eyes open for  rabbits./  *  /They
drove on with their eyes open for a gas station./ Syn.: EYE OUT,  KEEP
ONE'S EYES PEELED. 2.  Full  knowledge;  especially  of  consequences;
understanding of what will or might result.  -  Used  with  "have"  or
"with". * /Automobile racing is dangerous. Bob went into it  with  his
eyes open./ *  /Betty  had  her  eyes  open  when  she  got  married./
Contrast: CLOSE ONE'S EYES.

   [eyes pop out] {informal} (You) are very  much  surprised.  -  Used
with a possessive noun or pronoun. * /Mary's eyes popped out when  her
mother entered her classroom./ * /When Joan found a clock radio  under
the Christmas tree, her eyes popped out./

   [eye teeth] See: CUT ONE'S EYE TEETH ON at CUT TEETH(2).

   [eye to] 1. Attention to. - Usually used with "have" or  "with".  *
/Have an eye to spelling in these test papers./ 2. Plan  for,  purpose
of. - Usually used with "have" or "with". * /Save your money now  with
an eye to the future./ * /John is going to  college  with  an  eye  to
becoming a lawyer./





   [face] See: BLUE IN THE FACE, CUT OFF ONE'S  NOSE  TO  SPITE  ONE'S
FACE, FLY IN THE FACE OF, HATCHET FACE,  HIDE  ONE'S  FACE,  IN  ONE'S
FACE, IN THE FACE OF, LONG FACE, LOOK IN THE EYE or LOOK IN THE  FACE,
MAKE A FACE, ON THE FACE OF IT, SAVE FACE,  SET  ONE'S  FACE  AGAINST,
SHOOT OFF ONE'S MOUTH or SHOOT OFF ONE'S FACE, SHOW ONE'S  FACE,  SLAP
IN THE FACE, STARE IN THE FACE, STRAIGHT FACE, THROW IN ONE'S FACE, TO
ONE'S FACE.

   [face down] {v. phr.}  To  get  the  upper  hand  over  someone  by
behaving forcefully; disconcert someone by  the  displaying  of  great
self-assurance. * /The night guard faced down the burglar  by  staring
him squarely in the face./ Contrast: FACE UP.

   [face lift] {n. phr.} 1. A  surgical  procedure  designed  to  make
one's face look younger. * /Aunt Jane, who is in her seventies, had an
expensive face lift and now she  looks  as  if  she  were  40./  2.  A
renovation, a refurbishing. * /Our house needs a major  face  lift  to
make it fit in with the rest of the neighborhood./

   [face-saver], [face-saving] See: SAVE FACE.

   [face the music] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  go  through  trouble  or
danger,  especially  because  of  something  you  did;   accept   your
punishment. * /The boy was caught cheating in an examination  and  had
to face the music./ * /The official who had  been  taking  bribes  was
exposed by a newspaper, and had to face the music./ * /George knew his
mother would cry when he told her, but he decided to go home and  face
the music./ Compare: MAKE ONE'S BED AND LIE IN IT, PAY THE PIPER, TAKE
ONE'S MEDICINE.

   [face-to-face] {adv. phr.} 1. With your  face  looking  toward  the
face of another person; each facing the other. * /Turning a corner, he
found himself face-to-face with a policeman./ * /The two teams for the
spelling bee stood face-to-face on opposite sides of the classroom./ *
/The church and the school stand face-to-face across the  street./  2.
In the presence of another or others. * /She was thrilled to meet  the
President face-to-face./ * /I have heard about him, but  I  never  met
him face-to-face./ Compare: IN PERSON. 3. To the point where you  must
do something. - Used with "with". * /The solution of the first problem
brought him face-to-face with a second problem./ Compare: UP AGAINST.

   [face-to-face] {adj.} Being in the  presence  of  a  person;  being
right with someone. * /The British prime minister came  to  Washington
for a face-to-face meeting with the President./

   [face up to] {v. phr.}  1.  To  bravely  confront  a  person  or  a
challenge; admit. * /Jack doesn't want to face up  to  the  fact  that
Helen doesn't love him  anymore./  *  /Jane  cannot  face  up  to  her
mother-in-law who always wins every argument they have./ 2. To confess
something to someone; confess to having done something. * /Jim had  to
face up to  having  stolen  a  sweater  from  the  department  store./
Contrast: FACE DOWN.

   [face value] {n.} 1. The worth or price printed on a  stamp,  bond,
note, piece of paper money, etc. * /The savings bond had a face  value
of $25./ 2. The seeming worth or truth of something. * /She  took  his
stories at face value and did not know he was joking./

   [faced with] {adj. phr.} Confronted with. * /We were all faced with
the many  wars  that  broke  out  in  the  wake  of  the  collapse  of
communism./

   [fact] See: IN FACT, MATTER-OF-FACT.

   [facts of life] {n. phr.} 1. The truth which we should  know  about
sex, marriage, and births. * /His father told him the  facts  of  life
when he was old enough./ 2. The truths one  learns  about  people  and
their good and bad habits of life, work or play. * /As a cub  reporter
he would learn the facts of life in the newspaper world./

   [fade back] {v.} To back away  from  the  line  before  passing  in
football. * /The quarterback is fading back to  pass./  Compare:  DROP
BACK.

   [fail] See: WITHOUT FAIL.

   [fail to do] {v. phr.} To neglect to do something that is  expected
of one. * /Tom waited for Jane for nearly an hour, but she  failed  to
show up./

   [fair] See: BID FAIR, PLAY FAIR.

   [fair  and  square]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Without   cheating;
honestly. * /He won the game fair and square./

   [fair catch] {n.} A catch of a kicked football by a player after he
holds up his hand to show that he will not run with the  ball.  *  /He
saw that he would not be able to run with the ball,  so  he  signalled
for a fair catch./

   [fair-haired boy] {n.},  {informal}  A  person  that  gets  special
favors; favorite; pet. * /If he wins the election by a large majority,
he will become his party's fair-haired boy./ * /The local boy  playing
first base could do no wrong; he was the fair-haired boy of the fans./
* /Charles was a good student and behaved very  well;  he  became  the
teacher's fair-haired boy./

   [fair play] {n.}  Equal  and  right  action  (to  another  person);
justice. * /The visiting team did not get fair play in  the  game./  *
/The judges decided against Bob, but he said that he had  gotten  fair
play./ * /Sally's sense of fair play made  her  a  favorite  with  her
classmates./

   [fair sex] {n. }, {informal} Women in general; the  female  sex.  *
/"Better not use four-letter words in front of a member  of  the  fair
sex," Joe said./

   [fair shake] {n.}, {informal} Honest treatment. * /Joe  has  always
given me a fair shake./

   [fair-weather friend] {n.} A person who is a friend only  when  you
are successful. * /Everyone knows  that  John's  only  a  fair-weather
friend./

   [fairy godmother] {n.} 1. A fairy believed to help and take care of
a baby as it grows up. 2.  A  person  who  helps  and  does  much  for
another. * /The rich man played fairy godmother to the boys and had  a
baseball field made for them./ * /Jane was a fairy  godmother  to  her
poorer friends./

   [fairy tale] or [story] {n.} An inaccurate, even false  account  of
something; a result of wishful thinking. * /Jeff said he was going  to
be promoted soon, but we all suspect  that  it  is  only  one  of  his
customary fairy tales./

   [faith] See: GOOD FAITH, ON FAITH.

   [fall] See: BOTTOM DROP OUT or BOTTOM FALL OUT, RIDING FOR A FALL.

   [fall all over] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  show  too  much  love  or
thanks toward (someone). * /She must love  him.  Every  time  you  see
them, she's falling all over him./ * /When Bob found the  lady's  ring
and returned it, she fell all over him./

   [fall asleep at the  switch]  {v.  phr.}  To  fail  to  perform  an
expected task; be remiss in one's duty. * /The two airplanes  wouldn't
have collided, if the control tower operator hadn't fallen  asleep  at
the switch./ * /The dean promised  our  department  $250,000  but  the
foundation never sent the money because someone in the  dean's  office
fell asleep at the switch./

   [fall away] {v. phr.} To decline; diminish. * /I was shocked to see
how haggard Alan looked; he seems to be falling away to a shadow./

   [fall back] {v.} To move back; go back. - Usually used with a group
as subject. * /The army fell back before their  stubborn  enemies./  *
/The crowd around the hurt boy fell back when  someone  shouted  "Give
him air!"/ Compare: DROP BACK, GIVE WAY.

   [fall back on] or [fall back upon] v. 1.  To  retreat  to.  *  /The
enemy made a strong attack, and the soldiers fell back on  the  fort./
2. To go for help to; turn to in time of need. * /When the  big  bills
for Mother's hospital care came, Joe was glad he had money in the bank
to fall back on./ * /If Mr. Jones can't find a job as  a  teacher,  he
can fall back on his skill as a printer./

   [fall behind] {v.} To go slower than others and be far behind them.
* /When the campers took a hike in the woods, two boys fell behind and
got lost./ * /Frank's lessons were too hard for him, and he soon  fell
behind the rest of the class./ * /Mary was not  promoted  because  she
dreamed too much and fell behind in her lessons./

   [fall by the wayside] also [drop by the wayside] {v. phr.} To  give
up or fail before the finish. * /The boys  tried  to  make  a  50-mile
hike, but most of them fell by the wayside./  *  /George,  Harry,  and
John entered college to become teachers, but Harry and  John  fell  by
the wayside, and only George graduated./

   [fall down on the job] {v. phr.}, {informal} To fail to work  well.
* /The boss was disappointed when his workers fell down on the job./

   [fall due] or [come] or [become due] {v. phr.} To  reach  the  time
when a bill or invoice is to be paid. * /Our car payment falls due  on
the first of every month./

   [fall flat] {v.}, {informal} To be a failure; fail.  *  /The  party
fell flat because of the rain./ * /His joke fell flat because  no  one
understood it./

   [fall for] {v.}, {slang} 1. To begin to like  very  much.  *  /Dick
fell for baseball when he was a little boy./ 2. To begin  to  love  (a
boy or a girl.) * /Helen was a very pretty girl and  people  were  not
surprised that Bill fell for her./ 3. To believe  (something  told  to
fool you.) * /Nell did not fall for Joe's  story  about  being  a  jet
pilot./

   [fall from grace] {v. phr.} To go back to a bad way of behaving; do
something bad again. * /The boys behaved well during dinner until they
fell from grace by eating their dessert with their fingers instead  of
their forks./ * /The boy fell from grace when he lied./

   [fall guy] {n.}, {slang} The "patsy" in an illegal  transaction;  a
sucker; a dupe; the person who takes the punishment others deserve.  *
/When the Savings and Loan Bank failed, due to embezzlement, the  vice
president had to be the fall guy, saving the necks of the owners./

   [fall in] {v.} 1. To go and stand properly in a row like  soldiers.
* /The captain told his men to fall in./ Contrast: FALL OUT(3). 2.  to
collapse. * /The explosion caused the walls of the house to fall in./

   [fall in for] {v.} To receive; get. * /The boy  fell  in  for  some
sympathy when he broke his leg./ * /The team manager fell in for  most
of the blame when his team lost the playoffs./

   [falling-out] {n.} Argument; disagreement;  quarrel.  *  /Mary  and
Jane had a falling-out about who owned the book./ * /The  boys  had  a
falling-out when each said that the other had broken the rules./

   [fall in line] or [fall into line] See: IN LINE, INTO LINE.

   [fall in love] See: IN LOVE.

   [fall in] or [into place] {v. phr.} To suddenly  make  sense;  find
the natural or proper place for the missing  pieces  of  a  puzzle.  *
/When the detectives realized that a second man was seen at the  place
of the murder, the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place./

   [fall in with] {v.}, {informal} 1. To meet  by  accident.  *  /Mary
fell in with some of her friends downtown./ 2. To agree to help  with;
support. * /I fell in with Jack's plan to play a trick on his father./
3. To become associated with a group detrimental to  the  newcomer.  *
/John fell in with a wild bunch; small wonder he flunked  all  of  his
courses./ Compare: PLAY ALONG.

   [fall into the habit of] {v. phr.} To develop the custom  of  doing
something. * /Jack has fallen into the bad habit of playing poker  for
large sums of money every night./

   [fall off] See: DROP OFF(4).

   [fall off the wagon]  {v.  phr.},  {slang},  {alcoholism  and  drug
culture} To return to the consumption of an addictive, such as alcohol
or drugs, after a period of abstinence. * /Poor Joe has fallen off the
wagon again - he is completely incoherent today./

   [fall on] or [fall upon] {v.} 1. To go and fight  with;  attack.  *
/The robbers fell on him from  behind  trees./  2.  {formal}  To  meet
(troubles). * /The famous poet fell upon unhappy days./

   [fallout] {n.} 1. Result of nuclear explosion; harmful  radioactive
particles. * /Some experts consider fallout as dangerous as  the  bomb
itself./ 2. Undesirable aftereffects in general. * /As  a  fallout  of
Watergate, many people lost their faith in the government./

   [fall out] {v.} 1. To happen. * /As it fell out, the  Harpers  were
able to sell their old car./ Compare:  TURN  OUT(6).  2.  To  quarrel;
fight; fuss; disagree. * /The thieves fell out over  the  division  of
the loot./ 3. To leave a military formation. * /You men are dismissed.
Fall out!/ Contrast: FALL IN. 4. To leave a building to  go  and  line
up. * /The soldiers fell out of the barracks for inspection./

   [fall over backwards] or  [fall  over  oneself]  {v.  phr.}  To  do
everything you can  to  please  someone;  try  very  hard  to  satisfy
someone. * /The hotel manager fell over backwards to  give  the  movie
star everything she wanted./ * /The boys fell over  themselves  trying
to get the new girl's attention./

   [fall over yourself] See: FALL OVER BACKWARDS.

   [fall short] {v.} To fail to reach (some aim); not succeed. *  /His
jump fell three inches short of the world record./ * /The  movie  fell
short of expectations./ Contrast: MEASURE UP.

   [fall through] {v.}, {informal} To fail; be ruined; not  happen  or
be done. * /Jim's plans to go to college  fell  through  at  the  last
moment./ * /Mr. Jones' deal to sell his house fell through./ Contrast:
COME OFF.

   [fall to] {v.} 1. To begin to work. * /The boys fell to and quickly
cut the grass./ Syn.: TURN TO. 2. To begin to fight. * /They took  out
their swords and fell to./ 3. To begin to eat. * /The hungry boys fell
to before everyone sat down./ 4. Begin; start. * /The old friends  met
and fell to talking about their school days./

   [fall to pieces] {v. phr.} To disintegrate; collapse. * /After  the
death of Alexander the Great, his empire started to fall to pieces./

   [fall wide of the mark] See: WIDE OF THE MARK.

   [false] See: PLAY ONE FALSE, SAIL UNDER FALSE COLORS.

   [family] See: RUN IN THE BLOOD or RUN IN THE FAMILY,  IN  A  FAMILY
WAY.

   [family tree] {n.} Ancestry. * /My family tree can be  traced  back
to the sixteenth century./

   [famine] See: FEAST OR A FAMINE.

   [fancy doing something] -  An  expression  of  surprise.  *  /Fancy
meeting you here in such an unexpected place!/

   [fancy pants] {n.}, {slang} A man or boy who wears clothes that are
too nice or acts like a woman or girl; sissy. * /The first  time  they
saw him in his new band uniform, they yelled "Hey, fancy  pants,  what
are you doing in your sister's slacks?"/

   [fan] See: HIT THE FAN.

   [fan out] {v. phr.} To spread in several directions.  *  /The  main
road fans out at the edge of the forest in four different directions./

   [fan the breeze] {v. phr.} 1. See: SHOOT THE BREEZE.  2.  To  swing
and miss the ball in baseball. * /The batter tried to hit a  home  run
but he fanned the breeze./

   [far] See: AS FAR AS or SO FAR AS, SO FAR also THUS  PAR,  BY  FAR,
FEW AND FAR BETWEEN, SO PAR, SO GOOD.

   [far afield] {adj. phr.} Remote; far  from  the  original  starting
point. * /When we started to  discuss  theology.  Jack  was  obviously
getting far afield from the subject at hand./

   [far and away] {adv. phr.} Very much. * /The fish was far and  away
the biggest ever caught on  the  lake./  Compare:  BY  FAR,  HEAD  AND
SHOULDERS(2).

   [far and near] {n. phr.} Far places and near places; everywhere.  *
/People came from far and near to hear him speak./

   [far and wide] {adv. phr.} Everywhere, in all  directions.  *  /The
wind blew the papers far and wide./  *  /My  old  school  friends  are
scattered far and wide now./ * /The movie company looked far and  wide
for a boy to act the hero in the new movie./ Compare: ALL OVER.

   [farfetched] {adj.} Exaggerated; fantastic. * /Sally told  us  some
farfetched story about having been kidnapped by little green men in  a
flying saucer./

   [far cry] {n.} Something very different. * /His last statement  was
a far cry from his first story./ * /The first  automobile  could  run,
but it was a far cry from a modern car./

   [far from it] {adv. phr.} Not even  approximately;  not  really  at
all. * /"Do you think she spent $100 on that dress?" Jane asked.  "Far
from it," Sue replied. "It must have cost at least $300."/

   [far gone] {adj. phr.} In a critical or extreme state. * /He was so
far gone by the time the doctor arrived, that nothing could be done to
save his life./

   [farm] See: COLLECTIVE FARM.

   [farm out] {v.} 1. To have another person do (something)  for  you;
send away to be done. * /Our teacher had too many test papers to read,
so she farmed out half of them to a friend./ 2. To  send  away  to  be
taken care of. * /While Mother was sick, the children were farmed  out
to relatives./ 3. To send a player to a league where  the  quality  of
play is lower. * /The player was  farmed  out  to  Rochester  to  gain
experience./

   [far-out] {adj.} 1. Very  far  away;  distant.  *  /Scientists  are
planning rocket trips to the moon and far-out planets./ 2.  {informal}
Very different from others; queer; odd, unusual. * /He  enjoyed  being
with beatniks and other far-out people./ * /Susan did not like some of
the paintings at the art show because they were too far-out for her./

   [fashion] See: AFTER A FASHION, HIGH FASHION or HIGH STYLE.

   [fast] See: HARD-AND-FAST, PLAY FAST AND LOOSE.

   [fast and furious] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} Very fast; with much speed
and energy. * /He was mowing the grass at a fast and furious rate./  *
/When I last saw her  she  was  driving  fast  and  furious  down  the
street./ Compare: GREAT GUNS.

   [fast buck] or  [quick  buck]  {slang}  Money  earned  quickly  and
easily, and sometimes dishonestly. * /You can make a fast buck at  the
golf course by fishing balls out of  the  water  trap./  *  /He  isn't
interested in a career; he's just looking for a quick buck./

   [fast talker] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} A con artist or a swindler,
one who is particularly apt to get away with illegitimate transactions
because of the clever way he talks. * /I wouldn't trust Uncle Joe if I
were you, - he is a fast talker./

   [fast time] See: DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME.

   [fasten on] {v. phr.} To attach; tie something to make it secure. *
/"Fasten on your life jackets when you get into the life  boats,"  the
captain said./

   [fat] See: CHEW THE FAT.

   [fat chance] {n. phr.}, {slang} Little or no possibility; almost no
chance. * /A high school team would have a fat  chance  of  beating  a
strong college team./ * /Jane is pretty and popular; you will  have  a
fat chance of getting a date with her./ Compare: GHOST OF A.

   [fat city] {n.}, {slang} A state of contentment due to  wealth  and
position. * /Bully for the Smiths; they have arrived in Fat City./

   [fate] See: TEMPT FATE or TEMPT THE FATES.

   [father] See: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON.

   [Father Christmas] {n.}, {British} The joyful spirit of  Christmas;
Santa Claus. * /English children look forward to the visit  of  Father
Christmas./

   [Father's Day] {n.} The third Sunday in June set  aside  especially
to honor fathers whether living or dead. *  /The  children  gave  nice
presents to their father on Father's Day./

   [fat is in the fire] Something has happened that will cause trouble
or make a bad situation worse. * /He found out you took it? Well,  the
fat's in the fire now./

   [fat of the land] {n. phr.} The best  and  richest  food,  clothes,
everything. * /When I'm rich I'll retire and live off the fat  of  the
land./

   [fault] See: AT FAULT, FIND FAULT, TO A FAULT.

   [faultfinding] {n.} Recrimination; nagging; criticism.  *  /All  of
this constant faultfinding will only to lead to  trouble  between  you
and your wife./

   [favor] See: CURRY FAVOR, IN FAVOR OF.

   [favorite  son]  {n.}  A  man  supported  by  his  home  state  for
President. * /At a national convention, states often  vote  for  their
favorite sons first; then they change and vote for another man./

   [fear] See: FOR FEAR.

   [fear and trembling] or [fear  and  trepidation]  {n.  phr.}  Great
fear. * /He came in fear and trembling to tell his father he had a bad
report card./

   [feast one's eyes on] {v. phr.} To look at and enjoy very  much.  *
/He feasted his eyes on the beautiful painting./

   [feast or a famine] {n. phr.} Plenty or very little; big success or
bad failure. * /In this business it's either a feast or a  famine./  *
/He is very careless with his money, it is always a feast or a  famine
with him./

   [feather] See: BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER, TAR AND  FEATHER,
FINE FEATHERS DO NOT MAKE FINE BIRDS,  FUSS  AND  FEATHERS,  MAKE  THE
FEATHERS FLY, RUFFLE FEATHERS.

   [feather in one's cap] {n. phr.}  Something  to  be  proud  of;  an
honor. * /It was a feather in his cap to win first prize./  (From  the
medieval practice of placing a feather in the helmet of  one  who  won
honors in battle.)

   [feather one's nest] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To use  for  yourself
money and power, especially from a public office or job in  which  you
are trusted to help other people. * /The rich man told his  lawyer  to
use his money after he died to build a hospital for poor  people,  but
the lawyer feathered his own nest with the money instead./ * /The  man
feathered his nest in politics by getting money from  contractors  who
built roads./ Syn.: LINE ONE'S POCKETS. 2. To make your home  pleasant
and comfortable; furnish and decorate your house. * /Furniture  stores
welcome young couples who want to feather their nests./

   [fed up] ({informal}) also ({slang}) [fed to the gills] or [fed  to
the teeth] {adj. phr.} Having had too much of something; at the end of
your patience; disgusted; bored; tired. *  /People  get  fed  up  with
anyone who brags all the time./ * /I've had enough of his  complaints.
I'm fed up./ * /He was fed to the teeth with television and  sold  his
set to a cousin./ * /John quit football because  he  was  fed  to  the
gills with practice./ Compare: SICK AND TIRED.

   [feed] See: BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS ONE, CHICKEN FEED, OFF FEED or
OFF ONE'S FEED, SPOON FEED.

   [feel] See: GET THE FEEL OF and HARD FEELING.

   [feel a draft] {v. phr.}, {slang} To have the sensation that one is
not welcome in a place; that one has gotten a cold reception. * /Let's
go, Suzie, I feel a draft./

   [feel for someone] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be able  to  sympathize
with someone's problems. * /I can  really  feel  for  you,  John,  for
losing your job./

   [feel free to do] {v. phr.} To take the liberty  to  engage  in  an
activity. * /Please feel free to take off your  jackets;  this  is  an
informal party./

   [feel in one's bones] or [know in one's bones] {v. phr.} To have an
idea or feeling but not know why. * /I feel in my hones that  tomorrow
will be a sunny day./ * /I know in my bones that God will protect us./

   [feel like] {v.}, {informal} To want to do or have. * /I don't feel
like running today./ * /I just don't feel like pancakes this morning./

   [feel like a million] or [feel like a million dollars]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To be in the best of health and spirits. * /I feel  like  a
million this morning./ * /He had a headache yesterday but feels like a
million dollars today./ Compare: LOOK LIKE A MILLION.

   [feel like a new man] {v. phr.} To feel healthy, vigorous, and well
again after a major physical illness or  emotional  upheaval.  *  /Ted
felt like a new man after his successful heart bypass operation./

   [feel like two cents] See: TWO CENTS.

   [feel low] {v. phr.} To be depressed; be in low spirits. * /I don't
know what's the matter with Mary, but she says she  has  been  feeling
very low all afternoon./

   [feel no pain] {v. phr.}, {slang} To  be  drunk.  *  /After  a  few
drinks, the man felt no pain and began to act foolishly./

   [feel one's oats] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To feel frisky or  playful;
be eager and excited. * /The horses were feeling their oats./ *  /When
they first got to camp, the boys were feeling their oats./ 2.  To  act
in a proud or important way. * /The new gardener was feeling his  oats
and started to boss the other men./

   [feel one's way] {v. phr.}  To  proceed  cautiously  by  trial  and
error; probe. * /I won't ask her to marry me directly; I will feel  my
way first./

   [feel] or [look small] {v. phr.} To have the impression that one is
insignificant, foolish, or  humiliated.  *  /"I  feel  small  next  to
Hemingway," the young student of creative writing said./

   [feel out] {v.} To talk or act carefully with someone and find what
he thinks or can do. * /The pupils felt  out  the  principal  about  a
party after the game./ * /John felt out his father about  letting  him
have the car that evening./ * /At first the  boxers  felt  each  other
out./ Compare: SOUND OUT.

   [feel out of place] {v. phr.} To experience the  sensation  of  not
belonging in a certain place or company. * /Dave  felt  out  of  place
among all those chess players as he knows nothing about chess./

   [feel the pinch]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  short  of  money;  experience
monetary difficulties. *  /If  we  are  going  to  have  a  recession,
everybody will feel the pinch./

   [feel up] {v. phr.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} To  arouse  sexually  by
manual contact. * /You mean to tell me that you've been going out  for
six months and he hasn't ever tried to feel you up?/ Contrast:  COP  A
FEEL.

   [feel up to something] {v. phr.},  {informal}  To  feel  adequately
knowledgeable, strong, or equipped to handle a given task. *  /Do  you
feel up to jogging  a  mile  a  day  with  me?/  Contrast:  BE  UP  TO
SOMETHING.

   [feet] See: FOOT.

   [feet of clay] {n. phr.} A hidden fault or  weakness  in  a  person
which is discovered or shown. * /The famous general showed he had feet
of clay when he began to drink liquor./ * /The  banker  seemed  to  be
honest, but he had feet of clay and was arrested for stealing./

   [feet on the ground] {n. phr.} An  understanding  of  what  can  be
done; sensible ideas. Used with a possessive. * /John has his feet  on
the ground; he knows he cannot  learn  everything  at  once./  *  /Ted
dreams of sudden riches, but Henry keeps his feet on  the  ground  and
expects to work for his money./ * /Mrs. Smith was a dreamer,  but  her
husband was a man with his feet  on  the  ground./  Contrast:  IN  THE
CLOUDS.

   [fell] See: AT ONE FELL SWOOP.

   [fellow] See: HAIL-FELLOW-WELL-MET, REGULAR GUY or REGULAR FELLOW.

   [fellow traveller] {n.} A sympathizer with a political movement who
does not officially belong to the political party in question. * /Many
Germans after World War II were innocently  accused  of  being  fellow
travellers of Nazism./ * /During the McCarthy era, many Americans were
accused of being Communist fellow travellers./

   [fence] See: GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER  ON  THE  OTHER  SIDE  OF  THE
FENCE, MEND ONE'S FENCES, ON THE FENCE.

   [fence in] or [hedge in] or [hem in] {v.} To  keep  (someone)  from
doing what he or she would like to do. Usually used in the passive.  *
/Mary felt fenced in because her father would not let her drive a  car
or have dates with boys./ * /John didn't like his job because  he  had
to do the same kind of work all the time. He felt that he  was  hemmed
in./

   [fence-sitter] {n.} A person unable to pick between  two  sides;  a
person who does not want to choose. * /Daddy says he is a fence-sitter
because he doesn't know which man he wants for President./

   [fence-sitting] {n.} or {adj.} Choosing neither side. *  /You  have
been fence-sitting for too long. It is time you made  up  your  mind./
Contrast: MAKE UP ONE'S MIND, TAKE SIDES.

   [fence with] or [spar with] {v.} To talk with (someone) as  if  you
were fighting like a swordsman or boxer; to give skillful  answers  or
arguments against (someone). * /The governor was an expert at  fencing
with reporters at press conferences./

   [ferret out] {literary} or [smell out] or [sniff out] {v.} To  hunt
or drive from hiding; to bring out into the open; search for and find.
* /John ferreted out the answer to the question  in  the  library./  *
/Jane smelled out the boys' secret hiding place in the woods./

   [few] See: MAN OF FEW WORDS, NOT A FEW, QUITE A FEW.

   [few and far between] {adj. phr.} Not many; few and scattered;  not
often met or found; rare. - Used in the predicate. * /People who  will
work as hard as Thomas A. Edison are few and far between./  *  /Places
where you can get water are few and far  between  in  the  desert./  *
/Really exciting games are few and far between./

   [fickle finger of fate] See: ACT OF GOD.

   [fiddle] See: PLAY SECOND FIDDLE.

   [fiddle around] See: FOOL AROUND(3).

   [fiddler] See: PAY THE PIPER or PAY THE FIDDLER.

   [fiddle with] {v. phr.} To carelessly play with  something.  *  /If
Jimmy continues to fiddle with our computer, he is liable to ruin it./

   [field] See: CENTER FIELD, LEFT FIELD, OUT IN LEFT FIELD, PLAY  THE
FIELD, RIGHT FIELD.

   [field goal] {n.} 1. A score in football made by kicking  the  ball
over the bar between the goal posts. * /The Giants were  not  able  to
make a touchdown but they kicked  two  field  goals./  Compare:  EXTRA
POINT. 2. A score in basketball made by a successful shot through  the
basket not made on a free throw. * /A field goal counts  two  points./
Compare: FOUL SHOT, FREE THROW.

   [fifth] See: TAKE THE FIFTH.

   [fifth column] {n. phr.} A group or organization within  a  country
that works to bring about the country's downfall, usually through acts
of espionage and sabotage. * /The Communist party in the United States
was considered by Senator McCarthy to  be  the  Soviet  Union's  fifth
column./

   [flfty-flfty(1)] {adv.}, {informal} Equally;  evenly.  *  /The  two
boys divided the marbles they won fifty-fifty./ * /When Dick  and  Sam
bought an old car, they divided the cost fifty-fifty./

   [fifty-fifty(2)] {adj.}, {informal} 1. Divided or shared equally. *
/It will be a fifty-fifty arrangement; half the money for me and  half
for you./ 2. Half for and half against; half  good  and  half  bad.  *
/There is only a fifty-fifty  chance  that  we  will  win  the  game./
Compare: HALF AND HALF.

   [fight against time] See: RACING TO STAND STILL.

   [fight fire with fire] {v. phr.}, {slightly formal},  {of  Biblical
origin} To fight back in the same way one was attacked; make a defense
similar to the attack. * /The candidate was determined to  fight  fire
with fire in the debate./

   [fight it out] See: SLUG IT OUT.

   [fighting chance] {n. phr.} A chance that necessitates struggle and
courage; a slim chance. * /The doctor told the family that Jack had  a
fighting chance to recover./ * /Our business lost a lot of  money,  but
we have a fighting chance to stage a comeback./

   [fight off] {v. phr.} 1. To struggle against someone so as to  free
oneself; push an attacker back. * /Suzy fought off her  two  attackers
in Central Park with a couple  of  karate  chops./  2.  To  strive  to
overcome something negative. * /After twelve  hours  at  the  computer
terminal, Jane had to fight off  her  overwhelming  desire  to  go  to
sleep./

   [fight shy of] {v. phr.} To avoid;  escape  from.  *  /Jack  always
fights shy of anything that even remotely resembles serious work./

   [fight tooth and nail] See: TOOTH AND NAIL.

   [figure in] {v.} 1. {informal} To add to a total; remember  to  put
down in figures. * /We figured in the travel expenses but  forgot  the
cost of meals./ 2. To have a part in; be  partly  responsible  for.  *
/Joe figured in all our touchdowns./ * /Mary's good grades figured  in
her choice as class president./

   [figure on] {v.} 1. To expect and think about while making plans. *
/We did not figure on having so many people  at  the  picnic./  *  /He
figured on going to town the next day./ Syn.: PLAN ON.  2.  To  depend
on; be; sure about. * /You can figure on him to  be  on  time./  Syn.:
COUNT ON.

   [figure out] {v.} 1. To find an  answer  by  thinking  about  (some
problem or difficulty); solve. * /Tom couldn't  figure  out  the  last
problem on the arithmetic test./ * /Sam couldn't  figure  out  how  to
print a program until the teacher showed him how./  *  /Mary  couldn't
figure out why her cake tasted so funny until she found salt mixed  in
the sugar bag./ Compare: FIND OUT(1). 2.  To  learn  how  to  explain;
understand. * /Laurence is an  odd  boy;  I  can't  figure  him  out./
Compare: MAKE OUT(2).

   [figure up] {v. phr.} To calculate; add up. * /If you can figure up
how many phone calls I've made from your home, I will  pay  you  right
away./

   [fill in] {v.} 1. To write words needed in blanks; put in; fill.  *
/You should fill in all the blanks on an application for  a  job./  2.
{informal} To tell what you should know. * /The new  boy  didn't  know
the rules so Bob filled him in./ * /The teacher filled in  Mary  about
class work done while she was  sick./  3.  To  take  another's  place;
substitute. * /The teacher was sick and Miss Jones filled in for her./

   [fill (in) the  gap]  {v.  phr.}  To  supply  a  missing  piece  of
information; provide a clue during the course of solving a mystery.  *
/Sherlock Holmes said, "These fingerprints are bound to fill  the  gap
in our investigation."/

   [fill one's shoes] {v. phr.} To take the place of another and do as
well; to substitute satisfactorily for. * /When  Jack  got  hurt,  the
coach had nobody to fill his shoes./ * /Joe hopes to fill his father's
shoes./ See: IN ONE'S SHOES.

   [fill out] {v.} 1. To put in what  is  missing;  complete;  finish;
{especially}, to complete (a printed application blank or other  form)
by writing the missing facts in the blank spaces; to write down  facts
which are asked for in (a report or application.) * /After Tom  passed
his driving test  he  filled  out  an  application  for  his  driver's
license./ * /The policeman filled out a report of the accident./ 2. To
become heavier and fatter; gain weight. * /When Bill was  nineteen  he
began to fill out./ * /The girl was pale and thin after her  sickness,
but in a few months she filled out./

   [fill the bases] See: LOAD THE BASES.

   [fill the bill] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be just what is needed; be
good enough for something; be just right.  *  /The  boss  was  worried
about hiring a deaf boy, but after he tried Tom out for a  few  weeks,
he said that Tom filled the bill./ * /I thought I would need a special
tool, but this wrench fills the bill./

   [fill up] or [fill it up] or  [fill  her  up]  {v.  phr.}  To  fill
entirely. (Said by the driver of a car to a gas station attendant).  *
/When the attendant asked Andrew how much gas he wanted in  the  tank,
Andrew replied, "Fill her up."/

   [filthy lucre] {n.}, {informal} Money, especially when  thought  of
as bad or shameful. * /When the rich gambler tried to make Sarah marry
him, she said, "Keep your filthy lucre -  I  shall  marry  the  man  I
love."/ - Sometimes used in a joking way. * /"Come and let's  get  rid
of some filthy lucre."/

   [filthy rich] {adj.  phr.}  Extremely  rich  but  without  cultural
refinement; nouveau riche. * /"The Murgatroyds are filthy  rich,"  Ted
complained. "They are rolling in money but they never learned  how  to
behave properly at a dinner table."/

   [finders keepers] or [finders keepers, losers  weepers]  {informal}
Those who find lost things can keep them. - Used usually  by  children
to claim the right to keep something they have found. * /I don't  have
to give it back; it's finders keepers./  *  /Finders  keepers,  losers
weepers! It's my knife now!/

   [find  fault]  {v.  phr.}  To  find  something   wrong;   complain;
criticize. * /She tries to please him, but he always finds  fault./  *
/They found fault with every box  I  made./  Compare:  JUMP  ON,  PICK
AT(3).

   [find it in one's heart] {v. phr.} To be able or willing because of
your nature. * /He could not find it in his heart to  tell  her  about
her mother's death./ * /Can you find it in your heart to forgive  me?/
* /He could never find it in his heart to be mean to a dog./

   [find one's ---] {v. phr.} To become able to use (some power of the
body or mind.) * /In the program for the parents, John was nervous and
could not speak at first; then he found his tongue./ * /The young bird
had just found its wings./ * /The baby was just beginning to find  his
feet./ * /The question surprised him, and it was a  minute  before  he
found his tongue./

   [find oneself] {v. phr.} To find out what one  is  fitted  for  and
succeed in that. * /Mary tried several lines  of  work,  but  at  last
found herself as a teacher./ * /Sometimes young people move  around  a
long time from job to job before they find themselves./

   [find] or [get one's bearings] {v. phr.} To know where  one  is  or
where one is headed. * /"Without a compass," the sergeant  warned  the
enlisted men, "you will never find your bearings in the desert."/

   [find out] {v.} 1. To learn or discover (something you did not know
before.) * /One morning the baby found out for the first time that she
could walk./ * /I don't know how this car works, but  I'll  soon  find
out./ * /He watched the birds to find out where they go./ * /Mary  was
angry when Jane found out her secret./ 2. To get facts; to  get  facts
about. * /He wrote to find out about a job in Alaska./  *  /She  found
out how much the house would cost./ 3.  To  discover  (someone)  doing
wrong; catch. * /Some children are bad when no one is  watching  them,
but they are usually found out./ * /The boy knew that if he cheated on
the test the teacher would find him out./

   [find out the hard way] See: HARD WAY.

   [fine feathers do not make fine  birds]  {literary}  A  person  who
wears fine clothes may not be as good as he  looks.  -  A  proverb.  *
/Mary is pretty and she wears pretty clothes, but she  is  very  mean.
Fine feathers do  not  make  fine  birds./  Compare:  HANDSOME  IS  AS
HANDSOME DOES.

   [fine kettle of fish] See: KETTLE OF FISH.

   [fine-tooth comb] {n. phr.} Great care; careful attention so as not
to miss anything. * /The police searched the scene of the crime with a
fine-tooth comb for clues./ * /My room is so clean you  couldn't  find
dirt if you went over it with a fine-tooth comb./  Compare:  LEAVE  NO
STONE UNTURNED.

   [finger] See: BURN ONE'S FINGERS, CROSS ONE'S FINGERS or KEEP ONE'S
FINGERS CROSSED, LAY A FINGER ON, LIFT A FINGER, PUT ONE'S  FINGER  ON
also LAY ONE'S FINGER ON,  SLIP  THROUGH  ONE'S  FINGERS,  SNAP  ONE'S
FINGERS AT, STICKY FINGERS, TWIST AROUND  ONE'S  LITTLE  FINGER,  WORK
ONE'S FINGERS TO THE BONE.

   [finger in the pie] {n. phr.}, {informal} Something to do with what
happens; part interest or responsibility. * /When the girls got  up  a
Christmas party, I felt sure Alice had a finger in the  pie./  *  /The
Jones Company was chosen to build the new hospital  and  we  knew  Mr.
Smith had a finger in the pie./ * /Jack is a  boy  with  a  finger  in
every pie at school, from dramatics to football./ Compare: HAVE A HAND
IN, TOO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE.

   [fingertip] See: AT ONE'S FINGERTIPS.

   [finish up] See: END UP(4).

   [fire] See: BALL OF FIRE, BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP  BLUE  SEA
or BETWEEN TWO FIRES, BUILD A FIRE UNDER, BURNT CHILD DREADS THE FIRE,
CATCH FIRE, DRAW FIRE, FAT'S IN THE FIRE, FIGHT FIRE WITH  FIRE,  HANG
FIRE, HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON ONE'S HEAD, HOLD ONE'S FIRE or HOLD  FIRE,
IRON IN THE FIRE, KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING, LINE OF FIRE, ON  FIRE,
OPEN FIRE, OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE, PLAY WITH  FIRE,  PULL
ONE'S CHESTNUTS OUT OF THE FIRE, SET FIRE TO, SET THE WORLD  ON  FIRE,
TILL THE LAST GUN IS FIRED or UNTIL THE LAST GUN IS FIRED, UNDER FIRE.

   [firebug]  {n.}  An  arsonist;  one  who  willfully  sets  fire  to
property. * /The police caught the firebug just as he was about to set
another barn ablaze in the country./

   [firing squad] {n.} A group of soldiers chosen to shoot a  prisoner
to death or to fire shots over a grave as a  tribute.  *  /A  dictator
often sends his enemies before a firing squad./ *  /The  dead  general
was honored by a firing squad./

   [first] See: AT FIRST BLUSH, AT FIRST SIGHT, CAST THE FIRST  STONE,
GET TO FIRST BASE or REACH FIRST BASE, IN  THE  FIRST  PLACE,  OF  THE
FIRST WATER.

   [firsthand] {adj.} Fresh; genuine;  from  the  original  source.  *
/John says  he  got  the  information  firsthand  from  the  president
himself./

   [first and foremost] {adv.  phr.}  As  the  most  important  thing;
first. * /First and foremost they needed  food./  *  /I  want  you  to
remember to pay that bill first and foremost./ * /First and  foremost,
we must keep America free./

   [first and  last]  {adv.  phr.}  Most  noticeably;  all  the  time;
chiefly. * /He was first and last a school teacher./ * /Steven  joined
the army because first and last he wanted to help his country./  Syn.:
ABOVE ALL.

   [first base] {n. phr.} 1. The base that must be touched first by  a
baseball player after batting. * /He got to first base on four balls./
2. See: GET TO FIRST BASE.

   [first class] {n.} 1. The first rank; the highest class;  the  best
group. * /The pianist was quite good but  he  was  not  in  the  first
class./ 2. The most expensive or comfortable class of travel; the best
or one of the best groups in which  to  travel,  especially  by  ship,
train, or airplane. * /Most people can't afford the first  class  when
they take a long journey by ship./ 3. The way of sending all mail that
includes  letters  and  post  cards,  anything  written  by  hand   or
typewriter, and anything sealed so that it cannot  be  inspected,  and
that is the most  expensive  class  of  mail  but  receives  the  best
treatment. * /The usual way to send  a  letter  is  by  first  class./
Compare: SECOND CLASS, THIRD CLASS.

   [first-class(1)] {adj.} 1. Of  the  highest  class  or  best  kind;
excellent; first-rate. * /Jane did a first-class job of repairing  the
coat./ * /It was a first-class TV program./ Compare: TOP-NOTCH. 2.  Of
the best or most expensive class of travelling. * /Mr. Jones bought  a
first-class plane ticket to Chicago./ 3. Belonging  to  the  class  of
mail for sending letters, post cards, and handwritten  or  typewritten
mail that is sealed. * /It is expensive to  send  a  heavy  letter  by
first-class mail./

   [first-class(2)] {adv.} With the best material; in the best or most
expensive way. * /When Mr. Van Smith goes anywhere he  always  travels
first-class./ * /"How did you send the package?" "First-class."/

   [first come, first served] {truncated  sent.},  {informal}  If  you
arrive first, you will be served first; people will be  waited  on  in
the order they come; the person who comes first  will  have  his  turn
first. * /Get in line for your ice  cream,  boys.  First  come,  first
served./ * /The rule in the restaurant is first come, first served./ *
/The team's owners announced that tickets for the World  Series  would
be sold on a first come, first served basis only./ * /There are only a
few seats left so it's first come, first served./ Compare: EARLY  BIRD
CATCHES THE WORM.

   [first cousin] {n.} The child of your aunt or uncle. * /Tom's  only
first cousin was Ralph, the son of his Uncle John./

   [first of all] {adv. phr.} Chiefly; primarily; as the first  thing.
* /After we get to Chicago, we will, first  of  all,  try  to  find  a
reliable used car./

   [first off] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Before anything else; first.  *
/First off, I want you to mow the lawn./

   [first-run] {adj. phr.} Shown for the first time; new. * /The local
theater showed only first-run movies./

   [first stone] See: CAST THE FIRST STONE.

   [first string(1)] {n.}, {informal} 1. The best group of players  on
a team; first team; A team. * /Dick  loved  basketball  and  practiced
hard until he was put on the first  string./  2.  The  best  group  of
workers. * /Tom learned his trade so well that his  boss  soon  called
him one of his first string./

   [first-string] {adj.}, {informal} 1. On  the  starting  team  or  A
team. * /He was the first-string quarterback./ 2. Of the best quality;
foremost. * /He was the least expensive  of  the  city's  first-string
lawyers./

   [first thing off the bat] {adv. phr.} Immediately; at once.  *  /He
called home from Paris first thing off the bat as he stepped  off  the
plane./

   [first  things  first]  Other  things  must  wait  until  the  most
important and necessary things are done. * /Study your lessons  before
you go out to play. First things first./

   [fish] See: COLD FISH, KETTLE OF FISH, NEITHER FISH NOR  FOWL,  NOT
THE ONLY FISH IN THE SEA, OTHER FISH TO FRY.

   [fish-and-chips] {n. phr.} Fried fish and french fried potatoes.  *
/The family went to a drive-in restaurant and had fish-and-chips./

   [fish  for]  {v.},  {informal}  To  try  to  get  or  to  find  out
(something), by hinting or by a roundabout way to try to lead  someone
else to give or tell you what you want by hinting. * /Jerry was always
fishing for an invitation to Bob's house./ * /Near  examination  time,
some of the students fish for information./

   [fish for a compliment] {v, phr.} To try  to  make  someone  pay  a
compliment. * /When Jim showed me his new car, I could  tell  that  he
was fishing for a compliment./

   [fish fry] {n.} An outdoor party or picnic at which fish are  fried
and eaten. * /The guests at the fish fry caught and cooked  their  own
fish./

   [fish in muddy] or [troubled waters] {v. phr.} To take advantage of
a troubled or confusing situation; seek personal  advantage.  *  /With
the police disorganized after the collapse  of  communism  in  Europe,
many criminals started to fish in troubled waters./

   [fish or cut bait] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. Decide what you want to
do and stop wasting time; either act now or give someone else a chance
or turn. * /Jack couldn't decide whether to go to  college  or  get  a
job, so his father told him to fish or cut bait./ * /"Buy the kind  of
ice cream you want or give someone else in line a chance. Fish or  cut
bait!"/ Compare: MAKE UP ONE'S MIND. 2. Either try hard  and  do  your
best, or quit. * /Frank missed football practice  so  often  that  the
coach told him to fish or cut bait./

   [fish out of water] {n. phr.} A person who is  out  of  his  proper
place in life; someone who does not fit in. * /Because  Ed  could  not
swim, he felt like a fish out of water at the beach./ * /She  was  the
only girl at the party not in a formal dress and she felt like a  fish
out of water./ Compare: OUT OF ONE'S ELEMENT, OUT OF PLACE.

   [fish story] {n. phr.} An unlikely or improbable tale.  *  /Hunters
and  fishermen  often  exaggerate  their  successes  by  telling  fish
stories./

   [fist] See: HARD-FISTED.

   [fit] See: BY FITS AND STARTS, GIVE PITS, HAVE A FIT or HAVE  FITS,
IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT, SEE FIT also THINK  FIT,  SURVIVAL  OF  THE
FITTEST.

   [fit as a fiddle] {adj. phr.} In very good health. * /The  man  was
almost 90 years old but fit as a fiddle./ * /Mary rested at home for a
few weeks after her operation; then she felt fit as a fiddle./

   [fit for] {v. phr.} To be suited for; be  prepared  for.  *  /"What
kind of job is Ted fit for?" the social worker asked./

   [fit in with] {v. phr.} To fall into agreement or  accord  with.  *
/His plans to take a vacation in early July fit in perfectly with  the
university schedule./

   [fit like a glove] {v. phr.} To fit perfectly.  *  /Her  new  dress
fits her like a glove./

   [fit out] or [fit up] {v.} To give things needed; furnish.  *  /The
soldiers were fitted out with guns and clothing./  *  /The  government
fitted out warships and got sailors for them./ * /The house was fitted
out very  nicely./  *  /He  fitted  his  room  up  as  a  photographic
laboratory./

   [fit the bill] See: FILL THE BILL.

   [fit to a T] See: TO A T.

   [fit to be tied(1)] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Very angry or upset.  *
/She was fit to be tied when she saw the broken glass./

   [fit to be tied(2)] {adv. phr.}, {substandard} Very  hard.  -  Used
for emphasis. * /Uncle Willie was laughing  fit  to  be  tied  at  the
surprised look on Mother's face./

   [five o'clock shadow] {n. phr.} A very short growth of beard  on  a
man's face who did shave in the morning but whose beard is  so  strong
that it is again visible in the afternoon. * /"You have a five o'clock
shadow, honey," Irene said, "and we're going to the opera.  Why  don't
you shave again quickly?"/

   [fix] See: GET A FIX or GIVE SOMEONE A FIX, GET A FIX ON.

   [fix someone's wagon] or  [fix  someone's  little  red  wagon]  {v.
phr.}, {informal} 1. (Said to a child as a  threat)  to  administer  a
spanking. * /Stop that right  away  or  I'll  fix  your  (little  red)
wagon!/ 2. (Said of an adult)  to  thwart  or  frustrate  another,  to
engineer his failure. * /If he sues me for slander, I will counter-sue
him for malicious prosecution. That will fix his wagon!/

   [fix someone up with] {v. phr.}, {informal} To help another  get  a
date with a woman or man by arranging a meeting for the  two.  *  /Say
Joe, can you possibly fix me up with someone this  weekend?  I  am  so
terribly lonesome!/

   [fix up] {v. phr.} 1. To repair. * /The school is  having  the  old
gym fixed up./ 2. To arrange. * /I think I can  fix  it  up  with  the
company so that John gets the transfer he desires. /3.  To  arrange  a
date that might lead to a romance or even to marriage. *  /Mary  is  a
great matchmaker; she fixed up Ron and Betty at her recent party./

   [fizzle out] {v.}, {informal} 1. To stop burning; die out.  *  /The
fuse fizzled out before exploding the firecracker./ 2. To fail after a
good start; end in failure. * /The power mower worked fine for a while
but then it fizzled out./ * /The party fizzled out when everyone  went
home early./

   [flag down] {v.}, {informal} To stop by waving a signal flag or  as
if waving a signal flag. * /The signalman  flagged  down  the  freight
train./ * /A policeman flagged down the car with his flashlight./

   [flakeball] or [flake] {n.}, {slang}, {drug culture} A  disjointed,
or "flaky" person, who is forgetful and incoherent, as  if  under  the
influence of narcotics. * /Hermione is a regular flakeball./  Compare:
SPACED OUT.

   [flame] See: ADD FUEL TO THE FLAME, GO UP IN FLAMES.

   [flanker back] {n.} A football back who can play far to the outside
of his regular place. * /The coach is still looking for a  speedy  boy
to play flanker back./

   [flare up] {v.} 1. To burn brightly for  a  short  time  especially
after having died down. * /The fire flared up again and then died./ 2.
To become suddenly angry. * /The mayor flared  up  at  the  reporter's
remark./ * /The mother flared up at her children./ 3. To  begin  again
suddenly, especially for a short time  after  a  quiet  time.  *  /Mr.
Gray's  arthritis  flared  up  sometimes./  *  /Even  after  they  had
conquered the country, revolts sometimes flared up./

   [flare-up] {n.} The  reoccurrence  of  an  infection  or  an  armed
conflict. * /He had a flare-up of his arthritis./ * /There was  a  bad
flare-up of hostilities in some countries./

   [flash] See: IN A FLASH.

   [flash card] {n.} A card with numbers or words on it that  is  used
in teaching, a class. * /The teacher used flash  cards  to  drill  the
class in addition./

   [flash in the pan] {n. phr.}, {slang} A person or thing that starts
out well but does not continue. * /The new quarterback was a flash  in
the pan./ * /Mary got 100 on the first test in arithmetic but  it  was
just a flash in the pan because she failed in arithmetic./

   [flat] See: FALL FLAT, IN NO TIME or IN NOTHING FLAT, LEAVE FLAT.

   [flat as a pancake] {adj. phr.} Very level; very  flat;  having  no
mountains or hills. * /A great part of the American Midwest is as flat
as a pancake./

   [flat broke] See: STONE-BROKE.

   [flatfoot] {n.}, {slang}, {derogatory} A policeman. *  /"What  does
Joe do for a living? - He's a flatfoot."/

   [flat-footed] {adj.}, {informal}  1.  Straightforward;  forthright;
direct; outright. * /The governor issued a flat-footed denial  of  the
accusation./ * /He came out flat-footed  against  the  idea./  2.  Not
ready; not prepared; - usually used with  "catch".  *  /The  teacher's
question caught Tim flat-footed./ * /Unexpected company at lunch  time
caught Mrs. Green flat-footed./

   [flat-out] {adv. phr.},  {informal}  1.  Without  hiding  anything;
plainly; openly. * /The student told his teacher flat-out that he  was
not listening to her./ 2. At top speed; as fast as possible. * /He saw
two men running flat-out from the wild rhinoceros./

   [flatter oneself] To be sure of your own talent  or  skill;  highly
confident. * /I flatter myself that I am a better swimmer than he is./

   [flea in one's ear] {n. phr.}, {informal} An idea or answer that is
not welcome; an annoying or surprisingly sharp reply or hint. *  /I'll
put a flea in his ear if he bothers me once more./

   [flea market] {n. phr.} A place where antiques, second-hand things,
and cheap articles are sold, and especially one in  the  open  air.  *
/The local antique  dealers  held  a  flea  market  and  fair  on  the
high-school athletic field./ * /There are many outdoor flea markets in
Europe./

   [flesh] See: IN PERSON also IN THE FLESH,  NEITHER  FISH  NOR  FOWL
also NEITHER FISH, FLESH, NOR FOWL, PRESS  THE  FLESH,  THORN  IN  THE
FLESH.

   [flesh and blood] {n.} 1. A close relative (as a father,  daughter,
brother); close relatives. Used in the phrase  "one's  own  flesh  and
blood". * /Such an answer from her - and she's my own flesh and blood,
too!/ 2. The appearance of being real or alive. * /The author  doesn't
give his characters any flesh and blood./ 3. The human body. * /Before
child labor laws, small children often worked 50 or 60 hours a week in
factories. It was more than flesh and blood could bear./

   [flesh out] {v.}, {informal} 1. To add to; make fuller, bigger,  or
longer. * /The author fleshed out his story by adding more  about  his
war experiences./ 2. also [flesh up] To become heavier, put on weight,
or flesh. * /He lost weight after his  illness  but  is  beginning  to
flesh out again./ See: FILL OUT.

   [flesh up] See: FLESH OUT(2).

   [fling oneself at] See: THROW ONESELF AT.

   [fling oneself at someone's head] See: THROW ONESELF  AT  SOMEONE'S
HEAD.

   [flip-flop(1)] {v.}, {informal}  To  alternate  the  positions  of;
exchange the places of; switch. * /The football coach had one play  in
which he flip-flopped his left halfback and fullback./

   [flip-flop(2)] {n.}, {informal} A complete change;  a  switch  from
one thing to an entirely  different  one.  *  /John  wanted  to  be  a
carpenter like his father, but when he saw the print  shop  he  did  a
flip-flop and now he's learning printing./

   [flip-flop(3)] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Involving or using a  change
from one of two places, positions, or alternatives  to  the  other.  *
/The machine was controlled by a flip-flop switch./  *  /The  football
coach hoped to surprise his opponents by using a flip-flop offense./

   [flip one's lid] also [flip one's wig] {slang}  1.  To  lose  one's
temper. * /When that pushy salesman came back Mom really  flipped  her
lid./ Compare: BLOW A FUSE. 2. To lose your  mind;  become  insane.  *
/When he offered me three times the pay I was getting,  I  thought  he
had flipped his lid./ 3. To become unreasonably enthusiastic.  *  /She
flipped her lid over a hat she saw  in  the  store  window./  *  /He's
flipped his lid over that new actress./

   [flip out] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To go insane, to  go  out
of one's mind. * /A is impossible to talk to Joe today - he must  have
flipped out./

   [flock] See: BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER.

   [floor] See: GROUND FLOOR, MOP THE FLOOR WITH, WALK THE FLOOR.

   [floor one] {v. phr.} To overwhelm;  astound;  nonplus.  *  /John's
sudden announcement that he would retire floored  all  of  us  in  the
office./

   [floorwalker] {n.} A section manager in a department store.  *  /To
exchange this pair of shoes, you  must  first  get  the  floorwalker's
approval./

   [flop] See: FLIP-FLOP.

   [flower child] {n.}, {slang}, {informal}  1.  A  young  person  who
believes in nonviolence and carries flowers around  to  symbolize  his
peace-loving nature. * /Flower children are supposed to be nonviolent,
but they sure make a lot of  noise  when  they  demonstrate!/  2.  Any
person who cannot cope with reality. * /"Face facts, Suzie, stop being
such a flower child!"/

   [flower power]  {n.},  {slang}  The  supposed  power  of  love  and
nonviolence as intended to be used by members of the  anti-culture  to
change American society. * /The young people were marching for  flower
power./

   [fluff one's lines] See: BLOW ONE'S LINES.

   [fluff stuff] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio jargon} Snow.  *
/We can expect some fluff stuff this afternoon./

   [flunk out] {v. phr.} To have to withdraw from  school  or  college
because of too many failing grades. * /Fred  flunked  out  of  college
during his junior year./

   [flush it] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To fail (something). *  /I  really
flushed it in my  math  course./  2.  {interj.},  {used  imperatively}
Expression registering refusal to believe something considered  stupid
or false. * /"You expect me to buy that story? Flush it!"/

   [fly] See: BIRD HAS FLOWN, GO FLY A KITE, MAKE  THE  FEATHERS  FLY,
MAKE THE FUR FLY, ON THE FLY, POP FLY, SACRIFICE FLY.

   [fly at one's throat] {v. phr.} To attack you suddenly  with  great
anger. * /When Tom called Dick a bad name, Dick flew at his throat./

   [fly ball] {n.} A baseball hit high into the air. * /He hit an easy
fly ball to center field./

   [fly blind] {v. phr.} 1. To fly an airplane by instruments alone. *
/In the heavy fog he had to fly blind./ 2. {informal} To do  something
without understanding what you are doing. * /I'm  glad  the  car  runs
now; I was flying blind when I fixed it./ * /He's flying blind when he
talks about philosophy./

   [fly-by-night(1)] {adj.} Set up to make a lot of money in a  hurry,
then disappear so people can't find you to complain about  poor  work,
etc.; not trustworthy; not reliable. * /Mrs. Blank bought  her  vacuum
cleaner from a new company; when she tried to have it fixed, she found
it was a fly-by-night business./

   [fly-by-night(2)] {n.}, {informal} 1. A  company  that  sells  many
cheap things for a big profit and then  disappears.  *  /A  dependable
company honors its guarantees, but  a  fly-by-night  only  wants  your
money./ 2. A person who does not pay his bills, but sneaks away (as at
night.) * /Hotels are bothered by fly-by-nights./

   [fly by the seat of one's pants]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  fly  an
airplane by feel and  instinct  rather  than  with  the  help  of  the
instruments. * /Many pilots in World War I had to fly by the  seat  of
their pants./

   [flying] See: WITH FLYING COLORS.

   [flying high] {adj.}, {slang}  Very  happy;  joyful.  *  /Jack  was
flying high after his team won the game./ Compare: IN THE  CLOUDS,  ON
TOP OP THE WORLD.

   [flying start] See: GET OFF TO A FLYING START.

   [flying tackle] {n.}, {informal} A tackle made by  jumping  through
the air at the person to be tackled. * /Most  football  coaches  don't
want their players to make flying tackles./ * /The  policeman  stopped
the burglar with a flying tackle./

   [flying wedge]  {n.},  {informal}  1.  An  offensive  formation  in
football in which players link arms and line up to form a "V" with the
ball carrier in the middle. * /The flying wedge was so  dangerous  and
hurt so many players that rules have forbidden it for over 50  years./
2. A group (as of guards or policemen) who use a "V" formation to help
someone get through a crowd. * /Police had to form a flying  wedge  to
get the movie star through the crowd of autograph hunters./

   [fly in the face of] or [fly in the teeth of] {v. phr.} To  ignore;
go against; show disrespect or disregard for. * /You can't fly in  the
face of good business rules and expect to he successful./  *  /Floyd's
friends tried to help him, but he flew in the teeth  of  their  advice
and soon became a drunkard./

   [fly in the ointment] {n. phr.}, {informal} An unpleasant part of a
pleasant thing; something small that spoils your fun. * /We had a  lot
of fun at the beach; the only fly in the ointment was George's cutting
his foot on a piece of glass./ * /Your new job sounds too good  to  be
true - interesting work, high pay, short hours. Isn't there any fly in
the ointment?/

   [fly off the handle] {v. phr.}, {informal} To become very angry.  *
/John flew off the handle  whenever  Mary  made  a  mistake./  *  /The
children's noise made the man next door fly  off  the  handle./  Syn.:
LOSE ONE'S TEMPER.

   [fly the coop] {v. phr.}, {slang} To leave suddenly  and  secretly;
run away. * /The robbers flew the coop before the police  arrived./  *
/His partner flew the coop with all the money./

   [flying visit] {n. phr.} A visit of very  short  duration.  *  /Tom
came to New York for only a flying visit. We had  hardly  eaten  lunch
when he had to leave./

   [flying saucer] See: U.F.O.

   [fly into a rage] or [temper] {v. phr.} To become very angry. * /By
the time we mention the name of  her  ex-husband,  she  flies  into  a
rage./

   [foam at the mouth] {v. phr.}, {slang} To be very angry, like a mad
dog. * /By the time Uncle Henry had the third flat tire he was  really
foaming at the mouth./

   [fob off] {v.}, {informal} 1. To get something  false  accepted  as
good or real. * /The peddler fobbed off pieces of glass as  diamonds./
Syn.: PALM OFF, PASS OFF. 2. To put aside; not really answer  but  get
rid of. * /Her little brother asked  where  she  was  going,  but  she
fobbed him off with ah excuse./

   [fog] See: IN A FOG.

   [foggy bottom] {n.}, {slang} An area in downtown  Washington,  D.C.
where many offices of the  Department  of  State  are  located;  hence
figuratively, the U.S. Department of State.  *  /The  press  secretary
gave us a lot of foggy bottom double-talk about the hostage crisis  in
the Near East./

   [fold up] {v.}, {informal} To collapse; fail. * /The team folded up
in the last part of the season./ * /The new restaurant  folded  up  in
less than a year./ Compare: FALL APART.

   [folk] See: WEE FOLK.

   [follow] See: AS FOLLOWS.

   [follower] See: CAMP FOLLOWER.

   [follow in one's footsteps] also [follow in one's tracks] {v. phr.}
To follow someone's example; follow someone exactly, * /He followed in
his father's footsteps and became a  doctor./  Compare:  LIKE  FATHER,
LIKE SON.

   [follow one's heart] {v. phr.} To do what one wishes to  do  rather
than to follow  the  voice  of  reason.  *  /Instead  of  accepting  a
lucrative job in his father's business, Jim  followed  his  heart  and
became a missionary in the jungle./

   [follow one's nose] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To go straight  ahead;
continue in the same direction. * /Just follow your  nose  and  you'll
get there./ 2. To go any way you happen to think of. *  /Oh,  I  don't
know just where I want to go. I'll just follow my nose  and  see  what
happens./

   [follow out] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To do fully; finish (what you
are told to do.) * /The boy followed out the instructions and  made  a
fine model plane./ Compare: FOLLOW THROUGH.  2.  To  keep  working  at
(something) until it is  finished;  give  (something)  your  attention
until it comes to an end or conclusion. * /The  student  followed  out
all the index references in the encyclopedia until he  found  what  he
wanted to know./ Compare: FOLLOW UP.

   [follow suit] {v. phr.} 1. To play a card of  the  same  color  and
kind that another player has put down. * /When diamonds  were  led,  I
had to follow suit./ 2.  To  do  as  someone  else  has  done;  follow
someone's example. * /When the others went swimming, I followed suit./

   [follow through] {v. phr.} 1. To finish a movement  that  you  have
started; continue an action to  its  natural  ending.  *  /A  football
passer should follow through after he throws the ball./ 2.  To  finish
an action that you have started. * /Bob drew plans for a table for his
mother, but he did not follow through by making it./

   [follow up] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To chase or follow closely and
without giving up. * /The Indians  followed  up  the  wounded  buffalo
until it fell dead./ 2. Make (one action)  more  successful  by  doing
something more. * /After Mary sent a letter to apply for  a  job,  she
followed it up by going to talk to  the  personnel  manager./  *  /The
doctor  followed  up  Billy's  operation  with  x-rays,  and   special
exercises to make his foot  stronger./  Compare:  FOLLOW  OUT,  FOLLOW
THROUGH(2). 3a. To hunt  for  (more  news  about  something  that  has
already been in the newspapers, radio or TV news); find more about.  *
/The day after news of the fire at Brown's store, the newspaper sent a
reporter to follow up Mr. Brown's  future  plans./  3b.  To  print  or
broadcast (more news about some happening that has been  in  the  news
before). * /The fire story was printed  Monday,  and  Tuesday's  paper
followed it up by saying that Mr. Brown planned to build a bigger  and
better store at the same place./

   [follow-up] {n.} Additional work or research by means of  which  an
earlier undertaking's chances of success  are  increased.  *  /I  hope
you'll be willing to do a bit of follow-up./

   [fond of] Having a liking for; attracted to  by  strong  liking.  *
/Alan is fond of candy./ * /Uncle Bill was  the  children's  favorite,
and he was fond of them too./

   [food for thought] {n. phr.} Something  to  think  about  or  worth
thinking about; something that makes you think. *  /The  teacher  told
John that she wanted to talk to his father, and that  gave  John  food
for thought./ * /There is much food for thought in this book./

   [fool] See: CHILDREN AND FOOLS SPEAK THE TRUTH, MAKE A FOOL OF.

   [fool and his money are soon parted] A foolish person  soon  wastes
his money. - A proverb, * /Jimmy spends all his pennies for  candy.  A
fool and his money are soon parted./

   [fool around] or [mess around] or [play around] or [monkey  around]
{v.}, {informal} 1. To spend time playing, fooling, or joking  instead
of being serious or working; waste time. * /If you go to college,  you
must work, not fool around./ * /The boys fooled around  all  afternoon
in the park./ Compare: CUT UP(2). To treat  or  handle  carelessly.  *
/Bob cut himself by fooling around with a sharp knife./ * /Suzie  says
she wishes John would quit playing  around  with  the  girls  and  get
married./ 3. or  [fiddle  around]  To  work  or  do  something  in  an
irregular or unplanned way; tinker. * /Jimmy likes  to  monkey  around
with automobile engines./ * /Alice is fooling around with the piano in
her spare time./ Compare: FUCK AROUND.

   [fool around] See: MESS AROUND.

   [fool away] or [fritter away] {v.}, {informal} To waste  foolishly.
* /Paul failed history because he fooled  away  his  time  instead  of
studying./ * /The man won a lot of money, but  he  soon  frittered  it
away and was poor again./

   [foolish] See: PENNY WISE AND POUND FOOLISH.

   [foolproof] {adj.} So constructed that not even a  fool  can  spoil
it; easy. * /This entrance examination is so easy that it is  actually
foolproof./

   [fool's paradise] See: LIVE IN A FOOL'S PARADISE.

   [foot] See: AT ONE'S FEET, COLD FEET,  DEAD  ON  ONE'S  FEET,  DRAG
ONE'S FEET, FROM HEAD TO FOOT, GET OFF ON THE WRONG  FOOT,  GET  ONE'S
FEET WET, HAND AND FOOT, KEEP ONE'S FEET, KNOCK OFF ONE'S  FEET,  LAND
ON ONE'S FEET, LET GRASS GROW UNDER ONE'S FEET, ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE,
ON FOOT, ON ONE'S FEET, PLAY FOOTSIE, PUT ONE'S BEST FOOT FORWARD, PUT
ONE'S FOOT DOWN, PUT ONE'S FOOT IN IT, SET FOOT,  SHOE  ON  THE  OTHER
FOOT, STAND ON ONE'S OWN FEET, SWEEP OFF ONE'S FEET,  THINK  ON  ONE'S
FEET, THROW ONESELF AT SOMEONE'S FEET.

   [footed] See: FLAT FOOTED.

   [foot in the door] {n. phr.},  {informal}  The  first  step  toward
getting or doing something; a start toward success; opening. *  /Don't
let Jane get her foot in the door by joining the club or  soon  she'll
want to be president./

   [footstep] See: FOLLOW IN ONE'S FOOTSTEPS.

   [foot the bill] {v.  phr.}  To  cover  the  expenses  of;  pay  for
something. * /The bride's father footed two-thirds of the bill for hix
daughter's wedding./ Compare: PICK UP THE TAB.

   [footloose and fancy-free] {adj. phr.} Free and free to do what one
wants (said of unmarried men). * /Ron is a merry bachelor and seems to
enjoy greatly being footloose and fancy-free./

   [for a fall] See: RIDING FOR A FALL.

   [for all] 1. In spite of; even with, despite. - Used for  contrast.
* /For all his city ways, he is a country boy at heart./ * /There  may
be mistakes occasionally, but for all that, it is the best book on the
subject./ * /For all his money, he was very  unhappy./  2.  also  [for
aught] To the extent that. - Used like  a  negative  with  "care"  and
"know". * /For all I care, you can throw  it  away./  *  /For  all  he
knows, we might be in Boston./ Compare: AS FAR  AS(2),  ONCE  AND  FOR
ALL.

   [for all one cares] {adv. phr.} In the opinion of one  who  is  not
involved or who does not care what happens. *  /For  all  Jane  cares,
poor Tom might as well drop dead./

   [for all one is worth] With all of your strength; as  hard  as  you
can. * /Roger ran for all he was worth to catch the bus./

   [for all one knows] {adv. phr.} According to  the  information  one
has; probably. * /For all we know, Ron and Beth might have eloped  and
been married in a French chateau./

   [for all that] {adv. phr.} In spite of what has been said, alleged,
or rumored. * /Well, for all that, we think that she is still the most
deserving candidate for Congress./

   [for all the world] {adv. phr.} 1. Under no circumstances. * /Betty
said she wouldn't  marry  Jake  for  all  the  world./  2.  Precisely;
exactly. * /It began for all the  world  like  a  successful  baseball
season for the UIC  Flames,  when  suddenly  they  lost  to  the  Blue
Demons./

   [for a loop] See: KNOCK FOR A LOOP or THROW FOR A LOOP.

   [for a loss] See: THROW FOR A LOSS.

   [for a ride] See: TAKE FOR A RIDE.

   [for as much as] {conj.}, {formal} Because; since. * /For  as  much
as the senator is eighty years old, we feel  he  should  not  run  for
reelection./ Syn.: INASMUCH AS.

   [for a song] {adv. phr.}, {informal} At a low price; for a  bargain
price; cheaply. * /He sold the invention for a  song  and  its  buyers
were the ones who got rich./ * /They bought the house for a  song  and
sold it a few years later at a good profit./

   [for aught] See: FOR ALL(2).

   [for bear] See: LOADED FOR BEAR.

   [for better or worse] or [for better or for worse] {adv.  phr.}  1.
With good or bad effect, depending on how one looks at the  matter.  *
/The historian did justice, for better or worse,  to  the  careers  of
several famous men./ 2. Under  any  eventuality;  forever;  always.  *
/Alex and Masha decided to leave  Moscow  and  come  to  Chicago,  for
better or for worse./ 3. (Marriage vows) Forever, for as long  as  one
may live. * /With this ring I thee  wed,  for  richer  or  poorer,  in
sickness and in health, for better or worse, til death do us part./

   [forbid] See: GOD FORBID.

   [for broke] See: GO FOR BROKE.

   [force] See: IN FORCE, JOIN FORCES.

   [force one's hand] {v. phr.} To make you do something or tell  what
you will do sooner than planned. * /Ben did not want to tell where  he
was going, but his friend forced his hand./ * /Mr.  Smith  planned  to
keep his land until prices went up, but he had so  many  doctor  bills
that it forced his hand./

   [force play] or [force-out] {n.} A play  in  baseball  in  which  a
runner is out because he does not run to  the  next  base  before  the
fielder with the ball touches the base. * /Bob was out at second  base
when Joe hit into a force play./

   [for certain] See: FOR SURE.

   [for crying out loud] {informal} Used as  an  exclamation  to  show
that you feel surprised or cross. * /For crying out loud,  look  who's
here!/ * /For crying out loud, that's the third time  you've  done  it
wrong./ Compare: FOR ONE'S SAKE.

   [for days on end] {adv. phr.} For a long time;  for  many  days.  *
/The American tourists tried to get used to Scottish pronunciation for
days on end,  but  still  couldn't  understand  what  the  Scots  were
saying./

   [for dear life] {adv. phr.} As though afraid of losing your life. *
/He was running for dear life toward town./ * /When the horse began to
run, she held on for dear life./

   [fore] See: TO THE FORE.

   [foremost] See: FIRST AND FOREMOST.

   [forest] See: CAN'T SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES  or  CAN'T  SEE  THE
FOREST FOR THE TREES.

   [forever and a day] {adv. phr.}, {informal} For a seemingly endless
time; forever; always. Used for emphasis. * /We waited forever  and  a
day to find out who won the  contest./  *  /They  promised  to  remain
friends forever and a day./

   [forever  and  ever]  {adv.  phr.}  Forever;  always.  -  Used  for
emphasis, usually about spiritual things. * /God will live forever and
ever./

   [for example] or [for instance]  {adv.  phr.}  As  an  example;  as
proof; to give an example or illustration. * /Not only rich men become
President. For example, Lincoln was born poor./ * /There are jobs more
dangerous than truck driving; for instance, training lions./  Compare:
FOR ONE THING.

   [for fear] Because of fear. * /He left an hour early  for  fear  of
missing his train./ * /She worried for fear that the  child  would  be
hurt./

   [for fear of] {adv. phr.} Because of being afraid of something;  on
account of being scared. * /Dave refuses to go to Europe for  fear  of
an airplane crash and for fear of a shipwreck./

   [for free] {adj. phr.}, {substandard} Without having to pay;  free.
* /Hey you guys, look at this balloon! They're for free  down  at  the
new store./

   [for fun] {prep. phr.} As amusement, not seriously, as  a  joke.  *
/Let's try to play Beethoven's Emperor Concerto together, you  on  one
piano, and I on another one./ Compare: IN FUN.

   [forget] See: FORGIVE AND FORGET.

   [forget  oneself]  {v.  phr.}  To  do  something  one  should  have
remembered not to do; do something below one's usual conduct  although
one knows better; let one's self-control slip. *  /He  forgot  himself
only once at dinner - when he belched./ * /He knew he should hold  his
temper, but because of the trouble he  forgot  himself  and  began  to
shout./

   [forgive and forget] {v.}  To  have  no  bad  feelings  about  what
happened in the past. *  /After  the  argument  the  boys  decided  to
forgive and forget./ Syn.: LET BYGONES BE BYGONES, LIVE AND LET LIVE.

   [for good] also  [for  good  and  all]  Permanently,  forever,  for
always. * /The lost money was gone for good./ *  /He  hoped  that  the
repairs would stop the leak for good./ *  /When  John  graduated  from
school, he decided that he was done with  study  for  good  and  all./
Syn.: FOR KEEPS(2).

   [for good measure] {adv. phr.} As something more added to  what  is
expected or needed; as an extra. * /He sold me  the  car  at  a  cheap
price and included the radio for good measure./ *  /She  puts  in  the
spices the recipe calls for and then adds  an  extra  pinch  for  good
measure./ Compare: IN THE BARGAIN, TO BOOT.

   [for granted] See: TAKE FOR GRANTED.

   [for Heaven's sake!] {adv. phr.} Please. * /"Help me, for  Heaven's
sake!" the injured man cried./

   [for hours on end] {adv. phr.} For many  hours;  for  a  very  long
time. * /We have been trying to get this computer going for  hours  on
end, but we need serious professional help./

   [for instance] See: FOR EXAMPLE.

   [for it] See: RUN FOR IT.

   [for keeps] {adv. phr.} 1. For the winner to keep. *  /They  played
marbles for keeps./ 2. {informal} For always; forever, * /He left town
for keeps./ Syn.: FOR GOOD. 3. Seriously, not just for fun. * /This is
not a joke, it's for keeps./ - Often used  in  the  phrase  "play  for
keeps". * /The policeman knew that the robber was trying to shoot him.
He was playing for keeps./

   [forked tongue] See: SPEAK WITH A FORKED TONGUE.

   [fork over a lot of money] {v. phr.} To pay an excessive amount  of
money often unwillingly. * /"According to  my  divorce  decree,"  Alan
complained, "I have to fork over a lot of money to  my  ex-wife  every
month."/

   [fork over] or [fork out] also [fork up] {v.} To pay;  pay  out.  *
/He had to fork over fifty dollars to have the car repaired./ Compare:
HAND OVER.

   [for laughs] {adv. phr.} For pleasure; for fun; as a joke.  *  /The
college boys climbed up into the girls' dorms and stole some of  their
dresses just for laughs, but they were punished all the same./

   [for love or money] {adv. phr.} For anything; for any  price.  Used
in negative sentences. * /I wouldn't give  him  my  dog  for  love  or
money./ Compare: FOR ALL THE WORLD(1).

   [form] See: RAN TRUE TO FORM.

   [for no man] See: TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN.

   [for one] As  the  first  of  several  possible  examples;  as  one
example. * /Manv people do not like certain foods. I for  one  do  not
like cabbage./ - Also used with similar  words  instead  of  "one".  *
/Several materials can be used to make  the  box:  plywood,  for  one;
masonite, for another; sheet metal, for a third./

   [for one's money]  {prep.  phr.}  Regarding  one's  endorsement  or
support; as far as one  is  concerned.  *  /For  my  money,  the  best
candidate for Congress is Ms. Smith./

   [for one's part] also [on one's part] {adv. phr.} As far as you are
concerned; the way you feel or think. * /I don't know about  you,  but
for my part I don't want to go to that place./ Compare: AS FOR.

   [for one thing] {adv. phr.} As one thing of several; as  one  in  a
list of things. * /The teacher said, "You get  a  low  mark,  for  one
thing, because you did not do your homework."/ * /The house was poorly
built; for one thing, the roof leaked./ Compare: FOR EXAMPLE,  IN  THE
FIRST PLACE.

   [for  real(1)]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}  Not  practice  or  play;
earnest, real, serious. * /The war games were over  now.  This  battle
was for real./

   [for real(2)] {adv. phr.}, {substandard} Not for practice;  really;
seriously. * /Let's do our work for real./

   [for one's  sake]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Used  with  different
possessive nouns to show surprise, crossness, or  impatience.  *  /For
heaven's sake, where did you come from?/  *  /For  Pete's  sake,  look
who's here!/ * /Well, for pity's sake, I wish you'd told me sooner./ *
/Oh, for gosh sake, let me do it./

   [for shame] {interj.} Shame  on  you;  you  should  be  ashamed  of
yourself. - An exclamation  no  longer  in  common  use,  having  been
largely replaced by "shame on you". * /"For shame,  John,  taking  the
toy from your baby brother!"/

   [for short] {adv. phr.} So as to make shorter; as  an  abbreviation
or nickname. * /The boy's name was Humperdink, or "Dink" for short./ *
/The National Broadcasting Company is called NBC for short./

   [for  sure]  or  [for  certain]  {adv.  phr.}  1.  Without   doubt;
certainly; surely. * /He  couldn't  tell  for  sure  from  a  distance
whether it was George or Tom./ * /He didn't know for certain which bus
to take./ * /I know for  certain  that  he  has  a  car./  2.  {slang}
Certain. * /"That car is smashed so badly  it's  no  good  any  more."
"That's for sure!"/ Compare: SURE THING.

   [fort] See: HOLD THE FORT.

   [forth] See: AND SO FORTH, BACK AND FORTH, CALL FORTH, HOLD  FORTH,
SET FORTH.

   [for that matter] {adv. phr.} With regard to that; about that. * /I
don't know, and for that matter, I don't care./ * /Alice didn't  come,
and for that matter, she didn't even telephone./  Compare:  MATTER  OP
FACT,

   [for the asking] {adv. phr.}  By  asking;  by  asking  for  it;  on
request. * /John said I could borrow his bike any time.  It  was  mine
for the asking./ * /Teacher said her advice was free for the asking./

   [for the best] {adj.} or {adv. phr.}  good  or  best;  not  bad  as
thought; lucky; well, happily. * /Maybe it's for the  best  that  your
team lost; now you know how the other boys felt./  *  /John's  parents
thought it would be for the best if he stayed out of  school  for  the
rest of the year./ Often used in the phrase "turn out for the best". *
/You feel unhappy now because you got sick and couldn't go  with  your
friends, but it will all turn out for the best./ Compare: TURN OUT(6).
Contrast: FOR THE WORSE.

   [for the better] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} With a  better  result;  for
something that is better. * /The doctor felt that moving Father  to  a
dry climate would be for the better./ * /The new large  print  in  the
book is a change for the better./ Compare: TAKE A TURN. Contrast:  FOR
THE WORSE.

   [for the birds] {adj. phr.}, {slang} Not interesting; dull;  silly;
foolish; stupid. * /I think history is for the birds./ * /I  saw  that
movie. It's for the birds./

   [for the books] See: ONE FOR THE BOOKS.

   [for the devil] or [heck] or [the hell of it] {adv.  phr.}  For  no
specific reason; just for sport and fun. * /We poured salt into  Uncle
Tom's coffee, just for the heck of it./ See: DEVIL OF IT.

   [for the hills] See: HEAD FOR THE HILLS.

   [for the life of one] {adv.}, {informal} No  matter  how  hard  you
try. - Used for emphasis with negative statements. * /I can't for  the
life of me remember his name./

   [for the moon] See: ASK FOR THE MOON or CRY FOR THE MOON.

   [for the most part] {adv. phr.} In general;  mostly;  most  of  the
time; commonly; generally. * /European countries  are,  for  the  most
part, tired of war./ Syn.: BY AND LARGE, ON THE WHOLE.

   [for the nonce] See: FOR THE TIME BEING.

   [for the ride] See: ALONG FOR THE RIDE.

   [for the sake of] or [for one's sake] {adv. phr.} On behalf of; for
the benefit of. * /For the sake of truth and  freedom,  Dr.  Sakharov,
the Soviet dissident, was willing to be banished from Moscow./ *  /"Do
it for my sake, please!" Tom begged./

   [for the time being] also {literary} [for the  nonce]  {adv.  phr.}
For now; for a while; temporarily. * /I haven't any  note  paper,  but
this envelope will do for the time being./  *  /She  hasn't  found  an
apartment yet; she's staying with her aunt for the time being./

   [for the world] See: NOT FOR THE WORLD.

   [for the worse] {adj. phr.} or {adv. phr.} For  something  that  is
worse or not as good, with a worse result. * /He bought a new car  but
it turned out to be for  the  worse./  *  /The  sick  man's  condition
changed for the worse./  Compare:  TAKE  A  TURN.  Contrast:  FOR  THE
BETTER.

   [for to] {prep. phr.}, {dialect} So that you  can;  to.  *  /Simple
Simon went a-fishing for to catch a whale./ Syn.: IN ORDER TO.

   [forty winks] {n. phr.}, {informal} A short period of sleep; a nap.
* /When the truck driver felt sleepy, he stopped by the  side  of  the
road to catch forty winks./ Compare: SHUT-EYE.

   [forward] See: BACKWARD AND FORWARD, LOOK  FORWARD  TO,  PUT  ONE'S
BEST FOOT FORWARD.

   [forward wall] {n.} The line of a football team.  *  /Princeton  's
line outplayed the Rutgers forward wall./

   [for you] See: THAT'S --- FOR YOU.

   [foul ball] {n.} A batted baseball  that  lands  outside  the  foul
line. * /Mickey hit a long foul ball that landed on the roof./

   [foul line] {n.} 1. Either of two lines separating fair  from  foul
ground in baseball. * /Willie hit the ball just inside the  foul  line
for a double./ 2. A line across the  upper  end  of  a  bowling  alley
across which a bowler must not step. * /John bowled a  strike  but  it
didn't count because he stepped over the foul line./ 3. A line on  the
floor in front of the basket in basketball, from which foul shots  are
made. * /Tony scored eight points from the foul line./

   [foul out] {v.} 1. To make an out in baseball by hitting a foul fly
ball that is caught. * /He fouled out to the catcher./ 2. To be forced
to leave a basketball game because of  getting  more  than  the  limit
number of personal fouls.  *  /A  professional  basketball  player  is
allowed six personal fouls before fouling out./

   [foul play] {n.} Treachery; a criminal  act  (such  as  murder).  *
/After they discovered the dead body, the police suspected foul play./
* /"She must have met with foul play," the chief inspector  said  when
they couldn't find the 12-year-old girl who had disappeared./

   [foul shot] {n.} A free throw given in basketball to a  player  who
has been fouled. * /Tony was given two foul shots when he  was  fouled
while trying to shoot./ Compare: FIELD GOAL 2, FREE THROW.

   [foul up] {v.}, {informal} 1. To make dirty. * /The birds fouled up
his newly washed car./ 2. To tangle up. * /He tried to throw  a  lasso
but he got the rope all fouled up./ 3. To  ruin  or  spoil  by  stupid
mistakes; botch. * /He fouled the whole  play  up  by  forgetting  his
part./ 4. To make a mistake; to blunder. * /Blue suit and brown socks!
He had fouled up again./ 5. To go wrong. * /Why do some people foul up
and become criminals?/

   [foul-up]  {n.}  (stress  on  "foul")  1.  {informal}  A   confused
situation; confusion; mistake. * /The luncheon was handled  with  only
one or two foul-ups./ 2.  {informal}  A  breakdown.  *  /There  was  a
foul-up in his car's steering mechanism./  3.  {slang}  A  person  who
fouls up or mixes things. * /He had gotten a reputation as a foul-up./

   [foundation garment] {n.}  A  close-fitting  garment  designed  for
women to wear underneath their clothes to make them look slim; a piece
of woman's underwear. * /Jane wears a  foundation  garment  under  her
evening dress./

   [four] See: HIT ON ALL FOUR, ON ALL FOURS.

   [four bits] {n.}, {slang} Fifty cents. * /Tickets to the  play  are
four bits," said Bill./ Compare: TWO BITS.

   [four corners] {n.} All parts of a place. * /People came  from  the
four corners of the world to see him./ * /He  has  been  to  the  four
corners of the country./ Compare: ALL OVER.

   [four-eyes] {n.}, {slang} A person who  wears  glasses.  -  A  rude
expression, * /Hey, four-eyes, come over here./

   [four-leaf clover] {n.} A small green plant with four leaves  which
many people think means good luck because clover plants  usually  have
three leaves. * /John has a four-leaf clover in his pocket. He  thinks
he will have good luck now./

   [fourth class] {n.} A class of mail that is not sealed and weighs a
pound or more, that includes things that are bought and sold and  sent
in the mail, and printed things that are not  second  or  third  class
mail. * /Bill sent away 98 cereal box tops and a dollar and got back a
sheriff's badge and gun in the mail by fourth class./

   [fourth-class(1)] {adj.} Belonging to the fourth class of  mail.  *
/The package weighed a pound and a half, so  it  had  to  be  sent  by
fourth-class mail./

   [fourth-class(2)] {adv.} By  fourth-class  mail.  *  /How  did  the
company mail the package? Fourth-class./

   [fourth world] {n.}, {informal} The poor nations of the  world,  as
distinguished from the oil-rich nations of the  third  world.  *  /Sri
Lanka will never join OPEC, since it is a fourth world nation./

   [fowl] See: NEITHER FISH NOR FOWL.

   [fox  and  geese]  {n.  phr.}  A  tag  game  in  which  the  player
representing the fox tries to catch one of  the  players  representing
geese as they run around the outside of a circle.

   [fraidy-cat] or [fraid-cat] or [scaredy-cat] or [scared cat]  {n.},
{informal} A shy person; someone who is easily frightened.  -  Usually
used by or to children. * /Tom was a fraidy-cat and wouldn't go in the
water./

   [frame of mind] {n. phr.} One's mental outlook; the state of  one's
psychological condition, * /There is no use  trying  to  talk  to  him
while he is in such a negative frame of mind./

   [freak] {n.}, {slang} 1. A good, or well-liked person, the opposite
of a square, someone with long hair and who is likely (or known) to be
a marijuana smoker or a drug user. Also said of homosexuals. * /Is Joe
a square, establishment type? - Oh no, he's a regular freak./ 2.  [---
freak] An enthusiast, a person who does  or  cultivates  something  in
excess. * /Ellen is a film-freak./

   [freak-out(1)] {n.}, {slang} An act of losing control; a  situation
that is bizarre or unusual. * /The party  last  night  was  a  regular
freak-out./

   [freak out(2)] {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  lose  control  over  one's
conscious self due to the influence of hallucinogenic  drugs.  *  /Joe
freaked out last night./

   [free] See: FOR FREE, MAKE FREE,  MAKE  FREE  WITH,  OF  ONE'S  OWN
ACCORD or OF ONE'S OWN FREE WILL.

   [free agent] {n.}  A  professional  player  who  does  not  have  a
contract with a team. * /The Giants signed two  free  agents  who  had
been released by the Cardinals./

   [free and easy] {adj.} Not strict;  relaxed  or  careless.  *  /The
teacher was free and easy with his students./ * /He  had  a  free  and
easy way of acting that attracted many friends./ * /They were free and
easy with their money and it was soon gone./

   [free ball] {n.} A ball in football that is in play, that is not in
the possession of anyone, that is not a legally thrown  forward  pass,
and that belongs to the first team which can grab it. * /A Notre  Dame
player fell on a free ball and recovered it for his team./

   [free enterprise] {n. phr.} A system in which private  business  is
controlled by as few government  rules  as  possible.  *  /The  United
States is proud of its free enterprise./

   [free hand] {n.} Great freedom. * /The teacher had a free  hand  in
her classroom./ * /Bob put paint on  the  fence  with  a  free  hand./
Compare: FREE REIN.

   [freeload] {v.} To have oneself supported  in  terms  of  food  and
housing at someone else's expense. * /When are you guys going to  stop
freeloading and do some work?/

   [free rein] {n.} Freedom to do what you want. * /The king had  free
rein in his country./ * /Father  is  strict  with  the  children,  but
Mother gives them free rein./ Compare: FREE HAND.

   [free throw] {n.} A  shot  at  the  basket  in  basketball  without
interference from opponents. * /Mike scored the  winning  point  on  a
free throw./ Compare: FIELD GOAL(2), FOUL SHOT.

   [free-for-all]  {n.}  1.  Unlimited,  free  access   to   something
everybody wants. * /The  Smith's  party  was  a  lavish  free-for-all;
everybody could eat and drink as much as they wanted./ 2.  A  barroom,
tavern, or street  fight  in  which  everybody  participates.  *  /The
celebration  after  the   soccer   game   victory   turned   into   an
uncontrollable free-for-all./

   [freeze] See: BLOOD RUNS COLD or BLOOD FREEZES.

   [freeze one's blood] See: BLOOD RUNS COLD.

   [freeze out] {v.}, {informal} To force out or keep from a share  or
part in something by unfriendly or dishonest treatment. *  /The  other
boys froze John out of the club./

   [freeze over] {v.} To become covered  with  ice.  *  /The  children
wanted the lake to freeze over so they could ice-skate./

   [French fried potato] or [French fry] {n.} A narrow strip of potato
fried in deep fat. - Usually used in the  plural.  *  /Sue  ordered  a
hamburger and french fries./

   [French leave] {n.} The act of slipping away from a place  secretly
and without saying good-bye to anyone. *  /"It's  getting  late,"  Rob
whispered to Janet. "Let's take French leave and get out of here."/

   [fresh from] {adj.} Recently returned from; experienced in. *  /Tom
was fresh from two years  in  Paris  and  was  very  condescending  in
matters pertaining to cuisine and wines./

   [friction tape] {n.} Black cloth tape with  one  sticky  side  used
around electric wires. * /The boy fixed his cracked baseball bat  with
some friction tape./

   [Friday] See: GIRL FRIDAY.

   [friend] See: BOY FRIEND, FAIR-WEATHER FRIEND,  GIRL  FRIEND,  LADY
FRIEND, MAKE FRIENDS.

   [friends with] Friendly to; a friend of.  *  /Alice  found  several
girls to be friends with on the first day of school./ *  /At  first  I
didn't like John, but now I am friends with him./

   [frightened out of one's wits] See: OUT OF ONE'S WITS.

   [frightened to death] See: TO DEATH.

   [fritter away] See: FOOL AWAY.

   [fro] See: TO AND FRO.

   [frog] See: BIG FROG IN A SMALL POND, LITTLE FROG IN A BIG POND.

   [from bad to worse] See: GO FROM BAD TO WORSE.

   [from grace] See: FALL FROM GRACE.

   [from hand to hand] {adv. phr.} From  one  person  to  another  and
another. * /The box of candy was passed from hand to  hand./  *  /Jane
brought her engagement ring, and it passed from hand to hand until all
the girls had admired it./

   [from hand to mouth] See: LIVE FROM HAND TO MOUTH.

   [from little acorns] See: GREAT OAKS FROM LITTLE ACORNS GROW.

   [from Missouri] {adj. phr.}, {slang} Doubtful; suspicious. * /Don't
try to fool me. I'm from Missouri./

   [from mouth to mouth] {adv. phr.} See: BY WORD OF MOUTH.

   [from pillar to post] {adv. phr.} From one place  to  another  many
times. * /Sarah's father changed jobs several times a  year,  and  the
family was moved from pillar to post./

   [from rags to  riches]  {adv.  phr.}  Suddenly  making  a  fortune;
becoming rich overnight. * /The Smiths went from rags to  riches  when
they unexpectedly won the lottery./

   [from scratch] {adv. phr.}, {informal} With no help  from  anything
done before; from the beginning; from nothing. * /Dick built  a  radio
from scratch./ * /In sewing class, Mary already  knew  how  to  sew  a
little, but Jane had to start from scratch./ Compare: FROM THE  GROUND
UP.

   [from the bottom of one's heart] or [with all  one's  heart]  {adv.
phr.} With great feeling; sincerely. * /A mother loves a baby from the
bottom of her heart./ * /John thanked his rescuer from the  bottom  of
his heart./ * /The people welcomed the  returning  soldiers  from  the
bottom of their hearts./

   [from the door] See: KEEP THE WOLF FROM THE DOOR.

   [from the ground up] {adv.  phr.}  From  the  beginning;  entirely;
completely. * /After the fire they had to rebuild their cabin from the
ground up./ * /Sam knows about baseball from the ground  up./  *  /The
new cars have been changed from the ground up./

   [from the heart] {adv.} Sincerely; honestly. * /John always  speaks
from the heart./

   [from the word "go"] {adv. phr.} From start to finish;  completely.
* /He may look French but he is a New Yorker from the word "go."/

   [from  time  to  time]  {adv.  phr.}  Not  often;  not   regularly;
sometimes; occasionally; at one time and then again at another time. *
/Even though the Smiths have moved, we still see  them  from  time  to
time./ * /Mother tries new recipes from time to time, but the children
never like them./ Syn.: NOW AND THEN,  AT  TIMES,  ONCE  IN  A  WHILE.
Compare: BY FITS AND STARTS, OFF AND ON.

   [from --- to ---] 1.  Used  with  a  repeated  word  to  show  that
something keeps on. Without ending. * /The world grows wiser from  age
to age./ * /He goes from day to day without changing his  necktie./  -
Also used in a short form like an  adjective.  *  /The  superintendent
spends more time on plans for the future, and  the  principal  handles
the day-to-day problems of the school./ 2. Used with a  repeated  word
to show that something happens again and  again.  *  /She  sells  face
cream from door to door./ * /The  artist  goes  from  place  to  place
painting pictures./ - Also used in a short form like an  adjective.  *
/Mr. Roberts began as a door-to-door salesman, and now is president of
the company./ 3. Used with words showing opposite or  extreme  limits,
often to emphasize that something is very large or  complete.  *  /The
eagle's wings measured six feet from tip to tip./ *  /Sarah  read  the
book from cover to cover./ * /Mrs. Miller's dinner included everything
from soup to nuts./ *  /That  book  is  a  bestseller  from  Maine  to
California./ * /The captain looked the boy over from head to foot./  *
/The dog sniffed the yard from end to end in  search  of  a  bone./  *
/This new car has  been  redesigned  from  top  to  bottom./  *  /That
bookstore has books on everything from archery  to  zoology./  *  /The
television show was broadcast  from  coast  to  coast./  *  /He  knows
mathematics from A to Z./ - Sometimes used in a  short  form  like  an
adjective. * /The airplane made a non-stop coast-to-coast flight./

   [from under] See: OUT FROM UNDER, PULL THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER.

   [from way back] {adv. phr.} From a previous time; from a long  time
ago. * /They have known one another from way back when  they  went  to
the same elementary school./

   [front] See: IN FRONT OF.

   [front and center] {adv.}, {slang} Used as a command to a person to
go to someone who wants him. * /Front  and  center,  Smith.  The  boss
wants to see you./

   [front court] {n.} The  half  of  a  basketball  court  that  is  a
basketball team's offensive zone. * /The guard brought the ball up  to
the front court./

   [front office] {n.}, {informal} The group of persons who  manage  a
business; the officers. * /The  front  office  decides  how  much  the
workers are paid./

   [frown upon] {v. phr.} To  look  with  disfavor  upon  somebody  or
something. * /Everybody in her family frowns upon  her  attachment  to
him./

   [fruitcake] See: NUTTY AS A FRUITCAKE.

   [fry] See: OTHER FISH TO FRY, OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE  FIRE,
SMALL FRY.

   [fuck  around]  {v.  phr.},  {vulgar},   {avoidable}   1.   To   be
promiscuous. * /John fucks around with the secretaries./ 2. To play at
something without purpose, to mess around. *  /He  doesn't  accomplish
anything, because he fucks around so much./

   [fuck off] {v. phr.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} 1. Go  away!  *  /Can't
you see you're bothering me? Fuck off!/ 2. To be lazy. * /John said "I
don't feel like working, so I'll fuck off today."/ Compare:  BEAT  IT,
GOOF OFF.

   [fuck up] {v. phr.},  {vulgar},  {avoidable}  To  make  a  mess  of
something or oneself. * /Because he was totally unprepared, he  fucked
up his exam./ * /He is so fucked up he  doesn't  know  whether  he  is
coming or going./

   [fuck-up] {n.}, {vulgar},  {avoidable}  A  mess;  a  badly  botched
situation. * /What a fuck-up the dissolution of the USSR created!/

   [fuddy-duddy]  {n.}  A  person   whose   ideas   and   habits   are
old-fashioned. *  /His  students  think  Professor  Jones  is  an  old
fuddy-duddy./

   [fuel] See: ADD FUEL TO THE FLAME.

   [full] See: HAVE ONE'S HANDS FULL, IN FULL SWING, TO THE FULL.

   [full blast] {adv.} At full capacity.  *  /With  all  the  research
money at their disposal, the new computer firm was  going  ahead  full
blast./

   [full-bodied] {adj.} Mature; of maximum quality. * /The wines  from
that region in California have a rich, full-bodied flavor./

   [full-fledged] {adj.}  Having  everything  that  is  needed  to  be
something; complete. * /A girl needs three years of training to  be  a
full-fledged nurse./ * /The book was a full-fledged study of  American
history./

   [full of beans] {adj. phr.}, {slang} 1. Full of pep; feeling  good;
in high spirits. * /The football team was full of beans after  winning
the tournament./ * /The children were full of beans as they got  ready
for a picnic./ 2. also [full of  prunes]  Being  foolish  and  talking
nonsense. * /You are full of prunes; that man's not 120 years old./

   [full of it] See: FULL OF THE OLD NICK.

   [full of  oneself]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}  Interested  only  in
yourself. * /Joe would be a nice boy if he would stop being so full of
himself./ Compare: BIG HEAD.

   [full of prunes] See: FULL OF BEANS(2).

   [full of the moon] {n. phr.}, {literary} The moon when it  is  seen
as a full circle; the time of a full moon. * /The robbers waited for a
dark night when the full of the moon was past./ Contrast: DARK OF  THE
MOON.

   [full of the Old Nick] or [full of the devil] or [full of it] {adj.
phr.}, {informal} Always making trouble; naughty; bad. * /That boy  is
full of the Old Nick./

   [full tilt] {adv.} At full speed; at high speed.  *  /He  ran  full
tilt into the door and broke his arm./

   [fun] See: MAKE FUN OF.

   [fun and games] {n.}, {slang},  {informal}  1.  A  party  or  other
entertaining event. 2. Something trivially easy. 3. Petting, or sexual
intercourse. 4. (Ironically) An extraordinary difficult task.  *  /How
was your math exam? (With a dismayed expression): - Yeah, it  was  all
fun and games, man./

   [fun house] {n.} A place where people see  many  funny  things  and
have tricks played on them to make them laugh or have a good  time.  *
/The boys and girls had a good time looking at themselves  in  mirrors
in the fun house./

   [funny bone] {n.} 1. The place at the back of the elbow that  hurts
like electricity when accidentally hit. * /He hit his  funny  bone  on
the arm of the chair./ 2. or {informal} [crazy bone] Sense  of  humor;
understanding jokes. * /Her way of telling the story tickled his funny
bone./

   [fur] See: MAKE THE FUR FLY.

   [furious] See: FAST AND FURIOUS.

   [fuse] See: BLOW A FUSE.

   [fuss] See: KICK UP A FUSS.

   [fuss  and  feathers]  {n.},  {informal}  Unnecessary  bother   and
excitement. * /She is full of fuss and feathers this morning./





   [gab] See: GIFT OF GAB or GIFT OF THE GAB.

   [gaff] See: STAND THE GAFF.

   [gain ground] {v. phr.} 1.  To  go  forward;  move  ahead.  *  /The
soldiers fought hard and began to gain ground./ 2. To become stronger;
make progress; improve. * /The sick man gained ground after being near
death./  *  /Under  Lincoln,  the  Republican  Party  gained  ground./
Contrast: LOSE GROUND.

   [gallery] See: PLAY TO THE GALLERY.

   [gallon] See: TEN-GALLON HAT.

   [gallows' humor] {n. phr.} Bitter joke(s) that make fun of  a  very
serious matter, e.g. death, imprisonment, etc. *  /When  the  criminal
was led to the electric chair on Monday morning, he said, "Nice way to
start the week, eh?"/

   [game] See: AHEAD OF THE GAME, LOVE GAME, NAME OF  THE  GAME,  PLAY
THE GAME, AT --- STAGE OF THE GAME.

   [game at which two can play] {n. phr.} A plan,  trick,  or  way  of
acting that both sides may use. * /Rough football is a  game  two  can
play./ * /Politics is a game at which two can play./

   [game is not worth the candle] {literary} What is being done is not
worth the trouble or cost; the gain is not  worth  the  effort.  *  /I
don't want to walk so far on such a hot day. The game is not worth the
candle./

   [game is up] or {slang} [jig is up] The secret or plan won't  work;
we are caught or discovered. * /The game is up; the teacher knows  who
took her keys./ * /The jig's up; the principal  knows  the  boys  have
been smoking in the basement./ Compare: FAT IS IN THE FIRE.

   [gang] See: ROAD GANG, SECTION GANG.

   [gang up on] or [gang up against] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  jointly
attack someone, either physically or verbally; take sides in  a  group
against an individual. * /The class bully was stronger  than  all  the
other boys, so they had to gang up on him to put him  in  his  place./
Compare: LINE UP(4b).

   [garbage down] {v. phr.}, {slang} To eat eagerly and at great speed
without much regard for manners or social convention. * /The  children
garbaged down their food./

   [garden apartment] {n.} An apartment with a garden near it. *  /The
couple live in a garden apartment./

   [garment] See: FOUNDATION GARMENT.

   [gas] See: STEP ON IT or STEP ON THE GAS.

   [gasket] See: BLOW A FUSE or BLOW A GASKET.

   [gas up] {v.}, {informal} 1. To fill the gasoline tank of.  *  /The
mechanics gassed up the planes for their long trip./ 2.  To  fill  the
tank with gasoline. * /The big truck stopped at  the  filling  station
and gassed up./

   [gate] See: GET THE BOUNCE or GET THE GATE, GIVE THE BOUNCE or GIVE
THE GATE.

   [gate crasher] See: CRASH THE GATE.

   [gather] See: ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS.

   [gather in] {v.}, {informal} To catch. * /The end gathered  in  the
pass and went over for a touchdown./

   [gauntlet] See: RUN THE GAUNTLET, THROW DOWN THE GAUNTLET.

   [gay nineties] {n.} The years between 1890 and 1900; remembered  as
a happy exciting time. * /Ladies wore large hats in the gay nineties./
* /Picnics were popular in the gay nineties./

   [gaze] See: CRYSTAL GAZING.

   [gear] See: HIGH GEAR, SLIP A COG or SLIP  A  GEAR,  THROW  OUT  OF
GEAR.

   [geese] See: FOX AND GEESE.

   [gee whiz] {interj.}, {informal} Used as  an  exclamation  to  show
surprise or other strong feeling. Rare  in  written  English.  *  /Gee
whiz! I am late again./

   [general] See: IN GENERAL.

   [generation  gap]  {n.},   {informal},   {hackneyed   phrase}   The
difference  in  social  values,  philosophies,  and  manners   between
children and their parents, teachers and relatives which causes a lack
of  understanding  between  them  and  frequently  leads  to   violent
confrontations. * /My daughter is twenty and I am forty, but  we  have
no generation gap in our family./

   [generous to a fault] {adj. phr.} Excessively generous. * /Generous
to a fault, my Aunt Elizabeth gave away all her rare books to her  old
college./

   [George] See: LET GEORGE DO IT.

   [get] See: GIVE AS GOOD AS ONE GETS, EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM or
EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM, GO-GETTER, TELL ONE WHERE TO GET OFF.

   [get about] See: GET AROUND(1b).

   [get a black eye] {v. phr.} 1. To receive a dark  ring  around  the
eye after being hit  by  someone's  fist  or  an  object.  *  /In  the
fistfight Tom got a black eye from Pete./ * /Sue got a black eye  when
she ran into a tree./ 2. To have one's character  denigrated.  *  /Our
firm received a black eye because of all the consumer complaints  that
were lodged against our product./

   [get a break] {v. phr.} To receive a stroke of luck. * /Bill got  a
break when he won the lottery./

   [get across] {v.} 1. To explain clearly, make (something) clear; to
make clear the meaning of. * /Mr. Brown is a good coach because he can
get across the plays./ Syn.: PUT ACROSS. 2. To become  clear.  *  /The
teacher tried to explain the problem, but the explanation did not  get
across to the class./

   [get after] {v.}, {informal} 1. To try or try again to make someone
do what he is supposed to do. * /Ann's mother gets after her  to  hang
up her clothes./ 2. To scold or make an attack on. * /Bob's mother got
after him for tracking mud into the house./ * /The police are  getting
after the crooks in the city./

   [get ahead] {v.} 1. {informal} To become successful. *  /Mr.  Brown
was a good lawyer and soon began to get ahead./ * /The person  with  a
good education finds it easier to get ahead./ 2. To be  able  to  save
money; get out of debt. * /In a few more years he will be able to  get
ahead./ * /After Father pays all the doctor bills, maybe we can get  a
little money ahead and buy a car./

   [get a load of] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To take a good look  at;  see
(something unusual or interesting.) - Often used to show  surprise  or
admiration. * /Get a load of that pretty  girl!/  *  /Get  a  load  of
Dick's new car!/ Compare: LOOK OVER. 2. To listen to carefully or with
interest, especially exciting news. - Often used as a command: /Get  a
load of this: Alice got married yesterday!/

   [get along] also [get on] {v.} 1. To go or move away;  move  on.  *
/The policeman told the boys on the street corner to get along./ 2. To
go forward; make progress; advance, * /John is getting along  well  in
school. He is learning  more  every  day./  Syn.:  GET  AHEAD.  3.  To
advance; become old or late. * /It is getting along towards  sundown./
* /Grandmother is 68 and getting along./ 4. To get or  make  what  you
need; manage. * /It isn't easy to get along in the jungle./ * /We  can
get along on $100 a week./ Compare: DO WITHOUT(2), GET BY, MAKE DO. 5.
To live or work together in a  friendly  way;  agree,  cooperate;  not
fight or argue. * /We don't get along with the Jones family./  *  /Jim
and Jane get along fine together./ *  /Don't  be  hard  to  get  along
with./

   [get a fix] or [give a fix] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {drug  culture}  To
provide (someone) with an injection of narcotics. * /The  neighborhood
pusher gave Joe a fix./ Contrast: GET A FIX ON.

   [get a fix on] {v. phr.}, {informal} Receive a reading of a distant
object by electronic means, as by radar or sonar. * /Can you get a fix
on the submarine?/ Contrast: GET A FIX.

   [get a grip on] {v. phr.} To take firm control of something. *  /If
Tim wants to keep his job, he had better get a  grip  on  himself  and
start working harder./ Contrast: LOSE ONE'S GRIP.

   [get a head start on] {v. phr.}  To  receive  preliminary  help  or
instruction in a particular subject so that  the  recipient  is  in  a
favorable position compared to his or her peers.  *  /At  our  school,
children get a head start on their reading ability thanks to a special
program./

   [get a kick out of]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  greatly  thrilled;  derive
pleasure from. * /Tom and Many get a kick out of playing four hands on
the piano./

   [get a line on]  {v.  phr.}  To  receive  special,  sometimes  even
confidential information about something. * /Before Bill accepted  his
new position, he got a line on how the business was being run./

   [get a move on] {informal} or {slang} [get a wiggle on]  {v.  phr.}
To hurry up; get going. - Often used as a command. * /Get a  move  on,
or you will be late./

   [get a raise] {v. phr.}  To  receive  an  increment  in  salary.  *
/Because of his good work, Ted got a raise after May 1./

   [get a rise out of] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To have some fun with  (a
person) by making (him) angry; tease. * /The boys get a  rise  out  of
Joe by teasing him about his girl friend./ 2. {vulgar}, {avoidable} To
be sexually aroused (said of males) * /Jim always gets a rise  out  of
watching adult movies./

   [get (all) dolled up] See: DOLL UP.

   [get along] or [on in years] {v. phr.} To  age;  grow  old.  *  /My
father is getting along in years;  he  will  be  ninety  on  his  next
birthday./

   [get an earful] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  hear  more  (of  usually
unwelcome news) than one expects or wishes to hear. * /I asked how Tim
and his wife were getting along,  and  I  certainly  got  an  earful./
Contrast: SAY A MOUTHFUL.

   [get around] {v.} 1a. To go to  different  places;  move  about.  *
/Mary's father really  gets  around;  Monday  he  was  in  Washington;
Wednesday he was in Chicago; and today he is in  New  York./  *  /Fred
broke his leg, but he is able to get about on crutches./ 1b.  or  [get
about] To become widely known especially by being talked about. * /Bad
news gets around quickly./  2a.  {informal}  To  get  by  a  trick  or
flattery what you want from (someone). * /Mary knows how to get around
her father./ 2b. {informal} To find a way of  not  obeying  or  doing;
escape from. * /Some people try to get around the tax laws./  *  /John
did not weigh enough to join the Navy, but  he  got  around  that;  he
drank a lot of water before his physical examination./

   [get around to] {v.} To do (something) after putting it  off;  find
time for. * /Mr. Lee hopes to get  around  to  washing  his  car  next
Saturday./

   [get at] {v.} 1.  To  reach  an  understanding  of;  find  out  the
meaning. * /This book is very hard to get at./ 2. To  do  harm  to.  *
/The cat is on the chair trying to get at the  canary./  Compare:  GET
BACK AT. 3. To have a chance to do; attend to. * /I hope I  have  time
to get at my homework tonight./ Compare: GET TO(2). 4.  To  mean;  aim
at; hint at. * /What was Betty getting at when she said she  knew  our
secret?/ * /What the teacher was getting at in this lesson was that it
is important to speak correctly./ Syn.: DRIVE AT. Compare: GET ACROSS.

   [getaway car] {n. phr.} A vehicle parked near the scene of a  crime
in which the criminals escape. * /The police intercepted  the  getaway
car at a major crossroads./

   [get away] {v.} 1. To get loose or get free; become free from being
held or controlled; succeed in leaving; escape. * /As Jim  was  trying
the bat, it got away from him and hit Tom./ * /Someone left  the  door
open, and the puppy got away./ * /Mary tried to catch a butterfly, but
it got away from her./ * /The bank robbers used a stolen  car  to  get
away./ * /If Mr. Graham can get away from his store this afternoon, he
will take Johnny fishing./ 2. To begin; start. * /We got away early in
the morning on the first day of our vacation./ * /The race got away to
a fast start./ Compare: GET OFF(3), START IN, START OUT.

   [get away with] {v.}, {informal} To do  (something  bad  or  wrong)
without being caught or punished. * /Some students  get  away  without
doing their homework./ See: GET BY(3).

   [get away with murder] {v. phr.}, {informal} To do  something  very
bad without being caught or punished. * /John is scolded if he is late
with his homework, but Robert gets away with murder./  *  /Mrs.  Smith
lets her children get away with murder./

   [get a wiggle on] See: GET A MOVE ON.

   [get a word in] or [get a word in edgewise] also  [get  a  word  in
edgeways] {v. phr.} To find a chance to say something when others  are
talking. * /The little boy listened to the older students and  finally
got in a word./ * /Mary talked so much that Jack couldn't get  a  word
in edgewise./

   [get back at] {v.}, {informal} To do something bad to (someone  who
has done something bad to you) hurt in return. * /John played  a  joke
on Henry, and next day Henry got back at him./ * /The elephant  waited
many years to get back at the man who fed him red pepper./  Syn.:  PAY
BACK, SETTLE A SCORE, TIT FOR TAT. Compare: GET AT(2), GET EVEN.

   [get back on one's feet] {v. phr.} To once again become financially
solvent; regain one's former status and income, or health. * /Max  got
back on his feet soon after his open heart surgery. Tom's business was
ruined due to the inflation, but he got back on his feet again./

   [get behind] {v.} 1. To go too slowly: be late;  do  something  too
slowly. * /The post office got behind in delivering  Christmas  mail./
Syn.: FALL BEHIND. Contrast: KEEP UP. 2. {informal} To support;  help.
* /A club is much better if members get behind their  leaders.  *  /We
got behind Mary to  be  class  president./  Compare:  BACK  OF(3).  3.
{informal} To explain; find out the reason  for.  *  /The  police  are
questioning many people to try and get behind the bank robbery./ Syn.:
GET TO THE BOTTOM OF.

   [get busy] {v. phr.} To accelerate the pace in one's activities.  *
/We've got to get busy if we want to make the deadline./

   [get by] {v.}, {informal} 1. To be able to go past;  pass.  *  /The
cars moved to the curb so that the fire engine could get  by./  2.  To
satisfy the need or demand. * /Mary can get by with her old coat  this
winter./ * /The janitor does just enough work to get  by./  Syn.:  GET
ALONG(4). 3. Not to be caught and scolded or punished. * /The  soldier
thought he could get by with his dirty  rifle./  *  /The  boy  got  by
without answering the teacher's question because a visitor  came  in./
Compare: GET AWAY WITH.

   [get carried away with] See: CARRY AWAY.

   [get couthed up] {v. phr.},  {slang}  To  get  oneself  dressed  up
neatly and look elegant and presentable. * /What are you  getting  all
couthed  up  for?/  (This   derives   from   "uncouth"   ("outlandish,
ill-mannered") by leaving off the prefix "un-".)

   [get cracking] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To hurry up, to start
moving fast. (Used mostly as an imperative). *  /Come  on,  you  guys,
let's get cracking!/ (Let's hurry up!) Compare: GET GOING 2.

   [get  credit  for]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  given  points   of   merit,
recognition, or praise for labor or intellectual contribution. *  /Our
firm got a lot of credit for developing parts of the  space  shuttle./
Contrast: GIVE CREDIT FOR.

   [get one down] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To make (someone)  unhappy;
cause low spirits; cause discouragement. *  /Low  grades  are  getting
Helen down./ * /Three straight  losses  got  the  team  down./  2.  To
swallow; digest. * /The medicine was  so  bitter  I  couldn't  get  it
down./ 3. To depress a person's spirit. * /Working at  such  an  awful
job got Mike down./

   [get down cold] {v. phr.} To memorize perfectly. * /Terry  got  the
text of his speech down cold./

   [get down off your high horse] See: OFF ONE'S HIGH HORSE.

   [get down to] {v.}, {informal} To get started on, being on. *  /Joe
wasted a lot of time before he got down to work./ * /Let's get down to
work./ Compare: GET AT(3), GET GOING, GET TO.

   [get down to brass tacks] also  [get  down  to  cases]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To begin the most important work or business;  get  started
on the most important things to talk about or know. * /The men  talked
about little things and then got down  to  brass  tacks./  *  /A  busy
doctor wants his patients to get down to brass tacks./

   [get down to business] or [work] {v. phr.} To start being  serious;
begin to face a problem to be solved, or a task to be accomplished.  *
/Gentlemen, I'm afraid the party is over  and  we  must  get  down  to
business./

   [get down to work] See: GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

   [get even] {v.}, {informal} 1. To owe nothing. * /Mr. Johnson has a
lot of debts, but in a few years he will get even./ 2. To do something
bad to pay someone back for something bad; get revenge; hurt  back.  *
/Jack is waiting to get even with Bill for tearing up his notebook./ *
/Last April First Mr. Harris got fooled by Joe, and this year he  will
get even./ Compare: GET BACK AT.

   [get going] {v.}, {informal} 1. To excite; stir up and make  angry.
* /The boys' teasing gets John going./ * /Talking about  her  freckles
gets Mary going./ 2. or {chiefly British} [get cracking] To  begin  to
move; get started. * /The teacher told Walter  to  get  going  on  his
history lesson./ * /The foreman told the workmen to get  cracking./  *
/Let's get going. It's almost supper time./ Compare: GET DOWN TO, STEP
LIVELY.

   [get gray hair] or [get gray] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  become  old
or gray from worrying; become very anxious or worried.  -  Often  used
with "over". * /"If John doesn't join the team, I won't get gray  hair
over it," the coach said./ * /Naughty children  are  why  mothers  get
gray./ Compare: GIVE GRAY HAIR.

   [get his or hers] {v. phr.}  To  receive  one's  proper  reward  or
punishment. * /Tim will get his when his wife finds out that he's been
seeing other women./

   [get hitched] {v. phr.} To get married. * /After a long  period  of
dating, Fred and Mary finally got hitched./

   [get hold of] {v.} 1. To get  possession  of.  *  /Little  children
sometimes get hold of sharp knives and cut themselves./ 2. To  find  a
person so you can speak with him. * /Mr. Thompson spent several  hours
trying to get hold of his lawyer./

   [get in] {v. phr.} 1. To be  admitted.  *  /Andy  wants  to  go  to
medical school but his grades aren't good enough for him to  get  in./
2. To arrive. * /What time does the plane from New York get in?/ 3. To
enter. * /"Get in the car, and let's go," Tom said in a hurry./ 4.  To
put in stock; receive. * /The store just got  in  a  new  shipment  of
shoes from China./

   [get in on] {v. phr.} To be permitted to participate; become  privy
to; be included. * /This is your chance to get in on a wonderful  deal
with the new company if you're willing to make an investment./

   [get in on the ground floor] {v. phr.}  To  be  one  of  the  first
members  or  employees  to  participate  in  the  growth  of  a  firm,
educational institution, etc. * /Elliott got in on  the  ground  floor
and made a fortune at the company./ * /Mr. Smith who  joined  the  new
college as an instructor, got in on the ground floor, and wound up  as
its president after twenty years./

   [get in on the] or [one's act] {v. phr.} To  do  something  because
others are engaged in the same act; join others. * /John's business is
succeeding so well that both of his brothers want to  get  in  on  the
act./

   [get in one's hair] See: IN ONE'S HAIR.

   [get in one's way] See: IN ONE'S WAY.

   [get into] See: BE INTO SOMETHING.

   [get into line] {v. phr.} To cooperate; conform.  *  /The  maverick
members of the party were advised to get into line unless they  wanted
to be expelled./ Contrast: OUT OF LINE.

   [get in touch with] See: IN TOUCH.

   [get involved with] See: BE INVOLVED WITH.

   [get in with] {v. phr.} To join up with; begin to  associate  with;
be accepted by. * /He got in with the wrong gang of boys and wound  up
in jail./ * /She got in with her father's firm and made  a  successful
career of it./

   [get in wrong] {v. phr.} To incur the anger or dislike of  someone;
come into disfavor. * /Although he means well, Fred is always  getting
in wrong with someone at the office./

   [get it] {v.} 1. See:  CATCH  IT.  2.  To  understand;  comprehend;
grasp. * /"I can't get it," John said. "Why do you spend  so  much  on
clothes."/

   [get it all together] {v. phr.} 1. To be  in  full  possession  and
control of one's mental faculties; have a clear purpose well  pursued.
* /You've sure got it all together, haven't you?/ 2.  Retaining  one's
self-composure under pressure. * /A few  minutes  after  the  burglars
left he got it all together and called the  police./  3.  To  be  well
built, stacked (said of girls and women.) * /Sue's  sure  got  it  all
together, hasn't she?/

   [get it in the neck] See: CATCH IT IN THE NECK.

   [get it] or [something in] or [into one's head] {v. phr.} To become
possessed of an idea; develop a fixed idea. * /Jack got  it  into  his
head to become a marine and nothing we could say would make him change
his mind./

   [get lost] {v. phr.}, {slang} Go away! - Used as a command. *  /Get
lost! I want to study./ * /John told Bert to get lost./ Compare:  DROP
DEAD.

   [get mixed up] See: MIXED UP.

   [get next to] See: BE CLOSE TO.

   [get off] {v.} 1. To come down from or out of. * /The ladder  fell,
and Tom couldn't get off the roof./  *  /The  bus  stopped,  the  door
opened, and Father got off./ 2. To take off. * /Joe's mother told  him
to get his wet clothes off./ 3. To get away;  leave.  *  /Mr.  Johnson
goes fishing whenever he can get off from work./ *  /William  got  off
early in the morning./ 4. To go free. * /Mr. Andrews got off with a $5
fine when he was caught passing a stop sign./ 5. To  make  (something)
go. * /The halfback got off a lung pass./ * /John got a letter off  to
his grandmother./ 6. To tell. * /The governor got off several jokes at
the beginning of his speech./

   [get off cheap] {v. phr.} 1. To receive a  lesser  punishment  than
one deserves. * /Ted could have been sentenced  to  fifteen  years  in
prison; he got off cheap by  receiving  a  reduced  sentence  of  five
years./ 2. To pay less than the normal price. * /If you had  your  car
repaired for only $75, you got off cheap./ Contrast: GET AWAY WITH.

   [get off easy] {v. phr.}, {informal} To have only a little trouble;
escape something worse. * /The children who missed school to go to the
fair got off easy./ * /John got off easy because it was the first time
he had taken his father's car without permission./

   [get off it] See: COME OFF IT.

   [get off one's back]  {v.  phr.},  {slang},  {colloquial}  To  stop
criticizing or nagging someone. * /"Get off my back! Can't you see how
busy I am?"/

   [get off one's  case]  or  [back]  or  [tail]  {v.  phr.}  To  stop
bothering and constantly checking up on someone; quit hounding one.  *
/"Get off my case!" he cried angrily. "You're worse than  the  cops."/
Contrast: ON ONE'S CASE.

   [get off one's chest] See: OFF ONE'S CHEST.

   [get off one's tail] {v. phr.},  {slang}  To  get  busy,  to  start
working. * /OK you guys! Get off your tails and get cracking!/

   [get off on the wrong foot] {v. phr.} To make a  bad  start;  begin
with a mistake. * /Peggy got off  on  the  wrong  foot  with  her  new
teacher; she chewed gum in class and the teacher didn't like it./

   [get off the ground] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  make  a  successful
beginning; get a good start; go ahead; make progress. * /Our plans for
a party didn't get off the ground because no one could come./

   [get off the hook] See: OFF THE HOOK.

   [get off to a flying] or  [running  start]  {v.  phr.}  To  have  a
promising or successful beginning. * /Ron got off to a flying start in
business school when he got nothing but A's./

   [get on] or [get onto] {v.}, {informal} 1. To  speak  to  (someone)
roughly about something he did wrong; blame; scold. *  /Mrs.  Thompson
got on the girls for not keeping their rooms clean./ * /The  fans  got
on the new shortstop after he made several errors./ Syn.: JUMP ON.  2.
See: GET ALONG. 3. To grow older. * /Work seems harder these days; I'm
getting on, you know./

   [get one's] See: GET WHAT'S COMING TO ONE.

   [get one's back up] {v. phr.}, {informal} To become or  make  angry
or stubborn. * /Fred got his back up when I said he was wrong./ * /Our
criticisms of his actions just got his hack up./

   [get  one's  brains  fried]  {v.   phr.},   {slang},   {also   used
colloquially} 1. To sit in the  sun  and  sunbathe  for  an  excessive
length of time. * /Newcomers to Hawaii should be warned not to sit  in
the sun too long - they'll get their brains fried./ 2. To get high  on
drugs. * /He can't make a coherent sentence anymore  -  he's  got  his
brains fried./

   [get one's dander up] or [get one's Irish up] {v. phr.}  To  become
or make angry. * /The boy got his dander up because he couldn't go  to
the store./ * /The children get the teacher's dander up when they make
a lot of noise./ Compare: BLOW A FUSE.

   [get one's ducks in a row] {v. phr.}, {informal} To get  everything
ready. * /The scoutmaster told the boys to get their ducks  in  a  row
before they went to camp./ * /Mr. Brown got his ducks in a row for his
trip./ Compare: LINE UP.

   [get one's feet on the ground] See: FEET ON THE GROUND.

   [get one's feet wet] {v. phr.}, {informal} To begin;  do  something
for the first time. * /The party was at Bill's house and when Ruth and
I got there the party had already started. "Jump right in and don't be
afraid to get your feet wet," said Bill./ * /"It's not hard  to  dance
once you get your feet wet," said the teacher./

   [get one's fingers burned] See: BURN ONE'S FINGERS.

   [get one's foot in the door] See: FOOT IN THE DOOR.

   [get one's goat] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make a  person  disgusted
or angry. * /The boy's laziness all summer got his father's  goat./  *
/The slow service at the cafe got Mr. Robinson's goat./

   [get one's hands on] See: LAY ONE'S HANDS ON.

   [get one's number] or [have one's number] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To
find out or know what kind of person somebody is. * /The boys soon had
the new student's number./ *  /The  girls  got  their  new  roommate's
number the first week of school./

   [get one's rear in gear] {v. phr.}, {slang} To  hurry  up,  to  get
going. * /I'm gonna have to get my rear in gear./

   [get one's second wind] See: SECOND WIND.

   [get one's teeth into]  or  [sink  one's  teeth  into]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To have something real or solid to think about; go to  work
on seriously; struggle with. * /After dinner, John got his teeth  into
the algebra lesson./ * /Frank chose a subject for his report  that  he
could sink his teeth into./

   [get one's tongue] See: CAT GET ONE'S TONGUE.

   [get on in years] See: ALONG IN YEARS.

   [get on one's good side] {v. phr.} To gain the  favor  of  someone;
flatter or please another. * /A clever lobbyist knows how  to  get  on
the good side of both the House of Representatives and the Senate./

   [get on one's nerves] {v. phr.} To  make  you  nervous.  *  /John's
noisy eating habits get on your nerves./  *  /Children  get  on  their
parents' nerves by asking so many questions./

   [get on the ball] See: ON THE BALL.

   [get on the bandwagon] See: JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON.

   [get on the good side of] See: ON THE GOOD SIDE OF.

   [get on the stick] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To get moving; to
stop being idle and to start working vigorously. *  /All  right,  man,
let's get on the stick!/ Compare: ON THE BALL, GET OFF ONE'S TAIL.

   [get on to one] {v. phr.} To figure someone  out;  understand  what
someone else is up to. * /The FBI is on to Jim's secret  trading  with
the enemy./

   [get one wrong] {v. phr.} To misinterpret; misunderstand another. *
/Don't get me wrong; I didn 't mean to criticize you./

   [get] or [have one's say] See: DAY IN COURT.

   [get out] {v. phr.} 1. Leave or depart. * /"Get out of  here!"  the
teacher shouted angrily to the misbehaving  student./  *  /"Driver,  I
want to get out by the opera."/ 2. To publish; produce. *  /Our  press
is getting out two new books on ecology./ 3. To escape;  leak  out.  *
/We must not let the news about this secret invention get out./

   [get out in the open] See: OUT IN THE OPEN.

   [get out of] {v. phr.} 1. To be excused from; avoid. * /He got  out
of jury duty because of his illness./ 2. To gain from; extract from. *
/Tom complained that he didn't get  anything  out  of  the  course  on
grammar./

   [get out of the way] See: OUT OF THE WAY.

   [get out of hand] See: OUT OF HAND, OUT OF CONTROL.

   [get over] {v.} 1. To finish. * /Tom worked fast to get his  lesson
over./ 2. To pass over. * /It was hard to get over the muddy road./ 3.
To get well from; recover from. * /The man returned to work  after  he
got over his illness./ 4. To accept or forget (a sorrow or suprise.) *
/It is hard to get over the death of a member of your family./  *  /We
could not get over the speed of Mary's recovery from pneumonia./

   [get  rattled]  {v.  phr.}  To  become  confused,  overexcited,  or
nervous. * /The thief got so rattled when he saw the police  following
him that he drove his car into a ditch./

   [get rid of] See: RID OF.

   [get set] {v. phr.} To get ready to start. * /The runners got set./
* /The seniors are getting set for the commencement./

   [get short shrift] See: SHORT SHRIFT.

   [get something out of one's system] {v. phr.} 1. To eliminate  some
food item or drug from one's body. * /John will feel much better  once
he gets the addictive sleeping pills out of his system./  2.  To  free
oneself of yearning for something in order to liberate oneself from an
unwanted preoccupation. * /Ted bought a new cabin  cruiser  that  he'd
been wanting for a long time, and he says he is glad that he's finally
got it out of his system./

   [get something over with] See: OVER WITH(1).

   get something straight {v. phr.} To clearly comprehend an issue.  *
/"Let me get this straight," Burt said. "You  want  $85,000  for  this
miserable shack?"/

   [get stoned] {v. phr.}, {slang} To become very  drunk  or  high  on
some drug. * /Poor Fred was so stoned that Tom had to carry him up the
stairs./ Compare: THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND.

   [get straight] See: GO STRAIGHT, GO LEGIT.

   [get stuck] {v. phr.} 1. To  be  victimized;  be  cheated.  *  /The
Smiths sure got stuck when they bought that secondhand car;  it  broke
down just two days after they got  it./  2.  To  become  entrapped  or
embroiled in a physical, emotional, or social obstacle  so  as  to  be
unable to free oneself. * /Last winter our car got stuck in  the  snow
and we had to walk home./ * /Poor Jeff is stuck in a terrible job./  *
/Tom and Jane are stuck in a bad marriage./

   [get (all) the breaks] {v. phr.} To  be  fortunate;  have  luck.  *
/That fellow gets all the breaks! He's  been  working  here  only  six
months, and he's already been promoted to vice president!/

   [get the air] See: GET THE BOUNCE(1).

   [get the ax] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To be fired from a job. *  /Poor
Joe got the ax at the office  yesterday./  2.  To  be  dismissed  from
school for improper conduct, such  as  cheating.  *  /Joe  got  caught
cheating on his final exam and he got the ax./ 3. To  have  a  quarrel
with one's sweetheart  or  steady  ending  in  a  termination  of  the
relationship. * /Joe got the ax from Betsie  -  they  won't  see  each
other again./

   [get the ball rolling] or [set the ball rolling] or [start the ball
rolling] {informal} To start an activity or action; make a  beginning;
begin. * /George started the ball rolling at the party  by  telling  a
new joke./ Compare: KEEP THE BALL ROLLING.

   [get the better of] or [get the best of] {v. phr.} 1. To win  over,
beat; defeat. * /Our team got the best of the  visitors  in  the  last
quarter./ * /George got the better of Robert in a game of checkers./ *
/When the opposing player fouled John, John  let  his  anger  get  the
better of his good sense and hit the boy  back./  *  /Dave  wanted  to
study till midnight, but sleepiness got the best of him./ Compare: RUN
AWAY WITH(1). 2. or [have the best of] or [have the better of] To  win
or be ahead in (something); gain most from (something.) * /Bill traded
an old bicycle tire for a horn; he got the best of that deal./ *  /Our
team had the best of it today, but they may lose the game tomorrow./ *
/The champion had all the better of it in the last part of the fight./
Contrast: GET THE WORST OF.

   [get the boot] or [the gate] or [the sack] See: GET THE AXE.

   [get the bounce] or [get the gate] {v. phr.}, {slang}  1.  or  [get
the air] To lose one's sweetheart; not be kept for a friend or  lover.
* /Joe is sad because he just got the gate from his girl./ *  /Shirley
was afraid she might get the air from her boyfriend if  she  went  out
with other boys while he was away./ 2. or [get the sack] also [get the
hook] To be fired; lose a job. * /Uncle Willie can't keep  a  job;  he
got the sack today for sleeping on the job./ * /You're likely  to  get
the bounce if you are absent from work too much./ Contrast:  GIVE  THE
BOUNCE.

   [get the brush-off] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To be paid no  attention;
not be listened to or thought important. * /My idea for  a  party  got
the brush-off from the other children./ 2. To be treated in an  unkind
or unfriendly way; be ignored. * /Frank and Jane had an  argument,  so
the next time he telephoned her, he got the brush-off./ Compare:  COLD
SHOULDER, HIGH-HAT. Contrast: BRUSH OFF.

   [get the cart before the horse] See: CART BEFORE THE HORSE.

   [get the eye] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To be looked at,  especially
with interest and liking. * /The pretty girl got the eye as she walked
past the boys on the street corner./ 2. To be looked at or stared  at,
especially in a cold, unfriendly way. * /When Mary asked if she  could
take home the fur coat and pay later, she got the eye from the clerk./
Contrast: GIVE THE EYE.

   [get the feel of] {v. phr.} To  become  used  to  or  learn  about,
especially by feeling or handling;  get  used  to  the  experience  or
feeling of; get skill in. * /John had never driven a big car,  and  it
took a while for him to get the feel of it./ * /You'll get the feel of
the job after you've been there a few weeks./

   [get the go-ahead] or [the green light] {v. phr.}  To  receive  the
permission or signal to start or to proceed. * /We had to  wait  until
we got the go-ahead on our research project./

   [get the goods on] or [have the goods on]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To
find out true and, often, bad  information  about;  discover  what  is
wrong with; be able to prove the guilt of. * /Tell the truth,  Johnny.
We know who your girl is because we've got the goods on you./  *  /The
police had the goods on the burglar before he came to trial./ Compare:
HAVE SOMETHING ON.

   [get the hook] See: GET THE BOUNCE(2).

   [get the inside track] See: INSIDE TRACK.

   [get the jitters] {v. phr.} To become very nervous or excited. * /I
always get the jitters when I sit in an airplane that's about to  take
off./

   [get the jump on] or [have the jump on] {v. phr.}, {slang}  To  get
ahead of; start before (others); have an advantage over. * /Don't  let
the other boys get the jump on you at the beginning of  the  race./  *
/Our team got the jump on their rivals in the first minutes  of  play,
and held the lead to win./

   [get the last laugh] See: HAVE THE LAST LAUGH.

   [get the lead out of one's pants] {v. phr.}, {slang} To  get  busy;
work faster. * /The captain told the sailors to get the  lead  out  of
their pants./ * /The coach told the players to get  the  lead  out  of
their pants./

   [get  the  lowdown  on]  {v.  phr.}  To  receive  the  full  inside
information on a person or thing. * /We need to  get  the  lowdown  on
Peter before we can decide whether or not to hire him./

   [get  the  message]  or  [get  the  word]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To
understand clearly what is meant.  *  /The  principal  talked  to  the
students about being on time, and most of them  got  the  message./  *
/Mary hinted to her boyfriend that she wanted  to  break  up,  but  he
didn't gel the message./ Compare: THE PICTURE.

   [get the picture] See: THE PICTURE.

   [get the runaround] See: RUN AROUND.

   [get the sack] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To be fired or dismissed  from
work. * /John got the sack at the factory last week./ 2. To be told by
one's lover that the relationship is over.  *  /Joanna  gave  Sam  the
sack./ See: GET THE AX and GET THE BOUNCE(2).

   [get the show on the road]{v. phr.}, {informal} To start a program;
get work started. * /It was several years before the rocket scientists
got the show on the road./ Compare: GET THE BALL ROLLING.

   [get the third degree] See: THIRD DEGREE.

   [get the upper hand on] See: UPPER HAND.

   [get the word] See: GET THE MESSAGE.

   [get the works] See: THE WORKS.

   [get the worst of] also [have the worst of] {v. phr.} To  lose;  be
defeated or beaten in; suffer most.  *  /Joe  got  the  worst  of  the
argument with Molly./ - Often used in the phrase "the worst of it".  *
/If you start a fight with Jim, you may get the worst of it./ *  /Bill
had the worst of it in his race with Al./ * /Jack traded his knife for
a few marbles; he got the worst of it in that trade./ * /The driver of
the car got the worst of it in the accident./ Contrast: GET THE BETTER
OF(2).

   [get through] {v. phr.} 1. To finish.  *  /Barry  got  through  his
homework by late evening./ 2. To pass a course or an examination. * /I
got through every one of my courses except mathematics./

   [get through one's head] {v. phr.} 1. To understand or  believe.  *
/Jack couldn't get it through his head that his  father  wouldn't  let
him go to camp if his grades didn't improve./ * /At last Mary  got  it
through her head that she had failed to pass the  test./  2.  To  make
someone understand or believe. * /I'll get it through his head  if  it
takes all night./

   [get  through  to]  {v.}  To  be  understood  by;  make   (someone)
understand.  *  /The  little  boy  could  not  get  through   to   his
housemother./ * /Deaf people sometimes find it hard to get through  to
strangers./ * /When the rich boy's father lost his money,  it  took  a
long time for the idea to get through to him that he'd  have  to  work
and support himself./

   [get to] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To begin by chance; begin  to.  -
Used with a verbal noun or an infinitive. * /George meant to save  his
dollar, but he got to thinking how good an ice cream cone would taste,
and he spent it./ * /On a rainy day, Sally got to  looking  around  in
the attic and found some old pictures of Father./ *  /I  got  to  know
Mary at the party./ * /I was just getting to know John when  he  moved
away./ Compare: TAKE TO(2). 2. To have a chance to; be able to. * /The
Taylors wanted to go to the beach Saturday, but  it  rained  and  they
didn't get to./ * /Did you get to see the king?/ Compare:  GET  AT(3).
3. See: HAVE TO.

   [get to first base] or [reach first base] {v. phr.} To make a  good
start; really begin; succeed, * /Joe had a long  paper  to  write  for
history class, but when the teacher asked for it, Joe  hadn't  got  to
first base yet./ * /Suppose Sam falls in love with Betty. Can he  even
get to first base with her?/ * /George wants  to  go  to  college  and
become a teacher, but I'll be  surprised  if  he  even  reaches  first
base./ * /If you don't dress neatly, you won't get to first base  when
you look for a job./ Compare: FIRST BASE.

   [get together] {v.} To come to an agreement; agree. * /Mother  says
I should finish my arithmetic lesson, and Father says I should mow the
lawn. Why don't you two get together?/

   [get-together] {n.} A party; a gathering. * /I  hate  to  break  up
this nice get-together but we must leave./ *  /We  manage  to  have  a
get-together with our old friends once or twice a year./

   [get to the bottom of] {v. phr.} To find out the real cause  of.  *
/The superintendent talked with several students to get to the  bottom
of the trouble./ * /The doctor made several tests to get to the bottom
of the man's headaches./ Compare: GET TO THE HEART OF.

   [get to the heart of] {v. phr.} To find the  most  important  facts
about or the central meaning of; understand the most  important  thing
about. * /You can often get to the heart of  people's  unhappiness  by
letting them talk./ * /"If you can find a  topic  sentence,  often  it
will help you get to the heart of the paragraph," said the teacher./

   [get to the point] See: COME TO THE POINT.

   [get two strikes against one] See: TWO STRIKES AGAINST.

   [get underway] {v. phr.} To set out on a journey;  start  going.  *
/We are delighted that our new Ph.D. program finally got underway./

   [get under one's skin] {v. phr.} To bother; upset. * /The  students
get under Mary's skin by talking about her freckles./ * /Children  who
talk too much in class get under the teacher's skin./

   [get up] {v.} 1. To get out of bed. * /John's mother told him  that
it was time to get up./ 2. To stand up; get to your  feet.  *  /A  man
should get up when a woman comes into the room./ 3.  To  prepare;  get
ready. * /Mary got up a picnic for her visitor./ * /The  students  got
up a special number of the newspaper to celebrate  the  school's  50th
birthday./ 4. To dress up. * /One of the girls got  herself  up  as  a
witch for the Halloween party./ 5. To go ahead. *  /The  wagon  driver
shouted, "Get up!" to his horses./

   [get up] or [rise with the chickens] {v. phr.} To rise  very  early
in the morning. * /All the farmers in this village  get  up  with  the
chickens./ Contrast: GO TO BED WITH THE CHICKENS.

   [get-up] {n.} (stress on "get") Fancy dress  or  costume.  *  /Some
get-up you're wearing!/

   [get-up-and-go]  also  [get-up-and-get]   {n.   phr.},   {informal}
Energetic enthusiasm; ambitious determination;  pep;  drive;  push.  *
/Joe has a lot  of  get-up-and-go  and  is  working  his  way  through
school./

   [get up on the wrong side of the  bed]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To
awake with a bad temper. * /Henry got up on the wrong side of the  bed
and wouldn't eat breakfast./ * /The man went to bed very late and  got
up on the wrong side of the bed./

   [get up the nerve] {v. phr.} To build up your courage until you are
brave enough; become brave enough. * /Jack got up  the  nerve  to  ask
Ruth to dance with him./ * /The hungry little boy got up nerve to  ask
for another piece of cake./

   [get used to] See: USED TO.

   [get warmed up] See: WARM UP.

   [get what's coming to one] or {slang}  [get  one's]  {v.  phr.}  To
receive the good or bad that you deserve; get what is due to you;  get
your share. * /At the end of the movie the villain got what was coming
to him and was put in jail./ * /John didn't think he was getting  what
was coming to him, so he quit the job./ * /Mother told Mary that she'd
get hers if she kept on being naughty./ Compare:  CATCH  IT,  HAVE  IT
COMING, SERVE RIGHT.

   [get wind of] {v. phr.} To get news of; hear rumors about; find out
about. * /The police got wind of the plans to rob the  bank./  *  /The
captain didn't want the sailors to get wind  of  where  the  ship  was
going./

   [get wise] {v. phr.}, {slang} To learn about something kept  secret
from you; become alert. * /One girl pretended to be sick on  gym  days
when she had athletics, until the teacher got wise  and  made  her  go
anyway./ - Often used with "to".  *  /The  boys  got  wise  to  Jack's
fondness for bubble gum./ * /If you don't get  wise  to  yourself  and
start studying, you will fail the  course./  Compare:  CATCH  ON,  SEE
THROUGH. Contrast: IN THE DARK.

   [get with it] {v. phr.}, {slang} To  pay  attention;  be  alive  or
alert;  get  busy.  *  /The  students  get   with   it   just   before
examinations./ * /The coach told the team to get with it./ Compare: ON
THE BALL.

   [ghost] See: GIVE UP THE GHOST.

   [ghost of a] Least trace of; slightest resemblance to; smallest bit
even of; a very little.  Usually  used  with  "chance"  or  "idea"  in
negative sentences, or with "smile". * /There  wasn't  a  ghost  of  a
chance that Jack would win./ * /We didn't have the ghost  of  an  idea
where to look for John./ * /The teacher scolded Harold for  drawing  a
funny picture on the chalkboard, but she had  a  ghost  of  a  smile./
Compare: FAT CHANCE.

   [ghost-writer] {n.} A writer whose identity remains  a  secret  and
who writes for another who receives all the credit. * /It  is  rumored
that John Smith's best-selling novel was written by a ghost-writer./

   [gift of gab] or [gift of the gab] {n. phr.}, {informal}  Skill  in
talking; ability to make interesting talk that  makes  people  believe
you. * /Many men get elected because of their gift  of  gab./  *  /Mr.
Taylor's gift of gab helped him get a good job./

   [gild  the  lily]  also  [paint  the  lily]  {v.   phr.}   To   add
unnecessarily to something already beautiful or  good  enough.  *  /To
talk about a beautiful sunset  is  to  gild  the  lily./  *  /For  the
beautiful girl to use makeup would be to gild the  lily./  *  /Frank's
father is a millionaire, but Frank gilds the lily by saying  he  is  a
billionaire./

   [gill] See: FED TO THE GILLS at FED UP, GREEN AROUND THE  GILLS  or
PALE AROUND THE GILLS.

   [gilt-edged] {adj.} Of the highest quality.  *  /Government  saving
bonds are considered by many to be a gilt-edged investment./

   [gin mill] {n.}, {slang} A bar where liquor is sold. * /Rush Street
in Chicago is full of gin mills./ Syn.: SPEAKEASY.

   [G.I.] or ["government issue"] {n.} An American soldier.  *  /After
the war many GI's were able to get a free education./

   [gird one's loins] {v. phr.}, {literary} To prepare for action; get
ready for a struggle or hard work. * /David girded up  his  loins  and
went out to meet the giant Goliath./ * /Seniors must gird their  loins
for the battles of life./

   [girl Friday] {n.} A very  dependable  and  helpful  female  office
worker; especially a secretary. * /Miss Johnson is the manager's  girl
Friday./ * /There was an advertisement in the  newspaper  for  a  girl
Friday./

   [girl friend] {n.}, {informal} 1. A female friend or  companion.  *
/Jane is spending the night at her girlfriend's  house./  2.  A  boy's
steady girl; the girl  or  woman  partner  in  a  love  affair;  girl;
sweetheart. * /John is taking his girl friend to the dance./ Contrast:
BOYFRIEND.

   [give] See: SILENCE GIVES CONSENT.

   [give a buzz] See: GIVE A RING.

   [give a cold shoulder] See: COLD SHOULDER.

   [give a hand] See: LEND A HAND.

   [give a hang] or [care a hang] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  have  any
interest or liking; care. - Used also with other words in the place of
"hang", such as "damn", "rap", "straw"; usually used in the  negative.
* /You can quit helping me if you want to. I don't  give  a  hang./  *
/Some people don't care a rap about sports./ * /Bruce  never  goes  to
the dances; he does not care a straw about dancing./

   [give a hard time] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To give trouble by what
you do or say; complain. * /Jane gave her mother a hard  time  on  the
bus by fighting with her sister and screaming./ *  /Don't  give  me  a
hard time, George. I'm doing my best on this job./ Compare: GIVE FITS.
2. To get in the way by teasing or playing; kid. * /Don't  give  me  a
hard time, boys. I'm trying to study./ Compare: ACT UP, IN ONE'S HAIR.

   [give-and-take] {n. phr.} 1. A sharing; giving and  receiving  back
and forth between people; a giving up by people on different sides  of
part of what each one wants so that they can agree. *  /Jimmy  is  too
selfish. He has no notion of give-and-take with the other children but
wants everything for  himself./  *  /There  has  to  be  give-and-take
between two countries before they can be friends./ Compare:  LIVE  AND
LET LIVE. 2. Friendly talking or argument  back  and  forth.  Friendly
sharing of ideas which may not agree; also:  an  exchange  of  teasing
remarks. * /After the meeting there was a lot of  give-and-take  about
plans for the dance./

   [give an ear to] or [lend an  ear  to]  {v.  phr.},  {literary}  To
listen to. * /Children should give an ear to their parents' advice./ *
/The king lent an ear to the complaints of his people./

   [give a pain] {v. phr.}, {slang} To make (you) disgusted; annoy.  *
/Ann's laziness gives her mother a pain./ * /John's bad  manners  give
his teacher a pain./ Compare: PAIN IN THE NECK.

   [give as good as one gets] {v. phr.} To be able to give  back  blow
for blow; defend  yourself  well  in  a  fight  or  argument.  *  /The
Americans gave as good as they got in the war  with  the  English./  *
/George gave as good as he got in  his  fight  with  the  older  boy./
Compare: EYE FOR AN EYE, GAME AT WHICH TWO CAN PLAY.

   [give away] {v.} 1. To give as a present. * /Mrs. Jones has several
kittens to give away./ 2. To hand over (a bride) to her husband at the
wedding. * /Mr. Jackson gave away his daughter./ 3. To let (a  secret)
become known; tell the secret of. * /The  little  boy  gave  away  his
hiding place when he coughed./ * /Mary said she didn't  care  anything
about John, but her blushing face gave her away./ Compare:  SPILL  THE
BEANS, LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG. 4. See: GIVE ONESELF AWAY.

   [giveaway] or [dead giveaway] {n.} (stress on "give")  1.  An  open
secret. * /By mid-afternoon, it was a dead giveaway who the  new  boss
would be./ 2. A forced or sacrifice sale at which items are  sold  for
much less than their market value. * /The Simpson's  garage  sale  was
actually a big giveaway./ 3. A gift; something one doesn't have to pay
for. * /The tickets to the concert were a giveaway./

   [give a wide berth] {v. phr.}  To  keep  away  from;  keep  a  safe
distance from. * /Mary gave the barking dog a  wide  berth./  *  /Jack
gave a wide berth to the fallen electric wires./ * /After Tom got  Bob
into trouble. Bob gave him a wide berth./

   [give birth to] {v. phr.} 1. To bear live offspring. * /The  mother
gave birth to twin baby girls./ 2. To bring about; create; occasion. *
/Beethoven gave birth to a new kind of symphony./

   [give chase] {v. phr.} To chase or run after someone or  something.
* /The dog saw a rabbit and gave chase./ * /The policeman  gave  chase
to the man who robbed the bank./

   [give color to] or [lend color to] {v. phr.}  To  make  (something)
seem true or likely. * /The boy's torn clothes gave color to his story
of a fight./ * /The way the man ate lent color to his  story  of  near
starvation./

   [give credence to] {v. phr.} 1.  To  be  willing  to  believe  that
something is true. * /Larry gave credence to the rumor that Fred  used
to be a convict./ * /Give no credence to the rumor that our  state  is
bankrupt; nothing could be farther from the truth./

   [give fits] {v. phr.} {informal} To  upset;  bother  very  much.  *
/Paul's higher grades give John fits./ * /The  short  guard  gave  his
tall opponent fits./ Compare: GIVE A HARD TIME.

   [give forth] {v. phr.} To emit;  produce.  *  /When  the  gong  was
struck it gave forth a rich, resounding sound./

   [give free rein to] See: GIVE REIN TO.

   [give gray hair] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make  (someone)  anxious,
confused, or worried. * /The traffic  problem  is  enough  to  give  a
policeman gray hairs./ Compare: GET GRAY HAIR.

   [give ground] {v. phr.} To go backward  under  attack;  move  back;
retreat. * /After fighting for a while the troops slowly began to give
ground./ * /Although they were  outnumbered  by  the  enemy,  the  men
refused to give ground./ Compare: DRAW BACK, DROP BACK,  LOSE  GROUND.
Contrast: HOLD ONE'S GROUND, STAND OFF, STAND ONE'S GROUND, STAND PAT,
STAVE OFF.

   [give her the gun] See: GIVE IT THE GUN.

   [give in] {v.} To stop fighting or arguing  and  do  as  the  other
person wants; give someone his  own  way;  stop  opposing  someone.  *
/Mother kept inviting Mrs. Smith to stay for lunch,  and  finally  she
gave in./ * /After Billy proved that he could ride a  bicycle  safely,
his father gave in to him and bought him one./ Compare: GIVE  UP,  SAY
UNCLE.

   [give it  some  thought]  {v.  phr.}  To  wait  and  see;  consider
something after some time has elapsed. * /"Will you buy my car?"  Fred
asked. "Let me give it some thought," Jim answered./  Contrast:  SLEEP
ON.

   [give it the gun] or [give her the gun] {v. phr.}, {slang}  To  gun
or speed up a motor; make a car, airplane, or something  driven  by  a
motor go faster. * /The race driver gave it the gun./ * /The speedboat
pilot gave her the gun./ Compare: STEP ON IT.

   [give it to] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To give punishment to;  beat.
* /The crowd yelled for the wrestler to  give  it  to  his  opponent./
Syn.: LET HAVE IT. 2. To scold. * /Jerry's mother gave it to  him  for
coming home late./ Compare: GIVE A PIECE OF  ONE'S  MIND,  LACE  INTO.
Contrast: CATCH IT.

   [give it to one straight] {v. phr.} To be direct; be  frank.  *  /I
asked the doctor to give it to me straight how long I have to live./

   [give no quarter] {v. phr.} To be ruthless and  show  no  mercy.  *
/The enemy soldiers gave no quarter and shot all the prisoners./

   [give notice] {v. phr.} To  inform  an  employer,  an  employee,  a
landlord, or a tenant of the termination of a contractual agreement of
service or tenancy. * /Max gave  notice  at  the  bank  where  he  was
working./ * /Sally was given notice by her landlord./

   [given to] {adj. phr.} Having a tendency to; addicted to.  *  /Phil
is given to telling fantastic tales about his chateau in France./

   [give off] {v.} To send out; let out; put  forth.  *  /Rotten  eggs
give off a bad smell./ * /Burning leaves give off thick smoke./  Syn.:
GIVE OUT(2).

   [give of oneself] {v. phr.},  {literary}  To  give  your  time  and
effort to help others. * /You should give of  yourself  sometimes./  *
/During World War II, Governor Baldwin gave of himself by sweeping the
halls of a hospital every afternoon./

   [give one a dressing down] See: DRESSING DOWN.

   [give one a free hand] See: FREE HAND.

   [give one a (good) going-over] See: GO OVER(1).

   [give one a lift] {v. phr.} 1. To give someone a ride. * /Jack gave
me a lift in his new car./ 2. To comfort someone.  *  /Talking  to  my
doctor yesterday gave me a lift./

   [give one an inch, and he will take a mile] If you give some people
a little or yield anything, they will want more and more; some  people
are never satisfied. * /I gave Billy a bite of  candy  and  he  wanted
more and more. If you give him an inch, he'll take  a  mile./  *  /The
counselor said to Jack, "No, I can't  let  you  get  a  haircut  until
Saturday. It's against the rules, and if I give an inch, someone  will
take a mile."/

   [give one a piece of one's mind] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  scold
angrily; say what you really think to (someone). * /Mr. Allen gave the
other driver a piece of his mind./ * /The sergeant gave the soldier  a
piece of his mind  for  not  cleaning  his  boots./  Syn.:  TELL  OFF.
Compare: BAWL OUT, DRESS DOWN, GIVE IT TO, TONGUE LASHING.

   [give one a ring] also {informal} [give a  buzz]  To  call  on  the
telephone. * /Mrs. Jacobs promised to give her husband a ring  in  the
afternoon./ * /Alice will give her friend a buzz tonight./

   [give one enough rope and he will hang himself] {informal}  Give  a
bad person enough time and freedom to do as he  pleases,  and  he  may
make a bad mistake or get into trouble and be caught. - A  proverb.  *
/Johnny is always stealing and hasn't been caught. But give him enough
rope and he'll hang himself./ - Often used in a short form, "give  one
enough rope". * /Mother didn't know who robbed the cookie jar, but she
thought she could catch him if she gave him enough rope./

   [give one pause] {v. phr.} To astonish someone; cause one  to  stop
and think. * /"Your remark gives me pause," Tom said, when Jane called
him an incurable gambler./

   [give one short shrift] See: SHORT SHRIFT.

   [give oneself airs] {v. phr.} To act proud; act vain. * /Mary  gave
herself airs when she wore her new dress./ * /John gave  himself  airs
when he won first prize./

   [give oneself away] {v. phr.} To show guilt;  show  you  have  done
wrong. * /The thief gave himself away by spending so  much  money./  *
/Carl played a joke  on  Bob  and  gave  himself  away  by  laughing./
Compare: GIVE AWAY.

   [give oneself up] {v.} To stop hiding or running away; surrender. *
/The thief gave himself up to the police./ * /Mr. Thompson hit another
car, and his wife told him to give himself up./ Compare: TURN IN.

   [give oneself up to] {v. phr.} Not to hold yourself back from;  let
yourself enjoy.  *  /Uncle  Willie  gave  himself  up  to  a  life  of
wandering./ * /John came inside from the cold and gave himself  up  to
the pleasure of being in a warm room./  Compare:  ENJOY  ONESELF,  LET
ONESELF GO.

   [give one some of his] or [her own medicine]  {v.  phr.}  To  treat
someone the way he or she treats others (used in the negative). * /The
gangster beat up an innocent old man, so when he  resisted  arrest,  a
policeman gave him a little of his own medicine./

   [give one's due] {v. phr.} To be fair to (a  person),  give  credit
that (a person) deserves. * /The boxer who lost gave the new  champion
his due./ * /We should give a good worker his due./ Compare: GIVE  THE
DEVIL HIS DUE.

   [give one's right arm for] {v. phr.} To  give  something  of  great
value; sacrifice. * /During our long hike in the desert, I would  have
given my right arm for an ice cold drink./

   [give one's word] {v. phr.} To seriously promise. * /"You  gave  me
your word you would marry me,"  Mary  bitterly  complained,  "but  you
broke your word."/

   [give one the eye] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1.  To  look  at,  especially
with interest and liking. * /A pretty girl went by and  all  the  boys
gave her the eye./ 2. To look or stare at, especially  in  a  cold  or
unfriendly way. * /Mrs. Jones didn't like Mary and didn't  speak.  She
just gave her the eye when they met on the street./

   [give one the works] See: THE WORKS.

   [give or take] {v, phr.} To add or  subtract.  Used  with  a  round
number or date to show how approximate it is. * /The house  was  built
in 1900, give or take five years./

   [give out] {v.} 1. To make known; let it be known; publish. * /Mary
gave out that she and Bob were going to be married./ 2. To let escape;
give. * /The cowboy gave out a yell./ Syn.: GIVE OFF, LET  GO.  3.  to
give to people; distribute. * /The barber gives out free lollipops  to
all the children./ Compare: HAND OUT, PASS OUT. 4. To fail;  collapse.
* /Tom's legs gave out and he couldn't run any farther./ * /The  chair
gave out under the fat man./ Compare: WEAR OUT. 5. To be  finished  or
gone. * /When the food at the party gave out,  they  bought  more./  *
/The teacher's patience gave out./ Syn.: RUN OUT, RUN SHORT.  Compare:
USE UP, WEAR OUT. 6.  {slang}  Not  to  hold  back;  act  freely;  let
yourself go. - Often used in the imperative.  *  /You're  not  working
hard, Charley. Give out!/ 7. {informal} To show how you feel. *  /When
Jane saw the mouse, she gave out with a scream./ * /Give  out  with  a
little smile./ Compare: LET GO.

   [give pause] {v. phr.} To cause you to stop  and  think;  make  you
doubt or worry. * /The heavy monthly payments gave Mr. Smith pause  in
his plans to buy a new car./ * /The bad weather gave Miss Carter pause
about driving to New York City./

   [give place to] See: GIVE RISE TO.

   [give rein to] or [give free rein  to]  {v.  phr.}  To  remove  all
restrictions or limitations from someone or  something.  *  /When  she
wrote her first mystery novel, the talented novelist gave rein to  her
imagination./

   [give rise to] {v. phr.} To be the reason for; cause. *  /A  branch
floating in the water gave rise  to  Columbus'  hopes  that  land  was
near./ * /John's black eye gave rise to rumors that he had been  in  a
fight./

   [give someone his rights] or [read someone his rights]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} 1. The act of advising arrested criminals  that  they  have
the right to remain silent and that everything they say  can  be  held
against them in a court of law;  that  they  have  the  right  to  the
presence of an attorney during questioning  and  that  if  they  can't
afford one and request it, an attorney will be appointed for  them  by
the State. * /The cops gave Smith his  rights  immediately  after  the
arrest./ 2. To sever a relationship by telling someone that he or  she
can go and see a divorce lawyer or the like.  *  /Sue  gave  Mike  his
rights before she slammed the door in his  face./  Compare:  READ  THE
RIOT ACT.

   [give the air] See: GIVE THE BOUNCE(1).

   [give the ax] {v. phr.},  {colloquial}  1.  Abruptly  to  finish  a
relationship. * /She gave me  the  ax  last  night./  2.  To  fire  an
employee in a curt manner. * /His boss gave John the ax last Friday./

   [give the benefit of the doubt] {v. phr.} To believe (a person)  is
innocent rather than guilty when you are not sure. *  /The  money  was
stolen and John was the only boy who had known where it was,  but  the
teacher gave him the benefit of the  doubt./  *  /George's  grade  was
higher than usual and he might have cheated, but his teacher gave  him
the benefit of the doubt./

   [give the bounce] or [give the gate] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. or [give
the air] To stop being a friend or lover to (a person); separate from.
* /Mary gave John the bounce after she saw him dating another girl./ *
/Bill and Jane had an argument and Bill is giving her the gate./ 2. or
[give the sack] also [give the hook] To fire from a  job;  dismiss.  *
/The ball team gave Joe the gate because he never came  to  practice./
Contrast: GET THE BOUNCE.

   [give the creeps] See: THE CREEPS.

   [give the devil his due] {v. phr.} To be fair, even to someone  who
is bad; tell the truth about a person even though you don't like  him,
* /I don't like Mr. Jones, but to give the devil his due, I must admit
that he is a good teacher./

   [give the gate] See: GIVE THE BOUNCE.

   [give the  glad  eye]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  give  (someone)  a
welcoming look as if saying "come over here, I want to talk to you." *
/I was surprised when Joe gave me the glad eye./

   [give the go-by] {v. phr.} To pay no attention to a person;  avoid.
* /John fell in love with Mary, but she gave him the  go-by./  *  /The
boy raised his hand to answer the question, but the teacher  gave  him
the go-by./ Compare: THE RUNAROUND.

   [give the high sign] See: HIGH SIGN.

   [give the hook] See: GIVE THE BOUNCE(2).

   [give the lie to] {v. phr.}, {literary}  1.  To  call  (someone)  a
liar. * /The police gave the lie to the man who said that he had  been
at home during the robbery./ 2. To show (something) to be false; prove
untrue. * /The boy's dirty face gave the lie to his answer that he had
washed./

   [give the sack] See: GIVE THE BOUNCE(2).

   [give the shirt off one's back] {v. phr.}, {informal} To give  away
something or everything that you own. * /He'd give you the  shirt  off
his back./

   [give the show away] {v. phr.} To reveal a plan or information that
is supposed to be secret. * /You have read further in the book than  I
have, but  please  don't  tell  me  where  the  treasure  was  buried;
otherwise you'd be giving the show away./

   [give the slip] {v.}  To  escape  from  (someone);  run  away  from
unexpectedly; sneak away from. * /An Indian was following,  but  Boone
gave him the slip by running down a hill./ * /Some boys  were  waiting
outside the school to beat up Jack, but he gave them the slip./

   [give signs of] See: SHOW SIGN(S) OF; SHOW NO SIGN OF.

   [give the willies] {v. phr.} To cause someone to be  uncomfortable,
fearful, or nervous. * /Sue hates to camp out in a tent;  the  buzzing
of the mosquitoes gives her the willies./

   [give thought to] {v. phr.} To consider; think about. *  /Have  you
given any thought to the question of how to sell Grandpa's old house?/
Contrast: GIVE IT SOME THOUGHT.

   [give to understand] {v. phr.}, {informal}  1.  To  make  a  person
think that something is true but not tell him; suggest; hint.  *  /Mr.
Johnson gave Billy to understand that he would pay him  if  he  helped
him clean the yard./ 2. To make a person  understand  by  telling  him
very plainly or boldly. * /Frank was given to understand  in  a  short
note from the boss that he was fired./

   [give up] {v.} 1a. To stop trying to keep; surrender; yield. * /The
dog had the ball in his mouth and wouldn't give it up./  *  /Jimmy  is
giving up his job as a newsboy when he goes back to school./  Compare:
GIVE ONESELF UP, HAND OVER, LET GO(1a). Contrast: HOLD ON TO.  1b.  To
allow; permit. * /Ford gave up two walks in the first inning./  2.  To
stop doing or having; abandon; quit. * /The doctor told Mr. Harris  to
give up smoking./ * /Jane hated to give up her friends when she  moved
away./ Compare: LEAVE OFF, PART WITH. 3. To stop hoping  for,  waiting
for, or trying to do. * /Johnny was given up by the doctors after  the
accident, but he lived just the same./ * /When  Mary  didn't  come  by
nine o'clock, we gave her up./ * /I couldn't do the puzzle so  I  gave
it up./ 4. To stop trying; quit; surrender. * /The war  will  be  over
when one of the countries gives up./ * /The other team gave  up  after
we scored three touchdowns./  Compare:  GIVE  IN(2),  RESIGN  ONESELF,
THROW IN THE SPONGE.

   [give (one) up for] {v.  phr.}  To  abandon  hope  for  someone  or
something. * /After Larry had not returned  to  base  camp  for  three
nights, his fellow mountain climbers gave him up for dead./

   [give up the ghost] {v. phr.} To die; stop going. * /After  a  long
illness, the old woman gave up the ghost./ * /The motor turned over  a
few times and gave up the ghost./

   [give up the ship] {v. phr.} To stop fighting and  surrender;  stop
trying or hoping to do something. * /"Don't give up the  ship,  John,"
said his father when John failed a test./

   [give voice] {v. phr.}, {formal} To tell what you  feel  or  think;
especially when you are angry or want to object. - Used with  "to".  *
/The students gave voice to their pleasure over the new  building./  *
/Little Willie gave voice to his pain when the dog bit him  by  crying
loudly./ Compare: CRY OUT, SPEAK OUT.

   [give way] {v.} 1. To go back; retreat. * /The enemy army is giving
way before the cannon fire./ Compare: FALL BACK. 2. To make room,  get
out of the way. * /The children gave way and let their mother  through
the door./ Compare: MAKE WAY. 3. To lose  control  of  yourself;  lose
your courage or hope; yield. * /Mrs. Jones didn't give way during  the
flood, but she was very frightened./  Compare:  GIVE  UP,  LOSE  ONE'S
HEAD. 4. To collapse; fail. * /The river was so high that the dam gave
way./ * /Mary's legs gave way and she fainted./ Compare: GIVE  OUT(4),
LET GO(1a). 5. To let yourself be persuaded; give permission. * /Billy
kept asking his mother if he could go to the movies  and  she  finally
gave way./ Compare: GIVE IN.

   [give way to] {v. phr.} 1a. To make room for; allow to go or  pass;
yield to. * /John gave way to the old lady and let her pass./  1b.  To
allow to decide. * /Mrs. Rogers gave way lo her husband in buying  the
car./ 1c. To lose control of (your feelings), not hold back. *  /Timmy
gave way to his feelings when his dog died./ 2. or [give place to]. To
be replaced by. * /Radio has given way to television in popularity./ *
/When she saw  the  clowns,  the  little  girl's  tears  gave  way  lo
laughter./

   [glad hand] {n.}, {informal} A friendly handshake; a warm greeting.
* /Father went to the front door to give Uncle Fred the glad hand when
he arrived./ * /The politician went down the street  on  election  day
giving everyone the glad hand./

   [glad rags] {n.}, {slang} Clothes worn to  parties  or  on  special
occasions; best clothes. * /Mrs. Owens put on her glad  rags  for  the
party./ Compare: BEST BIB AND TUCKER.

   [glance] See: AT FIRST GLANCE or AT FIRST SIGHT.

   [glance off] {v. phr.} To ricochet. * /The bullet glanced  off  the
wall and wounded an innocent bystander./

   [glass] See: PEOPLE WHO LIVE  IN  GLASS  HOUSES  SHOULD  NOT  THROW
STONES, SAFETY GLASS.

   [glasses] See: LOOK AT THE WORLD THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES.

   [glass jaw] {n.}, {slang} The inability of a boxer to  get  a  hard
punch on the jaw without being knocked out; a tendency to  be  knocked
out easily. * /He would have been champion except for his glass jaw./

   [globe-trotter] {n.} One who has travelled far and wide. * /Tim and
Nancy are regular globe-trotters; there are few countries they haven't
been to./

   [glory] See: IN ONE'S GLORY.

   [gloss over] {v.} To try to make what is wrong or bad seem right or
not important; try to make a thing look easy; pretend about;  hide.  *
/Billy broke a window and Mother tried to gloss it over by  saying  it
wouldn't cost much to have it fixed, but Father spanked Billy anyway./
* /John glossed over his mistake by saying that everybody did the same
thing./

   [glove] See: FIT LIKE A GLOVE, HAND IN GLOVE  or  HAND  AND  GLOVE,
HANDLE WITH GLOVES.

   [glutton for punishment] {n. phr.} A  greedy  person;  someone  who
wants too much of something, such as food or drink,  which  will  make
him sick. * /Fred eats so much red meat that he is a  regular  glutton
for punishment./

   [go] See: HERE GOES, HERE GOES NOTHING,  BEST  BIB  AND  TUCKER  or
SUNDAY-GO-TO-MEETING CLOTHES, COMINGS AND GOINGS, EASY COME  EASY  GO,
GET GOING, GET-UP-AND-GO, HAVE A  GO  AT,  HEART  GOES  OUT  TO,  KNOW
WHETHER ONE IS COMING OR GOING, LET GO, MAKE A GO OF, NO  DEAL  or  NO
GO, ON THE GO, PAY AS ONE GOES, TOUCH AND GO.

   [go about] {v.} 1. To be busy with; keep busy  at  or  working  on;
start working on; do. *  /Bobby  is  going  about  his  homework  very
seriously tonight./ * /Just go about  your  business  and  don't  keep
looking out of the window./ * /How will you go about building the bird
house?/ Syn.: GO AT(2). 2a. To  move  from  one  place  or  person  to
another. * /Some people go about telling untrue stories./  2b.  To  go
together. - Usually used with "with". * /Mother doesn't want me to  go
about with Jane and her friends any more./ Syn.: GO AROUND(1b).

   [go about one's business] {v. phr.} To mind one's  own  affairs.  *
/Fred kept bothering me with his questions all day, so I finally  told
him to go about his business and leave me alone./

   [go after] {v.} To try to get. * /"First find out what job you want
and then go after it," said Jim's father./

   [go against the grain] See: AGAINST THE GRAIN(2).

   [go ahead] {v.} To begin to do something; not wait. * /The  teacher
told the students not to write on the paper yet, but John  went  ahead
and wrote his name./ * /"May I  ask  you  a  question?"  "Go  ahead."/
Compare: GO ON(1).

   [go astray] {v. phr.} To become lost. * /The letter  has  obviously
gone astray; otherwise it would have been delivered a long time ago./

   [goal] See: FIELD GOAL.

   [goal line] {n.}  A  line  that  marks  the  goal  in  a  game  (as
football.) * /The fullback went over the goal  line  from  five  yards
out./

   [goal line stand] {n.} A strong defensive effort right in front  of
the goal line. * /A goal line stand by the home team held the visitors
on the two-yard line./

   [go all the way with] See: ALL THE WAY.

   [go along] {v.} 1. To move along; continue. * /Uncle Bill  made  up
the story as he went along./ Compare: GO ON(1). 2. To go  together  or
as company; go for fun. - Often used with  "with".  /Mary  went  along
with us to Jane's house./ * /John just went along for the ride to  the
ball game. He didn't want to play./ * /When one filling  station  cuts
gasoline prices, the others usually go along./ 3. To agree; cooperate.
- Often used with "with". * /"Jane is a nice  girl."  "I'll  go  along
with that," said Bill./ * /Just because the other  boys  do  something
bad, you don't have to go along with it./

   [go ape] {v. phr.}, {slang} To become highly excited or behave in a
crazy way. * /Amy went ape over the hotel and  beautiful  beaches./  *
/The electric door opener malfunctioned and caused the garage door  to
go ape./

   [go around] {v.} 1a. To go from one place or person to  another.  *
/Mr. Smith is going around looking  for  work./  *  /Don't  go  around
telling  lies  like  that./  *  /Chicken  pox  is  going  around   the
neighborhood./ * /A rumor is going around school that we will get  the
afternoon off./ 1b. To go together; keep company. - Usually used  with
"with". * /Bill goes around with boys older than he is because  he  is
big for his age./ Syn.: GO ABOUT(2b). 2.  To  be  enough  to  give  to
everyone; be enough for all. * /There  are  not  enough  desks  to  go
around in the classroom./

   [go around in circles] See: IN A CIRCLE.

   [goat] See: GET ONE'S GOAT.

   [go at] {v.} 1. To start to fight with; attack. * /The dog and  the
cat are going at each  other  again./  2.  To  make  a  beginning  on;
approach; tackle. * /How are you going to go at the job of fixing  the
roof?/ Compare: START IN. Syn.: GO ABOUT(1).

   [go at it hammer and tongs] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To  attack  or
fight with great strength or energy; have  a  bad  argument.  *  /Bill
slapped George's face and now they're going at it hammer and tongs  in
back of the house./ * /Helen and Mary have been arguing all  day,  and
now they are going at it hammer and tongs again./ 2. To  start  or  do
something with much strength, energy, or enthusiasm. * /The farmer had
to chop down a tree and he went at it hammer and  tongs./  *  /Charles
had a lot of homework to do and he went at it hammer  and  tongs  till
bedtime./ Compare: IN EARNEST, WITH MIGHT AND MAIN.

   [go AWOL] See: ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.

   [go back on] {v. phr.} 1. To turn against; not be faithful or loyal
to. * /Many of the man's friends went back on him when he was sent  to
prison./ * /The boy's father told him not to go back on his  promise./
Compare: BACK DOWN, TURN ONE'S BACK. 2. To fail to do necessary  work;
not work. * /Grandfather's eyes are going back on him./ Compare: BREAK
DOWN(4), GIVE OUT.

   [go back on one's word] {v. phr.} To renege;  break  a  promise.  *
/Patrick went back on his word when he refused to marry Karen in spite
of his earlier promise./

   [go] or [be on the rocks] See: ON THE ROCKS.

   [go] or [be on the wagon] See: ON THE WAGON. Contrast: FALL OFF THE
WAGON.

   [go bail for] {v. phr.} To advance the necessary money as  security
in order to release an accused person until  trial.  *  /The  arrested
driver had no trouble finding someone to go bail for him./

   [go begging] {v. phr.} To be not needed  or  wanted.  *  /Many  old
homes in the city go begging./ * /Most of the  apples  on  the  market
went begging./

   [go broke] {v. phr.}, {slang} To lose all one's  money;  especially
by taking a chance; owe more than you can pay. *  /The  inventor  went
broke because nobody would buy his machine./ * /Dan had a quarter  but
he went broke matching pennies with Fred./

   [go-between] {n.} An intermediary. * /They expect Mr. Smith to  act
as a go-between in the dispute between management and labor./

   [go bust] {v. phr.}, {slang} To become  bankrupt.  *  /Our  company
lost a lot of money and went bust./ Compare: BELLY UP.

   [go-by] See: GIVE THE GO-BY.

   [go by] {v.} 1. To go or move past; pass. * /Bob had to go  by  the
post office on his way to school, so he  mailed  the  letter./  2.  To
follow; copy; obey. * /Mother goes by  a  pattern  when  she  makes  a
dress./ * /You will find Main Street without  trouble  if  you  go  by
Father's directions./ * /If you ride a bicycle, you  must  go  by  the
rules of the road./ 3. To be known by; be called. *  /Many  actors  do
not go by their real names./ * /Fred goes by the nickname of  Chubby./
4. To pass; be over; end. * /Time goes by quickly on vacation./ * /The
horse and buggy days have gone by./ * /The flowers have all  gone  by.
What will I do for a bouquet?/ 5. To stop for a  short  visit;  go  to
someone's house for a short while. * /"Have  you  seen  Bill  lately?"
"Yes, I went by his house last week."/ Compare: STOP BY.

   [go by the board] also [pass by the board] {v. phr.} To go away  or
disappear forever, be forgotten  or  not  used.  *  /Tom  had  several
chances to go to college,  but  he  let  them  go  by  the  board./  *
/Grandfather said he was too old to go to the beach. "Those days  have
passed by the board," he said./ Compare: DOWN THE DRAIN.

   [go by the name of] {v. phr.} To be called. * /Adolf Schicklegruber
went by the name of Adolf Hitler./

   [go chase oneself] {v. phr.}, {slang} Go  away  and  stop  being  a
nuisance. * /John's father was busy and told him to go chase himself./
* /The owner of  the  store  told  the  boys  in  front  to  go  chase
themselves./ Compare: BEAT IT, GO JUMP IN THE LAKE.

   [God] See: IN THE LAP OP THE GODS also ON THE KNEES OP THE GODS, MY
GOD or MY GOODNESS, WOULD THAT or WOULD GOD.

   [God forbid] {interj.} May God prevent (something from  happening);
I hope that will not happen or  is  not  true.  *  /Someone  told  the
worried mother that  her  son  might  have  drowned.  She  said,  "God
forbid!"/ * /God forbid that the dam  break  and  flood  the  valley!/
Compare: PERISH THE THOUGHT.

   [Godfrey] See: GREAT GODFREY.

   [God knows] or [goodness knows] or  [heaven  knows]  {informal}  1.
Maybe God knows but I don't know and no one else knows. -  Often  used
with "only". * /Do you know  where  Susan  is?  God  only  knows!/  2.
Surely; certainly. * /Goodness knows, the poor man needs the money./ *
/Heaven only knows, I have tried hard enough./

   [Godmother] See: FAIRY GODMOTHER.

   [go down] {v. phr.} 1. To deteriorate in quality.  *  /This  hotel,
which used to be one of the best, has gone down during  the  past  few
years./ 2. To become lower in price. * /It is said that the  price  of
milk is expected to go down soon./ 3. To sink.  *  /The  Titanic  went
down with a lot of people aboard./

   [go down in history] or [go down in the records] {v.  phr.}  To  be
remembered or recorded for always. * /The lives of great men  go  down
in history./ * /Babe Ruth went down in history as a home run  hitter./
* /The boy's straight A's for four years of college went down  in  the
records./ * /The President said that the day the war  ended  would  go
down in history./

   [go down the drain] {v. phr.} To be lost or wasted forever.  *  /If
he doesn't pass the bar examination  tomorrow,  his  best  efforts  to
become a lawyer will go down the drain./

   [God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb] {literary} A person who is
already helpless will not have more trouble; you will  not  have  more
trouble than you can bear. *  /After  Mr.  Smith  lost  his  job,  the
Smith's house caught fire, but the fire was put out before  much  harm
was done. Mr. Smith said, "God tempers the wind to the  shorn  lamb."/
Contrast: IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS.

   [go Dutch] {v. phr.}, {informal} To go out  for  fun  together  but
have each person pay for himself. * /High  school  students  often  go
Dutch to basketball games./ * /Sometimes boys and girls  go  Dutch  on
dates./ * /The girl knew  her  boyfriend  had  little  money,  so  she
offered to go Dutch./ Compare: DUTCH TREAT.

   [go easy] See: TAKE IT EASY(1).

   [go fly a kite] {v. phr.}, {slang} To go away; leave. Usually  used
as a command, to show that you do not accept someone's ideas. * /Harry
was tired of John's advice and told him to go fly a  kite./  *  /After
Mary stood around telling Sue what was wrong with her dress. Sue  told
her to go fly a kite./ Compare: DROP DEAD, GO JUMP IN THE LAKE.

   [go for] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To try to get; aim for; try  for.
* /Our team is going for the championship in the game tonight./ * /The
dog went for Bob's leg./ 2. To favor; support; like. *  /Little  Susie
really goes for ice cream./ * /Bob goes for Jane in a big way./ 3.  To
attack; begin to fight or argue with. * /The Indian jumped out of  the
*hush and went for Daniel./ * /Molly went for James about  being  late
as soon as he got home./

   [go for a spin] {v. phr.} To go for a ride in a car. *  /Billy  has
invited us to go for a spin in his new car./

   [go for broke] {v. phr.}, {slang} To risk  everything  on  one  big
effort; use all your energy and skill; try as hard as possible. * /The
racing car driver decided to go for broke in the biggest race  of  the
year./ Compare: ALL-OUT.

   [go for nothing] also {formal} [go for naught] {v. phr.}  To  count
for nothing; be useless; be wasted. * /What the teacher said went  for
nothing because the pupils did not pay attention./ * /I hope that  all
your good work doesn't go for naught./ Compare: IN VAIN.

   [go from bad to worse] {adv. phr.} To change from a bad position or
condition to a worse one; become worse. * /Dick's typing went from bad
to worse when he was tired./ * /Jack's conduct in school has gone from
bad to worse./ Compare: OUT OF THE PRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE.

   [go  from  strength  to  strength]  {v.  phr.}  To  move   forward,
increasing one's fame, power, or fortune in  a  series  of  successful
achievements. *  /Our  basketball  team  has  gone  from  strength  to
strength./

   [go-getter] {n.} A person who works hard to become  successful;  an
active, ambitious person who  usually  gets  what  he  wants.  *  /The
governor of the state has  always  been  a  go-getter./  *  /The  best
salesmen are the go-getters./

   [go-go] {adj.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. Vigorous youthful, unusually
active. * /Joe is a go-go kind of guy./ 2. Of  a  discotheque  or  the
music  or  dances  performed  there.  3a.   Unrestrained.   3b.   Very
up-to-date, hip. * /Mary wore handsome go-go boots to the  discotheque
last night./

   [go great guns] See: GREAT GUNS.

   [go halfway] or [go halfway to meet one] or [meet one halfway]  {v.
phr.} To give up part of what you want or to do your share in reaching
an agreement with someone. * /Our neighbors are willing to go  halfway
to meet us and pay their share for a fence between our houses./ * /Bob
wants to make up after your fight and you should meet him halfway./  *
/If you're willing to go halfway with us, we'll be friends  again./  *
/Bill met Mary halfway after their argument./

   [go halves] {v. phr.}, {informal} To share half or  equally  become
partners. * /The boys went halves in raising pigs./  *  /The  men  are
going halves in a new business./ * /The girl bought a box of candy and
went halves with her roommate./

   [go hang] {v. phr.}, {slang}  1.  To  stop  being  of  interest  or
importance; be forgotten. - Usually used with "let".  *  /Mr.  Johnson
let his business go hang after his wife died./ 2. To leave you  alone;
not bother. * /When  the  neighbor  told  Father  how  to  manage  his
children, Father told him to go hang./ Compare: TELL WHERE TO GET OFF.

   [go hard with] {v. phr.} To be painful, troublesome, or  hard  for;
happen or result badly for. - Used after "it". * /It will go hard with
you if I catch you smoking./

   [go haywire] {v. phr.}, {informal} Mixed-up, out of order,  not  in
regular working condition. * /My  electric  typewriter  has  gone  all
haywire; I have to call the repair man./

   [go hog wild] {v. phr.}, {slang} To become extremely  agitated  and
go out of control. * /After the soccer game was won, the fans went hog
wild./

   [go in a circle] or [go in circles] See: IN A CIRCLE.

   [go in for] {v. phr.}, {informal} To try to do; take part in;  take
pleasure in. * /Most girls do not go in  for  rough  games./  *  /Mrs.
Henry goes in for simple meals./ Compare: GO INTO(3), TAKE UP(5b).

   [going and coming] See: COMING AND GOING.

   [going for one] {adj. phr.} Working to help; in one's favor. * /The
young woman surely will get the job;  she  has  everything  going  for
her./

   [going on] {adv. phr.} Almost; nearly. * /Joe is going on six years
old./ * /It is going on six o'clock./

   [going through changes] {v. phr.}, {slang},  {informal}  To  be  in
trouble,  to  have  difficulties,  to  be   trapped   in   unfavorable
circumstances. * /"What's the matter with Joe?" - "He's going  through
changes."/

   [going to] Can be expected to; planning to. - Used after  "is"  (or
"was", etc.), with an infinitive, in the same way "will" is  used,  to
show future. * /Some day that big tree is going to rot  and  fall./  *
/Look at those dark clouds. It's going to rain./ * /The boys are going
to practice football this afternoon./ * /For a minute Ben thought  the
car was going to hit him./ * /I was going to attend the  meeting,  but
after supper  I  forgot  about  it./  -  Sometimes  used  without  the
infinitive. * /That worn rope hasn't broken yet, but it's going to./ *
/"Put some more wood on the fire." - "I'm going to."/  Compare:  ABOUT
TO(1).

   [go in one ear and out the other] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  be  not
really listened to  or  understood;  be  paid  no  attention.  *  /The
teacher's directions to the boy went in one ear and out the other./  *
/Mother scolded Martha, but it went in one ear and out the other./

   [go into] {v.} 1a. To go or fit inside of; able to  be  put  in.  *
/The table is too big to go into the closet./ 1b. To  be  able  to  be
divided into; be divisible into. * /Two goes into four two times./  2.
To enter a state or condition of; pass into. * /John went into  a  fit
of temper when he didn't get his own way./ * /The sick man went into a
coma./ * /The country went into mourning when the king died./ 3. To be
busy in or take part in; enter as a job or profession.  *  /The  mayor
went into politics as a very young man./ * /Mr, Johnson is going  into
business for himself./ * /Bill wants to go into law when he  gets  out
of school./ Compare: GO IN FOR, TAKE  UP(5b).  4.  To  start  to  talk
about; bring up the subject of; examine. * /We'll talk about the  dead
mouse after dinner, Billy. Let's not go into it now./ *  /The  teacher
went into the subject of newspapers today./ Compare: LOOK INTO.

   [go into a huddle] {v. phr.} 1. To gather close together as a  team
in a football game, usually to find out your team's next play. *  /The
football team which has the ball goes into a huddle before every  play
to get orders on what play they  will  use./  2.  {informal}  To  talk
together privately about something;  discuss  something  where  others
cannot hear. * /The man went into a huddle  with  his  lawyers  before
answering the question./ * /The doctors went into a huddle and decided
to operate./

   [go into a nose dive] See: GO INTO A TAIL SPIN.

   [go into a tailspin] or [go into a nose dive] {v. phr.}, {informal}
To fall or go down badly; collapse; give up trying. * /The  team  went
into a tailspin after their captain was  hurt,  and  they  were  badly
beaten./ 2. {informal} To become very anxious, confused,  or  mentally
sick; give up hope. * /The man went into a  tailspin  after  his  wife
died and he never got over it./

   [go into orbit] {v. phr.}, {slang}  1.  To  become  very  happy  or
successful. * /Our team has gone into orbit./ Compare: FLY HIGH. 2. To
lose one's temper or control completely; become very  angry.  *  /John
was afraid his father would go into orbit when he found out about  the
car accident./ Compare: HIT THE CEILING.

   [go it] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To go fast; run hard; not to spare
yourself. - Often used as a command. * /The coach yelled to the runner
to go it./ * /At the party the girls cheered for their partners to  go
it./ * /The boys called, "Go it!" to the dog chasing the cat./  2.  To
live; continue to do or work. * /John wants to leave home  and  go  it
alone./ Compare: ON ONE'S OWN.

   [go jump in the lake] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  go  away  and  quit
being a bother. * /George was tired of Tom's advice and told him to go
jump in the lake./ Compare: GO CHASE YOURSELF, GO FLY A KITE.

   [gold] See: HEART OF GOLD.

   [golden] See: KILL THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGG.

   [goldfish bowl] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. A situation  in  which
it is not possible to keep things secret for any  length  of  time.  *
/Washington Society is a goldfish bowl./ 2. An apartment or place that
provides no privacy for its occupant, e.g., an  office  that  has  too
many windows. * /Joe's office is a goldfish bowl, that's why I  didn't
let him kiss me there./

   [golf widow] {n.}, {informal} A woman whose husband is  often  away
from home playing golf. * /Mrs. Thompson  didn't  like  being  a  golf
widow./

   [go legit] {v. phr.} To  start  practicing  a  legitimate  business
after having been operating outside of the law. * /"The old  days  are
over," the crime boss said to his friends. "We are going legit  as  of
right now."/

   [go  like  clockwork]  or  [go  off  like  clockwork]  {v.   phr.},
{informal} To run smoothly and regularly like the workings of a clock;
go smoothly and without difficulty; go on time or as planned.  *  /The
car's motor went like clockwork after Bob fixed it./ *  /The  birthday
party went off like clockwork and everyone had a good time./

   [go native] {v. phr.} To behave like a  native  (said  of  European
Americans in tropical countries). * /Mainlanders often  go  native  in
Hawaii./

   [gone goose] also [gone gosling] {n.}, {slang} A  person  for  whom
there is no hope. * /Herbert's grades have been so low that  he  is  a
gone goose for the year./ *  /The  man  was  a  gone  gosling  when  a
policeman caught him breaking the store window./

   [gone with the wind] {adj. phr.} Gone forever;  past;  vanished.  *
/All the Indians who used to live here are gone with the wind./ * /Joe
knew that his chance to get an "A" was gone with the wind when he  saw
how hard the test was./ Compare: DOWN THE DRAIN.

   [good] See: AS GOOD AS, AS GOOD AS ONE GETS, BUT GOOD, DO ONE GOOD,
FOR GOOD, FOR GOOD MEASURE, GET THE GOODS ON, HOLD GOOD, IN  GOOD,  IN
GOOD FAITH, IN GOOD TIME, IN ONE'S GOOD GRACES, IT'S AN ILL WIND  THAT
BLOWS NOBODY GOOD, MAKE GOOD, MISS IS AS GOOD AS A MILE, NO  GOOD,  ON
ONE'S GOOD BEHAVIOR, ON ONE'S GOOD SIDE, SO FAR,  SO  GOOD,  STAND  IN
GOOD STEAD, TO THE GOOD, WELL AND GOOD, WITH GOOD GRACE.

   [good and ---]  {adv.},  {informal}  Very;  completely.  *  /John's
father was good and mad when John came home late./ * /Jack  knew  good
and well that Tom had thrown the snowball at him./ *  /I  pushed  Bill
good and hard./ * /Susan wouldn't come  out  till  she  was  good  and
ready./ * /I beat Joe good and proper in the game of marbles./

   [good as] See: AS GOOD AS.

   [good as one's promise] See: AS GOOD AS ONE'S WORD.

   [good as one's word] See: AS GOOD AS ONE'S WORD.

   [good  buddy]  {n.},  {slang},  {citizen's   hand   radio   jargon}
Salutation used by truckers and automobile drivers who have CB radios.
* /What's the Smokey situation, good buddy?/

   [good command] See: HAVE A GOOD COMMAND OF.

   [good day] {interj.} Hello or goodbye. - Used as a formal  greeting
or salute when you meet or leave  someone  during  the  day.  *  /Miss
Rogers said, "Good day!" when she met her friend  on  the  street./  *
/Mr. Lee said "Good day!" and left the office./

   [good deal] or [great deal] {n.}, {informal} A large amount;  much.
- Used with "a". * /Mrs. Walker's long illness cost her a good  deal./
* /George spends a great deal of  his  time  watching  television./  -
Often used like an adverb. * /Cleaning up after the party took a great
deal more work than the girls expected./ * /Usually  it  takes  Father
half an hour to drive to work, but in bad weather it takes a good deal
longer./ * /Mother likes the gloves Mary gave her, and she uses them a
good deal./ * /George is a good deal like his father; they  both  love
to eat./ Syn.: A LOT, QUITE A LITTLE.  Compare:  ALL  KINDS  OF,  GOOD
MANY. Contrast: A LITTLE.

   [good egg] {slang} or {informal} [good scout] {n. phr.} A friendly,
kind or good-natured person, a nice fellow. * /Tommy is  such  a  good
egg that everybody  wants  to  be  his  friend./  Syn.:  REGULAR  GUY.
Contrast: BAD EGG.

   [good evening] {interj.} Hello or  goodbye.  -  Used  as  a  formal
greeting or salute when you meet or leave someone in  the  evening.  *
/When the TV program began, an  announcer  appeared  and  said,  "Good
evening, everyone."/ * /Finally Aunt May stood up and  said,  "I  will
not sell the house. Good evening, Mr. Flynn. "/

   [good faith] {n.} 1. Belief in another person's honesty;  trust.  *
/Uncle Dick let me have the keys to his candy store to show  his  good
faith./ - Often used in the phrase "in good  faith".  *  /The  teacher
accepted Bob's excuse for being late in good  faith./  2.  Honesty  of
purpose; trustworthiness. * /John agreed to buy Ted's bicycle for $20,
and he paid him $5 right away to show his good faith./

   [good for] or [hurrah for] {adj. phr.} Used with a name or  pronoun
to praise someone. * /Good for George! He won the  100-yard  dash./  *
/You got 100 on the test? Hurrah for you./

   [good-for-nothing] {adj. phr.} Worthless.  *  /While  Janice  works
hard each day, her good-for-nothing husband hangs around in the bars./

   [good grief!] {interj.}, {informal} Wow!  Indication  of  surprise,
good or bad. * /"Good grief," Joe cried out loud.  "Is  this  all  you
will pay me for my hard work?"/ * /What a  figure  Melanie  has,  good
grief! I wonder if she would be willing to go out with  me./  Compare:
GOODNESS GRACIOUS!, HEAVENLY DAYS!, HOLY CATS  or  HOLY  COW  or  HOLY
MACKEREL or HOLY MOSES. See: GOODNIGHT(2).

   [good head on one's shoulders] {n. phr.} Good sense; good judgment.
* /Jack has a good head on his shoulders; he never drives too fast./ *
/Alice is a girl with a good head on her shoulders, she  always  keeps
good company./ * /George showed he had a good head on his shoulders by
refusing to cheat./

   [good many] or [great many] {n.} or {adj.}  A  large  number  (of);
very many. Used with "a". * /We found some fall flowers, but the frost
had already killed a good many./ * /A great many of  the  houses  were
knocked down by the earthquake./ * /Tom has a  good  many  friends  at
school./ * /Mary has a great many  ideas  for  interesting  programs./
Syn.: QUITE A FEW. Compare: A LOT, ANY NUMBER, GOOD DEAL. Contrast:  A
FEW.

   [good nature] {n.} Readiness to please others and  to  be  pleased.
Cheerfulness, pleasantness. * /Everybody likes Mr.  Crowe  because  of
his good nature./ * /Miss Reynolds was remembered by her students  for
her good nature./

   [goodness] See: HONEST-TO-GOODNESS, MY GOD or MY GOODNESS.

   [goodness gracious] {interj.}, {slightly  archaic}  Exclamation  of
surprise and a certain degree of disapproval.  *  /"Can  my  boyfriend
stay  overnight,  Dad?"  Melanie  asked.  "Goodness   gracious,   most
certainly not!" her father replied. "What would the neighbors think?"/

   [goodness knows] See: GOD KNOWS.

   [good night] {interj.} 1. Used as a polite phrase  when  you  leave
someone at night. * /"Good night!" said Bob as he  left  Dick's  house
after the party. "I'll see you in the morning."/  *  /Bill  said  good
night to his parents and went upstairs to bed./ 2. or [good  grief]  -
Used to show surprise and often some fear or anger. *  /Mr.  Johnson's
eyes opened wide when he saw the fish his little boy had  caught,  and
said, "Good night!"/ * /Mother was  angry  and  said  to  Mary,  "Good
grief! Haven't you started the dishes yet?"/

   [good riddance] {n.} A loss that you are glad about. Often used  as
an exclamation, and in the sentence "good riddance to bad rubbish". To
show that you are glad that something or somebody has  been  taken  or
sent away.  *  /The  boys  thought  it  was  good  riddance  when  the
troublemaker was sent home./ * /When Mr. Roberts' old car  was  stolen
he thought it was  good  riddance./  *  /Betty  thought  it  was  good
riddance when her little brother broke his toy drum./  *  /"I'm  going
and won't come back," said John. "Good riddance to bad rubbish!"  said
Mary./

   [goods] See: DELIVER THE GOODS, CONSUMER GOODS.

   [good show!] {adj. phr.} Excellent; terrific; wonderful.  *  /"Good
show, boys!" the coach cried, when our team won the game./

   [good scout] See: GOOD EGG.

   [go off] {v.} 1. To leave; to depart. * /Helen's  mother  told  her
not to go off without telling her./ 2a. To be fired; explode.  *  /The
firecracker went off and scared Jack's dog./ 2b. To begin to  ring  or
buzz. * /The alarm clock went off at six o'clock and woke Father./  3.
To happen. * /The party went off without any trouble./ *  /The  parade
went off without rain./

   [go off  half-cocked]  also  [go  off  at  half  cock]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To act or speak before getting ready; to do  something  too
soon. * /Bill often goes off half cocked./ * /Mr. Jones  was  thinking
about quilting his job, but his wife told him not to go at half cock./

   [go off like clockwork] See: GO LIKE CLOCKWORK.

   [go off the deep end] or [go overboard] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To
act excitedly and without careful thinking. * /John has gone  off  the
deep end about owning a motorcycle./ * /Mike warned his  roommate  not
to go off the deep end and get married./ * /Some  girls  go  overboard
for handsome movie and television actors./

   [goof off] {v.}, {slang} To loaf or be lazy; not want to work or be
serious; fool around. * /Tow didn't get promoted because he goofed off
all the time and never did his homework./ * /If you goof  off  on  the
job too much, you'll be fired./

   [go off in a huff]{v. phr.} To depart in anger. * /Marian went  off
in a huff just because Jeff failed to open the door for her./

   [go on] {v.} 1a. To continue; not stop. * /After he was hit by  the
ball, Billy quit pitching and went home, but the game went on./ * /The
TV picture began to jump, and it went on like that until Father turned
a knob./ * /I asked Jane a question but she went on reading and didn't
answer./ * /Mother told Jim to stop, but he went  on  hitting  Susan./
Syn.: KEEP ON. 1b. To continue after a  pause;  begin  with  the  next
thing. * /"Go on! I'm listening," said Mother./ * /The teacher pointed
to the map, and went on, "But the land that Columbus came to  was  not
India."/ - Often used before an infinitive. * /Father said Mother  had
gone to the hospital, and went on to say that Grandmother  was  coming
to take care of us./ 1c. (Of time:) To pass. * /As time went on,  Mary
began to wonder if John had forgotten their date./ * /The  years  went
on, and Betty's classmates became gray-haired men and  women./  2.  To
happen. * /Mr. Scott heard the noise and went to see what was going on
in the hall./ * /The teacher knows what goes on when  she  leaves  the
room./ Syn.: TAKE PLACE. 3. To talk for too long, often angrily. * /We
thought Jane would never finish going on about the amount of  homework
she had./ 4. To fit on; be able to be worn.  *  /My  little  brother's
coat wouldn't go on me. It was too small./ 5. Stop trying to fool  me;
I don't believe you. - Used as a command,  sometimes  with  "with".  *
/When Father told Mother she was the  prettiest  girl  in  the  world.
Mother just said, "Oh, go on, Charles."/ * /"Aunt May, your picture is
in the paper." "Go on with you, boy!"/

   [go on record] {v. phr.} To make an official statement  as  opposed
to an informal one; say something officially that may be  quoted  with
the person's name added for reference. * /I want to go on record  that
I oppose the merger with the firm of Catwallender and Swartvik./

   [go on the rocks] See: ON THE ROCKS.

   [go one's way] {v. phr.} 1. To start again or continue to where you
are going. * /The milkman left the milk and went his way./ * /The  man
stopped and asked me for a match, then  went  his  way./  Compare:  GO
ALONG, GO ON. 2. To go or act the way you want to  or  usually  do.  *
/Joe just wants to go his way and mind his  own  business./  *  /Don't
tell me how to do my job. You go your way and I'll go mine./ * /George
was not a good sport; when the game did not  go  his  way,  he  became
angry and quit./

   [goose] See: COOK ONE'S GOOSE, FOX AND GEESE, KILL THE  GOOSE  THAT
LAID THE GOLDEN EGG, GONE GOOSE.

   [goose bumps] or [goose  pimples]  {n.  plural},  {informal}  Small
bumps that come on a person's skin when he  gets  cold  or  afraid.  *
/Nancy gets goose bumps when she sees a snake./ * /Ann,  put  on  your
sweater; you're so cold you have goose pimples on your arms./

   [go or drive to the wall] See: TO THE WALL.

   [go out] {v. phr.} 1. To pass out of date or style. * /Short skirts
are gradually going out./ 2. To stop giving off light  or  burning.  *
/Put more wood on the fire or it will go out./ 3. To leave. * /When  I
called Sue, her mother said that she had just gone out./

   [go out for] or [come out for] {v. phr.} To try for a place on  (an
athletic team.) * /Ten boys went out for track that  spring./  *  /The
coach asked Tom why he didn't come out for basketball./

   [go out of business] {v. phr.} To cease functioning as a commercial
enterprise. * /The windows of the store are  all  boarded  up  because
they went out of business./

   [go out of one's way] {v. phr.} To make an extra  effort;  do  more
than usual. * /Jane went out of her way to be nice to the new girl./ *
/Don did not like Charles, and he went out  of  his  way  to  say  bad
things about Charles./ Compare: BEND OVER BACKWARD, KNOCK ONESELF OUT.

   [go out the window] {v. phr.}, {informal} To go out of  effect;  be
abandoned. * /During the war, the  school  dress  code  went  out  the
window./

   [go over] {v.} 1. To examine; think about or look at  carefully.  *
/The teacher went over the list and picked John's name./ * /The police
went over the gun for fingerprints./ 2. To repeat; do again. *  /Don't
make me go all over it again./ * /We painted the house once,  then  we
went over it again./ 3. To read again; study. * /After you finish  the
test, go over it again to look for mistakes./ * /They went over  their
lessons together at night./ 4. To cross; go to stop or visit;  travel.
* /We went over to the other side of the street./ * /I'm going over to
Mary's house./ * /We went over to the next town to the  game./  5.  To
change what you believe. * /Father is a Democrat, but he says that  he
is going over to the Republicans in the next election./ * /Many of the
natives on the island went over to Christianity after  the  white  men
came./ 6. To be liked; succeed. - Often used in  the  informal  phrase
"go over big". * /Bill's joke went over big with the  other  boys  and
girls./ * /Your idea went over well with the boss./

   [go over like a lead balloon] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  fail  to
generate a positive response or enthusiasm; to meet  with  boredom  or
disapproval. * /The president's suggested budget cuts went over like a
lead balloon./ *  /Jack's  off-color  jokes  went  over  like  a  lead
balloon./

   [go  over  one's  head]  {v.  phr.}  1.  To  be  too  difficult  to
understand. * /Penny complains that what her math teacher says  simply
goes over her head./ 2. To do  something  without  the  permission  of
one's superior. * /Fred went over his boss's head when he  signed  the
contract on his own./

   [go over with a fine-tooth comb] See: FINE-TOOTH COMB.

   [gopher ball] {n.}, {slang} A baseball pitch that is hit for a home
run. * /The pitcher's only weakness this year is the gopher ball./

   [go places] See: GO TO TOWN(2).

   [go sit on a  tack]  {v.},  {slang}  Shut  up  and  go  away;  stop
bothering. - Usually used as a command and considered rude.  *  /Henry
told Bill to go sit on a tack./ Compare: GO JUMP IN THE LAKE.

   [gosling] See: GONE GOOSE also GONE GOSLING.

   [go somebody one better] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  do  something
better than (someone else); do more or better than;  beat.  *  /Bill's
mother gave the boys in Bill's club  hot  dogs  for  refreshments,  so
Tom's mother said that she would go her one better next time by giving
them hot dogs and ice cream./ * /John made a good dive into the water,
but Bob went him one better by diving in backwards./

   [go stag] {v. phr.} 1.  To  go  to  a  dance  or  party  without  a
companion of the opposite sex. * /When  Sally  turned  him  down,  Tom
decided to go stag to the college prom./ 2. To participate in a  party
for men only. * /Mrs. Smith's husband frequently  goes  stag,  leaving
her at home./

   [go steady] {v. phr.} To go on dates with the same person  all  the
time; dale just one person. *  /At  first  Tom  and  Martha  were  not
serious about each other, but now they are going steady./ * /Jean went
steady with Bob for a year; then they had a quarrel and stopped dating
each other./ Syn.: KEEP COMPANY. Contrast: PLAY THE FIELD.

   [go straight] {v. phr.}, {slang} To become an honest  person;  lead
an honest life. * /After the man got out of prison, he went straight./
* /Mr. Wright promised to go straight if the judge would  let  him  go
free./

   [got a thing going] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To be engaged in
a pleasurable or profitable activity with someone else  as  a  partner
either in romance or in mutually profitable business. * /"You two seem
to have got a thing going, haven't you?"/ * /"You've got a good  thing
going with your travel bureau, why quit now?"/

   [go the rounds] {v. phr.} To pass or be told  from  one  person  to
another; spread among many people. *  /There  is  a  rumor  going  the
rounds that Mr. Norton will be the new superintendent./ *  /The  story
about Mr. Cox's falling into the lake is making the rounds./ Syn.:  GO
AROUND.

   [go the whole hog] or [go whole hog] {v. phr.},  {informal}  To  do
something completely or thoroughly;  to  give  all  your  strength  or
attention to  something.  *  /When  Bob  became  interested  in  model
airplanes, he went the whole hog./ * /The family went whole hog at the
fair, and spent a lot of money./ Compare: ALL OUT, ALL THE WAY,  SHOOT
THE WORKS.

   [go through] {v.} 1. To examine or think about carefully; search. *
/I went through the papers looking for Jane's letter./ * /Mother  went
through the drawer looking for the sweater./  Syn.:  GO  OVER.  2.  To
experience; suffer; live through. * /Frank went through  many  dangers
during the war./ 3. To do what you are supposed to  do;  do  what  you
promised. * /I went through my part of the bargain, but you didn't  go
through your part./ Syn.: CARRY OUT. 4. To go or continue to  the  end
of; do or use all of. * /Jack went through the  magazine  quickly./  *
/We went through all our money at the circus./ Syn.: RUN  THROUGH.  5.
To be allowed; pass; be agreed on. * /I hope the new law we want  goes
through Congress./ * /The sale of the store went through quickly./

   [go through hell and  high  water]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  go
through danger, or trouble. * /John is ready to go  through  hell  and
high water to help his chum./ * /The soldiers went  through  hell  and
high water to capture the fort./ Compare: COME  HELL  OR  HIGH  WATER,
THROUGH THE MILL.

   [go through the motions] {v. phr.} To pretend to  do  something  by
moving or acting as if you were really doing it; do something  without
really trying hard or caring. * /Jane was angry because  she  couldn't
go out, and when her mother said  to  dust  her  room  she  just  went
through the motions./ * /The team was so far behind in the  game  that
they just went through the motions of playing at the end./

   [go through with] {v. phr.} To finish; do as planned or agreed; not
stop or fail to do. * /The boys don't think Bob will go  through  with
his plans to spend the summer at a camp./ * /Mr. Trent hopes the  city
won't go through with its plans to widen the street./ Syn.: CARRY OUT.
Compare: CARRY THROUGH, LIVE UP TO.

   [go to] {v.} To be ready to do; start doing something. * /When Jack
went to write down the telephone number, he had forgotten it./

   [go to any length] {v. phr.} To do everything you can. * /Bill will
go to any length to keep Dick from getting a date with Mary./ Compare:
ALL-OUT.

   [go to bat for] {v. phr.}, {informal} To help  out  in  trouble  or
need; give aid to. * /Everybody else  thought  Billy  had  broken  the
window, but Tom went to bat for him./ * /Mary went to bat for the  new
club program./ Syn.: STAND UP FOR.

   [go to bed with the chickens] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  go  to  bed
early at night. * /On the farm John worked hard and went to  bed  with
the chickens./ * /Mr. Barnes goes to bed with the chickens because  he
has to get up at 5 A.M./

   [go together] {v.} 1. To go with the same boy or girl all the time;
date just one person. * /Herbert and Thelma go together./ Compare:  GO
STEADY, GO WITH(2), KEEP COMPANY. 2. To be suitable or agreeable  with
each other; match. * /Roast turkey and  cranberries  go  together./  *
/Ice cream and cake go together./ * /Green and yellow go together./

   [go to great lengths] See: GO TO ANY LENGTH.

   [go to hell] See: GO TO THE DEVIL.

   [go to it!] {v. phr.} An expression  of  encouragement  meaning  go
ahead; proceed. * /"Go to it!" my father cried enthusiastically,  when
I told him I had decided to become a doctor./

   [go to one's head] {v. phr.} 1. To make one dizzy. * /Beer and wine
go to a person's head./ * /Looking out the high  window  went  to  the
woman's head./ 2. To make someone too proud; make a person think he is
too important. * /Being the star player went to John's head./  *  /The
girl's fame as a movie actress went to her head./

   [go to pieces] {v. phr.}  To  become  very  nervous  or  sick  from
nervousness; become wild. * /Mrs. Vance went to pieces when she  heard
her daughter was in the hospital./ * /The man went to pieces when  the
judge said he would have to go to prison for life./ *  /Mary  goes  to
pieces when she can't have her own way./

   [go to pot] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  be  ruined;  become  bad;  be
destroyed. * /Mr. Jones'  health  has  gone  to  pot./  *  /The  motel
business went to pot when the new highway was built./ Compare:  GO  TO
WRACK AND RUIN, GO TO THE DOGS.

   [go to prove] See: GO TO SHOW.

   [go to seed] or [run to seed] {v. phr.} 1. To grow seeds. * /Onions
go to seed in hot weather./ 2. To lose skill or strength;  stop  being
good or useful. * /Sometimes a good athlete runs to seed when he  gets
too old for sports./ * /Mr. Allen was a good carpenter until he became
rich and went to seed./

   [go to show] or [go to prove] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  seem  to
prove; act or serve to show (a fact); demonstrate. - Often used  after
"it". * /Our team beat a bigger team, and it just goes to show you can
win if you play hard enough./ * /The hard winter at Valley Forge  goes
to  show  that  our  soldiers  suffered  a  great  deal  to  win   the
Revolution./

   [go to the chair] {v. phr.} To be executed in the electric chair. *
/After many stays of execution, the criminal finally had to go to  the
chair./

   [go to the devil] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To go  away,  mind  your
own business. - Used as a command; considered rude. * /George told Bob
to go to the devil./ * /"Go to the devil!" said Jack, when his  sister
tried to tell him what to do./ 2. To  become  bad  or  ruined;  become
useless. * /The boy got mixed up with bad company and began  to  steal
and rob his friends. He went to the devil./ * /Mr. Jones went  to  the
devil after he lost his business./

   [go to the dogs] {v. phr.}, {informal} To go to ruin; to be  ruined
or destroyed. * /The man went to the dogs after he started  drinking./
* /After the death of the owner, the business went  to  the  dogs./  *
/The team went to the dogs when its best players got  hurt./  Compare:
GO TO POT.

   [go to the trouble] or [take the trouble] {v. phr.} To make trouble
or extra work for yourself; bother. * /John told Mr. Brown not  to  go
to the trouble of driving him home./  *  /Since  your  aunt  took  the
trouble to get you a nice birthday present, the least you can do is to
thank her./ Compare: PUT OUT(5).

   [go to town] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To do something quickly or  with
great force or energy; work fast or hard. * /The boys went to town  on
the old garage, and had it torn down  before  Father  came  home  from
work./ * /While Sally was slowly washing the  dishes,  she  remembered
she had a date with Pete that evening; then she really went to  town./
Compare: IN NO TIME, MAKE TIME. Contrast: TAKE ONE'S TIME. 2.  or  [go
places]. To do a good job; succeed. * /Our team is going to town  this
year. We have won all five games that we played./ * /Dan  was  a  good
student and a good athlete; we expect him to go places in business./

   [go to waste] {v. phr.} To be wasted or  lost;  not  used.  *  /The
strawberries went to waste because there was nobody to pick  them./  *
/Joe's work on the model automobile went to waste when he dropped it./
Compare: IN VAIN.

   [go to wrack and ruin] {v. phr.} To fall apart and  be  ruined;  to
become useless. * /The barn went to wrack and ruin  after  the  farmer
moved./ * /The car will soon go to wrack and ruin standing out in  all
kinds of weather./

   [go under] {v.} 1. To be sunk. * /The ship hit an iceberg and  went
under./ 2. To fail; be defeated. * /The  filling  station  went  under
because there were too many others on the street./

   [go under the hammer] {v. phr.} To be auctioned  off.  *  /Our  old
family paintings went under the hammer when my father lost his job./

   [go up] {v.} 1. To go or move higher; rise. * /Many people came  to
watch the weather balloon go up./ * /The path goes up the hill./ 2. To
be able to become heard; become loud or louder. *  /A  shout  went  up
from the crowd at the game./ 3. Grow in height while being  built;  to
be built. * /The new  church  is  going  up  on  the  corner./  4.  To
increase. * /Prices of fruit and vegetables have gone up./

   [go up in smoke] or [go  up  in  flames]  {v.  phr.}  To  burn;  be
destroyed by fire. 1. * /The house went up in  flames./  *  /The  barn
full of hay went up in smoke./ 2. Disappear; fail; not  come  true.  *
/Jane's hopes of going to college went up in  smoke  when  her  father
lost his job./ * /The team's chances to win  went  up  in  smoke  when
their captain was hurt./

   [go up in the air] {v. phr.} To become angry; lose one's temper.  *
/Herb is so irritable these days that he goes up in  the  air  for  no
reason at all./

   [gourd] See: SAW WOOD or SAW GOURDS.

   [go with] {v.} 1. To match; to look good with. * /A  yellow  blouse
goes with her blonde hair./ * /The woman bought a purse to go with her
new shoes./ 2. To go out in the company of. * /Tom goes with the  girl
who lives across the street./

   [go without] See: DO WITHOUT.

   [go without saying] {v. phr.} To  be  too  plain  to  need  talking
about; not be necessary to say or mention. * /It goes  without  saying
that children should not be given knives to play with./  *  /A  person
with weak eyes should wear glasses. That goes without saying./

   [go wrong] {v. phr.} 1. To fail; go out of order. * /Something went
wrong with our car and we stalled on the road./ 2.  To  sink  into  an
immoral or criminal existence. * /In a large city many young people go
wrong every year./

   [gown] See: TOWN AND GOWN.

   [grab bag] {n.} 1. A bag from which surprise packages are chosen; a
bag in which there are many  unknown  things.  *  /The  woman  paid  a
quarter for a chance  at  the  grab  bag./  *  /The  children  brought
packages to be sold from the grab bag at the school  carnival./  2.  A
group of many different things from which to choose; a variety. * /The
TV program was a grab bag for young and old alike./

   [grab off] {v.}, {informal} To take quickly; take  or  grab  before
anybody else can; choose for yourself. * /The people who  got  to  the
show first grabbed off the best seats./ * /The women  hurried  to  the
store to grab off the things on sale./ * /The prettiest girls  at  the
dance were grabbed off for partners first./ Compare: SNAP UP.

   [grabs] See: UP FOR GRABS.

   [grace] See: FALL FROM GRACE, IN ONE'S BAD GRACES,  IN  ONE'S  GOOD
GRACES, WITH BAD GRACE, WITH GOOD GRACE.

   [grace period] or [period of grace] {n.} The  time  or  extra  time
allowed in which to do something. * /Most insurance companies  have  a
grace period of one month for payments./ * /The teacher gave the class
a week's period of grace to finish workbooks./

   [grade] See: MAKE THE GRADE.

   [grain] See: AGAINST THE GRAIN, TAKE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.

   [grand slam] {n.} A home run hit when there are three  men  on  the
bases. * /Tony's grand slam won the game for the Yankees, 4-0./

   [grandstand] {v.}, {slang}, {informal}  To  show  off,  to  perform
histrionics needlessly. * /Stop grandstanding and get down  to  honest
work!/

   [grandstander] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} A showoff,  a  person  who
likes to engage in histrionics. * /Many people think that Evel Knievel
is a grandstander./

   [granted] See: TAKE FOR GRANTED.

   [grasp at straws] or [clutch at straws]  {v.  phr.}  To  depend  on
something that is useless or unable to help in a time  of  trouble  or
danger; try something with little hope of succeeding. * /To depend  on
your memory without studying for a test is to grasp at straws./ * /The
robber clutched at straws to make excuses. He said he  wasn't  in  the
country when the robbery happened./

   [grass] See: LET GRASS GROW UNDER ONE'S FEET, SNAKE IN THE GRASS.

   [grasshopper] See: KNEE-HIGH TO A GRASSHOPPER

   [grass is always greener on the other side of the fence] or  [grass
is always greener on the other side of the  hill]  We  are  often  not
satisfied and want to be somewhere else; a place that is far  away  or
different seems better than where we are. * /John is  always  changing
his job because the grass always looks greener to  him  on  the  other
side of the fence./

   [grave] See: ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, TURN IN  ONE'S  GRAVE  or  TURN
OVER IN ONE'S GRAVE.

   [graveyard shift] {n. phr.} The work period lasting from sundown to
sunup, when one has to work in the dark  or  by  artificial  light.  *
/"Why are you always so sleepy in class?" Professor Brown  asked  Sam.
"Because I have to work the graveyard shift beside going  to  school,"
Sam answered./

   [gravy] See: PAN GRAVY.

   [gravy train] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} The kind of job that brings
in a much higher income than the services rendered  would  warrant.  *
/Jack's job at the Athletic Club as Social Director is a regular gravy
train./

   [gray] See: GET GRAY HAIR or GET GRAY, GIVE GRAY HAIR.

   [grease-ball] {n.}, {slang}, {derogatory} (avoid) An immigrant from
a southern country, such as Mexico, Italy, or  Spain;  a  person  with
oily looking black hair. * /Mr. White is a racist; he calls Mr.  Lopez
from Tijuana a grease-ball because he has dark hair./

   [grease monkey] {n., {slang} 1. A person who greases  or  works  on
machinery; a mechanic or worker in a garage  or  gasoline  station.  *
/Hey, grease monkey, fill up my gas tank!/ * /The  grease  monkey  was
all dirty when he came out from under the car./ 2. Airplane  mechanic.
* /Jack was a grease monkey in the Air Force./

   [grease one's palm] or [grease the palm] {slang} 1. To pay a person
for something done or given, especially dishonestly;  bribe.  *  /Some
politicians will help you if you grease their palms./  2.  To  give  a
tip; pay for a special favor or extra help. * /We had  to  grease  the
palm of the waiter to get a table in the crowded restaurant./

   [grease the wheels] {v. phr.}, {informal} To do something or act to
make something go smoothly or happen in the way that is wanted. * /Mr.
Davis asked a friend to grease the wheels so  he  could  borrow  money
from the bank./ * /William's father tried to grease the wheels for him
to get a new job./

   [greasy spoon] {n.}, {informal} Any small,  inexpensive  restaurant
patronized by workers or people in a hurry; a place not noted for  its
excellence of cuisine or its decor. * /I won't have time to eat  lunch
at the club today; I'll just grab  a  sandwich  at  the  local  greasy
spoon./

   [great] See: THINK A GREAT DEAL OF.

   [great deal] See: GOOD DEAL.

   [great  Godfrey]  or  [great  guns]  or  [great  Scott]  {interj.},
{informal} A saying usually used to show surprise or anger.  *  /Great
Godfrey! Uncle Willie is sitting on top of  the  flagpole!/  *  /Great
guns! The lion is out of his cage./  *  /Great  Scott!  Who  stole  my
watch?/

   [great guns] {adv. phr.}, {informal} 1. Very fast or very  hard.  -
Usually used in the phrases "blow great guns", "go great guns". * /The
wind was blowing great guns, and big waves beat the shore./ * /The men
were going great guns to finish the job./ Compare: FAST  AND  FURIOUS.
2. Very well; successfully. * /Smith's new store opened last week  and
it's going great guns./

   [great many] See: GOOD MANY.

   [great oaks from little acorns grow] As great oak trees  grow  from
tiny acorns, so many great people or things  grew  from  a  small  and
unimportant beginning, so be patient. - A proverb. * /Many  great  men
were once poor, unimportant boys. Great oaks from little acorns grow./

   [Great Scott] See: GREAT GODFREY.

   [green] See: GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE
or GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL.

   [green around the gills] or [pale around the  gills]  {adj.  phr.},
{slang} Pale-faced from fear or sickness; sickly; nauseated. * /Bill's
father took him for a ride in his boat while the waves were rough, and
when he came back he was green around the gills./ *  /The  car  almost
hit Mary crossing the street,  and  she  was  pale  around  the  gills
because it came so close./ - Also used with other prepositions besides
"around", as "about", "at", "under", and with other colors, as "blue",
"pink", "yellow", "white".

   [green-eyed monster] {n.  phr.}  Jealousy;  envy.  *  /When  John's
brother got the new bicycle, the green-eyed monster  made  John  fight
with him./

   [green power] {n.}, {slang},  {informal}  The  social  prestige  or
power money can buy  one.  *  /In  American  political  elections  the
candidates that win are usually the ones who have green power  backing
them./

   [green thumb] {n.}, {informal} A talent for gardening;  ability  to
make things  grow.  -  Considered  trite  by  many.  *  /Mr.  Wilson's
neighbors say his flowers grow because he has a green thumb./

   [green with envy]  {adj.  phr.}  Very  jealous;  full  of  envy.  *
/Alice's girlfriends were green  with  envy  when  they  saw  her  new
dress./ * /The other boys were green  with  envy  when  Joe  bought  a
second-hand car./ Compare: GREEN-EYED MONSTER.

   [grief] See: COME TO GRIEF,  GOOD  GRIEF,  GOOD  NIGHT(2)  or  GOOD
GRIEF.

   [grin and bear it] {v. phr.},  {informal}  To  be  as  cheerful  as
possible in pain or trouble; do something without complaining. *  /The
doctor told Mrs. Howard that she had to  stop  eating  sweets  if  she
wanted to lose weight, and she tried to grin and bear it./ *  /If  you
must have a tooth drilled, all you  can  do  is  grin  and  bear  it./
Compare: MAKE THE BEST OF, PUT UP WITH.

   [grind] See: AX TO GRIND.

   [grindstone] See: KEEP ONE'S NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE.

   [grind to a halt] {v. phr.}, {informal} To slow down and stop  like
a machine does when turned off. * /The old car ground  to  a  halt  in
front of the house./ * /The Cardinals' offense ground to a halt before
the stubborn Steeler defense./

   [grip] See: COME TO GRIPS WITH, LOSE ONE'S GRIP.

   [groove] See: IN THE GROOVE.

   [gross out] {v.}, {slang} To commit a vulgar act; to repel  someone
by saying a disgusting or vulgar thing. * /You are going to gross  out
people if you continue talking like that./

   [gross-out session] {n.}, {slang},  {avoidable}  A  verbal  contest
between teen-agers in which the object of the game is to see  who  can
be more disgusting or vulgar than anybody else. * /When Jim  got  home
he found his two teen-age sons engaged  in  a  gross-out  session;  he
bawled them out and cut their weekly allowance./

   [ground] See: BREAK GROUND, COMMON GROUND, COVER  GROUND  or  COVER
THE GROUND, CUT THE GROUND FROM UNDER, EAR TO THE GROUND, FEET ON  THE
GROUND, GAIN GROUND, GET OFF THE GROUND, GIVE  GROUND,  HAPPY  HUNTING
GROUND, HOLD ONE'S GROUND, LOSE GROUND, MIDDLE GROUND,  RUN  INTO  THE
GROUND, STAMPING GROUND, STAND ONE'S GROUND, FROM THE GROUND UP.

   [ground ball] {n.} A ball batted onto the  ground  in  baseball;  a
grounder. * /Taylor hit a ground ball to the short-stop./

   [ground floor] {n.} 1. First floor of a house or building. *  /Mrs.
Turner has an apartment on the ground floor./ 2. {informal} The  first
or best chance, especially in a business. * /That man got rich because
he got in on the ground floor of the television business./

   [ground rule] {n.} 1. A rule in sports that is made especially  for
the grounds or place where a game is played. -  Usually  used  in  the
plural. * /There was such a big crowd at the baseball game,  that  the
ground rules of the field were changed in case a ball  went  into  the
crowd./ 2. A rule, usually not written, of what to do or how to act in
case certain things happen. - Usually used in the plural. * /When  you
go to a new school, you don't know tire ground rules of  how  you  are
supposed to behave./

   [grow] See: GREAT OAKS PROM LITTLE  ACORNS  GROW,  LET  GRASS  GROW
UNDER ONE'S FEET.

   [growing pains] {n.} 1. Pains in children's  legs  supposed  to  be
caused by changes in their bodies and feelings as they  grow.  *  /The
little girl's legs hurt, and her  mother  told  her  she  had  growing
pains./ 2. {informal} Troubles when  something  new  is  beginning  or
growing. * /The factory has growing pains./

   [grow on] or [grow upon] {v.} 1. To become stronger in; increase as
a habit of. * /The habit of eating  before  going  to  bed  grew  upon
John./ 2. To become more interesting to or liked by. * /The more  Jack
saw Mary, the more she grew on him./ * /Football grew on Billy  as  he
grew older./

   [grow out of] {v. phr.} 1. To outgrow; become too mature for. * /As
a child he had a habit of scratching his chin all  the  time,  but  he
grew out of it./ 2. To result from; arise. * /Tom's illness  grew  out
of his tendency to overwork and neglect his health./

   [grow up] {v.} 1. To increase in size or height; become  taller  or
older; reach full height. * /Johnny is growing up; his shoes  are  too
small for him./ * /I grew up on a farm./ *  /The  city  has  grown  up
since I was young./ 2. To become adult in mind or judgment; become old
enough to think or decide in important matters. * /Tom wants to  he  a
coach when he grows up./ * /Grow up, you're not a baby any more!/

   [grudge] See: NURSE A GRUDGE.

   [guard] See: COLOR GUARD, OFF GUARD, ON GUARD.

   [guest] See: BF. MY GUEST.

   [gum up] {v.}, {slang} To cause not to work or  ruin;  spoil;  make
something go wrong. - Often used in the phrase "gum up the  works".  *
/Jimmy has gummed up the typewriter./ Syn.: THROW A MONKEY WRENCH.

   [gun] See: BIG CHEESE or BIG GUN, GIVE IT THE GUN or GIVE  HER  THE
GUN, GREAT GODFREY or GREAT GUNS, JUMP THE GUN, SON OF A GUN, STICK TO
ONE'S GUNS or STAND BY ONE'S GUNS, TILL THE LAST GUN IS FIRED or UNTIL
THE LAST GUN IS FIRED.

   [gun for] {v.}, {informal} 1. To hunt for with a gun; look hard for
a chance to harm or defeat. * /The cowboy is gunning for the  man  who
stole his horse./ * /Bob is gunning for me because I got a higher mark
than he did./ 2. To try very hard to get. * /The man  is  gunning  for
first prize in the golf tournament./

   [gung-ho] {adj.}, {colloquial} Enthusiastic, full of  eagerness  in
an uncritical or unsophisticated manner. * /Suzie is  all  gung-ho  on
equal rights for women, but fails to see the consequences./

   [gut feeling] {n. phr.} An instinctive reaction. * /I  have  a  gut
feeling that they will never get married in spite of all they say./

   [gut reaction] {n. phr.} A mental or physical response that springs
from one's depths. * /My gut reaction was to get out of here  as  fast
as possible./

   [gut talk] {n. phr.} Sincere, honest talk. * /We admire people  who
speak gut talk and tell exactly what they think and feet./

   [guts] See: HATE ONE'S GUTS, HAVE THE GUTS TO DO SOMETHING.

   [guy] See: REGULAR GUY, WISE GUY.





   [hackle] See: RAISE HACKLES or RAISE ONE'S HACKLES.

   [had as soon] or [had as lief] See: AS SOON.

   [had better] or [had best] {informal} Should; must. * /I had better
leave now, or I'll be late./ * /If you want to stay  out  of  trouble,
you had best not make any mistakes. / * /Jim decided he had better  do
his homework instead of playing ball./

   [had rather] or [had sooner]  {v.}  To  choose  to  (do  one  thing
instead of another thing); like better to; would  prefer  to.  -  Used
with an infinitive without "to". * /My aunt invited me to the  movies,
but I said I had rather go on a picnic  with  the  girls./  *  /I  had
sooner live in the city than on a farm./

   [hall] See: WITHIN CALL or WITHIN HAIL.

   [hail-fellow-well-met(1)] {adj.  phr.}  Talking  easily  and  in  a
friendly way to everyone you meet. * /John won the election  as  class
president because he was hail-fellow-well-met./

   [hail-fellow-well-met(2)] {n. phr.} A good  friend  and  companion;
buddy; pal. * /John just moved to town but he  and  the  boys  in  the
neighborhood are already hail-fellows-well-met./

   [hail from] {v.}, {informal} To have your home in;  come  from;  be
from; especially, to have been born and raised  in.  *  /Mrs.  Gardner
hails from Mississippi./ * /Mr. Brown and Mr. White  are  old  friends
because they both hail from the same town./

   [hair] See: CURL ONE'S HAIR, GET GRAY HAIR or GET GRAY,  GIVE  GRAY
HAIR, HANG BY A THREAD or HANG BY A HAIR, HIDE OR  HAIR  or  HIDE  NOR
HAIR, IN ONE'S HAIR, LET ONE'S HAIR DOWN, OUT  OF  ONE'S  HAIR,  SPLIT
HAIRS, TEAR ONE'S HAIR.

   [haircut place] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio jargon} Bridge
or overpass with tight clearance. * /Are we going to make it  in  that
haircut place?/

   [hairdo] {n.} Style or manner of  arranging,  combing,  or  wearing
one's hair. * /"How do you like my new hairdo?"  Jane  asked,  as  she
left the beauty parlor./

   [hair stand on end] {informal} The hair of your head rises  stiffly
upwards as a sign or result of great fright  or  horror.  *  /When  he
heard the strange cry, his hair stood on end./ *  /The  sight  of  the
dead man made his hair stand on end./ Compare: BLOOD RUN  COLD,  HEART
IN  ONE'S  MOUTH,  HEART  STAND  STILL,  JUMP  OUT  OF   ONE'S   SKIN,
SPINE-CHILLING.

   [hale and hearty] {adj. phr.} In very good health; well and strong.
* /Grandfather will be 80 years old  tomorrow,  but  he  is  hale  and
hearty./ * /That little boy looks hale and hearty, as if he  is  never
sick./

   [half] See: GO HALVES, GO OFF HALF-COCKED also GO OFF AT HALF COCK,
IN HALF, SIX OF ONE AND HALF-A-DOZEN OF THE OTHER, TIME  AND  A  HALF,
TOO-BY HALF.

   [half  a  chance]  or  [a  half  chance]  {n.}  An  opportunity;  a
reasonable chance. * /Just give yourself half a chance  and  you  will
quickly get used to your new job./

   [half a loaf is better than none] or [half a loaf is better than no
bread] Part of what we want or  need  is  better  than  nothing.  -  A
proverb. * /Albert wanted two dollars  for  shoveling  snow  from  the
sidewalk but the lady would only give him a dollar. And he  said  that
half a loaf is better than none./ Compare: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.

   [half a mind] also [half a notion] {n. phr.}, {informal} A wish  or
plan that you have not yet decided to act on; a  thought  of  possibly
doing something. - Used after "have" or "with" and before "to" and  an
infinitive. * /I have half a mind to stop studying and  walk  over  to
the brook./ * /Jerry went home with half a mind to telephone Betty./

   [half-and-half(1)] {adj.} As much one thing as  the  other.  *  /We
asked the coach if more boys than girls were interested  in  debating,
and he said it was about half-and-half./ * /The show  last  night  was
neither very good  nor  very  poor  -  just  half-and-half./  Compare:
FIFTY-FIFTY.

   [half-and-half(2)] {n.} A mixture of milk and cream in equal parts,
used with cereal or  coffee.  *  /John  uses  half-and-half  with  his
cereal, but his wife, who is dieting, uses milk./

   [half an eye] {n. phr.} A slight  glance;  a  quick  look.  *  /The
substitute teacher could see with half an eye that she  was  going  to
have trouble with the class./ * /While Mary was cooking she kept  half
an eye on the baby to see that he didn't get into mischief./

   [half bad] See: NOT BAD.

   [half-baked]  {adj.},  {informal}  Not  thought  out   or   studied
thoroughly; not worth considering or accepting. * /We wish  Tom  would
not take our time at meetings to offer his half-baked  ideas./  *  /We
cannot afford to put the  government  in  the  hands  of  people  with
half-baked plans./

   [half-hearted] {adj.} Lacking enthusiasm or interest. * /Phil  made
several half-hearted attempts to learn word processing, but  we  could
see that he didn't really like it./

   [half-holiday] {n.} A day on which you get out of school or work in
the  afternoon.  *  /The  principal  said  that  Tuesday  would  be  a
half-holiday./

   [half the battle] {n.phr.} A large part of the work.  *  /When  you
write an essay for class, making the outline is half  the  battle./  *
/To see your faults and  decide  to  change  is  half  the  battle  of
self-improvement./

   [half-time] {n.} A rest period in the middle of certain games. * /I
saw Henry at the football game and I went over and talked  to  him  at
half-time./ * /The pep squad put on  a  drill  at  half-time  when  we
played basketball with our old rivals./

   [halfway] See: GO HALFWAY or MEET ONE HALF-WAY  or  GO  HALFWAY  TO
MEET ONE.

   [halt] See: CALL A HALT, GRIND TO A HALT.

   [ham actor] {n. phr.}, {slang} An  untalented  actor;  someone  who
tries  so  hard  to  act  that  his  performance   becomes   foolishly
exaggerated. * /Fred is a ham actor who,  instead  of  memorizing  his
lines, keeps moving around in a ridiculous way./

   [ham-handed] {adj.}, {slang} 1. Having very large hands. * /Pete is
a big, ham-handed man who used to  be  a  football  player./  2.  See:
HEAVY-HANDED.

   [ham it up] {v. phr.}, {slang} To do  more  than  look  natural  in
acting a part; pretend too much; exaggerate.  *  /When  Tom  told  the
teacher he was too sick to do homework, he really  hammed  it  up./  *
/The old-fashioned movies are funny to us because the  players  hammed
it up./ Compare: LAY IT ON.

   [hammer] See: GO AT IT HAMMER AND TONGS, UNDER THE HAMMER.

   [hammer and tongs] {adv. phr.} Violently. *  /Mr.  and  Mrs.  Smith
have been at it all day, hammer and tongs./

   [hammer at] or [hammer away at] {v.} 1. To work steadily  at;  keep
at. * /That lesson is not easy, but hammer away at it and you will get
it right./ 2. To talk about again and again; emphasize. * /The speaker
hammered at his opponent's ideas./

   [hammer out] {v.} 1. To write or  produce  by  hard  work.  *  /The
President sat at his desk till midnight hammering out his  speech  for
the next day./ 2. To remove, change, or work  out  by  discussion  and
debate; debate and agree on (something). * /Mrs. Brown and Mrs.  Green
have hammered out their difference of opinion./ *  /The  club  members
have hammered out an agreement between the two groups./ Compare:  IRON
OUT.

   [Hancock] See: JOHN HANCOCK or JOHN HENRY.

   [hand] See: AT HAND, BIRD IN THE HAND IS WORTH  TWO  IN  THE  BUSH,
BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS ONE, CLEAN HANDS, DIRTY ONE'S HANDS, EAT  OUT
OF ONE'S HAND, FORCE ONE'S HAND, FREE HAND, FROM HAND  TO  HAND,  GLAD
HAND, HAM-HANDED, HANG HEAVY or HANG HEAVY  ON  ONE'S  HANDS,  HAT  IN
HAND, HAVE A HAND IN, HAVE ONE'S HANDS FULL,  HEAVY-HANDED,  IN  HAND,
JOIN FORCES or JOIN HANDS, KEEP ONE'S HAND IN, LAY HANDS ON, LAY ONE'S
HANDS ON or GET ONE'S HAND ON or PUT ONE'S HAND ON,  LEND  A  HAND  or
GIVE A HAND or BEAR A HAND, LET ONE'S LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT ONE'S  RIGHT
HAND IS DOING, LIFT A FINGER or LIFT A HAND also RAISE  A  HAND,  LIVE
FROM HAND TO MOUTH, MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK, OFF  ONE'S  HANDS,  ON
HAND, ON ONE'S HANDS, ON THE OTHER HAND, OUT OF HAND, PLAY INTO  ONE'S
HANDS, PUT ONE'S HAND TO or SET ONE'S HAND TO or TURN ONE'S  HAND  TO,
PUT ONE'S HAND TO THE PLOW, ROB THE TILL or HAVE  ONE'S  HAND  IN  THE
TILL, SECTION HAND, SIT ON ONE'S  HANDS,  TAKE  ONE'S  LIFE  IN  ONE'S
HANDS, TAKE THE LAW INTO ONE'S OWN HANDS, THROW UP ONE'S HANDS,  THROW
UP ONE'S HANDS IN HORROR, TIE ONE'S HANDS, TRY ONE'S HAND, UPPER  HAND
or WHIP HAND, WASH ONE'S HANDS OF.

   [hand and foot] {adv. phr.} 1. So that the hands and feet cannot be
used. - Used with "bind" or a synonym. * /The robbers bound  him  hand
and foot and left him on the floor./ 2. So  that  no  tree  action  is
possible. - Used with "bind" or a synonym. * /If Mr. Jones signs  that
paper, he will be bound hand and foot./ 3. See: WAIT ON HAND AND FOOT.

   [hand and glove] See: HAND IN GLOVE.

   [hand down] {v.} To arrange to give or leave after, death.  *  /Joe
will have his father's gold watch because it is  handed  down  in  the
family./ * /In old times, property was  usually  handed  down  to  the
oldest son at his father's death./ Compare: PASS ON.

   [hand in] See: TURN IN(1).

   [hand in glove] or [hand and glove]  {adj.}  or  {adv.  phr.}  Very
close or friendly;  working  together;  in  very  close  agreement  or
cooperation, especially for bad purposes. * /The Navy  and  the  Coast
Guard work hand and glove, especially in  war  time./  *  /Judges  and
others in high office sometimes are hand in glove  with  gangsters  to
cheat and steal./

   [hand in hand] {adv. phr.} 1. Holding hands. * /Bob and Mary walked
along hand in hand in the park./ Compare: ARM IN ARM. 2.  Accompanying
each  other;  together;  closely  connected.  -  Used  with  "go".   *
/Ignorance and poverty often go hand  in  hand./  *  /Selfishness  and
unhappiness often go hand in hand./

   [hand it to] {v. phr.}, {informal} To admit the excellence of; give
credit or praise to. * /You have to hand it to Jim; he is very careful
and hard-working in all he does./ * /The teacher said, "I hand  it  to
Jane for the way she managed the Music Club."/ Syn.:  TAKE  OFF  ONE'S
HAT TO.

   [handle] See: FLY OFF THE HANDLE.

   [handle to one's name] {n. phr.},  {slang}  A  special  title  used
before your name. * /Jim's father has a handle  to  his  name.  He  is
Major Watson./ * /Bob came back from the University with a  handle  to
his name and was called Dr. Jones./

   [handle with  gloves]  or  [handle  with  kid  gloves]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} 1. To treat very gently and carefully. * /An atomic bomb is
handled with kid gloves./ 2. To treat with great tact and diplomacy. *
/Aunt Jane is so irritable that we have to treat her with kid gloves./

   [hand-me-down] {n.}, {informal} Something given away after  another
person has no more use for it; especially, used clothing. * /Alice had
four older sisters, so all her clothes were hand-me-downs./

   [hand off] {v.} To hand  the  football  to  another  back.  *  /The
quarterback faked to the fullback and handed off to the halfback./

   [hand on] {v.} To pass along to the next person who should have it.
* /Everyone in class should read this,  so  when  you  have  finished,
please hand it on./ * /In the early days, news was handed on from  one
person to another./

   [handout] {n.} 1. A  free  gift  of  food,  clothes,  etc.  *  /The
homeless people were standing in a long line for various handouts./ 2.
A typed and photocopied sheet or sheets of paper  outlining  the  main
points made by a  speaker.  *  /Please  look  at  page  three  of  the
handout./

   [hand out] {v.}, {informal} To give (things of the  same  kind)  to
several people. * /The teacher handed out the examination  papers./  *
/At the Christmas party Santa Claus handed out the presents under  the
tree./ * /Handing out free advice to all your friends  will  not  make
them like you./ Compare: GIVE OUT(3).

   [hand over] {v.} To give control or possession of; give (something)
to another person. * /When the teacher saw Johnny reading a comic book
in study period, she made him hand over the book./ * /When  Mr.  Jones
gets old, he will hand over his business to his son./ Syn.: FORK OVER,
GIVE UP(1), TURN OVER(3).

   [hand over fist] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Fast and in large amounts.
* /Fred may get a pony for Christmas  because  his  father  is  making
money hand over fist./ * /Business is so bad that  the  store  on  the
corner is losing money hand over fist./

   [hand over hand] {adv. phr.} By taking hold with one hand over  the
other alternately. * /The only way to climb a rope is hand over hand./

   [hand-pick] {v.}, {informal} To  choose  very  carefully.  *  /This
debating team should win because its members are all  hand-picked./  *
/The political bosses hand-picked a man for mayor who would agree with
them./

   [hands-down] {adj.}, {informal} 1.  Easy.  *  /The  Rangers  won  a
hands-down victory in the tournament./ 2. Unopposed; first;  clear.  *
/Johnny was the hands-down favorite for president of the class./

   [hands down] {adv.}, {informal} 1. Without working hard; easily.  *
/The Rangers won the game hands down./ 2. Without question  or  doubt;
without any opposition; plainly. * /Johnny was  bands  down  the  best
player on the team./

   [hands off] {informal} Keep your hands off  or  do  not  interfere;
leave that alone. - Used as a command. * /I was  going  to  touch  the
machine, but the man cried, "Hands off!" and I let it alone./

   [hands-off] {adj.},  {informal}  Leaving  alone,  not  interfering;
inactive. * /The United States told the European governments to follow
a hands-off policy toward Latin America./ * /I did not approve of  his
actions, but I have a hands-off rule in personal matters,  so  I  said
nothing./

   [handsome is as handsome does] {informal} A person  must  act  well
and generously so that he will be truly worth respecting. - A proverb.
* /Everyone thinks that Bon is a very handsome boy,  but  he  is  very
mean too. Handsome is as handsome does./ Compare: FINE FEATHERS DO NOT
MAKE PINE BIRDS.

   [hands up] {informal} Hold up your hands! Put your  hands  up  high
and keep them there! - Used as a command. * /The sheriff  pointed  his
gun at the outlaws and called out, "Hands up!"/ Syn.:  REACH  FOR  THE
SKY.

   [hand something to someone on a silver platter] {v. phr.} To give a
person a reward that has not been earned. * /The lazy student expected
his diploma to be handed to him on a silver platter./

   [hand to hand] {adv. phr.} Close together, near enough to hit  each
other. * /The two soldiers fought hand to hand until  one  fell  badly
wounded./ * /In modern naval warfare, men seldom fight hand to  hand./
Compare: FACE TO FACE.

   [hand-to-hand] {adj.} Close to each other; near enough to hit  each
other. * /The  result  of  the  battle  was  decided  in  hand-to-hand
combat./ * /When the police tried to break  up  the  riot,  there  was
hand-to-hand  fighting  with  fists,  stones,  and  clubs./   Compare:
FACE-TO-FACE.

   [hand-to-mouth] {adj.} Not providing for the  future;  living  from
day to day; not saving  for  later.  *  /Many  native  tribes  lead  a
hand-to-mouth existence, content to have food for one day at a  time./
* /John is not a saving boy; he spends his money without  thought  for
the future, and lives a hand-to-mouth life./ See: LIVE  FROM  HAND  TO
MOUTH.

   [handwriting on the wall] {n. phr.} A sign that something bad  will
happen. * /When Bill's team lost four games  in  a  row,  he  saw  the
handwriting on the wall./ * /John's employer had less  and  less  work
for him; John could read the handwriting on the wall  and  looked  for
another job./

   [hang] See: GO HANG, GIVE A HANG or CARE A HANG,  GIVE  ONE  ENOUGH
ROPE, AND HE WILL HANG HIMSELF, LEAVE HANGING or LEAVE HANGING IN  THE
AIR.

   [hang around] {v.}, {informal} 1. To pass time or stay near without
any real purpose or aim; loaf near or in. * /The principal warned  the
students not to  hang  around  the  corner  drugstore  after  school./
Compare: HANG OUT(1). 2. To spend time  or  associate,  *  /Jim  hangs
around with some boys who live in his neighborhood./

   [hang back] or [hang off] or [hang behind] 1. To stay some distance
behind or away, be unwilling to move  forward.  *  /Mary  offered  the
little girl candy, but she was shy and hung back./ 2. To  hesitate  or
be unwilling to do something. * /Lou wanted Fred to join the club, but
Fred hung off./

   [hang behind] See: HANG BACK(1).

   [hang by a hair] See: HANG BY A THREAD.

   [hang by a thread] or [hang by a hair] {v. phr.}  To  depend  on  a
very small thing; be in doubt. * /For three days Tom was so sick  that
his life hung by a thread./ * /As Joe got ready to kick a field  goal,
the result of the game hung by a hair./ Compare: HANG IN THE BALANCE.

   [hanger] See: CREPE HANGER.

   [hang fire] {v. phr.} 1. To fail or be slow in shooting or  firing.
* /Smith pulled the trigger, but  the  gun  hung  fire  and  the  deer
escaped./ 2. To be slow in beginning; to be delayed; to wait.  *  /The
boys' plans for organizing a scout troop hung fire because they  could
not find a man to be scoutmaster./

   [hang heavy] or [hang heavy on  one's  hands]  {v.  phr.}  To  pass
slowly or uninterestingly;  be  boring  with  little  to  do.  *  /The
vacation time hung heavy on Dick's hands because all his friends  were
away at camp./ Compare: ON ONE'S HANDS.

   [hang in effigy] or [burn in effigy] {v. phr.} To hang  or  burn  a
figure, usually a stuffed dummy, representing a person who is disliked
or scorned. * /When the high school team lost the  championship  game,
the coach was hung in effigy by the townspeople./ * /During World  War
II, Hitler was sometimes burned in effigy in the United States./

   [hang in the balance]  {v.  phr.}  To  have  two  equally  possible
results; to be in doubt; be uncertain. * /Until Jim scored the winning
touchdown, the outcome of the game hung in the balance./  *  /She  was
very sick and her life hung in the balance for several days./ Compare:
HANG BY A THREAD.

   [hang in (there)] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To persevere;  not
to give up; to stick to a project and not lose  faith  or  courage.  *
/Hang in there old buddy; the worst is yet to come./

   [hang it] {interj.}, {informal}  An  exclamation  used  to  express
annoyance or disappointment. * /Oh, hang it! I  forgot  to  bring  the
book I wanted to show you./ * /Hang it all, why don't you watch  where
you're going?/

   [hang off] See: HANG BACK.

   [hang on] {v.} 1. To hold on to something, usually tightly. * /Jack
almost fell off the cliff, but managed to hang on  until  help  came./
Syn.: HOLD ON(1). 2a. To continue doing  something;  persist.  *  /The
grocer was losing money  every  day,  but  he  hung  on,  hoping  that
business would improve./ Compare: HOLD OUT, STICK OUT. 2b. To  hold  a
lead in a race or other contest while one's opponents try to rally.  *
/The favorite horse opened an early lead and hung on  to  win  as  two
other horses almost passed him in  the  final  stretch./  *  /Bunning,
staked to a 6-0 lead in the first inning, hung on to heat the  Dodgers
6-4./ 3. To continue to give trouble or cause suffering. * /Lou's cold
hung on from January to  April./  4.  To  continue  listening  on  the
telephone. * /Jerry asked John, who had called him on  the  phone,  to
hung on while he ran for a pencil and a sheet of paper./ Compare: HOLD
ON(3).

   [hang one on] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To give a heavy  blow  to;  hit
hard. * /The champion hung one on his challenger in the  second  round
and knocked him out of the ring./ 2. To get very drunk. * /After Smith
lost his job, he went to a bar and hung one on./

   [hang one's head] {v. phr.} To bend your head forward in  shame.  *
/Johnny hung his head when the teacher  asked  him  if  he  broke  the
window./ Compare: HIDE ONE'S HEAD.

   [hang on the words of] also [hang on the  lips  of]  {v.  phr.}  To
listen very attentively to. * /Ann hangs on every word of her  history
teacher and takes very careful notes. / * /As  he  went  on  with  his
speech, his auditors, deeply interested, hung on his lips./

   [hang on to] {v.} To hold tightly; keep firmly. * /The  child  hung
on to its mother's apron, and would not let go./ * /John did not  like
his job, but decided to hang on to it until he found a better one./

   [hang on to one's  mother's  apron  strings]  See:  TIED  TO  ONE'S
MOTHER'S APRON STRINGS.

   [hang on to your hat] or [hold on to your hat] or [hold  your  hat]
{v. phr.}, {informal} 1. Watch out; be prepared. - Used as a  command,
usually to warn of an unexpected action. * /"Hold  on  to  your  hat,"
said Jim as he stepped on the gas and the car shot  forward./  2.  Get
ready for a surprise.  -  Used  as  a  command,  usually  to  warn  of
unexpected news. * /"Hold on to your hat," said Mary. "Jim asked me to
marry him."/

   [hang out] {v.} 1. {slang} To spend  your  time  idly  or  lounging
about. * /The teacher complained that Joe was hanging out in poolrooms
instead of doing his homework./ Compare: HANG AROUND(1). 2. {slang} To
live; reside. * /Two policemen stopped  the  stranger  and  asked  him
where he hung out./ 3. To reach out farther than  the  part  below.  *
/The branches of the trees hung out over the road./ * /The upper floor
of that house hangs out above the first./

   [hang out one's shingle]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  give  public
notice of the opening of an office, especially a doctor's or  lawyer's
office, by putting up a small signboard. * /The young doctor hung  out
his shingle and soon had a large practice./

   [hangover] {n.} A bad feeling of nausea  and/or  headache  the  day
after one has had too much to drink. * /Boy, did  I  have  a  hangover
after that party yesterday!/

   [hang over] {v.} 1. To be going to happen to;  threaten.  *  /Great
trouble hangs over the little town because its only factory has closed
down./ 2. To remain to be finished or settled. * /The  committee  took
up the business that hung over from its last meeting./

   [hang over one's head] {v. phr.} To be a danger or threat to you. -
An overused phrase. * /Over Jimmy's head hung the teacher's  suspicion
that Jimmy had cheated in the final examination./ * /Death hangs  over
a bullfighter's head every time he performs./

[hang round] See: HANG AROUND.

   [hang ten] {v.}, {slang} 1. To be an  outstanding  performer  on  a
surfboard or on a skateboard (referring to the user's ten toes). *  /I
bet I am going to be able to hang ten if you let me practice  on  your
skateboard./ 2. To be a survivor despite great odds.  *  /Don't  worry
about Jack, he can hang ten anywhere!/

   [hang together] {v.}  1.  To  stay  united;  help  and  defend  one
another. * /The club members always hung together when one of them was
in trouble./ Syn.: STICK TOGETHER. Compare: STAND BY, STAND UP FOR. 2.
{informal} To form a satisfactory whole; fit together. * /Jack's story
of why he was absent from school seems to hang together./

   [hang up] {v.} 1. To place on a hook, peg, or hanger. *  /When  the
children come to school, they hang up their coats in  the  cloakroom./
2a. To place a telephone receiver back  on  its  hook  and  break  the
connection. * /Carol's mother told her she had talked long  enough  on
the phone and made her hang up./ 2b. To put a phone receiver  back  on
its hook while the other person is still talking. - Used with "on".  *
/I said something that made Joe angry, and he  hung  up  on  me./  3a.
{informal} To cause to be stuck or held  so  as  to  be  immovable.  -
Usually used in the passive. * /Ann's car was hung up in  a  snowdrift
and she had to call a garageman to get  it  out./  3b.  {informal}  To
stick or get held so as to be immovable. * /A big passenger ship  hung
up on a sandbar for several hours./ 4. {informal}  To  cause  a  wait;
delay. * /Rehearsals for the school play were hung up by  the  illness
of some of the actors./ 5. {informal} To set (a record.) *  /Bob  hung
up a school record for long distance swimming./

   [hang-up] {n.}, {informal} (stress on "hang") 1. A  delay  in  some
process. * /The mail has been late for several  days;  there  must  be
some hang-up with the trucks somewhere./ 2.  A  neurotic  reaction  to
some life situation probably stemming from a traumatic shock which has
gone unconscious. * /Doctor Simpson believes that Suzie's frigidity is
due to some hang-up about men./

   [happen on] or [happen upon]  {v.},  {literary}  To  meet  or  find
accidentally or by chance. * /The Girl Scouts happened on  a  charming
little brook not far from the camp./ * /At the convention  I  happened
upon an old friend I had not seen for years./ Syn.:  CHANCE  ON,  COME
ACROSS(1),(3). Compare: HIT ON.

   [happy] See: STRIKE A HAPPY MEDIUM, TRIGGER HAPPY at QUICK  ON  THE
TRIGGER.

   [happy as the day is long] {adj. phr.} Cheerful and happy. *  /Carl
is happy as the day is long because school is over for the summer./

   [happy-go-lucky] See: FOOTLOOSE AND FANCY-FREE.

   [happy hour] {n.}, {informal} A time in bars  or  restaurants  when
cocktails are served at a reduced rate, usually one hour  before  they
start serving dinner. * /Happy  hour  is  between  6  and  7  P.M.  at
Celestial Gardens./

   [happy hunting ground] {n. phr.} 1. The place  where,  in  American
Indian belief, a person goes  after  death;  heaven.  *  /The  Indians
believed that at death they went to  the  happy  hunting  ground./  2.
{informal} A place or area where you can find a rich variety  of  what
you want, and plenty of it. * /The forest is a  happy  hunting  ground
for scouts who  are  interested  in  plants  and  flowers./  *  /Shell
collectors find the ocean beaches happy hunting grounds./

   [hard] See: GIVE A HARD TIME, GO HARD WITH, SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS.

   [hard-and-fast] {adj.} Not to be broken or changed; fixed;  strict.
* /The teacher said  that  there  was  a  hard-and-fast  rule  against
smoking in the school./

   [hard as nails] {adj. phr.}, {informal}  1.  Not  flabby  or  soft;
physically very fit; tough and strong. * /After a summer  of  work  in
the country, Jack was as hard as  nails,  without  a  pound  of  extra
weight./ 2. Not gentle or mild; rough; stern. * /Johnny  works  for  a
boss who is as hard as nails and scolds  Johnny  roughly  whenever  he
does something wrong./

   [hard-boiled] {adj.} Unrefined; tough; merciless. *  /"Because  you
were two minutes late," my hard-boiled  boss  cried,  "I  will  deduct
fifteen minutes worth from your salary!"/

   [hard cash] See: COLD CASH.

   [hard feeling] {n.} Angry or bitter feeling; enmity. - Usually used
in the plural. * /Jim asked Andy to shake hands with him, just to show
that there were no hard feelings./ * /Bob and  George  once  quarreled
over a girl, and there are still hard feelings between them./

   [hard-fisted] {adj.} 1. Able to do hard physical labor;  strong.  *
/Jack's uncle was a hard-fisted truck driver with muscles  of  steel./
2. Not gentle or easy-going; tough; stern. * /The new  teacher  was  a
hard-fisted woman who would allow no nonsense./ 3. Stingy or mean; not
generous with money. * /The hard-fisted banker  refused  to  lend  Mr.
Jones more money for his business./

   [hard going] {adj. phr.} Fraught with difficulty. * /Dave finds his
studies of math hard going./

   [hardheaded] {adj.}  Stubborn;  shrewd;  practical.  *  /Don  is  a
hardheaded businessman  who  made  lots  of  money,  even  during  the
recession./

   [hardhearted]  {adj.}  Unsympathetic;  merciless.  *  /Jack  is  so
hardhearted that even his own children expect nothing from him./

   [hard-hitting] {adj.} Working hard to get things done;  strong  and
active; stubbornly eager. * /The boys put on a hard-hitting  drive  to
raise  money  for  uniforms  for  the  football  team./  *  /He  is  a
hard-hitting and successful football coach./

   [hard line] {n. phr.} Tough political policy.  *  /Although  modern
economists were trying to persuade him to open up to the West,  Castro
has always taken the hard line approach./

   [hard-liner] {n.} A politician who takes the hard line.  See:  HARD
LINE.

   [hard luck] See: TOUGH LUCK.

   [hardly any] or [scarcely any] Almost no or almost none; very  few.
* /Hardly any of the students did well on the  test,  so  the  teacher
explained the lesson again./ * /Charles and his friends each had three
cookies, and when they went out, hardly any cookies were left./

   [hardly ever] or [scarcely ever] {adv. phr.}  Very  rarely;  almost
never; seldom. * /It hardly ever snows in Florida./ *  /Johnny  hardly
ever reads a book./

   [hard-nosed] {adj.}, {slang} Tough or rugged; very strict; not weak
or soft; stubborn, especially in a fight or contest. *  /Joe's  father
was a hard-nosed army officer who had seen service  in  two  wars./  *
/Pete  is  a  good  boy;  he  plays  hard-nosed  football./   Compare:
HARD-BOILED.

   [hard nut to crack] also [tough nut to crack] {n. phr.}, {informal}
Something difficult to understand or to do. *  /Tom's  algebra  lesson
was a hard nut to crack./ * /Mary found knitting a hard nut to crack./
Compare: HARD ROW TO HOE.

   [hard of hearing] {adj.} Partially deaf. *  /Some  people  who  are
hard of hearing wear hearing aids./

   [hard-on] {n.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable}.  An  erection  of  the  male
sexual organ.

   [hard put] or [hard put to it]  {adj.}  In  a  difficult  position;
faced with difficulty; barely able. * /John was hard  put  to  find  a
good excuse for his lateness in coming to school./ * /The scouts found
themselves hard put to it to find the way home./

   [hard row to hoe] or [tough row to hoe] {n. phr.} A  hard  life  to
live; a very hard job to do. * /She has a hard row  to  hoe  with  six
children and  her  husband  dead./  *  /Young  people  without  enough
education will have a tough row to  hoe  when  they  have  to  support
themselves./ Syn.: HARD SLEDDING. Compare: DOWN ON  ONE'S  LUCK,  HARD
NUT TO CRACK.

   [hard sell] {n.}, {informal} A kind of  salesmanship  characterized
by great vigor, aggressive persuasion, and great eagerness on the part
of the person selling something; opposed to "soft sell". * /Your  hard
sell turns off a lot of people; try the soft sell for a change,  won't
you?/

   [hard sledding] or  [rough  sledding]  or  [tough  sledding]  {n.},
{informal} Difficulty in succeeding or making progress.  *  /Jane  had
hard sledding in her math course because she was poorly  prepared./  *
/When Mr. Smith started his new business, he had tough sledding for  a
while but things got better./

   [hard-top] {n.} 1. A car that has a metal roof; a car that is not a
convertible. * /Every spring Mr. Jones sells his hard-top and  buys  a
convertible./ 2. or [hardtop convertible] A car with windows that  can
be completely lowered with no partitions left standing, and with a top
that may or may not be lowered. * /Mr. Brown's new car  is  a  hardtop
convertible./

   [hard up] {adj.}, {informal} Without enough  money  or  some  other
needed thing. * /Dick was hard up and asked Lou to lend him a dollar./
* /The campers were hard up for water because their well had run dry./
Compare: UP AGAINST IT.

   [hard way] {n.} The harder or more punishing of two or more ways to
solve a problem, do something, or learn something. - Used with  "the".
* /The mayor refused the help of the crooks and won the  election  the
hard way by going out to meet the people./ * /The challenger found out
the hard way that the champion's left hand had to be avoided./

   [hare] See: MAD AS A HATTER or MAD AS A MARCH HARE,  RUN  WITH  THE
HARE AND HUNT (RIDE) WITH THE HOUNDS.

   [harebrained]  {adj.}  Thoughtless;  foolish.  *   /Most   of   the
harebrained things Ed does may be attributable to his youth  and  lack
of experience./

   [hark back] {v.}, {literary} 1.  To  recall  or  turn  back  to  an
earlier time or happening. * /Judy is always harking back to the  good
times she had at camp./ 2. To go back to something as a  beginning  or
origin. * /The cars of today hark back to the first  automobiles  made
about 1900./ * /The slit in the back of a man's coal harks back to the
days when men rode horseback./

   [harp away at] or [on] {v.} To mention again and again. *  /In  his
campaign speeches, Jones harps on  his  rival's  wealth  and  powerful
friends./

   [Harry] See: TOM, DICK, AND HARRY.

   [harum-scarum(1)] {adv.}, {informal} In a careless,  disorderly  or
reckless way. * /Jim does his homework harum-scarum, and that  is  why
his schoolwork is so poor./

   [harum-scarum(2)] {adj.}, {informal} Careless, wild, or  disorderly
in one's acts or performance; reckless. * /Jack is such a harum-scarum
boy that you can never depend on him to do anything right./

   [hash] See: SETTLE ONE'S HASH, SLING HASH.

   [hash house] {n.}, {slang} An eating place where  cheap  meals  are
served. * /Joe and his friends went to a hash house around the  corner
after the game./

   [hash out] {v.}, {informal} To talk all about and try to agree  on;
discuss thoroughly. * /The teacher asked Susan and Jane  to  sit  down
together and hash out their differences./ * /The students  hashed  out
the matter and decided to drop it./

   [hash up] {v.}, {slang} 1. To make a mess  of;  do  badly.  *  /Bob
really hashed up that exam and failed the  course./  2.  To  bring  to
life; remember and talk about. * /The teacher advised Sue not to  hash
up old bitterness against her schoolmates./

   [haste] See: MAKE HASTE.

   [hat] See: AT THE DROP OF A HAT, BRASS HAT, HANG ON TO YOUR HAT  or
HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT or HOLD YOUR HAT, HIGH-HAT, KEEP UNDER ONE'S  HAT,
OLD HAT, PULL OUT OF A HAT, TAKE OFF ONE'S HAT TO, TALK THROUGH  ONE'S
HAT, TEN-GALLON HAT, THROW ONE'S HAT IN THE RING.

   [hat in hand] {adv. phr.}, {informal} In a  humble  and  respectful
manner. * /They went hat in hand to the  old  woman  to  ask  for  her
secret recipe./

   [hatch] See: COUNT ONE'S CHICKENS BEFORE THEY ARE HATCHED.

   [hatchet] See: BURY THE HATCHET.

   [hatchet face] {n.} A long narrow face with sharp  parts;  also,  a
person with such a face. * /Johnny was sent to the principal's  office
because  he  called  his  teacher  old  hatchet  face./  *   /He   was
hatchet-faced and not at all handsome./

   [hatchet job] {n. phr.}, {slang} 1. The act of  saying  or  writing
terrible things about someone or something, usually on behalf of one's
boss  or  organization.  *  /When  Phil  makes  speeches  against  the
competition exaggerating their weaknesses, he is doing the hatchet job
on behalf of our president./ 2. A ruthless, wholesale job of editing a
script whereby entire paragraphs or pages  are  omitted.  *  /Don,  my
editor, did a hatchet job on my new novel./

   [hatchet man] {n.},  {colloquial}  1.  A  politician  or  newspaper
columnist whose job is to write and say unfavorable things  about  the
opposition. * /Bill Lerner is the hatchet man for the  Mayor's  Party;
he smears all the other candidates regularly./ 2. An executive officer
in a firm whose job it is to fire superfluous personnel, cut  back  on
the budget, etc., in short, to do the necessary but unpleasant things.
* /The firm hired Cranhart to be hatchet man; his  title  is  that  of
Executive Vice President./

   [hate one's guts] {v. phr.}, {slang} To feel a very strong  dislike
for someone. * /Dick said that he hated Fred's guts because  Fred  had
been very mean to him./

   [hats off to] or [one's hat is off to] {truncated phr.}, {informal}
Used to recognize and praise a job well-done. * /Hats  off  to  anyone
who runs the twenty-six mile race./ * /My hat is off to the  chef  who
created this delicious meal./ Compare: TAKE OFF ONE'S HAT TO.

   [hatter] See: MAD AS A HATTER.

   [haul] See: LONG HAUL.

   [haul down] {v.}, {informal} 1. To catch (as a ball) usually  after
a long run. * /Willie hauled down a long fly to center field  for  the
third  out./  *  /The  star  halfback  hauled  down  the  pass  for  a
touchdown./ 2. To tackle in football. *  /Ted  was  hauled  down  from
behind when he tried to run with the ball./

   [haul down one's colors] or [strike one's colors] {v. phr.}  1.  To
pull down a flag, showing you are beaten and want to stop fighting.  *
/After a long battle, the pirate captain hauled down his  colors./  2.
To admit you are beaten; say you want to quit.  *  /After  losing  two
sets of tennis, Tom hauled down his color./

   [haul in] or [haul up] or [pull in] {v.}, {slang} To  bring  before
someone in charge for punishment or questioning; arrest. *  /John  was
hauled in to court for speeding./ *  /The  tramp  was  hauled  up  for
sleeping on the sidewalk./ Compare: CALL ON THE CARPET.

   [haul in one's horns] See: PULL IN ONE'S HORNS.

   [haul off] {v.} To move suddenly. - Used with "and" usually  before
a verb like "hit" or "kick". * /Ed hauled off and hit the other boy in
the nose./ * /Lee hauled off and threw a touchdown pass./

   [haul over the coals]  or  [rake  over  the  coals]  {v.  phr.}  To
criticize sharply; rebuke; scold. * /The sergeant  raked  the  soldier
over the coals for being late for roll call./ Syn.: DRESS DOWN.

   [have] See: CAT HAS NINE LIVES, ONE'S CAKE AND HAVE IT  TOO,  EVERY
CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING, EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY, HAVE NOTHING  ON  or
HAVE ANYTHING ON, LITTLE PITCHERS HAVE BIG EARS, or an important  word
after this in the sentence.

   [have] or [get] or [develop a crush on] {v. phr.} To be  infatuated
with someone. * /Walter has a terrible crush on his  English  teacher,
but she is a lot older and doesn't take it seriously./

   [have a ball] {v. phr.}, {slang} Enjoy yourself very much;  have  a
wonderful time. * /Johnny had a ball at camp./ * /Mary and Tim have  a
ball exploring the town./ * /After their parents  left,  the  children
had a ball./ Syn.: HAVE A TIME(2).

   [have a bone to pick] See: BONE TO PICK.

   [have a care] {v. phr.}, {formal} To be  careful  what  you  do.  *
/Jane, have a care what you're doing with that valuable glass./ * /The
judge told him to have a care what he said in court./

   [have a field day] {v. phr.} To enjoy great  success  or  unlimited
opportunity. * /The visiting basketball team  was  so  weak  that  our
school had a field day scoring one point after another./

   [have a finger in the pie] See: FINGER IN THE PIE.

   [have a fit] or [have fits] or [throw a fit] {v. phr.} 1. To have a
sudden illness with stiffness or jerking of the body. * /Our dog had a
fit yesterday./ 2. {informal} To become angry or upset. * /Father will
throw a fit when he sees the dent in the car./ * /Howard will  have  a
fit when he learns that he lost the election./ * /When John decided to
drop out of college, his parents had fits./

   [have a go at] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  try,  especially  after
others have tried. * /Bob asked Dick to let him have a go at  shooting
at the target with Dick's rifle./ * /She had a go at archery, but  did
not do very well./

   [have a good head on  one's  shoulders]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  smart;
intelligent; well educated. * /Rob is not the handsomest  guy  in  the
world but the girls appreciate him because he has a good head  on  his
shoulders./

   [have a (good) head for] {v. phr.} To have a special  talent  in  a
certain  area.  *  /Joan  has  quite  a   good   head   for   business
administration./

   [have a (good) mind to] {v. phr.} To consider doing; intend to with
a high degree of probability. * /I have a good mind to  tell  my  boss
that he doesn't know how to run our enterprise./

   [have a hand in] {v. phr.} To have a part in or influence over;  to
be partly responsible for. * /Sue's schoolmates respect  her  and  she
has a hand in every important decision made by the Student Council./ *
/Ben had a hand in getting ready the Senior play./ Compare: FINGER  IN
THE PIE.

   [have a heart] {v. phr.}, {informal} To stop being mean;  be  kind,
generous, or sympathetic. * /Have  a  heart,  Bob,  and  lend  me  two
dollars./ * /Have a heart, Mary, and help me with this lesson./ *  /He
didn't know if the teacher would have a heart and pass him./

   [have a heart-to-heart talk] {v. phr.} To confide in  someone  with
great intimacy. * /Jill and  her  mother  had  a  heart-to-heart  talk
before she decided to move in with Andrew./

   [have all one's buttons] or [have all  one's  marbles]  {v.  phr.},
{slang} To have all your understanding; be reasonable. - Usually  used
in the negative or conditionally. * /Mike  acts  sometimes  as  if  he
didn't have all his buttons./ * /He would not go to town barefooted if
he had all his marbles./

   [have a mind of one's own] {v. phr.} To  be  independent  in  one's
thinking and judgment. * /Tow has always had a  mind  of  his  own  so
there is no use trying to convince him how to vote./

   [have an affair with] {v. phr.} To have a sexual relationship  with
someone, either before marriage or outside of one's marriage.  *  /Tow
and Jane had a long and complex affair but they never got married./

   [have an ear for] {v. phr.} To have a keen perception; have a taste
or a talent  for;  be  sensitive  to  something.  *  /I  have  no  ear
whatsoever for foreign languages or music./

   [have an ear to the ground] See: EAR TO THE GROUND.

   [have an edge on] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1.  To  have  an  advantage
over someone  or  something  else  in  the  course  of  an  evaluative
comparison. * /I can't beat you at tennis, but I have an edge  on  you
in ping-pong./ 2. To be mildly intoxicated; to have had a few  drinks.
* /Joe sure had an edge on when I saw him last night./  Compare:  EDGE
ON.

   [have an eye for] {v. phr.} To be able to judge correctly of;  have
good taste in. * /She has an eye for color and style  in  clothes./  *
/He has an eye for good English usage./

   [have an eye on] or [have one's eye on] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To
look at or think about (something wanted); have a wish for; have as an
aim. * /I bought ice cream, but Jimmy had his eye on  some  candy./  *
/John has his eye on a scholarship so he can go to college./  Compare:
IN MIND. 2. See: KEEP AN EYE ON(1).

   [have an eye out] See: EYE OUT.

   [have an eye] to See: EYE TO.

   [have an itch for] or [to do] See: BE ITCHING TO.

   [have a nodding acquaintance with] See: NODDING ACQUAINTANCE.

   [have a price on one's head] See: PRICE ON ONE'S HEAD.

   [have a rough idea about] See: ROUGH IDEA.

   [have a say in] or [a voice in] {v. phr.}  To  have  the  right  to
express one's opinion or cast a vote in a pending matter. * /Our  boss
is friendly and democratic; he always encourages us to have a  say  in
what we will do next./

   [have a screw loose] {v. phr,}, {slang} To act in a strange way; to
be foolish. * /Now I know he has a screw loose - he stole a police car
this time./ * /He was a smart man but had a  screw  loose  and  people
thought him odd./

   [have a snowball's chance in hell] {v. phr.}  To  be  condemned  to
failure; enjoy a zero chance of success. * /Pessimists used  to  think
that we had a snowball's chance in hell to put a man on the moon;  yet
we did it in July, 1969./

   [have  a  soft  spot  in  one's  heart  for]  {v.   phr.}   To   be
sympathetically inclined towards; entertain a predilection for. * /Ron
always had a soft spot in his heart  for  intellectual  women  wearing
miniskirts./

   [have a sweet tooth] {v. phr.} To be excessively  fond  of  dessert
items, such as ice cream, pies, etc. * /Jill has a  sweet  tooth;  she
always orders apple pie after a meal in a restaurant./

   [have a time] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To have trouble; have a hard
time. * /Poor Susan had a time trying to get the  children  to  go  to
bed./ * /John had a time passing his math course./ 2. To have  a  good
time; to have fun. - Used with a reflexive pronoun. * /Bob had himself
a time going to every night club in town./ * /Mary had herself a  time
dancing at the party./ Syn.: HAVE A BALL.

   [have a way with] {v. phr.}  To  be  able  to  lead,  persuade,  or
influence. * /Dave has such a  way  with  the  campers  that  they  do
everything he tells them to do./ * /Ted will be a  good  veterinarian,
because he has a way with animals./

   [have a word with] {v. phr.} 1. To talk, discuss, or speak  briefly
with. * /Robert, I need to have  a  word  with  you  about  tomorrow's
exam./ 2. To engage in  a  sincere  discussion  with  the  purpose  of
persuading  the  other  person  or  let  him  or  her  know  of  one's
dissatisfaction. * /Our boss has been making funny decisions lately; I
think we ought to have a word with him./

   [have been around] {v. phr.}, {informal} Have been to  many  places
and done many things; know people; have experience and be able to take
care of yourself. * /Uncle Willie is an old sailor and has really been
around./ * /Betty likes to go out with  Jerry,  because  he  has  been
around./ * /It's not easy to fool him; he's been around./ Compare: GET
AROUND, KNOW ONE'S WAY AROUND.

   [have dibs on] or [put dibs on] {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  demand  a
share of something or to be in line for the use of an object usable by
more than one person. * /Don't throw your magazine away!  I  put  (my)
dibs on it, remember?/

   [have done] {v.}, {formal} To stop; finish. * /When the teacher had
done, she asked for questions from the class./ * /If you have done,  I
will explain the matter./

   [have done with] {v.} To stop doing or using something. * /When you
have done with that paintbrush, Barbara, I would like to use it. *  /I
wish you would have done with your criticisms./

   [have eyes only for] {v. phr.} To see or  want  nothing  else  but;
give all your attention to; be interested  only  in.  *  /Of  all  the
horses in the show, John had eyes only for the big white one./ *  /All
the girls liked Fred, but he had eyes only for Helen./

   [have fits] See: HAVE A FIT.

   [have got to] {v. phr.} Must; be in great need to do something;  be
obliged to. * /I am sorry but we have got to leave,  otherwise,  we'll
miss the last train./

   [have had it] {v. phr.}, {slang} To have  experienced  or  suffered
all you can; to have come to the end  of  your  patience  or  life.  *
/"I've had it," said Lou, "I'm resigning  from  the  job  of  chairman
right now."/ * /When the doctor examined the man who had been shot, he
said, "He's had it."/

   [have hair] {v. phr.}, {slang} To possess courage, fortitude, guts,
sex-appeal. * /I like him, he's got a lot of hair./

   [have] or [hold the whip over] {v. phr.} To  control;  dominate.  *
/Eugene has always  held  the  whip  over  his  younger  brothers  and
sisters./

   [have in mind] {v. phr.} To plan; intend; select. * /We don't  know
whom our boss has in mind for the new position./

   [have in one's hair] See: IN ONE'S HAIR.

   [have in the palm of one's hand] {v. phr.} To  completely  control;
have a project finished, all wrapped up. * /Our boss felt that  if  he
could calm his critics he would soon have the entire  factory  in  the
palm of his hand./

   [have it] {v. phr.} 1. To hear or get news; understand. *  /I  have
it on the best authority that we will be paid for our work next week./
2. To do something in a certain way. * /Make up your mind, because you
can't have it both ways. You must either stay home or come with us./ *
/Bobby must have it his way and play the game by  his  rules./  3.  To
claim; say. * /Rumor has it that the school burned  down./  *  /Gossip
has it that Mary is getting married./ * /The man is very smart the way
his family has it, but I think he's silly./ 4. To allow it. -  Usually
used with "will" or "would" in negative sentences. * /Mary  wanted  to
give the party at her house, but her mother wouldn't have  it./  Syn.:
HEAR OF, STAND FOR. 5. To win. * /When the  senators  vote,  the  ayes
will have it./ 6. To get or find  the  answer;  think  of  how  to  do
something. * /"I have it!" said John to Mary. "We  can  buy  Mother  a
nice comb for her birthday."/ 7. {informal} To have  an  (easy,  good,
rough, soft) time; have (certain kinds of) things happen  to  you;  be
treated in a (certain) way by luck or life. * /Everyone liked Joe  and
he had it good until he got sick./ * /Mary has it  easy;  she  doesn't
have to work./ 8. See: AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT.

   [have it all over] See: HAVE IT OVER.

   [have it coming] {v. phr.} To deserve the good or bad  things  that
happen to you. * /I feel sorry about Jack's failing that  course,  but
he had it coming to him./ * /Everybody said that  Eve  had  it  coming
when she won the scholarship./ Compare: ASK FOR, GET WHAT'S COMING  TO
ONE, SERVE RIGHT.

   [have it in for] {v. phr.}, {informal} To wish  or  mean  to  harm;
have a bitter feeling against. * /George has it in for Bob because Bob
told the teacher that George cheated in  the  examination./  *  /After
John beat Ted in a fight, Ted always had it in for John./

   [have it made] {v. phr.}, {slang}  To  be  sure  of  success;  have
everything you need. * /With her fine grades Alice has it made and can
enter any college in the country./ * /The other seniors think Joe  has
it made because his father owns a big factory./

   [have it out] {v. phr.} To settle a difference by a free discussion
or by a fight. * /Joe called Bob a bad name, so they went back of  the
school and had it out. Joe got a bloody nose and Bob got a black eye./
* /The former friends finally  decided  to  have  it  out  in  a  free
argument and they became friends again./

   [have it over] or [have it all over] {v. phr.} To be  better  than;
be superior to. * /Anne has it all over Jane in looks and charm./ * /A
professional golfer usually has it all over an amateur./ * /A jeep has
it over a regular car on rough mountain  trails./  Compare:  BEAT  ALL
HOLLOW.

   [have kittens] {v. phr.}, {slang} To become very  much  worried  or
upset. * /Mrs. Jones was having kittens because if was very  late  and
Susan wasn't home yet./ Compare: HAVE A FIT.

   [have lots (everything) going for one] {v. phr.} To have  abilities
or qualities that help in achieving  one's  goal;  assets  working  in
one's favor. * /The young woman will  surely  get  the  job;  she  has
everything going for her./

   [have money to burn] See: MONEY TO BURN.

   [have no business] {v. phr.} To have no right or  reason.  *  /Jack
had no business saying those  nasty  things  about  Dick./  *  /Vern's
mother told him he had no business going swimming that day./

   [have none of] {v. phr.} To refuse to  approve  or  allow.  *  /The
teacher said she would have none  of  Mike's  arguing./  *  /When  the
fullback refused to obey the captain, the captain said he  would  have
none of that./

   [have nothing on] or [not have anything on] {v. phr.} Not to be any
better than; to have no  advantage  over.  *  /Susan  is  a  wonderful
athlete, but when it comes to dancing she  has  nothing  on  Mary./  *
/Even though he is older, John has nothing  on  Peter  in  school./  *
/Although the Smiths have a Rolls Royce,  they  have  nothing  on  the
Jones' who have a Cadillac and a Jaguar./ 2. To have no information or
proof that someone broke the law. * /Mr. James was not worried when he
was arrested because he was sure they had  nothing  on  him./  *  /Mr.
Brown was an honest politician and they had nothing on him./

   [have nothing to do with] {v. phr.} To not be  involved  with;  not
care about. * /Our firm has nothing to do with oil from the Near East;
we are interested in solar energy./

   [have no use for] See: NO USE.

   [have on] {v.} 1. To be dressed in; wear. * /Mary had  on  her  new
dress./ 2. To have (something) planned; have an appointment;  plan  to
do. * /Harry has a big weekend on./ * /I'm sorry I can't  attend  your
party, but I have a meeting on for that night./ 3. See:  HAVE  NOTHING
ON, HAVE SOMETHING ON.

   [have  one's  ass  in  a  sling]  {v.  phr.},  {slang},   {vulgar},
{avoidable} To be in  an  uncomfortable  predicament;  to  be  in  the
dog-house; to be at a disadvantage. * /Al sure had his ass in a  sling
when the boss found out about his juggling the account./

   [have one's cake and eat it too] {v. phr.} To  enjoy  two  opposite
advantages. * /You can either spend your money going to Europe or save
it for a down payment on a house, but you can't do both. That would be
having your cake and eating it, too./

   [have one's ear] {v. phr.} To have  access  to  someone  in  power;
receive audiences rather frequently. * /The national security  advisor
has the president's ear./

   [have one's ears on] {v.  phr.},  {slang},  {citizen's  band  radio
jargon} To have one's CB radio in receiving condition. *  /Good  buddy
in the eighteen wheeler southbound, got your ears on?/

   [have oneself] {v. phr.}, {nonstandard} To enjoy. - Sometimes  used
in very informal speech to provide  emphasis.  *  /As  soon  as  their
parents left, the boys had themselves some fun./ * /After working hard
all day, John had himself a good night's sleep./

   [have one's feet planted firmly in the ground]  See:  FEET  ON  THE
GROUND.

   [have one's fill] {v. phr.}  To  be  satisfied;  be  surfeited;  be
overindulged. * /Howard says he's  had  his  fill  of  expensive  golf
tournaments in Europe./

   [have one's fling] {v. phr.} To have one or  more  romantic  and/or
sexual experiences, usually before marriage. * /Jack has had his fling
and now seems to be ready to get married and settle down./

   [have one's hand in the till] See: ROB THE TILL.

   [have one's hands full] {v. phr.} To have as much work as  you  can
do; be very busy. * /The plumber said that he had his hands  full  and
could not take another  job  for  two  weeks./  *  /With  three  small
children to take care of, Susie's mother has her hands full./

   [have one's hands tied] See: TIED ONE'S HANDS.

   [have one's head in the sand] See: HIDE ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND.

   [have one's head screwed on backwards] {v.  phr.}  To  lack  common
sense; behave in strange and irrational ways. * /Henry seems  to  have
his head screwed on backwards; he thinks the best time to get a suntan
is when it is raining and to sleep with his shoes on./

   [have one's heart in the right place] See: HEART IS  IN  THE  RIGHT
PLACE.

   [have one's hide] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  punish  severely.  *
/John's mother said she would have his hide if he was late  to  school
again./

   [have one's nose to the grindstone] See: KEEP  ONE'S  NOSE  TO  THE
GRINDSTONE.

   [have one's number] See: GET ONE'S NUMBER.

   [have one's wings clipped] See: CLIP ONE'S WING.

   [have one's wits about one] {v. phr.} To be alert; remain calm; not
panic. * /Sam was the only one who kept his wits about  him  when  the
floodwaters of the Mississippi broke into our yard./

   [have one's work cut out] See: CUT OUT(1).

   [have on the ball] See: ON THE BALL.

   [have qualms about] {v. phr.} To feel uneasy about; hesitate  about
something. * /Mike had no qualms in telling Sue that he was no  longer
in love with her./

   [have rocks in one's head] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be stupid;  not
have good judgment. * /When Mr. James quit his good job with the  coal
company to begin teaching school, some people thought he had rocks  in
his head./

   [have second thoughts about] See: SECOND THOUGHT(s).

   [have seen better days] See: SEE BETTER DAYS.

   [have  someone  by  the  balls]  {v.  phr.},   {slang},   {vulgar},
{avoidable} To have someone at a disadvantage or  in  one's  power.  *
/The kidnappers had the company by the balls for six long weeks./

   [have something going for one] {v. phr.},  {slang},  {informal}  To
have ability, talent; good looks, and/or influence in important places
helping one to be successful. * /Well now, Pat Jones,  that's  another
story - she's got something going for her./

   [have something on] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  have  information  or
proof that someone did something wrong. * /Mr. Jones  didn't  want  to
run for office because he knew the opponents had something on him./  *
/Mr. Smith keeps paying blackmail to a man who has something on  him./
* /Although Miss Brown is not a good worker, her boss  does  not  fire
her because she has something on him./  Compare:  GET  THE  GOODS  ON.
Contrast: HAVE NOTHING ON.

   [have something on the ball] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {colloquial} To be
smart, clever; to be skilled and have the necessary know-how.  *  /You
can trust Syd; he's got a lot on the ball OR he's got something on the
ball./

   [have sticky fingers] See: STICKY FINGERS.

   [have or take a shot at] See: HAVE GO AT.

   [have the best of] or [have the better  of]  See:  GET  THE  BETTER
OF(2).

   [have the better of] or [have the best of] See: GET THE BETTER OF.

   [have the cart before the horse] See: CART BEFORE THE HORSE.

   [have the constitution of an ox] {v.  phr.}  To  be  able  to  work
extremely hard and to have  the  stamina  to  overcome  misfortune.  *
/Stan, who has lost both  of  his  parents  within  one  year  and  is
constantly working late, seems to be indestructible, as if he had  the
constitution of an ox./

   [have the courage of one's  convictions]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  brave
enough to act according to your beliefs. * /Steve showed that  he  had
the courage of his convictions by refusing  to  help  another  student
cheat in the exam./ * /Owen knew that Pete had started the fight,  but
he was afraid  to  say  so;  he  did  not  have  the  courage  of  his
convictions./

   [have the goods on] See: GET THE GOODS ON.

   [have the guts to do something] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  be  brave
enough to do something difficult or dangerous. * /Jack wants to  marry
Jilt, but he doesn't have the guts to pop the question./

   [have the jump on] See: GET THE JUMP ON.

   [have the last laugh] or [get the last laugh]  {v.  phr.}  To  make
someone seem foolish for having  laughed  at  you.  *  /Other  schools
laughed at us when our little team entered the state championship, but
we had the last laugh when we won it./ Compare:  HE  LAUGHS  BEST  WHO
LAUGHS LAST, TURN THE TABLES.

   [have the laugh on] {v. phr.} To emerge as the victor. *  /We  were
trying to fool Paul by setting him  up  with  a  blind  date  who  was
reportedly unattractive, but he had the laugh on  us  when  this  girl
turned out to be beautiful./

   [have the lead] {v. phr.} To occupy  the  most  prominent  part  in
something. * /Maria has the lead in our school play./

   [have the makings of] {v. phr.} To possess the  basic  ingredients;
have the basic qualities to do something. * /Tom is still young but he
seems to have the makings of an excellent pianist./

   [have the right-of-way] {v. phr.} To have priority in proceeding in
traffic on a public highway while other vehicles must yield and  wait.
*  /"Go  ahead,"  he  said.  "We  have  the   right-of-way   at   this
intersection."/

   [have the time of one's life] See: TIME OF ONE'S LIFE.

   [have the worst of] See: GET THE WORST OF.

   [have to] or [have got to] {v.}, {informal} To be obliged or forced
to; need to; must. * /Do you have to go now?/ * /He had to  come.  His
parents made him./ * /I have got to go to the doctor./ * /I have to go
to Church./

   [have to do with] {v. phr.} 1. To be about; be on the subject of or
connected with. * /The book has to do with airplanes./ 2. To  know  or
be a friend of; work or have business with. - Usually used in negative
sentence. * /Tom said he didn't want to have anything to do  with  the
new boy./ * /I had nothing to do with  the  party;  I  was  home  that
night./

   [have too many irons in the fire] See: TOO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE.

   [have two strikes against one] or [have two  strikes  on  one]  {v.
phr.}, {informal} To have things working against you; be  hindered  in
several ways; be in a difficult situation; be unlikely to  succeed.  *
/Children from the poorest parts of a  city  often  have  two  strikes
against them before they enter school./  *  /George  has  two  strikes
against him already. Everybody  is  against  what  he  wants  to  do./
Compare: BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL. (In baseball, three strikes  are  out.
If the umpire calls two strikes against the batter, he  has  only  one
strike left and will be out if he gets one more strike.)

   [haw] See: HEM AND HAW.

   [hay] See: HIT THE HAY.

   [haystack] See: NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK.

   [haywire] See: GO HAYWIRE.

   [hazard] See: AT ALL HAZARDS.

   [haze] See: IN A FOG or IN A HAZE.

   [head] See: ACID HEAD,  BEAT  INTO  ONE'S  HEAD,  BEAT  ONE'S  HEAD
AGAINST A WALL, BIG HEAD, COUNT HEADS, EYES IN THE BACK OF ONE'S HEAD,
FROM HEAD TO  FOOT,  GET  THROUGH  ONE'S  HEAD,  GOOD  HEAD  ON  ONE'S
SHOULDERS, GO TO ONE'S HEAD, HANG ONE'S HEAD, HAVE ONE'S HEAD  IN  THE
SAND, HAVE ROCKS IN ONE'S HEAD, HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON ONE'S HEAD,  HIT
THE NAIL ON THE HEAD, HANG OVER ONE'S HEAD, HIDE ONE'S  FACE  or  HIDE
ONE'S HEAD, HOLD ONE'S HEAD UP, KEEP A CIVIL  TONGUE  IN  ONE'S  HEAD,
KEEP ONE'S HEAD, LOSE ONE'S HEAD, MAKE HEAD OR TAIL OF, OFF THE TOP OF
ONE'S HEAD, ON ONE'S HEAD, OUT OF ONE'S HEAD,  also  OFF  ONE'S  HEAD,
OVER ONE'S HEAD, PRICE ON ONE'S HEAD, PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER or  LAY
THEIR HEADS TOGETHER, SWELLED HEAD, TAKE INTO  ONE'S  HEAD,  TELL  ---
WHERE TO GET OFF or TELL ---  WHERE  TO  HEAD  IN,  THROW  ONESELF  AT
SOMEONE'S HEAD or FLING ONESELF AT SOMEONE'S HEAD,  TURN  ONE'S  HEAD,
USE ONE'S HEAD.

   [head above water] {n. phr.} out of difficulty; clear of trouble. *
/How are your marks at school? Are you keeping your head above water?/
* /Business at the store is bad. They can't  keep  their  heads  above
water./

   [head and shoulders] {adv. phr.} 1. By the measure of the head  and
shoulders. * /The basketball player is head and shoulders taller  than
the other boys./ 2. By far; by a great deal; very much. * /She is head
and shoulders above the rest of the class in singing./  See:  FAR  AND
AWAY.

   [header] See: DOUBLE-HEADER.

   [head for] {v. phr.} To go in the direction of. * /We left early in
the morning and headed for Niagara Falls./

   [head for the hills] {v. phr.}, {informal} To get  far  away  in  a
hurry; run away and hide. - Often used imperatively. * /Head  for  the
hills. The bandits are coming./ * /He saw the crowd chasing him, so he
headed for the hills./ * /When they saw the mean boy coming, they  all
headed for the hills./ Compare: BEAT IT, LIGHT OUT, TAKE TO THE WOODS.

   [head-hunting] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. The custom  of  seeking
out, decapitating, and preserving the heads of enemies as trophies. 2.
A search for qualified individuals to fill certain positions.  *  /The
president sent a committee to the colleges and universities to do some
head-hunting; we hope he finds some young  talent./  3.  A  systematic
destruction of opponents, especially  in  politics.  *  /Billings  was
hired by the party to  do  some  head-hunting  among  members  of  the
opposition./

   [head in the clouds] See: IN THE CLOUDS.

   [head in the sand] See: HIDE ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND.

   [head off] {v.} 1. To get in front of and stop, turn back, or  turn
aside. * /The sheriff said to head  the  cattle  thieves  off  at  the
pass./ 2. To block; stop; prevent. * /He  will  get  into  trouble  if
someone doesn't head him off./

   [head-on] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} 1. With the head or front  pointing
at; with the front facing; front end to front end. * /Our car  skidded
into a head-on crash with the truck./ *  /In  the  fog  the  boat  ran
head-on into a log./ * /There is a head-on view of the parade from our
house./ Compare: FACE-TO-FACE. Contrast: REAR-END. 2. In a way that is
exactly opposite; against or opposed to in argument. * /If you think a
rule should be changed, a head-on attack against it is best./  *  /Tom
did not want to argue head-on  what  the  teacher  said,  so  he  said
nothing./

   [head out] {v.} 1. To go or point away. * /The ship left  port  and
headed out to sea./ * /The car was parked beside  the  house.  It  was
headed out towards the street./ 2. {informal} Leave; start out.  *  /I
have a long way to go before dark. I'm going to head out./

   [head over heels] also [heels  over  head]  1a.  In  a  somersault;
upside down; head first. * /It was so dark Bob fell  head  over  heels
into a big hole in the ground./ Compare: UPSIDE  DOWN.  1b.  In  great
confusion or disorder; hastily. * /The children all tried to  come  in
the  door  at  once,  head  over  heels./  Compare:  TOPSY-TURVY.   2.
{informal} Completely; deeply. * /He was head over heels in  debt./  *
/She was head over heels in love./

   [headshrinker] {n.},  {slang},  {informal}  A  psychoanalyst,  also
called a shrink. * /Forrester is falling apart; his  family  physician
sent him to a head shrinker (to a shrink)./

   [head start] {n.} 1. A beginning before someone; lead or  advantage
at the beginning. * /The other racers knew they couldn't catch Don  if
he got too big a head start./ * /Joe has a head  start.  He  began  to
study earlier than we did./ 2. A good beginning. * /Let's get  a  head
start in painting the house by getting up early./ * /The teacher  gave
the class a head start on the exercise by telling them the answers  to
the first two problems./ Compare: RUNNING START.

   [heads or tails] {n. phr.} The two sides of a coin, especially when
the coin is tossed in  the  air  in  order  to  decide  which  of  two
alternatives are to be followed. * /Tom tossed a quarter  in  the  air
and said, "Tails, I win; heads you win."/

   [heads up] {interj.}, {informal} Keep your head up and  be  careful
or ready. - Used as a warning to prepare for something  or  clear  the
way * /"Heads up!" said the waiter carrying the hot  food./  *  /Heads
up, boys! A train is coming./ * /Heads up, now! You can do better than
that./ Syn.: LOOK ALIVE, LOOK OUT.

   [heads-up]  {adj.},   {informal}   Wide-awake;   alert;   watchful;
intelligent. * /You must play hard,  heads-up  baseball  to  win  this
game./ Compare: ON ONE'S TOES, ON THE BALL.

   [head up] {v.}, {informal} 1. To be at the head or front of. * /The
elephants headed up the whole parade./ 2. To be the leader or boss of.
* /Mr. Jones will head up the new business./ * /The  class  planned  a
candy sale, and they elected Mary to head it up./

   [health] See: CLEAN HILL OF HEALTH.

   [heap] See: STRIKE ALL OF A HEAP.

   [heap coals of fire on one's head] {v. phr.}, {literary} To be kind
or helpful to someone who has  done  wrong  to  you,  so  that  he  is
ashamed. * /Alice heaped coals of fire on Mary's head by inviting  her
to a party after Mary had gossiped about her./ * /Jean  Valjean  stole
the Bishop's silver, but the Bishop heaped coals of fire on  his  head
by giving the silver to him./

   [hear] See: WILL NOT HEAR OF.

   [hear a pin drop] {v. phr.} Absolute silence. * /It's so  quiet  in
the room you could hear a pin drop./

   [heart] See: AFTER ONE'S OWN HEART, AT HEART, EAT ONE'S HEART  OUT,
BREAK ONE'S HEART, BY HEART, CHANGE OF HEART, CROSS  ONE'S  HEART,  DO
ONE GOOD or DO ONE'S HEART GOOD, FIND IT  IN  ONE'S  HEART,  FROM  THE
BOTTOM OF ONE'S HEART or WITH ALL ONE'S HEART, FROM THE HEART, GET  TO
THE HEART OF, HAVE A HEART, HEAVY HEART, LOSE HEART, LOSE ONE'S HEART,
OPEN HEART, OPEN ONE'S HEART, SEARCH ONE'S HEART, SET ONE'S HEART  ON,
TAKE HEART, TAKE TO HEART, TO ONE'S HEART'S CONTENT, WEAR ONE'S  HEART
ON ONE'S SLEEVE.

   [heartbreaker] {n.} One with numerous admirers of the opposite sex;
one with whom others fall in love readily. * /Tom, who has four  girls
in love with him at college, has developed the reputation of  being  a
heartbreaker./

   [heart  and  soul(1)]  {n.}  Eager  love;  strong  feeling;   great
enthusiasm. Often used with a singular verb. * /When  Mr.  Pitt  plays
the piano, his heart and soul is in it./ * /John plays  tennis  badly,
but with heart and soul./ * /Mary wanted a puppy with  all  her  heart
and soul./

   [heart and soul(2)] {adv.}  Wholly  and  eagerly;  with  all  one's
interest and strength; completely. * /Will you try to make our city  a
better place? Then we are with you heart and soul./ * /Mike was  heart
and soul against the new rules./ Compare: BODY AND SOUL.

   [heart goes out to] {formal} You feel very sorry for; you feel pity
or sympathy for. - Used with a possessive. * /Frank's heart  went  out
to the poor children playing in the slum street./ * /Our  hearts  went
out to the young mother whose child had died./

   [hear the beat] or [see the beat] {v. phr.}, {dialect} To  hear  of
or to see someone or something better or surpassing. - Usually used in
negative or interrogative sentences and often followed by "of".  *  /I
never heard the beat! John swam all the way across the river. Did  you
ever hear the beat of it?/ * /The juggler spun a table around  on  the
tip of his finger. I never saw the beat of that./

   [heart in one's mouth] or [heart in one's boots] A feeling of great
fear or nervousness. - Often considered trite. * /Charles  got  up  to
make his first speech with his heart in his mouth./ * /My heart was in
my mouth as I went into the haunted house./ * /When the bear came  out
of the woods towards us, our hearts were in our mouths./ Compare: HAIR
STAND ON END.

   [heart is in the right place] or [have one's  heart  in  the  right
place] To be kind-hearted,  sympathetic  or  well-meaning;  have  good
intentions. * /All the tramps and stray dogs in the neighborhood  knew
that Mrs. Brown's heart was in the right place./  *  /Tom  looks  very
rough but his heart is in the right place./

   [heart miss a beat] See: HEART SKIP A BEAT.

   [heart of gold] {n. phr.} A kind, generous, or forgiving nature.  *
/John has a heart of gold. I never saw him angry at anyone./  *  /Mrs.
Brown is a rich woman with a heart of gold./ Compare:  GOOD  AS  GOLD,
HEART IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

   [heart of stone] {n. phr.} A. nature without pity. * /Mr. Smith has
a heart of stone. He whipped his horse until it fell down./

   [heart-searching] See: SEARCH ONE'S HEART.

   [heart set] See: SET ONE'S HEART ON.

   [heart  sink]  To  lose  hope,  courage,  or  eagerness;  be   very
disappointed. * /The soldiers' hearts sank when  they  saw  that  they
were surrounded by Indians./ * /The children were happy  because  they
were going to the beach to swim, but their hearts sank when  it  began
to rain./

   [heart skip a beat] or [heart miss a beat] 1. The heart leaves  out
or seems to leave out a beat; the  heart  beats  hard  or  leaps  from
excitement or strong feeling. - Often considered trite. *  /When  Paul
saw the bear standing in front of him, his heart skipped a  beat./  2.
To be startled or excited from surprise, joy. or fright. * /When Linda
was told that she had won, her heart missed a beat./

   [heart stand still] {v. phr.} To be very frightened or  worried.  *
/Johnny's heart stood still when he saw his dog run into the street in
front of a car./ * /Everybody's heart stood still when  the  President
announced that war was declared./ Compare: HAIR STAND ON END.

   [heart-to-heart]  {adj.}  Speaking  freely  and   seriously   about
something private. * /The father decided to have a heart-to-heart talk
with his son about smoking./ * /She waited until they  were  alone  so
she could have a heart-to-heart talk with him./ Compare: MAN-TO-MAN.

   [hearty] See: HALE AND HEARTY.

   [heat] See: CANNED HEAT.

   [heave in sight] {v. phr.} To seem to rise above the horizon at sea
and come into sight; come into view; become visible. - Usually used of
ships. * /A ship hove in sight many miles away on the horizon./

   [heaven] See: MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH, WOULD THAT or WOULD HEAVEN.

   [heaven knows] or [heaven only knows] See: GOD KNOWS.

   [heavenly days!] {interj.}, {informal} Exclamation of amazement and
disbelief  with  negative  coloring.  *  /Heavenly  days!  Look   what
happened! The dog did it again on the Persian carpet!/  Compare:  GOOD
GRIEF!

   [heave to] {v.} To bring a ship to a stop; bring a sailing ship  to
a standstill by setting the sails in a certain way. * /"Heave to!" the
captain shouted to his crew./ * /We fired a warning  shot  across  the
front of the pirate ship to make her heave to./

   [heave up] See: THROW UP.

   [heavy] See: HANG HEAVY or HANG  HEAVY  ON  ONE'S  HANDS,  HOT  AND
HEAVY.

   [heavy-duty] {adj.} Made for long or hard use; very strong. *  /The
lumberman used heavy-duty trucks for hauling logs down the mountains./
* /The workers in the steel mill have heavy-duty gloves  for  handling
hot steel./ * /Mrs. Carlson bought a heavy-duty cleanser to clean  her
greasy oven./

   [heavy-footed] {adj.} 1. Slow and clumsy in  walking  or  movement;
awkward in using your feet. * /The fat man tried to dance, but he  was
too heavy-footed./ * /Martha is not fat, but she is  heavy-footed  and
walks noisily./ 2. Awkward in choice and order of  words;  not  smooth
and graceful; clumsy. * /In Mary's compositions,  the  words  seem  to
dance,  but  John's  compositions  are  always  heavy-footed./  3.  or
[lead-footed] {informal} Likely to drive an automobile fast. *  /Jerry
is a bad driver because he is too heavy-footed./ Compare: STEP ON IT.

   [heavy-handed] {adj.}  1.  Not  skillful  or  graceful;  clumsy.  *
/George is heavy-handed and seldom catches the  ball./  *  /My  sister
plays the piano badly;  she  is  too  heavy-handed./  *  /Tim  told  a
heavy-handed joke about  the  principal's  baldness  that  embarrassed
everyone./ 2. Likely to hit or punish hard; harsh or cruel  in  making
(someone) obey. * /Years ago many fathers were heavy-handed bosses  in
their homes./ * /Many American colonists believed that the English tax
collectors were too heavy-handed./ 3. See: HAM-HANDED.

   [heavy heart] {n. phr.}  A  feeling  of  being  weighed  down  with
sorrow; unhappiness. * /They had very heavy hearts as they went to the
funeral./

   [heck] See: RAISE THE DEVIL or RAISE HECK or  RAISE  HOB  or  RAISE
NED.

   [heck of it] See: DEVIL OF IT.

   [hedge about] or [hedge in] 1. To surround with a hedge or barrier;
protect or separate by closing in. * /The house is hedged  about  with
hushes and trees./ * /The little garden  is  hedged  in  to  keep  the
chickens out./ 2. To keep from getting out or moving freely; keep from
acting freely; block in. * /The boys are hedged  in  today.  They  can
only play in the backyard./ * /The king said he  could  not  make  new
laws if he was so hedged in by old ones./ Syn.: FENCE IN.

   [hedged in] See: FENCED IN.

   [heed] See: TAKE HEED.

   [heel] See: AT ONE'S HEELS, COOL ONE'S HEELS, DOWN  AT-THE-HEEL  or
DOWN-AT-HEEL, DRAG ONE'S FEET or DRAG ONE'S HEELS,  HEAD  OVER  HEELS,
KICK UP ONE'S HEELS, ON ONE'S HEELS or ON THE HEELS OF,  SET  BACK  ON
ONE'S HEELS or KNOCK BACK ON ONE'S HEELS, TAKE  TO  ONE'S  HEELS  also
SHOW A CLEAN PAIR OF HEELS, TO HEEL, TURN ON ONE'S HEEL, WELL-HEELED.

   [heels over head] See: HEAD OVER HEELS.

   [he laughs best who laughs last] A person should go ahead with what
he is doing and not worry when others laugh at him. When  he  succeeds
he will enjoy laughing at them for being wrong more than they  enjoyed
laughing at him. - A proverb. * /Everyone laughed at Mary when she was
learning to ski. She kept falling down. Now she is the state champion.
He laughs best who laughs last./  Compare:  CHANGE  ONE'S  TUNE,  LAST
LAUGH, LAUGH ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ONE'S MOUTH, SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT.

   [hell] See: COME HELL OR HIGH  WATER,  GO  THROUGH  HELL  AND  HIGH
WATER, HELL-ON-WHEELS, LIKE HELL, TO HELL  WITH,  UNTIL  HELL  FREEZES
OVER, WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER.

   [hell and high water] {n. phr.} Troubles  or  difficulties  of  any
kind. * /After John's father died he went through hell and high water,
but he managed to keep the family together./  Compare:  COME  HELL  OR
HIGH WATER.

   [hell-on-wheels] {n.}, {slang} A short-tempered, nagging, or crabby
person  especially  one  who  makes  another  unhappy  by   constantly
criticizing him even when he  has  done  nothing  wrong.  *  /Finnegan
complains that his wife is hell on wheels; he is considering getting a
divorce./

   [help] See: CAN HELP, CAN'T HELP BUT or CANNOT BUT, SO HELP ME.

   [help oneself] {v. phr.} To take what you want;  take  rather  than
ask or wail to be given. * /Help yourself to another piece of pie./  *
/John helped himself to some candy without asking./

   [help out] {v.} 1. To be  helpful  or  useful;  help  sometimes  or
somewhat. * /Mr. Smith helps out with the milking on the farm./ * /Tom
helps out in the store after school./ 2. To help (someone)  especially
in a time of need; aid; assist. *  /Jane  is  helping  out  Mother  by
minding the baby./ * /When John couldn't add the numbers, the  teacher
helped him out./

   [helter-skelter] {adv.} 1. At a fast speed,  but  in  confusion.  *
/The hatted ball broke Mr. Jones's  window,  and  the  boys  ran  away
helter-skelter./ * /When the bell rang, the pupils ran  helter-skelter
out of the door./ 2. In a confusing group; in disorder. * /The  movers
piled the furniture helter-skelter in  the  living  room  of  the  new
house./ * /Mary fell down and her  books,  papers,  and  lunch  landed
helter-skelter over the sidewalk./ Compare: EVERY WHICH WAY.

   [he-man] {n.}, {informal} A man who  is  very  strong,  brave,  and
healthy. * /Larry was a real he-man when he returned from service with
the Marines./

   [hem and haw] {v. phr.} 1. To pause  or  hesitate  while  speaking,
often with little throat noises.  *  /The  man  was  a  poor  lecturer
because he hemmed and hawed too much./ 2.  To  avoid  giving  a  clear
answer; be evasive in speech. * /The principal asked Bob  why  he  was
late to school, and Bob only hemmed and hawed./ Compare:  BEAT  AROUND
THE BUSH.

   [hem in] or [hem around] or [hem about] {v.} 1.  To  put  something
around, or to be placed around; surround. * /Mountains hemmed the town
in on all sides./ * /As soon as Tom and Bob  started  to  fight,  they
were hemmed around by other boys./ 2. See: FENCE IN.

   [hen] See: MAD AS A HORNET or MAD AS HOPS or MAD AS A WET HEN.

   [hen party] {n. phr.}, {informal} A party to which  only  women  or
girls are invited. * /The sorority gave a hen party for its  members./
Contrast: STAG PARTY. See: GO STAG.

   [Henry] See: JOHN HANCOCK or JOHN HENRY.

   [her] See: GIVE IT THE GUN or GIVE HER THE GUN.

   [herd] See: RIDE HERD ON.

   [here] See: ALL THERE or ALL HERE, NEITHER  HERE  NOR  THERE,  SAME
HERE.

   [here and now(1)] {adv. phr.} At this very time  and  place;  right
now; immediately. * /I want my dime back, and I want it here and now./
Compare: THEN AND THERE.

   [here and now(2)] {n.} The present time and  place;  today.  *  /He
enjoys the pleasures of the here and now and never worries  about  the
future./ * /"I want my steak here and now!"/

   [here and there] {adv. phr.} 1. In one place and then in another. *
/I looked here and there for my pen, but I didn't look everywhere./  *
/Here and there in the yard little yellow flowers had sprung  up./  2.
In various directions. * /We went here and there looking for berries./
Compare: HITHER AND THITHER.

   [here goes] {interj.}, {informal} I am ready to  begin;  I  am  now
ready and willing to take the chance; I am hoping for the best. - Said
especially before beginning  something  that  takes  skill,  luck,  or
courage. * /"Here goes!" said Charley,  as  he  jumped  off  the  high
diving board./ * /"Here goes!" said Mary as she started the test./

   [here goes nothing] {interj.}, {informal} I am ready to begin,  but
this will be a waste of time; this will not be  anything  great;  this
will probably fail. - Used especially before beginning something  that
takes skill, luck or courage. * /"Here goes nothing," said Bill at the
beginning of the race./

   [hide] See: HAVE ONE'S HIDE, TAN ONE'S HIDE.

   [hide one's face] or [hide one's head] {v. phr.} 1. To  lower  your
head or turn your face away because of shame or embarrassment. *  /The
teacher found out that Tom had cheated, and Tom hid his head./ * /When
Bob said how pretty Mary was, she blushed and hid  her  face./  2.  To
feel embarrassed or ashamed. * /We will beat the other team  so  badly
that they will hide their heads in shame./

   [hide one's head in the sand] or [bury one's head in the  sand]  or
[have one's head in  the  sand]  To  keep  from  seeing,  knowing,  or
understanding something dangerous or unpleasant; to refuse to  see  or
face something. * /If there is a war, you cannot just bury  your  head
in the sand./

   [hide one's light under a bushel] {v. phr.}  To  be  very  shy  and
modest and not show your  abilities  or  talents;  be  too  modest  in
letting others see what you can do. * /When Joan  is  with  her  close
friends she has a wonderful sense of humor, but usually she hides  her
light under a bushel./ * /Mr. Smith is an expert in many  fields,  but
most people think he is not very smart  because  he  hides  his  light
under a bushel./ * /All year long Tommy hid his light under  a  bushel
and the teacher was surprised to see how much he knew  when  she  read
his exam paper./

   [hide or hair] or [hide nor hair] {n. phr.}, {informal} A  sign  or
trace of someone that is gone or lost; any sign at  all  of  something
missing. Usually used in negative or interrogative sentence. *  /Tommy
left the house this morning and I haven't seen hide  or  hair  of  him
since./ * /A button fell off my coat and I could find neither hide nor
hair of it./

   [hide out] {v. phr.} To go  into  hiding,  as  in  the  case  of  a
criminal on the run. * /He tried to hide out but  the  police  tracked
him down./

   [hideout] {n.} A place where one hides. * /The wanted criminal used
several hideouts but he was captured in the end./

   [high] See: COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, FLYING HIGH, GO  THROUGH  HELL
AND HIGH WATER, HELL AND HIGH WATER, HIT THE HIGH SPOTS, LIVE HIGH OFF
THE HOG or EAT HIGH ON THE HOG, OFF ONE'S HIGH HORSE, ON  TOP  OF  THE
WORLD or SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD also ({Southern}) SITTING ON HIGH
COTTON, RIDING HIGH.

   [high and dry] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. Up above the water;  beyond
the reach of splashing or waves. * /Mary was afraid she had  left  her
towel where the tide would reach it, but she found it high and dry./ *
/When the tide went out the boat was high and dry./ 2. Without  anyone
to help; alone and with no help. * /When the time came to put  up  the
decorations, Mary was left high and dry./ * /At first the  other  boys
helped, but when the work got hard. Bob found himself high  and  dry./
Compare: LEAVE IN THE LURCH, OUT IN THE COLD.

   [high and low] {adv.} Everywhere. * /The police were searching  for
the criminal high and low, but they couldn't find him./

   [high-and-mighty] {adj.},  {informal}  Feeling  more  important  or
superior to someone else;  too  proud  of  yourself.  *  /John  wasn't
invited to the party, because he acted too high-and-mighty./  *  /Mary
become high-and-mighty when she won the prize, and Joan would  not  go
around with her any more./ Compare: STUCK-UP.

   [high as a kite] {adj.} 1. As excited and happy as one can possibly
be. * /When  Eric  won  the  lottery  he  was  high  as  a  kite./  2.
Intoxicated or under the influence of some  drug.  *  /Jeff  has  been
drinking again and he is high as a kite./ Compare: THREE SHEETS  IN/TO
THE WIND.

   [highbrow]  {adj.}  Very  well  educated  or  even   over-educated;
belonging to the educated  middle  class;  sophisticated.  *  /Certain
novels  are  not  for  everyone  and  are   considered   as   highbrow
entertainment./ Contrast: LOW BROW.

   [high  camp]  {n.},  {slang},  {show  business}   1.   Kitsch,   or
pretentious material in bad taste that is still liked by higher  class
audiences. * /"The Potsdam Quartet" is a play full of high  camp./  2.
An exaggerated movie or theater  scene  that  loses  believability.  *
/Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Sledge Hammer are so full  of  high  camp
that no sensible people watch them anymore./ [middle  camp]  and  [low
camp] refer to theatrical kitsch preferred by  middle  class  and  low
class audiences, respectively.

   [high-class] {adj.} Of the best quality;  very  good;  superior.  -
Avoided by many careful speakers. * /When Mr. Brown  got  a  raise  in
pay, Mrs. Brown started to look for a high-class apartment./  *  /Mrs.
Smith always gets her clothing at  high-class  shops./  *  /Mr.  Jones
always gets his office workers from Burns  Agency  because  they  have
high-class help./ Compare: FIRST-CLASS.

   [higher  education]  {n.}  Schooling  after  graduation  from  high
school, especially in a college or university. * /Tom plans to get his
higher education at the state university./

   [higher-up] {n.}, {informal} One of the people who has one  of  the
more important positions in an organization; an important official.  *
/The teacher's problem was discussed by the higher-ups./ * /The  local
officers  of  the  scout  group  approved  the  plan,  but  the  state
higher-ups did not accept it./

   [high fashion] or [high style] {n. phr.} The new style  in  women's
dress set each season by designers in Paris or other  fashion  centers
and accepted by fashionable women. *  /The  high  styles  designed  in
Paris are often quickly copied by makers of cheap clothing./

   [high gear] {n. phr.},  {informal}  Top  speed;  full  activity.  *
/Production got into high gear after the vacation./ * /An  advertising
campaign for the new toothpaste promptly moved into high gear./

   [high-handed] {adj.} Depending on force rather than  right;  bossy;
dictatorial. * /With high-handed daring, John helped  himself  to  the
best food on the table./ * /Mr. Smith was a high-handed tyrant in  his
office./

   [high-hat(1)] {adj.}, {slang} Treating others as  inferior;  acting
above others. /It was an expensive place to  eat,  and  the  customers
were likely to be a little high-hat./  /Jones  acted  high-hat  toward
anyone poorer than he./

   [high-hat(2)] {v.}, {slang} To treat others as inferior; look  down
on. * /After she had married a rich man, Mary high-hatted  her  former
friends./ * /"Don't high-hat me," Fred warned,  when  Harry  began  to
walk away as if he didn't know him./ Compare: BRUSH OFF.

   [high jinks] {n. phr.}, {informal}  Noisy  or  rough  gaiety;  wild
play; tricks. * /The sailors were on shore leave, and high jinks  were
to be expected./ * /The high school  seniors  engaged  in  high  jinks
after commencement./

   [high off the hog] See: LIVE HIGH OFF THE HOG.

   [high on] {adj. phr.} 1. Intoxicated  on  some  drug  or  alcoholic
drink. * /Rob was severely scolded by the dean for always  being  high
on marijuana./ 2. Enthusiastic about something. *  /Jeff  is  high  on
Beethoven and Brahms./

   [high place] {n. phr.} A position  of  responsibility,  honor,  and
power. * /Jones  had  reached  a  high  place  in  the  government  at
Washington./

   [high seas] {n. phr.} The open  ocean,  not  the  waters  near  the
coast. * /It was a big powerful liner built to sail on the high seas./
* /The ships of every country have the  right  to  sail  on  the  high
seas./

   [high season] {n. phr.} The time of year when the largest number of
passengers are travelling; the time when airfare costs more. * /We had
to pay $100 more for our tickets because  it  was  the  high  season./
Contrast: LOW SEASON.

   [high sign] {n. phr.}, {informal} A silent signal  of  recognition,
greeting, or warning; an open or secret signal between two persons.  -
Used with "get" or "give". * /The Joneses  saw  us  across  the  hotel
dining room and gave us the high sign./ * /John could see  that  Grace
wanted to tell him something, but he got her  attention  and  frowned.
She got the high sign and waited until the teacher had moved on before
speaking./

   [high-sounding] {adj.} Sounding important; said  for  showing  off;
too fancy. *  /The  politician's  speech  was  full  of  high-sounding
words./ * /Mr. Brown filled his  son  with  many  high-sounding  ideas
about life./

   [high-strung] {adj.} Nervous; sensitive; tense. *  /Gary  has  been
rather high-strung lately because of too much work at the office./

   [high style] See: HIGH FASHION.

   [hightail it] {v. phr.}, {slang} To travel fast;  move  rapidly.  *
/After school, Frank would hightail it home./ * /The two men who  held
up the bank hightailed it out of town./

   [high time] {adj. phr.}, {used predicatively}  (stress  on  "time")
Dire, necessary, and sufficient circumstances prompting action. *  /It
is high time we sold the old house; it will fall apart within a year./

   [highway] See: DIVIDED HIGHWAY or DUAL HIGHWAY.

   [highway robbery] {n. phr.} 1. A hold-up of or theft from a  person
committed on an open road  or  street  usually  by  an  armed  man.  *
/Highway robbery was common in England in Shakespeare's  day./  2.  An
extremely high price or charge; a profiteer's excessive charge. *  /To
someone from a small town, the prices of meals and theater tickets  in
New York often seem to he highway robbery./

   [hill] See: GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE  FENCE
or GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL, HEAD FOR THE
HILLS.

   [hilt] See: TO THE HILT or UP TO THE HILT.

   [hinge on] or [hinge upon]  {v.}  To  depend  on  as  decisive:  be
decided by. * /In a dictatorship, everything hinges on one man./ *  /A
tobacco grower's income for the year may hinge on what the weather  is
like in a few summer weeks./

   [hired man] {n. phr.} A man employed to do jobs every day  about  a
house or farm. * /The hired man was sick,  and  a  lot  of  the  daily
chores were not done./

   [hire out] {v.}, {informal} 1. To accept a job; take employment.  *
/Frank hired out as a saxophonist with a dance band./ 2. To  rent  (as
owner). * /John used to hire out his tractor sometimes when he  didn't
need it himself./

   [history] See: GO DOWN IN HISTORY or GO DOWN IN THE RECORDS.

   [hit] See: HARD-HITTING, MAKE A HIT, SMASH HIT.

   [hit and miss] See: HIT OR MISS.

   [hit-and-run] {adj.} 1. Of or  about  an  accident  after  which  a
motorist drives away without giving his  name  and  offering  help.  *
/Judges are stern with hit-and-run drivers./ 2. Striking suddenly  and
leaving quickly. * /The bandits  often  made  hit-and-run  attacks  on
wagon trains./

   [hit below the belt] See: BELOW THE BELT.

   [hit between the eyes] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  make  a  strong
impression on; surprise greatly. * /Helen hit Joe  right  between  the
eyes the moment he saw her./ * /It was a wonderfully lifelike picture,
and it hit Sol right between the eyes./ * /To learn that  his  parents
had endured poverty for his sake hit John between the eyes./

   [hit bottom] or [touch bottom] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1.  To  be  at
the very lowest. * /In August there was a big supply of corn  and  the
price hit bottom./ * /When Johnny failed  the  exam  his  spirits  hit
bottom./ 2. To live through the worst; not to be able to go any lower.
* /After all their troubles, they thought they had hit bottom and then
something else happened./ * /When  they  lost  all  their  money  they
thought they had touched bottom and things would have to get better./

   [hitch one's wagon to a star] {v. phr.} To aim high; follow a great
ambition or purpose, * /In trying to be a  famous  pianist,  Mary  had
hitched her wagon to a star./ * /John hitched his wagon to a star  and
decided to try to become President./

   [hither and thither] or [hither and yon] {adv. phr.}, {literary} In
one direction and then in another. * /Bob wandered hither and  thither
looking for a playmate./ Compare: HERE AND THERE.

   [hither and yon] See: HITHER AND THITHER.

   [hit home]  {v.  phr.}  To  go  directly  to  the  mark;  strike  a
vulnerable spot. * /His remark hit home when he referred to those  who
do not contribute sufficiently to the college fund drive./

   [hit it off] {v. phr.}, {informal} To enjoy one another's  company;
be happy and comfortable in each other's presence. * /Tom and Fred hit
it off well with each other./ * /Mary and Jane hit  it  off  from  the
first./ Syn.: GET ALONG.

   [hit on] or [hit upon] {v.} To happen to meet, find, or  reach;  to
choose or think by chance, * /John hit on a  business  that  was  just
starting to grow rapidly./ * /There seemed to be several  explanations
of the crime, but the detectives hit on the right one the first time./
Compare: HAPPEN ON.

   [hit on all cylinders] {v. phr.} 1. To  run  smoothly  or  at  full
power without any missing or skipping. -  Said  of  a  motor.  *  /The
mechanic tuned the car engine until it was hitting on all  cylinders./
2. {informal} To think or work well; to use all your ability.  *  /The
football team was hitting on all cylinders and scored a big  victory./
* /Bob began to write his examination, and found  himself  hitting  on
all cylinders./

   [hit one's stride] {v. phr.} 1. To walk or run at your best  speed;
reach your top speed or game. * /After walking the first mile, Jim was
just hitting his stride./ * /The horse began to  hit  his  stride  and
moved ahead of the other horses in the race./ 2. To do your best work;
do the best job you are able to. *  /Mary  didn't  begin  to  hit  her
stride in school until the fifth grade./

   [hit-or-miss] also [hit-and-miss] {adj.}  Unplanned;  uncontrolled;
aimless; careless. * /John did a lot of hit-or-miss reading,  some  of
it about taxes./ *  /Mary  packed  her  bag  in  hurried,  hit-or-miss
fashion./

   [hit or miss] also  [hit  and  miss]  {adv.}  In  an  unplanned  or
uncontrolled way; aimlessly; carelessly. * /George didn't  know  which
house on the street was Jane's, so he began ringing doorbells  hit  or
miss./

   [hit parade] {n.} 1. A list of songs or tunes arranged in order  of
popularity. * /Tom was overjoyed when his new song was  named  on  the
hit parade on the local radio station./ 2. {slang} A list of favorites
in order of popularity. * /Jack is no longer number one on Elsie's hit
parade./

   [hitter] See: PINCH HIT, PINCH HITTER, PULL HITTER.

   [hit  the  books]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  study  your  school
assignments, prepare for classes. * /Jack broke away from his friends,
saying, "I've got to hit the books."/

   [hit the bull's-eye] {v. phr.}, {informal} To go to  the  important
part of  the  matter;  reach  the  main  question.  *  /John  hit  the
bull's-eye when he said the big question was one of simple honesty./

   [hit the ceiling] or [hit the roof] {v. phr.},  {slang}  To  become
violently angry; go into a rage. * /When Elaine came home at three  in
the morning, her father hit the ceiling./ * /Bob hit the roof when Joe
teased him./ Syn.: BLOW A FUSE.

   [hit the deck] {v. phr.} To get up  from  bed,  to  start  working.
(From sailor's language as in "All hands on the deck!")  *  /OK  boys,
it's time to hit the deck!/

   [hit the dirt] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {military} To take  cover  under
gunfire by falling on the ground. * /We hit the  dirt  the  moment  we
heard the machine gun fire./

   [hit the fan] {v. phr.}, {informal} To become a big public  problem
or controversy. * /The whole mess hit  the  fan  when  the  judge  was
arrested for drunken driving for the second time./

   [hit the hay] or [hit the sack] {v. phr.}, {slang} To go to bed.  *
/The men hit the hay early, in order to be out  hunting  at  dawn./  *
/Louis was so tired that he hit the sack soon after supper./

   [hit the high spots] {v. phr.} To consider, mention,  or  see  only
the more important parts of something such as a book, war,  or  school
course. * /In his lecture, the speaker  hit  the  high  spots  of  his
subject./ * /The first course in general science hits  only  the  high
spots of the physical sciences./ * /The Bakers went to  the  fair  for
one day, and only hit the high spots./

   [hit  the  jackpot]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To  be  very  lucky   or
successful. * /Mr. Brown invented a new gadget which hit the jackpot./
* /Mrs. Smith hit the jackpot when she got Lula for a maid./

   [hit the nail on the head]  {v.  phr.}  To  get  something  exactly
right; speak or act in the most  fitting  or  effective  way.  *  /The
mayor's talk on race relations hit the nail on the head./

   [hit the road] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To become a wanderer; to  live
an idle life; become a tramp or hobo. * /When Jack's wife left him, he
felt a desire to travel, so he hit the road./ 2. To leave,  especially
in a car. * /It is getting late, so I guess we will hit the  road  for
home./ * /He packed his car and hit the road for California./

   [hit the roof] See: HIT THE CEILING.

   [hit the sack] See: HIT THE HAY.

   [hit the sauce] {v. phr.}, {slang} To drink alcoholic  beverages  -
especially heavily and habitually. * /When Sue left him, Joe began  to
hit the sauce./

   [hit the spot] {v. phr.}, {informal} To refresh  fully  or  satisfy
you; bring back your spirits or strength. - Used especially of food or
drink. * /A cup of tea always hits the spot when  you  are  tired./  *
/Mother's apple pie always hits the spot with the boys./

   [hit town] {v. phr.} To arrive in town. * /Give me a phone call  as
soon as you hit town./

   [hit upon] See: HIT ON.

   [hob] See: PLAY THE DEVIL WITH or PLAY HOB WITH.

   [hoe] See: HARD ROW TO HOE or TOUGH ROW TO HOE.

   [hoe one's own row] {v. phr.} To make your way in life by your  own
efforts; get along without help. * /David's father died  when  he  was
little, and he has always had to hoe his own row./ Syn.: PADDLE  ONE'S
OWN CANOE, STAND ON ONE'S OWN FEET.

   [hog] See: EAT (LIVE) HIGH ON THE HOG or EAT (LIVE)  HIGH  OFF  THE
HOG, GO THE WHOLE HOG or GO WHOLE HOG, ROAD HOG.

   [hog-tie] {v.}, {informal} 1. To tie (an animal) so it is unable to
move or escape. * /The Cowboy caught a calf and hog-tied  it./  2.  To
make someone unable to act freely; limit. * /The welfare worker wanted
to help at once, but rules and regulations hog-tied her, so she  could
only report the case./

   [hoist with one's own petard] {adj. phr.} Caught in your  own  trap
or trick. * /Jack carried office gossip  to  the  boss  until  he  was
hoisted by his own petard./ (From  Shakespeare;  literally,  blown  up
with one's own bomb.)

   [hold] See: GET HOLD OF, LAY HOLD OF,  LEAVE  HOLDING  THE  BAG  or
LEAVE HOLDING THE SACK.

   [hold a brief for] {v. phr.} To argue  in  support  of;  defend.  -
Usually used with a negative. * /I hold no brief for John,  but  I  do
not think he was responsible for the accident./ * /The lawyer said  he
held no brief for thievery, but he considered the man should he  given
another chance./

   [hold a candle to] also [hold a stick to] {v. phr.} To be fit to be
compared with; be in the same class with. - A  trite  phrase  used  in
negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences. *  /Henry  thought
that no modern ball club could hold a candle  to  those  of  50  years
ago./

   [hold all the trumps] {v. phr.} To have the best chance of winning;
have all the advantages; have full control. * /Most of the team  wants
John for captain and he is the best player. He will he elected captain
because he holds all the trumps./ * /Freddy has a quarter and  I  have
no money, so he holds all the trumps and can  buy  whatever  he  wants
with it./

   [hold back] {v.} 1. To stay back or  away;  show  unwillingness.  *
/The visitor tried to gel the child to come to her, but he held back./
* /John held back from social activity  because  he  felt  embarrassed
with people./ 2. To keep someone in place; prevent from acting. * /The
police held back the crowd./

   [hold court] {v. phr.} 1. To hold a formal meeting of a royal court
or a court of law. * /Judge Stephens allowed no  foolishness  when  he
held court./ 2. {informal} To act like a king or queen among subjects.
* /Even at sixteen, Judy was holding  court  for  numbers  of  charmed
boys./

   [hold down] {v.} 1. To keep in obedience; keep control of; continue
authority or rule over. * /Kings used to know very well  how  to  hold
down the people./ 2. {informal} To work satisfactorily at. * /John had
held down a tough job for a long time./

   [hold everything] See: HOLD IT.

   [hold fire] See: HOLD ONE'S FIRE.

   [hold forth] {v.} 1. To offer; propose. * /As  a  candidate,  Jones
held forth the promise of a bright future./ 2.  To  speak  in  public;
preach. - Usually used with  little  respect.  *  /Senator  Smith  was
holding forth on free trade./

   [hold good] {v.} 1. To continue to be good; last. * /The coupon  on
the cereal box offered a free toy, but the offer held good  only  till
the end of the year./ * /Attendance at the basketball games held  good
all winter./ 2. To continue; endure:  last.  *  /The  demand  for  new
houses held good all that year./ * /The agreement between the  schools
held good for three years./ See: HOLD TRUE.

   [hold it] or  [hold  everything]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  stop
something one is doing or getting ready to do. -  Usually  used  as  a
command. * /The pilot was starting to take off, when the control tower
ordered "Hold it!"/

   [hold off] {v.} 1a. To refuse to let (someone) become  friendly.  *
/The president's  high  rank  and  chilly  manner  held  people  off./
Compare: KEEP AT A DISTANCE. 1b. To be rather  shy  or  unfriendly.  *
/Perkins was a scholarly man who held off from people./ Compare:  KEEP
AT A DISTANCE. 2. To keep away by fighting; oppose by  force.  *  /The
man locked himself in the house and held off the police for an  hour./
3. To wait before (doing something); postpone; delay. * /Jack held off
paying for the television set until the dealer fixed it./ * /Mr. Smith
held off from building while interest rates were high./

   [hold on] {v.}  1.  To  keep  holding  tightly;  continue  to  hold
strongly. * /As Ted was pulling on the rope, it began to slip and Earl
cried, "Hold on, Ted!"/ Syn.: HANG ON. 2. To wait and not  hang  up  a
telephone; keep a phone for later use. * /Mr. Jones asked me  to  hold
on while he spoke to his secretary./ 3. To keep on with a business  or
job in spite of difficulties. * /It was hard to keep the  store  going
during the depression, but Max held on and at last met with  success./
4. {informal} To wait a minute; stop. - Usually used as a  command.  *
/"Hold on!" John's father said, "I want the car tonight."/

   [hold one's breath] {v. phr.} 1. To stop  breathing  for  a  moment
when you are excited or  nervous.  *  /The  race  was  so  close  that
everyone was holding his breath at the finish./  2.  To  endure  great
nervousness, anxiety, or excitement. * /John held his breath for  days
before he got word that the college he chose had accepted him./

   [hold one's end up] or [hold up one's end] or [keep one's  end  up]
or [keep up one's end] {v. phr.}, {informal} To do your share of work;
do your part. * /Mary washed the dishes so  fast  that  Ann,  who  was
drying them, couldn't keep her end up./ * /Susan kept up  her  end  of
the conversation, but Bill did not talk very much./  *  /Bob  said  he
would lend me his bicycle if I repaired the flat tire, but  he  didn't
keep up his end of the bargain./

   [hold one's fire] or [hold fire] {v. phr.} To keep  back  arguments
or facts; keep from telling something. * /Tow could have hurt Fred  by
telling what he knew, but he held his fire./ * /Mary held  fire  until
she had enough information to convince the other club members./

   [hold one's head  up]  {v.  phr.}  To  show  self-respect;  not  be
ashamed; be proud. * /When Mr. Murray had paid off his debts, he  felt
that he could hold his head up again./

   [hold one's  horses]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  stop;  wait;  be
patient. - Usually used as a command. May be considered rude. * /"Hold
your horses!" Mr. Jones said to David when David wanted  to  call  the
police./

   [hold one's nose to the grindstone] See: KEEP  ONE'S  NOSE  TO  THE
GRINDSTONE.

   [hold one's own] {v. phr.} To  keep  your  position;  avoid  losing
ground; keep your advantage, wealth, or condition without loss. * /Mr.
Smith could not build up his business, but he held his  own./  *  /The
team held its own after the first quarter./ * /Mary had  a  hard  time
after the operation, but soon she was holding her own./

   [hold one's peace] {v. phr.}, {formal} To be silent and  not  speak
against something; be still; keep quiet. * /I did not agree  with  the
teacher, but held my peace as he  was  rather  angry./  Compare:  HOLD
ONE'S TONGUE

   [hold one's temper] or  [keep  one's  temper]  {v.  phr.}  To  make
yourself be quiet and peaceful; not become angry. * /The meeting  will
go smoothly if the president keeps his temper./ * /Dave can't keep his
temper when he drives in heavy traffic./ Contrast: LOSE ONE'S  TEMPER,
BLOW ONE'S STACK.

   [hold one's tongue] {v. phr.} To be silent; keep still; not talk. -
May be considered rude. * /The teacher told Fred to hold his  tongue./
* /If people would hold their tongues from unkind speech, fewer people
would be hurt/

   [hold on to] {v. phr.} 1a. or [hold to]  To  continue  to  hold  or
keep; hold tightly. * /When Jane played horse  with  her  father,  she
held on to him tightly./ * /The  teacher  said  that  if  we  believed
something was true and good we should hold on to it./ * /The  old  man
held on to his job stubbornly and would not retire./ 1b.  To  stay  in
control of. * /Ann was so frightened  that  she  had  to  hold  on  to
herself not to scream./ Contrast: LET GO. 2. To continue  to  sing  or
sound. * /The singer held on to the last note of the song for  a  long
time./

   [hold on to your hat] See: HANG ON TO YOUR HAT.

   [holdout] {n.} A rebel who refuses to go with the majority. *  /Sam
was a lone holdout in town; he  refused  to  sell  his  old  lakefront
cottage to make place for a skyscraper./

   [hold out] {v. phr.} 1. To put forward; reach out; extend; offer. *
/Mr. Ryan held out his hand in welcome./ * /The clerk held out a dress
for Martha to try on./ * /The Company held out many fine  promises  to
Jack in order to get him to work for them./ 2. To keep resisting;  not
yield; refuse to give up. * /The city held out for  six  months  under
siege./ Compare: HANG ON, HOLD ON. 3. To refuse  to  agree  or  settle
until one's wishes have been agreed to. * /The strikers held out for a
raise of five cents an hour./  4.  {slang}  To  keep  something  from;
refuse information or belongings to which someone has a right. *  /Mr.
Porters partner held out on him when  the  big  payment  came  in./  *
/Mother gave Bobby cookies for all the children in the  yard,  but  he
held out on them and ate the cookies himself./ * /John knew  that  the
family would go to  the  beach  Saturday,  but  he  held  out  on  his
brother./

   [hold out an olive branch] See: BURY THE HATCHET.

   [holdover] {n.} 1. A successful movie or  theater  production  that
plays  longer  than  originally  planned.  *  /Because  of  its  great
popularity. Star Wars was a holdover in most  movie  theaters./  2.  A
reservation not used at the lime intended, but  used  later.  *  /They
kept my seat at the opera as a holdover because I am a patron./

   [hold over] {v.} 1. To remain or keep in office past the end of the
term. * /The city treasurer held over for  six  months  when  the  new
treasurer died suddenly./ * /The new President held the members of the
Cabinet over for some time  before  appointing  new  members./  2.  To
extend the engagement of; keep longer. * /The theater  held  over  the
feature film for another  two  weeks./  3.  To  delay  action  on;  to
postpone: to defer. * /The directors held over  their  decision  until
they could get more information./

   [hold still] {v. phr.} To remain motionless. * /"Hold  still,"  the
dentist said. "This won't hurt you at all."/

   [hold the bag] {v. phr.} To be made liable for or victimized. * /We
went out to dinner together but when it was time to  pay  I  was  left
holding the bag./

   [hold the fort] {v. phr.} 1. To defend a fort  successfully;  fight
off attackers. * /The little group held the fort for days  until  help
came./ 2. {informal} To keep a position  against  opposing  forces.  *
/Friends of civil liberties held the fort during a  long  debate./  3.
{informal} to keep service or operations going  *  /It  was  Christmas
Eve, and a few workers held the fort in the  office./  *  /Mother  and
Father went out and told the children to hold the fort./

   [hold the line] {v. phr.} To  keep  a  situation  or  trouble  from
getting worse; hold steady; prevent a setback or loss.  *  /The  mayor
held the line on taxes./ * /The company held the line on employment./

   [hold the stage] [v. phr.] 1. To continue to  be  produced  and  to
attract audiences. * /"Peter Pan" holds the stage year after  year  at
its annual Christmas showing in London./ 2. To be active in  a  group;
attract attention. * /We had only an hour to discuss the question  and
Mr. Jones held the stage for most of it./ * /Jane likes  to  hold  the
stage at any party or meeting, so she does and says anything./

   [hold to] See: HOLD ON TO.

   [hold true] or [hold good] {v. phr.} To  remain  true.  *  /It  has
always held true that man cannot live without laws./ * /Bob is a  good
boy and that holds true of Jim./

   [holdup] {n.} 1. Robbery. * /John fell victim to a highway holdup./
2. A delay, as on a crowded highway. * /Boy we're late! What's causing
this holdup?/

   [hold up] {v.} 1. To raise; lift. * /John held up his hand./ 2.  To
support; hear; carry. * /The chair  was  too  weak  to  hold  up  Mrs.
Smith./ 3. To show; call attention to; exhibit. * /The teacher held up
excellent models of composition for  her  class  to  imitate./  4.  To
check; stop; delay. * /The wreck held up  traffic  on  the  railroad's
main line tracks./ 5. {informal} To rob at  gunpoint.  *  /Masked  men
held up the bank./ 6. To keep one's  courage  or  spirits  up;  remain
calm; keep control of oneself. * /The grieving mother held up for  her
children's sake./ 7. To remain good; not get worse. * /Sales  held  up
well./ * /Our team's luck held up and  they  won  the  game./  *  /The
weather held up and the game was played./ 8. To  prove  true.  *  /The
police were doubtful at first, but Tony's story held up./ 9. To  delay
action; defer; postpone. Often used with "on". * /The college held  up
on plans for the building until more money came in./ * /The  President
held up on the news until he was sure of it./

   [hold up one's end] See: HOLD ONE'S END UP.

   [hold water] {v. phr.} 1. To keep water without  leaking.  *  /That
pail still holds water./ 2. {informal} To prove true;  stand  testing;
bear examination.  -  Usually  used  in  negative,  interrogative,  or
conditional sentences. * /Ernest told the police a story that wouldn't
hold water./

   [hold your hat] See: HANG ON TO YOUR HAT.

   [hole] See: ACE IN THE HOLE, BURN A HOLE IN ONE'S POCKET, IN A HOLE
or IN A SPOT, IN THE HOLE, OUT OF THE HOLE,  SQUARE  PEG  IN  A  ROUND
HOLE.

   [hole in] See: HOLE UP.

   [hole in one] {n. phr.} A shot in golf that is hit from the tee and
goes right into the cup. * /Many golfers play for  years  before  they
get a hole in one./

   [hole-in-the-wall] {n. phr.} A small place to  live,  stay  in,  or
work in; a small, hidden, or inferior  place.  *  /The  jewelry  store
occupied a tiny hole-in-the-wall./ * /When Mr.  and  Mrs.  Green  were
first married, they lived in a  little  hole-in-fhe-wall  in  a  cheap
apartment building./ 2. {slang},  {citizen's  band  radio  jargon}.  A
tunnel. * /Let's get through this hole in the wall, then we'll  change
seats./

   [hole out] {v.} To finish play in golf by hitting the ball into the
cup. * /The other players waited for Palmer to hole  out  before  they
putted./

   [hole up] also [hole in] {v.}, {slang} To take refuge  or  shelter;
put up; lodge. * /After a day's motoring, Harry found a room for  rent
and holed up for the night./ * /The thief holed  up  at  an  abandoned
farm./ * /"Let's hole in," said Father as we  came  to  a  motel  that
looked good./

   [holiday] See: HALF-HOLIDAY.

   [holier-than-thou] {adj.} Acting as if you are better  than  others
in goodness, character, or reverence for God;  acting  as  if  morally
better than other people. * /Most people find holier-than-thou actions
in others hard to accept./ * /After Mr. Howard stopped smoking, he had
a holier-than-thou manner toward his friends who still smoked./

   [holistic   health]   {n.},   {informal},   {semi-technical}    The
maintenance of health  and  the  avoidance  of  disease  through  such
psychogenic  practices  and  procedures  as  biofeedback,  meditation,
alternative methods of childbirth, and  avoidance  of  drugs.  *  /The
Murgatroyds are regular holistic health freaks - why, they won't  even
take aspirin when they have a headache./

   [holler before one is hurt] See: CRY BEFORE ONE IS HURT.

   [hollow] See: BEAT ALL HOLLOW also BEAT HOLLOW.

   [hollow out] {v.} To cut or dig out or to cut or  dig  a  hole  in;
make a cut or cave in; excavate. * /The soldier hollowed out a foxhole
in the ground to lie in./ * /The Indians used to hollow out a  log  to
make a canoe./ * /Joe's father  hollowed  out  a  pumpkin  to  make  a
jack-o-lantern./

   [holy cats] or [holy  cow]  or  [holy  mackerel]  or  [holy  Moses]
{interj.},  {informal}  -  Used  to   express   strong   feeling   (as
astonishment, pleasure, or anger); used  in  speech  or  when  writing
conversation. * /"Holy cats! That's good pie!" said  Dick./  *  /"Holy
cow! They can't do that!" Mary said when she saw the  boys  hurting  a
much smaller boy./

   [holy terror] {n.}, {informal} A very disobedient or unruly  child;
brat. * /All the children are afraid of Johnny  because  he's  a  holy
terror./

   [home] See: AT HOME, BRING HOME, BRING  HOME  THE  BACON,  CHICKENS
COME HOME TO ROOST, CLOSE TO HOME, CONVALESCENT HOME or  NURSING  HOME
or REST HOME, KEEP THE HOME  FIRES  BURNING,  MAKE  ONESELF  AT  HOME,
NOBODY HOME, WRITE HOME ABOUT.

   [home brew] {n. phr.} A beer or other malt liquor made at home, not
in a brewery. * /Home brew reached its greatest popularity in  America
during national prohibition./

   [home on] or [home in on] {v.} To move toward a  certain  place  by
following a signal or marker. * /The airplane homed in  on  the  radio
beacon./ * /The ship homed on the lights of New York harbor./

   [home plate] {n.} The base in baseball where the batter stands  and
that a runner must touch to score. *  /The  runner  slid  across  home
plate ahead of the tag to score a run./

   [home run] {n.} A hit in baseball that allows  the  batter  to  run
around all the bases and score a run. * /Frank hit a home run over the
left field wall in the second inning./

   [honest broker] {n. phr.} A person hired or appointed to act as  an
agent in a legal, business, or  political  situation  where  impartial
advice is needed in order to settle a dispute.  *  /Michael  has  been
asked to act as an honest broker to settle the  argument  between  the
employees and the management./

   [honestly] See: COME BY HONESTLY.

   [honest to goodness] or [honest to  God]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}
Really; truly; honestly. - Used to emphasize something said.  *  /When
we were in Washington, we saw the President, honest  to  goodness./  *
/"Honest to goodness, Jane, I think you are the messiest girl  in  the
world," said Mother./

   [bonest-to-goodness] or  [honest-to-God]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}
Real;  genuine.   -   Used   for   emphasis.   *   /She   served   him
honest-to-goodness  deep  dish  apple  pie./  *  /It  was  the   first
honest-to-goodness baseball game he'd seen since going abroad./

   [honeymoon is over]  The  first  happy  period  of  friendship  and
cooperation between two persons or groups is over.  *  /A  few  months
after a new President is elected, the honeymoon is over  and  Congress
and the President begin to criticize each other./ * /The honeymoon was
soon over for the new foreman and the men under him./

   [honky-tonk] {n.} A cheap nightclub or dance hall. * /There were  a
number of honky-tonks near the army camp./

   [honor] See: DO THE HONORS, IN HONOR OF, ON ONE'S HONOR.

   [hook] See: BY HOOK OR BY CROOK, GET THE HOOK at GET THE BOUNCE(2),
GIVE THE HOOK at GIVE THE BOUNCE(2), OFF THE HOOK.

   [hooked on] {adj.} 1. Addicted to a substance such  as  cigarettes,
coffee, tea, drugs, or alcohol. * /Fred is hooked on grass, but Tim is
only hooked on tea./ 2. Enthusiastic or very supportive of  something.
* /I am hooked on the local symphony./

   [hookey] See: PLAY HOOKEY.

   [hook, line and sinker] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Without question or
doubt; completely. * /Johnny was so easily fooled  that  he  fell  for
Joe's story, hook, line and sinker./ * /Mary was such a romantic  girl
that she swallowed the story Alice told her about her date, hook, line
and sinker./ * /Bobby trusted Jim so he was taken in by his  hard-luck
story hook, line and sinker./

   [hookup] {n.} A connection, electrical or  otherwise,  between  two
instruments or two individuals. * /Edwin and Hermione  are  a  perfect
couple; they have got the right hookup./

   [hook up] {v. phr.} To connect or fit together. * /The company sent
a man to hook up the telephone./ * /They could not use the  gas  stove
because it had not been hooked up./

   [hoop] See: JUMP THROUGH A HOOP.

   [hop] See: MAD AS A HORNET Or MAD AS HOPS.

   [hop, skip and a jump] See: STONE'S THROW.

   [hope] See: CROSS ONE'S HEART or CROSS ONE'S HEART AND HOPE TO DIE,
IN HOPES.

   [hope against hope] {v. phr.} To  try  to  hope  when  things  look
black; hold to hope in bad trouble. * /The mother  continued  to  hope
against hope although the plane was hours late./ * /Jane hoped against
hope that Joe would call her./

   [hop to it] {v. phr.}, {slang} To get started;  start  a  job;  get
going. * /"There's a lot to do today, so let's hop to  it,"  the  boss
said./

   [hopped up] {adj.}, {slang}  1.  Doped  with  a  narcotic  drug.  *
/Police found Jones hiding in an opium den, among other men all hopped
up with the drug./ 2. Full of eagerness;  excited.  *  /Fred  was  all
hopped up about going over the ocean./

   [horn] See: BLOW ONE'S OWN HORN or TOOT ONE'S  OWN  HORN,  PULL  IN
ONE'S HORNS or DRAW IN ONE'S HORNS, TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORNS.

   [hornet] See: MAD AS A HORNET or MAD AS HOPS or MAD AS A  WET  HEN,
STIR UP A HORNET'S NEST.

   [horn in] {v.}, {slang} To come in without invitation  or  welcome;
interfere. Often used with "on".  *  /Jack  would  often  horn  in  on
conversations discussing things he knew nothing about./ * /Lee  horned
in on Ray and Annie and wanted to dance with Annie./ Compare: BUTT IN.

   [horns of a dilemma] {n. phr.} Two choices possible in a  situation
in which neither is wanted. Usually used  after  "on".  *  /Joe  found
himself on the horns of a dilemma; if  he  went  to  work,  he'd  miss
seeing Mary; if  he  stayed  out,  he'd  he  too  broke  to  take  her
anywhere./

   [horror] See: THROW UP ONE'S HANDS IN HORROR.

   [horse] See: BET ON THE WRONG HORSE, CART BEFORE THE HORSE,  CHANGE
HORSES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREAM or CHANGE HORSES IN MIDSTREAM,  EAT
LIKE A HORSE, HOLD ONE'S HORSES. IRON HORSE, LOCK THE BARN DOOR  AFTER
THE HORSE IS STOLEN, LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH,  OFF  ONE'S  HIGH
HORSE, ON ONE'S HIGH HORSE, PUT ONE'S  MONEY  ON  A  SCRATCHED  HORSE,
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH.

   [horsefeathers!] {n. phr.}, {slang} 1. Not true;  I  don't  believe
what you're saying. * /"Horsefeathers!" Brad cried. "I can't believe a
word of what you said about Jessica."/ 2. Exclamation  of  disgust.  *
/"Horsefeathers!" Fred cried. "We've just missed the  bus."/  Compare:
FIDDLESTICKS, BULLSHIT.

   [horselaugh] {n. phr.} A loud, sarcastic,  and  derisive  laugh.  *
/When the speaker praised politics as one of the  oldest  and  noblest
professions, his audience of college students gave him a horselaugh./

   [horse around] {v.}, {slang} To join in rough teasing; play around.
* /They were a hunch of sailors on shore leave, horsing  around  where
there were girls and drinks./ * /John horsed around with the dog for a
while when he came in from school./

   [horse of a different color] or [horse of another color] {n. phr.},
{informal} Something altogether separate and different. * /Anyone  can
be broke, but to steal is a horse of a different  color./  *  /Do  you
mean that the boy with that pretty girl is her brother? I  thought  he
was her boyfriend. Well, that's a horse of another color./

   [horse opera] {n. phr.} A Western movie in which cowboys and horses
play a major part. * /John Wayne played in many horse operas./

   [horseplay] {n.} Rough, practical joking. * /The newlyweds couldn't
get a wink of sleep all night because there was a lot of  yelling  and
screaming outside of their window - the usual horseplay./

   [horse sense] {n.}, {informal} A good understanding about  what  to
do in life; good judgment; wisdom in making  decisions.  *  /Bill  had
never been to college, but he had plenty  of  horse  sense./  *  /Some
people are well educated and read many books, but still  do  not  have
much horse sense./

   [horse trade] {n.} 1. The sale of a horse or the  exchange  of  two
horses. * /It was a horse trade in which the owner of the worse animal
gave a rifle to make  the  trade  equal./  2.  {informal}  A  business
agreement or bargain arrived at after hard and skillful discussion.  *
/Party leaders went around for  months  making  horse  trades  to  get
support for their candidate./ * /The horse trade finally called for  a
new car for the  radio  station  in  exchange  for  several  weeks  of
advertising for the car dealer./

   [hot] See: BLOW HOT AND COLD, MAKE IT HOT.

   [hot air] {n.}, {informal} Nonsense, exaggerated talk, wasted words
characterized by emotion rather than intellectual content. * /That was
just a lot of hot air what Joe said./

   [hot  and  bothered]  {adj.},  {informal}  Excited   and   worried,
displeased, or puzzled. - A hackneyed phrase. * /Fritz got all hot and
bothered when he failed in  the  test./  *  /Leona  was  all  hot  and
bothered when her escort was late in coming for her./ * /Jerry was hot
and bothered about his invention when he couldn't get it to  work./  *
/It is a small matter; don't get so hot and bothered./

   [hot and  heavy]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Strongly;  vigorously;
emphatically. * /Fred got it hot and heavy when his wife found out how
much he had lost at cards./ *  /The  partners  had  a  hot  and  heavy
argument before deciding to enlarge their store./

   [hot dog] {n. phr.}, {informal} A frankfurter or wiener in a  roll.
* /The boys stopped on the way home for hot dogs and coffee./

   [hot dog] {interj.}, {informal}  Hurrah!  -  A  cry  used  to  show
pleasure  or  enthusiasm.  *  /"Hot  dog!"  Frank  exclaimed  when  he
unwrapped a birthday gift of a small record player./

   [hot dog roast] See: WIENER ROAST.

   [hot number] {n.}, {slang} A person  or  thing  noticed  as  newer,
better, or more popular than others. * /The  boys  and  girls  thought
that song was a hot number./ * /The new car that Bob is driving  is  a
real hot number./ * /John invented a new can opener  that  was  a  hot
number in the stores./

   [hot off the press] {adj. phr.} Just appeared in print. * /This  is
the latest edition of the Chicago Tribune; it's hot off the press./

   [hot one] {n.}, {slang}, {informal} Something out of the  ordinary;
something exceptional, such as a joke, a person whether  in  terms  of
looks or intelligence. * /Joe's joke sure was a hot one./ * /Sue is  a
hot one, isn't she?/

   [hot  potato]  {n.},  {informal}  A  question  that  causes  strong
argument and is difficult to  settle.  *  /Many  school  boards  found
segregation a hot potato in the 1960s./

   [hot rod] {n.}, {informal} An older automobile changed so  that  it
can gain speed quickly and go very fast. * /Hot rods are used by young
people especially in drag racing./

   [hot seat] {n.}, {slang} 1. The electric chair used to cause  death
by electrocution in legal executions. * /Many a man has  controlled  a
murderous rage when he thought of  the  hot  seat./  2.  {informal}  A
position in which you can easily get into trouble. *  /A  judge  in  a
beauty contest is on the hot seat. If he chooses one girl,  the  other
girls will be angry with him./

   [hot stuff] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio jargon} Coffee.  *
/Let's stop and get some hot stuff./

   [hot under the collar] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Angry. * /Mary  gets
hot under the collar if you joke about women drivers./ * /Tom got  hot
under the collar when his teacher punished him./

   [hot water] {n.} {informal} Trouble.  -  Used  with  "in",  "into",
"out", "of". * /John's thoughtless remark about religion got John into
a lot of hot water./ * /It was the kind of trouble where  it  takes  a
friend to get you out of hot water./

   [hound] See: ROCK HOUND, RUN WITH THE HARE AND HUNT (RIDE) WFTH THE
HOUNDS.

   [hour] See: AFTER HOURS, ALL HOURS, COFFEE HOUR, ON THE HOUR,  ZERO
HOUR.

   [house] See: BOARDING HOUSE REACH, BRING DOWN THE HOUSE, PUN HOUSE,
HASH HOUSE, KEEP HOUSE, ON THE HOUSE, PARISH HOUSE, PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN
GLASS HOUSES SHOULD NOT THROW STONES, PLAGUE ON BOTH  YOUR  HOUSES  or
PLAGUE O' BOTH YOUR HOUSES, PUT ONE'S HOUSE  IN  ORDER  or  SET  ONE'S
HOUSE TN ORDER.

   [housebroken] {adj.} Trained to go outside  to  relieve  themselves
(said of domestic pets, primarily dogs). *  /All  young  puppies  must
eventually be housebroken./

   [house detective] {n.} A detective employed by a hotel,  store,  or
other business to watch for any trouble. * /The one-armed man sweeping
the bank floor was really the house detective./

   [house of cards] {n. phr.} Something badly put together and  easily
knocked down; a poorly  founded  plan,  hope,  or  action.  *  /John's
business fell apart like a house of cards./

   [house of ill fame] or [of ill repute]  {n.  phr.}  A  bordello;  a
brothel. * /At the edge of town there is a house of ill repute run  by
a Madame who used to be a singer in a bar./

   [housetop]  See:  SHOUT  FROM  THE  HOUSETOPS  or  SHOUT  FROM  THE
ROOFTOPS.

   [hover over] {v. phr.} 1. To remain close or above. *  /The  rescue
helicopter was carefully hovering above the stranded  rock  climbers./
2. To watch over; supervise. * /"Mother!" Phillip cried, "if you don't
stop hovering over me, I'll go bananas!"/

   [how] See: AND HOW!

   [how about] or [what  about]  {interrog.}  -  Used  to  ask  for  a
decision, action, opinion, or explanation. 1. Will you have  or  agree
on? * /How about another piece of  pie?/  *  /What  about  a  game  of
tennis?/ * /How about going to the dance with me  Saturday?/  2.  Will
you lend or give me? * /How about five dollars until Friday?/ *  /What
about a little help with these dishes?/ 3. What is to be done about? *
/What about the windows? Shall we close them before we go?/ 4. How  do
you feel about? What do you think about? What  is  to  be  thought  or
said? * /What about women in politics?/ * /How about  this  button  on
the front of the typewriter?/

   [how about that] or [what about that] {informal} An  expression  of
surprise, congratulation,  or  praise.  *  /When  Jack  heard  of  his
brother's promotion, he exclaimed, "How about that!"/ * /Bill won  the
scholarship! What about that!/

   [how come] {informal} also {nonstandard} [how's  come]  {interrog.}
How does it happen that? Why? * /How come you  are  late?/  *  /You're
wearing your best clothes today. How come?/ Compare: WHAT FOR.

   [how do you do] {formal} How are you? - Usually as a  reply  to  an
introduction; it is in the  form  of  a  question  but  no  answer  is
expected. * /"Mary, I want you to meet my friend Fred. Fred,  this  is
my wife, Mary." "How do you do, Mary?" "How do you do, Fred?"/

   [how goes it?] {v. phr.}, {interrog.} How are you and your  affairs
in general progressing? * /Jim asked Bill, "how goes it with  the  new
wife and the new apartment?"/

   [howling success] {n.}, {informal} A great success; something  that
is much praised; something that causes wide enthusiasm. *  /The  party
was a howling success./ * /The book was a howling success./

   [how's come] See: HOW COME.

   [how so] {interrog.} How is that so? Why is it so? How? Why?  *  /I
said the party was a failure and she asked. "How so?"/ * /He said  his
brother was not a good dancer and I asked him, "How so? "/

   [how's that] {informal} What did you say? Will  you  please  repeat
that? * /"I've just been up in a balloon for a day and a half." "How's
that?"/ * /"The courthouse is on fire." "How's that again?"/

   [how the land lies] See: LAY OF THE LAND.

   [how the wind blows] See: WAY THE WIND BLOWS.

   [huddle] See: GO INTO A HUDDLE.

   [hue and  cry]  {n.}  1.  An  alarm  and  chase  after  a  supposed
wrongdoer; a pursuit usually by shouting men. * /"Stop, thief,"  cried
John as he ran. Others joined him, and soon there was a hue and  cry./
2. An excited mass protest, alarm, or  outcry  of  any  kind.  *  /The
explosion was so terrible that people at a distance raised a great hue
and cry about an earthquake./

   [hug the road] {v. phr.} To stay firmly on the road; ride  smoothly
without swinging. * /A heavy car with a low center of gravity will hug
the road./ * /At high speeds a car will not hug the road well./

   [huh-uh] or [hum-um] or [uh-uh] {adv.}, {informal} No. - Used  only
in speech or to record dialogue. * /Did Mary come? Huh-uh./ *  /Is  it
raining out? Uh-uh./ Contrast: UH-UH.

   [humble] See: EAT HUMBLE PIE.

   [hump] See: OVER THE HUMP.

   [hundred] See: BY THE DOZEN or BY THE HUNDRED or BY THE THOUSAND.

   [hunky-dory] {adj.} OK; satisfactory; fine. * /The  landlord  asked
about our new apartment and we told him that  so  far  everything  was
hunky-dory./

   [hunt] See: RUN WITH THE HARE AND HUNT (RIDE) WITH THE HOUNDS.

   [hunt and peck] {n. phr.}, {informal} Picking out  typewriter  keys
by sight, usually with one or two fingers; not memorizing the keys.  *
/Many newspaper reporters do their typing by hunt and peck./  -  Often
used, with hyphens, as an adjective. * /Mr.  Barr  taught  himself  to
type, and he uses the hunt-and-peck system./

   [hunt down] {v.} 1. To pursue and capture; look hard for an  animal
or person until found and  caught.  *  /The  police  hunted  down  the
escaped prisoner./ Compare: TRACK DOWN. 2. To search  for  (something)
until one finds  it.  *  /Professor  Jones  hunted  down  the  written
manuscript in the Library of Congress./ Syn.: TRACK DOWN.

   [hunting] See: HAPPY HUNTING GROUND.

   [hunt up] {v.} To find or locate by search. *  /When  John  was  in
Chicago, he hunted up some old friends./ * /The first thing  Fred  had
to do was to hunt up a hotel room./

   [hurry on with] or [make  haste  with]  {v.  phr.}  To  make  rapid
progress in an undertaking. * /Sue  promised  to  hurry  on  with  the
report and send it out today./

   [hurry up] {v. phr.} To rush (an emphatic form of hurry). *  /Hurry
up or we'll miss our plane./

   [hurt] See: CRY BEFORE ONE IS HURT or HOLLER BEFORE ONE IS HURT.

   [hush-hush] {adj.}, {informal} Kept secret  or  hidden;  kept  from
public knowledge; hushed up; concealed.  *  /The  company  had  a  new
automobile engine that it was developing,  but  kept  it  a  hush-hush
project until they knew it was successful./

   [hush up] {v.} 1. To keep news of  (something)  from  getting  out;
prevent people from knowing about. * /It isn't always easy to hush  up
a scandal./ 2. {informal} To be or make quiet; stop  talking,  crying,
or making some other noise. - Often used as a command. *  /"Hush  up,"
Mother said, when we began to repeat ugly gossip./





   [ice] See: BLOOD RUNS COLD or BLOOD TURNS TO ICE,  BREAK  THE  ICE,
CUT ICE, ON ICE, SKATE ON THIN ICE.

   [iceberg] See: COOL AS AN ICEBERG.

   [idea] See: THE IDEA, WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA or WHAT'S THE IDEA.

   [I declare] {interj.}, {dialect} Well; oh my;  truly.  -  Used  for
emphasis. * /I declare, it has been a very warm day!/ * /Mother  said,
"I declare, John, you have grown a foot."/

   [idiot box] {n.} A television set. * /Phil has been staring at  the
idiot box all afternoon./

   [if] See: WHAT IF.

   [if anything] {adv. phr.} More  likely;  instead;  rather.  *  /The
weather forecast is  not  for  cooler  weather;  if  anything,  it  is
expected to be warmer./ * /Joe isn't a bad boy.  If  anything  he's  a
pretty good one./ Compare: MATTER OF FACT.

   [if it's not one thing it's another] If a certain thing doesn't  go
wrong, another most probably will. * /When John lost his keys and  his
wallet, and his car wouldn't start, he exclaimed in despair, "If  it's
not one thing it's another."/ Compare: ONE DAMN  THING  AFTER  ANOTHER
(ODTAA).

   [if need be] {adv. phr.} If the need arises. * /If need be,  I  can
come early tomorrow and work overtime./

   [if only] I wish. * /If only it would stop  raining!/  *  /If  only
Mother could be here./ Syn.: WOULD THAT.

   [if the hill will not come to Muhammad, Muhammad  will  go  to  the
hill] If one person will not go to the other, then the other  must  go
to him. - A proverb. * /Grandfather won't come to visit us, so we must
go and visit him. If the hill won't come to  Muhammad,  then  Muhammad
will go to the hill./

   [if the shoe fits, wear it] If what is said describes you, you  are
meant. - A proverb. * /I won't say who, but some children  are  always
late. If the shoe fits, Wear it./

   [if worst comes to worst]  If  the  worst  thing  happens  that  be
imagined; if the worst possible thing happens; if troubles grow worse.
* /If worst comes to worst and Mr. Jones loses the house, he will send
his family to his mother's farm./ * /If worst comes to worst, we shall
close the school for a few days./

   [if you can't lick  them,  join  them]  If  you  cannot  defeat  an
opponent or get him to change his attitude, plans, or  ways  of  doing
things, the best thing to do is to change your ideas,  plans,  etc.  *
/"The small car manufacturers are winning over the  big  car  makers,"
the president of an American car factory said. "If we want to stay  in
business, we must do as they do. In other words,  if  you  can't  lick
them, join them."/

   [I'll  bet  you  my  bottom  dollar]   {interj.},   {informal}   An
exaggerated assertion of assurance. * /I'll bet you my  bottom  dollar
that the Cubs will win this year./

   [I'll say] or [I tell you] {interj.}, {informal} I agree with  this
completely. - Used for emphasis. * /Did the children  all  enjoy  Aunt
Sally's pecan pie? I'll say!/ * /I'll say this is a good movie!/

   [I'll tell you what] or [tell you what] {informal} Here is an idea.
* /The hamburger stand is closed, but I'll tell you what, let's go  to
my house and cook some hot dogs./

   [ill] See: IT'S AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NOBODY GOOD, TAKE ILL.

   [ill at ease] {adj. phr.}  Not  feeling  at  ease  or  comfortable;
anxious; worried; unhappy. * /Donald had never been  to  a  big  party
before and he was ill at ease./ * /When  Joe  first  went  to  dancing
school, he was ill at ease, not knowing  how  to  act./  Contrast:  AT
EASE(2).

   [ill-favored] {adj.} Ugly; unprepossessing. *  /Oddly  enough,  the
father had less trouble in marrying off his ill-favored daughter  than
her prettier sister./

   [ill-gotten gains] {n. phr.} Goods or money obtained in an  illegal
or immoral fashion. * /The jailed criminal had plenty of time to think
about his ill-gotten gains./

   [image] See: SPITTING IMAGE or SPIT AND IMAGE.

   [impose on] {v.} To try to get more from (a person who  is  helping
you) than he or she intended to give.  *  /Don't  you  think  you  are
imposing on your neighbor when you  use  his  telephone  for  half  an
hour?/ * /You may swim in the Allens' pool  so  long  as  you  do  not
impose on them by bringing all your friends./ Compare: TAKE ADVANTAGE.

   [improve on] or [improve upon] {v.} To make  or  get  one  that  is
better than (another). * /Dick made good marks the first year, but  he
thought he could improve on them./ * /Charles built a new model  racer
for the derby race, because he knew he  could  improve  upon  his  old
one./

   [I'm telling you] {informal} It is important to listen to what I am
saying. * /Marian is a smart girl but I'm  telling  you,  she  doesn't
always do what she promises./

   [in a bad frame of mind] {adv. phr.} In an unhappy  mood.  *  /Make
sure the boss is not in a bad frame of mind when you  ask  him  for  a
raise./ Contrast: IN A GOOD FRAME OF MIND.

   [in a bad way] {adv. phr.}, {informal} In trouble or likely to have
trouble. * /If you have only those two girls to help you, you are in a
bad way./ * /Jerry has written only one sentence  of  his  term  paper
that is due tomorrow, and he knows he is in a bad way./ * /Mrs.  Jones
has cancer and is in a bad way./ * /A new  supermarket  opened  across
the street, and the Peters' grocery business was soon in a bad way./

   [in a big way] {adv. phr.}, {informal} As fully as  possible;  with
much ceremony. * /Our family celebrates birthdays in  a  big  way./  *
/John likes to entertain his dates in a big way./

   [in a bind] or [in a box] {adv. phr.}, {informal}  Likely  to  have
trouble whether you do one thing or another.  *  /Sam  is  in  a  bind
because if he carries home his aunt's groceries, his teacher  will  be
angry because he is late, and if he doesn't, his aunt will  complain./
Compare: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, HORNS OF A DILEMMA.

   [in a breeze] See: WIN IN A WALK or WIN IN A BREEZE.

   [in absentia] {adv. phr.}, {formal} When the person  is  absent.  -
Used in graduation exercises when presenting  diplomas  to  an  absent
student or during a court case. * /On Commencement Day, Joe  was  sick
in bed and the college gave him his bachelor's  degree  in  absentia./
(Latin, meaning "in absence.")

   [in accordance with] {adv.  phr.}  In  consonance  with  something;
conforming to something. * /Employees at this  firm  are  expected  to
always behave in accordance with the rules./

   [in a circle] or [in circles] {adv.  phr.}  Without  any  progress;
without getting anywhere; uselessly. * /The committee debated for  two
hours, just talking in circles./ * /If you don't have a clear aim, you
can work a long time and still be going in circles./ * /He  seemed  to
be working hard, but was just running around in circles./

   [in addition] {adv. phr.} As something extra; besides. * /We saw  a
Mickey Mouse cartoon in addition to the cowboy movie./  *  /Aunt  Mary
gave us sandwiches for our picnic and a bag of cookies in addition./ *
/He has two cars and in addition a motorboat./

   [in advance] or [in advance of] {adv. phr.} 1. In front; ahead  (of
the others); first. * /In the parade, the band will march  in  advance
of the football team./ * /The soldiers rode out of the fort  with  the
scouts in advance./ 2. Before doing or getting something. * /The motel
man told Mr. Williams he  would  have  to  pay  in  advance./  *  /The
paperhanger mixed his paste quite a while in advance so it would  have
time to cool./ * /It will be easier to decorate the snack  bar  if  we
cut the streamers in advance of the actual decorating./

   [in a family way] or [in the family way]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}
Going to have a baby. * /Sue and Liz are happy because their mother is
in the family way./ * /The Ferguson children are promising kittens  to
everyone because their cat is in a family way./ Compare: WITH CHILD.

   [in a fix] {adv. phr.} In trouble. * /Last night Jack  wrecked  his
car and now he is in a fix./ Compare: IN A JAM, IN A PICKLE.

   [in a flash] also [in a trice] {adv. phr.}  Very  suddenly.  *  /We
were watching the bird eat the crumbs; then I sneezed, and he was gone
in a flash./ * /Bob was looking over his notes for English  class  and
in a flash he knew what he would write his paper about./

   [in a flutter] {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  In  a  state  of  nervous
excitement. * /Whenever Norm and Cathy are near one another, both  are
in a flutter; they must be in love./

   [in a fog] or [in a haze] {adv. phr.} Mentally confused;  not  sure
what is happening. * /I didn't vote for Alice because she always seems
to be in a fog./ * /I was so upset that for two days I went around  in
a haze, not even answering when people spoke  to  me./  Contrast:  ALL
THERE, HIT ON ALL CYLINDERS.

   [in a good frame of mind] {adv. phr.} In a happy mood. *  /After  a
relaxing holiday in the Bahamas, the boss was in a very good frame  of
mind./ Contrast: IN A BAD FRAME OF MIND.

   [in  a  hole]  or  [in  a  spot]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}  In  an
embarrassing or difficult position;  in  some  trouble.  *  /When  the
restaurant cook left at the beginning of the busy season, it  put  the
restaurant owner in a hole./ Compare: BEHIND THE EIGHT  BALL,  IN  THE
HOLE.

   [in a huff] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Angrily. * /Ellen went off in a
huff because she didn't get elected class president./

   [in a jam] {adv. phr.}, {informal} In a predicament; in a situation
fraught  with  difficulty.  *  /If  you  continue  to  disregard   the
university instructions on how to take a test, you'll wind up in a jam
with the head of the department./ Compare: IN A PICKLE, IN DEEP SHIT.

   [in a jiffy] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Immediately; right away; in  a
moment. * /Wait for me; I'll be back in a jiffy./

   [in a kind of way] See: IN A WAY(1).

   [in a lather] {adj.}, {slang} In great excitement; all  worked  up;
extremely agitated. * /I couldn't get across to Joe, he was all  in  a
lather./

   [in all] {adv. phr.} 1. All being counted; altogether. * /You  have
four apples and I have three bananas, making seven pieces of fruit  in
all./ * /In all we did very well./ 2. See: ALL IN ALL(2).

   [in and out] {adv. phr.} 1. Coming in and going out  often.  *  /He
was very busy Saturday and was in and out all  day./  2.  See:  INSIDE
OUT(2).

   [in another's place] See: PUT ONESELF IN ANOTHER'S PLACE.

   [in a nutshell] {adv. phr.}, {informal} In a  few  words;  briefly,
without telling all about it. * /We are in a hurry, so I'll  give  you
the story in a nutshell./ * /In a nutshell, the car  is  no  bargain./
Compare: IN SHORT.

   [in any case] also [in any event] or [at all events] {adv. phr.} 1.
No matter what  happens:  surely;  without  fail;  certainly;  anyhow;
anyway. * /It may rain tomorrow, but we are going home in any case./ *
/I may not go to Europe, but in any event, I will visit you during the
summer./ 2. Regardless of anything else; whatever else  may  be  true;
anyhow; anyway. * /Tom was not handsome and he was not brilliant,  but
at all events he worked hard and was loyal to his boss./  *  /I  don't
know if it is a white house or a brown house. At all events, it  is  a
big house on Main Street./ Compare: AT ANY RATE, AT LEAST(2).

   [in any event] See: IN ANY CASE.

   [in a pickle] {adv. phr.}, {informal} In a quandary; in a difficult
situation. * /I was certainly in a pickle  when  my  front  tire  blew
out./

   [in a pig's eye] {adv.}, {slang}, [informal] Hardly; unlikely;  not
so. * /Would I marry him? In a pig's eye./

   [in a pinch] {adv. phr.}, {informal} In an emergency. * /Dave is  a
good friend who will always help out in a pinch./

   [in arms] {adv. phr.} Having guns and being ready to fight;  armed.
* /When our country is at war, we have many men in arms./ Syn.: UP  IN
ARMS!

   [in a row] See: GET ONE'S DUCKS IN A ROW.

   [in arrears] {adv. phr.} Late or behind in payment of money  or  in
finishing something.  -  Usually  used  of  a  legal  debt  or  formal
obligation. * /Poor Mr. Brown! He is in arrears on his rent./ * /He is
in arrears on the story he promised to write for the magazine./

   [in a sense] {adv. phr.} In some ways but not in all;  somewhat.  *
/Mr. Smith said our school is the best in the state, and  in  a  sense
that is true./ * /In a sense, arithmetic is a language./

   [inasmuch as] {conj.} 1. See: INSOFAR AS. 2. also [for as much  as]
{formal} Because; for the reason that; since. * /Inasmuch as  this  is
your team, you have the right to choose your own captain./ * /Inasmuch
as the waves are high, I shall not go out in the boat./

   [in a sort of way] See: IN A WAY(1).

   [in a spot] See: ON THE SPOT(2).

   [in a trice] See: IN A FLASH.

   [in at the kill] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Watching or  taking  part,
usually with pleasure, at the  end  of  a  struggle;  present  at  the
finish. * /Frank and John have been quarreling for  a  long  time  and
tonight they are having a fight. Bill says he wants to be  in  at  the
kill, because he is Frank's friend./

   [in a walk] See: WIN IN A WALK.

   [in a way] {adv. phr.} 1. also {informal} [in a  kind  of  way]  or
{informal} [in a sort of way] To a certain extent; a little; somewhat.
* /I like Jane in a way, but she is  very  proud./  Compare:  AFTER  A
FASHION, MORE OR LESS. 2. In one thing. * /In  a  way,  this  book  is
easier: it is much shorter./

   [in awe of] See: STAND IN AWE OF.

   [in a while] See: AFTER A WHILE, EVERY NOW AND THEN or  EVERY  ONCE
IN A WHILE.

   [in a whole skin] See: WITH A WHOLE SKIN.

   [in a word] See: IN BRIEF.

   [in a world of one's own] or [in a world  by  oneself]  1.  In  the
place where you belong; in your own personal surroundings; apart  from
other people. * /They are in a little world  of  their  own  in  their
house on the mountain./ 2a. In deep thought or concentration. *  /Mary
is in a world of her own when she is playing the piano./ Compare: LOSE
ONESELF. 2b. {slang} Not caring about or connected with  other  people
in thoughts or actions. - Usually used sarcastically. * /That  boy  is
in a world all by himself. He never knows  what  is  happening  around
him./

   [in a zone] {adv.}, {slang}, {informal} In a daze; in  a  daydream;
in a state of being unable to concentrate.  *  /Professor  Smith  puts
everyone in a zone./

   [in back of] See: BACK OF.

   [in bad] {adv. phr.}, {substandard} Out  of  favor;  unpopular;  in
difficulty; in trouble. * /No, I can't go swimming today. Father  told
me to stay home, and I don't want to get in bad./ - Usually used  with
"with". * /Mary is in bad with the teacher for cheating on the  test./
* /The boy is in bad with the police for breaking windows./  Contrast:
IN GOOD, IN ONE'S FAVOR.

   [in bad form] {adv.  phr.}  Violating  social  custom  or  accepted
behavior. * /When Bob went to the opera in blue jeans  and  without  a
tie, his father-in-law told him that it was in bad form./ Contrast: IN
GOOD FORM.

   [in behalf of] or [on behalf of] {prep.}, {formal} 1. In place  of;
as a representative of; for. * /John accepted the  championship  award
on behalf of the team./ 2. As a help to;  for  the  good  of.  *  /The
minister worked hard all his life in behalf of the poor./ Compare:  IN
ONE'S BEHALF IN ONE'S FAVOR.

   [in black and white] See: BLACK AND WHITE.

   [in brief] or [in short] or [in a word]  {adv.  phr.}  Briefly;  to
give the meaning of what has been said or written in a word  or  in  a
few words; in summary. * /The children could  play  as  long  as  they
liked, they had no work to do, and nobody scolded them; in short, they
were happy./ * /The speaker didn't know his subject, nor did he  speak
well; in brief, he was disappointing./ * /John is smart,  polite,  and
well-behaved. In a word, he is admirable./

   [in cahoots with] See: IN LEAGUE WITH.

   [in case] {adv. phr.}, {informal} 1. In order to be prepared; as  a
precaution; if there is need. - Usually used in the  phrase  "just  in
case". * /The bus is usually on time, but start early, just in  case./
* /The big dog was tied up, but John carried a stick, just  in  case./
2. [in case] or [in the event] {conj.}  If  it  happens  that;  if  it
should happen that; if; lest. * /Tom took  his  skates  in  case  they
found a place to skate./ * /Let me know in case you're not coming./  *
/The night watchman is in the store in case there is  ever  afire./  *
/Keep the window closed in case it rains./ * /I stayed  home  in  case
you called./ * /In the event that our team wins, there will be  a  big
celebration./ * /What shall we do in case it snows?/

   [in case of] also [in the event of] {prep.} In order  to  meet  the
possibility of; lest there is; if there is;  if  there  should  be.  *
/Take your umbrellas in case of rain./ * /The wall was built along the
river in case of floods./

   [inch] See: BY INCHES, EVERY INCH, GIVE ONE AN  INCH  AND  HE  WILL
TAKE A MILE, WITHIN AN ACE OF or WITHIN AN INCH OF, WITHIN AN INCH  OF
ONE'S LIFE.

   [inch (one's way) along] {v. phr.}  To.  proceed  slowly  and  with
difficulty. * /When the electricity failed, it took John half an  hour
to inch his way along the corridors of the office building./

   [in character] {adv.}  or  {adj.  phr.}  1.  In  agreement  with  a
person's character or personality; in the way that  a  person  usually
behaves or is supposed to behave; as usual;  characteristic;  typical;
suitable. * /John was very rude at the party,  and  that  was  not  in
character because  he  is  usually  very  polite./  *  /The  way  Judy
comforted the little girl was in character.  She  did  it  gently  and
kindly./ 2. Suitable for the part or the kind  of  part  being  acted;
natural to the way a character in a book or play is supposed to act. *
/The fat actor in the movie was in character because the character  he
played was supposed to be fat and jolly./ * /It would not have been in
character for Robin Hood to steal from a poor man./ Contrast:  OUT  OF
CHARACTER.

   [in charge] {adv.} or {adj. phr.}, 1. In authority or control; in a
position to care for or supervise; responsible. *  /If  you  have  any
questions,  ask  the  boss.  He's  in  charge./  2.  Under   care   or
supervision. * /The sick man was taken in charge  by  the  doctor./  *
/During your visit to the library, you  will  be  in  the  librarian's
charge./ Compare: TAKE CARE OF.

   [in charge of] {prep.} 1. Responsible for;  having  supervision  or
care of. * /Marian is in charge of selling tickets./ *  /The  girl  in
charge of refreshments forgot to order the ice cream for the party./ *
/When our class had a play, the teacher put Harold in  charge  of  the
stage curtain./ 2. or [in the charge of] Under the care or supervision
of. * /Mother puts the baby in the charge of the baby-sitter while she
is out./ *  /The  money  was  given  in  charge  of  Mr.  Jackson  for
safekeeping./

   [in check] {adv. phr.} In a position where movement  or  action  is
not allowed or stopped; under control; kept quiet or back. * /The  boy
was too small to keep the big dog in check, and  the  dog  broke  away
from his leash./ * /The soldiers tried to keep the  attacking  Indians
in check until help came./ * /Mary couldn't hold her feelings in check
any longer and began to cry./

   [in circles] See: IN A CIRCLE.

   [in circulation] or  [into  circulation]  {adj.  phr.},  {informal}
Going around and doing things as usual; joining what others are doing,
* /John broke his leg and was out of school for several weeks, but now
he is back in circulation again./ * /Mary's  mother  punished  her  by
stopping her from dating for two weeks, but then  she  got  hack  into
circulation./ Contrast: OUT OF CIRCULATION.

   [inclined to] {adj. phr.} Having a tendency to; positively disposed
toward. * /I am inclined to fall asleep after a heavy meal./

   [in clover] or [in the clover] {adv.} or {adj. phr.}, {informal} In
rich comfort; rich or successful; having a pleasant or  easy  life.  *
/They live in clover because their father is rich./ * /When we  finish
the hard part we'll be in the clover./ Compare: BED OF ROSES, LIFE  OF
RILEY, LIVE HIGH OFF THE HOG, ON EASY STREET.

   [in cold blood] {adv. phr.} Without feeling or pity; in a purposely
cruel way; coolly and deliberately. * /The  bank  robbers  planned  to
shoot in cold blood anyone who got  in  their  way./  *  /The  bandits
planned to murder in cold blood all farmers  in  the  village  by  the
river./

   [in command] {adv. phr.} In control of; in charge. * /Helen  is  in
command of the situation./

   [in commission] or [into commission] {adv.} or {adj.  phr.}  1.  On
duty or ready to be put on duty by a naval  or  military  service;  in
active service. * /The old  battleship  has  been  in  commission  for
twenty years./ * /It took many months to build the new bomber, and now
it is ready to be put into commission./ 2. In proper condition; in use
or ready for use; working; running. * /The wheel  of  my  bicycle  was
broken, but it is back  in  commission  now./  Compare:  IN  ORDER(2).
Contrast: OUT OF COMMISSION(2).

   [in common] {adv. phr.} Shared  together  or  equally;  in  use  or
ownership by all. * /Mr. and Mrs. Smith own the store  in  common./  *
/The four boys grew up together and have a  lot  in  common./  *  /The
swimming  pool  is  used  in  common  by  all  the  children  in   the
neighborhood./ Compare: COMMON GROUND.

   [in condition] See: IN SHAPE.

   [in consequence] {adv. phr.} As a result; therefore; so. *  /Jennie
got up late, and in consequence she missed the bus./  *  /You  studied
hard, and in consequence you passed the test./

   [in consequence of]  {prep.},  {formal}  As  a  result  of.  *  /In
consequence of the deep snow, school  will  not  open  today./  *  /In
consequence of his promise to pay for the broken window, Bill was  not
punished./ Compare: BECAUSE OF, ON ACCOUNT OF.

   [in consideration of] {adv.  phr.}  1.  After  thinking  about  and
weighing; because of. * /iN consideration of the boy's young age,  the
judge did not put him in jail for carrying a gun./ 2. In exchange for;
because of; in payment for. * /In consideration of the extra work  Joe
had done, his boss gave him an extra week's pay./ Compare: IN RETURN.

   [in days] or [weeks] or [years to come] {adv. phr.} In the  future.
* /In the years to come I will be thinking of my father's advice about
life./

   [in deep] {adj. phr.} Seriously mixed up in  something,  especially
trouble. * /George began borrowing small  sums  of  money  to  bet  on
horses, and before he knew it he was in deep./ Compare: DEEP WATER, UP
TO THE CHIN IN.

   [in deep water] See: DEEP WATER.

   [in defiance of] {prep.} Acting against; in disobedience to. * /The
girl chewed gum in defiance of the teacher's rule./ * /Bob  stayed  up
late in defiance of the coach's orders./

   [in demand] {adj. phr.} Needed; wanted. * /Men to shovel snow  were
in demand after the snow storm./ * /The book about dogs  was  much  in
demand in the library./

   [Indian] See: CIGAR-STORE INDIAN.

   [Indian giver] {n. phr.} A person  who  gives  one  something,  but
later asks for it back. - An ethnic slur; avoidable. * /John gave me a
beautiful fountain pen, but a week later, like  an  Indian  giver,  he
wanted it back./

   [Indian sign] {n.}, {informal} A magic spell  that  is  thought  to
bring bad luck; curse; jinx; hoo-doo. - Used with "the", usually after
"have" or "with"; and often used in a joking way. * /Bill  is  a  good
player, but Ted has the Indian sign on him and always  beats  him./  *
/Father says that he always wins our checker games because he has  put
the Indian sign on me, but I think he is joking./ Compare:  GET  ONE'S
NUMBER.

   [Indian summer] {n. phr.} A dry and warm period of time late in the
fall, usually in October. * /After the cold and foggy weather, we  had
a brief Indian summer, during which the temperature was up in the high
seventies./

   [in dispute] {adj. phr.} Disagreed  about;  being  argued.  *  /The
penalty ordered by the referee was in dispute by one of the teams./  *
/Everyone in the clans wanted to say something about  the  subject  in
dispute./

   [in doubt] {adv.  phr.}  In  the  dark;  having  some  question  or
uncertainty. * /When in doubt about any of  the  words  you're  using,
consult a good dictionary./

   [in due course] or [in due season] or [in due time]  See:  IN  GOOD
TIME(2).

   [in due season] or [in due time] See: IN GOOD TIME.

   [industrial park] {n.} A complex  of  industrial  buildings  and/or
businesses usually located far from the center of a city in a  setting
especially landscaped to make  such  buildings  look  better.  *  /The
nearest supermarket that sells car tires is  at  the  industrial  park
twenty miles from downtown./

   [in Dutch] {adj. phr.}, {slang} In trouble. * /George got in  Dutch
with his father when he broke a window./ * /John was in Dutch with his
mother because he tore his new jacket./

   [in earnest] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} Seriously; in a determined  way.
* /The beaver was building his  dam  in  earnest./  *  /Bill  did  his
homework in  earnest./  -  Often  used  like  a  predicate  adjective.
Sometimes used with "dead", for emphasis. * /Betty's  friends  thought
she was joking when she said she wanted to be a doctor, but she was in
dead earnest./

   [in effect] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. The same in meaning or result.
* /The teacher gave the same assignment,  in  effect,  that  she  gave
yesterday./ * /Helping your  mother  with  the  dishes  is  in  effect
earning your allowance./ 2. Necessary to obey; being enforced. *  /The
coach says that players must be in bed by midnight, and that  rule  is
in effect tonight./ Syn.: IN FORCE.

   [in effigy] See: HANG IN EFFIGY or BURN IN EFFIGY.

   [in error] {adv. phr.} Wrong; mistaken. * /You were in  error  when
you assumed that he would wait for us./

   [in evidence] {adj. phr.} Easily seen; noticeable.  *  /The  little
boy's measles  were  very  much  in  evidence./  *  /The  tulips  were
blooming; spring was in evidence./

   [in fact] also [in point of fact] {adv. phr.} Really truthfully.  -
Often used for emphasis. * /No one believed it but, in fact, Mary  did
get an A on her book report./ * /It was a very hot day;  in  fact,  it
was 100 degrees./ Compare: MATTER OF FACT.

   [in favor of]  {prep.}  On  the  side  of;  in  agreement  with,  *
/Everyone in the class voted in favor of the party./ * /Most girls are
in favor of wearing lipstick./ Compare: IN BACK OF(2).

   [in fear and trembling] See: FEAR AND TREMBLING.

   [in fear of] {adj. phr.} Fearful of; afraid of.  *  /They  live  so
close to the border that they are  constantly  in  fear  of  an  enemy
attack./

   [in for] {prep.}, {informal} Unable to avoid; sure to get.  *  /The
naughty puppy was in for a spanking./ * /On Christmas morning  we  are
in for some surprises./ * /We saw Father looking angrily  out  of  the
broken window, and we knew we were in for it./  Compare:  HAVE  IT  IN
FOR.

   [in force] {adj. phr.} 1. To be obeyed. *  /New  times  for  eating
meals are now in force./ Syn.: IN EFFECT.  2.  In  a  large  group.  *
/People went to see the parade in force./ Syn.: EN MASSE.

   [in front of] prep. Ahead of; before. * /The rabbit was running  in
front of the dog./ * /A big oak tree stood in front of the  building./
Contrast: IN BACK OF(1).

   [in full swing] {adj. phr.} Actively going on; in  full  action.  *
/The Valentine party was in full swing./ * /All of the  children  were
planting seeds; the gardening project was in full swing./

   [in fun] See: FOR FUN.

   [in general(1)] {adv. phr.} Usually; very  often.  *  /In  general,
mother makes good cookies./ * /The  weather  in  Florida  is  warm  in
general./ Compare: ON THE WHOLE(2).

   [in general(2)] {adj. phr.} Most; with few exceptions. * /Women  in
general like to shop for new clothes./ * /Boys in general like  active
sports more than girls do./ Contrast: IN PARTICULAR.

   [in glass houses] See: PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES  SHOULD  NOT
THROW STONES.

   [in good] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Well liked; accepted. - Used with
"with". * /The boy washed the blackboards so that he would get in good
with Iris teacher./ * /Although Tom was younger, he was in  good  with
the older boys./ Compare: ON ONE'S GOOD SIDE. Contrast: IN BAD.

   [in good faith] See: GOOD FAITH.

   [in good form] Contrast: IN BAD FORM.

   [in good season] See: IN GOOD TIME.

   [in good stead] See: STAND IN GOOD STEAD.

   [in good time] or [in good season] {adv. phr.} 1. A  little  early;
sooner than necessary. * /The school bus arrived in good time./ * /The
students finished their school work in good time./ * /We  reached  the
station in good season to catch the 9:15 bus for New York./ 2. or  [in
due course] or [in due season] or [in due time] In the usual amount of
time; at the right time; in the end. * /Spring and summer will  arrive
in due course./ * /Sally finished her spelling in due course./

   [in great measure] {adv. phr.} To a great extent; largely.  *  /The
Japanese attack on Hawaii was in great measure a  contributing  factor
to President Roosevelt's decision to enter World War II./ Compare:  TO
A LARGE EXTENT.

   [in half] {adv. phr.} 1. Into two equal parts. * /The ticket  taker
at the football game tore the tickets in  half./  *  /Mother  cut  the
apple in half so each child could have an equal share./ Syn.: IN  TWO.
2. To half the size before; to one half as big. *  /As  a  punishment,
Father cut Bob's allowance in half./

   [in hand] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. Under control. * /The  principal
was happy to find that the new teacher had her class in hand./ *  /The
baby-sitter kept the children well in hand./ * /Mabel  was  frightened
when the barking dog ran at her, but she soon got herself in hand  and
walked on./ Contrast: OUT OF HAND. 2. In your possession; with you.  -
Often used in the phrase "cash in hand". * /Tom figured that his  cash
in hand with his weekly pay would be enough to buy a car./ Compare: ON
HAND. 3. Being worked on; with you to do. * /We should finish the work
we have in hand before we begin something new./

   [in honor of] {prep.} As an honor to; for showing respect or thanks
to. * /We celebrate Mother's Day in honor of our mothers./ * /The city
dedicated a monument in honor of the general./

   [in hopes] {adj. phr.} Hopeful; hoping. * /The Mayor was  in  hopes
of having a good day for the parade./ * /Mother was in hopes that  the
cake would be good to eat./

   [in horror] See: THROW UP ONE'S HANDS IN HORROR.

   [in hot water] See: HOT WATER.

   [in] or [into orbit] {adj. phr.} Thrilled;  exuberantly  happy;  in
very high spirits. * /When Carol won the lottery she went  right  into
orbit./

   [in]  or  [into  the  clear]  {adj.  phr.}  Free;  cleared  of  all
responsibility and guilt. * /Because of the new evidence found, Sam is
still in the clear, but Harry is still behind bars./

   [in]  or  [into  the  doldrums]  {adj.  phr.}  Inactive;  sluggish;
depressed. * /The news of our factory's going out of business put  all
of us in the doldrums./

   [in]  or  [into  the  limelight]  {adj.  phr.}  In  the  center  of
attention. * /Some people will do almost anything to be able  to  step
into the limelight./ Compare: IN THE SPOTLIGHT.

   [in itself] See: END IN ITSELF.

   [injury] See: ADD INSULT TO INJURY.

   [in keeping] {adj. phr.} Going well together; agreeing; similar.  *
/Mary's hair style was in keeping with the latest fashion./ *  /Having
an assembly on Friday morning was in keeping with the school program./
Contrast: OUT OF KEEPING.

   [in kind] {adv. phr.} In a similar  way;  with  the  same  kind  of
thing. * /My neighbor pays me in kind for walking  her  dog./  *  /Low
returned Mary's insult in kind./

   [in knots] See: TIE IN KNOTS.

   [in league with] or {informal} [in cahoots with] {prep.} In  secret
agreement or partnership with  (someone);  working  together  secretly
with, especially for harm. * /People once  believed  that  some  women
were witches in league with the devil./ * /The mayor's enemies  spread
a rumor that he was in cahoots with gangsters./

   [in left field] See: OUT IN LEFT FIELD.

   [in lieu of] See: INSTEAD OF.

   [in light of] also [in the light of] {adj. phr.} 1. As a result  of
new information; by means of new ideas. * /The teacher changed  John's
grade in the light of the extra work in the workbook./ 2. Because  of.
* /In light of the muddy field,  the  football  team  wore  their  old
uniforms./ Syn.: IN VIEW OF.

   [in line(1)] {adv. phr.} In or into a straight line.  *  /The  boys
stood in line to buy their tickets./ * /Tom set  the  chairs  in  line
along the wall./ * /The carpenter put  the  edges  of  the  boards  in
line./

   [in line(2)] {adj. phr.} 1. In a position  in  a  series  or  after
someone else. * /John is in line for the presidency of the  club  next
year./ * /Mary is fourth in line to be admitted to the  sorority./  2.
Obeying or agreeing with what is right or usual; doing or  being  what
people expect or accept; within ordinary  or  proper  limits.  *  /The
coach kept the excited team in line./ * /When the  teacher  came  back
into the room, she quickly brought the class back  in  line./  *  /The
government passed a new law to keep prices in line./ Compare: IN HAND.
Contrast: OUT OF LINE.

   [in line with] {prep.} In agreement with.  *  /Behavior  at  school
parties must be in line with school rules./ * /In line with the custom
of the school, the students had a holiday between  Christmas  and  New
Year's Day./

   [in love] {adj. phr.} Liking very much; loving. * /John is in  love
with Helen./ * /Tom and Ellen arc in love./ * /Mary is  in  love  with
her new wristwatch./

   [in luck] {adj.  phr.}  Being  lucky;  having  good  luck;  finding
something good by chance. * /Bill was in luck when he found the  money
on the street./ * /Mary dropped her glasses and they  did  not  break.
She was in luck./

   [in memory of] {prep.} As something that makes people  remember  (a
person or thing); as a reminder of; as a memorial to. * /The  building
was named Ford Hall in memory of a man  named  James  Ford./  *  /Many
special ceremonies are in memory of famous men./

   [in midair] See: UP IN THE AIR(2).

   [in mind] {adv. phr.} 1. In the center of  your  thought;  in  your
close attention. * /You have to be home by 11 o'clock.  Keep  that  in
mind, Bob./ * /Mary is studying hard with a good  grade  in  mind./  *
/Bear in mind the rules of safety when you swim./  Compare:  ON  ONE'S
MIND. 2. See: PUT IN MIND OF.

   [in mint condition] {adj.  phr.}  Excellent;  as  good  as  new.  *
/Grandma seldom uses her car; it is already ten years old, but  it  is
still in mint condition./

   [in my book] See: BY MY BOOK.

   [in name] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} Having  a  title,  but  not  really
doing what someone with the title is expected to do. * /The old man is
a doctor in name only. He does not have patients now./ * /He  was  the
captain of the team in name only./

   [in need of] {adj. phr.} Destitute; lacking something. * /The young
girl is so ill that she is seriously in need of medical attention./

   [inner city] {n.}, {colloquial} Densely populated neighborhoods  in
large metropolitan areas inhabited by low income families  usually  of
minority backgrounds, such as  Mexicans,  Puerto  Ricans,  or  African
Americans; characterized by slums and government-owned high  rises.  *
/Joe comes from the inner city - he may need help with his reading./

   [in nothing flat] See: IN NO TIME.

   [in no time] or [in nothing flat] {adv. phr.}, {informal} In a very
little time; soon; quickly. * /When the entire class  worked  together
they finished the project in no time./ * /The bus filled with students
in nothing flat./

   [in no uncertain terms] See: IN SO MANY WORDS(2).

   [in on] {prep.} 1. Joining together for. * /The children  collected
money from their classmates  and  went  in  on  a  present  for  their
teacher./ 2. Told about; having knowledge of. * /Bob  was  in  on  the
secret./ * /The other girls wouldn't let Mary in on what they knew./

   [in one ear and out the other] See: GO  IN  ONE  EAR  AND  OUT  THE
OTHER.

   [in one  fell  swoop]  or  [at  one  fell  swoop]  {adv.  phr.}  1.
{literary} In one  attack  or  accident;  in  one  bad  blow.  *  /The
millionaire lost his money and his friends at one fell swoop./  2.  At
one time; at the same time. * /Three cars drove into the driveway, and
Mrs. Crane's dinner guests all arrived at one fell swoop./

   [in one's bad graces] {adj. phr.} Not approved by; not liked by.  *
/John was in his mother's bad graces because he spilled  his  milk  on
the tablecloth./ * /Don got in  the  bad  graces  of  the  teacher  by
laughing at her  hat./  Compare:  DOWN  ON,  IN  BAD,  OUT  OF  FAVOR.
Contrast: IN ONE S GOOD GRACES.

   [in one's behalf] or [on one's behalf] {adv. phr.},  {informal}  1.
For someone else; in your place. *  /My  husband  could  not  be  here
tonight, but I want to thank you on his behalf./ 2. For  the  good  of
another person or group; as a help to someone. * /My teacher  went  to
the factory and spoke in my behalf when I  was  looking  for  a  job./
Compare: IN BEHALF OF, ON ONE'S ACCOUNT.

   [in one's  blood]  or  [into  one's  blood]  {adv.  phr.}  Agreeing
perfectly with one's sympathies, feelings, and desires. * /Living in a
warm section of the country gets in your blood./ * /The woods got into
Jim's blood./ Contrast: OUT OF ONE'S BLOOD.

   [in one's bones] See: FEEL IN ONE'S BONES.

   [in one's boots] See: DIE IN ONE'S BOOTS or DIE  WITH  ONE'S  BOOTS
ON, IN ONE'S SHOES also IN ONE'S BOOTS.

   [in one's craw] or [in one's crop] See:  STICK  IN  ONE'S  CRAW  or
STICK IN ONE'S CROP.

   [in one's cups] {adj. phr.}, {literary} Drunk. * /The  man  was  in
his cups and talking very loudly./

   [in one's element] {adv. phr.} 1. In one's natural surroundings.  *
/The deep-sea fish is in his element in deep ocean  water./  2.  Where
you can do your best. * /John is in his element working on the  farm./
Compare: AT HOME 2. Contrast: OUT OF ONE'S ELEMENT.

   [in one's face] {adv. phr.} 1. Against  your  face.  *  /The  trick
cigar blew up in the clown's face./ * /A cold wind was in our faces as
we walked to school./ 2. In front of you. * /The maid slammed the door
in the salesman's face./ * /I told the boys that they were wrong,  but
they laughed in my face./ Compare: IN THE FACE OF, THROW SOMETHING  IN
ONE'S FACE, TO ONE'S FACE, UNDER ONE'S NOSE.

   [in one's favor] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} In a way that  is  good  for
you. * /Both teams claimed the point, but the referee decided  in  our
favor./ * /Bob made good grades in high school, and that  was  in  his
favor when he looked for a job./ Compare: COME ONE'S WAY.

   [in one's footsteps] See: FOLLOW IN ONE'S FOOTSTEPS.

   [in one's glory] {adj. phr.} Pleased and contented with yourself. *
/When John won the race, he was in his glory./ * /Tom  is  very  vain,
and praise puts him in his glory./

   [in one's good books] See: IN ONE'S GOOD GRACES.

   [in one's good  graces]  or  [in  one's  good  books]  {adv.  phr.}
Approved of by you; liked by someone. * /Ruth is in her mother's  good
graces because she ate all her supper./ * /Bill is back  in  the  good
graces of his girlfriend because he gave her a box of candy./ Compare:
IN GOOD. Contrast: IN ONE'S BAD GRACES.

   [in one's grave] See: TURN IN ONE'S GRAVE or  TURN  OVER  IN  ONE'S
GRAVE.

   [in one's hair] {adj. phr.}, {informal}  Bothering  you  again  and
again; always annoying. * /Johnny got in Father's  hair  when  he  was
trying to read the paper by running and shouting./  *  /The  grown-ups
sent the children out to play so that  the  children  wouldn't  be  in
their hair while they were talking./ Compare: GIVE  A  HARD  TIME,  IN
ONE'S WAY. Contrast: OUT OF ONE'S HAIR.

   [in one's hands] See: TAKE ONE'S LIFE IN ONE'S HANDS.

   [in one's heart of hearts] {adv. phr.} Deep down  where  it  really
matters; in one's innermost feelings. * /In  my  heart  of  hearts,  I
think you're the nicest person in the whole world./

   [in  one's  mind's  eye]  {adv.  phr.}  In  the  memory;   in   the
imagination. * /In his mind's eye he saw again the house he had  lived
in when he was a child./ * /In his mind's eye, he could see just  what
the vacation was going to be like./

   [in one's mouth] See: BUTTER WOULDN'T MELT IN ONE'S MOUTH, MELT  IN
ONE'S MOUTH.

   [in one's own juice] See: STEW IN ONE'S OWN JUICE.

   [in one's right mind] {adj. phr.} Accountable; sane  and  sober.  *
/If you were in your right mind, you wouldn't be  saying  such  stupid
things to our boss./

   [in one's shell] or [into  one's  shell]  {adv.}  or  {adj.  phr.},
{informal}  In  or  into  bashfulness;  into  silence;  not  sociable;
unfriendly. * /After Mary's mother scolded  her,  she  went  into  her
shell./ * /The teacher tried to get Rose  to  talk  to  her,  but  she
stayed in her shell./ Contrast: OUT OF ONE'S SHELL.

   [in one's shoes] also [in one's boots] {adv. phr.} In or into one's
place or position. * /How would you like  to  be  in  a  lion  tamer's
boots?/ Compare: PUT ONESELF  IN  ANOTHER'S  PLACE,  STEP  INTO  ONE'S
SHOES.

   [in one's sleeve] See: UP ONE'S SLEEVE.

   [in one's tracks] {adv. phr.}, {informal} 1. Just where one  is  at
the moment; abruptly; immediately. * /The hunter's rifle  cracked  and
the rabbit dropped in his tracks./ * /Mary stopped dead in her tracks,
turned around, and ran back home./ Syn.:  ON  THE  SPOT(1),  THEN  AND
THERE. 2. See: FOLLOW IN ONE'S FOOTSTEPS.

   [in one's way] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. Within reach; likely to  be
met; before you. * /The chance to work for a printer  was  put  in  my
way./ Compare: PUT IN THE WAY OF. 2. or [in the way] In your path as a
hindrance; placed so as to block the way. * /Fred tried to get to  the
door, but the table was in the way./ * /A tree had fallen  across  the
street and was in Jim's way as he drove./ * /Mary tried to  clean  the
house, but the baby was always in the way./

   [in order] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. In arrangement; in  the  proper
way of following one another. * /Come to my desk in alphabetical order
as I call your names./ * /Line up and walk to the door  in  order./  *
/Name all the presidents in order./ Compare: IN  TURN.  2.  In  proper
condition. * /The car was in good working order when I bought  it./  *
/The club leader looked at  the  club  treasurer's  records  of  money
collected and spent,  and  found  them  all  in  order./  Compare:  IN
COMMISSION(2), PUT ONE'S HOUSE  IN  ORDER.  3.  Following  the  rules;
proper; suitable. * /Is it in order to ask the  speaker  questions  at
the meeting?/ * /At the end of a program, applause for the  performers
is in order./ Compare: IN PLACE. Contrast: OUT OF ORDER. 4.  See:  PUT
ONE'S HOUSE IN ORDER or SET ONE'S HOUSE IN ORDER.

   [in order that] See: SO THAT(1).

   [in order to] or [so as to] {conj.} For the purpose of; to. -  Used
with an infinitive. * /In order to follow  the  buffalo,  the  Indians
often had to move their camps./ * /We picked apples so as  to  make  a
pie./ Compare: SO THAT.

   [in part] {adv. phr.} To some extent; partly; not wholly.  -  Often
used with "large" or "small". * /We planted the  garden  in  pan  with
flowers. But in large part we planted vegetables./ * /Tom was only  in
small part responsible./

   [in particular] {adv. phr.} In a way apart from others;  more  than
others; particularly; especially. * /The speaker talked  about  sports
in general and about football In particular./ * /All the  boys  played
well and Bill in particular./ * /Margaret liked all her  classes,  but
she liked sewing class in particular./ Contrast: IN GENERAL.

   [in passing] {adv. phr.} While talking about that subject; as extra
information; also. * /Our teacher showed us different kinds of flowers
and told us in passing that those flowers came  from  her  garden./  *
/The writer of the story says he grew up in New York and  mentions  in
passing that his parents came from Italy./ Compare: BY THE WAY.

   [in person] also [in the flesh] {adv. phr.} Yourself; personally. *
/A TV actor appeared in person  today  in  school./  *  /The  governor
cannot march in the parade in person today, but his wife wilt  march./
Compare: FACE-TO-FACE(2). Contrast: INSTEAD OF.

   [in place(1)] {adv. phr.} 1a.  In  the  right  or  usual  place  or
position. * /Nothing is in place after the earthquake. Even trees  and
houses are turned over./ * /The picture is not in place on  the  wall.
It is crooked./ 1b. In one place. * /Our first exercise in  gym  class
was running in place./ 2. In proper order. * /Stay in place  in  line,
children./ Compare: IN ORDER. Contrast: OUT OF PLACE.

   [in place(2)] {adj. phr.} In the right place or at the right  time;
suitable; timely. * /A dog is not in place  in  a  church./  *  /Linda
wondered if it would be in place to wish the bride good luck after the
wedding./ Compare: IN ORDER(1). Contrast: OUT OF PLACE.

   [in place of] See: INSTEAD OF.

   [in plain English] {adv. phr.} Plainly; simply; in clear  language.
* /Stop healing around the bush and saying that  John  "prevaricates";
in plain English he is a liar./

   [in poor shape] {adv. phr.} In a bad  condition.  *  /Most  of  the
streets of Chicago are in poor shape due to the heavy snow  and  frost
during the winters./

   [in practice(1)] also [into practice] {adv. phr.} In actual  doing.
* /The idea sounds good but will it work in practice?/ * /It  is  easy
to say that we will he good. It is  harder  to  put  the  saying  into
practice./

   [in practice(2)] {adj. phr.} In proper condition  to  do  something
well through practice. * /A pianist gets his fingers  in  practice  by
playing scales./ * /An ice-skater keeps in practice by  skating  every
day./ Compare: IN SHAPE. Contrast: OUT OF PRACTICE.

   [in print] {adj. phr.} Obtainable in printed form from a printer or
publisher; printed. * /The author has finished writing his book but it
is not yet in print./ * /The story of the students' trip to Washington
appeared in print in the newspaper./ * /It is a very old book  and  no
longer in print./ Contrast: OUT OF PRINT.

   [in private] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} Not openly or in  public;  apart
from others; confidentially; secretly. * /Mr. Jones waited until  they
were home in private before he punished his son./ * /The teacher  told
Susan that she wanted to talk to her in private after class./ Compare:
IN SECRET. Contrast: IN PUBLIC.

   [in  progress]  {adj.  phr.}  Going  ahead;  being  made  or  done;
happening. * /Plans are in progress to build a new school next  year./
* /A dog ran out on the playing field while the game was in progress./
Contrast: IN CHECK.

   [in public] {adv. phr.} 1. In a place open to the people; in such a
way that the public may see, hear, or know; not  secretly;  openly.  *
/Two boys down the street  are  dancing  in  public  for  pennies./  *
/Actors are used to appearing in public./ * /The mayor  has  told  his
friends that he is sick but will not admit it in public./ Contrast: IN
PRIVATE. 2. See: AIR ONE'S DIRTY LINEN IN PUBLIC or WASH  ONE'S  DIRTY
LINEN IN PUBLIC.

   [in question] {adj. phr.} 1. In doubt;  in  dispute;  being  argued
about or examined. * /I know Bill would he  a  good  captain  for  the
team. That is not in question.  But  does  he  want  to  be  captain?/
Contrast: BEYOND  QUESTION.  2.  Under  discussion;  being  talked  or
thought about. * /The girls in question are not in  school  today./  *
/On the Christmas Day in question, we could not  go  to  Grandmother's
house, as we do every year./

   [in quest of] See: IN SEARCH OF.

   [in reason] {adv. phr.}, {formal} Following the rules of reasoning;
sensibly; reasonably. * /One cannot in reason doubt  that  freedom  is
better than slavery./

   [in reference to] or [with reference to] or  [in  regard  to  ]  or
[with regard to] {prep.} In connection with; from the  standpoint  of;
concerning; regarding; about. * /I am writing with reference  to  your
last letter./ * /He spoke in reference to the Boy Scouts./ * /I  spoke
to him with regard to his  low  marks./  *  /In  regard  to  the  test
tomorrow, it is postponed./ Compare: IN RELATION TO, IN RESPECT TO.

   [in regard to] See: IN REFERENCE TO.

   [in relation to] or [with relation to] {prep.} In connection  with;
in dealing with; as concerns; in comparison to; respecting;  about.  *
/Father spoke about school in relation to finding a job  when  we  are
older./ * /What did you say in relation to what happened yesterday?/ *
/With relation to his job, skill is very important./ * /In relation to
Texas, Rhode Island is quite a small state./ Compare: IN REFERENCE TO,
IN RESPECT TO.

   [in respect to] or [with respect to] In  connection  with;  related
to, about; on. *  /The  teacher  told  stories  about  Washington  and
Lincoln in respect to the importance of being honest./ *  /In  respect
to your visit with us, we hope  you  can  come  before  September./  *
/There was no shortage  in  respect  to  food./  Compare:  AS  TO,  IN
REFERENCE TO, IN RELATION TO.

   [in return] {adv.  phr.}  In  order  to  give  back  something;  as
payment; in recognition or exchange. - Often used with "for".  *  /Bud
gave me his knife and I gave him  marbles  in  return./  *  /The  lady
helped Mother when she was sick and in return Mother often invited her
to dinner./ * /How much did John give you in return for your bicycle?/
* /I hit him in return for the time he hit  me./  *  /I  wrote  Dad  a
letter and got a package in return./

   [in reverse]  {adj.}  or  {adv.  phr.}  In  a  backward  direction;
backward. * /John hit the tree behind him  when  he  put  the  car  in
reverse without looking first./ * /The first of the year Bob did  well
in school but then he started moving in reverse./

   [in round figures]  {adv.  phr.}  As  an  estimated  number;  as  a
rounded-off figure containing no decimals or fractions.  *  /Skip  the
cents and just tell me in round figures how much this car repair  will
cost./

   [in round numbers] See: IN ROUND FIGURES.

   [ins and outs] {n. phr.} The special ways  of  going  somewhere  or
doing something; the different parts. * /The janitor knows all the ins
and outs of the big school building./ * /Jerry's father is a good life
insurance salesman; he knows all the ins and outs of the business./

   [in search of] or {literary}  [in  quest  of]  {prep.}  Seeking  or
looking for; in pursuit of. * /Many men went West in search of  gold./
* /The hunter stayed in the woods all day in quest  of  game./  *  /We
looked everywhere in search of our dog./

   [in season] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. {literary} At  the  proper  or
best time. * /Fred's father told him that he was not  old  enough  yet
but that he would learn to drive in  season./  2a.  At  the  right  or
lawful time for hunting or catching. * /Deer will be  in  season  next
week./ * /In spring we'll go fishing when trout are in season./ 2b. At
the right time or condition for using, eating, or marketing; in a ripe
or eatable condition. * /Christmas trees will be sold at the store  in
season./ * /Native tomatoes will be in season soon./ * /Oysters are in
season during the "R" months./ Compare: IN GOOD TIME. Contrast: OUT OF
SEASON.

   [in secret] {adv. phr.} In a private or secret  way;  in  a  hidden
place. * /The miser buried his gold in secret and no one  knows  where
it is./ * /The robbers went away in secret after  dark./  Compare:  IN
PRIVATE.

   [in shape] or [in condition] {adj. phr.} In good condition; able to
perform well. * /The football team will he in shape for the first game
of the season./ * /Mary was putting her French in shape for the lest./
Compare: IN PRACTICE. Contrast: OUT OF SHAPE.

   [in short] See: IN BRIEF.

   [in short order] {adv. phr.} Without delay; quickly. * /Johnny  got
ready in short order after his father said that he could come  to  the
ball game if he was ready in time./

   [in short supply] {adj. phr.} Not enough; in too small  a  quantity
or amount; in less than the amount or number needed.  *  /The  cookies
are in short supply, so don't eat them all up./ * /We have five people
and only four beds, so the beds are in short supply./

   [inside] See: STEP INSIDE.

   [inside and out] See: INS AND OUTS, INSIDE OUT(2).

   [inside of] {prep.} In; within; on or in an  inside  part  of;  not
beyond; before the end of. * /There is a broom inside of the  closet./
* /There is a label on the inside of the box./ * /Hand your papers  in
to me inside of three days./ Contrast: OUTSIDE OF.

   [inside out] {adv.} 1. So that the  inside  is  turned  outside.  *
/Mother turns the stockings inside out when she washes  them./  2.  or
[inside and  out]  also  [in  and  out]  In  every  part;  throughout;
completely. * /David knows the parts of his bicycle inside out./ * /We
searched the house inside and out for the kitten./ Compare:  BACKWARDS
AND FORWARDS, INS AND OUTS, THROUGH AND THROUGH.

   [inside track] {n. phr.} 1. The inside, shortest distance around  a
curved racetrack; the place that is closest to the inside fence. *  /A
big white horse had the inside track at the start  of  the  race./  2.
{informal} An advantage due to special connections or  information.  *
/I would probably get that job if I could get the inside track./

   [insofar as ] {conj.} To the extent that; to  the  point  that;  as
much as. * /You will learn  your  lessons  only  insofar  as  you  are
willing to keep studying them./

   [in so many words] {adv. phr.} 1.  In  those  exact  words.  *  /He
hinted that he thought we were foolish but did not say so in  so  many
words./ 2. or [in no uncertain terms] In an  outspoken  way;  plainly;
directly. * /I told him in so many words that he was  crazy./  *  /Bob
was very late for their date, and Mary told Bob in no uncertain  terms
what she thought of him./ Compare: WORDS OF ONE SYLLABLE.

   [in someone else's shoes] See: IN ONE'S SHOES.

   [insomuch as] See: INASMUCH AS.

   [in spite of] {prep. phr.} Against the influence or effect  of;  in
opposition to; defying the effect of; despite. * /In spite of the  bad
storm John delivered his papers on time./ * /In  spite  of  all  their
differences, Joan and Ann remain friends./

   [instance] See: FOR EXAMPLE or FOR INSTANCE.

   [in state] See: LIE IN STATE.

   [instead of] or [in place of] also {formal} [in lieu of] {prep.} In
the place of; in substitution for; in preference to; rather than. * /I
wore mittens instead of gloves./ * /The grown-ups had coffee  but  the
children wanted milk in place of coffee./ *  /The  boys  went  fishing
instead of going to school./  *  /The  Vice-President  talked  at  the
meeting in place of the President, because the President was sick./  *
/The magician appeared on the program in lieu of a  singer./  Compare:
IN PERSON.

   [in step] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. With  the  left  or  right  foot
stepping at the same time as another's or to the  beat  of  music;  in
matching strides with another person or persons. * /The long  line  of
soldiers marched all in step: Left, right!  Left,  right!/  *  /Johnny
marched behind the band in  step  to  the  music./  2.  In  agreement;
abreast. - Often followed by "with". * /Mary wanted to  stay  in  step
with her friends and have a doll too./ Contrast: OUT OF STEP.

   [in stitches] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Laughing  so  hard  that  the
sides ache; in a fit of laughing hard. * /The comedian  was  so  funny
that he had everyone who was watching him in stitches./

   [in stock] {adj. phr.} Having something ready to sell  dr  use;  in
present possession or supply; to be sold. * /The store had no more red
shoes in stock, so Mary chose brown ones instead./ Compare: IN  STORE,
ON HAND. Contrast: OUT OF STOCK.

   [in store] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} 1. Saved up in case of need; ready
for use or for some purpose. * /If the electricity goes off,  we  have
candles in store in the closet./ * /The squirrel has plenty of nuts in
store for the winter./ Compare: IN RESERVE,  IN  STOCK,  ON  HAND.  2.
Ready to happen; waiting. - Often used in the phrase "hold  in  store"
or "have in store". * /What does the future hold in store for the  boy
who ran away?/ * /There is a surprise in store for Helen when she gets
home./

   [in stride] See: TAKE IN STRIDE.

   [in substance] {adv. phr.} In important facts; in the main or basic
parts; basically; really. * /In substance the weather report said that
it will be a nice day tomorrow./ * /The  two  cars  are  the  same  in
substance, except one is red and the other is red and white./

   [insult] See: ADD INSULT TO INJURY.

   [intent] See: TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES.

   [in terms of] {prep.} 1. In the  matter  of;  on  the  subject  of;
especially about; about. * /He spoke about books  in  terms  of  their
publication./ * /What have you done in terms affixing  the  house?/  *
/The children ate a great many hot dogs at  the  party.  In  terms  of
money, they ate $20 worth./ 2. As to the amount or number  of.  *  /We
swam a great distance. In terms of miles, it was three./

   [in that] {conj.} For the reason that; because. * /I like the city,
but I like the country better in that  I  have  more  friends  in  the
country./

   [in the air] {adv. phr.} 1. In everyone's  thoughts.  *  /Christmas
was in the air for weeks before./ * /The war filled people's  thoughts
every day; it was in the air./ Compare: IN THE WIND.  2.  Meeting  the
bodily senses; surrounding you so as to be smelled or felt. *  /Spring
is in the air./ * /Rain is in the air./ 3. See: LEAVE HANGING,  UP  IN
THE AIR.

   [in the back] See: STAB IN THE BACK.

   [in the bag] {adj. phr.}, {informal} Sure  to  be  won  or  gotten;
certain. * /Jones had the election in the bag after the shameful  news
about his opponent came out./ * /We thought we had  the  game  in  the
bag./ Compare: SEWED UP.

   [in the balance] See: HANG IN THE BALANCE.

   [in the bargain] or [into the bargain]  {adv.  phr.}  In  addition;
besides; also. * /Frank is a teacher, and an artist into the bargain./
* /The heat failed, and then the roof began to leak in  the  bargain./
Compare: TO BOOT, FOR GOOD MEASURE.

   [in the black] {adv.} or {adj. phr.}, {informal} In a successful or
profitable way; so as to make money. * /The big store was  running  in
the black./ * /A  business  must  stay  in  the  black  to  keep  on./
Contrast: IN THE RED.

   [in the blood] See: RUN IN THE BLOOD or RUN IN THE FAMILY.

   [in the bud] See: NIP IN THE BUD.

   [in the can]  {adj.},  {slang},  {movie  jargon}  Ready;  finished;
completed; about to be duplicated and distributed to exhibitors. * /No
sneak previews until it's all in the can!/ * /Once my  book's  in  the
can, I'll go for a vacation./

   [in the cards] also [on the cards] {adj. phr.},  {informal}  To  be
expected; likely to happen; foreseeable; predictable. * /It was in the
cards for the son to succeed his father as head of  the  business./  *
/John finally decided that it wasn't in the cards for him  to  succeed
with that company./

   [in the charge of] See: IN CHARGE OF(2).

   [in the chips] {slang} or {informal} [in  the  money]  {adj.  phr.}
Having plenty of money; prosperous; rich.  *  /After  his  rich  uncle
died, Richard was in the  chips./  *  /After  years  of  struggle  and
dependence, air transportation is in  the  money./  Compare:  ON  EASY
STREET, WELL-TO-DO.

   [in the circumstances] See: UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

   [in the clear] {adj. phr.} 1. Free of anything that makes moving or
seeing difficult; with nothing to limit action. * /The  plane  climbed
above the clouds and was flying in the clear./ * /Jack passed the ball
to Tim, who was in the clear and ran for a touchdown./  2.  {informal}
Free of blame or suspicion; not thought to be guilty.  *  /After  John
told the principal that he broke the window, Martin was in the clear./
* /Steve was the last to leave the locker room, and the boys suspected
him of stealing Tom's watch, but the coach found  the  watch  and  put
Steve in the clear./ 3. Free of debt; not owing  money  to  anyone.  *
/Bob borrowed  a  thousand  dollars  from  his  father  to  start  his
business, but at the end of the first year he was in the clear./ Syn.:
IN THE BLACK.

   [in the clouds] {adj. phr.} Far  from  real  life;  in  dreams;  in
fancy; in thought. * /When Alice agreed to marry Jim, Jim went home in
the clouds./ - Often used with "head", "mind", "thoughts". * /Mary  is
looking out the window, not at the chalkboard;  her  head  is  in  the
clouds again./ * /A good teacher should have his head  in  the  clouds
sometimes, but his feet always on the ground./ Contrast: COME BACK  TO
EARTH, FEET ON THE GROUND.

   [in the clover] See: IN CLOVER.

   [in the cold] See: OUT IN THE COLD.

   [in the cold light of day] {adv. phr.} After sleeping on it;  after
giving it more thought; using common sense and looking at  the  matter
unemotionally  and  realistically.  *  /Lost  night  my  ideas  seemed
terrific, but in the cold light of  day  I  realize  that  they  won't
work./

   [in the dark] {adj. phr.} 1. In ignorance; without  information.  *
/John was in the dark about the job he was being sent to./ *  /If  the
government controls the news, it can keep people in the  dark  on  any
topic it chooses./ * /Mary had a letter from Sue  yesterday,  but  she
was left in the dark about Sue's plans to visit her./ Contrast: IN THE
KNOW. See: WHISTLE IN THE DARK.

   [in the doghouse] {adj. phr.}, {slang} In disgrace or  disfavor.  *
/Our neighbor got in the doghouse with his wife by coming home drunk./
* /Jerry is in the doghouse because he dropped the ball, and the other
team won because of that./ Compare: DOWN ON.

   [in the door] See: FOOT IN THE DOOR.

   [in the driver's seat] {adv. phr.} In control; having the power  to
make decisions. * /Stan is in the driver's seat now that he  has  been
made our supervisor at the factory./

   [in the dumps] See: DOWN IN THE DUMPS.

   [in the event] See: IN CASE(1).

   [in the event of] See: IN CASE OF.

   [in the eye] See: LOOK IN THE EYE.

   [in the face] See: BLUE IN THE FACE, LOOK IN THE EYE or LOOK IN THE
FACE, SLAP IN THE FACE, STARE IN THE FACE.

   [in the face of] {adv. phr.} 1. When met or  in  the  presence  of;
threatened by. * /He was brave in the face of danger./ * /She began to
cry in the face of failure./ 2. Although  opposed  by;  without  being
stopped by. * /Talking continued even in the  face  of  the  teacher's
command to stop./ Syn.: IN SPITE OF. Compare: FLY IN THE FACE  OF,  IN
ONE'S FACE. 3. See: FLY IN THE PACE OF.

   [in the family] See: RUN IN THE BLOOD or RUN IN THE FAMILY.

   [in the first place] {adv. phr.} 1. Before now; in  the  beginning;
first. * /You already ate breakfast! Why didn't you tell  me  that  in
the first place instead of saying you didn't want  to  eat?/  *  /Carl
patched his old football but it soon  leaked  again.  He  should  have
bought a new one in the first place./ 2. See: IN THE PLACE.

   [in the flesh] See: IN PERSON.

   [in the groove] {adj. phr.}, {slang}  Doing  something  very  well;
near perfection; at your best. * /The band was  right  in  the  groove
that night./ * /It was an exciting football  game;  every  player  was
really in the groove./

   [in the hole] {adv.} or {adj. phr.}, {informal} 1a. Having a  score
lower than zero in a game, especially a card game; to  a  score  below
zero. * /John went three points in the hole on the first hand  of  the
card game./ 1b. Behind an opponent; in difficulty in a sport or  game.
* /We had their pitcher in the hole with the bases  full  and  no  one
out./ Compare: ON THE SPOT. 2. In debt; behind  financially.  *  /John
went in the hole with his hot dog stand./ * /It's a lot easier to  get
in the hole than to get out again./ Compare: IN A HOLE,  IN  THE  RED.
Contrast: OUT OF THE HOLE.

   [in the know] {adj. phr.}, {informal}  Knowing  about  things  that
most people do not know about;  knowing  secrets  or  understanding  a
special subject. * /Tina helped Professor Smith make some of the  exam
questions, and she felt important to be in the know./ *  /In  a  print
shop, Mr. Harvey is in the know, but in a kitchen he can't  even  cook
an egg./ Compare: GET WISE. Contrast: IN THE DARK.

   [in the lap of luxury] {adv. phr.}  Well  supplied  with  luxuries;
having most things that money can buy. * /Mike grew up in the  lap  of
luxury./ Compare: ON EASY STREET, WELL-TO-DO.

   [in the lap of the gods] also [on the  knees  of  the  gods]  {adv.
phr.}, {literary} Beyond human control; not to be decided by anyone. *
/Frank had worked hard as a candidate, and as  election  day  came  he
felt that the result was in the lap of the gods./ * /The  armies  were
evenly matched and the result of the battle seemed to be on the  knees
of the gods./

   [in the least] {adv. phr.} Even a little; in any degree or  amount.
- Used in negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences.  *  /Sue
did not understand physics in the least./ *  /Are  you  in  the  least
interested in sewing?/ * /Mother  won't  be  upset  if  you  come  for
supper; I'll be surprised if she cares in the least./ * /Mike was  not
upset in the least by the storm./ * /It is no trouble to help you. Not
in the least./ Compare: AT ALL.

   [in the line of duty] {adj. phr.} Done or happening as  part  of  a
job. * /The policeman was shot in the line of duty./  *  /The  soldier
had to clean his rifle in the line of duty./

   [in the long run] {adv. phr.} In the end; in the  final  result.  *
/John knew that lie could make a success of the little weekly paper in
the long run./ * /You may make good grades  by  studying  only  before
examinations, but you will succeed in the long run  only  by  studying
hard every day./

   [in the lurch] See: LEAVE IN THE LURCH.

   [in the main] {adv.  phr.},  {formal}  In  most  cases;  generally;
usually. * /In the main, small boys and dogs are good friends./ *  /In
the main, the pupils did well on the test./

   [in the market for] {adj. phr.} Wishing to buy;  ready  to  buy.  *
/Mr. Jones is in the market for a new car./ * /People  are  always  in
the market for entertainment./

   [in the middle] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} In between two  sides  of  an
argument; caught between two dangers. * /Mary  found  herself  in  the
middle of the quarrel between Joyce and Ethel./ * /John  promised  Tom
to go fishing, but his father wanted him to help at home. John was  in
the middle./

   [in the middle of nowhere]  {adv.  phr.}  In  a  deserted,  faraway
place. * /When my car stopped on the highway in the middle of nowhere,
it took forever to get help./

   [in the money] See: IN THE CHIPS.

   [in the mood (for)] {adj. phr.} 1. Interested in doing something. *
/Sorry, I'm just not in the mood  for  a  heavy  dinner  tonight./  2.
Feeling sexy. * /I am sorry, darling,  I  am  just  not  in  the  mood
tonight./

   [in the mouth] See: LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH.

   [in the neck] See: CATCH IT IN THE NECK or GET IT IN THE NECK.

   [in the nick of time] {adv. phr.} Just at the  right  time;  barely
soon enough; almost too late. * /The doctor arrived  in  the  nick  of
time to save the child from choking to death./ * /Joe  saw  the  other
car in the nick of time./ Compare: IN TIME.

   [in the pink] or [in the pink of condition] {adj. phr.}, {informal}
In excellent health; strong and well; in fine shape.  *  /Mr.  Merrick
had aged well; he was one of those old men who always seem in the pink
of condition./ * /After a practice and a  rubdown,  Joe  felt  in  the
pink./

   [in the --- place] {adv. phr.} As the (first or  second  or  third,
etc.) thing in order or importance; first, second, or  third,  etc.  -
Used with "first", "second", "third", and  other  ordinal  numbers.  *
/No, you cannot go swimming. In the first  place,  the  water  is  too
cold; and, in the second  place,  there  is  not  time  enough  before
dinner./ * /Stealing is wrong, in the first place,  because  it  hurts
others, and, in the second place, because it hurts you./ Compare:  FOR
ONE THING.

   [in the prime of life] {adv. phr.} At the peak  of  one's  creative
abilities; during the most productive years. * /Poor John lost his job
due to restructuring when he was in the prime of his life./

   [in the public eye] {adj. phr.} Widely known; often seen in  public
activity; much in the news. * /The senator's activity kept him in  the
public eye./ * /A big league  ballplayer  is  naturally  much  in  the
public eye./

   [in the raw] {adj.} or {adv. phr.}  1.  In  the  simplest  or  most
natural way; with no frills. * /Henry enjoyed going into the woods and
living life in the raw./ 2. {informal} Without any clothing; naked.  *
/In the summer the boys slept in the raw./

   [in the red] {adv.} or {adj. phr.}, {informal} In  an  unprofitable
way; so as to lose money. * /A large number of American radio stations
operate in the red./ * /A rich man who has a farm or ranch often  runs
it in the red, but makes his money  with  his  factory  or  business./
Contrast: IN THE BLACK. (From the fact that people who  keep  business
records usually write in red ink how much money they lose and in black
ink how much money they gain.)

   [in the right] {adj. phr.} With moral or legal right  or  truth  on
your side; in agreement with justice, truth, or fact; correct. * /When
the cars collided, John was clearly in the right./ * /In going  before
his wife down the stairs, Mr. Franklin was in the right./ *  /In  many
disputes, it is hard to say who is in the  right./  Contrast:  IN  THE
WRONG.

   [in the rough] See: DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH.

   [in the running] {adj.} or {adv. phr.} Having a chance to win;  not
to be counted out; among those who might win. * /At the  beginning  of
the last lap of the race, only two horses were still in the  running./
* /A month before Joyce  married  Hal,  three  of  Joyce's  boyfriends
seemed to be still in the running./ * /Al was in the running  for  the
trophy until the last hole of the golf tournament./ Contrast:  OUT  OF
THE RUNNING.

   [in the saddle] adv. or {adj. phr.} In command; in  control;  in  a
position to order or boss others. * /Mr. Park was in the  saddle  when
he had over half the company's stock./ * /Getting appointed chief
of police put Stevens in the saddle./

   [in the same boat] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} In the  same  trouble;  in
the same fix; in the same  bad  situation.  *  /When  the  town's  one
factory closed and  hundreds  of  people  lost  their  jobs,  all  the
storekeepers were in the same boat./ *  /Dick  was  disappointed  when
Fern refused to marry him, but he knew others were in the same boat./

   [in the same breath] {adv. phr.}  1.  At  the  same  time;  without
waiting. * /John would complain about hard  times,  and  in  the  same
breath boast of his prize-winning  horses./  *  /Jane  said  Bill  was
selfish, but in the same breath she said she  was  sorry  to  see  him
leave./ 2. In the same class; in as high a group. -  Usually  used  in
the negative with "mention", "speak", or "talk". *  /Mary  is  a  good
swimmer, but she should not be  mentioned  in  the  same  breath  with
Joan./

   [in the same place] See: LIGHTNING NEVER STRIKES TWICE IN THE  SAME
PLACE.

   [in the sand] See: HIDE ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND.

   [in the second place] See: IN THE --- PLACE.

   [in the short run] {adv. phr.} In the immediate future. *  /We  are
leasing a car in the short run; later we might buy one./ Contrast:  IN
THE LONG RUN.

   [in  the  soup]  {adj.  phr.},  {slang}  In  serious  trouble;   in
confusion; in disorder. * /When his wife overdrew their  bank  account
without telling him, Mr. Phillips suddenly found himself really in the
soup./ * /The police misunderstood Harry's night errand, and  arrested
him, which put him in the soup with the boss./

   [in the spotlight] {adv. phr.} In the  center  of  attention,  with
everybody watching what one is doing. * /It must be difficult for  the
President to be in the spotlight wherever he goes./  Compare:  IN  THE
LIMELIGHT.

   [in the swim] {adj. phr.} Doing the same things that  other  people
are doing; following the fashion (as in business or  social  affairs);
busy with what most people  are  doing.  *  /Jim  found  some  college
friends at the lake that summer, and soon was in the swim of  things./
* /Mary went to New York with introductions to  writers  and  artists,
and that winter she was quite in the swim./ Contrast: OUT OF THE SWIM.

   [in the third place] See: IN THE --- PLACE.

   [in the till] See: ROB THE TILL or HAVE ONE'S HAND IN THE TILL.

   [in the twinkling of an eye] See: BEFORE ONE CAN SAY JACK ROBINSON.

   [in the wake of] {prep.}, {literary} As a result of;  right  after;
following. * /Many troubles follow in the wake of war./ * /There  were
heavy losses of property in the wake of the flood./

   [in the way] See: IN ONE'S WAY.

   [in the way of] See: PUT IN THE WAY OF.

   [in the wind] {adj. phr.} Seeming probable; being planned; soon  to
happen. * /Changes in top management of the company had  been  in  the
wind for weeks./ * /Tom's close friends knew that marriage was in  the
wind./ Compare: IN THE AIR(1).

   [in the works] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} In preparation; being  planned
or worked on; in progress. * /John was told that  the  paving  of  his
street was in the works./ * /It was reported that the playwright had a
new play in the works./ * /The manager told the employees that a raise
in wages was in the works./ Compare: UNDER WAY.

   [in the world]  or  [on  earth]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Of  all
possible things; ever. - Usually used for emphasis  after  words  that
ask questions, as "who", "why", "what", etc. * /Where in the world did
you find that necktie?/ * /The boys wondered how on  earth  the  mouse
got out of the cage./ * /Betty could not understand what on earth  the
teacher meant./

   [in the wrong] {adj. phr.} With  moral  or  legal  right  or  truth
against you; against justice, truth, or fact; wrong. * /In attacking a
smaller boy, Jack was plainly in the wrong./ * /Mary was in the  wrong
to drink from a finger bowl./ * /Since he had put pennies  behind  the
fuses, Bill was in the wrong when fire broke out./ Compare: OUT OF THE
WAY. Contrast: IN THE RIGHT.

   [in time] {adv.} or {adj. phr.}  1.  Soon  enough.  *  /We  got  to
Washington in time for the cherry blossoms./ * /We got to the  station
just in time to catch the bus./ * /John liked to get to work  in  good
time and talk. to the man who worked on his machine before him./ 2. In
the end; after a while; finally. * /Fred and Jim  did  not  like  each
other at first, but in time they became  friends./  3.  In  the  right
rhythm; in step. * /The marchers  kept  in  time  with  the  band./  *
/Johnny didn't play his piano piece in time./

   [into account] See: TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.

   [into a nose dive] See: oo INTO A TAIL SPIN or GO INTO A NOSE DIVE.

   [into a tail spin] See: GO INTO A TAIL SPIN.

   [into commission] See: IN COMMISSION.

   [into effect] {adv. phr.} Into use or operation. *  /The  new  rule
was put into effect at once./ * /The judge ordered the  old  suspended
penalty into effect./

   [into hot water] See: HOT WATER.

   [into line] {adv. phr.} 1.  Into  agreement.  *  /The  department's
spending was brought into line with the budget./ 2. Under  control.  *
/Independent congressmen were brought into line by warnings that  jobs
for their friends would be kept back./ * /The players who  had  broken
training rules fell into line when the coach  warned  them  that  they
would he put off the team./

   [into one's blood] See: IN ONE'S BLOOD.

   [into one's head] See: BEAT INTO ONE'S HEAD, TAKE INTO ONE'S HEAD.

   [into one's own] See: COME INTO ONE'S OWN.

   [into one's own hands] See: TAKE THE LAW INTO ONE'S OWN HANDS.

   [into one's shell] See: IN ONE'S SHELL.

   [into one's shoes] See: STEP INTO ONE'S SHOES.

   [into practice] See: IN PRACTICE.

   [into question] {adv. phr.} Into doubt or argument. - Usually  used
with "call", "bring" or "come". * /This soldier's  courage  has  never
been called into question./ * /If a boy steals, his parents'  teaching
comes into question./

   [into the bargain] See: IN THE BARGAIN.

   [into the fire] See: OUT OP THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE.

   [into the ground] See: RUN INTO THE GROUND.

   [into the hands of] See: PLAY INTO THE HANDS OF.

   [into thin air] {adv. phr.} Without anything  left;  completely.  *
/When Bob returned to the room, he was  surprised  to  find  that  his
books had vanished into thin air./ Compare: OUT OF THIN AIR.

   [in toto] {adv.  phr.}  As  a  whole;  in  its  entirety;  totally;
altogether. * /The store refused the advertising  agency's  suggestion
in toto./ * /They bought the  newspaper  business  in  toto./  *  /The
paving job was accepted in toto./ (Latin, meaning "in the whole.")

   [in touch] {adj. phr.} Talking or writing to each other; giving and
getting news. * /John kept in touch with his school friends during the
summer./ * /Police anywhere in the U.S. can  get  in  touch  instantly
with any other police department by teletype./ * /The man  claimed  to
be in touch with people  on  another  planet./  Compare:  KEEP  TRACK.
Contrast: OUT OF TOUCH.

   [in tow] {adj. phr.} 1. Being pulled. * /The tugboat had the  large
ocean liner in tow as they came into the harbor./ *  /An  engine  came
with a long string of cars in tow./  2.  Being  taken  from  place  to
place; along with someone. * /Janet took  the  new  girl  in  tow  and
showed her where to go./ * /Mrs. Hayes went to  the  supermarket  with
her four little children in tow./

   [in trust] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} In safe care for another.  *  /The
money was held by the hank in trust for the widow./ *  /At  his  death
Mr. Brown left a  large  sum  in  trust  for  his  son  until  he  was
twenty-five./

   [in tune] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. At  the  proper  musical  pitch;
high or low enough in sound. * /The piano is in tune./ 2.  Going  well
together; in agreement; matching; agreeable. - Often used with "with".
* /In his new job, John felt in tune with  his  surroundings  and  his
associates./ Contrast: OUT OF TUNE.

   [in turn] {adv. phr.} According to a settled order; each  following
another. * /Each man in turn  got  up  and  spoke./  *  /Two  teachers
supervised the lunch hour in turn./ * /Two of  the  three  boys  tease
their younger brother - John, the biggest, teases Bob, the middle boy;
and Bob in turn teases Tim, the youngest./ Compare: IN ORDER.

   [in two] {adv. phr.} Into two parts or pieces; into two  divisions.
* /John and Mary pulled on the wishbone  until  it  came  in  two./  *
/There was only one piece of cake, but we cut it  in  two./  Syn.:  IN
HALF.

   [in two shakes of a lamb's tail] {adv.}, {informal} Quickly; in  no
time at all. * /I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail./

   [in --- up to the] See: UP TO THE --- IN.

   [in vain] {adv.  phr.}  1.  Without  effect;  without  getting  the
desired result; without success. * /The drowning man  called  in  vain
for help./ * /To cry over spilled milk is to cry in vain./ Compare: GO
FOR NOTHING, NO USE. 2. See: TAKE ONE'S NAME IN VAIN.

   [in view] {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. In sight; visible.  *  /We  came
around a bend and there was the ocean in view./ 2. As a purpose, hope,
or expectation. * /John had his son's education in view when he  began
to save money./ * /The end that we must keep always in view  is  peace
with justice./ Compare: EYE TO.

   [in view of] {prep.} After thinking about; because of.  *  /Schools
were closed for the day in view of the heavy snowstorm./ * /In view of
rising labor costs, many companies have turned to  automation./  Syn.:
IN THE LIGHT OF.

   [in virtue of] See: BY VIRTUE OF.

   [in wait] See: LIE IN WAIT.

   [in with] {prep.} In friendship, favor, or closeness with;  in  the
trust or liking of. * /We trusted on Byrd's being in with  the  mayor,
not knowing that the mayor no longer liked him./ * /It  took  the  new
family some time to get in with their neighbors./

   [I.O.U.] {adj. phr.} I owe you, abbreviated; a promissory  note.  *
/I had to borrow some money from John and, in order to remind both  of
us, I wrote him an I.O.U. note for $250./

   [Irish] See: GET ONE'S DANDER UP or GET ONE'S IRISH UP.

   [iron horse] {n.}, {informal} A railroad locomotive; the engine  of
a railroad train. * /In its first days, the iron horse frightened many
people as it roared across country scattering sparks./

   [iron in the fire] {n. phr.} Something you are doing;  one  of  the
projects with which a person is busy; job, * /John  had  a  number  of
irons in the fire, and he managed to keep all of them hot./ -  Usually
used in the phrase "too many irons in the fire". * /"Ed  has  a  dozen
things going all the time, but none of them seem  to  work  out."  "No
wonder. He has too many irons in the fire."/

   [iron out] {v.}, {informal} To discuss and reach an agreement about
(a  difference);  find  a  solution  for  (a   problem);   remove   (a
difficulty).  *  /The  company  and  its  workers  ironed  out   their
differences over hours and pay./ * /The House and  Senate  ironed  out
the differences between their two different tax bills./ Compare:  MAKE
UP(5).

   [is] See: SUCH AS IT IS, THAT IS.

   [island] See: SAFETY ISLAND.

   [issue] See: AT ISSUE, TAKE ISSUE.

   [is that so] {informal} 1. Oh, indeed? That's interesting.  -  Used
in simple acceptance or reply. * /"The Republicans have pulled a trick
at city hall." "Is that so?"/ 2. Surely not? - Used  in  disbelief  or
sarcasm. * /"The moon is made of green cheese." "Is that so?"/ * /"I'm
going to take your girlfriend to the dance," said Bob.  "Oh,  is  that
so!" said Dick. "Try it and you'll be sorry."/

   [itching palm] {n.}, {slang} A wish for money;  greed.  *  /He  was
born with an itching palm./ * /The bellboys in that hotel seem  always
to have itching palms./

   [I tell you] See: I'LL SAY.

   [I tell you what] See: I'LL TELL YOU WHAT.

   [item] See: COLLECTOR'S ITEM, CONSUMER ITEMS.

   [it figures] {informal sentence} It checks out; it makes sense;  it
adds up. * /It figures that Bob got the highest raise at our firm;  he
is the most productive salesman./

   [it is an ill wind that blows nobody good]  No  matter  how  bad  a
happening is, someone can usually gain something from it. - A proverb.
* /When Fred got hurt in the game John got a chance to play.  It's  an
ill wind that blows nobody good./

   [it never rains but it pours] One good thing or bad thing is  often
followed by others of the same kind. - A proverb, *  /John  got  sick,
then his brothers and sisters all got sick.  It  never  rains  but  it
pours./

   [it's a cinch] {informal sentence} It is very easy. * /"What  about
the final exam?" Fred asked. "It was a cinch" Sam answered./  Compare:
PIECE OF CAKE.

   [it's a deal] {informal sentence}  Consider  it  done;  OK;  it  is
agreed. * /"How much for this used car?" Bill asked.  "Two  thousand,"
the man answered. "I'll give $1,500," Bill said. "It's  a  deal!"  the
owner answered as they sealed the transaction./

   [it's been ---, it's been real] {informal} Shortened form  for  "it
has been real nice (being with you)" - used colloquially between  very
close friends.

   [itself] See: END IN ITSELF.

   [it's high time] {informal sentence} It is overdue. * /It  is  high
time for John Browning to  be  promoted  to  full  professor;  he  has
written a great deal but his books went unnoticed./

   [Ivy League] {n.} A small  group  of  the  older  and  more  famous
eastern U.S. colleges and universities. * /Several  Ivy  League  teams
play each other regularly each year./ * /Harvard, Yale, and  Princeton
were the original Ivy League./





   [Jack] See: ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY.

   [jack] See: EVERY LAST MAN also EVERY MAN JACK.

   [jack of all trades] {n.}, {informal} (Often followed by the  words
"master of none.") A person who is knowledgeable in many areas. Can be
used as praise, or as a derogatory remark depending on the context and
the intonation. * /Peter is a jack  of  all  trades;  he  can  survive
anywhere!/ * /"How come Joe did such a sloppy job?" Mary asked.  "He's
a jack of all trades," Sally answered./

   [jackpot] See: HIT THE JACKPOT.

   [jack-rabbit start] {n.}, {informal} A very  sudden  start  from  a
still position; a  very  fast  start  from  a  stop.  *  /Bob  made  a
jack-rabbit start when the traffic light turned green./

   [Jack Robinson] See: BEFORE ONE CAN SAY JACK ROBINSON.

   [jack up] {v.} 1. To lift with a jack. * /The man jacked up his car
to fit a flat tire./ 2. {informal} To make (a price) higher; raise.  *
/Just before Christmas, some stores jack up their prices./

   [jailbait] {n.}, {slang} A girl below the legal age of consent  for
sex;  one  who  tempts  you  to  intimacy  which  is   punishable   by
imprisonment. * /Stay away from Arabella, she is a jailbait./

   [jailbird] {n.}, {informal} A convict; someone who is  in  jail  or
has been recently  released  from  prison.  *  /Because  Harry  was  a
jailbird, it was understandably hard for him to find a job after being
imprisoned./

   [jake flake] {n.}, {slang} A boring person whose company is usually
not wanted. * /Please don't invite Turner, he is a jake flake./

   [jar on] {v. phr.} To irritate. * /The constant construction  noise
was beginning to jar on the nerves of the members of the meeting./

   [jaw] See: GLASS JAW.

   [jawbreaker] {n.} 1. A large piece of hard candy  or  bubblegum.  *
/Billy asked his mother for a quarter to buy some  jawbreakers  and  a
chocolate bar./  2.  [informal]  A  word  or  name  that  is  hard  to
pronounce. * /His name, Nissequogue, is a real jawbreaker./

   [jaw drop] or [jaw drop a mile] {informal}  Mouth  fall  wide  open
with surprise. - Used with a possessive. * /Tom's jaw dropped  a  mile
when he won the prize./

   [jaws tight] {adj.}, {slang}, {informal} Angry; uptight;  tense.  *
/Why are you getting your jaws so tight?/

   [jazz up] {v.}, {slang} To brighten up; add more  noise,  movement,
or color; make more lively or exciting. * /The  party  was  very  dull
until Pete jazzed it up with his drums./

   [Jehu] See: DRIVE LIKE JEHU.

   [jerk] or [jerker] See: SODA JERK or SODA JERKER.

   [jerry-built]  {adj.}  1.  Built  poorly  or  carelessly  of  cheap
materials; easily broken. * /That jerry-built cabin will blow apart in
a strong wind./  2.  Done  without  careful  preparation  or  thought;
planned too quickly. * /When the  regular  television  program  didn't
come on, a jerry-built program was substituted at the last minute./

   [Jesus  boots]  or  [Jesus  shoes]  {n.},  {slang}  Men's  sandals,
particularly as worn by hippies and very casually dressed people. * /I
dig your Jesus boots, man, they look cool./

   [jig's up] See: GAME'S UP.

   [jim-dandy] {n.}, {slang} Something wonderful; something very good.
* /Tommy's new boat is really a jim-dandy! I wish I had one like it./

   [jink] See: HIGH JINKS.

   [job] See: DO A JOB ON, FALL DOWN ON THE JOB, LIE DOWN ON THE  JOB,
ON THE JOB.

   [Joe Doakes] {n.} A name used informally for  the  average  man.  *
/Let us say that Joe Doakes goes to the movies three  times  a  year./
Compare: MAN IN THE STREET, SO-AND-SO.

   [John Doe] {n.} A name used for an unknown  person,  especially  in
police and law business. * /The alarm went out  for  a  John  Doe  who
stole the diamonds from the store./

   [John Hancock] or [John Henry]  {n.},  {informal}  Your  signature;
your name in writing. * /The man said, "Put your John Hancock on  this
paper."/ * /Joe felt proud when he put his  John  Henry  on  his  very
first driver's license./

   [Johnny-come-lately]  {n.}  Someone  new  in  a  place  or   group;
newcomer; also: a new person who takes an active part in group affairs
before tlie group has accepted him; upstart. * /Everybody  was  amazed
when a Johnny-come-lately beat the old favorite in the race./ *  /When
it looked as though Mr. Brown had  a  good  chance  of  winning,  many
Johnny-come-latelies began to support him./

   [Johnny-on-the-spot] {adj. phr.} At the right  place  when  needed;
present and ready to help; very prompt; on time. * /A good waterboy is
always Johnny-on-the-spot./ * /The firemen were Johnny-on-the-spot and
put out the fire in the house soon after it started./ Compare: ON  THE
JOB.

   [John Q. Public] {n.}  A  name  used  informally  for  the  average
citizen. * /It is John Q. Public's duty to  vote  at  each  election./
Compare: JOE DOAKES.

   [join forces] or [join hands] {v. phr.} To  get  together  for  the
same aim; group together for a purpose; unite. * /The students and the
graduates joined forces to raise money when the gym  burned  down./  *
/The American soldiers joined  hands  with  the  British  in  the  war
against Germany./ Compare: THROW IN ONE'S LOT WITH.

   [join hands] See: JOIN FORCES.

   [joint] See: CLIP JOINT, PUT ONE'S NOSE OUT OF JOINT.

   [joke] See: CRACK A JOKE.

   [joking apart] See: JOKING ASIDE.

   [joking aside] or [joking apart] {v. phr.}, {informal} No  fooling;
without  exaggerating:  seriously.  *  /Joking  aside,  although   the
conditions were not very comfortable, we  had  a  wonderful  time./  *
/Joking apart, there must have been  over  a  hundred  people  in  the
room./

   [Jones] See: KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES.

   [jot down] {v. phr.} To quickly commit to  writing;  make  a  quick
note of something. * /Let me jot down your address so that I can  send
you a postcard from Europe./

   [judgment seat] {n.} A place where you are judged;  a  place  where
justice and punishment are given out. * /Mrs. Smith is so  bossy,  she
always acts as though she is in the judgment seat./

   [jug-eared] {adj.} With ears that stick out like the handles  of  a
jug. * /Tommy was a redheaded, freckle-faced, jug-eared boy./

   [juice] See: STEW IN ONE'S OWN JUICE.

   [juice dealer] {n.}, {slang} An underworld money lender who charges
exorbitant fees to his clientele and frequently  collects  payment  by
physical force. * /No matter how broke you are, never go  to  a  juice
dealer./

   [jump] See: GET THE JUMP ON or HAVE THE JUMP ON,  GO  JUMP  IN  THE
LAKE, NOT KNOW WHICH WAY TO TURN or NOT KNOW WHICH WAY TO JUMP.

   [jump all over] See: JUMP ON.

   [jump at] {v.} To take or accept  quickly  and  gladly.  *  /Johnny
jumped at the invitation to go swimming with  his  brother./  Compare:
TAKE UP(7).

   [jump bail] or [skip bail] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  run  away  and
fail to come to trial, and so to give up a  certain  amount  of  money
already given to a court of law to hold  with  the  promise  that  you
would come. * /The robber paid $2000 bail so he  wouldn't  be  put  in
jail before his trial, but he jumped bail and escaped  to  Mexico./  *
/The man skipped bail because he was afraid the court might put him in
jail for a long time./

   [jump ball] {n.} The starting of play in basketball by tossing  the
ball into the air between two opposing players, each of whom jumps and
tries to hit the ball to a member of his own team. * /Two players held
onto the ball at the same time and the referee called a jump ball./

   [jump down one's throat] {v. phr.} To suddenly become very angry at
someone; scold severely or angrily. * /The teacher jumped down Billy's
throat when Billy said he did not do his homework./

   [jump from the frying pan into the fire] See: OUT OP THE FRYING PAN
INTO THE FIRE.

   [jumping-off place] {n. phr.} 1. A place so far away that it  seems
to be the end of the world. *  /Columbus'  sailors  were  afraid  they
would arrive at the jumping-off place if they sailed farther west./  *
/So you visited Little  America?  That  sounds  like  the  jumping-off
place!/ 2. The starting place of a long, hard  trip  or  of  something
difficult or dangerous. * /The jumping-off place  for  the  explorer's
trip through the jungle was a little village./

   [jump on] or [jump all over] or [land on] or [land  all  over]  {v.
phr.}, {informal} To scold; criticize; blame. * /Tom's boss jumped all
over Tom because he made a careless  mistake./  *  /Janice  landed  on
Robert for dressing carelessly for their date./ * /"I don't  know  why
Bill is always jumping on me; I just don't understand him," said Bob./
Compare: FIND FAULT, GET ON, LAY OUT(7).

   [jump on the bandwagon]  or  [get  on  the  bandwagon]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To join a  popular  cause  or  movement.  *  /At  the  last
possible  moment,  the  senator  jumped  on  the  winning  candidate's
bandwagon./

   [jump out  of  one's  skin]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  be  badly
frightened; be very much surprised. * /The lightning struck  so  close
to Bill that he almost jumped out of his skin./ Compare: HAIR STAND ON
END.

   [jump pass] {n.} A pass (as in football or basketball)  made  by  a
player while jumping. * /The Bruins scored when the quarterback tossed
a jump pass to the left end./

   [jump the gun] also [beat the gun] {v. phr.} 1. To start before the
starter's gun in a race. * /The runners were called back  because  one
of them jumped the gun./ 2. {informal} To  start  before  you  should;
start before anyone else. * /The new students  were  not  supposed  to
come before noon, but one boy jumped the gun and  came  to  school  at
eight in the morning./ * /The students planned to say  happy  birthday
to the principal when the teacher raised her hand,  but  Sarah  jumped
the gun and said it when he came into the room./

   [jump the traces] See: KICK OVER THE TRACES.

   [jump the track] {v. phr.} 1. To go off rails; go or run the  wrong
way. * /The train jumped the track and there was a terrible accident./
* /The pulley of the clothesline jumped the track and Mother's washing
fell down./ 2. {informal} To  change  from  one  thought  or  idea  to
another without plan or reason; change the thought  or  idea  you  are
talking about to something different. * /Bob didn't finish his algebra
homework because his mind kept jumping the track to  think  about  the
new girl in class./ Compare: OFF THE TRACK.

   [jump through a hoop] {v. phr.}, {informal} To do whatever you  are
told to do; obey any order. * /Bob  would  jump  through  a  hoop  for
Mary./ Compare: TWIST AROUND ONE'S LITTLE FINGER, UNDER ONE'S THUMB.

   [jump to a conclusion] {v. phr.} To decide too quickly  or  without
thinking or finding the facts. * /Jerry  saw  his  dog  limping  on  a
bloody leg and jumped to  the  conclusion  that  it  had  been  shot./
Contrast: LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP.

   [junked up] {adj.} or {v. phr.},  {slang},  {drug  culture}  To  be
under the influence of drugs, especially heroine. * /You can't talk to
Billy, he's all junked up./

   [just about] {adv.},  {informal}  Nearly;  almost;  practically.  *
/Just about everyone in town came to hear the  mayor  speak./  *  /The
dress came down to just about the middle of her  knee./  *  /Has  Mary
finished peeling the potatoes? Just about./

   [just for the fun  of  it]  {adv.  phr.}  Merely  as  a  matter  of
amusement.  *  /"I'll  bring  a  goat  to  class,"  Bob  said  to  his
classmates, "just for the fun of it; I want to see what kind of a face
Professor Brown will make."/

   [just for the hell of it] See: JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT.

   [justice] See: DO JUSTICE TO.

   [just in case] {adv.  phr.}  For  an  emergency;  in  order  to  be
protected. * /"Here are my house keys. Sue," Tom said. "I'll  be  back
in two weeks, but you should have them,  just  in  case..."/  See:  IN
CASE.

   [just in time] See: IN TIME.

   [just now] {adv. phr.} 1. Just at this moment; at this time. * /Mr.
Johnson isn't here just now. Will you phone back later? 2./ {informal}
A very short time ago; only a moment ago; only a little while  ago.  *
/"Where could that boy have gone so quickly? He was here  just  now!"/
Compare: WHILE AGO.

   [just so(1)] {adj.} Exact; exactly right. * /Mrs. Robinson likes to
keep her house just so, and she makes  the  children  take  off  their
shoes when they come in the house./

   [just so(2)] {conj.} Provided; if. * /Take  as  much  food  as  you
want, just so you don't waste any food./ Syn.: AS LONG AS(2).

   [just so(3)] {adv. phr.} With great care;  very  carefully.  *  /In
order to raise healthy African violets you must treat them just so./

   [just the other way] or [the other way around] {adv. phr.} Just the
opposite. * /One would have thought that Goliath would  defeat  David,
but it was the other way around./

   [just the same] See: ALL THE SAME.

   [just what the doctor ordered] {n. phr.}, {informal}  Exactly  what
is needed or wanted. * /"Ah! Just what the doctor ordered!"  exclaimed
Joe when Mary brought him a cold soda./





   [kangaroo court] {n.} A self-appointed group that decides  what  to
do to someone who is supposed to have done wrong. * /The  Chicago  mob
held a kangaroo court and shot  the  gangster  who  competed  with  Al
Capone./

   [keel] See: ON AN EVEN KEEL.

   [keel over] {v.} 1. To turn upside  down;  tip  over;  overturn.  -
Usually refers to a boat. * /The strong wind made  the  sailboat  keel
over and the passengers fell into the water./ 2.  {informal}  To  fall
over in a faint; taint. * /It was so hot during the  assembly  program
that two girls who were standing on the stage keeled  over./  *  /When
the principal told the girl her father died, she keeled right over./

   [keen about] or [on] {adj. phr.} Very enthusiastic about someone or
something. * /It is  well  known  that  Queen  Elizabeth  is  keen  on
horses./

   [keep abreast (of) someone] or [something] {v. phr.} To be informed
of the latest developments. * /It is difficult to keep abreast of  all
the various wars that are being waged on planet Earth./ Compare:  KEEP
STEP WITH.

   [keep a civil tongue in one's head]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  polite  in
speaking. * /He was very angry with his boss,  but  he  kept  a  civil
tongue in his head./ * /The bus driver began yelling at the woman  and
she told him to keep a civil tongue in his head./

   [keep a close check on] See: KEEP TAB(S) ON.

   [keep after] {v.}, {informal} To speak to (someone) about something
again and again; remind over and over again. * /Some  pupils  will  do
sloppy work unless the teacher keeps after them to  write  neatly./  *
/Sue's mother had to keep after her to clean her bedroom./

   [keep an ear to the ground] See: EAR TO THE GROUND.

   [keep an eye on] or [keep one's eye on] or [have one's eye on]  {v.
phr.} 1. To watch carefully; not stop paying attention to. * /Keep  an
eye on the stove in case the coffee boils./ * /You must keep your  eye
on the ball when you play tennis./ * /A good driver keeps his  eye  on
the road./ * /The teacher had her eye on me because she thought I  was
cheating./ * /Billy keeps a jealous eye on  his  toys./  *  /The  lion
tamer keeps a sharp eye on the lions when he is in the cage./ Compare:
LOOK OUT, LOOK OVER. 2. To watch and do what is needed  for;  mind.  *
/Mother told Jane to keep an eye on the baby  while  she  was  in  the
store./ * /Mr. Brown told John to keep an eye on the  store  while  he
was out./ Syn.: TAKE CARE OF(1).

   [keep an eye open] or [keep an eye out for] See: KEEP AN EYE ON.

   [keep an eye out] See: EYE OUT.

   [keep a stiff upper lip]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  brave;  face  trouble
bravely. * /He was very much worried about his sick daughter,  but  he
kept a stiff upper lip./ * /Although he was having some  trouble  with
the engine, the pilot kept a stiff upper  lip  and  landed  the  plane
safely./ Compare: KEEP ONE'S CHIN UP.

   [keep a straight face] See: STRAIGHT FACE, DEADPAN.

   [keep at] {v.} To continue to do; go on with. * /Mary kept  at  her
homework until she finished it./ Compare: KEEP ON(1), KEEP UP(1b).

   [keep away] {v. phr.} To remain at a distance from. *  /Her  mother
advised Diane to keep away from men offering a ride./

   [keep back] {v. phr.} To refrain or be  restrained  from  entering;
remain back. * /The police had a hard time keeping back the crowd when
the astronauts came to town after walking on the moon./

   [keep body and soul together] {v. phr.} To keep alive;  survive.  *
/John was unemployed most of the year and hardly made enough money  to
keep body and soul together./ Compare: KEEP THE WOLF FROM THE DOOR.

   [keep books] {v. phr.} To keep records of money gained  and  spent;
do the work of a bookkeeper. * /Miss Jones keeps the company's books./

   [keep company] {v. phr.} 1. To stay or go along with  (someone)  so
that he will not be lonely to visit with (someone). * /John kept  Andy
company while his parents went to the movies./  *  /I'll  go  shopping
with you just to keep you company./ 2. To  go  places  together  as  a
couple; date just one person. * /After keeping company for  one  year,
Mary and John decided to marry./ * /Who is Bill keeping  company  with
now?/ Compare: GO STEADY.

   [keep cool] {v. phr.} Remain calm; remain unexcited.  *  /The  main
thing to remember in an emergency situation is to not lose one's  head
and keep cool./

   [keep down] {v.} Keep from  progressing  or  growing;  keep  within
limits; control. * /The children could not keep their voices down./  *
/We hoe the garden to keep down the weeds./ * /You can't keep  a  good
man down./ Compare: GET AHEAD.

   [keeper] See: FINDERS KEEPERS.

   [keep from] {v.}, {informal} To hold yourself back  from;  stop  or
prevent  yourself  from  (doing  something).  *  /Can  you  keep  from
repeating gossip?/ * /Jill can't keep from talking about her trip./  -
Usually used with "can" in the negative. * /You can't keep from liking
Jim./ Compare: CAN HELP.

   [keep good time] See: KEEP TIME.

   [keep  house(1)]  {v.  phr.}  To  do  the  necessary  things  in  a
household; do the cooking and cleaning. * /Since  their  mother  died,
Mary and her brother keep house for their father./

   [keep house(2)] also [play house] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  live
together without being married. * /Bob  and  Nancy  keep  house  these
days./

   [keeping] See: IN KEEPING, OUT OF KEEPING.

   [keep in mind] See: IN MIND.

   [keep in touch with] {v. phr.} To  remain  in  communication  with;
maintain contact with. * /Don't forget to keep  in  touch,  either  by
letter or phone, when you're in Europe!/

   [keep late hours] {v. phr.} To go to bed late; habitually  stay  up
(and work) late. * /"If you always keep such late hours,  your  health
might suffer," Tom's doctor said./

   [keep off] {v. phr.} To refrain from entering; stay  away  from.  *
/"Keep off the grass," the sign in the park indicated./

   [keep on] {v.} 1. To go ahead; not stop; continue. * /The neighbors
asked them to stop making noise, but they kept right on./ *  /Columbus
kept on until he saw land./ - Often used before a present  participle.
* /Relentlessly, the boy kept on asking about the birds and the bees./
* /The boy kept on talking even though the teacher had  asked  him  to
stop./ Syn.: GO ON. Compare: KEEP AT, KEEP UP. 2. To allow to continue
working for you. * /The new owner kept Fred on as gardener./

   [keep one at a distance] or [keep one at arm's length] {v. phr.} To
avoid (someone's) company; not become  too  friendly  toward.  *  /Mr.
Smith is kind to the workers in his store but after work he keeps them
at a distance./ * /Betty likes Bill and is trying to be friendly,  but
he keeps her at arm's length./  Compare:  KEEP  ONE'S  DISTANCE,  HOLD
OFF(1a).

   [keep (one) posted]  {v.  phr.}  To  receive  current  information;
inform oneself. * /My associates phoned  me  every  day  and  kept  me
posted on new developments in our business./

   [keep one's balance] {v. phr.} To stay  even-tempered;  not  become
overexcited. * /Mike has the best personality to run  our  office;  he
always keeps his balance./ Contrast: LOSE ONE'S BALANCE.

   [keep one's chin up] {v. phr.} To be  brave;  be  determined;  face
trouble with courage. * /He didn't think that he would ever get out of
the jungle alive, but he kept his chin  up./  Compare:  KEEP  A  STIFF
UPPER LIP.

   [keep one's distance] {v. phr.} To be cool  toward  someone;  avoid
being friendly. * /Mary did not like her co-worker,  Betty,  and  kept
her distance from her./ Compare: KEEP ONE AT A DISTANCE.

   [keep one's end up] See: HOLD ONE'S END UP.

   [keep one's eye on] See: KEEP AN EYE ON.

   [keep one's eye on the ball] {v. phr.} 1. To watch the ball at  all
times in a sport, usually in order to hit  it  or  get  it;  not  stop
watching the ball. * /Keep your eye on the baseball or  you  won't  be
able to hit it./ 2. {informal} To be watchful and ready; be wide-awake
and ready to win or succeed; be smart. * /Tom is just starting on  the
job but if he keeps his  eye  on  the  ball,  he  will  be  promoted./
Compare: ON THE BALL, KEEP AN EYE ON or KEEP  ONE'S  EYE  ON  or  HAVE
ONE'S EYE ON.

   [keep one's eyes open] See: EYES OPEN.

   [keep one's eyes peeled] or [keep one's eyes  skinned]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To watch carefully; be always looking. * /The  bird-watcher
kept his eyes peeled for bluebirds./ * /When the boys  walked  through
the roads, they kept their eyes skinned  for  snakes./  Compare:  EYES
OPEN(1), EYE OUT.

   [keep one's feet] {v. phr.} To keep from falling or slipping  down;
keep your balance; remain standing. * /The boy stumbled on the  stairs
but was able to keep his feet./ Compare: REGAIN ONE'S FEET.

   [keep one's feet on the ground] See: FEET ON THE GROUND.

   [keep one's fingers crossed] See: CROSS ONE'S FINGERS(1b).

   [keep one's hand in] {v. phr.} To keep  in  practice;  continue  to
take part. * /After he retired from teaching, Mr. Brown kept his  hand
in by giving a lecture once  in  a  while./  *  /Mr.  Smith  left  the
planning of the trip to his wife, but  he  kept  his  hand  in,  too./
Compare: KEEP UP.

   [keep one's head] also [keep one's wits about  one]  {v.  phr.}  To
stay calm when there is trouble or danger. * /When Tim heard the  fire
alarm he kept his head and looked  for  the  nearest  exit./  Compare:
COUNT TO TEN. Contrast: LOSE ONE'S HEAD.

   [keep one's head above water] {v. phr.} To remain  solvent;  manage
to stay out of debt. * /Herb's income declined so drastically that  he
now has difficulty keeping his head above water./

   [keep one's mouth shut] {v. phr.}, {informal} To be or stay silent.
- A rude expression when used as a command. * /When  the  crooks  were
captured by the police, their leader warned them to keep their  mouths
shut./ * /Charles began to tell Barry how to kick the ball, and  Barry
said angrily, "Keep your mouth shut!"/ Syn.: SHUT UP(1).

   [keep one's nose clean] {v. phr.}, {slang} To stay out of  trouble;
do only what you should do. * /The boss said Jim could have the job as
long as he kept his nose clean and  worked  hard./  *  /The  policeman
warned the boys to keep their noses clean unless they wanted to go  to
jail./ Compare: STEER CLEAR OF(2).

   [keep one's nose to the grindstone] or  [have  one's  nose  to  the
grindstone]  or  [hold  one's  nose  to  the  grindstone]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} To work hard  all  the  time;  keep  busy  with  boring  or
tiresome work. * /Sarah keeps her nose to the grindstone and saves  as
much as possible to start her own business./

   [keep one's own counsel] {v. phr.}, {formal} To keep your ideas and
plans to yourself. * /John listened to what everyone had to say in the
discussion, but he kept his own counsel./ * /Although  everybody  gave
Mrs. O'Connor advice about what to do with her house, she kept her own
counsel./

   [keep one's shirt on] {v. phr.}, {slang} To calm  down;  keep  from
losing your temper or getting impatient or excited. *  /Bob  got  very
angry when John accidentally bumped into him, but  John  told  him  to
keep his shirt on./ - Usually used as a  command;  may  be  considered
impolite. * /John said to Bob, "Keep your shirt  on."/  Contrast:  GET
ONE'S DANDER UP.

   [keep one's temper] See: HOLD ONE'S TEMPER.

   [keep one's weather eye open] See: WEATHER EYE.

   [keep one's wits about one] See: KEEP ONE'S HEAD.

   [keep one's word] {v. phr.} To do what one  has  promised;  fulfill
one's promise. * /Paul kept his word and paid me the $250 that he owed
me right on time./

   [keep on the good side of] See: ON ONE'S GOOD SIDE.

   [keep open house] {v. phr.}  To  offer  hospitality  and  entertain
those who come at any given time on a  certain  day  or  afternoon.  *
/Beth and Charlie have a cottage by the  lake  where  they  keep  open
house on Saturday afternoons during the summer./

   [keep out (of)] {v. phr.} 1. To stay out; remain  out  of.  *  /The
sign on the fence said, "Danger! Keep out!"/  2.  To  stave  off;  not
allow in. * /The border patrol near El Paso, Texas, is trying to  keep
illegal immigrants out of the United States./

   [keep pace] {v. phr.} To go as fast; go at the same rate;  not  get
behind. * /When they go for a walk, Johnny has to take long  steps  to
keep pace with his father./ * /When Billy was moved to a more advanced
class, he had to work hard to keep pace./ Compare: KEEP UP(2a).

   [keep plugging along] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  continue  to  work
diligently and with great effort, often against hardship. *  /Bob  was
not particularly talented but he kept plugging along year after  year,
and eventually became vice president./

   [keeps] See: FOR KEEPS.

   [keep step with] {v. phr.} To maintain the same degree of  progress
as someone else. * /The United States has no choice but to  keep  step
with potential enemies in terms of modern defense systems./

   [keep tab on] or [keep tabs on] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To keep  a
record of. * /The government tries to keep tabs on all the animals  in
the park./ 2. To keep a watch on; check. * /The house mother kept tabs
on the girls to be sure they were clean and neat./ Compare: KEEP TRACK
OF.

   [keep the ball  rolling]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  keep  up  an
activity or action; not allow something that is happening to  slow  or
stop. * /Clyde kept the ball rolling at the party by  dancing  with  a
lamp shade on his head./ Compare: GET THE BALL ROLLING.

   [keep the faith] {v. phr.} To not abandon hope; stay  committed  to
the cause of democracy and racial equality. * /"Keep the faith, Baby,"
my neighbor said as he raised his fingers to show the "V" for  victory
sign./

   [keep the home fires burning] {v. phr.} To  keep  things  going  as
usual while someone is away; wait at home to welcome someone  back.  *
/While John was in the army, Mary kept the home fires burning./

   [keep the wolf (wolves) from the door] {v. phr.} To  avoid  hunger,
poverty, and/or creditors. * /"I don't like my job," Mike  complained,
"but I must do something to keep the wolves from the door."/  Compare:
KEEP BODY AND SOUL TOGETHER.

   [keep things humming] {v. phr.} To cause thing to perform  smoothly
and efficiently. * /Until Mr. Long joined our computer center, we  had
all sorts of problems, but he has  corrected  them  and  really  keeps
things humming./

   [keep time] {v. phr.} 1. To show the right time. *  /My  watch  has
not kept good time since I dropped it./ 2. To keep the beat; keep  the
same rhythm; keep in step. * /Many people are surprised  at  how  well
deaf people keep time with the music when they dance./

   [keep to oneself] See: TO ONESELF(2).

   [keep track] {v. phr.} To know  about  changes;  stay  informed  or
up-to-date; keep a count or record. * /What day of the week is  it?  I
can't keep track./ - Usually used with "of". * /Mr. Stevens kept track
of his business by telephone when he was  in  the  hospital./  *  /The
farmer has so many chickens, he can hardly keep track  of  them  all./
Compare: IN TOUCH, KEEP UP(3). Contrast: LOSE TRACK.

   [keep under one's hat] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  keep  secret;  not
tell. * /Mr. Jones knew who had won the contest, but he kept it  under
his hat until it was announced publicly./ - Often used as a command. *
/Keep it under your hat./ Syn.: KEEP TO ONESELF.

   [keep up] {v.} 1a. To go on; not stop; continue. * /The  rain  kept
up for two days and the roads were flooded./ Compare: KEEP ON. 1b.  To
go on with (something); continue steadily; never stop. *  /Mrs.  Smith
told John to keep up the good work./ * /The teacher asked Dick to stop
bothering Mary, but he kept it up./ Compare: KEEP AT. 2a. To go at the
same rate as others. * /John had to work hard to keep  up./  *  /Billy
was the youngest boy on the hike, but he kept  up  with  the  others./
Compare: CATCH UP, KEEP PACE. Contrast: FALL  BEHIND,  GET  BEHIND(1).
2b. To keep  (something)  at  the  same  level  or  rate  or  in  good
condition. *  /The  shortage  of  tomatoes  kept  the  prices  up./  *
/Grandfather was too poor to keep up his house./ 3. To keep  informed.
- Usually used with "on" or "with". * /Mary is interested in  politics
and always keeps up with the news./ Compare: KEEP TRACK.

   [keep up appearances] {v. phr.} To  maintain  an  outward  show  of
prosperity in spite of financial problems. * /Mr. Smith's widow had  a
hard time keeping up appearances after her husband's death./

   [keep up one's end] See: HOLD ONE'S END UP.

   [keep up with] See: KEEP STEP WITH, KEEP ABREAST OF.

   [keep up with the Joneses] {v. phr.} To follow the latest  fashion;
try to be equal with your neighbors. * /Mrs. Smith kept  buying  every
new thing that was advertised, finally Mr.  Smith  told  her  to  stop
trying to keep up with the Joneses and to start thinking for herself./

   [keep watch] {v. phr.} To be vigilant;  be  alert;  guard.  *  /The
police have asked the neighborhood to keep watch  against  an  escaped
convict./

   [keep your fingers crossed] See: CROSS ONE'S FINGERS.

   [kettle] See: KETTLE OF FISH, POT CALLS THE KETTLE BLACK.

   [kettle of fish] {v. phr.}, {informal} Something to be  considered;
how things are; a happening; business. * /I thought he  needed  money,
but it was another kettle of  fish  -  his  car  had  disappeared./  -
Usually used with "pretty", "fine", "nice", but meaning bad trouble. *
/He had two flat tires and no spare on a country road at night,  which
was certainly a pretty kettle of fish./ * /This is a  fine  kettle  of
fish! I forgot my book./ Compare: CUP OP TEA(2).

   [key] See: LOW KEY, OFF-KEY.

   [keyed up] {adj.},  {informal}  Excited;  nervous;  anxious  to  do
something. * /Mary was all keyed up about the exam./ *  /Mother  would
not let Tom read a ghost story at bedtime; she said it would  get  him
keyed up./

   [kick about] See: KICK AROUND(3).

   [kick against the pricks] {v. phr.}, {literary}  To  fight  against
rules or authority in a way that just hurts yourself. * /Johnny kicked
against the pricks in his foster home until he learned that  he  could
trust his new family./

   [kick around] {v.}, {informal} 1. To act roughly or badly to; treat
badly; bully. * /John likes to kick around the little  boys./  *  /Mr.
Jones is always kicking his dog around./ Syn.: PUSH AROUND. 2. To  lie
around or in a place; be treated carelessly; be neglected. * /This old
coat has been kicking around the closet  for  years./  *  /The  letter
kicked around on my desk for days./  3.  {slang}  To  talk  easily  or
carelessly back and forth about; examine in a careless  or  easy-going
way. * /Bob and I kicked around the idea of going swimming, but it was
hot and we were too lazy./ Compare: TRY OUT, TALK  OVER.  4.  To  move
about often; go from one job or place to another; become  experienced.
* /Harry has kicked around all over the world as a  merchant  seaman./
Compare: HAS BEEN AROUND.

   [kick back] {v.}, {slang}, {informal} To pay  money  illegally  for
favorable contract arrangements. * /I will do it if you  kick  back  a
few hundred for my firm./

   [kickback] {n.},  {slang},  {informal}  Money  paid  illegally  for
favorable treatment. * /He was arrested for making kickback payments./

   [kick down] {v. phr.}, {slang} To shift  an  automobile,  jeep,  or
truck into lower gear by hand-shifting. * /Joe kicked  the  jeep  down
from third to second, and we slowed down./

   [kick in] See: CHIP IN.

   [kick in the pants] or [kick in the teeth]  {n.  phr.},  {informal}
Unexpected scorn or insult when  praise  was  expected;  rejection.  *
/Mary worked hard to clean up John's room, but all  she  got  for  her
trouble was a kick in the teeth./ Compare: SLAP IN THE FACE.

   [kick it] {v. phr.}, {slang} To end a bad or unwanted habit such as
drinking, smoking, or drug addiction. * /Farnsworth finally kicked it;
he's in good shape./

   [kickoff] {n.} The start  of  something,  like  a  new  venture,  a
business, a sports event, or a concert season.  *  /Beethoven's  Ninth
will be the kickoff for this summer season at Ravinia./

   [kick off] {v. phr.} 1. To make the kick  that  begins  a  football
game. * /John kicked off and the football game started./ 2. {informal}
To begin; launch; start. * /The candidate kicked off his campaign with
a speech on television./ * /The fund raising drive was kicked off with
a theater party./ 3. {slang} To die. * /Mr. Jones  was  almost  ninety
years old when he kicked off./ Syn.: KICK THE BUCKET.

   [kick oneself] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  be  sorry  or  ashamed;
regret. * /When John missed the  train,  he  kicked  himself  for  not
having left earlier./ * /Mary could have kicked  herself  for  letting
the secret out before it was announced officially./

   [kick out] or [boot out] {v.}, {informal} To make (someone)  go  or
leave; get rid of; dismiss. * /The boys made  so  much  noise  at  the
movie that the manager kicked them out./ * /The chief  of  police  was
booted out of office because he was a crook./ Syn.: THROW OUT(3).

   [kick over] {v.} 1. Of a motor: To begin to work.  *  /He  had  not
used his car for two months and when he tried to start it,  the  motor
would not kick over./ 2. {slang}  To  pay;  contribute.  *  /The  gang
forced all the storekeepers on the block to kick over $5 a  week./  3.
{slang} To die. * /Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over this morning./

   [kick over the traces] also [jump the traces] {v.  phr.}  To  break
the rules; behave badly. * /When their teacher was absent and they had
a substitute, the children kicked over the traces./ Compare:  ACT  UP,
CUT UP, LET LOOSE, OUT OF HAND, RAISE CAIN.

   [kick the bucket] {v. phr.}, {slang}  To  die.  *  /Old  Mr.  Jones
kicked the bucket just two days before  his  ninety-fourth  birthday./
Compare: KICK OFF(3).

   [kick up] {v.}, {informal} To show signs of not  working  right.  *
/John had had too much to eat and his stomach started to kick  up./  *
/After working well for a year the air  conditioner  suddenly  started
kicking up./

   [kick up a fuss] or [kick up a row] or [raise a row] also [kick  up
a dust] {v. phr.}, {informal} To make trouble; make a  disturbance.  *
/When the teacher gave the class five  more  hours  of  homework,  the
class kicked up a fuss./ * /When the teacher left the room,  two  boys
kicked up a row./ Compare: RAISE CAIN, RAISE THE ROOF.

   [kick up one's heels] {v. phr.}, {informal} To have a  merry  time;
celebrate. * /When exams were over the students went to town  to  kick
up their heels./ * /Mary was usually very quiet but  at  the  farewell
party she kicked up her heels and had a wonderful time./

   [kid] See: HANDLE WITH GLOVES or HANDLE  WITH  KID  GLOVES,  HANDLE
WITHOUT GLOVES or HANDLE WITHOUT KID GLOVES.

   [kiddie car] {n.}, {slang}, {citizen's band radio jargon} A  school
bus. * /Watch out for that kiddie car coming up behind you!/

   [kill] See: CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT, IN AT THE KILL.

   [kill off] {v.} To kill or end completely; destroy. * /The  factory
dumped poisonous wastes into the river and killed  off  the  fish./  *
/The president suggested a new law to Congress  but  many  members  of
Congress were against the idea and they killed it off./ * /Mother made
Nancy practice her dancing an hour  every  day;  Nancy  got  tired  of
dancing and that killed off her interest./

   [kill the goose that laid the golden egg] To spoil  something  that
is good or something that you have, by being greedy. -  A  proverb.  *
/Mrs. Jones gives you an apple from her tree whenever you  go  by  her
house, but don't kill the goose that laid the golden egg by  bothering
her too much./

   [kill time] {v. phr.} To cause the time to pass more rapidly; waste
time. * /The plane trip to Hong Kong  was  long  and  tiring,  but  we
managed to kill time by watching several movies./

   [kill two birds with one stone] {v. phr.} To succeed in  doing  two
things by only one action; get two results from one effort. *  /Mother
stopped at the supermarket to buy bread and then went to get  Jane  at
dancing class; she killed two birds with one stone./  *  /The  history
teacher told us that making an outline kills two birds with one stone;
it makes us study the lesson till we understand it, and  it  gives  us
notes to review before the test./

   [kilter] See: OUT OF KILTER.

   [kind] See: IN A WAY also IN A KIND OF WAY, IN KIND.

   [kindly] See: TAKE KINDLY TO.

   [kind of] or [sort of]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Almost  but  not
quite; rather. * /A guinea pig looks kind of like a rabbit, but it has
short ears./ * /Bob was kind of tired when he  finished  the  job./  *
/The teacher sort of frowned but then smiled./ * /Mary  wouldn't  tell
what she wanted to be when she grew up; it was sort of a secret./

   [kindled spirits] {n. phr.}  People  who  resemble  each  other  in
numerous ways, including their ways of thinking and feeling.  *  /They
are kindred spirits; they both  like  to  go  on  long  walks  in  the
forest./

   [king's ransom] {n. phr.} 1. An  excessively  large  sum  of  money
extorted by kidnappers to let someone go free. * /The Smith family had
to pay a kings ransom for the freedom  of  their  seven-year-old  son,
Tommy./ 2. An exorbitant fee one is forced to  pay.  *  /The  realtors
exacted a king's ransom for that choice lot on the comer./

   [kiss someone] or [something goodbye] {v. phr.} To lose or give  up
someone or something forever. * /"If you won't marry Jane," Peter said
to Tom, "you might as well kiss her goodbye."/ * /People who bet on  a
losing horse at the races might as well kiss their money goodbye./

   [kite] See: GO FLY A KITE.

   [kitten] See: HAVE KITTENS.

   [knee] See: BRING TO ONE'S KNEES, IN THE LAP OF THE  GODS  also  ON
THE KNEES OF THE GODS, ON ONE'S KNEES, UP TO THE CHIN IN or UP TO  THE
KNEE IN.

   [knee-deep] or [neck-deep] {adv.} or  {adj.  phr.}  1.  Very  much;
deeply; having a big part in. * /Johnny was knee-deep in trouble./  2.
Very busy; working hard at. * /We were neck-deep  in  homework  before
the exams./ 3. Getting or having  many  or  much.  *  /The  television
station was knee-deep in phone calls./ Compare: UP TO THE CHIN IN.

   [knee-high to a grasshopper]  also  [knee-high  to  a  duck]  {adj.
phr.}, {informal} As tall  as  a  very  small  child;  very  young.  *
/Charles started reading when he was knee-high to  a  grasshopper./  *
/I've known Mary ever since she was knee-high to a duck./

   [kneeling bus] {n.}, {informal} A bus  equipped  with  a  hydraulic
device to enable it to drop almost to curb level for greater  ease  of
boarding  and  leaving  vehicle,  as  a  convenience  for  elderly  or
handicapped passengers. * /The man on crutches was pleased to see  the
kneeling bus./

   [knell] See: DEATH KNELL.

   [knit] See: CLOSE-KNIT.

   [knitting] See: STICK TO ONE'S KNITTING or TEND TO ONE'S KNITTING.

   [knock] See: SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS.

   [knock about] or [knock around] {v.} To travel without a  plan;  go
where you please. * /After he  graduated  from  college,  Joe  knocked
about for a year seeing the country before he  went  to  work  in  his
father's business./ Compare: KICK AROUND.

   [knock back on one's heels] See: SET BACK ON ONE'S HEELS.

   [knock cold] {v. phr.}, {informal} To render  unconscious.  *  /The
blow on the chin knocked Harry cold./

   [knock down] {v. phr.} To reduce; lower. * /The realtors said  that
if we decided to buy the house, they would knock  the  price  down  by
10%./

   [knocked out] {adj.}, {slang} Intoxicated; drugged;  out  of  one's
mind. * /Jim sounds so incoherent, he must be knocked out./

   [knock for a loop] or [throw for a  loop]  {v.  phr.},  {slang}  To
surprise very much. * /When I heard they were  moving,  I  was  really
knocked for a loop./ * /The news of their  marriage  threw  me  for  a
loop./

   [knock it off] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} 1.  To  stop  talking
about something considered  not  appropriate  or  nonsensical  by  the
listener. - Used frequently as an imperative. * /Come on,  Joe,  knock
it off, you're not making  any  sense  at  all!/  2.  To  cease  doing
something; to quit. - Heavily favored in the imperative.  *  /Come  on
boys, knock it off, you're breaking the furniture in my room!/

   [knock off] {v. phr.}, {slang} 1. To burglarize  someone.  *  /They
knocked off the Manning residence./  2.  To  murder  someone.  *  /The
gangsters knocked off Herman./

   [knock off one's feet] {v. phr.} To surprise (someone) so much that
he does not know what to do. * /Her husband's death knocked Mrs. Jones
off her feet./ * /When Charlie was given the prize, it knocked him off
his feet for a few minutes./ Compare: BOWL OVER(2),  SWEEP  OFF  ONE'S
FEET.

   [knock one's block off] {v. phr.},  {slang}  To  hit  someone  very
hard; beat someone up. * /Stay out of my yard or I'll knock your block
off./ * /Jim will knock your block off if he catches  you  riding  his
bike./

   [knock oneself out] {v. phr.}, {informal} To work very hard; make a
great effort. * /Mrs. Ross knocked herself out planning her daughter's
wedding./ * /Tom knocked himself out to give his guests a good  time./
Compare: BREAK ONE'S NECK, FALL OVER BACKWARDS, OUT OF ONE'S WAY.

   [knock on wood] {v. phr.} To knock on something  made  of  wood  to
keep from having bad luck. - Many people believe that  you  will  have
bad luck if you talk about good luck or brag about  something,  unless
you knock on wood; often used in a joking way.  *  /Charles  said,  "I
haven't been sick all winter." Grandfather said, "You'd  better  knock
on wood when you say that."/

   [knockout] {n.}, {slang} 1. Strikingly beautiful woman. * /Sue is a
regular knockout./ 2. A straight punch in  boxing  that  causes  one's
opponent to fall and lose consciousness. * /The champion won the fight
with a straight knockout./

   [knock out] {v. phr.} To make helpless, unworkable, or unusable.  *
/The champion knocked out the challenger in the third round./  *  /The
soldier knocked out two enemy tanks with his bazooka./

   [knock over] {v.  phr.}  To  overturn;  upset.  *  /I  accidentally
knocked over the Chinese lamp that fell on size floor and broke./

   [knock the living daylights out of] {v. phr.}, {slang},  {informal}
To render (someone) unconscious (said in exaggeration).  *  /The  news
almost knocked the living daylights out of me./

   [knock the stuffing out of] See: KNOCK THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF.

   [knot] See: TIE IN KNOTS, TIE THE KNOT.

   [knotty problem] {n. phr.} A very complicated and difficult problem
to solve. * /Doing one's income tax  properly  can  present  a  knotty
problem./

   [know] See: FOR ALL ONE KNOWS,  GOD  KNOWS  or  GOODNESS  KNOWS  or
HEAVEN KNOWS, IN THE KNOW, NOT KNOW WHICH WAY  TO  TURN  or  NOT  KNOW
WHICH WAY TO JUMP.

   [know a thing or two about] {v. phr.} To be experienced in; have  a
fairly considerable knowledge of. * /Tom has dealt with  many  foreign
traders; he knows a thing or two about stocks and bonds./

   [know enough to come in out of the rain] {v.  phr.}  To  have  good
sense; know how to take care  of  yourself.  -  Usually  used  in  the
negative. * /Bob does so many foolish things that his mother  says  he
doesn't know enough to come in out of the rain./  *  /Sally  may  look
stupid, but she knows enough to come in out of the rain./

   [know-how]  {n.},  {slang}  Expertise;  ability   to   devise   and
construct. * /The United States had the know-how to  beat  the  Soviet
Union to the moon in 1969./

   [know if one is coming or going] or [know whether one is coming  or
going] {v. phr.} To feel able to think clearly; know  what  to  do.  -
Usually used in the negative or with limiters. * /On Monday,  the  car
broke down; on Tuesday,  Mother  broke  her  arm;  on  Wednesday,  the
children all became ill with  the  mumps;  by  Thursday,  poor  Father
didn't know if he was coming or going./ * /My cousin  is  so  much  in
love that she scarcely knows whether she's coming or going./  Compare:
IN A FOG.

   [know in one's bones] See: FEEL IN ONE'S BONES.

   [know-it-all] {n.} A person who acts  as  if  he  knows  all  about
everything; someone who thinks no one can tell  him  anything  new.  *
/After George  was  elected  as  class  president,  he  wouldn't  take
suggestions from anyone; he became a know-it-all./ - Also used like an
adjective. * /The other  students  didn't  like  George's  know-it-all
attitude./

   [knowledge] See: A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS A DANGEROUS  THING,  TO  THE
BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE.

   [know one in high places] {v. phr.} To be connected with people  in
power. * /Ted's grandfather was the  mayor  of  Chicago  so  he  knows
people in high places./

   [know one is alive] {v. phr.} Not to notice a person. -  Used  with
negative or limiting words and in questions. * /She was a good-looking
girl but she didn't know I was alive./ Compare: GIVE A HANG.

   [know one's own mind] {v. phr.} To no( hesitate  or  vacillate;  be
definite in one's ideas or plans. * /It is impossible to  do  business
with Fred, because he doesn't know his own mind./

   [know one's place] {v. phr.} To be deferential to one's  elders  or
superiors. * /Ken is a talented  teaching  assistant,  but  he  has  a
tendency to tell the  head  of  the  department  how  to  run  things.
Somebody ought to teach him to know his place./

   [know one's way around] or [know one's way about] {v. phr.}  1.  To
understand how things happen in the world; he experienced in the  ways
of the world. * /The sailor had been  in  the  wildest  ports  in  the
world. He knew his way around./  Compare:  HAVE  BEEN  AROUND.  2.  or
{informal}  [know  one's  onions]  or  [know  one's  stuff]  To   have
experience and skill in an activity. *  /Before  trying  to  make  any
pottery, it is better to get advice from someone who knows  his  stuff
in ceramics./ Compare: DRY BEHIND THE EARS.

   [know  something  inside  out]  {v.  phr.}  To  be  extremely  well
conversant with something; be an expert in;  have  thorough  knowledge
of. * /Tom knows the stock market inside out./

   [know the ropes] See: THE ROPES.

   [know the score] See: THE SCORE.

   [know what's what] See: KNOW SOMETHING INSIDE OUT.

   [know which side one's bread is buttered on] {v. phr.} To know  who
can help you and try to please him; know what is for your own gain.  *
/Dick was always polite to the boss; he knew which side his bread  was
buttered on./

   [know which way to turn] See: NOT KNOW WHICH WAY TO TURN.

   [knuckle] See: BUCKLE DOWN or KNUCKLE DOWN, RAP ONE'S KNUCKLES.

   [knuckle down] See: BUCKLE DOWN.

   [knuckle under] {v. phr.} To do something because you are forced to
do it. * /Bobby refused to knuckle under to the bully./ Compare:  GIVE
IN.





   [labor movement] {n.} Groups which form, strengthen,  and  increase
membership in labor unions. * /His father was connected with the labor
movement in the 1920's./

   [labor of love] {n. phr.} Something done for personal pleasure  and
not pay or profit. * /Building the model railroad was a labor of  love
for the retired engineer./

   [labor the point] See: BELABOR THE POINT.

   [labor under] {v. phr.} To be the victim of; suffer from. * /Ken is
obviously laboring under the delusion that Jennifer will marry him out
of love./

   [lace into] or [tie into] {v.}, {informal} To attack physically  or
with words; begin to hit or criticize. * /The  boxer  laced  into  his
opponent./ * /The critics laced into the new movie./ Syn.:  LAY  INTO,
RIP INTO. Compare: GIVE IT TO.

   [ladies' room] {n. phr.} A public toilet and restroom for women.  *
/Can you please tell me where the ladies' room is?/

   [lady friend] {n.} 1. A woman friend. * /His aunt stays with a lady
friend in Florida during the winter./ 2. A woman who is the lover of a
man. - Used by people trying to appear more polite, but not often used
by careful speakers. * /The lawyer took his lady  friend  to  dinner./
Syn.: GIRLFRIEND.

   [lady-killer] {n.}, {informal} 1. Any man who has strong sex appeal
toward women.  *  /Joe  is  a  regular  lady-killer./  2.  A  man  who
relentlessly pursues amorous conquests, is successful at it, and  then
abandons his heartbroken victims. * /The legendary Don Juan  of  Spain
is the most famous lady-killer of recorded history./  Compare:  LADY'S
MAN.

   [lady of the house] {n. phr.} Female owner, or wife of  the  owner,
of the house; the hostess. * /"Dinner is  served,"  the  lady  of  the
house announced to her guests./

   [lady's man] {n.} A man or boy who likes to be with women or  girls
very much and is popular with them. * /Charlie is quite a  lady's  man
now./

   [lake] See: GO JUMP IN THE LAKE.

   [laid out] {adj.} Arranged. * /Her house is very conveniently  laid
out./

   [laid up] {adj.} Sick; confined to bed. * /I  was  laid  up  for  a
couple of weeks with an ear infection./

   [lam] See: ON THE LAM.

   [lamb] See: GOD TEMPERS THE WIND TO THE SHORN LAMB, IN  TWO  SHAKES
OF A LAMB'S TAIL.

   [lame duck] {n.}, {informal} An elected  public  official  who  has
been either defeated in  a  new  election  or  whose  term  cannot  be
renewed, but who has a short period of  time  left  in  office  during
which he can  still  perform  certain  duties,  though  with  somewhat
diminished powers. * /In the last year of their second terms, American
presidents are lame ducks./

   [land] See: FAT OF THE LAND, LAY OF THE  LAND  also  HOW  THE  LAND
LIES.

   [land all over] See: JUMP ON.

   [landing ship] {n.} A ship built to land troops and army  equipment
on a beach for an invasion. * /The landing ship came near  the  beach,
doors in the bow opened, and marines ran out./

   [land-office business] {n.}, {informal} A great rush of business. *
/It was a hot day, and the drive-ins were doing a land-office business
in ice cream and cold drinks./

   [land of nod] {n. phr.} Sleep. * /The little girl went off  to  the
land of nod./

   [land on] See: JUMP ON.

   [land on one's feet] also [land on both feet] {v. phr.}, {informal}
To get yourself out of trouble without damage or injury and  sometimes
with a gain; be successful no matter what happens. * /No  matter  what
trouble he gets into, he always seems to land on his  feet./  *  /Mary
lost her first job because she was always late to work, but she landed
on her feet and soon had a better job./

   [landslide]  {n.}  An  overwhelming  victory  during  a   political
election. * /Ronald Reagan won the election of 1980 in a landslide./

   [lane] See: LOVERS' LANE.

   [lap] See: IN THE LAP OF LUXURY, IN THE LAP OF THE GODS.

   [lap up] {v.} 1. To eat or drink with the tip of the tongue. * /The
kitten laps up its milk./ 2. {informal} To take  in  eagerly.  *  /She
flatters him all the time and he just  laps  it  up./  *  /William  is
interested in rockets and space, and he laps up all he can read  about
them./ Syn.: EAT UP(3).

   [lardhead] {n.}, {slang} A stupid or slow-witted person. *  /You'll
never convince Donald; he's a lardhead./

   [large] See: AT LARGE, BY AND LARGE.

   [large as life] See: BIG AS LIFE.

   [large-eyed] See: ROUND-EYED.

   [large order] {n. phr.} Difficult job; a difficult task to fulfill.
* /It is a large order to educate three children  in  college  at  the
same time./ Compare: TALL ORDER.

   [lash] See: TONGUE LASHING.

   [lash out] {v.} 1. To kick. * /The horse  lashed  out  at  the  man
behind him./ 2. To try suddenly to hit. * /The woman lashed out at the
crowd with her umbrella./ 3. To attack  with  words.  *  /The  senator
lashed out at the administration./ * /The school newspaper lashed  out
at the unfriendly way some students treated the visiting team./

   [last] See: AT LAST, EVERY LAST MAN, EVERY SINGLE  or  EVERY  LAST,
FIRST AND LAST, HE LAUGHS BEST WHO LAUGHS LAST, HAVE THE  LAST  LAUGH,
ON ONE'S LAST LEGS, TILL THE LAST GUN IS FIRED or UNTIL THE  LAST  GUN
IS FIRED.

   [last but not least] {adv. phr.} In the  last  place  but  not  the
least important. * /Billy will  bring  sandwiches,  Alice  will  bring
cake, Susan will bring cookies, John will bring potato chips, and last
but not least, Sally will bring the lemonade./

   [last ditch] {n.} The last place that can  be  defended;  the  last
resort. * /They will fight reform to the last ditch./

   [last-ditch] {adj.} Made or done as a  last  chance  to  keep  from
losing or tailing. * /He threw away his  cigarettes  in  a  last-ditch
effort to stop smoking./ Compare: BACK TO THE WALL.

   [last-ditch effort] See: LAST DITCH.

   [last lap] {n. phr.} The final stage. * /Although the trip had been
very interesting, we were glad that we were on the  last  lap  of  our
tiring journey./ See: LAST LEG.

   [last laugh] See: HAVE THE LAST LAUGH.

   [last leg] {n. phr.} 1. Final stages of  physical  weakness  before
dying. * /The poor old man was on his last leg in the  nursing  home./
2.  The  final  stage  of  a  journey.  *  /The  last   leg   of   our
round-the-world trip was Paris to Chicago./ See: LAST LAP.

   [last out] {v.} 1. To be enough until  the  end  of.  *  /There  is
enough food in the house to last out the snowstorm./  *  /Our  candies
won't last out the night./ 2. To continue to the end of;  continue  to
live after; live or go through. * /The old man is dying; he won't last
out the night./ * /This car will never last out the winter./  Compare:
HOLD OUT.

   [last stand] {n. phr.} See: LAST DITCH.

   [last straw] or [straw that breaks the camel's back]  {n.  phr.}  A
small trouble which follows other troubles and makes one lose patience
and be unable to bear them. * /Bill had a bad day in school yesterday.
He lost his knife on the way home, then he  fell  down,  and  when  he
broke a shoe lace, that was the last straw and he  began  to  cry./  *
/Mary didn't like it when the other girls said she was proud and lazy,
but when they said she told fibs it  was  the  straw  that  broke  the
camel's back and she told the teacher./

   [last word] {n.} 1. The last remark in an argument. * /I never  win
an argument with her. She always has the last word./ 2. The final  say
in deciding something. * /The superintendent  has  the  last  word  in
ordering new desks./ 3. {informal} The  most  modern  thing.  *  /Mrs.
Green's stove is the last word in stoves./

   [latch on] or [hitch onto] {v.}, {informal}  1.  To  get  hold  of;
grasp or grab; catch. * /He looked for something  to  latch  onto  and
keep from falling./ * /The football player latched onto  a  pass./  2.
{slang} To get into your possession. *  /The  banker  latched  onto  a
thousand shares of stock./ 3. {slang} To understand.  *  /The  teacher
explained the idea of jet engines until the students latched onto it./
Syn.: CATCH ON. 4. {informal} To keep; to  hold.  *  /The  poor  woman
latched onto the little money she had left./ 5. {slang} To stay  with;
not leave. * /Marie and Dick wanted to go to the movies by themselves,
but Mane's little brother latched onto them./

   [latch string] {n.} 1. A string that opens an old-fashioned door by
lifting a small bar. * /The  early  settlers  kept  the  latch  string
outside the door when they were working around the house, but at night
they pulled it to  the  inside./  2.  {informal}  A  warm  welcome;  a
friendly greeting. - Used in such phrases  as  "the  latch  string  is
out." * /Mary has her latch siring out for everyone who comes./  Syn.:
WELCOME MAT(2).

   [late] See: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, OF LATE.

   [lately] See: JOHNNY-COME-LATELY.

   [later] See: SOONER OR LATER.

   [later on] {adv.} Later; not now. * /Finish your lessons. Later on,
we may have a surprise./ * /Bill  couldn't  stand  on  his  head  when
school started, but later on he learned how./

   [lather] See: IN A LATHER.

   [laugh] See: HE LAUGHS BEST WHO LAUGHS LAST, HAVE THE LAST LAUGH.

   [laugh all  the  way  to  the  bank]  {v.  phr.}  To  have  made  a
substantial amount of money either by  lucky  investment  or  by  some
fraudulent deal and rejoice over one's gains. * /If you had done  what
I suggested, you, too, could be laughing all the way to the bank./

   [laughing matter] {n.} A funny  happening;  a  silly  situation.  -
Usually used with "no". * /John's failing  the  test  is  no  laughing
matter!/ * /We were amused when our neighbor's cat had  five  kittens,
but when our own cat had six kittens it was no laughing matter./

   [laugh in one's beard] See: LAUGH UP ONE'S SLEEVE.

   [laugh in one's sleeve] See: LAUGH UP ONE'S SLEEVE.

   [laugh off] {v.} To dismiss with a laugh as not  important  or  not
serious; not take seriously. * /He had a bad fall  while  ice  skating
but he laughed it off./ * /You can't laugh off a ticket for speeding./
Compare: MAKE LIGHT OF.

   [laugh one out of] {v. phr.} To cause  another  to  forget  his/her
worries and sorrows by joking.  *  /Jack  was  worried  about  getting
airsick, but his son and daughter laughed him out of it./

   [laugh one's head off] {v. phr.}, {informal} To laugh very hard; be
unable to stop laughing. * /Paul's stories are so wildly funny that  I
laugh my head off whenever he starts telling one of them./

   [laugh on the wrong side of one's mouth] or  [laugh  on  the  other
side of one's mouth] or [laugh out of the other side of  one's  mouth]
{v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  be  made  sorry;  to  feel  annoyance  or
disappointment; cry. * /Paul boasted that he was a  good  skater,  but
after he fell, he laughed out of the other side of his mouth./

   [laugh up one's sleeve] or [laugh in one's  sleeve]  or  [laugh  in
one's beard] To be amused but not show it; hide your laughter.  *  /He
was laughing up his sleeve when Joe answered the phone because he knew
the call would he a joke./

   [launch window] {n.}, {Space English}, {informal} 1.  A  period  of
time when the line-up of planets, Sun, and Moon are such  as  to  make
favorable conditions for a specific space launch. * /The  mission  was
canceled until the next launch window which will be exactly six  weeks
from today./ 2. A favorable time for starting some kind  of  ambitious
adventure. * /My next launch window for a European  trip  isn't  until
school is over in June./

   [laurel] See: LOOK TO ONE'S LAURELS, REST ON ONE'S LAURELS.

   [lavender] See: LAY OUT(7).

   [law] See: LAY DOWN THE LAW, PARLIAMENTARY LAW, TAKE THE  LAW  INTO
ONE'S OWN HANDS.

   [law-abiding] {adj.} Obeying or following the law. *  /Michael  had
been a law-abiding citizen all his life./

   [lawful age] See: LEGAL AGE.

   [law of averages] {n. phr.} The idea that you  can't  win  all  the
time or lose all the time. * /The Celtics have won 10 games in  a  row
but the law of averages will catch up with them soon./

   [law unto oneself] {n. phr.}, {literary} A  person  who  does  only
what he wishes; a person who ignores or breaks the law when he doesn't
like it. * /Everybody in Germany feared Hitler because he  was  a  law
unto himself./ * /Mr. Brown told Johnny that he must stop trying to be
a law unto himself./ Compare: TAKE THE LAW INTO ONE'S OWN HANDS.

   [lay] See: KILL THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGG.

   [lay about one] {v. phr.} To hit out in all directions. - Used with
a reflexive object: "her", "him", or "them". * /The bandits surrounded
the sheriff, but he laid about him so hard, with his  gun  used  as  a
club, that they stepped back and let him  escape./  *  /Mrs.  Franklin
didn't kill the mouse, but she laid about her so hard with  the  broom
that she scared it away./

   [lay a finger on] {v. phr.} To touch or bother, even  a  little.  -
Used in negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences.  *  /Don't
you dare lay a finger on the vase!/ * /Suppose Billy fakes his brother
with him; wilt the mean, tough boy down the street dare lay  a  finger
on him?/ * /If you so much as lay a finger on my boy,  I'll  call  the
police./ Compare: LAY HANDS ON, PUT ONE'S FINGER ON.

   [lay an egg] {v. phr.}, {slang} To fail  to  win  the  interest  or
favor of an audience. * /His joke laid an egg./ * /Sometimes he  is  a
successful speaker, but sometimes he lays an egg./

   [lay aside] {v. phr.} 1. To put off until another  time;  interrupt
an activity. * /The president laid aside politics to turn  to  foreign
affairs./ 2. To save. * /They tried to lay aside a little  money  each
week for their vacation./

   [lay at one's door] {v. phr.}, {literary} To blame (something) on a
person. * /The failure of the plan was laid at his door./ Compare: LAY
TO(1).

   [lay away] {v.} 1. To save. * /She laid a little of  her  pay  away
each week./ 2. To bury (a person). - Used to avoid  the  word  "bury",
which some people think is unpleasant. * /He  was  laid  away  in  his
favorite spot on the hill./

   [lay-away plan] {n.} A plan for buying something that you can't pay
cash for; a plan in which you pay some money down  and  pay  a  little
more when you can, and the store holds the article until you have paid
the full price. * /She could not afford to pay for  the  coat  all  at
once, so she used the lay-away plan./

   [lay bare] {v. phr.} To expose;  reveal;  divulge.  *  /During  his
testimony the witness laid bare the whole  story  of  his  involvement
with the accused./

   [lay by] {v.} To save, especially  a  little  at  a  time.  *  /The
students laid a little money by every week till they had enough for  a
trip to Florida./ * /The farmer laid by some of his best corn  to  use
the next year for seed./

   [lay down] {v.}  1.  To  let  (something)  be  taken;  give  up  or
surrender (something). * /The general told  the  troops  to  lay  down
their arms./ * /He was willing to lay down his life for his  country./
Compare: GIVE UP. 2. To ask people to follow; tell  someone  to  obey;
make (a rule or principle). * /The committee laid down rules about the
size of tennis courts./ 3. To declare;  say  positively;  say  surely;
state. * /She laid it down as always true that "a fool and  his  money
are soon parted."/ 4. To store or save for future use, especially in a
cellar. * /They laid down several barrels of cider./

   [lay down one's arms] {v. phr.} To  cease  fighting;  surrender.  *
/The Civil War ended when the Confederate army finally laid  down  its
arms./

   [lay down one's cards] See: LAY ONE'S CARDS ON THE TABLE.

   [lay down one's life] {v. phr.} To sacrifice one's life for a cause
or person; suffer martyrdom. * /The early Christians often  laid  down
their lives for their faith./

   [lay down the law] {v. phr.} 1.  To  give  strict  orders.  *  /The
teacher lays down the law about homework every afternoon./ 2. To speak
severely or seriously about a  wrongdoing;  scold.  *  /The  principal
called in the students and laid down the law to  them  about  skipping
classes./ Compare: TELL ONE WHERE TO GET OFF.

   [lay eyes on] or [set eyes on] {v. phr.} To see. * /She knew he was
different as soon as she laid eyes on him./ * /I didn't know the  man;
in fact, I had never set eyes on him./

   [lay for] {v.}, {informal} To hide and wait for in order  to  catch
or attack; to lie in wait for. * /The bandits laid for him  along  the
road./ * /I knew he had the marks for the exam, so I  was  laying  for
him outside his office./

   [lay hands on] {v. phr.} 1. To get hold of;  find;  catch.  *  /The
treasure hunters can keep any treasure they can lay hands on./  *  /If
the police can lay hands on him, they will put him in jail./  Compare:
LAY ONE'S HAND ON(2). 2. To do violence to; harm; hurt. *  /They  were
afraid that if they left him alone in his disturbed condition he would
lay hands on himself./

   [lay hold of] {v. phr.} 1. To take hold of; grasp; grab. * /He laid
hold of the rope and pulled the boat ashore./ 2. To get possession of.
* /He sold every washing machine he could lay hold  of./  3.  {Chiefly
British} To understand. * /Some ideas in this science book are hard to
lay hold of./

   [lay in] {v.} To store up a supply of; to get and keep  for  future
use. * /Mrs. Mason heard that the price of sugar might go up,  so  she
laid in a  hundred  pounds  of  it./  *  /Before  school  starts,  the
principal will lay in plenty of paper for the students' written work./
Compare: LAY UP.

   [lay  into]  or  [light  into]  {v.},  {informal}  1.   To   attack
physically; go at vigorously. * /The two fighters laid into each other
as soon as the bell rang./ * /John loves Italian food  and  he  really
laid into the spaghetti./ Syn.: PITCH INTO, SAIL INTO. 2.  {slang}  To
attack with words. * /The senator  laid  into  the  opponents  of  his
bill./ Syn.: LACE INTO, RIP INTO. Compare: BAWL OUT, TELL OFF.

   [lay it on] or [lay it on thick] also [put it on thick] or  [spread
it on thick] or [lay it on with a trowel]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To
persuade someone by using very much flattery; flatter. *  /Bob  wanted
to go to the movies. He laid it on thick to his mother./ *  /Mary  was
caught fibbing. She sure spread it on thick./ Compare: PUT ON(2b).

   [lay it on the line] See: LAY ON THE LINE(2).

   [lay low] {v.} 1. To knock down; to force into a lying position; to
put out of action. * /Many trees were laid low by the storm./ *  /Jane
was laid low by the flu./ 2. To kill. * /The hunters  laid  low  seven
pheasants./ 3. See: LIE LOW.

   [layoff] {n.} A systematic or  periodical  dismissal  of  employees
from a factory or a  firm.  *  /Due  to  the  poor  economy,  the  car
manufacturer announced a major layoff starting next month./

   [lay off] {v. phr.} 1. To mark out the boundaries or limits. *  /He
laid off a baseball diamond on the vacant lot./ Compare:  LAY  OUT(5).
2. To put out of work. * /The company lost the contract for making the
shoes and laid off half its workers./ 3. {slang}  To  stop  bothering;
leave alone. - Usually used in the imperative. *  /Lay  off  me,  will
you? I have to study for a test./ 4. {slang} To stop using or  taking.
* /His doctor told him to lay off cigarettes./

   [lay of the land] also [how the land lies] {n. phr.} 1. The natural
features of a piece of land, such as hills and valleys. *  /The  style
of house the contractor builds depends partly on the lay of the land./
2. The way something is arranged; the important facts about something;
how things are. * /The banker wanted to check  the  lay  of  the  land
before buying the stock./ * /Before the new boy will join our club, he
wants to see how the land lies./

   [lay on] {v.} 1. To spread on or over a surface; apply. * /He  told
us that we should lay on a second coat of paint for better  protection
against the weather./ 2. To beat; to strike. * /Little John  seized  a
staff and began to lay on with great energy./ 3. See: LAY IT ON.

   [lay one's cards on the table] or [lay down one's  cards]  or  [put
one's cards on the table] {v. phr.}, {informal} To  let  someone  know
your position and interest openly; deal honestly; act without trickery
or secrets. * /In talking about buying the property, Peterson laid his
cards on the table about his plans for it./ * /Some of  the  graduates
of the school were unfriendly toward the new  superintendent,  but  he
put his cards on the table and won their support./

   [lay oneself open to] {v. phr.}  To  make  oneself  vulnerable  to;
expose oneself. * /If you don't perform your job  properly,  you  will
lay yourself open to criticism./

   [lay oneself out] {v. phr.},  {informal}  To  make  an  extra  hard
effort; try very hard. * /Larry wanted to win a medal for his  school,
so he really laid himself out in the race./

   [lay one's finger on] See: PUT ONE'S FINGER ON.

   [lay one's hands on] or [get one's hands on] {v. phr.} 1. To  seize
in order to punish or treat roughly. * /If I ever lay my hands on that
boy he'll be sorry./ Compare: LAY A FINGER ON. 2.  To  get  possession
of. * /He was unable to lay his hands on a Model T Ford for the school
play./ Compare: LAY HANDS ON(1). 3. or [lay one's  hand  on]  or  [put
one's hand on] To find; locate. * /He keeps a file of  letters  so  he
can lay his hands on one whenever he needs it./

   [lay on the line] or [put on the line] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1.  To
pay or offer to pay. * /The sponsors  had  to  lay  nearly  a  million
dollars on the line to keep the show on TV./ * /The  bank  is  putting
$5,000 on the line as a reward to  anyone  who  catches  the  robber./
Compare: PUT UP. 2. To say plainly so that there can be no doubt; tell
truthfully, * /I'm going to lay it on the line for you, Paul. You must
work harder if you want to pass./ 3. To take a chance of losing; risk.
* /The champion is laying his title on the line in the fight tonight./
* /Frank decided to lay his job on the line and tell the boss that  he
thought he was wrong./

   [lay out] {v. phr.} 1. To prepare (a dead body) for burial. *  /The
corpse was laid out by the undertaker./ 2. {slang} To knock down flat;
to hit unconscious. * /A stiff right to the jaw laid the boxer out  in
the second round./ 3. To plan. * /Come here, Fred, I have a  job  laid
out for you./ 4. To mark or show where work is  to  be  done.  *  /The
foreman laid out the job for  the  new  machinist./  5.  To  plan  the
building or arrangement of; design. *  /The  architect  laid  out  the
interior of the building./ * /The early colonists laid  out  towns  in
the wilderness./ Compare: LAY OFF(1). 6. {slang} To spend; pay. * /How
much did you have to lay out for your new car?/  7.  or  [lay  out  in
lavender] {slang} To scold; lecture. * /He was laid  out  in  lavender
for arriving an hour late  for  the  dance./  Compare:  JUMP  ON,  LAY
INTO(2), LET HAVE IT(1c).

   [layout] {n.} General situation; arrangement; plan. *  /The  layout
of their apartment overlooking Lake Michigan was strikingly  unusual./
Compare: LAID OUT.

   [layover] {n.} A stopover, usually at an airport or in a hotel  due
to interrupted air travel. * /There were several  layovers  at  O'Hare
last month due to bad weather./

   [lay over] {v.} 1. To put off until later; delay; postpone.  *  /We
voted to lay the question over to our next meeting for  decision./  2.
To arrive in one place  and  wait  some  time  before  continuing  the
journey. * /We had to lay over in St. Louis for two hours waiting  for
a plane to Seattle./

   [lay rubber] or [lay a patch] {v. phr.}, {slang} To take off  in  a
car or a motorcycle so fast that the tires (made of  rubber)  leave  a
mark on the pavement. * /Look at those crazy drag  racers;  they  laid
rubber in front of my house./

   [lay the blame at one's door] {v. phr.} To say that another  person
or group is responsible for one's own failure. * /The angry coach laid
the blame at the door  of  the  players  when  our  college  lost  the
basketball game./

   [lay the fault at one's door] See: LAY THE BLAME AT ONE'S DOOR.

   [lay their heads together] See: PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER.

   [lay to] {v.} 1. To give the blame or credit to; to name as  cause.
* /He was unpopular and when  he  made  money,  it  was  laid  to  his
dishonesty, but when he lost money, it was  laid  to  his  stupidity./
Compare: LAY AT ONE'S DOOR. 2. To hold a ship or  boat  still  against
the wind. * /The pirates decided to lay to that night and go ashore in
the morning./ Compare: LIE TO. 3. To exert oneself; to  work  hard.  *
/He picked up a shovel and laid to with the rest of the gang./

   [lay to heart] See: TAKE TO HEART.

   [lay to rest] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To put a dead person into  a
grave or tomb;  bury.  *  /President  Kennedy  was  laid  to  rest  in
Arlington National Cemetery./ 2. To get rid of; put away  permanently;
stop. * /The Scoutmaster's fears that Tom had  drowned  were  laid  to
rest when Tom came back and said he had gone for a boat ride./ *  /The
rumor that the principal had accepted another job  was  laid  to  rest
when he said it wasn't true./

   [lay up] {v.} 1. To collect a supply  of;  save  for  future,  use;
store. * /Bees lay up honey for the winter./ 2. To keep in  the  house
or in bed because of sickness or injury; disable. * /Jack was laid  up
with a twisted knee and couldn't play in the final game./ 3.  To  take
out of active service; put in a boat dock or a garage. * /Bill had  to
lay up his boat when school started./ * /If you lay up a car  for  the
winter, you should take out the battery./

   [lay waste] {v. phr.}, {literary} To cause wide  and  great  damage
to; destroy and leave in ruins; wreck. * /Enemy  soldiers  laid  waste
the land./

   [lead] See: ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME, BLIND LEADING THE BLIND.

   [lead] See: GET THE LEAD OUT OF ONE'S PANTS.

   [lead a dog's life] {v. phr.}, {informal} To live a hard life, work
hard, and be treated unkindly. * /A new college student  of  long  ago
led a dog's life./

   [lead a merry chase] {v.  phr.}  To  delay  or  escape  capture  by
(someone) skillfully; make (a pursuer) work hard. * /The deer led  the
hunter a merry chase./ * /Valerie is leading  her  boyfriend  a  merry
chase./

   [lead by the nose] {v. phr.}, {informal} To have full  control  of;
make or persuade (someone) to do anything whatever. * /Many people are
easily influenced and a smart politician can lead them by the nose./ *
/Don't let anyone lead you by the nose; use your own judgment  and  do
the right thing./

   [leader] See: MAJORITY LEADER, MINORITY LEADER.

   [lead-footed] See: HEAVY-FOOTED.

   [leading light] {n.  phr.}  A  prominent  person  in  a  community,
company, or group. * /Alan is the  leading  light  of  our  discussion
group on music./

   [lead off] {v.} To begin; start; open. * /Richardson  led  off  the
inning with a double./ * /We always let Henry lead off./ * /Mr.  Jones
led off with the jack of diamonds./ * /When the teacher asked  if  the
film helped them to understand, Phil led off by saying that he learned
a lot from it./

   [lead on] {v. phr.} To encourage you to believe something untrue or
mistaken. * /Tom led us on to believe that he was  a  world  traveler,
but we found out that he had never been outside our state./ * /We were
led on to think that Jeanne and Jim were engaged to be married./

   [lead one a  merry  dance]  {v.  phr.}  To  cause  someone  unusual
discomfort or expense; tire someone by causing one to overdo. *  /With
her personal extravagances and constant social activities that cost  a
fortune, Carol led her husband a merry dance./

   [lead the way] {v. phr.} To go before and show how to go somewhere;
guide. * /The boys need someone to lead the way on their hike./ * /The
men hired an Indian to lead the way to  the  Pueblo  ruins./  *  /That
school led the way in finding methods to teach reading./

   [lead to] {v. phr.} To result in. * /Such a  heavy  arms  race  can
only lead to war./

   [leaf] See: TURN OVER A NEW LEAF.

   [leaf through] {v. phr.} To scan or glance through a book or  other
reading matter. * /I only had time to leaf through the program  before
the concert started./

   [league] See: IN LEAGUE WITH, IVY LEAGUE.

   [leaguer] See: TEXAS LEAGUER.

   [leak out] {v. phr.} To become known; escape. * /The famous  beauty
queen tried to keep her marriage a secret, but news of it soon  leaked
out./

   [leak to] {v. phr.} To purposely let  a  secret  be  known,  as  if
conveying it in the strictest confidence. * /The movie  star's  secret
divorce was leaked to the tabloids by her housekeeper./

   [lean on] {v. phr.}, {slang}, {informal} To pressure  (someone)  by
blackmailing, threats, physical violence, or the withholding  of  some
favor in order to make the person comply with a wish or request. *  /I
would gladly do what you ask if you only  stopped  leaning  on  me  so
hard!/

   [lean over backward] See: BEND OVER BACKWARD.

   [lean-to] {n.} 1. A shed for tools, such  as  spades,  hoes,  etc.,
attached to the wall of a house, * /Joe looked for the garden hose  in
the lean-to./ 2. A small cabin in the country.  *  /They  spend  their
weekends in their modest lean-to in Wisconsin./

   [leap] See: BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS.

   [leap year] {n.} Every  fourth  year  during  which  the  month  of
February contains 29 rather than 28 days. * /During a  leap  year  one
must wait a day longer for one's February pay check./

   [learn] See: LIVE AND LEARN.

   [learn by heart] See: BY HEART.

   [learn by rote] {v. phr.}  To  blindly  memorize  what  was  taught
without thinking about it. * /If you learn a subject by rote, it  will
be difficult to say anything original about it./

   [learn one's way around] See: KNOW ONE'S WAY AROUND.

   [learn the hard way] See: HARD WAY.

   [learn the ropes] See: THE ROPES.

   [least] See: AT LEAST, IN THE LEAST, LAST BUT NOT  LEAST,  LINE  OF
LEAST RESISTANCE.

   [leatherneck] {n.}, {slang}, {informal}  A  member  of  the  United
States  Marine  Corps.  *  /I  didn't  know  your  son  Joe  became  a
leatherneck./

   [leave] See: SHORE LEAVE, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, TAKE LEAVE OF,  TAKE
ONE'S LEAVE.

   [leave a bad taste  in  one's  mouth]  {v.  phr.}  To  feel  a  bad
impression; make you feel disgusted. * /Seeing a man  beat  his  horse
leaves a bad taste in your mouth./ * /His rudeness to the teacher left
a bad taste in my mouth./

   [leave alone] See: LET ALONE.

   [leave at the altar] {v. phr.} 1. To decide not to marry someone in
the last minute; jilt. * /Ed left poor Susan  at  the  altar./  2.  To
overlook and skip for promotion; not fulfill deserved  expectation.  *
/Once again I didn't get my promotion and was left at the altar./

   [leave behind] {v. phr.} 1. Abandon. * /Refugees on  the  run  must
sometimes leave old and sick people behind./ 2.  To  forget;  go  away
without. * /We had reached our car when we noticed that  we  had  left
our keys behind./

   [leave flat] {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To  quit  or  leave  suddenly
without warning when wanted or needed;  desert;  forsake;  abandon.  *
/Sam found that being a member of the trail-clearing group was  a  lot
of hard work, so he left them flat./ * /My car ran out of gas and left
me flat, ten miles from town./  Compare:  LEAVE  IN  THE  LURCH,  WALK
OUT(2).

   [leave hanging] or [leave hanging in the air] {v.  phr.}  To  leave
undecided or unsettled. * /Because the committee could not decide on a
time and place, the matter of the spring dance was  left  hanging./  *
/Ted's mother didn't know what to do about the broken window,  so  his
punishment was left hanging in the air until his  father  came  home./
Compare: UP IN THE AIR.

   [leave high and dry] See: HIGH AND DRY.

   [leave holding the bag] or [leave  holding  the  sack]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} 1. To cause (someone) not to have something  needed;  leave
without anything, * /In the rush for seats, Joe was left  holding  the
bag./ 2. To force (someone) to take the whole responsibility or  blame
for something that others should share.  *  /When  the  ball  hit  the
glass, the team scattered and left George holding the bag./  *  /After
the party, the other girls on the clean-up committee  went  away  with
their dates, and left Mary holding the bag./

   [leave in the lurch] {v. phr.} To desert or leave alone in trouble;
refuse to help or support. * /The town bully  caught  Eddie,  and  Tom
left him in the lurch./ * /Bill quit his job, leaving his boss in  the
lurch./ Compare: LEAVE FLAT, HIGH AND DRY(2), WALK OUT(2).

   [leave it at that] {v. phr.} To avoid further and more  acrimonious
disagreement; not argue or discuss any  further.  *  /Our  opinion  on
health care is obviously different, so let's just leave it at that./

   [leave no stone unturned] {v. phr.} To try in every  way;  miss  no
chance; do everything possible. - Usually used in the negative. * /The
police will leave no stone unturned  in  their  search  for  the  bank
robbers./ Compare: ALL OUT, BEND HEAVEN AND EARTH, FINE-TOOTH COMB.

   [leave off] {v.} To come or put to an end; stop. * /There is a high
fence where the school yard leaves off and the woods  begin./  *  /Don
told the boys to leave off teasing his little brother./ * /Marion  put
a marker in her book so that she  would  know  where  she  left  off./
Contrast: TAKE UP.

   [leave one's mark] {v. phr.} To leave an impression upon; influence
someone. * /Tolstoy never won the Nobel Prize, but he left his mark on
world literature./ See: MAKE ONE'S MARK.

   [leave open] {v. phr.} To remain temporarily unsettled; subject  to
further discussion. * /Brad said that the question of health insurance
would be left open until some future date./

   [leave out] {v. phr.} To skip; omit. *  /The  printer  accidentally
left out two paragraphs from Alan's novel./

   [leave out in the cold] See: OUT IN THE COLD.

   [leave out of account] {v. phr.} To fail to consider; forget about.
* /The picnic planners left  out  of  account  that  it  might  rain./
Contrast: TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.

   [leave-taking] See: TAKE ONE'S LEAVE.

   [leave the matter open] See: LEAVE OPEN.

   [leave well enough alone] See: LET WELL ENOUGH ALONE.

   [leave without a leg to stand on] See: LEG TO STAND ON.

   [leave word with] {v. phr.} To leave a message. * /Hank  left  word
with his secretary where he could be reached by  phone  while  he  was
away from his office./

   [left] See: OUT IN LEFT FIELD, RIGHT AND LEFT.

   [left field] {n.} 1. The  part  of  a  baseball  out-field  to  the
batter's left. * /Right-handed batters usually  hit  to  left  field./
Compare: CENTER FIELD, RIGHT FIELD. 2. See: OUT IN LEFT FIELD. - [left
fielder] {n.} The player in baseball who plays in left field.  *  /The
scoreboard in the ball park is on the fence behind the left fielder./

   [left-handed] {adj.}, {informal} 1. Using the left hand habitually.
2. Crooked; phoney; homosexual. * /Morris is such a left-handed  guy./
3. Clumsy; untoward; awkward. * /Grab that hammer and stop  acting  so
left-handed./

   [left-handed  compliment]  An   ambiguous   compliment   which   is
interpretable as an offense. *  /I  didn't  know  you  could  look  so
pretty! Is that a wig you're wearing?/

   [left-wing] {adj.} That which is or belongs to a group of people in
politics that favors radical change in the direction of  socialism  or
communism. * /The left-wing faction called for an immediate strike./

   [leg] See: ON ONE'S LAST LEGS, PULL ONE'S LEG, SHAKE  A  LEG,  TAIL
BETWEEN ONE'S LEGS.

   [legal age] or [lawful age] The age at which a person is allowed to
do a certain thing or is held responsible for an action.  *  /In  most
states the legal age for voting is 27./ * /He could not get a driver's
license because he was not of lawful age./

   [leg man] {n.}, {informal} 1.  An  errand  boy;  one  who  performs
messenger services, or the like. *  /Joe  hired  a  leg  man  for  the
office./  2.  {slang},  {semi-vulgar},  {avoidable}  A  man   who   is
particularly attracted to good  looking  female  legs  and  pays  less
attention to other parts of the female anatomy. * /Herb is a leg man./

   [leg-pulling] See: PULL ONE'S LEG.

   [Legree] See: SIMON LEGREE.

   [leg to stand on] {n. phr.} A firm foundation of  facts;  facts  to
support your claim.  -  Usually  used  in  the  negative.  *  /Jerry's
answering speech left his opponent without a leg to stand on./ * /Amos
sued for damages, but did not have a leg to stand on./

   [leg work] {n.}, {informal} The physical end of a project, such  as
the typing of  research  reports;  the  physical  investigating  of  a
criminal affair; the carrying of books to and from libraries;  etc.  *
/Joe, my research assistant, does a lot of leg work for me./

   [leisure] See: AT LEISURE or AT ONE'S LEISURE.

   [lend a hand] or [give a hand] also [bear a hand] {v. phr.} To give
help; make yourself useful; help. * /The stage manager asked  some  of
the boys to lend a hand with the scenery./ * /Dick saw a woman with  a
flat tire and offered to give her a hand with  it./  Compare:  LIFT  A
FINGER.

   [lend an ear to] See: GIVE AN EAR TO.

   [lend color to] See: GIVE COLOR TO.

   [lend itself to] {v. phr.} To give a chance for or be  useful  for;
to be possible or right for. * /Bob was sick and did not go to  Jane's
party, but his  absence  lent  itself  to  misunderstanding./  *  /The
teacher's paperweight was a heavy piece of metal which sometimes  lent
itself to use as a hammer./ * /This poem lends itself to  our  program
very well./ Compare: LEND ONESELF TO.

   [lend oneself to] {v. phr.} To give help or approval to; encourage;
assist. * /Alice wouldn't  lend  herself  to  the  plot  to  hide  the
teacher's chalk./

   [length] See: AT LENGTH, GO TO ANY LENGTH, KEEP AT  A  DISTANCE  or
KEEP AT ARM'S LENGTH.

   [less] See: MORE OR LESS, MUCH LESS.

   [lesson] See: TEACH A LESSON.

   [less than] {adv.} Not; little. *  /We  were  busy  and  less  than
delighted to have company that day./ * /The boys were less than  happy
about having a party./ Contrast: MORE THAN.

   [less than no time] {n. phr.}, {informal} Very quickly. *  /We  can
be ready to go in less than no time./ * /It took Sally  less  than  no
time to get dinner ready./

   [let] See: LIVE AND LET LIVE.

   [let alone] {conj. phr.} 1. Even less; certainly not. - Used  after
a negative  clause.  *  /I  can't  add  two  and  two,  let  alone  do
fractions./ * /Jim can't drive a car, let  alone  a  truck./  Compare:
MUCH LESS, NOT TO MENTION. 2. [let alone] or  [leave  alone]  {v.}  To
stay away from; keep hands off; avoid. * /When Joel gets mad, just let
him alone./ * /Little Patsy was warned  to  leave  the  birthday  cake
alone./ Compare: LET BE.

   [let be] {v.} To pay no attention to; disregard; forget. * /Let her
be; she has a headache./ Compare: LET ALONE.

   [let bygones be bygones] {v. phr.} To let the past be forgotten.  *
/After a long, angry quarrel the two boys agreed  to  let  bygones  be
bygones and made friends again./ * /We should let bygones  be  bygones
and try to get along with  each  other./  Syn.:  FORGIVE  AND  FORGET.
Compare: BURY THE HATCHET, LIVE AND LET LIVE.

   [letdown] {n.} A disappointment; a heartbreak. * /It  was  a  major
letdown for John when Mary refused to marry him./

   [let down] {v. phr.} 1. To allow to descend; lower.  *  /Harry  let
the chain saw down on a rope and then climbed  down  himself./  2.  To
relax; stop trying so hard; take it easy. * /The horse let  down  near
the end of the race and lost./ * /The team  let  down  in  the  fourth
quarter because they were far ahead./ Compare: LET GO. 3. To  fail  to
do as well as (someone) expected; disappoint. * /The  team  felt  they
had let the coach down./

   [let down easy] {v. phr.} To refuse or say no  to  (someone)  in  a
pleasant manner; to tell bad news about a refusal or disappointment in
a kindly way. * /The teacher had to tell George that he had failed his
college examinations, but she tried to let him down easy./ * /The boss
tried to let Jim down easy when he had to tell him he  was  too  young
for the job./

   [let down one's hair] See: LET ONE'S HAIR DOWN.

   [let drop] {v. phr.} 1. To cease to talk about; set aside;  forget.
* /This is such an unpleasant subject that I suggest we  let  it  drop
for a few days./ 2. To disclose; hint. *  /He  unexpectedly  let  drop
that he was resigning and joining another firm./

   [let fall] See: LET DROP.

   [let George do it] {v. phr.}, {informal} To expect someone else  to
do the work or take the responsibility. * /Many people expect  to  let
George do it when they are on a committee./ Compare: PASS THE BUCK.

   [let go] {v.} 1a. To stop  holding  something;  loosen  your  hold;
release. * /The boy grabbed Jack's coat and would not let go./ - Often
used with "of". * /When the child let go of  her  mother's  hand,  she
fell down./ Compare: GIVE UP(1a), LET LOOSE. 1b. To weaken  and  break
under pressure. * /The old water pipe suddenly let go and water poured
out of it./ Syn.: GIVE WAY.  Contrast:  HOLD  ON  TO.  2.  To  pay  no
attention to; neglect. * /Robert let his teeth go when  he  was  young
and now he has to go to the dentist often./ * /After she was  married,
Jane let herself go  and  was  not  pretty  anymore.  /  3.  To  allow
something to pass; do nothing about. * /When Charles  was  tardy,  the
teacher scolded him and let it go at that./  *  /The  children  teased
Frank, but he smiled and let it go./ Compare: LET OFF(2), LET RIDE. 4.
To discharge from a job; fire. * /Mr. Wilson got into a  quarrel  with
his boss and was let go./ 5.  To  make  (something)  go  out  quickly;
shoot; fire. * /The soldiers let go a number of shots./ * /Robin  Hood
let go an arrow at the deer./ * /Paul was so angry that he  let  go  a
blow at the boy./ * /The truck driver saw the flat tire and let  go  a
loud curse./ * /The pitcher let go a fast ball and  the  batter  swung
and missed./ Compare: CUT LOOSE, LET  OUT.  6.  or  [let  oneself  go]
{informal} To be free in one's actions or talk; relax. * /Judge  Brown
let go at the reunion of his old class and had a good  time./  *  /The
cowboys worked hard all week, but on Saturday night they went to  town
and let themselves  go./  Syn.:  CUT  LOOSE,  LET  LOOSE(3),  LET  OFF
STEAM(2).

   [let go hang] See: GO HANG.

   [let go of] {v. phr.} To release one's grasp. * /As soon  as  Sally
let go of the leash, her dog ran away./

   [let go of  one's  mother's  apron  strings]  See:  TIED  TO  ONE'S
MOTHER'S APRON STRINGS.

   [let grass grow under one's feet] {v. phr.} To be  idle;  be  lazy;
waste  time.  -  Used  in  negative,  conditional,  and  interrogative
sentences. * /The new boy joined the football  team,  made  the  honor
roll, and found a girlfriend during the  first  month  of  school.  He
certainly did not let any grass grow under his feet./

   [let it all  hang  out]  {v.  phr.},  {slang},  {informal}  Not  to
disguise anything; to let the truth be known.  *  /Sue  can't  deceive
anyone; she just lets it all hang out./

   [let it lay] {v. phr.}, {used  imperatively},  {slang}  Forget  it;
leave it alone; do not be concerned or involved. * /Don't get involved
with Max again - just let it lay./

   [let it rip] {v.  phr.},  {used  imperatively},  {slang}  Don't  be
concerned; pay no attention to what  happens.  *  /Why  get  involved?
Forget about it and let it rip./ 2. (Imperatively) Do become  involved
and make the most of it; get in there and really try to win.  *  /Come
on man, give it all you've got and let it rip!/

   [let know] {v. phr.} To inform. * /Please let us know the  time  of
your arrival./

   [let loose] {v.} 1a. or [set loose] or [turn loose]  To  set  free;
loosen or give up your hold on. * /The farmer opened the gate and  let
the bull loose in the pasture./ * /They turned the  balloon  loose  to
let it rise in the air./ 1b. or  [turn  loose]  To  give  freedom  (to
someone) to do something; to allow (someone) to do what  he  wants.  *
/Mother let Jim loose on the apple pie./ * /The children  were  turned
loose in the toy store to pick the toys  they  wanted./  1c.  To  stop
holding something; loosen your hold. *  /Jim  caught  Ruth's  arm  and
would not let loose./ Compare: LET GO, LET OUT. 2a. {informal} To  let
or make (something) move fast or hard; release.  *  /The  fielder  let
loose a long throw  to  home  plate  after  catching  the  ball./  2b.
{informal} To release something held. * /Those dark clouds  are  going
to let loose any minute./ Syn.: CUT LOOSE, LET GO.  3.  {informal}  To
speak or act freely; disregard ordinary limits. *  /The  teacher  told
Jim that some day she was going to let loose and  tell  him  what  she
thought of him./ * /Mother let loose on her shopping  trip  today  and
bought things for all of us./ Syn.: CUT LOOSE, LET GO.

   [let me see] or [let us see] {informal}  1.  Let  us  find  out  by
trying or performing an action. * /Let me see if you can jump over the
fence./ 2. Give me time to think or remember. * /I can't  come  today.
Let me see. How about Friday?/ * /Let's see. Where did I put the key?/

   [let off] {v.} 1. To discharge (a gun); explode;  fire.  *  /Willie
accidentally let off his father's shotgun  and  made  a  hole  in  the
wall./ Syn.: GO OFF, LET LOOSE(2). 2.  To  permit  to  go  or  escape;
excuse from a penalty, a duty, or a promise. * /Two boys  were  caught
smoking in school but the principal let them off with  a  warning./  *
/Mary's mother said that she would let Mary off from drying the supper
dishes./ * /The factory closed for a month in the summer and  let  the
workers off./ Compare: LET GO. 3. or {informal} [let off the hook]  To
miss a chance to defeat or score  against,  especially  in  sports  or
games. * /We almost scored a touchdown in the first play against  Tech
but we let them off the hook by fumbling the ball./ * /The  boxer  let
his opponent off the hook many times./

   [let off steam] or [blow off steam] {v. phr.} 1.  To  let  or  make
steam escape; send out steam.  *  /The  janitor  let  off  some  steam
because the pressure was too  high./  2.  {informal}  To  get  rid  of
physical energy or strong feeling through activity; talk  or  be  very
active physically after forced quiet. * /After the long  ride  on  the
bus, the children let off steam with a race to the lake./ * /When  the
rain stopped, the boys let off steam with  a  ball  game./  *  /Bill's
mother was very angry when he was late in coming  home,  and  let  off
steam by walking around and around./ * /Bill had to take his foreman's
rough criticisms all day and he  would  blow  off  steam  at  home  by
scolding the children./ Compare: BLOW ONE'S TOP, LET GO(6).

   [let off the hook] See: LET OFF(3).

   [let on] {v.}, {informal} 1. To tell or  admit  what  you  know.  -
Usually used in the negative. * /Frank lost a quarter  but  he  didn't
let on to his mother./ 2. To try to make people  believe;  pretend.  *
/The old man likes to let on that he is rich./

   [let one have it] {v. phr.} 1a. {slang} To hit  hard.  *  /He  drew
back his fist and let the man have it./ * /Give  him  a  kick  in  the
pants; let him have it!/ Syn.: GIVE IT TO. 1b. {slang} To use a weapon
on; to shoot or knife. * /The guard pulled his gun and let the  robber
have it in the leg./ Compare: OPEN UP. 1c. or [let one  have  it  with
both barrels] {slang} To attack with words; scold; criticize. *  /Mary
kept talking in class until the teacher became angry and let her  have
it./ Syn.: LIGHT INTO(2). 2. {informal} To tell about it.  -  Used  in
the imperative phrase, "let's have it". * /Now, Mary,  let's  have  it
from the beginning./ * /We will take turns reading; John,  let's  have
it from page one./

   [let one in on] {v. phr.} To reveal a secret to; permit someone  to
share in. * /If I let you in on something big we're planning, will you
promise not to mention it to anyone?/

   [let oneself go] See: LET GO(6).

   [let  one's  hair  down]  or  [let  down  one's  hair]  {v.  phr.},
{informal} Act freely and naturally; be informal; relax. * /Kings  and
queens can seldom let their  hair  down./  *  /After  the  dance,  the
college girls let their hair down and compared  dates./  Compare:  LET
GO(6).

   [let one's left hand know what one's right hand is doing] {v. phr.}
1. To make a show of your kindness or help to others. -  Used  in  the
negative. * /The Bible tells us not to let the left hand know what the
right hand is doing when we give to the poor./ 2.  {informal}  To  let
everyone taking part in something know what each is  doing;  encourage
cooperation in working. * /Tom told Fred and Bill to meet him in town,
but he forgot to tell them where. Next time he'll let  his  left  hand
know what his right hand is doing./ - Often used in  the  negative.  *
/Our team lost today because the coach and captain  did  not  let  the
left hand know what the right was doing,  and  the  players  were  all
mixed up./

   [let out] {v.} 1a. To allow to go out or escape. * /The  guard  let
the prisoners out of jail to work in the garden./ * /Mother won't  let
us out when it rains./ Compare: LET LOOSE. 1b. {informal} To  make  (a
sound) come out of the mouth; utter. * /A bee stung  Charles.  He  let
out a yell and ran home./ * /Father told Betty to sit  still  and  not
let out a peep during church./ 2. To allow to be known; tell. *  /I'll
never tell you another secret if you let this one out./  Compare:  LET
THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG. 3. To make larger  (as  clothing)  or  looser;
allow to slip out (as a rope). * /Mary's mother had  to  let  out  her
dress because Mary is growing so tall./ * /Father hooked a big fish on
his line. He had to let the line out so the fish wouldn't  break  it./
Compare: PIECE OUT. Contrast: TAKE IN. 4. {informal} To allow to  move
at higher speed. * /The rider let out his horse to  try  to  beat  the
horse ahead of him./ 5. {informal} To free from blame, responsibility,
or duty. - Often used with "of". * /Last time I let you out of it when
you were late. I'll have to  punish  you  this  time./  *  /Frank  has
shoveled the snow from the sidewalk. That lets me out./  Compare:  LET
GO, LET OFF. 6, {informal} To discharge from a job; fire. * /The  shop
closed down and all the men were let out./ 7. {informal} To dismiss or
be dismissed. * /The coach let us out from practice at 3  o'clock./  *
/I'll meet you after school lets out./

   [let pass] {v. phr.} To  disregard;  overlook.  *  /Herb  may  have
overheard what was said about him, but he decided to let it pass./

   [let ride] {v. phr.}, {informal} To allow to go on without  change;
accept (a situation or action) for the present. * /The committee could
not decide what to do about Bob's idea, so they let  the  matter  ride
for a month or so./ * /The class was rather noisy but the teacher  let
it ride because it was near Christmas./ * /Ruth's paper was  not  very
good, but the teacher let it ride because she knew  Ruth  had  tried./
Compare: LET GO(3), LET WELL ENOUGH ALONE.

   [let's don't] also [don't let's] {substandard} Let's  not;  let  us
not; I suggest that we don't. * /"'Let's go out and play," said  Fred.
"Let's don't until the rain stops," said Mary./ * /Don't let's go now.
Let's go tomorrow instead./

   [let's have it] See: LET HAVE IT.

   [let sleeping dogs lie] Do  not  make  (someone)  angry  and  cause
trouble or danger; do not make trouble if you do  not  have  to.  -  A
proverb. * /Don't tell Father that you broke the window. Let  sleeping
dogs lie./

   [let slip] {v. phr.} To unintentionally reveal.  *  /Ellen  let  it
slip that she had been a witness to the accident./

   [letter] See: CHAIN LETTER, NIGHT LETTER, TO THE LETTER.

   [letter-perfect] {adj. phr.} Memorized perfectly;  perfect  to  the
last letter. * /The actor was letter-perfect in his role./

   [let the cat out of the bag] {v. phr.}, {informal}  To  tell  about
something that is supposed to be a secret. * /We  wanted  to  surprise
Mary with a birthday gift, but Allen let the cat out  of  the  bag  by
asking her what she would like./ - Sometimes used in another  form.  *
/Well, the cat is out  of  the  bag  -  everybody  knows  about  their
marriage./ Compare: GIVE AWAY(3), LET OUT(2), SPILL THE BEANS.

   [let the chips fall where they may] {v. phr.} To pay  no  attention
to the displeasure caused others  by  your  actions.  *  /The  senator
decided to vote against the bill and let the  chips  fall  where  they
may./ * /The police chief told his men to give tickets to all speeders
and let the chips fall where they may./ Compare: COME WHAT MAY.

   [let the grass grow under one's  feet]  {v.  phr.},  {informal}  To
waste time; be slow or idle. * /Grandpa spends so  much  time  sitting
and thinking that Grandma accuses him of letting the grass grow  under
his feet./

   [let up] {v.}, {informal} 1. To  become  less,  weaker,  or  quiet;
become slower or stop. * /It's raining  as  hard  as  ever.  It's  not
letting up at all./ * /It snowed for three days before it let  up  and
we could go outdoors./ 2. To do less or go slower or stop; relax; stop
working or working hard. * /Grandfather has been working all his life.
When is he going to let up?/ * /Let up for a minute.  You  can't  work
hard all day./ * /Jim ran all the way home without letting  up  once./
Compare: SLOW DOWN. Contrast: BEAR DOWN. 3. To become easier,  kinder,
or less strict. - Usually used with "on". * /Let up on  Jane.  She  is
sick./ Syn.: EASE UP. 4. or [change up] To pitch a ball at  less  than
full speed in baseball. - Usually used with "on". *  /John  pitched  a
ball that was very fast and the batter missed it. Then he  let  up  on
the next pitch and the batter was badly fooled./

   [let well enough alone] or [leave well enough alone] {v.  phr.}  To
be satisfied with what is good enough; not try  to  improve  something
because often that might cause more trouble. * /John  wanted  to  make
his kite go higher, but his father told him to let well  enough  alone
because it was too windy./ * /Ed polished up his car until his friends
warned him to leave well enough alone./ * /Ethel made a lot of changes
in her test paper after she finished. She should have let well  enough
alone, because she made several new mistakes./ Compare: LET RIDE.

   [level] See: ON THE LEVEL.

   [level best] {adj. phr.} One's utmost; one's  very  best.  *  /Eric
refused to stay in school although his parents did their level best to
make him finish./

   [levelheaded] {adj. phr.}  Having  good  common  sense;  practical;
reasonable. * /What our office needs is a good, level-headed manager./

   [level off] or [level out] {v.} 1. To make flat or  level.  *  /The
steamroller leveled out the gravel roadbed and then the  concrete  was
poured./ 2. To move on an even level. * /The airplane leveled  out  at
2,000 feet./ * /After going up for six  months,  the  cost  of  living
leveled off in September./

   [level with] {v. phr.} To tell someone the  truth;  not  engage  in
lies and subterfuge. * /"You can level with me," his father said. "Did
you break that window?"/

   [liberty] See: TAKE LIBERTIES.

   [lick and a promise] {n. phr.}, {informal} A careless,  hasty  job;
an unsatisfactory piece of work. * /You didn't wash  your  hands.  You
just gave them a lick and a promise./ * /The boys didn't cut the grass
properly. All it got was a lick and a promise./

   [lickety-split]  also  [lickety-cut]  {adv.},  {informal}  At  full
speed; with a rush. *  /As  soon  as  school  was  out  the  boys  ran
lickety-split to the swimming pool./

   [lick into shape] {v. phr.} To make perfect; drill; train.  *  /The
sergeant licked the new volunteer army into shape in three months./

   [lick one's boots] {v. phr.} To flatter or act  like  a  slave;  do
anything to please another. * /She wanted her boyfriend  to  lick  her
boots all the time./ * /A wise king would not  want  his  friends  and
officials to lick his boots./

   [lick one's chops] {v. phr.}, {informal} To think  about  something
pleasant; enjoy the thought of something. * /John is licking his chops
about the steak dinner tonight./ * /Tom is licking his chops about the
lifeguard job he will have at the beach next summer./ * /Our  team  is
licking its chops because we beat the champions last night./ (From the
fact that some animals lick their mouths when they expect to be fed or
when they see food, and after eating.) Compare: LOOK FORWARD TO,  MAKE
ONE'S MOUTH WATER.

   [lick the --- out of] See: BEAT THE --- OUT OF.

   [lid] See: FLIP ONE'S LID, THE LID.

   [lie] See: GIVE THE LIE TO, LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE, MAKE  ONE'S  BED
AND LIE IN IT.

   [lie around] {v. phr.} To be unused; inert. * /This old  typewriter
has been lying around ever since Grandpa died./

   [lie down on the job] {v. phr.}, {informal} To purposely fail to do
your job; neglect a task; loaf. * /Bill  isn't  trying  to  learn  his
lessons. He is lying down on the job./ * /If you lie down on your job,
you will lose it./

   [lief] See: AS SOON also AS LIEF, HAD AS SOON also HAD AS LIEF.

   [lie in state] {v. phr.} Of a dead person: To lie  in  a  place  of
honor, usually in an open coffin, and be seen  by  the  public  before
burial. * /When the president died, thousands of people saw  his  body
lying in state./

   [lie in wait] {v. phr.} To watch from hiding in order to attack  or
surprise someone; to ambush. * /The driver  of  the  stage-coach  knew
that the thieves were lying in wait somewhere along the road./

   [lie low] or {nonstandard} [lay low] {v.}, {informal}  1.  To  stay
quietly out of sight; try not to attract  attention;  hide.  *  /After
holding up the bank, the robbers lay low for  a  while./  2.  To  keep
secret one's thoughts or plans. * /I think  he  wants  to  be  elected
president, but he is lying low and not saying anything./

   [lie through one's  teeth]  {v.  phr.}  To  lie  uninhibitedly  and
unashamedly. * /Everyone in the courtroom could sense that the accused
was lying through his teeth./

   [lie to] {v.} Of a ship: To stay in one place  facing  against  the
wind; stop.  *  /Our  ship  will  lie  to  outside  the  harbor  until
daylight./ Compare: LAY TO(2).

   [lieu] See: INSTEAD OF also IN LIEU OF.

   [life] See: BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH,  BIG  AS  LIFE,  CAT  HAS  NINE
LIVES, CHARMED LIFE, COME ALIVE OT COME TO LIFE, FACTS  OF  LIFE,  FOR
DEAR LIFE, FOR THE LIFE OF ONE, LEAD A DOG'S LIFE, NIGHT LIFE, NOT  ON
YOUR LIFE OR ONE'S LIFE, TAKE ONE'S LIFE IN ONE'S HANDS, TIME OF ONE'S
LIFE, YOU BET or YOU BET YOUR LIFE, WALK OF LIFE, WITHIN  AN  INCH  OF
ONE'S LIFE.

   [life of Riley] {n. phr.}, {informal} A soft easy life; pleasant or
rich way of living. * /He's living the life of Riley. He doesn't  have
to work anymore./ Compare: BED OF ROSES, IN CLOVER, LIVE HIGH OFF  THE
HOG.

   [life of the party] {n. phr.} A person who makes  things  enjoyable
or interesting for a group of people. * /Bill is the life of the party
at school. He is always making us laugh./

   [lift a finger] or [lift a hand] also [raise a hand] {v.  phr.}  1.
To do something; do your  share;  to  help.  -  Usually  used  in  the
negative. * /We all  worked  hard  except  Joe.  He  wouldn't  lift  a
finger./ * /The king did not lift a hand when his people were hungry./
Compare: LEND A HAND.

   [light] See: BRING TO LIGHT, COME TO LIGHT, DASH LIGHT, HIDE  ONE'S
LIGHT UNDER A BUSHEL, IN THE LIGHT OF, MAKE LIGHT OF, MANY HANDS  MAKE
LIGHT WORK, OUT LIKE A LIGHT, SEE THE LIGHT, TRAVEL LIGHT.

   [light-fingered] {adj.} Given to stealing; having a tendency to  be
dishonest or a kleptomaniac. * /I always suspected that Freddie  might
be lightfingered and my suspicions were confirmed when he was arrested
for shoplifting./

   [light housekeeping] {n.},  {slang}  An  arrangement  in  which  an
unmarried couple live together. * /Are Joe and Sue married? - Oh,  no,
- it's just a case of light housekeeping./ See: SHACK UP WITH.

   [light into] See: LAY INTO.

   [lightly] See: ONCE OVER LIGHTLY at ONCE OVER(2).

   [lightning never strikes twice in the same place] The same accident
does not happen twice; the same person does not  have  the  same  luck
again. - A proverb. * /Billy won a pony in the contest last year,  but
lightning never strikes twice in the same place./

   [light on] also [light upon] {v.} To pick out by sight  from  among
others; see; notice. *  /His  eyes  lighted  on  the  cookies  and  he
remembered how hungry he was./ * /Her eyes lighted  upon  the  row  of
boxes, and she asked what was in them./

   [light out] {v.}, {slang} 1. To run as fast as you can. * /The  boy
lit out for home with the bully chasing him./ * /On the next pitch the
runner will light out for second./ 2. To go away  in  a  hurry;  leave
suddenly. - Often used with "for". * /Jack won't be in town  long.  He
wants to light out as soon as he  has  enough  money  saved./  *  /The
robbers lit out for Mexico./ Syn.: BEAT IT, TAKE OFF(1), HEAD FOR  THE
HILLS.

   [light up] {v.} Suddenly to look pleased  and  happy.  *  /Martha's
face lit up when she saw her old friend./ * /Tom will really light  up
when he sees his new bike!/

   [like] See: EAT LIKE A BIRD, FEEL LIKE, LOOK LIKE THE CAT THAT  ATE
THE CANARY, NOTHING LIKE, THE LIKES OF or THE LIKE.

   [like a bird] See: EAT LIKE A BIRD.

   [like a book] See: READ ONE LIKE A BOOK.

   [like a fish out of water] See: FISH OUT OF WATER.

   [like a glove] See: FIT LIKE A GLOVE.

   [like a hole in  the  head]  {adv.  phr.}  Not  at  all;  scarcely;
grudgingly; in an unwelcome manner. * /Joan needs her mother-in-law to
stay with her for a week like a hole in the head./

   [like a horse] See: EAT LIKE A HORSE.

   [like a light] See: OUT LIKE A LIGHT.

   [like a million] See: FEEL LIKE A MILLION.

   [like a million dollars] See: LOOK LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS.

   [like anything] {adv. phr.} To an extreme degree. * /He swore  like
anything when he found out that he hadn't been promoted./

   [like a steel trap] See: MIND LIKE A STEEL TRAP.

   [like clockwork] See: GO LIKE CLOCKWORK or GO OFF LIKE CLOCKWORK.

   [like crazy] See: LIKE MAD.

   [like father, like son] A son is usually like his father in the way
he acts. - A proverb. * /Frank's father has been on the city  council;
he is now the mayor, and is running for  governor.  Frank  is  on  the
student council and is likely to he class president. Like father, like
son./ * /Mr. Jones and Tommy are both quiet and shy. Like father, like
son./ Compare: SPITTING IMAGE, FOLLOW IN ONE'S FOOTSTEPS.

   [like hell] {adv.}, {slang}, {vulgar}, {avoidable}  1.  With  great
vigor. * /As soon as they saw  the  cops,  they  ran  like  hell./  2.
{interj.} Not so; untrue; indicates the speaker's lack  of  belief  in
what he heard. * /Like hell you're gonna bring me my dough!/

   [like it is] See: TELL IT LIKE IT IS.

   [like looking for  a  needle  in  a  haystack]  See:  NEEDLE  IN  A
HAYSTACK.

   [like mad] or [like crazy] {adv.}, {slang}, {informal}  With  great
enthusiasm and vigor; very fast. * /We had to  drive  like  mad  (like
crazy) to get there on time./ See: LIKE HELL(1).

   [like two peas in  a  pod]  {adj.  phr.}  Closely  similar;  almost
exactly alike. * /The twin sisters Eve and Agnes are like two peas  in
a pod./

   [like water] {adv. phr.} As something easily poured out or  wasted;
freely. - Usually used in the  phrase  "spend  money  like  water".  *
/Sailors on shore leave often spend money like water./ *  /During  the
World Wars, the United States spent money like water./

   [like water off a duck's  back]  {adv.  phr.},  {informal}  Without
changing your feelings or  opinion;  without  effect.  *  /Advice  and
correction roll off him like water off a duck's back./ * /Many  people
showed him they didn't like what he was doing, but  their  disapproval
passed off him like water off a duck's back./

   [lily] See: GILD THE LILY also PAINT THE LILY.

   [limb] See: OUT ON A LIMB.

   [line] See: BLOW ONE'S LINES or FLUFF ONE'S LINES, CHOW LINE,  DOWN
THE LINE, DRAW A LINE or DRAW THE LINE, DROP A LINE, END OF  THE  ROAD
or END OF THE LINE, FOUL LINE, GOAL LINE, GOAL LINE  STAND,  HOLD  THE
LINE, HOOK, LINE AND SINKER, IN LINE, IN LINE WITH, INTO LINE, LAY  ON
THE LINE or PUT ON THE LINE, ON THE LINE, OUT OF  LINE,  OUT  OF  LINE
WITH, READ BETWEEN THE LINES, TOE THE LINE, WALK THE CHALK or WALK THE
CHALK LINE.

   [line drive] {n.} A batted baseball that is usually  hit  hard  and
travels in the air not far above the ground. * /The batter hit a  line
drive to left field for a single./

   [linen] See: AIR ONE'S DIRTY LINEN IN PUBLIC or  WASH  ONE'S  DIRTY
LINEN IN PUBLIC.

   [line of fire] {n. phr.} The path that something  fired  or  thrown
takes. * /When the bandit and the police  began  to  shoot,  John  was
almost in their line of fire./ Compare: CROSS FIRE.

   [line of least resistance] or [path of least resistance] {n.  phr.}
The easiest way; the way that takes least effort.  *  /In  becoming  a
doctor like his father John had really just followed the line of least
resistance./ * /Some parents take the path of  least  resistance  with
their children and let them do as they please./

   [line of scrimmage] {n. phr.} An imaginary line on a football field
parallel to the goal lines where each play except the kickoff  begins.
* /The play was stopped at the line of scrimmage./

   [line one's pockets] also [line one's purse] {v. phr.},  {informal}
To get a lot of money unfairly; get rich by being  dishonest.  *  /The
policeman lined his pockets by taking bribes./ * /The inspector  lined
his pockets by permitting contractors to use poor building materials./
Compare: FEATHER ONE'S NEST.

   [lineup] {n.} 1. An alignment of objects in a straight line.  *  /A
lineup of Venus and the moon can be a  very  beautiful  sight  in  the
night sky./ 2. An arrangement of suspects through a one-way mirror  so
that the victim or the witness of a  crime  can  identify  the  wanted
person. * /She picked out her attacker from a police lineup./

   [line up] {v. phr.} 1. To take places in a line or formation; stand
side by side or one behind another; form a line  or  pattern.  *  /The
boys lined up and took turns  diving  off  the  springboard./  *  /The
football team lined up in a "T" formation./ 2. To put in line. * /John
lined up the pool balls./ 3. To adjust correctly. *  /The  garage  man
lined up the car's wheels./ 4a. {informal} To make ready  for  action;
complete a plan or agreement for; arrange. * /Henry's friends lined up
so many votes for him that he won the election./ * /Roger lined  up  a
summer job before school was out./ * /The superintendent lined up  all
the new teachers he needed before he went on vacation./ 4b. {informal}
To become ready for action; come together in preparation or agreement.
* /The football schedule is lining up well; the coach has arranged all
games except one./ * /Larry wanted to  go  to  the  seashore  for  the
family vacation, but the rest of the family  lined  up  against  him./
Compare: GANG UP, SHAPE UP, TAKE SIDES.

   [lining] See: EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING.

   [link] See: MISSING LINK.

   [lion's share] {n. phr.}  A  disproportionate  share;  the  largest
part. * /The manager always gets the lion's  share  of  the  company's
profits./

   [lip] See: BUTTON ONE'S LIP or ZIP ONE'S LIP, HANG ON THE WORDS  OF
or HANG ON THE LIPS OF, KEEP A STIFF UPPER LIP,  SLIP  OF  THE  TONGUE
also SLIP OF THE LIP.

   [lip service] {n.} Support shown by words only and not by  actions;
a show of loyalty that is not proven in action. -  Usually  used  with
"pay".  *  /Bv  holding  elections,  communism  pays  lip  service  to
democracy, but it offers only  one  candidate  per  office./  *  /Some
people pay lip service to education, but don't vote taxes  for  better
schools./

   [liquid assets] {n. phr.}  Those  belongings  that  can  be  easily
converted into cash. * /Herb asked for a loan  and  the  bank  manager
told him to bring in proof of all his liquid assets./

   [liquor up] {v. phr.}, {slang} To  drink  an  excessive  amount  of
liquor before engaging in some activity as if comparing oneself  to  a
car that needs to be filled before