Словарь американских идиом: 8000 единиц

 
  • Словарь американских идиом: 8000 единиц
  • Словарь американских идиом: 8000 единиц
  • Предисловие
  • Как пользоваться этим словарем?
  • Типы словарных статей
  • Указатели частей речи
  • Ограничительные указатели
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  •       Scanned by: Александр Быков
          OCR, spellcheck & formatting: Wesha the Leopard (http://wesha.lib.ru)

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    Словарь американских идиом: 8000 единиц




          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.


    Предисловие



          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.


    Как пользоваться этим словарем?



          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.


    Типы словарных статей



          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.


    Указатели частей речи



          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.


    Ограничительные указатели



          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


    A



          [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./


    B



          [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./


    C



          [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.


    D



          [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./


    E



          [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./


    F



          [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./


    G



          [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.


    H



          [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./


    I



          [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./


    J



          [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 mothe