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Idioms

26 Idioms beginning with A

Click on any idiom for more information, including example sentences, notes and quizzes.

Idioms

above board

If something is above board, it's been done in a legal and honest way.

above the law

If someone is above the law, they are not subject to the laws of a society.

Achilles' heel

An Achilles' heel is a weakness that could result in failure.

across the board

If something is across the board, it relates to all without exception.

add fuel to the fire

If you add fuel to the fire, you do something to make a bad situation even worse.

add insult to injury

Someone adds insult to injury if they say or do something to upset you a second time, after you've already been upset somehow.

against all odds | against all the odds

If you do something against all odds, or against all the odds, you do it even though there were many problems and it didn't seem possible to do.

agree to differ | agree to disagree

If two people agree to differ, or agree to disagree, they accept that they have different opinions about something and stop trying to change each other's opinion.

ahead of the game

You are ahead of the game if you have an advantage over your competitors in any activity in which you try to do better than others, such as in business, academia, sports, etc.

all hell broke loose Informal

You can say "all hell broke loose" if a situation suddenly became violent or chaotic.

all the rage Informal

If something is all the rage, it's very popular or it's in fashion at the moment.

an acid test

An acid test is something that shows the true worth or value of something or someone.

an act of God Formal

Something like an earthquake or a tornado can be called an act of God.

an ax to grind (1) American English

If you have an ax to grind with someone, you have a problem with them, or a complaint against them, which you'd like to discuss.

an axe to grind (2) British English

If you have an axe to grind, you have a strong opinion about something and you express this opinion whenever you can.

another string to your bow British English

If you have another string to your bow, you have another way of making a living.

answer the call of nature

If you answer the call of nature, you go to the toilet.

around the clock

If something occurs around the clock, it goes on all day and all night.

as soon as possible | asap

If you do something as soon as possible (sometimes abbreviated to "asap"), you do it at the first possible opportunity.

asking for trouble

If someone is asking for trouble, they're doing something risky that could lead to a problem.

at a loose end British English

If you're at a loose end, you have nothing to do.

at cross-purposes

If you're at cross-purposes with someone, you think you're both talking about the same thing but you're actually talking about different things.

at loose ends American English

If you're at loose ends, you feel restless and unsettled because you don't have anything to do.

at sea | all at sea

If you're at sea, or all at sea, you're confused about something and not sure what to do.

at the drop of a hat

If you do something at the drop of a hat, you do it immediately, without preparation or planning.

at your wits' end

If you're at your wits' end, you're upset and frustrated because you've tried everything you can think of to solve a problem, and nothing has worked.

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