Idioms beginning with I. Select an idiom for more details.

an ivory tower

You can say someone's in an ivory tower if they're in a place that separates them from everyday life, such as a university.

I owe you one! INFORMAL

You can say "I owe you one!" when someone has done something for you and you'd be happy to return the favour one day.

if all else fails

You can say "if all else fails" before saying what you'll do if your plans don't work out as well as you'd like.

if I were you

You can say "if I were you" when giving advice to someone.

if push comes to shove

You can say "if push comes to shove" before saying what you'll do if things don't go as well as you'd like, and you're forced to do something that you'd rather not do.

if worst comes to worst British and Australian English

You can say "if worst comes to worst" before saying what you'll do if your plans don't work out.

ignorance is bliss

You can say "ignorance is bliss" when you want to say that not knowing about something unpleasant can be better than knowing about it and worrying about it.

ill at ease

If you're ill at ease, you feel tense or you can't relax in a situation.

in a bind | fix | jam

If someone is in a bind, or in a jam, or in a fix, they're in a bad or difficult situation.

in a nutshell INFORMAL

You can say "in a nutshell" if you're about to describe something as briefly as possible, or you're going to sum something up.

in a row

If something happened several times in a row, it happened several times in an unbroken sequence.

in any case

You can say "in any case" before giving an additional reason for doing or not doing something, or instead of saying "anyway".

in deep water

If you're in deep water, you're in some sort of trouble or in a difficult situation.

in someone's bad books INFORMAL

If you're in someone's bad books, they are not pleased with you.

in someone's good books INFORMAL

If you're in someone's good books, they are pleased with you.

in the black

If a person or a company is in the black, their assets are greater than their debts.

in the dark

If you're in the dark about something, you don't know about it.

in the long run

If you talk about something "in the long run", you mean over a long period of time.

in the red

If a person or a company is in the red, their debts are greater than their assets.

in two minds

If you're in two minds about something, you can't decide what to do, or you can't decide which option is the best.

it's high time

If you say it's high time something was done, you think it should have been done already, and is overdue.

It's written all over your face.

If you say "it's written all over your face", you're saying that the expression on someone's face is showing their true feelings or thoughts.

itchy feet British English INFORMAL

If you have itchy feet, you feel the need to go somewhere different or do something different.

the icing on the cake | the frosting on the cake

If something is the icing on the cake, or the frosting on the cake, it makes a good situation or a good result even better.

the ins and outs

If you know the ins and outs of something, you know all the details about it and understand how it works.

Contributor: Matt Errey