(about information, news, rumours) spreads very quickly between people
by and large
= generally, on the whole, everything considered // "the system works well __ & _____"
give or take
to within a specified amount. "three hundred and fifty years ago, ____ or ____ a few"
here and there
in various places. "small bushes scattered ____ and _____"
(to think about something) long and hard
to think about something in great detail for a long time
now and then
= occasionally, from time to time.
close to the bone
(of a remark) penetrating and accurate to the point of causing discomfort. "some of her comments were a little too _____ to the ____'
draw a line under
resolve not to engage in further discussion or consideration of (a difficult or distressing issue or situation). "we need to ____ a _____ under this whole affair, not prolong it"
the writing is on the wall
imminent danger has become apparent "the ______ is on the _____ for the old voting system"
be getting on
become old or comparatively old. "we are both ______ing __ a bit"
be hard work
(of a person) hard to put up with
cover multitude of sins
to prevent people from seeing or discovering something bad: Large sweaters are warm and practical and hide (syn. ________) a _______ of ____ (= they do not show your body shape).
full of oneself
very self-satisfied and with an exaggerated sense of self-worth. "he'd always been very ____ of him____"
hit it off
get on well, get on, get along instantly
not lift a finger
to do nothing to help someone
not mince (one's) words
= talk straight, not beat about the bush, call a spade a spade, speak straight from the shoulder || voice one's disapproval candidly and directly. "his persona is that of a gruff surgeon who does not ____ his ______"
be at a loose end
to have nothing to do: "If you find yourself at a _____ ___, you could always clean the bathroom."
an electoral victory in a political system, when one candidate or party receives an overwhelming majority
play devil's advocate
One who argues against a cause or position either for the sake of argument or to help determine its validity. For example, My role in the campaign is to play _____'s _________ to each new policy before it's introduced to the public.
very upset or emotionally affected. "she found out he was two-timing her—she's __ ____, really she is"
(to have someone or to be) in stitches
laughing uncontrollably. "his droll self-mockery had us __ _______"
(to be) off (your) head
= to be drunk
on top of things
in control of a situation and aware of changes: The stock market has been unpredictable, and you really have to stay on ___ of ______s.
take the mickey (out of someone)
= mock, tease or make fun of someone
(to have) too much on (your plate)
= to be very busy, have a lot of things to do
toss and turn
to move around restlessly while sleeping or trying to sleep
out of the blue
without warning; unexpectedly. "she phoned me ___ of the _____"
put (your) foot down
adopt a firm policy when faced with opposition or disobedience "we should ___ our ____ _____ with him"
set (your) heart on
= want desperately, wish for, desire, long for, yearn for; have a strong desire for or to do.
stab (someone) in the back
= betray, be disloyal to, be unfaithful to
take it all in (your) stride
to calmly and easily deal with something unpleasant or difficult and not let it affect what you are doing There's a lot of pressure at work but she seems to ____ it ___ in ___ _____.
full of holes
[of an argument or plan or theory] that cannot stand up to (come under) challenge or scrutiny.
is beyond me
this is impossible to understand "How they thought they could come in and out without anyone noticing __ _______ __"
pave the way for
= lay the foundations for; create the circumstances to enable (something) to happen or be done. "the proposals will ____ the ____ for a resolution to the problem"
a course of action likely to lead to something bad or disastrous. "he is on the _______ _____ towards a life of crime"
thin end of the wedge
A minor change that begins a major development, especially an undesirable one. For example, First they asked me to postpone my vacation for a week, and then for a month; it's the ____ ____ of the ______ and pretty soon it'll be a year.
a personal reason for involvement in an undertaking or situation, especially an expectation of financial or other gain. "banks have a ______ ________ in the growth of their customers"
beat around the bush
to avoid coming to the point; delay in approaching a subject directly
get a word in edgeways
contribute to a conversation with difficulty because the other speaker talks incessantly. "give him a bit of limelight and away he goes—no one else can ____ a ____ in ________"
get into the swing of it
to start to understand, enjoy, and be active in something
get to the point
to state (something) directly; to arrive at a discussion or explanation of the purpose of something
put words into (my) mouth
inaccurately report what someone has said; prompt someone to say something that they may not otherwise have said.
(this rather) begs the question
(of a fact or action) raise a point that has not been dealt with; invite an obvious question. "some definitions of mental illness ____ the _______ of what constitutes normal behaviour"
pull (your) weight
do one's fair share of work
pulling (your) leg
to kid, fool, or trick someone
set the wheels in motion
do something to begin a process or put a plan into action.
show (you) the ropes
to teach someone (usually in a new situation) how to do something that the person is not familiar with.
the ball's in (your) court
= It's your responsibility now; it's up to you. (tennis: it's your turn to hit the ball)
below the belt
disregarding the rules; unfair.
blow (your) chance
To ruin, mishandle, or fail to capitalize on an opportunity.
keep (your) cards close to (your) chest
be extremely secretive and cautious about one's intentions.
a level playing field
a situation in which everyone has a fair and equal chance of succeeding.
move the goalposts
unfairly alter the conditions or rules of a procedure during its course.
neck and neck
if two people who are competing are ___ & ____, they are very close and either of them could win (often + with ) Recent polls show the Republicans almost ____ and ____ with the Democratic Party
a pawn in a game
a person or thing manipulated and used by others
saved by the bell
Saved by a last minute intervention
show (his) hand
to allow people to know about intentions that you had previously kept secret
(to have some) time on (your) hands
to have nothing to do
a high stakes game
a game in which the people involved can gain or lose a great deal
avoid (something) like the plague
try hard to avoid someone or something.
(his) bark is worse than (his) bite
although someone says things that sound frightening, the person's actions will not be as severe as the things that were said
a family in which the parents are divorced or separated.
lust for life
a strong determination to enjoy life
memory like a sieve
forget things very easily
rite of passage
A ritual or ceremony signifying an event in a person's life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood.
hand on heart
you swear by everything you hold sacred that you're saying is the truth.
invasion of privacy
circumstance where an individual or organization knowingly intrudes upon a person
line your own pockets
to make a lot of money for yourself using dishonest or illegal methods
the lowest common denominator
The most basic, least sophisticated level of taste, sensibility, or opinion among a group of people
storm in a teacup
great outrage or excitement about a trivial matter
be in a hole
= be in a difficult situation
be on the cards
Likely or certain to happen
blatant and unfair overcharging.
in the light of this
= taking into account
make a killing
have a great financial success very quickly
not count (your) chickens (before they're hatched)
you should not make plans that depend on something good happening before you know that it has actually happened