Idioms about Appearance | List of Idioms on Appearance With Meaning and Example

Idioms about Appearance: Appearance plays a crucial role in our life. Every person has a unique appearance that sets them apart from themselves. In this same manner, we use idioms on appearance in the English language now and then during our conversations to describe a particular look or situation. Not just that, appearance-related idioms also define a person’s state and how they behave.

It is impossible to keep in mind all the idioms and phrases on appearance at a go. So, we have compiled a list of idioms that we use daily, which will help you increase your knowledge and have a fluent conversation with the other person.

Enrich your Vocabulary by practicing the English Idioms that are commonly used in everyday conversations and understand their actual meaning.

Names of Idioms on Appearance

List of Idioms on Appearance

Meaning And Examples Of Some Commonly Used Idioms On Appearance

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Meaning: Prepared for an already cancelled event or occasion.

Example: Jimmy cancelled our date for tonight, so I’m all dressed up and nowhere to go.

All Fur Coat and No Knickers

Meaning: It appears to be attractive on the surface, but it is devoid of substance beneath the surface.

Example: I assumed David and I would get along great, but we didn’t have anything to talk about during dinner—all his fur coat and no knickers.

As cold as ice

Meaning: Temperament that is distant or unpleasant.

Example: Is Heather upset with me? When I tried to talk to her earlier, she was as cold as ice.

As mad as a hatter

Meaning: Particularly irritated or enraged.

Example: If I have to deal with these crying toddlers for much longer, I’ll be as mad as a hatter.

Average Joe

Meaning: A person who is average, unexceptional, or ordinary, especially a boy or man.

Example: I like to think I’m a little smarter than the average Joe.

Bald as a coot

Meaning: Completely Bald

Example: If Tom’s hair continues to recede at this rate, he’ll be bald as a coot by the age of thirty.

Barefaced liar

Meaning: One effortlessly tells evident or impudent lies with little or no attempt to mask the lie.

Example: Everyone knows he’s a barefaced liar. It’s a wonder anyone still believes anything he says.

Bark is worse than their bite

Meaning: Someone whose bark is worse than their bite may become enraged and yell, but they do not act.

Example: You do not want to submit the assignment late. Her bark is worse than her bite.

Barrel of laughs

Meaning: It’s amusing, hilarious, and delightful.

Example: I always have a great time when Katie is around—she’s a barrel of laughs!

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

Meaning: Physical appearance is not identical with content or character.

Example: Of course, that beautiful model didn’t warn you off—after all, beauty is only skin deep.

Bold as brass

Meaning: In an arrogant, rude, or demanding manner.

Example: That girl came up to the frontline, as bold as brass, and pushed her way to the front!

Class act

Meaning: A person who excels or succeeds via exceptional style or aptitude.

Example: The team’s captain is an actual class act both on and off the field, as seen by her diligent efforts for charities and activist groups.

Idioms about Appearance 1

Clean up nicely

Meaning: After grooming oneself, to appear presentable.

Example: All I said was that he cleaned up nicely, and she became angry!


Meaning: A person who frequently cries or complains, especially for no apparent reason.

Example: When he doesn’t get his way, James whines and moans. He’s such a cry-baby!

Cut a dash

Meaning: To have an eye-catching, appealing, and elegant appearance

Example: Some people think it’s unusual to dress up for ordinary activities, but I feel you should always attempt to cut a dash wherever feasible.

Dead ringer

Meaning: A person or thing that bears a striking resemblance to another person or thing.

Example: Susie was such a dead ringer like Kate Winslet that people would approach her and beg for her autograph.

Deck out

Meaning: To dress in a particularly spectacular manner

Example: Wow, you decked out for the party tonight! Maybe I should have dressed up instead of wearing jeans.

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

Meaning: Don’t base your view of something (or someone) just on how it (or they) appear.

Example: This report may appear uninteresting at first glance, but don’t judge a book by its cover—the data and figures will captivate you in no time!

Down at heel

Meaning: Having a shabby, worn-out, or cheap appearance as a result of poverty or overuse

Example: Since losing his job last year, John has become increasingly down at heel.

Dressed to kill

Meaning: Very well-dressed and trendy, usually to impress others.

Example: I need to dress to kill for this function tonight because many important people will be present.

Dressed up to the nines

Meaning: Typically for a formal function, very well-dressed and trendy.

Example: I’ll make sure that everyone in the family is dressed to the nines for the wedding.

Face like a bulldog chewing a wasp

Meaning: Someone who is unsightly due to a messed-up unpleasant expression on their face.

Example: He was not only impolite, but he had the face of a bulldog chewing a wasp!

Five o’clock shadow

Meaning: A minor regrowth of facial hair towards the end of the day after shaving in the morning.

Example: I have another meeting this evening, so I need to shave my five o’clock shadow.

Go doolally

Meaning: To lose one’s mind

Example: I’m not sure what that guy’s on about—I think he’s gone doolally.

Go mental

Meaning: To get exceedingly irritated or angry.

Example: My parents will go mental if they find out we held a party here!


Meaning: A very determined and ambitious individual.

Example: We prefer go-getters interns rather than shy kids who need to be instructed what to do.

Idioms about Appearance 2


Meaning: Very lovely, often obnoxiously or deceptively so.

Example: I don’t think George is as pleasant as he appears—he merely strikes me as hail-fellow-well-met.

Handsome is as handsome does

Meaning: The character of a person is more essential than their physical appeal.

Example: Would you like to go on a date with my friend Doug? I know you don’t think he’s beautiful, but he’s just the sweetest guy, and handsome is as handsome does.

Hard as nails

Meaning: Tough both physically and mentally.

Example: Because our aunt is as hard as nails, we requested her to give the eulogy, knowing she was the only one who could do it without sobbing.


Meaning: Arrogantly or inconsiderately overbearing; haughtily presuming

Example: We’ve had enough of these high-handed displays of police brutality.

Hopping mad

Meaning: Very furious

Example: When the salesperson was rude to Joe, he became hopping mad.


Meaning: A newcomer or someone who arrives late to a gathering or activity.

Example: Greg, a Johnny-come-lately who garnered accolades from the boss after only one week on the job, was disliked by the rest of the crew.

Keep up with the Joneses

Meaning: To live the same way as one’s neighbours or peers.

Example: If we can’t afford to live here, let’s leave. Never do we strive to keep up with the Joneses.

Look a sight

Meaning: To appear excessively untidy, unattractive, or untidy.

Example: I’m so embarrassed—I must’ve looked at the sight when I opened the door this morning!

Look like a million dollars.

Meaning: To be exceedingly handsome or in excellent health.

Example: You see what I mean? All you needed to get rid of the cold was fluids and rest. In comparison to yesterday, you already look like a million dollars!

Moral fibre

Meaning: Moral principles or ethical ideals provide the source of one’s strength or courage.

Example: Unfortunately, villains will thrive as long as there are people in the world who lack the moral fibre to oppose them.

Mutton dressed as lamb

Meaning: An older woman who strives vainly to appear much younger.

Example: I’m not sure what she’s thinking wearing that dress. She appears to be mutton dressed as a lamb!

Not a hair out of place

Meaning: There are no visual faults or imperfections.

Example: Gina took delight in her appearance, constantly making sure there was no hair out of place before she left the house.

Plain Jane

Meaning: A female who is not physically appealing according to social norms.

Example: Betty had always considered herself a plain Jane, so she was taken aback when the most attractive kid in school asked her to be his prom date.

Pretty as a picture

Meaning: Visually pleasing or appealing

Example: In the summer, this region of the country is as pretty as a picture.

Put one’s face on

Meaning: To put on cosmetics on one’s face.

Example: She never leaves the house without first putting her face on.

Skin and bone

Meaning: malnourished or fragile

Example: I understand the merger has been challenging, but have you eaten? Because you’re little more than skin and bone these days.

Spring chicken

Meaning: A young person.

Example: I may not be a spring chicken, but I still have some spizzerinctum.

Thin on the top

Meaning: They are balding or losing their hair.

Example: Dad’s gotten a little thin on top in recent years.


Meaning: Duplicity; presenting a distinct version of oneself at different times.

Example: Terri is as two-faced as they come, always giving me a big embrace and then gossiping about me as soon as I walk away.

Ugly as sin

Meaning: Extremely unappealing or unpleasant in appearance.

Example: This old car is banged up and as ugly as sin, but it’s still running after all these years.

Vertically challenged

Meaning: Short in stature, not tall.

Example: When people make fun of my height, I tell them I’m vertically challenged!

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