Idioms about Thinking and Learning: There are various parts of speech in the English language, and students can learn about these to enrich their knowledge about the subject. We can learn some interesting idioms and use them in our day-to-day life. The article contains a group of non-literal phrases that is used to describe something else. Just like in other languages, English also has idioms, and people use Thinking and Learning idioms and phrases quite commonly worldwide.
This article provides a list of Thinking and Learning idioms a to z and defines various Thinking and Learning idioms and meanings in detail for your convenience and ease of identifying them.
Enrich your Vocabulary by practicing the English Idioms that are commonly used in everyday conversations and understanding their actual meaning.
Name of Thinking and Learning Idioms
List of Thinking and Learning Idioms
- Blue sky thinking
- Brush up on
- Come around to
- Come up with
- Face up to
- Figure out
- Get one’s thinking cap on
- Go to your head
- Have your wits about you
- Hit upon/ on
- In the dark about
- Know what’s what
- Make out
- Mull over
- Not have a leg to stand on
- Not see the wood for the trees
- Piece together
- Put one’s thinking cap on
- Put two and two together
- Puzzle out
- Quick/ slow on the uptake
- Read up on/ about
- Ring a bell
- Round the bend
- Split hairs
- Swot up on
- Take in
- Take stock of
- Think out loud
- Think big
- Think greatly of
- Think long and hard
- Think nothing of
- Think inside the box
- Think outside the box
- Think to (one)
- Think twice
- Think over
- Think one owns the place
- Think (someone or something) is fit for (someone or something)
- Think the better of (one)
- Think (someone) hung the moon and the stars
- Think through
- Think up
- The thinking man’s/ woman’s crumpet
- To be lost in thought
- To burn the midnight oil
- To burn the candle at both ends
- To catch on
- To cram
- To daydream
- To draw a blank
- To hit the books
- To learn by heart
- To my/ your way of thinking
- To pull an all-nighter
- To rack one’s brain
- Wishful thinking
Meaning and Examples of some commonly used Thinking and Learning idioms
Blue sky thinking
Meaning: It means that thinking is not limited to commonly accepted norms and beliefs.
Example: People said that Einstein was a fool when he was growing up but his blue sky thinking has led to some of the greatest scientific advances of all time.
Brush up on
Meaning: to refresh or re-familiarise oneself with a topic or an issue
Example: I need to brush up on the factorials before attempting to discuss them on Monday.
Come around to
Meaning: It means that one is starting to accept and support something or someone after initially opposing it.
Example: She will eventually see what’s right and come to our side.
Come up with
Meaning: It means that one is devising a plan to produce something.
Example: Who came up with the idea for this advertisement?
Face up to
Meaning: It means that someone has to deal with something unpleasant in a direct way.
Example: We all have to face up to our problems before they get the better of us.
Meaning: It means to discover or determine a way to do something.
Example: We should work as a tea, to figure out a way to solve this.
Get one’s thinking cap on
Meaning: it means that someone has begun thinking or considering a problem very carefully and seriously to solve a problem.
Example: If we all get out thinking caps on, we can come up with a way to make our company rise to the top.
Go to your head
Meaning: This idiom means that someone is arrogant and they think that they are better than most other people.
Example: Fame and money have gone to his head and now he feels he is the best.
Have your wits about you
Meaning: It means that someone is able to think quickly and can make a sensible decision within a short time.
Example: She at least managed to keep her wits about her and clear the situation carefully.
Hit upon/ on
Meaning: To discover or realise something or to address or focus on something
Example: She could finally hit upon the reason why the experiment has been failing constantly.
In the dark about
Meaning: It means that you don’t know much about something because others are keeping it a secret from you.
Example: We are very much in the dark about how the money was embezzled from our company last month.
Know what’s what
Meaning: It means to know the important facts of a situation from the rest
Example: You must know what’s what when you want to draw the line between personal and professional things.
Meaning: to try to grasp the meaning of something
Example: She tried to make out what really happened between them that evening that led to the disaster.
Meaning: It means that someone is giving serious and careful thought to something.
Example: You can mull over the idea for a while and then let me know what you decide.
Not have a leg to stand on
Meaning: This idiom means that someone does not have any way of proving something.
Example: If you have no eye witnesses, then you don’t have a leg to stand on anymore.
Not see the wood for the trees
Meaning: It is used to say that someone cannot understand the important facts in a situation since they are thinking too much about the small details.
Example: He can’t see the wood for the trees regarding the true motive behind the political rally.
Meaning: to bring together various parts of form a complete thing
Example: The police had to piece together the reports from several witnesses to get an accurate understanding of what had happened.
Put one’s thinking cap on
Meaning: It means that one is thinking or reflecting seriously about something
Example: I need to put my thinking cap on to come up with a new slogan.
Put two and two together
Meaning: It means that someone is guessing what happened or trying to determine what happened based on the facts that they saw or heard.
Example: I know that she is having an affair since I saw them out together and I put two and two together.
Meaning: The act of understanding of finding something such as an answer difficult to answer by careful thinking.
Example: She puzzled out the meaning of the weird phrase.
Quick/ slow on the uptake
Meaning: It means that someone is taking little/ a long time to understand or realise something.
Example: He is a little slow in the uptake so you might have to repeat the instructions again.
Read up on/ about
Meaning: It refers to reading someone or something to increase their knowledge about a person or topic by reading about then or it.
Example: I better read up on these materials before I go to class tomorrow.
Ring a bell
Meaning: This idiom means that something sounds familiar to you although you cannot recall the exact details.
Example: The name Dennis rings a bell but I cannot remember where I saw him last or where he works.
Round the bend
Meaning: Crazy or insane
Example: I would tell you if you were going round the bend for your own sake.
Meaning: It means that someone is arguing or worrying about minute details or differences that are unimportant at the moment.
Example: Half of the cases they complained about were not on the list but let’s not split hairs and waste our time.
Swot up on
Meaning: This idiom refers to studying very intensely in a short time; to cram something.
Example: I have been trying to swot up my Japanese before we fly to Tokyo next week.
Meaning: to receive into the mind
Example: I took in the view of the towering mountain surrounded by the fog.
Take stock of
Meaning: It means that you have decided to spend some time thinking about the situation you are in before you decide what to do next.
Example: After two years teaching in a foreign country, she returned home for a month to take stock of her life.
Think out loud
Meaning: to verbalise one’s though while trying to produce a solution or conclusion about something
Example: Don’t think that those were suggestions for a solution. I was just thinking out loud.
Meaning: It means that someone has a grand or ambitious plan or idea.
Example: It is obvious that the company’s CEO was thinking big when they came up with the idea for their product.
Think greatly of
Meaning: It means that one has a very good opinion about someone and holds them in high regard or esteem.
Example: I can truly say that your last boss thinks greatly of you judging from the reference letter she wrote for you.
Think long and hard
Meaning: It means that you should consider something very carefully and thoroughly.
Example: You had better think long and hard before you say your next word since you are on thin ice.
Think nothing of
Meaning: This idiom means that you don’t have any regard or concern for someone or something else.
Example: Her boss seems to think nothing of you judging by the way she speaks ill about her.
Think inside the box
Meaning: to have a conventional or uncreative way of thinking or producing ideas.
Example: If we keep coming up with plans thinking inside the box, we will not be able to survive in the race.
Think outside the box
Meaning: to think of an idea that is outside or beyond the usual or traditional guide; creative thinking
Example: We can impress the CEO only if we think outside the box.
Think to (one)
Meaning: This idiom means that someone has an inner monologue and to make a statement to one’s own mind before saying it out loud.
Example: I am sure they don’t think to themselves, “What if what we are doing is wrong?” They just don’t care.
Meaning: to give careful consideration to someone or something and be cautious
Example: You should think twice before quitting your job.
Meaning: to reconsider or thoroughly contemplate something before committing to something
Example: You must think over the decision to sue the company since you know so little about their weaknesses.
Think one owns the place
Meaning: It means that someone is behaving in a haughty or arrogant way.
Example: Have you seen the way the contractor was speaking? He must think he owns the place telling us how to do our jobs!
Think (someone or something) is fit for (someone or something)
Meaning: to consider or regard someone or something is ideally suited for someone or something else
Example: I don’t think a lowlife like him is fit for my sweet daughter.
Think the better of (one)
Meaning: It means that someone has an improved opinion of someone else and holds them in higher regard than previously.
Example: Your teacher will think better of you if you stand up for yourself.
Think (someone) hung the moon and the stars
Meaning: This idiom means that someone thinks themselves to be extraordinary, the best or exceptional.
Example: His little sister adores him and thinks he has hung the moon and the stars.
Meaning: This idiom means that you consider or reflect upon something to arrive at a solution or to understand a subject deeply.
Example: I don’t think the party thought through the long lasting effects of the bill.
Meaning: To devise a plan or invent something through thinking
Example: He thought up the story while we were on the train to the next state.
The thinking man’s/ woman’s crumpet
Meaning: It refers to a person who is both intelligent and attractive and hence is sexually attractive.
Example: She is trying to present herself as the thinking man’s crumpet, always carrying around those books.
To be lost in thought
Meaning: It means that someone is completely consumed by thought that is often to the point of being totally unaware of their surroundings.
Example: Whenever I am doing something creative, I get lost in thought.
To burn the midnight oil
Meaning: It means that someone has to study or work late at night.
Example: Many prefer to burn the midnight oil and study at night, but I prefer doing it in the evenings.
To burn the candle at both ends
Meaning: It means that you are going to bed late and waking up early.
Example: I have a bad habit of burning the candle at both ends and I should really get some rest.
To catch on
Meaning: To catch on means that one understands something though they were not initially able to comprehend it.
Example: My mother could not understand how to use Facebook but she finally caught on.
Meaning: to study a lot or extensively before an exam
Example: The test is not something you can cram for. You really have to start studying weeks in advance.
Meaning: It means that someone is fantasizing about something instead of paying attention to their surroundings.
Example: He isn’t a bad student but he has a tendency to daydream during class hours.
To draw a blank
Meaning: To draw a blank means to not be able to remember anything about a topic
Example: Every time she tried to think of the answer to the question, she drew a blank.
To hit the books
Meaning: It means that someone is studying.
Example: The final exams are next week and I haven’t hit the books yet.
To learn by heart
Meaning: This specific idiom means that someone is completely memorising something.
Example: For the next week’s assignment, we have to recite a poem and learn it by heart.
To my/ your way of thinking
Meaning: We use ‘to my way of thinking’ to a statement to indicate that we are giving our opinion.
Example: To my way of thinking, it seems that the problem isn’t so terribly difficult.
To pull an all-nighter
Meaning: This specific idiom means that you start an evening with work and don’t stop during the night to sleep; and instead you work till the morning.
Example: I think I will have to pull an all-nighter to finish the project in time.
To rack one’s brain
Meaning: This idiom refers to thinking long and hard about a subject.
Example: I racked my brain to remember how to play the song but I can’t do it.
Meaning: This specific idiom refers to the act of wishing or hoping for something that is extremely less likely to happen.
Example: With all this traffic I guess it is just wishful thinking that I will get to the office in time.