Important idioms and phrases which start with the letter ‘A’
Meaning: To keep information.
Example: Mary keeps herself abreast with the latest news through the newspapers and periodicals.
Meaning: Careless and negligent person.
Example: Tom’s dad is a absent-minded person. He keeps things at different places and then forgets them.
Meaning: To pretend as if you don’t know.
Example: He is a judge. He should not affect ignorance of the law.
Example: She was aghast at the way her husband behaved with her.
All at once
Example: The jealous woman hit the pretty girl all at once and wounded her.
All the same
Example: Although I have a busy schedule, all the same I shall spare some time to train you up in Yoga.
Meaning: Full of vigour and vitality.
Example: Paul was full of animal spirits in his youth.
Apple of discord
Meaning: Main reason for quarrel.
Example: Property is the apple of discord for most of the people living in joint families.
Apple of one’s eyes
Meaning: Very lovable.
Example: He is the apple of his mother’s eyes.
Meaning: Not the least.
Example: Suresh does not have any money at all.
A bunch of
Meaning: A number of similar things grouped together.
Example: You will have to find out that cupboard’s key from these bunch of keys.
A good many
Meaning: A large number of.
Example: A good many people have witnessed how the crime took place in the market.
A handful of
Meaning: A small quantity or number of.
Example: She began her professional career by selling a handful of washing powder. Now, she is counted as one of the wealthiest women of the country.
A tough nut to break
Meaning: A difficult question or person to deal with.
Example: His wife is too obstinate. She is a tough nut to break.
A man of his word
Meaning: The one who keeps his promises.
Example: Be a man of your word. Never betray the trust of others.
Example: Run away at once, else my brother shall come and give a good thrashing to you.
A slip of tongue
Meaning: A slight error while speaking.
Example: Think before you speak, sometimes a slip of tongue can cost you a lot.
Meaning: To keep to.
Example: We must abide by the laws of the company, lest we would be dismissed from our jobs.
Meaning: Most importantly.
Example: She wants to marry a person with drop dead looks, but above all, he must be good natured and compassionate.
Meaning: Honest and straight forward.
Example: People love Tom because he is above board.
Meaning: Do without.
Example: Abstain from drugs, else you would ruin your life.
Meaning: To blame.
Example: She was a girl of good character, yet her step mother accused her of flirting with boys.
Acknowledged to be
Meaning: Considered as.
Example: Jack was acknowledged to be the best student of the college.
Meaning: Do work as.
Example: She acted as the principal when the school principal was on medical leave.
Meaning: To behave badly.
Example: She acted up inspite of my good attitude towards her.
Meaning: To adjust.
Example: We saw many ups and downs in life, but we adapted to all circumstances.
Add fuel to the fire
Meaning: To be the additional cause of anger or dispute.
Example: If ever your neighbours quarrel with each other, then never add fuel to the fire with rude words, but calm them with sweet words of love and compassion.
Meaning: Add as an extra or extras.
Just add on a little sugar in my tea.
Meaning: Make a total of.
Example: The accountant added up the figures in the Balance Sheet.
Meaning: Have a high regard of.
Example: I admire him for his guts and willpower.
Meaning: Inspite of that.
Example: Your teacher may have tortured you, yet, you should forgive him, after all he is your teacher.
Again and again
Example: Oh God! Why are you ringing her up again and again, when she doesn’t want to talk to you.
Meaning: Accept an idea or opinion.
Example: Do you agree to spend a day in Trade Fair!
Against the grain
Meaning: Contrary to one’s nature or temperament.
Example: It is against the grain for us to deal with people who don’t have any sympathy for others.
Meaning: Share the same views with.
Example: I agree with you that some parents don’t know how to deal with their children.
AII at once
Example: The bus stopped all at once to avoid the collosion with the truck.
All in all
Meaning: On the whole.
Example: All in all, the function was excellent.
Indira Gandhi had some drawbacks, but all in all she was a kind hearted person.
All of a sudden
Example: All of a sudden, she frightened me with a loud scream.
Meaning: Good, O.K., acceptable well in health.
Example: Your mother was suffering from fever last month. Is she all right now?
All the rage
Meaning: Immensely popular.
Example: Spiritualism is all the rage in the world these days.
All too often
Meaning: Too many times.
Example: I used to call up my friend Ambika, all too often in a day.
Meaning: Together with.
Example: I like to go for an outing alongwith my parents.
Meaning: Take a favourable view.
Example: Her parents don’t approve of her going out to Discotheques.
As a matter of fact
Example: He may pretend to be nice, but as a matter of fact, he is a shrewd man.
As a result of
Meaning: Because of.
Example: As a result of his rude behaviour his wife has divorced him.
As a rule
Example: As a rule, common man is not allowed to enter in Parliament House, but with a valid pass you can enter in it.
As fit as a fiddle
Meaning: Absolutely healthy.
Example: Never worry about his health. He is as fit as a fiddle.
Meaning: As given in the list-below.
Example: The results of the song competition are as follows: Laila 1st, Tom 2nd and Bob stands 3rd.
As good as
Example: Metro is as good as AC chair car.
As it is
Meaning: In reality.
Example: He hopes that his daughter would get a good match, but as it is, every one seems to be greedy and selfish.
As luck would have it
Meaning: Fortunately or unfortunately.
Example: As luck would have it, he won a handsome prize in the car- race competition.
Meaning: In equal amount.
Example: I like you as much as I like my cousin sister.
Meaning: With reference to.
Example: As regards the work of that editor, nobody is satisfied with it.
Example: As to his son’s poor performance in the annual exams this year, it’s better to engage a home-tutor for him.
Meaning: In addition.
Example: She is not only a good teacher, but a keen sports person as well.
Meaning: Ask for information about.
Example: The parents were asking after their missing daughter from the policemen.
Meaning: To keep company as a friend or partner.
Example: She is associated with Laila in cosmetics business since 1998.
At a cost of
Meaning: At the loss of or expense of.
Example: Reema bought the English conversation book at a cost of eighty rupees.
At a discount
Meaning: Below the usual price.
Example: I bought this jeans at 50% discount rate.
At a distance
Meaning: A moderate distance away or far away.
Example: Shelly’s school is situated at a distance, thus she can’t go there by foot.
At a glance
Meaning: With one look.
Example: He saw the girl at a glance and accepted the marriage proposal, as he was enchanted by her beauty and simplicity of mind.
At a loss
Meaning: Without any idea.
Example: When Harry’s mother asked him why did he commit the crime he was at a loss of words.
At a time
Meaning: Each time.
Example: I will have a biscuit at a time.
At all events
Meaning: In spite of everything.
Example: At all events, you must complete this project by tomorrow.
At any rate
Meaning: In any case.
Example: I shall not lose my character at any rate.
At arm’s length
Meaning: At a distance.
Example: We ought to keep evil people at arm’s length.
Meaning: As the best possibility.
Example: At best, I can lend two hundred rupees to my friend.
Meaning: Within reach.
Example: She doesn’t have an English conversation book at hand, otherwise she would have lent it to you.
Example: Don’t worry about me. I feel myself at home.
Meaning: At full length.
Example: Please explain this book to me at large.
Example: After fighting a case for years together, he got his payments at last.
Meaning: At the minimum.
Example: This sick woman should eat at least 250 gms of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
Meaning: For a long time.
Example: The minister gave speech at length in the function.
Example: The company is willing to pay at most two thousand rupees for the old fridge.
At no extra cost
Meaning: Without paying extra money.
Example: When you buy the cellphone you shall receive the insurance cover at no extra cost.
Meaning: Immediately now.
Example: The judge told the criminal to leave the court at once.
At one time
Example: At one time, he was a renowned golf player, now he is leading a retired life.
At one’s back and call
Meaning: Always at one’s service or command.
Example: Her children are always at her back and call.
At one’s best
Meaning: In as good condition as possible.
Example: The stage actor was at his best, when he played the pivotal character of Ravana in the drama.
At one’s disposal
Meaning: On which one has a right to use freely.
Example: I am giving my old colour T. V. to you, as I am buying a new one. It is at your disposal now.
Meaning: Without any aim.
Example: Just count these books at random.
At regular price
Meaning: At the price normally charged.
Example: That shopkeeper is a cheater. He charges more money than the regular price from his customers.
At short intervals
Meaning: Occurring again and again after sometime.
Example: She rings up her friends at short intervals.
At sixes and sevens
Meaning: In a mess.
Example: Your clothes are all sixes and sevens.
At the beginning
Meaning: At first.
Example: She liked Gini at the beginning, but later on she changed her [ mind when Gini showed her true colours.
At the expense of
Meaning: Causing the loss of.
Example: She looked after her mother at the expense of her own health.
At the last minute
Meaning: As late as possible.
Example: The train arrived on the station at the last minute.
At the mercy of
Meaning: Powerless against or in the power of.
Example: The patient is at the mercy of the doctor.
At the rate of
Meaning: At the ratio of
Example: He manufactures leather shoes at the rate of thirty per day.
At the request of
Meaning: Because of the invitation.
Example: The education minister paid a visit to the school at the request of the principal.
At the same time
Meaning: Together, However.
Example: The twin sisters eat breakfast, go for a morning walk, and do meditation at the same time.
At the threshold of
Meaning: The beginning.
Example: She had to face great tribulations at the threshold of her career in acting.
At the top of the tree
Meaning: At the highest point in one’s business or profession.
Example: He always remained humble even when he was at the top of the tree.
Meaning: If things continue in this manner.
Example: If you keep on studying at this rate, you would never pass the exams.
Meaning: In disagreement.
Example: His opinions are often in variance with those of his brother.
(Be) at work
Meaning: Doing work.
Example: Please don’t disturb her. She is at work at present.
Meaning: Under the worst conditions.
Example: When he was caught red handed stealing the lady’s purse he thought at worst, they would beat him with a stick.
Meaning: To fasten or join one thing with another.
Example: The painting is attached to the wall.
Meaning: Take care of
Example: The doctor directed the nurse to attend to the serious patients.
Meaning: Present or ready for immediate use.
Example: The beggar didn’t have any clothes available to him that day.
Award a prize to
Meaning: Give a prize to somebody especially for merit as a result of an official decision.
Example: Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel prize for her commendable work in the service of mankind.