Important idioms and phrases which start with the letter ‘H’
Hair stands on end
Meaning: To become extremely surprised or frightened.
Example: The sudden appearance of lion made her hair stands on end.
Meaning: A rest period in the middle of certain games.
Example: She went to see her husband’s performance in the match and met him at half-time.
Hammer (away) at
Meaning: Work steadily at.
Example: We must hammer away at this project to get best results.
Meaning: Make flat or smooth by hammering.
Example: Please hammer out these marbles.
Hand and glove
Meaning: On very intimate terms.
Example: These days, you can’t be hand and glove with anybody, as nobody knows, who is reliable and who is a cheater.
Meaning: Give a back, return.
Example: Please hand back my G.K. book to me.
Meaning: Pass down by hand.
Example: Just hand down that ear-rings from the first drawer of the cupboard.
Example: Please hand in the report cards of the children to their class teacher.
Hand in hand
Meaning: Co-operating together.
Example: She went out hand in hand with her husband for shopping.
Meaning: Pass by hand.
Example: Please hand on this newspaper to my father.
Meaning: (i) Give freely.
Example: The doctor handed out medicines and tonics to the poor patients.
(ii) Assist to get by hand.
She handed out the blind man out of the train.
Meaning: Give control or possession of.
Example: He handed over the house to his landlord.
Hand (a) round
Meaning: Distribute among a gathering.
Example: She handed around the literature to all the distributors present in the meeting.
Hand to hand
Meaning: With the use of hands.
Example: The terrorists of many countries fought hand to hand to portray their superiority over others.
Hand to mouth
Meaning: Day to day, without any provision for future.
Example: The goverment must take firm measures to improve the condition of poor people who live from hand to mouth.
Meaning: (i) Loiter about.
Example: A film producer saw him when he was hanging around the city. He was signed for a new film.
(ii) Spend time or associate with.
He used to hang around in the sports club, when he was in his Teens.
Meaning: (i) Hesitate.
Example: Her boss told her to give her suggestions, but she hung back.
(ii) Restore to a hanging position.
He hung her coat back in the wardrobe.
(To) Hang fire
Meaning: To kept hanging.
Example: The minister’s proposal to set up committees to investigate the misappropriation of accounts done by the tainted politicians, kept hanging in fire.
Meaning: (i) Keeping hold of.
Example: Just hang on, I shall be coming within a few minutes.
(ii) Depend on.
We hang on our parents in our childhood.
Meaning: Spend’s one’s time idly.
Example: He keeps on hanging out with wrong kind of people.
Meaning: (i) Float or hover above.
Example: She fell from the parachute and hung over the tree.
(ii) Threaten, he imminent.
The fear of drowning in the sea hung over the sailor.
Meaning: (i) Stay united.
Example: All of the three friends used to hang together in their school days.
(ii) Suspend together.
All her dresses hang together in the wardrobe.
(iii) Be logical.
She considers herself very wise but what she says doesn’t 1 hang together.
Meaning: (i) Put a telephone receiver down.
Example: She didn’t wish to talk to a stranger on the phone thus she hung up.
(ii) Put on a hook or hanger.
The beautiful painting, hung on the wall of her drawing room.
(iii) Set a record.
She hung up a record by singing the longest song of the world.
Hard and fast
Example: One should not have hard and fast rules in life.
Meaning: Not far away.
Example: May home is hard by my cousin sister’s home.
A hard nut to break
Meaning: The person difficult to deal with.
Example: He told her grandpa to buy a plot when its prices were low, but he didn’t agree. Her grandpa was a hard nut to break.
Hard of hearing
Meaning: Partially deaf.
Example: Her brother was very brilliant but hard of hearing.
(Be) hard (up) on
Meaning: Treat unkindly.
Example: Some employers are hard on their employees.
Meaning: Almost none, very few.
Example: Scarcely any of the advocates was available to celebrate the birthday of the bar priesident.
Meaning: Almost never.
Example: The new MP is hardly ever seen in the parliament.
Have a bearing (up) on
Meaning: Effect, influence, be related to.
Example: She kept on talking, but all that what she said did not have a bearing (up) on the particular topic.
Have a difficult time
Meaning: Experience trouble or misfortune.
Example: People who are boastful and proud suffer a downfall and have a difficult time in their life.
Have a good record
Meaning: Have facts known about the past of somebody or something.
Example: I know her from my childhood days. She had a good record as a teacher.
Have a reputation of
Meaning: Be known for.
Example: She has a reputation of her high character.
Have a way with
Meaning: Be able to (lead or persuade).
Example: The new general manager of the company has a way with all his employees.
Have access to
Meaning: Have right; or means of using.
Example: The poor students can have access to books on different topics kept in the library.
Have all one’s eggs in the same basket
Meaning: To risk everything on the same venture.
Example: Some people take risks by having all their eggs in the same basket.
Have an axe to grind
Meaning: Have a personal or selfish motive in doing something.
Example: All those people who take bribes have an axe to grind.
Have an affect on
Meaning: Affect, influence.
Example: The vulgarity in the films have a bad affect on the mentality of the youngsters.
Have an eye to the main chance
Meaning: To wait for a major opportunity.
Example: Most of us have an eye to the main chance, as we all want to climb the ladders of success.
Have an influence (up) on
Meaning: Exert an influence on.
Example: Some teachers have a great influence on the students.
Have charge of
Meaning: Have responsibility of.
Example: Mr. Soni has the charge of conducting meetings for the employees.
Have faith in
Meaning: Have trust in.
Example: Laila always cheat people, thus nobody has any faith in her.
Have impact on
Meaning: Have an influence on.
Example: Playful education methods have an impact on the children.
Have it in for
Meaning: Hold a grudge.
Example: It is not right to have it in for innocent persons.
Have it out (with)
Meaning: Settle a difference by talking freely or angrily.
Example: Let’s not hold grudges against each other. It’s better to have it out amicably.
Have not the least idea
Meaning: Do not know at all.
Example: She does not have the least idea where her brother is, as he has gone out without telling her.
Have nothing to do with
Meaning: Have no connection with.
Example: Her father told her that he had nothing to do with her, as she had got married against his wishes.
Meaning: Be wearing.
Example: She has had on this ladies overcoat for the last ten years.
Have one’s hand full
Meaning: Be very busy.
Example: Please don’t disturb me. I have my hands full.
Have one’s own way
Meaning: Do as one wishes.
Example: It’s not right of us to always have our own way.
Have the face (or cheek)
Meaning: Have the courage to.
Example: How some men have the face to speak rudely with their wives, nobody understands.
Have the honour of
Meaning: (a polite word).
Example: Can I have the honour of inviting you as the chief guest in the function.
Meaning: Go towards.
Example: The plane headed for Sydney.
Meaning: Prevent, cause to move in different direction.
Example: The principal headed off the boy, when he came late in the school.
Head over heels
Example: Some people are head over heels in love with God.
Meaning: Recieve a scolding.
Example: The little boy heard from the principal for doing mischief.
Meaning: Listen to.
Example: His mother told him to avoid the movies at the time of exams, but he never heard of it and failed.
Meaning: Very strong.
Example: She bought a heavy duty vaccum cleaner to eliminate the traces of dirt from the house.
Meaning: Serve oneself with food at meal.
Example: Everyone of you, please do help yourselves, as the meal is ready on the table.
Meaning: Unjust, naughty and arrogant.
Example: Some government officials are high-handed. They don’t deal properly with public.
Meaning: At the most important or mid point of.
Example: It is high time for you to concentrate on work.
Meaning: Get in the way of.
Example: Please don’t hinder him from doing his work.
Meaning: Lend for payment.
Example: She hired out two criminals to kill her husband but she was, caught by the police, before they killed him.
Meaning: Strike in return.
Example: The bully didn’t know that the small boy would hit him back, but he did so to teach him a lesson.
Hit below the belt
Meaning: To strike another unfairly.
Example: The brilliant lecture was hit below the belt by many notorious students, but she endured it gracefully.
Meaning: Discover by chance.
Example: He hit upon an idea to built up a business empire.
Hit and miss
Meaning: In an uncontrolled way, aimlessly.
Example: She was finding her aunt’s new house, but unable to find it, j she began to ring doorbells, hit or miss.
Hold a brief for another
Meaning: To defend somebody.
Example: We should hold a brief for criminals, else we could ourselves be in trouble.
She did not hold a brief for him when she came to know that he has murdered his own grandmother for money.
Meaning: (i) Keep to oneself.
Example: The soldiers are taught to hold back the information about their country.
She was not able to hold back her tears, when she came to know about her friend’s death.
Meaning: To hold in little esteem.
Example: We should not hojd the friendship cheap by breaking promises.
Meaning: (i) Keep a job.
Example: She told her friend to hold down a job, if she wanted to rise in life.
She was not able to hold her friend down, when her friend accused her of decieving her.
Example: The laws framed by the legislature hold good only if they are implemented firmly.
Meaning: (i) Delay.
Example: Don’t hold off the registered letter of your father. Give it to him today, itself.
(ii) Keep at a distance.
Her rude ways holds people off.
Meaning: (i) Go on, continue.
Example: Don’t be scared of difficulties of life. Hold on crossing them till you reach your goal.
(ii) Wait (on the telephone).
Please hold on, I shall call my mother.
Hold one’s tongue
Meaning: To remain or to become silent.
Example: The chatter box was told to hold her tongue by her mother, as she was not able to concentrate on her work.
Meaning: (i) Extend.
Example: She held out her arms to embrace her mother, whom she had met after a long time.
(ii) Last, continue.
Your money will hold out only if you spend it wisely.
Hold out the olive branch
Meaning: To make offers for peace.
Example: We should always take initiative to hold out the olive branch.
Meaning: Remain quiet.
Example: Hold still, till I draw your portrait.
Meaning: Abide by.
Example: We must hold to our principles to attain success in life.
Meaning: Remain united.
Example: They both were greatly in love with each other. They held together till the last breath of their life.
Example: She was held up by the anti-socials in the darkness.
Meaning: To be supported by facts.
Example: She said a lot of things, but none of her arguments held water.
Meaning: Agree with.
Example: She doesn’t hold with his views on women’s empowerment.
Hole and corner
Example: The police came to know about the hole and comer ways of the dacoits.
Honour a cheque
Meaning: Accept and pay a cheque when due.
Example: She took the first cheque straight-away to the bank and the bank honored the cheque.
Hope for the best
Meaning: Be hopeful of success.
Example: Your bad days won’t last for long. Hope for the best and work hard. You shall attain success one day.
Hoping against hope
Meaning: To have hope even when there is no basis for hope.
Example: By thinking that your son is alive is to hope against hope, as the news of his death has been confirmed by the army officers.
Hue and cry
Example: As soon as the accident occured, lot of hue and cry was raised.
Husband one’s resources
Meaning: To exercise economy in using one’s money, property, etc.
Example: Don’t spend money lavishly. Husband your resources.
Meaning: Pursue and capture.
Example: The brave soldier hunted down the traitor.