Idioms Using Numbers | List of Idioms with Numbers With Meaning and Examples

Idioms Using Numbers: Among the various parts of speech in the English language, idioms are a part and this article contains some so that you can enrich your knowledge about it. The article has a group of non-literal phrases that we to describe something else.

Like in other languages, English also has idioms and people use idioms and phrases with numbers quite commonly everywhere.

This article provides a list of idioms with numbers a to z. It defines various idioms with numbers idioms and meaning in detail for your benefit and ease of identifying them.

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

Name of Idioms with Numbers Idioms

List of Idioms with Numbers

Meaning and Examples of some commonly used idioms with numbers

A million and one

Meaning: It means that someone has plenty of something.

Example: She came up with a million and one ideas for her excuse.

(A number) short of (something)

Meaning: This idiom is said euphemistically of someone mentally unstable or deficient; less than something part of a whole

Example: There is a slice of bread less than the loaf.

All in one piece

Meaning: to do something safely

Example: He got home from the trekking trip all in one piece.

And counting

Meaning: It means that the number mentioned before is increasing or decreasing.

Example: How many plates have you made? We have got two hundred and counting.

A million-dollar question

Meaning: a question that is very important and difficult to answer. It is sometimes used ironically.

Example: The million-dollar question is whether he should choose his former opponent as his current mate.

A dime a dozen

Meaning: It is used to describe something that is abundant and is very cheap.

Example: These glass cups might look very expensive, but trust me, they are a dime a dozen.

A stitch in time saves nine

Meaning: It means a prompt decision now will prevent problems later on.

Example: You can consider getting your car repaired now before you are stranded. After all, a stitch in time saves nine.

As easy as one-two-three

Meaning: It means that something is straightforward or easy.

Example: These equations are as easy as one-two-three! You ought to do them by yourself.

A million miles away

Meaning: It means noticeably distracted or lost in thought.

Example: Of course you don’t remember about the signature; you were a million miles away the entire time!

Idioms Using Number 1

At sixes and sevens

Meaning: It means that someone is in a state of confusion and is not organized.

Example: I am at sixes and sevens now that the trip has been rescheduled and rearranged.

At the eleventh hour

Meaning: It means that someone or something has happened almost too late.

Example: I was shocked that they reached an arrangement at the eleventh hour after weeks of fighting.

Bat a thousand

Meaning: It means that someone has a perfect record.

Example: I’m batting a thousand this week to get an A in my exam.

Be in the seventh heaven

Meaning: It describes someone who is extremely happy about something.

Example: She has been in the seventh heaven ever since she got engaged.

Be in two minds (about something)

Meaning: It means that someone is not certain about something or has difficulty drawing up a conclusion.

Example: I’m in two minds about doing the internship.

Behind the eight ball

Meaning: It describes a challenging situation or at a disadvantage. An eight ball is the ball that we are supposed to hit into the pocket at last, but if the player hits it prematurely, the player will lose. Hence it is something that has to be avoided.

Example: If we don’t leave early tomorrow, we will be behind the eight balls, and I doubt we will be able to reach the mountain top by dusk.

Catch 22

Meaning: It refers to a problematic situation in which a person is denied the only solution due to the inherent circumstances.

Example: The acting business is caught 22 with no work unless you have an agent and no agent unless you have worked.

Cast the first stone

Meaning: This idiom means that someone is the first to criticize or attack someone.

Example: Well, let me be the first to cast the first stone. That movie was terrible.

Do (something) by the numbers

Meaning: It means that you have to follow the instructions exactly.

Example: You need not do this by the numbers, but if you see that you are stuck, you can go ahead and follow the instructions.

Dressed up to the nines

Meaning: It means that someone is wearing something to look glamorous and smart.

Example: He has to be dressed to the nines at this gala tonight

Idioms Using Number 2

Deep six

Meaning: to get rid of something or discard something.

Example: The legislators voted to deep-six the current government program.


Meaning: it means to discard or eliminate something or someone.

Example: The boss approves for raises next year, but the district manager went ahead and eighty-sixed them.

Feel like a million dollars

Meaning: It means that someone is feeling great, physically and otherwise.

Example: You look like a million dollars in that dress!

Fifteen minutes of fame

Meaning: It means that someone has short-lived publicity.

Example: The fifteen minutes of fame will do you no good if you want a long-lasting career.


Meaning: It is something that is shred or borne equally.

Example: We have a fifty-fifty chance of winning the competition.

Five finger discount

Meaning: It means to shoplift.

Example: You will get caught if you keep using your five-finger discount, you will end up in jail.

Five will get you ten

Meaning: It means that the chances are good that something will be a success.

Example: Five will get you ten that he is having an affair with his secretary.

Four eyes

Meaning: It is a mocking term for someone who wears glasses.

Example: Hasn’t four eyes shown up to class? He is always late.


Meaning: It means that something represents a loss

Example: The loss of more pocket is not the one to trust.

Four corners of the earth

Meaning: It means the areas that are the farthest reaches

Example: I have traveled to the four corners of the earth to collect the medallion.

Four-leaf clover

Meaning: It means that something that is traditionally thought to be lucky and rare.

Example: You found a four-leaf clover? Wow, today is your lucky way!

Four letter word

Meaning: It refers to some slang since many of them start with four letters.

Example: Jim is suspended from school after the teacher heard him shout many four-letter words.

Forty winks

Meaning: To take a nap or a brief sleep

Example: If you have a baby for the first time, you will suddenly have to operate on forty winks at a time.

Get the third degrees

Meaning: It means to get interrogate or questioned intensely or thoroughly by someone.

Example: He got the third degree from the police regarding the crime.

Have one over the eight

Meaning: It means that a person is slightly drunk.

Example: From the way, he was walking and talking, it was obvious that he had one over the eight.

Have one too many

Meaning: It means that someone drank too much alcohol.

Example: I cannot drive since I have had too many drinks.

It takes two to tango

Meaning: When someone says this idiom, they think that a difficult situation or an argument cannot be the fault of only one person.

Example: His son blames mine for their fight at school, but I know it takes two to tango.

Joe six-pack

Meaning: an ordinary man or a blue-collar worker

Example: The Joe six-pack went to the bat after work.

Kill two birds with one stone

Meaning: It means that someone can solve two problems with one move.

Example: If I drop the parcel on the way to work, I can kill two birds with one stone.

Lesser of two evils

Meaning: This idiom means that something or someone is the less offensive or undesirable among the options.

Example: Both candidates are not well-liked, but she is shown to be the lesser of the two evils.

Never in a million years

Meaning: When someone never says in a million years, they mean never.

Example: Never in a million years did I think that I could become an actress!

Nine-to-five job

Meaning: It describes a routine job in an office with the standard office hours.

Example: He said that he would never do a nine-to-five job.

Nine lives

Meaning: It is used to refer to a person who has survived despite having a near encounter with death or some disaster.

Example: I cannot believe that he survived after his parachute did not open mid-air; he must have nine lives!

Nine times out of ten

Meaning: It means almost always.

Example: Nine times out of ten, the first person you think is who is right for the job usually is.

On all fours

Meaning: It means that you are down on all your hands and knees.

Example: I had to go down on all fours to find my ring in the mud.

On cloud nine

Meaning: It means that you are very happy.

Example: I was on cloud nine when my mom bought me a computer.

One for the road

Meaning: It means to have a drink before leaving.

Example: Before we leave, let’s have one for the road.

Of two minds

Meaning: to be unable to decide or be certain about something or having two opinions about something

Example: I am of two minds about hiring him. Though he has a nice resume, he doesn’t have much experience.

Put in one’s two cents

Meaning: It means that you are asking someone to state their opinion.

Example: I am ready to put in my two cents at the meeting.

Queer as a three dollar bill

Meaning: Something that is completely obvious that something is fake or not genuine.

Example: The Company claims that they can double out money within the month, but it is obvious that the whole thing is as queer as a three-dollar bill.

Scattered to the four winds

Meaning: Something that is dispersed across a wide area.

Example: Our family has been scattered to the four winds, and now the kids are in different states.

Seven day wonder

Meaning: A person or something that generates interest for only a short time.

Example: The band’s fear is that they will become a seven day wonder and be soon forgotten when the next big hit comes.

Six feet under

Meaning: It means that someone is dead and has been buried.

Example: We are all going to be six feet under if the boss finds out what we did!

Square the circle

Meaning: It means to attempt an impossible task.

Example: Perry is trying to solve the puzzling but it is like squaring the circle!

Stand on one’s own two feet

Meaning: It means that someone is being independent and self-sufficient.

Example: Since he never left home after high school, he never learnt to stand on his own two feet.

Take five

Meaning: It means to take a brief rest of about five minutes.

Example: We can take five then get back on with the painting job.

That makes two of us

Meaning: It is used to mean that one has the same feelings or thoughts as someone else.

Example: I also believe in them. That makes two of us.

Three cheers

Meaning: It means to give three shouts of joy or approval to someone or for something.

Example: At long last, the week has come to an end; three cheers for the weekend!

Three strikes

Meaning: two aspects of someone or something that keeps them or it from being entirely successful

Example: He has got two strikes against him and has only one chance left.


Meaning: Someone who is in their twenties or is aged between twenty.

Example: I don’t remember Shila’s age, but she is twenty-something.

Ten to one

Meaning: It refers to something that is very likely to happen.

Example: I can feel that I am going to win ten to one.

Two heads are better than one

Meaning: it means that when we work as a team things, are done better and faster.

Example: When we went to the camping trip we understood that two heads are better than one.

Two peas in a pod

Meaning: If you say two peas in a pod you mean that two people are very similar in appearance or otherwise.

Example: They look like two peas in a pod. Are they married?

Two wrongs don’t make a right

Meaning: It means that seeking revenge for a hurtful or deceitful action is not an appropriate method to resolve a conflict.

Example: Just because he insulted you does not mean that it is ok for you to start a rumour about him, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

Two timer

Meaning: It refers to someone who is unfaithful or a deceiver.

Example: Don’t trust the two-timer, her is not trust worthy.

Up to eleven

Meaning: It means something is to an intense or at an extreme degree.

Example: Some of the best nights we had were the time we spent aimlessly driving up to eleven.

Whole nine yards

Meaning: It means the entirety of what is possible or available

Example: Shelly went the whole nine yards to get the best toppings for the ice cream bar.

Wouldn’t touch (something) with a ten-foot pole

Meaning: It means that something is so bad that it is best to engage with it.

Example: You might think that he is attractive but I wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole since he is a creep.

Zero in on

Meaning: It means to focus closely on something or to take an aim at something.

Example: We have has consultants and worker in the factory for two weeks and they are zeroing in on our production situation.

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