Important Idioms for competitive exams are one of the most important parts to give attention to while preparing for the verbal ability section of English for Entrance Exams. Usually, a candidate gets a sentence where he/ she has to fill in the appropriate Idiom or the candidate has to choose an idiom that would be the best fit for the given description. Questions appear in the forms of:    

  • Fill in the blanks
  • Choose the right option
Important Idioms For Competitive Exams

An Idiom is a phrase or expression that presents a figurative meaning, a meaning that is not directly evident in the phrase. It contains two or three words. There are instances where the idiom can have a literal meaning too, but it is rare. The English language has over 25,000 idioms in use. Consider the following phrase:

  • Once in a blue moon

The above-given phrase is an idiom that has a figurative meaning. Blue moon is a very rare occurrence, that happens at most once in a month. Here, the phrase does not mean something that happens when the blue moon rises, but an event or an act that happens very rarely, as the occurrence of a blue moon. An example of the idiom in use is given below:

  • He visits his mother once in a blue moon.

Important Idioms for Competitive Exams

Important idioms for competitive exams along with their meaning and examples in use are given below in the box:

Sl. No.IdiomMeaningIn Use
1.Beating Around the BushAvoiding the subjectThe Prime Minister was beating around the bush in his answer to the public demand for decreasing the rate of petrol.
2.Crying over spilled milkComplaining about a failure from the past.The leader realized that he was crying over spilled milk, talking about the failure in the previous election.
3.Spill the beansTo disclose a secretShe spilled the beans about the surprise birthday party.
4.Piece of cakeSomething that is easy to do.Cooking for 10 people was a piece of cake for Chef Ramsay.
5.Taste of your own medicineWhen someone receives the same treatment he gives others.Ram tasted his own medicine when Veena decided to take revenge by doing what he did to her.
6.Apple of one’s eyeBeing precious to someoneHer baby was the apple of her eye.
7.Feeling a bit under the weatherFeeling illSita was feeling a bit under the weather, so she did not go to the gym.
8.Cherry on topSomething that turns good into the best.The paragliding event was the cherry on top to the vacation at Hawaii.
9.Icing on the cakeSomething that turns good into the best.Getting the laptop as a prize along with the cash award was just the icing on the cake.
10.Cost an arm and legBe very expensiveThis handbag cost me an arm and a leg.
11.Jump the bandwagonTo follow a popular trendTina saw every girl around her starting to wear high-waisted clothes and decided to jump the bandwagon.
12.Ball is in your courtWhen it is up to you to make a decisionNow that the ball is in your court, decide on whether to text him back or not.
13.Judge a book by its coverJudging someone by appearanceHe turned out to be a nice fellow. I understood that you cannot just judge a book by its cover.
14.Bite off more than one can chewTo take up a task which may be hard ti accomplish due to lack of ability.Rani bit off more than she could chew when she chose to write a 300 pages thesis paper.
15.To sit on the fenceRemain neutralRam sat on the fence during the clash between the two parties.
16.A litmus testA method to know whether something is correct.The interview was the litmus test to my communication abilities.
17.A house of cardsA poor planRavi’s plan to become the chaiperson of his college was a house of cards.
18.Black and blueFull of bruisesJohn was beat up black and blue by his father.
19.Be on cloud nineTo be very happyI was on cloud nine when I got to know that I was selected for the scholarship program.
20.Give cold shoulderTo ignoreShe gave me a cold shoulder the next time she saw me after the party.
21.Hit the nail on the headTo do the correct thingAnil hit the nail on the head when he gave out the reasons for his dissatisfaction with the company.
22.Hit the bull’s eyeBe correct about somethingHe had hit the bull’s eye when he guessed that India was going to win in the match.
23.Let the cat out of the bagTo reveal a secret by mistakePriya had to confess, now that she let the cat out of the bag.
24.Make a faceTo show dislike through facial expressions.Subha made a face at her mom when she was forced to eat the brinjal.
25.Greek to meSomething that is not understandableThe instruction guide was Greek to me.
26.Hear on a grapevineHear rumours about something or someoneI heard on a grapevine that he is going to participate in the next election.
27.Last strawFinal problem in a series of problemsGetting fired was the last straw to all my problems.
28.It needs two to tangoActions and communications take more than one personHe had no option than to bear with me during the presentation, for it takes two to tango.
29.Break the iceTo initiate interactionI tried to break the ice during the orientation program on the first day of college.
30.Fool’s paradiseA false sense of happiness or successI was on fool’s paradise for a while thinking that the exams would be cancelled.
Important Idioms

English for Entrance Exams is generally an easy section for any entrance examinations, but the grammar part of it has always confused exam takers. Questions of the section conduct tests about the in-depth knowledge of a student in using the English Language. Hope this article was helpful to you in understanding the Important idioms for competitive exams. All the best!

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