Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
bring (someone) in from the cold
To allow someone to join or participate in a group from which they were previously excluded; to accept someone into a certain social setting. A relatively unknown director for most of her career, her work with the A-list celebrity garnered the attention of a major Hollywood studio and finally brought her in from the cold. The company finally brought its striking workers in from the cold after months of intense negotiations.
hold (someone) in good stead
Especially of a talent, ability, or experience, to prove particularly useful or beneficial to someone in the future. Janet is hoping her internship working in IT will hold her in good stead when she looks for a job after college.
fortune is smiling (up)on (someone)
Someone is especially lucky, fortunate, or successful; good things tend to happen to someone. I hear that Jenny just won some major award, so soon after her huge promotion. It seems that fortune is smiling on her at the moment! Fortune has been smiling upon my younger brother since he was little: things have just always worked out for the best for him.
fortune smiles (up)on someone
Someone is especially lucky, fortunate, or successful; good things tend to happen to someone. I hear that Jenny just won some major award, so soon after her huge promotion. It seems that fortune smiles on her at the moment! If you're going into business for yourself, just remember that fortune smiles upon those who are willing to take risks.
do justice to (someone or something)
1. To describe or show someone or something accurately. Often used in the negative to emphasize that something is better than it appeared or was portrayed. I think you two will love this house once we get inside—the pictures really don't do justice to its mid-century modern charm.
2. To eat or drink in large quantities. I think you bought too much soda—there's no way the party guests will do justice to all of that.
3. To give something the amount of care and consideration it warrants. I don't have enough of a vocal range to do justice to that beautiful song.
See also: justice
fall (a)foul of (someone or something)
To become disliked or to come in conflict with someone or something due to one's actions, often resulting in further trouble or conflict. Since you're new here, be careful not to fall afoul of Bill—he'll keep you off of every case if he's mad at you. I fell foul of the committee, and now I'm not sure how to improve my reputation. Ted fell afoul of the law when he was still a kid, and he's been in and out of jail ever since.
the joke's on (one)
1. One is experiencing or will experience a negative outcome, particularly one that was intended for someone else. The phrase typically refers to a practical joke or malicious act that has backfired. Greg set up this bucket of water to fall on me, but the joke's on him now—I rigged it up over his bedroom door. He thought he could steal my job by telling the boss terrible things about me, but the joke's on him—he's getting fired for misuse of company time.
2. One seems silly or foolish. Well, the joke's on me because I spent so much time perfecting our itinerary that I forgot to put gas in my car before the trip.
See also: on
so much for (someone or something)
Someone or something is no longer relevant, feasible, or worth consideration. A: "The mechanic said the entire engine needs to be replaced." B: "Well, so much for our road trip." The new CEO lasted less than a week before he was fired for improper conduct. So much for him.
See also: much
stand (one) in good stead
Especially of a talent, ability, or experience, to prove particularly useful or beneficial to one in the future. Janet is hoping her internship working in IT will stand her in good stead when she looks for a job after college.
be a/the poor man's (someone or something)
To be a less desirable substitute for the actual or genuine person or thing. That local artist is the poor man's Picasso—to everyone in town, at least. I was happy with my new car, even though my friends think it's just a poor man's Jaguar.
See also: poor
be (one's) (own) lookout
Said of a problem or difficulty that one has caused oneself. Primarily heard in UK. If you stay up till 3 AM, it's your own lookout if you sleep through your alarm.
See also: lookout
now for (someone or something)
Let's turn our attention to this person or thing. And that's all our headline stories for tonight. Now for Janet Morgan with sports. Thank you for that wonderful performance. Now for something a bit different.
See also: now
An expression of sympathy, pity, or compassion for someone or something. Poor old Robert was let go from another job; he just can't catch a break. Are we nearly there? My poor old feet are killing me!
fall foul of ˈsb/ˈsthdo something which gets you into trouble with somebody/something: They fell foul of the law by not paying their taxes. ♢ Try not to fall foul of Mr. Jones. He can be very unpleasant.
the joke’s on ˈsb(informal) used to say that somebody who tried to make another person look ridiculous now looks ridiculous instead
do justice to ˈsb/ˈsth,
ˌdo somebody/something ˈjusticesay or do something which shows that you know or recognize the true value of somebody/something; show the true value of something: They were not hungry and couldn’t do justice to her excellent cooking. ♢ This picture doesn’t do him justice; he’s much better-looking in real life.
be ˈsb’s (own) lookout(British English, informal) be somebody’s problem because they are responsible for causing it: If he wants to invest all his money in one company, that’s his lookout. ♢ It’s my own lookout if I fail this exam.
See also: lookout
ˌso much for ˈsb/ˈsth
1 used to show that you have finished talking about something: So much for the situation in the Far East. Now let’s turn our attention to South America.
2 used to suggest that something has not been useful or successful: She gave the job to the other manager. So much for all her promises to me.
in the name of ˈsb/ˈsth,
in somebody’s/something’s ˈname
1 using the authority of somebody/something; as a representative of somebody/something: I arrest you in the name of the law.
2 used to give a reason or an excuse for doing something, often when what you are doing is wrong: new laws introduced in the name of national security
3 for somebody; showing that something officially belongs to somebody: The reservation was made in the name of Brown. ♢ The car is registered in my name.