Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
monkeys might fly out of my butt
There is no chance of that ever happening. (Used to show skepticism or cynicism over someone's hypothetical remark.) Bob: "If we could just get Democrats and Republicans to agree on a tax reform bill, we could bring the deficit down in no time." Dave: "It might happen some day—and monkeys might fly out of my butt!
with all (one's) might
Utilizing all of one's power and strength to do something. I pulled at the rope with all my might, but we still lost the tug-of-war. I swear, your dog pulls at these toys with all his might. He'll drag us through the yard one day!
might and main
Cliché great physical strength; great force. The huge warrior, with all his might and main, could not break his way through the castle gates. The incredible might and main of the sea crushed the ship against the cliff.
might as welland may as well
a phrase indicating that it is probably better to do something than not to do it. Bill: Should we try to get there for the first showing of the film? Jane: Might as well. Nothing else to do. Andy: May as well leave now. It doesn't matter if we arrive a little bit early. Jane: Why do we always have to be the first to arrive?
might as well be hung for a sheep as (for) a lamb
Rur. might as well commit a large fault as a small one, since the same punishment will result. I'll take the expensive fishing rod. My wife will be mad at me no matter how much I spend, so I might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb.
Rur. might be able to. Charlie: Can you come out with me after work? Tom: I might could. I'll have to see if my wife has other plans. I might could help you, if you'll tell me what's the matter.
Might makes right.
Prov. Cliché The stronger of two opponents will always control the situation. Child: How come the country with the biggest army always tells the other countries what to do? Father: Might makes right.
Rur. very nearly. We mighty nigh lost Mary that time she fell through the ice in the river. That was might nigh the worst night of my life.
See also: might
Nothing so bad but (it) might have been worse.
Prov. Although bad things do happen, they are not as bad as other things you can imagine that might have happened. Joan: This is like a nightmare! My house burned down—I lost everything! Nancy: At least you and your family are safe. Nothing so bad but might have been worse. My bicycle tire blew out, but at least it blew out within walking distance of a repair shop. Nothing so bad but it might have been worse.
(Things) could be better.and (I) could be better.; (Things) might be better.
a response to a greeting meaning "My state is not as good as it might be." (Not necessarily a direct answer.) John: How are things going, Fred? Fred: Things could be better. And you? John: About the same. Bob: Hi, Bill! How are you? Bill: I could be better. What's new with you? Bob: Nothing much.
try as I mayand try as I might
Cliché a phrase that introduces an expression of regret or failure. Bill: Try as I may, I cannot get this thing put together right. Andy: Did you read the instructions? Rachel: Wow! This place is a mess! Mother: Try as I might, I can't get Andrew to clean up after himself.
You couldn't (do that)!and You wouldn't (do that)!
an indication of disbelief that someone might do something. Bill: I'm going to run away from home! Jane: You couldn't! Bill: I get so mad at my brother, I could just strangle him. Tom: You couldn't do that!
you might as well (do something)
there is no reason you should not do something you may as well (do something) Since you have to wait, you might as well sit down and relax.
might is right(British, American & Australian) also might makes right (American)
the belief that you can do what you want because you are the most powerful person or country To allow this invasion to happen will give a signal to every petty dictator that might is right.
(with) might and main(formal)
with all your effort and strength War is something we should be working might and main to avoid.See I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb
Pigs might fly.(British, American & Australian informal) also Pigs can fly. (American informal)
something that you say which means you think there is no chance at all of something happening 'I'll pay you back on Friday, I promise.' 'Yeah, and pigs might fly.'
I might as well be hanged/hung for a sheep as a lamb.
something that you say when you are going to be punished for something so you decide to do something worse because your punishment will not be any more severe
Usage notes: In the past, people who stole lambs were killed, so it was worth stealing something more because there was no worse punishment.I'm going to be late for work anyway, so I think I'll go to the shop for a paper. I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.
hanged for a sheep as a lamb, might as well be
Might just as well be punished for a big misdeed as a small one. For example, I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb and have a third piece of cake-I've gone off my diet anyhow . Already a proverb in John Ray's 1678 collection, this expression alludes to the old punishment for stealing sheep, which was hanging no matter what the age or size of the animal.
might and main, with
Strenuously, vigorously, as in She pulled on the rope with all her might and main. This expression is redundant, since the noun main also means "strength" or "power." It survives only in this phrase, which may also be dying out. [Late 1200s]
might makes right
Superior strength can enforce one's will or dictate justice, as in The generals dismissed the parliament and imprisoned the premier-might makes right in that country , or The big boys wouldn't let the little ones use the basketball, a case of might makes right . This expression was first recorded in English about 1327.