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find (one's) (own) level

To reach one's level of proficiency, comfort, or competency in a particular area. I'm so impressed with the interns—they've really found their level now. It takes time to find your own level as a teacher, but you'll get there—we all do.
See also: find, level

find (one's) feet

To reach a level of comfort in a new situation. It took a while, but I've finally found my feet in my job. I know you're nervous, but all freshmen are—you'll find your feet at school, don't worry.
See also: feet, find

find (one's) tongue

To regain the ability to speak, especially after feeling frightened, nervous, or at a loss for words. It took him a minute, but Pete found his tongue again after we startled him at his surprise party. The little boy, who had been huddled nervously at the back, found his tongue and told the detectives what happened.
See also: find, tongue

find (one's) voice

1. To find one's distinctive style or vision of artistic expression. I think this is your best story yet, Betsy—you've really found your voice as a writer. It takes time to find your voice, but I'm confident you'll get there by the end of our photography class.
2. To regain the ability to speak, especially after something frightening or startling has happened. It took him a minute, but Pete found his voice again after we startled him at his surprise party.
See also: find, voice

find a happy medium

To discover, develop, or contrive a healthy balance compromise or acceptable compromise between two extremes. It can be difficult for working mothers to find a happy medium between maintaining their careers and caring for their families. The mediator's role is to help both parties to reach a deal that finds a happy medium.
See also: find, happy, medium

find common ground

To find shared ideas, interests, or beliefs, especially between people who often disagree. I was worried when my boyfriend and uncle started arguing over their different political views, but luckily they found common ground when discussing their favorite TV shows.
See also: common, find, ground

find God

To embrace a certain religion or a spiritual connection. Ted's become a completely different person since he found God.
See also: find, god

find out

1. To learn something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "find" and "out." Guess what I found out? Greg is getting the promotion after all! You know, I'm not sure what his phone number is, but I'll find out for you.
2. To learn of or expose someone's misleading, deceptive, or underhanded actions or intentions. A noun or pronoun can be used between "find" and "out." Well, don't leave any evidence behind, or they'll find you out.
3. To discover that someone is not home. A noun or pronoun can be used between "find" and "out." Yeah, I tried to go visit Sheila, but I found her out.
See also: find, out

find out a thing or two (about someone or something)

To learn the facts or several pieces of information (about someone or something). You'll find out a thing or two about New Yorkers once you start working in the Big Apple. Jeff's a real movie buff, so if you want to find out a thing or two about the history of cinema, you should ask him.
See also: find, out, someone, thing, two

find out how the land lies

To make observations about or come to understand a particular state of affairs or the way a situation exists or has developed, especially before taking any decisive or definitive action. Given the turbulent nature of this market, I think it would be prudent for us to find out how the land lies before we agree to invest in your company. I'm just finding out how the land lies between my parents before I make any solid plans to come visit them.
See also: find, how, land, lie, out

find the root of the problem

To find or ascertain the cause of a particular problem or issue. The plumber has found the root of the problem, and it doesn’t sound too costly to fix, thank goodness.
See also: find, of, problem, root

find the time

To devote time in one's busy schedule to do something; to make the time to do something. When am I supposed to find the time to make cupcakes for the school bake sale? I have two important meetings today at work! I try to find the time to meditate every day.
See also: find, time
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

find someone out

1. to discover that someone is not at home. We knocked on their door and found them out. Sam found Frank out when he arrived to collect the debt.
2. to discover something surprising or shocking about someone. I don't want them to find me out. We found her out despite her deviousness.
See also: find, out

find something out

to discover facts about someone or something; to learn a fact. I found something out that you might be interested in. We found out that the Smiths are going to sell their house.
See also: find, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

find out

1. Discover through examination or inquiry, as in You can find out his phone number by looking in the book. [Mid-1500]
2. Expose, detect the true nature or character of, especially in an offense. For example, Cheaters risk being found out. [c. 1700]
See also: find, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

find common ground

COMMON If two people or groups who generally disagree find common ground, they find a particular subject or opinion that they agree about. The participants seem unable to find common ground on the issue of agriculture. Both leaders were keen to stress that they were seeking to find common ground. Note: You can also say that people or groups are on common ground. Mike and I were on common ground. We both wanted what was in the best interests of the company.
See also: common, find, ground
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

find God

experience a religious conversion or awakening.
See also: find, god
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

find out

1. To ascertain something, as through examination or inquiry: I found out the phone number by looking it up. We found the answer out in the dictionary. I'm not sure of the location of the bus stop, but I'll try to find out.
2. To detect or expose the true nature or character of something or someone: My plan to trick my roommate ended when he found me out. Liars risk being found out.
See also: find, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

needle in a haystack, (like finding) a

An item that is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find. This term dates from the sixteenth century, although “haystack” at first appeared as “meadow” (in Sir Thomas More’s Works, 1532), “bottle of hay” (Robert Greene, 1592), or “load of hay” (John Taylor, 1619). The same metaphor exists in numerous languages.
See also: needle
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
This result supports the findings of Joiner, Lovett and Hague (1982) that persons with disabilities are less assertive than non-disabled persons.
Such findings will allow the UW center to intervene more effectively in preventing the occupational take-home pathway for pesticide exposure in children.
Findings from meta-analyses on the effects of rewards on students' performance and motivation as well as a consideration of social cognitive theory suggest a set of strategies for using rewards in educational settings.
Who could doubt findings that have been replicated "hundreds" of times?
The majority of the 3,000 people in the poll did not find very much money, with 25% finding less than pounds 10 and 24% finding less than pounds 50, while 17% found up to pounds 100.
Titanic findings The frigid surface of Saturn's moon Titan revealed dunes like those in the Arabian Desert (169: 333).
Sharing profits and losses exposes alliances to a finding that the alliance is a joint venture.
Finding the right opportunities, getting a company to invite you in for an interview, and then having to compete with so many other candidates for the same job appears to be a daunting task.
Their findings revealed that a growing number of nursing programs are well integrated into the academic community, although many programs lacked, faculty prepared at the doctoral level and faculty with scholarship track records.
All of these findings amounted to illegal price fixing and a federal antitrust violation.
The findings appear in the 31 May 2005 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"The main finding of a fourfold increase in injury crash risk was consistent across groups of drivers," McCartt said.
This was not a finding of the NIST report, and there is no basis whatsoever to claim one material safer than the other.
Persons with disabilities typically face extraordinary obstacles in finding employment.
Even playing music can help, with studies finding it reduces the perception of pain in older adults with chronic osteoarthritis and in cancer patients.