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be like painting the Forth Bridge
To be such an involved or time-consuming improvement process that it never truly ends. The phrase refers to Edinburgh's Forth Bridge, which once required constant upkeep. Primarily heard in UK. Remodeling our house was like painting the Forth Bridge—once we saw how nice one room looked, we had to redo another!
be no oil painting
To be physically unattractive. Jack's a nice guy, he's just no oil painting, you know?
no oil painting
Physically unattractive. Jack's a nice guy, he's just no oil painting, you know?
paint (one) black
To make someone appear evil, malicious, or ill intentioned. He argued that the film was edited to paint him black, taking his statements out of context and mixing them with ominous music. Though he's been painted quite black by the media, in person he's actually a very pleasant guy.
paint (something) onto (something)
To use paint to create a particular, picture, pattern, or design on something or some surface. Can you paint a big dinosaur onto Timmy's wall? He loves dinosaurs. I'm going to paint a cool fire design onto the side of my car.
paint (something) with a broad brush
To describe or characterize something in very general, vague, or broad terms, ignoring or neglecting to include specific details. When asked about how she would stabilize the economy, the candidate painted her plan with a broad brush, resorting to vague claims about creating jobs and getting people back to work.
paint a (some kind of) picture (of something)
To give an elaborate or detailed description of something that portrays it in a specific way. The board meeting painted a pretty grim picture. If sales don't improve, the company might not have a future. Jonathan always paints an idyllic picture of our childhood, glossing over the bad memories of our father.
To color or fill in some blank space with paint. A noun or pronoun can be used between "paint" and "in." I brought in a bunch of black-and-white pictures of cartoon characters for the kids to paint in. There's a big streak where the table scraped against the wall. I'll need to paint it in this weekend.
1. To apply paint onto some surface. I brought in a bunch of pieces of cardboard and scrap paper for the kids to paint on. It's really hard to paint on textured, bumpy walls like this one.
2. To use paint to create a particular, picture, pattern, or design on something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "paint" and "on." Can you paint a big dinosaur on Timmy's wall? He loves dinosaurs. I'm going to paint a cool fire design on the side of my car.
To cover something up with paint so as to hide or obscure it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "paint" and "out." Staff were quick to paint out the obscene graffiti on the side of the gymnasium. Someone came by and painted certain words out that were featured on the mural on Main Street.
To cover something up with paint so as to hide or obscure it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "paint" and "out." Staff were quick to paint over the obscene graffiti on the side of the gymnasium. Someone came by and painted certain words over that were featured on the mural on Main Street.
paint the black
In baseball, to pitch the ball in such a way that it travels over the edge of the home plate and results in a strike. Their pitcher was amazing, painting the black from the beginning of the game right through to the very end.
paint the devil on the wall
To have or offer a negative view of a situation, often when it is excessive or unwarranted. Don't listen to Ed, he's just painting the devil on the wall. Things really aren't as bad as he says.
paint the lily
To add embellishment to something that is already beautiful or outstanding. The phrase comes from Shakespeare's King John: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily ... is wasteful and ridiculous excess." My wife is so gorgeous that putting her in a fancy gown would just be painting the lily. Why add a filter to your photo of the rainbow? No need to paint the lily.
paint the town (red)
To go out into a city or town and have an enjoyable time, typically by visiting various establishments, such as bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. After our exams finished, we all decided to get dressed up and paint the town red. A: "I was thinking I might go to a museum or the library." B: "Wow, you're really going to paint the town red, huh?"
A task with little value intended primarily to keep one busy. A: "Why are you sorting all this paperwork?" B: "Ugh, I'm painting rocks basically. The boss is just trying to keep me occupied for the next couple of weeks."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
paint on something
to apply paint to the surface of something. He painted on the fence a while and then went inside to rest. Please don't paint on the area that is not sanded down.
paint over something
to cover something up with a layer of paint. Sam painted over the rusty part of the fence. The work crew was told to paint over the graffiti.
paint something in
to paint something extra onto a painted area. I know that there is supposed to be a big white spot here. We will have to paint it in. We will have to paint in the spot.
paint something out
to cover something up or obliterate something by applying a layer of paint. The worker painted the graffiti out. They had to paint out the graffiti.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
no oil paintingBRITISH
If you say that someone is no oil painting, you mean that they are not attractive. I started seeing a guy who was no oil painting but wonderfully bright and interesting.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
no oil paintingnot very attractive. British informal
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
be no ˈoil painting(British English, humorous) used to say that a person is not attractive to look at: He’s no oil painting but he’s a marvellous actor.
be like painting the Forth ˈBridge(British English) if a job is like painting the Forth Bridge, it is so big that by the time you get to the end you have to start at the beginning again: Cleaning a house this size is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. As soon as I’ve finished it’s time to start again!
The Forth Bridge is a very big bridge over the river Forth in Edinburgh.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
paint the black
Baseball To throw a pitched ball over the edge of home plate for a strike.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.