Reading set "Random idiom flashcards set to learn" (Number of items 10)

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at pains

at pains  {adj. phr.}
Making a special effort.
At pains to make a good impression, she was prompt for her appointment.

at one's beck and call

Ready and willing to do whatever someone asks; ready to serve at a moment's notice.
A good parent isn't necessarily always at the child's beck and call.
Categories:adjective call

at all costs

at all costs  {adv. phr.}
At any expense of time, effort, or money. Regardless of the results.
Mr. Jackson intended to save his son's eyesight at all costs.
Carl is determined to succeed in his new job at all costs.
Categories:adverb time

by inches

by inches  {adv. phr.}
By small or slow degrees; little by little; gradually.
The river was rising by inches.
They got a heavy wooden beam under the barn for a lever, and managed to move it by inches.
He was dying by inches.

by means of

by means of  {prep.}
By the use of; with the help of.
The fisherman saved himself by means of a floating log.
By means of monthly payments, people can buy more than in the past.

cut short

cut short  {v.}
To stop or interrupt suddenly; end suddenly or too soon.
Rain cut short the ball game.
An auto accident cut short the man's life.
When Dick began to tell about his summer vacation the teacher cut him short, saying "Tell us about that another time."
Categories:time verb

cry wolf

cry wolf  {v. phr.}
To give a false alarm; warn of a danger that you know is not there.
The general said that the candidate was just crying wolf when he said that the army was too weak to fight for the country.
(From an old story about a shepherd boy who falsely claimed a wolf was killing his sheep, just to start some excitement.)

dying to

dying to  {adj. phr.}
Having a great desire to; being extremely eager to.
Seymour is dying to date Mathilda, but she keeps refusing him.
Categories:adjective desire

dry behind the ears

dry behind the ears  {adj. phr.},  {informal}
Experienced; knowing how to do something. Usually used in the negative.
John had just started working for the company, and was not dry behind the ears yet.
Categories:adjective informal

explode a bombshell

explode a bombshell or drop a bombshell  {v. phr.},  {informal}
To say something startling; suggest or show something astonishing or shocking.
The police exploded a bombshell when they arrested the kindly old banker for stealing money from the bank.
The principal exploded a bombshell by cancelling the dance as a penalty.
Political leaders exploded a bombshell when they picked the young lawyer to run for mayor.
Categories:informal verb