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

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play ball

play ball  {v. phr.}
1. To begin play in a ball game.
When the umpire calls "Play ball," the game begins.
2.  {informal}
To join in an effort with others; cooperate.
To get along during Prohibition, many men felt that they had to play ball with gangsters.
A is often good business to play ball with a political machine.
Categories:informal verb

get the ax

get the ax  {v. phr.},  {slang}
1. To be fired from a job.
Poor Joe got the ax at the office yesterday.
2. To be dismissed from school for improper conduct, such as cheating.
Joe got caught cheating on his final exam and he got the ax.
3. To have a quarrel with one's sweetheart or steady ending in a termination of the relationship.
Joe got the ax from Betsie — they won't see each other again.
Categories:relationship slang verb

refine on

1. To make better; improve.
Mary was asked to refine on her first outline to make it clearer and more exact.
2. To be better than; surpass.
Modern medical techniques refine on those of the past.

ahead of the game

ahead of the game  {adv. or adj. phr.},  {informal}
1. In a position of advantage; winning (as in a game or contest); ahead (as by making money or profit); making it easier to win or succeed.
The time you spend studying when you are in school will put you ahead of the game in college.
After Tom sold his papers, he was $5 ahead of the game.
2. Early; too soon; beforehand.
When Ralph came to school an hour early, the janitor said, "You're ahead of the game."
John studies his lessons only one day early; if he gets too far ahead of the game, he forgets what he read.

if it's not one thing it's another

If a certain thing doesn't go wrong, another most probably will.
When John lost his keys and his wallet, and his car wouldn't start, he exclaimed in despair, "If it's not one thing it's another."

put up

put up  {v.}
1a. To make and pack (especially a lunch or medicine); get ready; prepare.
Every morning Mother puts up lunches for the three children.
The druggist put up the medicine that the doctor had prescribed.
Compare: MAKE UP (1).
1b. To put food into jars or cans to save; can.
Mother is putting up peaches in jars.
1c. To store away for later use.
The farmer put up three tons of hay for the winter.
2. To put in place; put (something) where it belongs.
After he unpacked the car, John put it up.
After the hard ride, the doctor gave the horse to the stable boy to put up.
After the battle, the knight put up his sword.
3. To suggest that (someone) be chosen a member, officer, or official.
The club decided to take in another member, and Bill put up Charles.
- Often used with "for".
The Republicans put Mr. Williams up for mayor.
4. To put (hair) a special way; arrange.
Aunt May puts up her hair in curlers every night.
Compare: DO UP (3a).
5. To place on sale; offer for sale.
She put the house up for sale.
6a. To provide lodging for; furnish a room to.
The visitor was put up in the home of Mr. Wilson.
They put Frank up at a good hotel.
6b. To rent or get shelter; take lodging; stay in a place to sleep.
The traveler put up at a motel.
We put up with friends on our trip to Canada.
7. To make; engage in.
He put up a good fight against his sickness.
Compare: CARRY ON.
8. To furnish (money) or something needed; pay for.
He put up the money to build a hotel.
Categories:money verb


pick-me-up  {n. phr.}
Something you take when you feel tired or weak.
John stopped at a drugstore for a pick-me-up after working three hours overtime.
Mary always carried a bar of chocolate in her pocketbook for a pick-me-up.

on the house

on the house  {adj. phr.},  {informal}
Paid for by the owner.
At the opening of the new hotel, the champagne was on the house.
Oscar was the first customer at the diner, so his lunch was on the house.
Categories:adjective informal

lady of the house

lady of the house  {n. phr.}
Female owner, or wife of the owner, of the house; the hostess.
"Dinner is served," the lady of the house announced to her guests.

drop back

drop back  {v.}
To move or step backwards; retreat.
The soldiers dropped back before the enemy's attack.
The quarterback dropped back to pass the football.