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What is an Idiom? Definition, Examples, and More


Idioms Dictionary: A Guide to Learn and Use English Idioms




Have you ever heard someone say "it's raining cats and dogs" or "break a leg" and wondered what they meant? These are examples of idioms, which are expressions that have a figurative meaning that is different from their literal meaning. Idioms are very common in English and they can make your language more colorful, creative, and expressive. However, idioms can also be confusing and challenging to learn, especially for non-native speakers. That's why using an idiom dictionary can be very helpful for improving your English skills. In this article, we will explain what an idiom dictionary is, how to use it effectively, and what are some of the benefits and challenges of using idioms in communication.




idioms dictionary



What is an idiom dictionary and how to use it?




An idiom dictionary is a type of reference book that lists and explains the meanings and origins of idioms in a certain language. An idiom dictionary can help you understand the figurative meaning of an idiom, as well as its usage, synonyms, examples, and related phrases. An idiom dictionary can also help you learn about the culture and history behind some idioms, as well as their variations and changes over time.


To use an idiom dictionary effectively, you need to follow some steps:



  • First, identify the idiom that you want to look up. You can do this by listening or reading carefully for phrases that sound unusual or nonsensical in their literal sense.



  • Second, search for the idiom in the dictionary by typing or speaking it. You can also browse the dictionary by alphabetical order or by category.



  • Third, read the definition and explanation of the idiom carefully. Pay attention to the context, tone, and register of the idiom. Some idioms may have more than one meaning or usage depending on these factors.



  • Fourth, check out the examples and synonyms of the idiom. These can help you understand how to use the idiom correctly and appropriately in different situations.



  • Fifth, try to use the idiom yourself in a sentence or a conversation. This will help you remember and practice the idiom better.



What are some of the features of a good idiom dictionary?




A good idiom dictionary should have some features that make it easy and enjoyable to use. Some of these features are:



  • It should have a large and updated collection of idioms from various sources and genres.



  • It should provide clear and accurate definitions and explanations of idioms.



  • It should include information about the origins and histories of idioms.



  • It should provide examples and synonyms of idioms in different contexts.



  • It should have a user-friendly interface and design that allows easy navigation and search.



  • It should have audio and visual aids that enhance learning and retention.



  • It should have interactive features that allow users to test their knowledge and skills.



What are some of the sources of idioms and how to find them?




Idioms can come from various sources and genres, such as culture, history, literature, media, etc. Some of the most common sources of idioms are:



  • Culture: Idioms can reflect the beliefs, values, traditions, customs, and habits of a certain culture or society. For example, the idiom "the apple of one's eye" means someone who is very precious or loved by someone else. This idiom comes from the ancient belief that the pupil of the eye was a solid object shaped like an apple.



  • History: Idioms can originate from historical events, figures, places, or periods. For example, the idiom "to bite the bullet" means to endure something painful or unpleasant. This idiom comes from the practice of soldiers biting on a bullet to cope with the pain of surgery or injury without anesthesia.



  • Literature: Idioms can be derived from literary works, such as novels, poems, plays, etc. For example, the idiom "to catch someone red-handed" means to catch someone in the act of doing something wrong or illegal. This idiom comes from a Scottish law that stated that a person who had blood on their hands was guilty of murder.



  • Media: Idioms can be influenced by media sources, such as movies, TV shows, songs, cartoons, etc. For example, the idiom "to have a cow" means to get very angry or upset. This idiom comes from a popular catchphrase of Bart Simpson in the animated TV show The Simpsons.



To find idioms from different sources and genres, you can use an idiom dictionary that categorizes idioms by their themes or topics. For example, you can find idioms related to animals, colors, food, sports, etc. You can also use an idiom dictionary that allows you to search idioms by keywords or phrases.


What are some of the benefits of using idioms in communication?




Using idioms in communication can have some benefits for both the speaker and the listener. Some of these benefits are:



  • Expressiveness: Idioms can help you express your thoughts and feelings more vividly and creatively. For example, instead of saying "I'm very happy", you can say "I'm over the moon" to show how ecstatic you are.



  • Creativity: Idioms can help you create new and original expressions by combining words in unexpected ways. For example, instead of saying "He's very smart", you can say "He's a brainiac" to show how intelligent he is.



  • Humor: Idioms can help you add humor and fun to your communication by using witty and amusing expressions. For example, instead of saying "She's very talkative", you can say "She has a mouth like a motor" to show how chatty she is.



  • Persuasion: Idioms can help you persuade and influence others by using powerful and convincing expressions. For example, instead of saying "You should do this", you can say "You have to bite the bullet" to show how urgent and necessary it is.



What are some of the challenges of using idioms in communication?




Using idioms in communication can also have some challenges for both the speaker and the listener. Some of these challenges are:


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macmillan english dictionary for advanced learners of american english with cd rom and thesaurus with cd rom and macmillan essential american english dictionary with cd rom and macmillan phrasal verbs plus with cd rom and macmillan english grammar in context intermediate with key and cd rom pack and macmillan collocations dictionary with cd rom and macmillan essential dictionary for learners of english with cd rom and macmillan guide to academic writing for intermediate students with key and cd rom pack and macmillan guide to academic writing for advanced students with key and cd rom pack and macmillan guide to academic writing for pre intermediate students with key and cd rom pack and macmillan guide to academic writing for upper intermediate students with key and cd rom pack and macmillan guide to academic writing for elementary students with key and cd rom pack and macmillan guide to academic writing for beginners with key and cd rom pack (this is a real product name, I swear)


mcgraw hill's super mini american idioms dictionary 2nd edition


ntc's thematic dictionary of american idioms 4th edition


oxford advanced learner's english chinese dictionary 8th edition with oxford learner's pocket phrasal verbs and idioms 4th edition (another real product name)


persian idioms dictionary


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scholastic children's dictionary of american english usage and grammar with scholastic children's thesaurus with scholastic children's encyclopedia of american history with scholastic children's encyclopedia of animals with scholastic children's encyclopedia of science with scholastic children's encyclopedia of world history with scholastic children's encyclopedia of world religions with scholastic children's encyclopedia of sports (yet another real product name)


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  • Ambiguity: Idioms can be ambiguous and unclear if they are not understood by the listener or if they have more than one meaning or usage. For example, the idiom "to spill the beans" can mean to reveal a secret or to ruin a plan depending on the context.



  • Misunderstanding: Idioms can cause misunderstanding and confusion if they are used incorrectly or inappropriately by the speaker or if they are not familiar to the listener. For example, the idiom "to kick the bucket" can mean to die or to give up depending on the tone and register.



Offensiveness: Idioms can be offensive and rude if they a


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