Idioms – A

Here is a list of idiomatic expressions built around words beginning with A.

Take someone aback

To take someone aback is to shock or surprise them.

He looked taken aback.

Abandon yourself to

To abandon yourself is to give in to something completely.

Cannot abide

If you cannot abide something, you dislike it very much.

Be about to

When you are about to do something, you are on the point of doing it.

Of your own accord

When you do something off your own accord, you are doing it willingly.

Call someone to account

To call someone to account is to ask them to explain poor performance.

On account of

Because of

On no account

Under no circumstances

Take account of

To take account of something is to take that into consideration.

Ace up one’s sleeve

When you have an ace up your sleeve, you have a trick or piece of information that you keep secret until it is needed.

Act of God

An event caused by natural forces beyond human control

Get in on the act

To get in on the act is to become involved in something to share the profits.

Airs and graces

Pretentious behavior intended to impress people.

Up in the air

If an issue is up in the air, it is not yet resolved or settled.

Walk on air

You walk on air when you feel very happy or pleased.

All and sundry

To invite all and sundry is to invite everyone.

All for

When you are all for something, you are strongly in favor of it.

All in

When you are all in, you are exhausted.

On all fours

When you are on all fours, you are standing on your hands and legs.

Leave someone /something alone

To leave someone or something alone is to stop interfering with them.

Keep up appearances

To keep up appearances is to keep up an impression of well-being or wealth.

Cost an arm and a leg

If something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive.

Keep someone at arm’s length

To keep someone at arm’s length is to avoid close contact with them.

Up in arms

When you are up in arms, you are protesting about something vigorously.


Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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