Idioms – L

Lead someone up the garden path

To lead someone up the garden path is to give them misleading clues or signals.

Turn over a new leaf

To turn over a new leaf is to start to act or behave in a better way.

A leap in the dark

A leap in the dark is a daring step with an unpredictable outcome.

By leaps and bounds / in leaps and bounds

With very rapid progress

A new lease of life

A new lease of life is a chance to live longer.

Leave someone be

To leave someone be is to avoid interfering with them.

Leave someone out

To leave someone out is to fail to include them.

Not have a leg to stand on

When you don’t have a leg to stand on, you are not able to give reasons for your actions.

On your last legs / on its last legs

When something is on its last legs, it is exhausted or worn out.

  • My computer is on its last legs.

At length

In detail

  • He explained everything at length.

Let alone

Not to mention

  • He couldn’t see any birds, let alone the one in the picture.

Let someone down

To let someone down is to fail to support them.

  • I trusted him but he let me down when I needed his support the most.

Let yourself go

To let yourself go is to act in a relaxed way.

Let someone off

To let someone off is to excuse them from a task or choose not to punish them.

  • He was let off with a minor punishment.

Let something off

To let something off is to cause a gun or a bomb to fire or explode.

Let up

When a storm lets up, it becomes less intense.

  • We can’t resume our journey until the rains let up.

To the letter

Precisely and accurately

Take liberties with

To take liberties with someone is to behave in an extremely familiar way towards them.

  • I don’t like it when he takes liberties with me.

Lie low

To lie low is to avoid attention.

  • The celebrity has been lying low ever since news of his scandalous affair broke out.

Come to light

When something comes to light, it becomes widely known.

In line

Under control

In line for

Likely to receive something

  • He is third in line for the throne.

On the line

At serious risk

Out of line

Behaving badly or wrongly

The lion’s share

The largest part of something

Bite your lip

To bite your lip is to stop yourself from laughing or speaking.

Pay lip service to

To pay lip service is to express only superficial support for something.

Twist someone around your little finger

When you twist someone around your little finger, you are able to make them do whatever you want.

Live it up

To live it up is to lead a life of extravagance and exciting social activity.

Liven something up

To liven something up is to make it more interesting.

In the long run


The long and the short of it

All that can or need be said

On the loose

When somebody is on the loose, they have escaped from prison.

Be at a loose end

When you are at a loose end, you have nothing definite to do.

At a loss

When you are at a loss, you are puzzled.

Be lost for words

When you are lost for words, you are so upset or surprised that you cannot find words to speak.

Be lost on

When something is lost on somebody, they are unable to understand it.

  • The joke was lost on him.

A lump in the throat

To have a lump in the throat is to experience a feeling of tightness in the throat because you are overwhelmed with emotion.


Manjusha Nambiar

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

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