Idioms Beginning With Letter D

Here is a list of idioms beginning with the letter D. Source: Cambridge International Dictionary. Example sentences are our own.

Daft as a bush

This idiom is mainly used in British English. If you are as daft as a bush, you are rather stupid.

  • I don’t think that John will be able to pass the test. He is as daft as a bush.
  • I wasn’t surprised when John paid $3000 for that used car. He would do it. He is as daft as a bush.

Damp squib

This idiom is mainly used in British English. A damp squib is something that fails to leave an impact although it was widely expected that it would.

  • His latest film is a damp squib. People thought that it would break all box office records, but it didn’t even recover its costs.
  • All these low cost tablet computers are damp squibs. They grab deadlines, but don’t sell well.

Dancing on someone’s grave

To dance on somebody’s grave is to outlive them.

  • He thought that he would dance on my grave. Little did he know that I would outlive him.

Dark horse

If someone is a dark horse, they are a bit of a mystery or they possess unknown skills.

  • He is quite a dark horse. People were surprised when he won the contest beating quite a few local favourites.
  • I couldn’t believe my eyes when she sat down to play the piano. I didn’t know that she could. She is a real dark horse.

Day in the sun

If you have your day in the sun, you get attention and are appreciated.

  • Everybody deserves a day in the sun.
  • John won all the matches. He almost seemed invincible. It was his day in the sun.

Daylight robbery

If you have to pay an exorbitant price for something cheap, it is daylight robbery. The expression rip-off has a similar meaning.

  • I can’t believe that you paid 400 bucks for that used computer. It is daylight robbery.

Deaf as a post

If you are as deaf as a post, you can’t hear at all.

  • Aunt Betty is as deaf as a post.

Deep pockets

If someone has deep pockets, they are wealthy.

  • Her fiancé owns a fleet of luxury cars. I guess he has deep pockets.

Deliver the goods

To deliver the goods is to do what is required.

  • Rahul delivered the goods and got us all the necessary approvals we needed to set up the factory.
  • Sam had promised that he would get me elected to the council, but in the end he failed to deliver the goods.


If somebody shows derring-do, they show great courage.

  • He is a coward, but shows great derring-do when he is under the influence of alcohol.

Devil is in the detail

This is an idiom used to mean that small things that are often overlooked can cause great problems later on.

  • Before setting up the factory we made sure that we had finished all the necessary paperwork. It wasn’t easy but I guess it was necessary. After all, the devil is in the detail.

Devil may care

If somebody leads a devil-may-care life, they take a lot more risks than most people.

  • John quit his high-paying job and took up farming, but that was hardly surprising. He has always led a devil-may-care life.

Diamond in the rough

If somebody is a diamond in the rough, they have huge untapped potential.

  • John will make a great cricketer. He just needs some practice. He is a diamond in the rough.

Die is cast

If the die is cast, a decision has been made that cannot be changed and destiny will decide the consequences.

  • I don’t think that there is something that we can do at the moment. The die is cast.

Manjusha Nambiar

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

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