Idioms – R
Here is a list of idiomatic expressions formed around words beginning with R. Each idiom is followed by its meaning.
Rack something up
To rack something up is to accumulate or achieve something.
Rack your brains / wrack your brains
To rack your brains is to think very hard.
Lose your rag
To lose your rag is to lose your temper.
Go off the rails
When something goes off the rails, it begins to behave in an unexpected way.
Raise the roof
To raise the roof is to make a lot of noise, especially by cheering.
Rake something up/over
To rake something up is to revive the memory of something forgotten.
Rake it in
To rake it in is to make a lot of money.
Break rank / ranks
To break ranks is to fail to support a group to which you belong.
To close ranks is to unite so as to defend shared interests.
To pull rank is to use your higher rank to take advantage of someone.
Rank and file
This expression refers to the ordinary members of an organization.
Hold someone to ransom
To hold someone to ransom is to do something by threatening damaging action.
Take the rap
When you take the rap, you are punished or blamed for something.
Ratchet something up/down
To ratchet something up is to cause something to rise/fall as a step in a process.
At any rate
Rattle something off
To rattle something off is to say something quickly and easily.
Read between the lines
To read between the lines is to look for or discover a meaning that is not openly stated.
Take something as read
To take something as read is to accept something without discussing it.
A well read person is a very knowledgeable person.
At the ready
If something is at the ready, it is available for immediate use.
To reason with somebody is to persuade them by logical argument.
It stands to reason
If something stands to reason, it is obvious or logical.
In the red
When you are in the red, you have spent more than is in your bank account.
- He has been in the red for quite some time.
When you see red, you become very angry suddenly.
- My mother saw red when I told her that I would be spending the night out.
Rein something in
To rein something in is to restrain something. To rein someone in is to restrain them.
- You need to rein your tongue in.
A free rein
To give someone a free rein is to give them the freedom of action.
When you revolve around something you treat it as the most important element or aspect of your life.
- Her life revolves around her children.
When you are riding high, you are successful.
A rough ride
A rough ride is a difficult time.
Take someone for a ride
To take someone for a ride is to deceive them.
Rip someone off
To rip someone off is to cheat them.
Rip something off
To rip something off is to steal it.
At your own risk
When you do something at your own risk, you take responsibility for your own safety or possessions.
Rite of passage
This expression is used to refer to an event or ceremony that marks an important stage in a person’s life.
Be rolling in it / be rolling in money
When you are rolling in money you are very rich.
- He is rolling in it. He can buy just about anything he wants.
On a roll
When you are on a roll, you are experiencing a long spell of success.
- He has been on a roll since the launch of his app store.
Roll something up
To roll something up is to launch a new product officially.
- They are rolling up a faster version of their gaming console.
Go through the roof
When prices go through the roof, they reach a very high level.
- Prices of essential commodities have gone through the roof.
Hit the roof
To hit the roof is to become very angry suddenly.
- Dad hit the roof when I told him that I had failed the test.
When something is rooted, it is firmly established.
- Superstitions are rooted in the psyche of village people.
Root something up / out
To root something up/out is to get rid of it.
When something takes root, it becomes established.
To root for somebody is to support them enthusiastically.
The established way of doing something.
- Show me the ropes and I will do it myself.
Rope someone in
To rope someone in is to persuade them to take part in something.
On the ropes
If something is on the ropes, it is in a state of near collapse.
Rough someone up
To rough someone up is to beat them.
To rub shoulders with someone is to come into contact with them.
Rub someone the wrong way
To rub someone the wrong way is to irritate them.
Rule something out / in
To rule something out is to exclude it as a possibility. To rule something in is to include it as a possibility.
Be run off your feet
When you are run off your feet, you are very busy.
On the run
When you are on the run, you are trying to escape from arrest.
Run someone down
To run someone down is to criticize them.
Run something down
To run something down is to reduce it in size or resources.