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.

Close ranks

To close ranks is to unite so as to defend shared interests.

Pull rank

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

Whatever happens.

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.

Well read

A well read person is a very knowledgeable person.

At the ready

If something is at the ready, it is available for immediate use.

Reason with

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.

See red

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.

Revolve around

When you revolve around something you treat it as the most important element or aspect of your life.

  • Her life revolves around her children.

Ride high

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.

Be rooted

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.

Take root

When something takes root, it becomes established.

Root for

To root for somebody is to support them enthusiastically.

The ropes

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.

Rub shoulders

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.


Manjusha Nambiar

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.