English Idioms A - Z - Idiomatic Expressions


The Cambridge dictionary defines an idiom as a group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of each word understood on its own: For example
To "have bitten off more than you can chew" is an idiom that means you have tried to do something which is too difficult for you.We have offered you a list of commonly used idioms from A to Z.

Idioms M- Idiomatic expressions beginning with M

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  1. Mad

be mad keen (on smb/smth) (informal)
Be very interested in or enthusiastic about smb/smth
She’s been mad keen on African music ever since she came back from Zimbabwe last year.

  1. Make

make do (with smth); make smth do
manage with smth that is not really satisfactory
I really need a large frying pan but if you haven’t got one I’ll have to make do with that small one.
make the most of smth
get as much good as you can out of smth
The meeting finished early so I decided to make the most of being in London and do some shopping.

  1. Making

in the making
developing into smth or being made
He’s very good at public speaking – I think he’s a politician in the making.

  1. Makings

have (got) the makings of smth
(of a person) have the necessary qualities or character to become smth
She’s got the makings of a good tennis player, but she needs to practice much harder.

  1. Man

be your own man/woman
act or think independently, not following others or being ordered
Working for himself meant that he could be his own man.
one man’s meat is another man’s poison (saying)
used to say that different people like different things; what one person likes very much, another person does not like at all
I am amazed that Tim enjoys cricket so much. Still, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, as they say.

  1. Mark

be quick/slow off the mark
be quick/slow to do smth or understand smth
You have to be quick off the mark when you answer a newspaper advertisement for a flat.
make your mark
become famous because you’re very good at smth
He’s an actor who has made his mark in comedy films.

  1. Match

be no match for smb/smth
not be as good etc. as smb/smth; not be able to compete successfully against smb/smth
He’s no match for Woods. Woods is much the better player.

  1. Meal

a meal ticket (informal)
a person or thing that you see only as a source of money or food
He suspected that he was just a meal ticket for her.

  1. Mean

mean (smb) no harm; not mean (smb) any harm
not have any intention of hurting smb
Try not to worry about what he said. I know you thought he was rude, but he didn't mean any harm by it.

  1. Means

(be) a means to an end
a thing you do only to achieve or obtain smth else
He saw his marriage simply as a means to an end – he was only interested in his wife’s money.

  1. Memory

if my memory serves me well, correctly, etc.; if memory serves
if I remember correctly
I first went to Canada in June 1982, if my memory serves me right.

  1. Mental

go mental (BrE, slang)
become very angry
My dad’ll go mental when he sees what we’ve done!

  1. Mess

make a mess/hash of smth/doing smth (informal)
do smth very badly
We tried making some wine but we made a mess of it. (=it did not taste good)

  1. Mildly

put it mildly
used for showing that you could have said smth much stronger or more critical, etc.
He was annoyed, to put it mildly (=he was very angry)

  1. Miles

be miles away (informal)
be thinking deeply about smth and not aware of what is happening around you
When I ask him a question in class, he just looks at me. He’s always miles away.

  1. Mind

come/spring to mind
if smth comes or springs to mind, you suddenly remember or think of it
“Have you any suggestions?” “Nothing springs to mind, I am afraid”.

have (got) a mind of your own
(of people) have your own opinion and make your own decisions without being influenced by other people
She certainly doesn’t need your advice; she’s got a mind of her own, that girl.

(humorous) (of machines, etc) behave in a way that you do not expect
This photocopier has a mind of its own. If I ask for ten copies it does one; if I ask for five, it does fifteen.

in your mind’s eye
as a picture in your mind or in your imagination
I can see his face quite clearly in my mind’s eye.
make up your mind
decide smth
I’ve made up my mind to be a doctor.
mind you (spoken)
used to add to what you have just said, especially smth that makes it less strong
It’s a fantastic restaurant. Expensive, mind you.
used after a word you want to emphasize
When we were children, we used to walk, walk mind you, five miles to and from school every day.

  1. Mistake

make no mistake (about smth) (spoken)
used to emphasize what you’re saying, especially when you want to warn smb about smth
Make no mistake (about it), this is one crisis that won't just go away.

  1. Moment

the moment of truth
a time when smb/smth is tested, or when important decisions are made
Dan asked her if she still loved her. It was a moment of truth.

  1. Monkey

monkey business (informal)
dishonest or silly behaviour
There’s money missing from the office and it’s not the first time it’s happened. I think there’s some monkey business going on.

  1. Mountain

make a mountain out of a molehill (disapproving)
make a small or unimportant problem seem much more serious that it really is
It’s not such a big problem! Stop making a mountain out of a molehill!

  1. Mouth

down in the mouth (informal)
unhappy and depressed
Why is she looking so down in the mouth?

  1. Mug

be a mug’s game (disapproving, esp. BrE)
an activity which brings little or no benefit to you
Don’t start smoking – it’s a mug’s game.

  1. Mum

keep mum (informal)
say nothing about a secret; stay silent
I just kept mum when she asked me where Ben was. She’d be furious if she knew.

  1. Must

if you must (do smth)
used to say that smb may do smth but you do not really want them to
“Can I smoke?” “If you must”.


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