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GRE Power Vocab- Some interesting Idioms and Phrases

IDIOMS AND PHRASES

1.

Flog a dead horse (informal): waste one’s time/efforts

2.

Blow hot and cold (informal): be undecided about something

3.

A hot potato (informal): a dangerous, highly controversial issue which is embarrassing to deal

with.

4.

Hot under the collar: to be annoyed or irritated by something

5.

A skeleton in the cupboard : a past event which is kept a secret as it is

embarrassing

6.

The tip of the iceberg : the beginning of a problem which is actually much bigger

7.

A damp squib: something which is expected to cause excitement but doesn’t do so

8.

A fair weather friend: one who doesn’t remain a friend in troubles or difficulties

of a person

9.

Hobson’s choice: a situation without any choice at all where in a person is forced

to take what is offered to him or nothing at all.

10.

A quixotic plan : a foolish or totally unrealistic plan

Idioms with prepositions:

1.

after a fashion : in an unsatisfactory manner without devoting much time or care

2.

at the helm : in charge (as leader)

3.

at a low ebb: which is lacking in interest or enthusiasm

4.

all at sea : confused or uncertain about something

5.

at one’s wits’ end: to be greatly troubled, without knowing what to do next

6.

in limbo: put aside temporarily as not needed or forgotten at the present time

7.

in a stew (informal): in a state of nervous confusion

8.

in tow : following behind

9.

off the cuff: without previous preparation or thought

10.

on a shoe string: with little money, not at a high cost

1.

dwell on something: spend too much time , discussing or thinking about a topic

2.

egg someone on (informal): encouraging someone to do something which

shouldn’t be done

3.

hammer something out: to discuss something at length until one reaches a

solution

4.

iron something out: to resolve something

5.

keel over: to lose balance and fall

6.

latch on to someone (informal): to impose one’s company on others

7.

mull something over: to Think about something for a long time

8.

snap out of something: to quickly bring oneself out of a bad mood or depression

9.

trip someone up: to deliberately make someone show his ignorance or lack of

information

10.

to wade through something: to read something which is boring and very long

Verbal

idioms :

1,

cut no ice with someone: fail to make any impression or to have an influence

2.

curry favor with someone: try to win favor of someone by flattery

3.

go haywire (informal): stop functioning smoothly or to become out of control

4.

jog someone’s memory: to remind someone of something or to make him recall

something

5.

laugh up one’s sleeve (informal): to be amused about something secretly

6.

weather the storm: to survive a crisis

7.

wipe the floor with someone (informal): to defeat someone easily

8.

upset the applecart: to spoil a well organized plan

9.

take a leaf out of someone’s book: to follow someone’s good example

10.

take someone by storm: to make a great impact on someone

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Word List Discussion

Ask Your Questions and Get Answers

5 Responses to “GRE Power Vocab- Some interesting Idioms and Phrases”

  1. Rijendra on July 27th, 2009 12:23 pm

    It is really helpful for the students .

  2. AnuVeluri on July 27th, 2009 12:38 pm

    Dear Rijendra, thanks :-)…run through our blogs too!!

    Regards,

  3. Derrick Aikins on November 9th, 2009 8:08 pm

    do you have words on SAT

  4. AnuVeluri on November 10th, 2009 7:58 am

    Hi Derrick we will come up with SAT Vocabulary list shortly. I request you to go through the word lists here on the website for the moment, they will certainly aid in SAT prep too..

  5. Ankur on September 24th, 2011 6:03 pm

    Have all these or a few of them appeared on the actual GRE?

    Thanks in advance for a wonderful collection!!!!

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