Idioms and Phrases Previous Year Questions of SSC CGL | CHSL

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Idioms And Phrases SSC CGL Previous Year

Idioms and phrases for SSC CGL and other exams are extremely significant. If candidates are familiar with important idioms and phrases as well as their meanings, they can easily get a good score in the English section where at least 4-5 questions related to idioms and phrases are typically asked in the SSC CGL exam. To assist candidates in their preparation, we have compiled a list of 100+ idioms and phrases that are relevant for the SSC CGL exam and other SSC exams.

The English section of SSC CGL and other competitive exams. These expressions, which convey a figurative meaning that differs from the literal interpretation of their words, can be challenging to understand and use correctly. However, candidates who have a solid grasp of important idioms and phrases and their meanings can increase their chances of success.

For those aspiring to pursue a career in government jobs, learning the idioms and phrases relevant to the SSC CGL exam is particularly important. By doing so, they can demonstrate their language proficiency and communicate effectively in the workplace. To assist candidates in their preparation, we have compiled a list of idioms and phrases for SSC CGL and other exams, which can be studied and revised for optimal performance on test day

Idioms and Phrases PDF Questions (Overview)

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Format TypePDF
Total No of Questions1000+
LanguageEnglish

What are Idioms.?

An idiom is a phrase or expression that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from the individual words in it. Idioms are a type of figurative language, which means they are not meant to be taken literally. They are commonly used in everyday language, and can be found in literature, music, and other forms of media. Examples of idioms include “to kick the bucket” (to die), “to let the cat out of the bag” (to reveal a secret), “to beat around the bush” (to avoid getting to the point). Idioms can be specific to a culture, region or language

Let us take a look at some really creative examples of idioms and their subsequent meanings.

IdiomsMeaning
Penny for your thoughtsAsking someone what is on their minds
Beat around the bushTrying to avoid a subject/person/situation
Burn the midnight oilWork or labor late into the night
Judge a book by its coverRely on outward appearances
Takes two to tangoMost deeds/actions/misdeeds require participation from two people
Kill two birds with one stoneAccomplish two things with the same effort
A piece of cakeAn easy task/job
Whole nine yardsThe entire thing, all of something
A dime a dozenVery common/commonplace
Bite off more than you can chewTry to take on a task too big for oneself
Cry over spilled milkRegret/complain about something that cannot be rectified
Hit the roadBegin one’s journey
Once in a blue moonOnce in awhile, infrequently
Have a blastTo enjoy oneself, have a good time

What are Phrases.?

A phrase is a group of words that make up a unit of meaning in a sentence. It does not contain a subject and a verb, and it doesn’t always express a complete idea. Phrases can act as nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and other parts of speech in a sentence. Examples of phrases include:

  • Noun phrase: “The big brown dog”
  • Adjective phrase: “With great enthusiasm”
  • Adverb phrase: “In the morning”
  • Verb phrase: “Have been studying”
  • Prepositional phrase: “On the table”
  • Infinitive phrase: “To swim in the ocean”
  • Gerund phrase: “Swimming in the ocean”
  • “Out of the blue” (adverb phrase, meaning unexpectedly)
  • “On top of the world” (prepositional phrase, meaning feeling very good)
  • “A piece of cake” (noun phrase, meaning something easy to do)
  • “Under the weather” (prepositional phrase, meaning feeling sick)
  • “In a nutshell” (prepositional phrase, meaning summarized in a few words)
  • “In the long run” (prepositional phrase, meaning in the future or over a period of time)
  • “Break a leg” (verb phrase, meaning good luck)

Phrases are different from idioms because idioms have a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from the individual words in it, whereas phrases can be understood by analyzing the individual words that make it up.

Some Examples of the phrases are

  • The telephone was on the table
  • Children were snickering and giggling when the teacher left the room
  • The Nice neighbor offered him a glass of water.

Best 300+ Idioms & Phrases for SSC Exam

S.No.Idioms & PhrasesMeaning
1.Rank and FileOrdinary People
2.By fits and startsIn short periods, not regularly
3.A wee bitA little
4.Out of the woodFree from difficulties and dangers
5.Under his thumbUnder his control
6.At one’s wit’s endIn a state where one does not know what to do
7.Between the devil and the deep seaBetween two dangers
8.Burn the midnight oilWork or study hard
9.Call a spade a spadeSpeak frankly and directly
10.Come off with flying colorsBe highly successful
11.Hoping against hopeWithout hope
12.Hit the nail on the headDo or say the exact thing
13.An axe to grindA personal interest in the matter
14.To get rid ofDispose of
15.At daggers drawnBitterly hostile
16.To play ducks and drakesTo act foolishly or inconsistently
17.To take the bull by the hornsTo tackle a problem in a bold and direct fashion
18.Rain cats and dogsRain heavily
19.To move heaven and earthTo make a supreme effort
20.No availWithout any result
21.Bark up the wrong treeAccuse or denounce the wrong person
22.Keep one at bayKeep one at a distance
23.Make a clean breast of itConfess – especially when a person has done a wrong thing
24.Have a card up one’s sleeveHave a secret plan in reserve
25.Like a cat on hot bricksVery nervous
26.Cat and dog lifeLife full of quarrels
27.Cock and bull storyMade up story that one should not believe
28.Cry for the moonAsk for the impossible
29.The pros and consThe various aspects of a matter in detail
30.Be in a tight cornerIn a very difficult situation
31.Cross one’s t’s and dotBe precise, careful and one’s i’s exact
32.At arm’s lengthTo keep at a distance
33.Out of the questionImpossible
34.Out of the wayStrange
35.Show a clean pair of healsRun away
36.Keep one’s fingers crossedThe anxiety in which you hope that nothing will upset your plans
37.In the nick of timeJust at the last moment
38.Sitting on the fenceHesitate between two decisions
39.Spread like wild fireSpread quickly
40.The gift of the gabTalent for speaking
41.By hook or by crookBy fair or foul means
42.Feather one’s own nestMake money unfairly
43.Throw out of gearDisturb the work
44.Take to one’s heelsRun away
45.Tooth and nailWith all one’s power
46.Die in harnessDie while in service
47.Take a leaf out of one’s bookImitate one
48.Leave no stone unturnedUse all available means
49.A man of strawA man of no substance
50.Read between the linesUnderstand the hidden meaning
51.In cold bloodDeliberately and without emotion
52.A thorn in the fleshA constant source of annoyance
53.Smell a ratSuspect something foul
54.Harp on the same stringDwell on the same subject
55.Bury the hatchetEnd the quarrel and make peace
56.Leave one in the lurchDesert one in difficulties; leave one in a helpless condition
57.Like a fish out of waterIn a strange situation
58.At one’s beck and callUnder his control
59.To make both ends meetTo live within one’s income
60.In hot waterIn trouble
61.Nip in the budDestroy in the early stage
62.Stick to one’s gunsRemain faithful to the cause
63.To eat humble pieTo apologize humbly and to yield under humiliating circumstances
64.In high spiritsVery happy
65.Put the cart before the horsePut or do things in the wrong order
66.To all namesTo abuse
67.On tenterhooksIn a state of suspense and anxiety
68.Wash one’s dirty linenDiscuss unpleasant in public-private matters before strangers
69.To bell the catTo face the risk
70.A hard nut to crackA difficult problem
71.Let the cat out of the bagReveal a secret
72.A big gunAn important person
73.Kill two birds with one stoneTo achieve two results with one effort
74.Take one to taskRebuke
75.Gain groundBecome Popular
76.To blow one’s ownTo praise one’s own trumpet achievement
77.A bosom friendA very close friend
78.A brown studyDreaming
79.Turn a deaf earDisregard / ignore what one says
80.A close shaveNarrow escape
81.Turn over a new leafChange for the better
82.Make up one’s mindDecide
83.In the long runEventually; ultimately
84.Bring to lightDisclose
85.Pay off old scoresTake revenge
86.Hard and fast rulesStrict rules
87.At the eleventh hourAt the last moment
88.A close shaveNarrow escape
89.To cut a sorry figureTo make a poor show
90.With a high handOppressively
91.Burn one’s fingersGet into trouble by interfering in other’s affairs
92.Laugh one’s head offLaugh heartily
93.Chew the cudPonder over something
94.Play second fiddleTake an unimportant part
95.Above boardHonest and open
96.Through thick and thinUnder all conditions
97.Put a spoke in one’s wheelTo upset one’s plans
98.At sixes and sevensIn a disordered/disorganized manner, chaotic
99.At homeComfortable
100.Alpha and omegaThe beginning and the end
101.At seaConfused and lost
102.A bosom friendA very close friend
103.At one’s beck and callAt one’s service
104.By leaps and boundsRapidly
105.To burn one’s boatsGo back on a decision
106.To beat about the bushTalk irrelevantly
107.To burn candle at both endsTo waste lavishly
108.Take one to taskRebuke
109.A bone of contentionA source of quarrel
110.Add fuel to the fireTo aggravate the situation
111.An acid testA critical test
112.At a snail’s paceVery slowly
113.A bolt from the blueSomething unexpected
114.To build castles in the airMake imaginary schemes
115.Once in a blue moonSomething that happens very rarely
116.Beating around the bushAvoiding the main topic
117.Cry over spilled milkComplaining about a loss or failure from the past
118.Chip on your shoulderWhen someone is upset about something that happened a while ago
119.Piece of cakeSomething that is easy to understand or do
120.Golden handshakeA big sum of money given to a person when he/she leaves a company or retires
121.Spill the beansTo disclose a secret
122.Blessing in disguiseSomething good and useful that did not initially seem that way
123.Mean businessBeing Serious or Dedicated
124.Come hell or high waterPossible obstacles in your path
125.Apple of one’s eyeBeing cherished
126.Bite off more than you can chewNot able to complete a task due to lack of ability
127.The best of both worldsThe benefits of widely differing situations enjoyed at the same time
128.Feeling a bit under the weatherFeeling slightly ill
129.The icing on the cakeSomething that turns good into great
130.Cost an arm and a legBe very expensive
131.Jump the bandwagonTo join a popular activity or trend
132.The ball is in your courtWhen it is up to you to make the next decision or step
133.To be in the doldrumsTo be in low spirits
134.To sit on the fenceTo remain neutral
135.Break the iceTo initiate a social conversation or interaction
136.Hear it on grapevineTo hear rumors about something or someone
137.Can’t judge a book by its coverCannot judge something primarily on appearance
138.It takes two to tangoActions or communications need more than one person
139.Let the cat out of the bagTo reveal the secret carelessly or by mistake
140.Black and blueFull of Bruises
141.Be on cloud nineBe very happy
142.Last strawThe final problem in a series of problems
143.A bird’s eye viewA view from a very high place that allows you to see a very large area
144.A litmus TestA method that helps to know if something is correct
145.At the drop of a hatWillingness to do something instantly
146.Afraid of one’s own shadowTo become easily frightened
147.A house of cardsA poor plan
148.Fool’s paradiseFalse sense of happiness
149.Get a raw dealTo not be treated as well as other people
150.Give cold shoulderTo ignore
151.Hand to mouthLive on only basic necessities
152.Make a faceTo show dislike or disappointment through facial expressions
153.It’s Greek to meSomething that is not understandable
154.To pour oil on troubled watersTo make peace
155.Don’t put all your eggs in one basketDo not put all your resources in one basket (in one place or thing)
156.To put in a nutshellTo say in a few words or to make something concise
157.Back outTo withdraw from a promise or contract
158.Blow upTo explode
159.Back-UpTo support and sustain
160.Back UponTo be relevant
161.Break DownFailure in something
162.Break offTo end or discontinue
163.Break UpTo disperse/dissolve
164.Bring upTo rear
165.Call forthTo provoke
166.Call outTo shout
167.Call uponTo order
168.Carry onTo continue
169.CastawayTo throw aside
170.Catch up withTo overtake
171.Come offTo take place
172.Cry DownTo make little of
173.Catch up withTo overtake
174.Cry out againstTo complain loudly against
175.Cut outDesigned for
176.Drop-inTo Visit Casually
177.Drop outTo fall
178.Fall backTo Recede; To Retreat
179.Fall downFrom a higher position to a lower one
180.Fall offTo Withdraw; To Drop Off
181.Fall underTo come under
182.Get alongTo Prosper; To Progress; To Proceed
183.Get on withTo Live Pleasantly Together; To Progress
184.Get intoTo be involved in
185.Give inTo Surrender; To Yield
186.Give overNot to do any longer
187.Go afterTo Follow; To Pursue
188.Go DownTo be accepted
189.Go withoutTo remain without
190.Go byTo follow
191.Hang aboutTo Loiter near a place
192.Hang uponTo depend upon
193.Hold outTo Endure; To Refuse to yield; To continue; To offer
194.Hold toAbide By
195.Keep offTo ward off
196.Keep up withTo keep pace with
197.Knock outTo win by hitting another one
198.It takes two to tangoBoth people involved in a bad situation are responsible for it
199.Last strawThe final problem in a series of problems
200.Keep something at bayKeep something away
201.Kill two birds with one stoneTo solve two problems at a time with just one action
202.Let sleeping dogs lieLeave something alone if it might cause trouble
203.Open the floodgatesRelease something that was previously under control
204.Out of the blueHappen unexpectedly
205.Out on a limbDo something risky
206.Over the TopTotally excessive and not suitable for the occasion
207.The pen is mightier than the swordWords and communication have a greater effect than war
208.Push one’s luckTrying to obtain more than what one has
209.Reap the harvestBenefit or suffer as a direct result of past actions
210.Roll-up sleevesTo get yourself prepared
211.See eye to eyeTo be in agreement with
212.Shot in the darkA complete guess
213.Sink your teeth intoDo something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm
214.Take with a grain/pinch of saltTo doubt the accuracy of information
215.Skating on thin iceDo or say something risky
216.Tight spotA difficult situation
217.Strike while the iron is hotTo act at the right time
218.Take the plungeVenture into something of one’s interest despite the risks involved
219.Take a nosediveRapid drop or decrease in value
220.Think the world ofAdmire someone very much
221.Stand in a good steadTo be useful or be of good service to someone
222.Take a back seatChoose to be less important in a role
223.Wave a dead chickenDo something useless
224.Whale of a timeEnjoy a lot
225.Wrap one’s brain aroundConcentrate on something to understand
226.Zero in on somethingFocus all attention on one thing
227.Above allChiefly, Mainly
228.On Account ofDue to
229.On no accountNot for Any Reason
230.A Fidus AchatesA faithful friend or a devoted follower
231.The Heel of AchillesA Weak Point
232.An AdonisA very handsome man
233.To assume airsTo affect superiority
234.To stand aloofTo keep to oneself and not mix with others
235.To lead to the altarTo marry
236.An AnaniasA Liar
237.An ApolloA Man with Perfect Physique
238.To Upset the Apple CartTo disturb the peace
239.Apple Pie OrderIn perfect order
240.Arcadian LifeA blissful, happy, rural and simple life
241.To take up armsTo fight or go to the war
242.To GrindTo have some selfish objective in view
243.To break the back of anythingTo perform the most difficult part
244.To backbite a personTo speak disguise about someone
245.He has no backboneHe has no will of his own
246.To cause bad bloodTo Cause Enmity
247.Bag and BaggageWith all one’s belongings
248.To keep the ball rollingTo keep things going
249.Barmecide feastImaginary Benefits
250.Bee-lineThe shortest distance between two places
251.Behind one’s backWithout one’s Knowledge
252.Behind the scenesIn Private
253.To hit below the beltTo act unfairly in a contest
254.To bite the dustTo be Defeated in Battle
255.A Wet BlanketA person who discourages enjoyment or enthusiasm
256.In Cold BloodDeliberately
257.A blue StockingA learned/educated or intellectual woman
258.At First BlushAt first sight
259.A Bolt from the BlueSomething completely unexpected that surprises you
260.One’s bread and butterOne’s means of livelihood
261.To breadth one’s lastTo Die
262.To make bricks without strawTo attempt to do something without proper materials
263.To kick the bucketTo die
264.Good wine needs no bushThere is no need to advertise something good
265.To burn the candle at both endsTo expend energy in two directions at the same time
266.If the cap fits, wear itIf you think the remarks refer to you, then accept the criticism
267.Care killed the catDon’t fret and worry yourself to death
268.To catch one’s eyeTo attract attention
269.To take the chairTo preside a meeting
270.She is no chickenShe is older than she says
271.To pick and chooseTo make a careful selection
272.To square the circleTo attempt something impossible
273.Every cloud has a silver liningAdverse conditions do not last forever
274.Close fistedMean
275.Cut your cloth according to your clothLive within your income
276.A cock and bull storyA foolishly incredible story
277.To be cocksureTo be perfectly sure or certain
278.To throw cold water upon anythingTo discourage efforts
279.Off-colorNot in the usual form
280.To commit to memoryTo learn by heart
281.Too many cooks spoil the brothWhere there are more workers than necessary
282.Crocodile tearsHypocritical Tears
283.By hook or by crookBy fair or foul means
284.Cut and driedReadymade
285.Up to dateRecent
286.Evil daysA period of misfortune
287.Halcyon DaysA time when there are peace and happiness in the land
288.To step into dead man’s shoesTo come into an inheritance
289.Go to the devilBe off
290.Devil’s bonesDice
291.Devil’s PlaythingsPlaying Cards
292.Give a dog a bad name and hang himOnce a person loses his reputation
293.Every dog has his daySooner or later, everyone has his share of good fortune
294.To throw dust in one’s eyesTo try to deceive someone or mislead someone
295.A white elephantA useless possession which is extremely expensive to keep
296.To set the Thames on fireTo do something sensational or remarkable
297.A burnt child dreads the fireOne who has had previous unpleasant experience is always scared of situations where such experiences are likely to be repeated
298.A fish out of waterAnyone in an awkward
299.Foul playCheating
300.To jump from a frying pan into fireTo come out of one trouble and get into a worse
301.All that glitters are not goldThings are not always as attractive as they appear
302.To die in harnessTo continue at one’s occupation until death
303.Make hay while the sun shinesTake advantage of all opportunities
304.Lock, stock and barrelThe whole of everything
305.A miss is as good as a mileComes nowhere near it. If someone narrowly misses the target it still is treated as a missed one or failure.
306.To move heaven and earthTo exert all efforts
307.One swallow does not make a summerIt is unreliable to base one’s conclusions on only a single test or incident
308.If wishes were horses, beggars might rideIf wishing could make things happen, then even the most destitute people would have everything they wanted
309.A nine days’ wonderAn event which relates a sensation for a time but is soon forgotten
310.Yellow pressNewspapers publish sensational and unscrupulous stories and exaggerate the news to attract readers.
311.A ballpark figureA general financial figure
312.To balance the booksTo make certain that the amount of money spent is not more than the amount of money received.
313.A cash cowA product or service that makes a lot of money for a company
314.Devil’s AdvocateTo present a counter-argument
315.Don’t give up the day jobYou are not very good at something. You could not do it professionally.
316.To cook the booksTo modify financial statements
317.To get the sackTo be dismissed from your job
318.To be snowed underTo be very busy
319.To work your fingers to the bone or to sweat bloodTo work really hard
320.Hear it on the grapevineTo hear rumors
321.In the heat of the momentOverwhelmed by what is happening at the moment
322.Not a spark of decencyNo Manners
323.Speak of the devil!This expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives
324.Whole nine yardsEverything. All of it
325.Your guess is as good as mineTo have no idea about anything

Idioms and Phrased Asked in SSC CGL

Idioms and Phrased MCQs PDFDownload
Idioms and Phrases Previous Year Questions of SSC CGLDownload

FAQ on Idioms and Phrases Questions

Q. What are phrases in Idioms and Phrases?

Ans: An idiom is a phrase where the meaning cannot be understood from the individual words that make it up. For example, the idiom “I’ll pull your leg” has nothing to do with legs! An idiom is an expression that cannot be taken literally. A phrase is a group of words that express a concept and is often used as an idiom.

Q. What is Idioms and phrases with examples?

Ans: Get your act together, it means you need to improve your behaviour/work Pull yourself together, it means calm down I’m feeling under the weather, it means I’m sick It’s a piece of cake, it means it’s easy Break a leg, it means good luck

Q. Where to not use any idiom?

Ans: Idioms should not be utilised in writing for academic or professional purposes.

Idioms and Phrases Previous Year Questions of SSC CGL | CHSL

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