An ELT Glossary : Idioms

Idioms are fixed lexical chunks with a specific meaning that often cannot be worked out from analysis of the literal meaning of the words used, although those words do have a literal meaning and, in some cases, once the meaning of the idiom is known, an analogy can be made - as in the first, second and third examples below. 

Examples : 
  • to bark up the wrong tree
  • to beat around the bush
  • to hear something on the grapevine
  • to let the cat out of the bag
  • to take something with a grain of salt
Other idioms are more transparent in meaning, as in eg It's pouring with rain / It's tipping it down.

Lewis, M. implementing the Lexical Approach, CENGAGE ELT

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