Idioms - R, Page 1

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race against time

Defined: When someone is in a race against time, they have to work very quickly in order to do or finish something before a certain time.
Example: It was a race against time to get everything ready for the inauguration.

rack one's brains

Defined: If you rack your brains, you try very hard to think of something or to remember something.
Example: Christmas is always a hassle for me. I have to rack my brains every year to find ideas for presents.

racked with pain

Defined: When someone is suffering from severe pain, they are racked with pain.
Example: The soldier was so badly injured that he was racked with pain.

from rags to riches

Defined: If a person goes from rags to riches, they start off being very poor and become very rich and successful.
Example: By renovating old houses in the right places, he went from rags to riches.

raining cats and dogs

Defined: If it's raining cats and dogs, it is raining very heavily.
Example: We'll have to cancel the picnic I'm afraid - it's raining cats and dogs.

raise eyebrows

Defined: Someone who raises their eyebrows at something shows surprise or disapproval by the expression on their face.
Example: When the boss arrived in jeans, there were a lot of raised eyebrows.

raise the roof

Defined: When people raise the roof, they make a lot of noise by cheering, shouting, whistling or clapping their hands.
Example: The concert was such a success, the audience raised the roof.

raise/lower one's sights

Defined: If you raise/lower your sights, your raise or lower your expectations, or you are more or less ambitious.
Example: He had to lower his sights and accept a less well-paid job than what he hoped for.

rake in the money

Defined: If you rake in the money, you make money in large quantities.
Example: Bob's business is so successful, he's raking in the money.

rake over the ashes

Defined: When people rake over the ashes, they discuss an unpleasant event which took place in the past.
Example: My grandfather's business went bankrupt years go, but he still rakes over the ashes from time to time.

rake in money

Defined: If you rake in the money, you make money in large quantities.
Example: Bob's businesss is so successful, he's raking in the money.

ram down someone's throat

Defined: If you ram something down someone's throat, you force them to accept something against their will.
Example: I encourage him to learn English but I can't ram it down his throat.

rant and rave

Defined: If you rant and rave about something, you protest noisily and forcefully.
Example: The old man ranted and raved about the new waste collection system, but he had to accept it.

rap on the knuckles

Defined: If someone gets a rap on/across the knuckles, they are punished or reprimanded, but not very severely, as a reminder not to do something again.
Example: Andy got a rap on the knuckles for coming home late.

raring to go

Defined: If someone is raring to go, they are very eager and enthusiastic about the idea of doing something.
Example: The kids can't wait to go camping. They're raring to go!

rats in the attic

Defined: If you say that someone has rats in the attic, you mean that they are a bit mad or that their behaviour is eccentric.
Example: She keeps repeating the same question. I think she's got rats in the attic.

rather you than me

Defined: This expression is used to express sympathy with someone who has to do something unpleasant or difficult, and you would not like to be in their situation.
Example: "I have to announce the bad new to the child's parents." "Oh dear, rather you than me."

reach for the moon

Defined: If you reach for the moon, you are very ambitious and try to achieve something even if it is difficult.
Example: His parents were hardworking people who encouraged their children to reach for the moon.

reach saturation point

Defined: When something reaches saturation point, it is so full that nothing more can be added.
Example: That's enough information for today. My brain has reached saturation point!

read the riot act

Defined: If you declare with force and authority that something must stop, and announce the consequences if it happens again, you read the riot act.
Example: Dad read us the riot act when we messed up his tool-shed.

ready and waiting

Defined: Something or someone that is ready and waiting is prepared and available for a particular task or occasion.
Example: There was a vast amount of food ready and waiting for the guests.

ready to drop

Defined: Someone who is ready to drop is nearly too exhausted to stay standing.
Example: I've been shopping all day with Judy. I'm ready to drop!

reach for the moon

Defined: If you reach for the moon, you are very ambitious and try to achieve something even it it is difficult.
Example: Jenny is talented and ambitious; she always tends to reach for the moon.

Page 1 (Continued on Page 2 | 3 | 4 ).

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