Idioms - U, Page 1

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

ugly as sin

Defined: This expression is used to refer to people or things that are considered to be very unattractive.
Example: Have you seen the new neighbour's dog? It's as ugly as sin!

uncharted waters

Defined: If you are in uncharted waters, you are in a situation that you have never experienced before, so you don't know what's going to happen.
Example: In some countries, democracy is an adventure into uncharted waters.

under one's belt

Defined: If you have something under your belt, you have acquired experience or have satisfactorily achieved something.
Example: You've got to have some work experience under your belt before you can hope to get a permanent job.

under close scrutiny

Defined: Someone or something that is under (close) scrutiny is being watched or examined carefully.
Example: The police are keeping the suspect under close scrutiny.

under the knife

Defined: If a person goes under the knife, they have surgery.
Example: I'm not worried about the anaesthetic. I've been under the knife several times.

under your thumb

Defined: If someone is under your thumb, they are completely under your control or influence.
Example: Nobody ever protests. He has the whole group under his thumb.

under the weather

Defined: If you are under the weather, you are not feeling very well.
Example: You look a bit under the weather. What's the matter?

unmitigated disaster

Defined: An unmitigated disaster is a complete failure or a total catastrophe.
Example: The organization of the tournament was an unmitigated disaster!

until hell freezes over

Defined: If you tell someone that they can do something until hell freezes over, you mean that they can do it forever but they won't obtain what they want.
Example: You can ask until hell freezes over; I will not allow you to go bungee-jumping!

unvarnished truth

Defined: If you present someone with plain facts, without trying to embellish or soften the reality, you give them the unvarnished truth.
Example: Tell me how the accident happened, and I want the unvarnished truth.

up and about/p>

Defined: If someone is up and about, they are out of bed or have recovered after an illness.
Example: She was kept in hospital for a week but she's up and about again.

up/down one's alley

Defined: If something is (right) up or down your alley, it is exactly the sort of thing that will suit your tastes or abilities.
Example: Alex loves reading, so a job in a bookshop is right up his alley.

on the up and up

Defined: If you are on the up and up, you are becoming increasingly successful.
Example: The architect has been on the up and up since he designed a building in Dubai.

up in arms

Defined: If you are up in arms about something, you are very angry.
Example: The population was up in arms over the demolition of the old theatre.

up in the air

Defined: If something, such as a plan or decision, is up in the air, it has not been decided or settled yet.
Example: I can't give you a definite answer yet; the project is still up in the air.

up for grabs

Defined: If something is up for grabs, it is available for anyone who wants to compete for it.
Example: You should enter the competition - there's $20000 in prizes up for grabs.


Defined: Something that is up-to-the-minute is the very latest or most recent version available.
Example: The internet is the best place to find up-to-the-minute news.

up to no good

Defined: When someone is up to no good, they are doing or planning something bad or wrong.
Example: When the shopkeeper saw the boys hiding behind a car, he suspected they were up to no good.

up to par

Defined: If something is up to par, it meets the required standard.
Example: He didn't get the job because his English wasn't up to par.

up and running

Defined: If a business or a project is up and running, it has started and is fully operational.
Example: In some countries you can have a company up and running in a very short time.

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

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Additional Training Options

Private Tutoring

Do you want private classes that are tailored to your specific needs that are affordable?


Come practice your reading, writing
and comprehension skills with other students.