Number Idioms and Phrases -

60+ Number Idioms with Meaning and Example

60+ Number Idioms with Meaning and Example

Number Idioms and phrases! Learn useful expressions and idioms using numbers in English with meaning and example sentences.

List of Idioms Using Numbers in English

A million and one
Very many
Example: I have a million and one things to do today.

All in one piece
Example: Thank goodness you’re all in one piece

And Counting
And the number just mentioned is increasing (or decreasing)
Example: How many dumplings have you made? – We’ve got two hundred and counting.

At sixes and sevens
Someone is in a state of confusion or not very well organized.
Example: After the party, the house was at sixes and sevens with decorations and empty bottles scattered everywhere.

At the eleventh hour
It happens when it is almost too late.
Example: I was shocked that they reached an agreement at the eleventh hour after weeks of squabbling.

Back to square one
Back to the start
Example: The project failed, we’re back to square one.

Be in seventh heaven
Extremely happy
Example: I’ve been in seventh heaven ever since I got engaged!

Be in two minds (about something)
To not be certain about something, or to have difficulty in making a decision
Example: I’m in two minds about accepting the job.

Behind the eight ball
Being in a difficult or disadvantageous position.
Example: He was behind the eight ball after losing his job.

By the Numbers; By the Book
To follow instructions exactly
Example: You don’t have to do this totally by the book; if you see small changes that are needed, go ahead and change the procedure.

Cast the first stone
To be the first to criticize or attack someone
Example: OK,fine, I’ll cast the first stone—that movie was awful!

Dressed up to the nines
Someone is wearing very smart or glamorous clothes
Example: I have to be dressed to the nines at this gala tonight – a lot of important people will be there.

Eighth wonder of the world
Something extremely impressive or amazing.
Example: The Great Wall of China is considered the eighth wonder of the world.

To cancel or remove something from a menu or list.
Example: They had to eighty-six the seafood dish because they ran out of fresh ingredients.

Feel like a million dollars
To feel great, to feel well and healthy.
Example: You look like a million dollars in that dress, honey!

An even split or division between two parties.
Example: They agreed to a fifty-fifty split of the profits.

First things first
Prioritizing the most important tasks.
Example: First things first, we need to finish this report before the deadline.

Five o’clock shadow
Stubble or beard growth that becomes noticeable later in the day.
Example: He needed to shave because his five o’clock shadow was showing.

Five-finger discount
Stealing or shoplifting.
Example: He was caught using the five-finger discount at the store.

Four corners of the earth
Everywhere on the planet.
Example: He traveled to the four corners of the earth in search of adventure.

Four-letter word
A word considered vulgar or offensive.
Example: Saying a four-letter word in front of the boss is never a good idea.

Fourth estate
The press or media, as an influential power.
Example: The fourth estate played a crucial role in exposing the corruption scandal.

Get the third degree
To be questioned in great detail about something
Example: My boyfriend is so controlling that I always get the third degree if I go anywhere or see anyone without him.

Have one over the eight
A person is slightly drunk.
Example: From the way he was walking it was obvious he’d had one over the eight.

Have one too many
Drink too much alcohol
Example: I can’t drive, I had one too many.

High five
Celebrating or congratulating someone with a slap of hands.
Example: They gave each other a high five after winning the game.

In seventh heaven
In a state of extreme happiness or joy.
Example: When he received the promotion, he was in seventh heaven.

It takes two to tango
You say this when you think that a difficult situation or argument cannot be the fault of one person alone.
Example: Your son blames mine for their fight at school, but it generally takes two to tango.

Kill two birds with one stone.
Solve two problems with one move
Example: I’ll drop you off on the way to work, we’ll kill two birds with one stone.

Level playing field
A situation where everyone has the same opportunities and chances for success.
Example: It’s important to create a level playing field in the workplace to ensure fair treatment.

Lucky seven
Being extremely fortunate.
Example: Winning the lottery was his lucky seven moment.

Never in a million years
Absolutely never
Example: Never in a million years did I think that I would actually win the lottery!

Nine times out of ten
Almost always
Example: Nine times out of ten your first choice turns out to be the right one.

The typical workday schedule.
Example: She works a nine-to-five job at the office.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred
Almost always.
Example: Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, he takes the bus to work.

On all fours
You are down on your hands and knees.
Example: I got down on all fours trying to find my ring in the sand.

On cloud nine
Being extremely happy or euphoric.
Example: After receiving the award, she was on cloud nine.

One for the road
One more drink before leaving.
Example: Can I get one for the road before we head out?

One in a million
Very rare or unique.
Example: Her talent for playing the piano was one in a million.

One-hit wonder
A person or thing that achieves success or fame only once.
Example: He was a one-hit wonder after his debut album became a hit, but he couldn’t replicate that success again.

Put in one’s two cents
Say your opinion
Example: I put in my two cents at the meeting.

Rule of thumb
A general principle or guideline that is widely accepted.
Example: As a rule of thumb, it’s best to always arrive early for job interviews.

Second nature
Something that is so familiar or habitual that it seems natural.
Example: After years of practice, playing the piano became second nature to her.

Seven-year itch
A restlessness or desire for change in a long-term relationship or marriage.
Example: After being married for seven years, they both experienced the seven-year itch.

Six feet under
Dead and buried.
Example: He’s been six feet under for years, may he rest in peace.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other
Two alternatives are equivalent or equally good.
Example: It doesn’t matter if we take the highway or the back roads, it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.

A set of six well-defined abdominal muscles.
Example: He’s been working out and now has a six-pack.

Square the Circle
Attempt an impossible task
Example: He’s trying to square the circle by trying to please both his boss and his colleagues, but it’s impossible to keep everyone happy

Stand on one’s own two feet
To be independent and self-sufficient
Example: He never left home after high school, so he never learned to stand on his own two feet.

Take five
To take one brief (about five minutes) rest period.To take a short break, about five minutes.
Example: I’ve been painting all morning, can I please take five?

Ten to one
Very likely to happen.
Example: Ten to one, he’ll be late again.

The whole ball of wax
The entire situation or subject, without leaving anything out.
Example: Let’s start from the beginning and go through the whole ball of wax.

Third time’s a charm
After two failed attempts, the third one is successful.
Example: After two failed auditions, she finally landed the role on the third try. Third time’s a charm.

Three sheets to the wind
Being very drunk.
Example: After too many drinks, he was three sheets to the wind.

Three strikes and you’re out
After three attempts, if you fail, you’re done.
Example: The baseball player got three strikes and he was out.

Three’s a crowd
A third person in a situation can make things uncomfortable.
Example: When they were out on a date, John’s friend tagged along and made it feel like three’s a crowd.

Two cents
A small or insignificant opinion or contribution.
Example: I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion.

Two heads are better than one
Working together can be more productive than working alone.
Example: They decided to collaborate because two heads are better than one.

Two peas in a pod
Two people or things that are very similar or almost identical.
Example: They are two peas in a pod and share the same interests.

Insincere or hypocritical.
Example: She’s two-faced and can’t be trusted.

Whole nine yards
Going all out or giving it your all.
Example: He gave the whole nine yards in his final project.

Zero In On
Focus closely on something; take aim at something
Example: I need to zero in on my studies and focus on passing this exam

Zero hour
The moment when something significant or critical is about to happen.
Example: The zero hour for the project was rapidly approaching.

Zero tolerance
No tolerance or no acceptance for a certain behavior or action.
Example: The school has a zero tolerance policy for bullying.

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