Idiom Site List & Idiom Examples

Text design of "Information and Examples of English idioms for English learners."

[Here you'll find my own idiom definitions plus an idiom site list for other helpful resources.]

There are many idioms in the English language and they can be both fun and frustrating for learners. Before I suggest some of the best idiom website options available on the internet, let’s review what an idiom is:

An idiom is a phrase (a group of words) whose meaning is different than each of the words considered separately.

For example, "keep your pants on" is an idiom because the phrase means “stay calm and wait patiently” instead of “don’t take off your pants.”

Check out this infographic for a few more examples:

An infographic defining what an idiom is and giving several examples of idioms with illustrations of each expression.

Oyster English's Idioms

In addition to the recommended idiom site list I have provided below, I have also created my own lists of idiomatic expressions and examples. My website is not dedicated only to idioms and I cannot possibly provide definitions for all of the idioms in English (there are about 25,000 of them!)

However, I have created some important lists of idioms as well as included quite a few idiom examples with images and pictures.

It can be very advantageous to learn some idioms with interesting or fun pictures. It can definitely help you learn unknown vocabulary and remember some of these expressions more easily.

Here are a few examples below

Image of a pearl in an oyster shell on the beach.
Picture of a tennis ball landing in a tennis court.

If you'd like to see idiom lists that I've created, you can click on the letters below to see the lists in alphabetical order:

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

You can find my other lists of idioms at this page: Idiom lists

Idiom Themes & Infographics

It can be fun to learn idioms when they are presented in themes or visually in infographics. You can learn them together in groups rather than one by one. If you're a teacher, this can be a starting point for a themed lesson.

Idiom site list - Other sites I recommend

Okay, now that you know about what I have to offer on my site, let's take a look at some other websites.

There are many websites that list idioms and some are better than others. I think it is most helpful when a site: 

  1. Defines the meaning of the idiom,
  2. Provides at least several examples of the idiom used in a sentence, and
  3. Divides the idioms into both alphabetical and topical lists.

I think this is the most helpful way to present this type of information to learners and I've tried to list some good options that use this approach.

Here are a few suggestions:

The Free Dictionary's list of idioms is compiled from idioms from the Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms and the Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. This is probably the most helpful online resource as it has almost 12,000 idiomatic phrases used in British, American and Australian English. In addition, the sentence examples make this such a valuable resource.

English Club has a great list of idioms, like some of the others but one thing that is very helpful is the number of quizzes to help test and reinforce your learning. They state they have 480 quizzes so that should keep you busy for awhile ;)

The Idiom Connection lists idioms alphabetically and by subject. They also have some quizzes. A sample sentence is provided for each idiom.

Using English provides a dictionary of 3,860 English idiomatic expressions. They have definitions provided by members as well as dictionary definitions.

English Like a Native provides good explanations of what idioms are and what they are not plus free materials to learn and self-test many commonly used idioms.

Each of the major dictionaries also provide definitions and examples of idioms. These are all highly recommended:  Cambridge Dictionary, Oxford Learners Dictionaries and Merriam Webster.

Final thoughts

I hope these resources will be helpful to you in your studies. Just remember that there are idioms in all languages and that even native English speakers to do not know all of the idioms.

What's most important is that you understand idioms. You don't have to use them in your own speaking or writing.  Idioms are very tricky to use until you have seen them used in context many times and truly understand the meaning.

Relax and learn them slowly without creating a lot of pressure for yourself. In time, you will see you have learned a lot of them!

And, don't forget to get your FREE copy of my illustrated idioms eBook by signing up for my newsletter. Don't worry, if you decide you do not want the newsletter, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Get our free idioms in pictures ebook

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