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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Thoughts - Ideas - Imagination

(Idioms page 1 :  against better judgement  →  mind over matter)

against one's better judgement If you do something, even though you think it is not a sensible thing to do, you do it against your better judgement.
Bob persuaded her to go by car, against her better judgement, and she regretted it as soon as she saw the heavy traffic.
by no stretch of the imagination The expression 'by no stretch of the imagination' means 'however hard you may try to believe or imagine it'.
By no stretch of the imagination could he be called handsome.
bee in one's bonnet Someone who has a bee in their bonnet has an idea which constantly occupies their thoughts.
She's got a bee in her bonnet about moving to New York.
cloud cuckoo land This expression refers to an imaginary unrealistic place where everything is perfect and impossible things can happen.
Anyone who thinks these measures are going to solve the crisis is living in cloud-cuckoo-land!
figment of one's imagination A figment of one's imagination is an appearance, event or incident that is not considered to be real but only imaginary.
Other people saw the car, so it's not a figment of my imagination!
flight of fancy To refer to an idea or plan as a flight of fancy means that it is very imaginative but not at all practical or sensible.
He often has good ideas  but his latest proposal is just a flight of fancy!
harebrained idea A harebrained idea is an idea or suggestion that is considered to be silly, foolish or totally impractical.
We'll never make any progress if you have nothing but harebrained ideas to offer!
all in your head If something is all in your head, it is not real.  It is in your imagination.
Don't be silly.  Nobody is trying to harm you.  It's all in your head!
toy with the idea If you consider something without giving it serious thought, you toy with the idea.
Sally has often toyed with the idea of moving abroad, but she's still here!
light bulb moment A light bulb moment is when you have a sudden moment of inspiration, comprehension or realization.
Harry had a light-bulb moment when he finally realized what was blocking the mechanism.
lose train of thought If you forget what you were saying, for example after a disturbance or interruption, you lose your train of thought.
Now where was I? I'm afraid I've lost my train of thought.
back of your mind Something at the back of your mind is something that you are not thinking about right now but is in your thoughts.
At the back of my mind is the fear of failing the exam.
bear/keep in mind If you bear or keep something in mind, you remember it.
Bear in mind that no food will be served on board.
bring to mind If a place, person or object brings (something) to mind, it causes you to think of someone or something, or it evokes a memory.
This place brings to mind the small town where I grew up.
broadens the mind Something that broadens the mind helps you understand more about different subjects, people, ideas and places.
It is often said that travel broadens the mind.
change your mind If you change your mind you change your decision.
I was going to go sailing but I changed my mind when I saw the weather.
cross your mind If an idea or thought crosses your mind, you suddenly think of it.
It has just crossed my mind that the shops are closed today.
mind over matter The mental power to influence one's body and overcome physical difficulties is said to be a question of mind over matter.
He know he could not be cured, but he managed to live until the baby was born - a case of mind over matter.
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