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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms S, page 13

Idioms S, page 13:  from:   'smoke like a chimney'   to:   'sneak preview'


  • smoke like a chimney
    • Someone who smokes a large amount of tobacco on a regular basis is said to smoke like a chimney.
      "My grandfather used to smoke like a chimney."

  • smoke signals
    • To say that there are smoke signals means that there are indications that something is probably going to happen.
      "All the smoke signals seem to indicate that the company is going to be taken over."

  • smoke and mirrors
    • An attempt to conceal or distort the truth (like a magician) in order to confuse people is called smoke and mirrors.
      "The outgoing chairman used smoke and mirrors to make the situation look better."

  • (a) smokescreen
    • A smokescreen is an action or tactic intended to conceal or divert attention from your real intentions or activities.
      "His travel business was just a smokescreen for his political activities."

  • smokestack industries
    • Industries involved in heavy manufacturing such as the production of iron and steel, especially if they cause a lot of pollution, are called smokestack industries.
      "Smokestack industries are no longer allowed in residential areas."

  • (a) smoking gun
    • A smoking gun is a piece of evidence or the indisputable sign of someone's guilt.
      "The fingerprints left on the door-handle was the smoking gun that enabled the police to arrest him."

  • smooth the path
    • To smooth the path for something means to make progress easier or enable it to happen.
      "Speaking the language smoothed the path for negotiations."

  • smooth ruffled feathers
    • If you smooth someone's ruffled feathers, you make that person feel less angry or offended.
      "Tom took the criticism badly but James managed to smooth his ruffled feathers."

  • in smooth waters
    • A business or operation that is in smooth waters is making regular and easy progress.
      "The company seems to be in smooth waters these days."

  • snail mail
    • This term refers to the standard system of mail delivery, or postal service, considered very slow compared to electronic mail.
      "More and more people are using e-mail rather than the traditional postal service, snail mail."

  • at a snail's pace
    • If something moves at a snail's pace, it moves very slowly.
      "The old man was driving along the road at a snail's pace."

  • (a) snake in the grass
    • Someone who pretends to be your friend while actually betraying you is a snake in the grass.
      "I thought I could trust my colleague but he turned out to be a snake in the grass."

  • (a) snap decision
    • A quick decision based on an impulse, without taking time to weigh the consequences, is called a snap decision.
      "Completely overworked, he suddenly turned off his computer and made a snap decision to go swimming."

  • snatch victory from the jaws of defeat
    • If you manage to win something such as a match or a contest, when you are on the verge of losing, you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
      "With a last-minute goal, the team snatched victory form the jaws of defeat."

  • (a) sneak preview
    • A sneak preview (or sneak peek) is a special viewing of a film or art production given to a select audience before being shown to the general public.
      "Television reporters were given a sneak preview of the next episode."

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