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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Body idioms

Eyes - Eyebrows - Eyelids

apple of your eye A person, usually a child, who is the apple of your eye is one for whom you have great affection.
My grandson is the apple of my eye.
in the blink of an eye If something happens in the blink of an eye, it happens nearly instantaneously, with hardly enough time to notice it.
The pickpocket disappeared in the blink of an eye.
catch someone's eye If someone catches your eye, you find them attractive.
The pretty girl near the door caught his eye.
half an eye If you have or keep half an eye on something, you watch it without giving it your full attention.
She kept half an eye on the TV screen while she was preparing dinner.
in the eye of the storm A person or organisation who is in the eye of the storm is deeply involved in a difficult situation which affects a lot of people.
The minister was often in the eye of the storm during the debate on the war in Iraq.
in one mind's eye If you can visualise something, or see an image of it in your mind, you can see it in your mind's eye.
I can see the village in my mind's eye but I can't remember the name.
in the twinkling of an eye This expression means 'very fast' or 'instantaneously'.
Public opinion can change in the twinkling of an eye.
look someone in the eye If you look someone in the eye, or eyes, you look at them directly so as to convince them that you are telling the truth, even though you may be lying.
He looked the boss in the eye and said he saw nothing.
more than meets the eye This expression means that something is more complicated or more interesting than it first appears.
They say it's just a disagreement, but we think there's more to it than meets the eye.
one in the eye If an event or development is an unexpected disappointment or defeat for someone, you can say that it is one in the eye for that person.
My promotion was one in the eye for my ambitious colleague.
see eye to eye If you see eye to eye with somebody, you agree with them.
I'm glad we see eye to eye on the choice of colour scheme.
spit in someone's eye If you spit in someone's eye, you treat that person with disrespect or contempt.
Your father raised you as best he could.  Don't start spitting in his eye.
turn a blind eye If you turn a blind eye to something, you pretend not to notice what someone is doing.
The old man turns a blind eye when he sees children taking apples from his garden.
before your very eyes If someone does something before your very eyes, they do it in front of you, without attempting to hide what they are doing.
Before my very eyes, he took the rubbish and threw it into the neighbour's garden!
eagle eyes Someone who has eagle eyes see or notices things more easily than others.
Tony will help us find it - he's got eagle eyes!
eyes like a hawk If you've got eyes like a hawk, you have good eyesight and notice every detail.
Of course Dad will notice the scratch on his car - he's got eyes like a hawk.
eyes on stalks If your eyes are on stalks when you look at something, they are wide open with surprise or amazement.
The child's eyes were on stalks as he watch the magician's performance.
eyes wide open If you do something with your eyes (wide) open, you are fully aware of what you are doing.
I took on the job with my eyes wide open so I'm not complaining.
feast one's eyes on If you feast your eyes on something, you are delighted and gratified by what you see.
As he drove along the coast, he feasted his eyes on the beautiful scenery.
lay/set/clap eyes on If you lay/set/clap eyes on someone or something, you look at or see them.
I've heard of him but I've never clapped eyes on him.
sight for sore eyes This expression refers to a person or thing that you are happy to see.
Sam! You're a sight for sore eyes! I haven't seen you in a long time!
raise eyebrows Someone who raises their eyebrows at something shows surprise or disapproval  by the expression on their face.
When the boss arrived in jeans, there were a lot of raised eyebrows.
not bat an eyelid To say that someone does not bat an eyelid means that they do not seem shocked or surprised, not are they nervous or worried.  They show no emotion.
When the sentence was pronounced, the prisoner didn't bat an eyelid.

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