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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


SUCCESS and FAILURE, page 6

Idioms
from:   'make or break'   to:  'pass muster'


  • make or break
    • Circumstances or events that will make or break someone or something will cause either total success or total ruin.
      "The assignment will either make or break his career."

  • make a pig's ear of something
    • If you make a pig's ear of something, you do a task or a chore very badly or make a complete mess of it.
      "Gary offered to paint the kitchen but he made a pig's ear of it."

  • miss the boat
    • If you miss the boat, you fail to take advantage of an opportunity because you don't act quickly enough.
      "I managed to get my order through before the end of the special offer - but I nearly missed the boat!"

  • the moment of truth
    • A critical or decisive time when you face the reality of a situation, and find out if your efforts have succeeded, is called the moment of truth.
      "The moment of truth has arrived - I'm going to serve my first soufflé!"

  • move up in the world
    • A person who moves up in the world becomes more important in society or successful in their career.
      "Rachel Jones has moved up in the world since we were kids."

  • Murphy's law
    • Referring to Murphy's law expresses a sentiment of bad luck and the idea that if anything can go wrong, it will.
      "We've tried to prepare for every possible incident, but remember Murphy's law ...!"

  • not getting anywhere
    • If you are not getting anywhere, you are making no progress at all.
      "I've spent the whole day looking for a solution but I'm not getting anywhere."

  • nothing succeeds like success
    • This expression means that success often leads to further successes.
      "The success of my first book encouraged me to continue writing. Nothing succeeds like success!"

  • nothing ventured, nothing gained
    • You cannot expect to achieve anything is you risk nothing.
      "He's going to ask his boss for a promotion even though he has little chance of obtaining satisfaction. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!"

  • out of the picture
    • To say that a person or group is out of the picture means that they have been eliminated in a contest or tournament.
      "We were beaten in the semi-finals, so that's us out of the picture!"

  • ahead of the pack
    • If a person or organisation is ahead of the pack, they are better or more successful than their rivals.
      "Our products will have to be more innovative if we want to stay ahead of the pack."

  • pack something in
    • If you pack something in, you abandon it or give it up.
      "She found city life so stressful, she decided to pack it in and move to the country."

  • pass muster
    • If someone or something passes muster, they are considered to be satisfactory or acceptable.
      "The interview went well. I hope I'll pass muster."

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