A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Adam’s apple

The thyroid cartilage at the front of the neck, known as the Adam’s apple, seems to be more prominent in men than in women. Hence, the story that it w...

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Adam’s rib

According to the Bible, God created woman from one of Adam’s ribs, Genesis, 2:22. “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman...

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Add a/another or an additional string to one’s bow

see Another string to one's bow

Add flesh/meat to the bones of something

see Put flesh on the bones of something.

Add insult to injury

This means, of course, to make matters worse or to humiliate someone who has already been hurt. It is in fact a very ancient saying probably much olde...

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Additional string to one’s bow

see Another string to one’s bow


An adynaton is figure of speech in the form of a hyperbole that expresses an impossibility or an impossible situation. An example of an adynaton is th...

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see Under the Aegis of

Afraid of fear

see Fear itself


This word means the result, upshot or consequence of something or other, but this figurative usage only dates from the mid-17th century. In the early...

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British informal for dessert or pudding following a main meal, dates from the early 20th century. From the mid-20th century, it was also used to descr...

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Against the grain

Meaning against one’s inclination or natural tendency and derives from working with wood, where it is always easier to work with the grain than agains...

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Aghast and ghastly are old words from The Middle Ages. The original spellings were agast and gastly deriving from the Old English word gast or gaest,...

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Agog dates from the 15th century and describes a state of amazement or enjoyment. It derives from the French that was widely spoken following the Norm...

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Ahead of the curve

To be at the forefront or ahead of trends and developments, an Americanism, dates from the 1980s where the curve is that of a statistical graph. The e...

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