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coast is clear
- no danger is in sight, no one can see you
When the coast was clear we decided to enter the building.
(bring) coals to Newcastle
- bring something of which there is plenty
Bringing extra food to the farmer`s picnic was like bringing coals to Newcastle.
cog in the machine
- you are not important but only a small part of a large organization
The employees felt like they were only cogs in a machine so the atmosphere at the company was not very good.
cold spell or cold snap
- a sudden short period of cold weather (usually in winter)
The cold snap lasted for five days.
- stop using drugs (heroin etc.) abruptly and without medical aid
Although she was able to stop using drugs cold turkey she was very sick for awhile.
come a cropper
I think that he has come a cropper in the horse competition and that is why he is sad.
- find something or meet someone by chance
I came across an interesting story in the newspaper the other day.
- please repeat, please say that again
Come again. I didn`t hear you the first time.
- brighten up and become active
She finally came alive and began to enjoy the party.
- make progress, thrive
The work on our new house is coming along very well at the moment.
come a long way
- make great progress
He has come a long way and has learned many things about his new company.
- return to the place you are now
She came back from her holidays last week.
- return to one`s memory
I can`t remember clearly the events of last year but slowly everything is coming back to me.
- become popular again
Recently bell-bottom pants have come back into fashion.
- disrupt the relationship between (two people)
His constant interfering finally came between his brother and his wife.
- get, obtain, acquire
She came by a lot of money recently and is now enjoying her life.
- tell the truth
The president of the company was forced to come clean and tell what really happened to the business.
- a lowering in status, income, influence or energy
Her new job was a real come-down from her last one so she was not very happy.
come down hard on
- scold or punish severely
The police have been coming down very hard on drunk drivers recently.
come down to earth
- stop imagining or dreaming, think and behave as usual
He has finally come down to earth and is preparing seriously to look for a job.
come down with
- become sick with or catch a cold etc.
Her mother came down with a cold so was unable to attend the dinner.
- be a native of a place
Several of the students in the class come from Mexico.
come full circle
- completely opposite from one`s starting point
They have come full circle since the new president started at the university.
come hell or high water
- no matter what happens
Come hell or high water I plan to go to the concert next week.
come in handy
- prove to be useful
I think that the small hammer will come in handy to fix the desk.
- receive, get possession of
They came into a lot of money which they donated to charity.
come into fashion
- become fashionable
She says that although bell-bottom pants have come into fashion again she will never wear them.
come into one`s own
- become to perform or work well because of good circumstances
He has really come into his own as a basketball player since he changed positions.
- be successful
The party came off without any problems so everyone was very happy.
come on strong
- overwhelm with excessively strong language or personality
He came on too strong during the job interview and was unable to get the job.
come out with
- say, make known
The child has recently come out with many strange and funny expressions.
- begin or learn to do or feel something
At first I disliked her a lot but recently I have come to accept her.
- regain consciousness
She came to a couple of hours after the accident.
come to blows
- begin to fight
They almost came to blows when they were trying to fix the car.
come to grief
- have a bad accident or disappointment
He has recently come to much grief because of his son`s problems with the police.
come to grips with
- struggle (successfully) with an idea or problem
She has finally been able to come to grips with her husband`s drinking.
come to light
- be discovered, become known
It has recently come to light that the company has lost millions of dollars.
come to nothing
- end in failure
All his efforts to help his sister find a job came to nothing.
come to one`s senses
- begin to think clearly or act sensibly
He finally came to his senses and decided to buy a cheaper car rather than borrow a lot of money for an expensive one.
come to pass
- to happen, occur
It came to pass that the company was never able to recover from their financial problems.
come to terms
- reach an agreement
We came to terms with the bank and were able to buy the house.
come to the point
- be direct
His speech was interesting but he never really came to the point.
come up with
- produce or find a thought, idea or answer
Please try to come up with a name for the new magazine.
- a friendly manner with everyone
He has a nice common touch and everyone likes him a lot.
- fall asleep quickly with great fatigue
As soon as we returned from the hike I conked out in front of the TV.
cook one`s goose
- ruin one`s chances
She really cooked her own goose and has no chance of getting the new job.
- invent, plan and put something together
I don`t know what kind of plan she is cooking up now but it should be quite interesting.
cool as a cucumber
- very calm and brave, not worried or anxious
She was as cool as a cucumber when her canoe turned over in the river.
cool one`s heels
- be kept waiting because of another`s rudeness
He was forced to cool his heels for an hour in the waiting room before his boss would talk to him.
cop a plea
- plead guilty to a crime in order to get a lesser penalty
He was forced to cop a plea when the evidence against him became too strong to dispute.
- avoid doing something that you were planning to do
He copped out from our plan to go to to the beach for the day.
- someone who copies another person`s work or their actions
The little boy was accused of being a copycat by the other children.
- give unwillingly
He finally coughed up enough money to pay for the accident.
- depend on
You can never count on him to do anything right.
count one`s chickens before they`re hatched
- assume that something will be successful before it is certain
Don`t count your chickens before they`re hatched. You`re spending your money and you don`t even have a job yet.
- leave something out of a plan, exclude
Please count me out of your plans to go skiing for the weekend.
cover one`s tracks
- hide or not say where one has been or what one has done
He was trying to cover his tracks but it was easy to see where he had recently been.
- hide something wrong or bad
They tried to cover up the facts regarding the illegal election campaign funds.
cozy up to (someone)
- try to be friendly to someone
I don`t know what he wants but recently he has been trying to cozy up to me.
crack a joke
- tell a joke
He was a lot of fun at the party because he was always cracking jokes.
crack a smile
- let a smile show on one`s face
He never cracked a smile during the whole meeting.
crack down on
- enforce laws or rules strictly
The school principal decided to crack down on people running in the halls.
crack of dawn
- daybreak, early in the morning
We got up at the crack of dawn to go fishing.
- an eccentric person with ideas that don`t make sense to others
He is a total crackpot and you never know what he will do next.
crack the whip
- try to make someone work hard or obey you by threatening them
We had to crack the whip in order to get the job finished by the weekend.
(buy something) on credit
- pay for something not in cash
He decided to buy the stereo on credit.
- burst into laughter
I cracked up when he started talking about the incident with the taxi driver.
cramp one`s style
- limit one`s talk or action
Working in the new section is beginning to cramp my style a little.
crash the gate
- enter without a ticket or without paying or with no invitation
Many people didn`t have a ticket for the concert so they decided to crash the gate.
cream of the crop
- the top choice
When they hire new employees they always look for the cream of the crop.
- a strong feeling of fear or disgust
I get the creeps every time that I see a dead animal.
creep up on
- crawl quietly towards
The thief crept up on the elderly women at the supermarket.
- a show of sorrow that is not really felt
He said that he was very sorry but his tears were just crocodile tears.
- appear or happen unexpectedly
I will meet you early next week unless something crops up that keeps me busy.
cross a bridge before one comes to it
- think and worry about future events or problems before they happen
We shouldn`t worry about that problem now. We can cross that bridge when we come to it.
cross one`s heart and hope to die
- promise that what you are saying is true
I promise that I will pay you back the money next week. Cross my heart and hope to die.
cross one`s mind
- think of, occur to someone
It just crossed my mind that I would probably see him in the evening so I didn`t phone him.
cross (something) out
- eliminate by drawing a line through something
Please cross out that amount and put in the correct amount.
cross to bear/carry
- something you must do or continue with even though you are suffering
Looking after my sister`s children every day is my cross to bear.
cry out for
- need something badly, be lacking
The new room that he built cries out for a new set of furniture.
cry over spilt milk
- cry or complain about something that has already happened
Don`t cry over spilt milk. You can never change the past.
- admit defeat or that one has lost
He finally had to cry uncle when the other wrestler pinned him to the mat.
- warn of danger that is not there
He has been crying wolf for years about various things and now nobody believes him.
(not one`s) cup of tea
- something one enjoys, special interest
It`s not really my cup of tea so I think I will stay home and not go to the art gallery.
curiosity killed the cat
- being too nosy and interested in other peoples business may lead a person into trouble
Don`t keep asking so many questions. Remember curiosity killed the cat.
- flatter someone to get his help or friendship
He has been working hard to curry favor with the other members of the committee.
- cross or go through something instead of going around
We decided to cut across the field because we were in a hurry to get to school.
cut and dried
- completely decided, prearranged
The decision was cut and dried and nobody asked for our opinion.
- use fewer or use less
We were forced to cut back on the number of people who were invited to the party.
cut both ways
- serve both sides of an argument
What he said cuts both ways and we should carefully think about it.
We will have to cut corners in order to save some money for our holiday.
cut down on
- use less of something
Recently he has cut down on his drinking in order to start his new health program.
cut down to size
- prove that someone is not as good as he thinks
I was able to cut him down to size when I criticized what he said at the meeting.
cut (someone) off
- stop someone from saying something, disconnect someone on the phone
I tried to tell him about the accident but he cut me off before I had a chance.
cut off one`s nose to spite one`s face
- make things worse for oneself because one is angry at someone else
He is cutting off his nose to spite his face. Taking revenge on his neighbor will only cause more problems for himself.
She decided to cut out chocolate in order to lose weight.
cut the mustard
- reach the required standard
He doesn`t cut the mustard and will never be able to work here
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