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give someone enough rope and they will hang themself
- give someone enough time and freedom to do what they want and they will make a mistake or get into trouble and be caught
Don`t worry about trying to control him. If you give him enough rope he will hang himself.
give someone one`s word
- make a promise or assurance
He gave me his word that he would meet me at the library.
give someone the ax
- fire an employee (usually abruptly)
He gave the new employee the ax because he was always late.
give someone the benefit of the doubt
- believe someone is innocent rather than guilty when you are not sure
I gave him the benefit of the doubt but I still think that he is a liar.
give someone the cold shoulder
- be unfriendly to someone
He gave her the cold shoulder at the party.
give someone the eye
- look or stare at someone (especially in a cold or unfriendly way)
The man in the store began to give me the eye so I left.
give someone the green light
- give permission to go ahead with a project
He has been given the green light to begin work on the new housing plan.
give someone their due
- give someone the credit that they deserve
You have to give him his due. He has successfully saved the company from bankruptcy.
give someone the slip
- escape from someone
The bank robbers were able to give the police the slip at first but they were soon caught.
give the devil his due
- be fair (even to someone who is bad and who you dislike)
I don`t like to work with him at all as I think he is lazy. Still you have to give the devil his due because he always gets the job done.
give it your best shot
- try very hard
Although he didn`t have enough experience he decided to apply for the job and give it his best shot.
give to understand
- make a person understand by telling him very plainly or boldly
I was given to understand that I could rent an apartment very easily here.
- abandon, stop
He has decided to give up his plan to work in Hong Kong for a year.
give up the ghost
- stop working, die
My old car finally gave up the ghost so I must buy another one.
(don`t) give up the ship
- (don`t) stop fighting and surrender, (don`t) stop trying or hoping to do something
Please don`t give up the ship and quit this company. I am sure you still have a useful role to play.
give voice to
- tell what one feels or thinks
He has begun to give voice to his feelings about the new office building.
- collapse, fail
The dam gave way and the water flooded the farmland below.
- a friendly handshake, a warm greeting
The politician spent the morning glad handing the people at the shopping center.
- try to make what is wrong or bad seem right or not important, hide
The accountant tried to gloss over the money that they lost last year.
- be busy with, start working on
He has been going about his business all morning although he is feeling sick.
- try to get
The police decided to go after the people who were speeding near the school.
- begin to do something, not wait
Let`s go ahead and start now. We can`t wait for him any longer.
- move along, continue
He invented the story as he went along.
- agree, co-operate
They went along with his idea about having a party on the weekend.
- become very excited or behave in a crazy way
He went ape when he heard about the money that I had spent.
- go from one place or person to another
We decided to go around from one shop to another until we found a good present.
go around in circles
- without getting anywhere, uselessly
He has been going around in circles for weeks now and still hasn`t made any progress with his essay.
- fight with, attack, argue
When I entered the room they were going at it loudly.
go at it hammer and tongs
- fight with great strength or energy, have a bad argument
They were going at it hammer and tongs when the police came to their house.
go back on
- turn against, not be faithful to
He promised not to go back on his word about the discount tickets.
- lose all of one`s money
His company went broke so he quickly lost his job.
- two people each pay for themselves
We always go Dutch when we go on a date.
- try to get, try for
I have decided to go for the new job at the computer center.
go for broke
- risk everything on one big effort, try as hard as possible
They are going for broke trying to win the new contract.
go from bad to worse
- get worse, deteriorate
Things are going from bad to worse in the company.
- a person who works hard to become successful, an ambitious person
He is a go-getter. He always works hard and has lots of money because of that.
go great guns
- do something very fast or very hard, successfully
The workers were going great guns fixing the building when I saw them this morning.
- share equally
We have decided to go halves on buying a new computer.
- become damaged, stop working properly
At first everything was going well but later all the plans began to go haywire.
go in for
- decide to do (something), take part in
He is going to university and has decided to go in for medicine.
going for (someone)
- in one`s favor
She should do very well as she has many good things going for her.
go into orbit
- lose one`s temper, become very angry
He went into orbit when he heard about the missing money.
go jump in a lake
- go away and quit bothering someone
She asked me to borrow some money but I told her to go jump in a lake because she never paid me back before.
- excellent and rare opportunity
The heat wave was a golden opportunity for the ice cream seller to make money.
- good quality and a cheap price
You can usually get a good deal on stereos at that discount store.
- used to show surprise (good or bad)
Good grief! It`s 6:00 and I have not finished this job yet.
- used when you lose something and you are happy about it
Good riddance he said when the computer broke down and he had to buy another one.
good riddance to bad rubbish
- used to show you are glad that someone or something has been taken or sent away
Good riddance to bad rubbish! I never liked him and I am glad that he has finally left.
- person who loses well
He is a very good sport and never complains about losing.
- leave, depart
He went off on a trip and he never even bothered to phone and say good-bye.
- explode, be ignited
The firecracker went off in his hand before he had a chance to put it down.
- begin to ring or buzz
The fire alarm started to go off just as we entered the building.
go off half-cocked
- act or speak before being ready
He always goes off half-cocked when he is at a meeting.
go off the deep end
- give way to emotion
He went off the deep end when he saw the picture in the paper.
- fool around, not work or be serious
He has been goofing off all afternoon and has not got any work done.
The game went on for about an hour after I left.
- talk for too long
He started to go on about his problems so I finally left.
- put on, fit on
The top of the jar wouldn`t go on so I threw it away.
go (someone) one better
- do something better than someone else, do more or be better than someone
I decided to go him one better and buy a bigger present for my girlfriend.
go one`s own way
- go or act the way one wants
He has decided to go his own way and will start his own business next year.
go out of one`s way
- make an extra effort
She went out of her way to help me when I visited her in October.
go out the window
- be abandoned, go out of effect
The school dress code went out the window when the new principal took over.
go out with (someone)
- date or be dating someone
She went out with him for two years before they got married.
The accountant will come to go over the books tomorrow.
go over well
- be liked, be successful
I am sure that the party will go over well. You have done a lot of preparation for it.
- do something in excess
He really went overboard with the birthday party.
- go on dates with the same person all the time, date just one person
My sister has been going steady with the same person for two years.
- become an honest person, lead an honest life
He was in prison for awhile but has recently decided to go straight.
got a thing going
- be engaged in a pleasureable activity with someone else as a partner (in romance or business)
He has a thing going with computer repairs and is making a lot of extra money.
go the whole hog
- make a thorough job of something
They really went the whole hog in their efforts to welcome the foreign visitors.
- examine or think about carefully, search
The police went through his house to look for a gun.
- experience, suffer, live through
He has been through many hard times since he lost his job.
- be allowed, pass, be agreed upon
The law finally went through Congress last week.
go through changes
- be involved in changing circumstances
She has been going through many changes since her divorce.
go through with
- finish, do as planned or agreed
He has decided to go through with his plans to go back to school.
go to one`s head
- become conceited
He new position has really gone to his head and he won`t speak to us any longer.
go to pieces
- lose your self-control
She went to pieces when she received the letter about her father`s death.
go to pot
The business has really gone to pot since he became president.
go to rack and ruin
- reach a very bad state of repair
The building has gone to rack and ruin since the new owners took over.
go to town
- work fast or hard, do something with much energy
They really went to town last night and finished painting the bedroom.
go up in smoke/flames
- burn or be destroyed by fire, fail, not come true (dreams)
His plans to open a new restaurant have gone up in smoke since he lost his job.
go without saying
- be so easy to see that it doesn`t have to be mentioned
He is a hard worker so it goes without saying that his boss is very happy with him.
grasp at straws
- try something with little hope of succeeding, depend on something that is useless in a time of trouble
He is grasping at straws. He will never find enough money to pay next month`s rent.
grass is always greener on the other side
- a place or thing that is far away or different seems better than what we have or where we are
She is always moving or changing jobs as she thinks that the grass is always greener on the other side.
- job that gives one a lot of money compared with what you do
The cleaning contract was really a gravy train. We only worked for 3 hours but we got paid for 8 hours.
grease one`s palm
- give money or pay for some special favor
We had to grease the border guard`s palm in order to enter the country.
- a small, cheap eating place with basic but not-so-good food
We had to go to a greasy spoon for breakfast as all the other restaurants were closed.
- be inexperienced or immature
He is a little green and doesn`t know the job very well.
- skill in making plants grow
He has a real green thumb and has a beautiful garden.
green with envy
- very jealous, full of envy
The little girl was green with envy when she saw her friend`s new bicycle.
grind to a halt
- slow down and stop (like a machine when it is turned off)
The city ground to a halt when the power went off for five hours.
- the first or best chance - especially in a business
The video store was a good investment so I was happy to get in on the ground floor.
- cause not to work, ruin something, make something go wrong
The computer printer seemed to have become gummed up just as I was about to print my resume.
gun for someone
- look hard for a chance to harm or defeat someone
My supervisor has been gunning for me for a long time but I don`t really know why.
gun for something
- try very hard to get (prize or promotion etc.)
He has been gunning for the new sales job for a long time.
- enthusiastic, full of eagerness
She is really gung-ho about her new job at the library
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