Idioms: Adjective Compounds

The adjective idioms here are compound forms joined by a hyphen.

You should understand these expressions, know other ways of saying the same thing, and know which of these synonyms to use in a particular context. You can learn a lot about an idiom if you look at the context of its use. Try to guess the meaning of each idiom as it is used in the following sentences. Then, click on any idiom for complete explanations and examples, but be aware that these expressions may have other meanings not listed here. Remember: you can use Word Neighbors to find out how frequently any expression is used in English.

1. To me, the points in his lecture were clear-cut; he was not just full of hot air.

2. A person who is free and easy in attitude also is generally easy-going in behavior.

3. When someone puts his heart and soul into his work, he makes an all-out effort to do the best possible job.

4. On the other hand, a free and easy person sometmes only makes a half-hearted effort and does only the minimum required.

5. The policeman managed to stay level-headed in the confrontation with the armed bank robbers.

6. I don’t believe in pussy footing around, so I had a man-to-man talk with Joe about our problem.

7. A big shot often thinks he knows everything, and is, therefore, frequently narrow-minded about accepting the opinions of others.

8. The dinner we had at the expensive restaurant was first-rate; everything was delicious and served perfectly hot.

9. After the handsome student became a football star, he became very stuck-up and wouldn’t make small talk with any of his old friends.

10. Tom had second thoughts about sharing his problem with his family, so he decided to remain close-mouthed


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