Idioms and Slang Dictionary 12+

Phrase meanings and history

Farlex, Inc.

Designed for iPad

    • 4.7 • 735 Ratings
    • Free
    • Offers In-App Purchases



Idioms and Slang Dictionary by Farlex gives you definitions and examples from top sources like McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin for more than 61,000 terms, including:
Slang terms
Verbal phrases
and more!

Get clear, in-depth definitions of tens of thousands of idioms used in the US and throughout English-speaking world. You say them every day, but do you know where they come from? Get the history behind the phrase.


* Search by keyword or full phrase and always find what you're looking for.

* View multiple example sentences to see how an idiom is used in everyday speech.

* Get the history behind the phrase. Find out when and where an idiom originated.

* Use native voice search to look up a word or phrase just by saying it. (With supported devices)

* Play 13,000+ audio pronunciations of keywords for both American and British speakers in online mode.

* Learning English? To sound like a native speaker, you need to know idioms! Master conversational English with this free resource.

* Add unlimited bookmarks and build your vocabulary.

* View your recent searches.

* See search suggestions as you type.

* Perform advanced searches, including "Starts with," "Ends with," "Contains," and "Wildcard."

* Share your favorite phrases via social networks, email, and text. (With supported devices)

* This is NOT a preview or a trial version, and there is no "locked" content. Open the app and immediately access all content, no subscriptions required!

* User-friendly, comprehensive, and authoritative: the perfect free Idioms and Slang Dictionary for new English speakers or anyone curious about the English language!

Here's a sneak-peak of what you'll find inside:

let the cat out of the bag
Give away a secret, as in "Mom let the cat out of the bag and told us Karen was engaged." This expression alludes to the dishonest practice of a merchant substituting a worthless cat for a valuable pig, which is discovered only when the buyer gets home and opens the bag. [Mid-1700s]

silver lining
An element of hope or a redeeming quality in an otherwise bad situation, as in "The rally had a disappointing turnout, but the silver lining was that those who came pledged a great deal of money." This metaphoric term is a shortening of "Every cloud has a silver lining," in turn derived from John Milton's Comus (1634): "A sable cloud turns forth its silver lining on the night."

a picture is worth a thousand words
A graphic illustration conveys a stronger message than words, as in "The book jacket is a big selling point—one picture is worth a thousand words." This saying was invented by an advertising executive, Fred R. Barnard. To promote his agency's ads he took out an ad in Printer's Ink in 1921 with the headline "One Look Is Worth a Thousand Words" and attributed it to an ancient Japanese philosopher. Six years later he changed it to "Chinese Proverb: One Picture Is Worth Ten Thousand Words," illustrated with some Chinese characters. The attribution in both was invented; Barnard simply believed an Asian origin would give it more credibility.

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What’s New

Version 3.5

* Bugfixes

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
735 Ratings

735 Ratings

Kimmy11kay ,


I’m so glad I ran across this idioms app and I totally love it! Now, I have the complete idioms dictionary right on my phone or tablet at my fingertips. I always refer to the idioms app whenever I need to know the meaning of a slang word or phrase. I love how the definitions are clearly defined and so easy to understand. I plan to use this app for many years to come. Thank you very much for creating this useful idioms app!

Daniel Baskaran ,

Very useful for non-native English speakers

I have been using idioms and phrases website for a long time and now this app for sometime, precisely, this is a lifesaver app.

For every idiom or phrase, it explains the meaning and gives you couple of examples to understand it better.

This is the best proven way to learn idioms and phrases if you are a English learner! I will definitely recommend this app.

Ruthie Boothie ,

Just what I needed!

Ever wonder where a phrase came from, and you’ve been saying it all your life, and you don’t even know what it means? This is for you!

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