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sit back
to sit or lie in a comfortable relaxed way
back and forth
going in one direction and then in the opposite direction, and repeating this several times
at the back of your mind
A thought that is * * * * * * is one you try to ignore because you do not want it to be true
behind back
If you do sth * sb's *, you do it without them knowing
be on your back
1) to be lying on your back (used to emphasize that sb seems unlikely to get up soon) 2) to be so ill that you cannot get out of bed
have your back against the wall
(informal) to be in a difficult situation with no choice about what to do
the back of beyond
(informal) a place that is a long way from other places and is difficult to get to
at your back
1) behind you 2) supporting you
back the wrong horse
to support sb or sth that is not successful
back up
to support an idea by providing facts, proof etc
back away
to move backwards and away from sth, especially because you are frightened
get in through the back door
to achieve sth by having an unfair secret advantage
in the background
Sb who keeps or stays * * * tries not to be noticed
be full of beans
(informal) to be very eager and full of energy
bend over backwards
to try as hard as possible to help or please sb
can't bear
to be so upset about sth that you feel unable to accept it or let it happen (= can't stand)
a bad time
a time that is not suitable or causes problems
bear in mind
to remember a fact or piece of information that is important or could be useful in the future (= keep in mind)
bad back
A * * is a back that is injured or does not work correctly
bear fruit
if a plan, decision etc *s *, it is successful, especially after a long period of time
be in a bad mood
to feel annoyed or angry
bear with me
(spoken) used to ask sb politely to wait while you find out information, finish what you are doing etc
feel bad
to feel ashamed or sorry about sth
beat around the bush
to avoid or delay talking about sth embarrassing or unpleasant
not bad
(spoken) used to say that sth is good, or better than you expected
just because...
(spoken) used to say that although one thing is true, it does not mean that sth else is true
too bad!
(spoken) used to say that you do not care that sth bad happens to sb
beat the clock
to finish sth very quickly, especially before a particular time
too bad
(spoken) used to say that you are sorry that sth bad has happened to sb
what became of ...?
used to ask what has happened to sb or sth, especially when you have not seen them for a long time
go from bad to worse
to become even more unpleasant or difficult
get up on the wrong side of the bed
(AE) to feel slightly angry or annoyed for no particular reason
bad news
(spoken informal) sb or sth that always causes trouble
beats me
(spoken) used to say that you do not know sth or cannot understand or explain it
can't be bad
Sth * * * = (spoken) used to persuade sb that sth is good or worth doing
beat it!
(spoken) used to tell sb to leave at once, because they are annoying you or should not be there
my bad!
(AE - spoken - informal) used to say that you have made a mistake or that sth is your fault
not a bed of roses
not a happy, comfortable, or easy situation
pack your bags
(informal) to leave a place where you have been living, usually after an argument
beauty is only skin-deep
used to say that how sb looks is not as important as a good character
dark circles or loose skin under your eyes, usually because of old age or being tired
you've made your bed and you must lie on it
(spoken) used to say that you must accept the results of your actions, even if they are bad
the day before
the previous day (3 words)
a bag of bones
(informal) a person or animal who is too thin
in the bag
(informal) certain to be won or achieved
begin with
(spoken) used to introduce the first and most important point you want to make
hangs in the balance
if the future or success of sth * * * *, you cannot yet know whether the result will be bad or good
it's hard to believe
used when you are surprised that sth is true
balance the books
to show that the amount of money a business has received is equal to the amount spent
can't believe
(spoken) used when you are very surprised or shocked by something
balanced diet
A * * is a healthy diet, because it contains the right foods in the right amounts
believe it or not
(spoken) used when you are saying sth that is true but surprising
on the ball
(informal) able to think or act quickly and intelligently
would you believe it!
(spoken) used when you are surprised or angry about sth
the ball is in someone's court
it is their turn to take action or to reply
believe me
(spoken) used to emphasize that sth is definitely true
have a ball
(informal) to have a very good time
seeing is believing
(spoken) used to say that you will only believe that sth happens or exists when you actually see it
a ball of fire
(informal) sb who has a lot of energy and enthusiasm
below the belt
(informal) unfair or cruel
go ballistic
(spoken) to suddenly become very angry
bend over backwards
to try very hard to be helpful
B and B
the abbreviation of bed and breakfast
be beside the point
to not be directly connected with the main subject or problem that you are talking about
hair cut straight across your forehead
best clothes
clothing that you keep for special occasions
be makin' a bank
to earn a lot of money for the work that you do (American English - spoken - informal)
best of all
used to introduce the fact about a situation that is even better than the other good things
behind bars
(informal) in prison
best before
(BE) written on food packets with the date which the food should be eaten before
lay bare
1) to uncover sth that was previously hidden 2) to make known sth that was secret
as best you can
(spoken) as well as you can, even if this is not very good
with your bare hands
without using a weapon or a tool
I bet
1) used to say that you are fairly sure that something is true, something is happening etc, although you cannot prove this 2) used to show that you do not believe what sb has just told you
in the bargain
(AE) in addition to everything else
you bet!
(spoken) used to emphasize that you agree with sb or are keen to do what they suggest
be off base
(AE - informal) to be completely wrong
wanna bet?
(spoken) used to say that you think sth that sb has just said is not true or not likely to happen
touch base
* * with sb = to talk to sb to find out what is happening about sth
get better
to improve
on a daily basis
every day
that's better
(spoken) used to say that sth has improved, that you are happier or more comfortable, or to encourage sb
on a weekly basis
every week
better late than never
(spoken) used to say that even if sth happens late or sb arrives late, this is better than it not happening or their not arriving at all
clothes basket
a basket for dirty clothes
had better
1) used to give advice about what sb should do or to say what you should do or need to do 2) used to threaten sb
make a basket
to throw the ball through the basket
have big ideas
to have impressive plans for the future
recharge your batteries
(informal) to rest or relax in order to get back your energy
what's the big idea?
(spoken) used when sb has done sth annoying, especially when you want them to explain why they did it
fight your own battles
to argue with sb or compete in a difficult situation without having help from other people - used to show approval
big mouth
(spoken) sb who has a * * cannot be trusted to keep things secret
there is
used to say that something exists or happens
a little bird told me...
(informal) used to say that you know sth, but you will not say how you found out
be that as it may
(formal) used to say that even though you accept that sth is true, it does not change a situation
birds of a feather
(informal) used to say that two or more people have similar attitudes, beliefs etc
be yourself
to behave in a natural way, rather than trying to pretend to be different
a bird in the hand
used to say that it is better to keep what you have than to risk losing it by trying to get more
not be yourself
to be behaving in a way that is unusual for you, especially because you are ill or upset
gives birth
if a woman * *, she produces a baby from her body
in your birthday suit
(informal) not wearing any clothes - used humorously
bite your tongue
to stop yourself from saying what you really think, even though this is difficult
bite off more than you can chew
to try to do more than you are able to do
he won't bite
(spoken) used to say that there is no need to be afraid of sb, especially sb in authority
once bitten, twice shy
used to say that if you have failed or been hurt once, you will be more careful next time
to the bitter end
continuing until the end, even though this is difficult
I don't blame you
(spoken) used to say that you think it was right or reasonable for sb to do what they did
don't blame me
(spoken) used when you are advising sb not to do sth but you think that they will do it in spite of your advice
go blank
if your mind *es *, or if you * *, you are suddenly unable to remember sth
bless you!
(spoken) 1) what you say when sb sneezes 2) used to thank sb for doing sth for you
blood is thicker than water
used to say that family relationships are more important than any other kind
blow your nose
to clean your nose by forcing air through it into a cloth or a piece of soft paper
low blow
sth unkind you say to deliberately embarrass or upset sb
by the book
exactly according to rules or instructions
I wasn't born yesterday
(spoken) used to tell sb you think is lying to you that you are not stupid enough to believe them
at bottom
(formal) the way a person or situation really is, although they may seem different
the boys
(informal) a group of men who are friends and often go out together
boys will be boys
used to say that you should not be surprised when boys or men behave badly, are noisy etc
bread and butter
(informal) the work that provides you with most of the money that you need in order to live
break a habit
to stop doing sth that you do regularly, especially sth that you should not do
break the ice
(informal) to make people feel more friendly and willing to talk to each other
break a leg
(spoken) used to wish someone luck, especially just before they perform on stage
give me a break!
(spoken) used when you want sb to stop doing or saying sth that is annoying you
don't hold your breath
(informal) used to say that sth is not going to happen soon
be brief
to say or write sth using only a few words, especially because there is little time
look on the bright side
to see the good points in a situation that seems to be bad
what brings you here?
used to ask why someone is in a particular place
in broad daylight
if sth, especially a crime, happens * * * , it happens in the daytime and in public
brush yourself down
to use your hands to remove dirt from your clothes, especially after you have fallen
make a buck
earn some money
on a budget
if you are * * *, you do not have much money to spend
build bridges
to try to establish a better relationship between people who do not like each other
burned to death
someone who was * * * was died in a fire
burst someone's bubble
(informal) to destroy someone's beliefs or hopes about sth
bury your head in the sand
to ignore an unpleasant situation and hope it will stop if you do not think about it
mind your own business!
don't ask questions about something that does not concern you
business is business
(spoken) used to say that profit is the most important thing to consider
the butcher's
a shop where you can buy meat
buy in bulk
buy large quantities of something
buy time
to deliberately make more time for yourself to do something, for example by delaying a decision
by day
during the day
by night
during the night
by yourself
1) completely alone 2) without help from anyone