about to do something
- on the point of doing something
She was about to leave when the phone rang.
- something that should have happened earlier
It is about time that you returned that book to me.
My grandfather is very absent-minded and often forgets his key.
- seem consistent or reasonable
The things that he said about his boss don't really add up.
ahead of time
We started the meeting ahead of time so we could go home early.
air one's dirty laundry (linen) in public
- make public something embarrassing that should be kept secret
The dinner party became uncomfortable when the host began to air his colleagues' dirty laundry in public.
- all the time
I knew all along that he would not get the promotion.
all at once
- suddenly, without warning
All at once the fire alarm rang so we had to leave the building.
all day long
- the whole day
She has been sitting and waiting for the mail to arrive all day long.
- eager to listen to someone
Okay, I'm all ears, please tell me about the party.
all in all
- in summary, after considering everything
We had a few problems but all in all the meeting was successful.
all of a sudden
- suddenly, without advance warning
All of a sudden it became cloudy and began to rain.
- okay, satisfactory
She said that it would be all right for me to bring my friend to the party.
all the time
- continuallyShe asks for money all the time but I don't like to give it to her.
- have difficulty fixing things or working with one's hands, clumsy
He is all thumbs when it comes to fixing things around the house.
an arm and a leg
- (cost) a large amount of money
His new car must have cost him an arm and a leg.
apple of one's eye
- one's favorite
His youngest daughter is the apple of his eye.
as a rule
- usually, as a habit
As a rule I usually get up at 7:00 AM every morning.
as far as
- to the extent or degree that
As far as I know he will be here in a few minutes.
ask for trouble
- behave in a way that trouble is likely
He is asking for trouble if he misses another class.
asleep at the switch
- not alert to an opportunity
I think he was asleep at the switch. He didn't even know that the job was available so he never applied for it.
as long as
- provided that, on condition that
As long as you promise to be careful you can borrow my car.
as the crow flies
- by the most direct way, along a straight line between two places
As the crow flies it is about 6 kilometers between my house and my company.
- most of the time, as is the custom
As usual, she forgot to bring her book to class.
as well as
- in addition to
Please bring your swimming suit as well as your towel.
- until now, up to the present
As yet, she has not told me about her plans to leave the company.
at cross purposes
- have opposite ways to do something, opposing goals
They are at cross purposes and are always arguing about what to do.
- be responsible or to blame for something
The truck driver was at fault in the terrible accident.
- at the beginning
At first she didn't want to go to a movie but later she changed her mind.
at first blush
- when first seen, without careful study
At first blush he seemed like a good worker but later we had many problems with him.
- basically, fundamentally
She is a very nice person at heart although many people dislike her.
- in one's house
I'm sorry but I left my money at home. Can you lend me some money?
- finally, after a long time
I was waiting all morning for her call but at last it came.
- having a quarrel, opposing each otherWe have been at loggerheads over their plans to build a new office complex.
- in disagreementHe has been at odds with his boss over the new sales territory.
at someone's beck and call
- always ready to serve somebodyHis eldest daughter is always at his beck and call when he spends an evening at home.
at the end of one's rope
- at the limit of one's ability to copeI am at the end of my rope about what to do about my current situation at work.
attend to someone
- take care or deal with someone
The doctor attended to the other patient before he got to my mother.